Opinion

Friday, July 13, 2007 — Vol. 30, No. 6 Student Life Centre, Room 1116 University of Waterloo Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1 P: 519.888.4048 F: 519.884.7800 imprint.uwaterloo.ca Editor-in-chief, Adam McGuire editor@imprint.uwaterloo.ca Advertising & Production Manager, Laurie Tigert-Dumas ads@imprint.uwaterloo.ca General Manager, Catherine Bolger cbolger@imprint.uwaterloo.ca Sales Assistant, Andrea Hession Board of Directors board@imprint.uwaterloo.ca President, Adam Gardiner president@imprint.uwaterloo.ca Vice-president, Jacqueline McKoy vp@imprint.uwaterloo.ca Treasurer, Lu Jiang treasurer@imprint.uwaterloo.ca Secretary, Alaa Yassim secretary@imprint.uwaterloo.ca Staff liaison, Rob Blom liaison@imprint.uwaterloo.ca Editorial Staff Assistant Editor, Ashley Csanady Lead Proofreader, Kinga Jakab Cover Editor, Angelo Florendo News Editor, Emma Tarswell News Assistant, Adrienne Raw Opinion Editor, Mohammad Jangda Features Editor, Scott Houston Arts Editor, Andrew Abela Science Editor, Brendan Pinto Sports Editor, vacant Photo Editor, Michael L. Davenport Graphics Co-editor, Peter Trinh Graphics Co-editor, Christine Ogley Web Editor, Gunjan Chopra Systems Administrator, Dan Agar Sys. Admin. Assistant, vacant Production Staff Shivaun Hoad, Paul Collier, Phil Isard, Harry Potter, Tim Foster Imprint is the official student newspaper of the University of Waterloo. It is an editorially independent newspaper published by Imprint Publications, Waterloo, a corporation without share capital. Imprint is a member of the Ontario Community Newspaper Association (OCNA). Editorial submissions may be considered for publication in any edition of Imprint. Imprint may also reproduce the material commercially in any format or medium as part of the newspaper database, Web site or any other product derived from the newspaper. Those submitting editorial content, including articles, letters, photos and graphics, will grant Imprint first publication rights of their submitted material, and as such, agree not to submit the same work to any other publication or group until such time as the material has been distributed in an issue of Imprint, or Imprint declares their intent not to publish the material. The full text of this agreement is available upon request. Imprint does not guarantee to publish articles, photographs, letters or advertising. Material may not be published, at the discretion of Imprint, if that material is deemed to be libelous or in contravention with Imprint’s policies with reference to our code of ethics and journalistic standards. Imprint is published every Friday during fall and winter terms, and every second Friday during the spring term. Imprint reserves the right to screen, edit and refuse advertising. One copy per customer. Imprint ISSN 07067380. Imprint CDN Pub Mail Product Sales Agreement no. 40065122. Next staff meeting: Monday, July 16, 2007 12:30 p.m. Next board meeting: Friday, July 13, 2007 10:30 a.m.

opinion@imprint.uwaterloo.ca

Imprint, Friday, July 13, 2007

Tie a yellow ribbon
Apolitically ribbonating K/W meat wagons
Members of the Canadian armed forces must be breathing a sigh of relief today. Sure, some of the troops may be in constant grave danger or horrifying conditions. But, thanks to local municipal governments, Canadian soldiers now have the difference maker: They have yellow ribbon magnets in the Waterloo region. Earlier this week, the cities of Kitchener, Cambridge and Waterloo along with the regional municipality of Waterloo all agreed to place “support our troops” magnetic decals on emergency vehicles. Furthermore, while Waterloo Regional Police cars don’t have the ribbons (yet), they have offered a yellow ribbon pin to any officer who wishes to wear one. And, of course, this all culminates into one poignant question: What the hell do these ribbons do? Short answer — nothing. Long answer — absolutely nothing. Supporting soldiers is like supporting oxygen — everyone automatically does it, right? There’s an inherent problem with the yellow ribbons. Some see these things not as supporting the troops, but supporting a war. People who back the ribbon initiative all say the same thing: this is supporting the troops, not neccesarily a support of war. And as for those who loathe the idea of ribbon decals, they say... well, they say the same thing — they support the troops, but not the war. Seemingly, everybody supports the soldiers, they just can’t figure out how to support them. So why pass a motion for a cause that every Canadian being already believes in? Cue Waterloo councillor Mark Whaley. Whaley introduced the motion to Waterloo city council, which passed unanimously. So I called councillor Whaley to try and find out why he brought this issue up in Waterloo city council. “It’s an apolitical decision to show that we care.” Wait a minute. An apolitical decision? You’re a politician, councillor Whaley. You go to council to conduct political business. You’re on taxpayer dollars, sitting in a taxpayer building, using your taxpayer BlackBerry to distract yourself from the more mundane business of council. You had better not be making apolitical decisions. So, I asked him to tell me how a politician can make apolitical decisions. “We’re not promoting or not promoting whether or not troops should be anywhere that they are right now,” he said. “I think you understand — we’re not making a judgement to send troops or to not send troops […] Have I made myself clear? Do you understand how we, as elected officials can do that?” Aside from my condescension meter going haywire, I understood the councillor perfectly well — I understood he made a very poor judgement in word selection, and he needed to back-pedal. But Whaley wasn’t the only one to bring this issue up (he was just the only one brash enough to call it “apolitical.”) In Cambridge, the motion to add ribbons passed 6-1. In Kitchener, they didn’t even need a vote — after what The Record called “informal discussions” amongst city councillors, the go-ahead was given to ribbons there, too. And for regional emergency vehicles, including all ambulances, regional council waived a policy prohibiting support of any group or cause by giving the thumbs-up to yellow ribbons. Wait another minute. Surely this policy has been challenged before. And sure enough, it has. With a little networking help, I was pointed in the direction of regional councillor Jane Mitchell. In a phone interview, Mitchell informed me that she had attempted, some time ago, to have purple ribbons affixed to regional vehicles in support of ending domestic violence. It didn’t even make it to a vote, because she was told of the region’s no-public-support policy. However, that same policy was waived — readily — for the yellow ribbons. So, councillor Mitchell, what’s the difference between yellow and purple ribbons? “In my opinion, there is no difference,” she said. So Mitchell plans to bring forth a motion for the purple ribbons on August 14, the next council meeting. She also expects representatives from other ribbon campaigns — such as breast cancer, missing children and AIDS — to apply for their ribbons on regional vehicles too. Mitchell said she feels as though she has to explain herself, just because she doesn’t believe there should be a magnet on regional vehicles. “Everyone says ‘you don’t support the troops,’” said Mitchell. “I consider it emotional blackmail.” Mitchell added that, personally, she not only supports Canadian troops, but also the war efforts in Afghanistan. As for the city, Whaley said the ribbons will cost the city about $350 in total. He also added that, since the ribbons are magnetic, each employee will have the right to remove the ribbon for the duration of his or her shift. Great, now taxpayers have wasted money on an apolitical decision for a vehicle decal that might spend some of its time tucked neatly in the glove compartment. And all this for a yellow ribbon magnet. No matter how much political speak councillors like Mark Whaley feed us, it doesn’t change the fact that — for our soldiers — the ribbon doesn’t actually do anything. Sometimes I wonder if our municipal governments do anything, either.
editor@imprint.uwaterloo.ca

