Viewpoint

today i sub­mit­ted my first ever let­ter to the View­point sec­tion of the Notre Dame new­pa­per pub­li­ca­tion the Observ­er. It was in response to this let­ter:

Bed­wet­ting lim­ou­sine lib­er­als are over­run­ning the tra­di­tion­al val­ues of Amer­i­can soci­ety and our cam­pus, our Uni­ver­si­ty of Notre Dame, has become a breed­ing ground for these ideas. It start­ed last year on Sept. 12, when stu­dents were poi­soned with the idea that Sept. 11 was “our fault” and “we brought this upon our­selves.” Last time we checked, two of our build­ings full of Amer­i­can civil­ians fell and over 3,000 Amer­i­can cit­i­zens were mur­dered. It appeared again last year when South Quad was inun­dat­ed with yel­low shirt-wear­ing, Fris­bee-throw­ing, tree-hug­ging chil­dren who believed they could under­stand the plight of Afghani refugees. Most recent­ly, signs call­ing for “No War In Iraq” and “Pray for Peace” have degrad­ed fur­ther the already decrepit state of patri­ot­ic feel­ing on cam­pus. We are liv­ing in an Amer­i­ca increas­ing­ly un-Amer­i­can. Six­ty years ago a dif­fer­ent attack was car­ried out on Amer­i­can soil and Amer­i­can ser­vice­men and civil­ians were killed. The “great­est gen­er­a­tion” put down their books and ral­lied around some­thing greater than them­selves: the flag, the coun­try and the ideals upon which Amer­i­ca was found­ed. When called upon today, the grand­chil­dren of this great gen­er­a­tion look up from their copies of “The Com­mu­nist Man­i­festo” and their grande steamed lat­te and say, “not today Uncle Sam, I’m too busy sav­ing the whales.” Sacred notions of free­dom and lib­er­ty have been dis­card­ed. Instead, we waste our breath defend­ing oppres­sive ter­ror­ist regimes bent on acquir­ing weapons of mass destruc­tion. We waste our time in talk instead of action. Recall the famous scene in H.G. Wells’ “War of the Worlds.” The priest believes he can save earth through diplo­ma­cy. Just like today, diplomacy’s and reason’s time have passed. If we con­tin­ue talk­ing and dis­cussing, we will meet the same end as the priest ? death. John Stu­art Mill once wrote, “The per­son who has noth­ing for which he is will­ing to fight, noth­ing which is more impor­tant than his own per­son­al safe­ty, is a mis­er­able crea­ture and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exer­tions of bet­ter men than him­self.” God bless Amer­i­ca.
Erin Fitzger­ald
junior, Far­ley Hall
Michael McCarthy
senior, Knott Hall
Oct. 14

and my response:

In the world of the inter­net bul­letin board sys­tems, there exists a slang term called the ‘flame’ that can be appro­pri­ate­ly applied to Erin Fitzger­ald and Michael McCarthy’s let­ter from Octo­ber 14. A sim­ple def­i­n­i­tion of flam­ing: “1.To post an email mes­sage intend­ed to insult and pro­voke. 2. vi. To speak inces­sant­ly and/or rabid­ly on some rel­a­tive­ly unin­ter­est­ing sub­ject or with a patent­ly ridicu­lous atti­tude. 3. vt. Either of sens­es 1 or 2, direct­ed with hos­til­i­ty at a par­tic­u­lar per­son or peo­ple.” It appears to me that all of the above defin­tions apply to their let­ter. Their point, though obscured by the invec­tive sur­round­ing it, appears to be that peace is unpa­tri­ot­ic. Appar­ent­ly, their foamy-mouthed insults are jus­ti­fied in this regard. The best way to avoid flames on the ‘net is to ignore them. By doing so, a per­son can hope that even­tu­al­ly respect­ful and inter­est­ing dis­course can take place. Rabid insults are not a form of inter­est­ing dis­course. They also offer no chance at achiev­ing it. I sug­gest that in the future Miss Fitzger­ald and Mr. McCarthy try writ­ing a log­i­cal and respect­ful arti­cle before resort­ing to ram­pant name-call­ing. In the end, it will only get you burned.
Adam Har­vey
Senior, Keough Hall
Oct.15

Now, I don’t know if it will get print­ed, but i don’t real­ly care. i’ve made my point. Matt, you may insert your com­ments here: 🙂