The Missing Link
I like porn. I do. I’m not ashamed of it. Being a fan, I think it’s fantastic that porn is slowly entering the mainstream. Not that I want 24 hour access on CBC, but I think it’s good and healthy that sexual material is becoming less and less censored and that enjoyment of porn is being de-stigmatized. The best part of porn losing its stigma is that it is giving people permission to explore sexuality and to try things that they might never have been willing to try otherwise... and many, one hopes, are discovering that they actually like things like plugs, clamps, bondage, oral, anal, exhibitionism, voyeurism, group, etc. Others are trying them and taking them off the to-do list forever — and that’s OK too. The old Mae West adage, “I’ll try anything once, twice if I like it, three times to make sure,” had it exactly right. So now that porn is entering the mainstream, people are seeing it more and more and what they’re seeing tells them to explore. So far, though, all the experimentation appears to

COMMUNITY EDITORIAL
be one-sided. Women are portrayed as more experimental, and so they are trying new things and being more adventurous. While the girls are going out of their way to discover themselves, men are just sitting back and watching the show. Another imbalance has been created, whereby women are encouraged to perform for their partners — sometimes with their partners — but never in ways that push their partners’ boundaries. Porn provides only one set of models; men like watching women engage in lesbian sex, so women are portrayed as being curious about lesbian sex; men like fucking ass, so women are portrayed as enjoying anal sex; men like ejaculating on women’s faces, so women are portrayed as passionate about facials. It’s nearly impossible to completely avoid hetero-normative porn, but you have to work to find porn that would make a second-year male university student say “Dude,

I don’t think I could ever do that.” The missing link in the mainstream is porn that exemplifies men pushing their boundaries. Not just in what they’re willing to ask for, but in what they’re willing to do, or have done to them. What we need now is the mainstreaming of porn that encourages women to ask for their needs to be met — porn that models men enjoying things that lie outside of socially acceptable behaviour: men fucking each other, men begging for a strap-on, men exposing themselves to their partners in public, men being spanked and so on. I hold no illusions about why this porn is not mainstream, but I think the result is everyone gets short-changed: women are not being given permission to have the full range of fantasies, let alone fulfill them; and men, by being permitted to stay in their safety zones, are denied a world of sexual experiences they might otherwise enjoy. Men should be quoting Mae West too.
— Anonymous

Imprint, Friday, July 13, 2007

Opinion
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Disagree with Pastor Russo? Read something else that irks or excites you? Send us your your thoughts.
opinion@imprint.uwaterloo.ca
Thank you Christine & Imprint 

Take back the night?
I live behind Mel’s Diner, so late night trips through the plaza on Fubar and Caesar Martini’s nights are always interesting, to say the least. A few weeks ago, I was crossing the plaza to a set of stairs I use as a cut-through when a group of guys hanging from a giant pickup truck started heckling me. It was late — around 1 a.m. or so — and I was alone, mildly intoxicated and completely powerless but to keep my head down and suffer through their pigheaded remarks. As I approached the stairs, they proceeded to pull their truck in front of the entrance. When I tried to go around the front, they pulled forward; around back, they backed up. Furious, I stormed around the back of the truck, giving a wide berth and just daring them to test me further. Shaking with rage, I stalked home. My own helplessness, my inability to do anything except try not to exacerbate the situation further and even the prickle of fear I felt infuriated me. Every fiber of me wanted to turn around and tell those motherfuckers exactly how ignorant and childish they were — but I knew that doing so could potentially result in a very nasty situation so I left the four rednecks to their longnecks and stormed around my room instead. It’s not the first time that something along these lines has happened to me and I’m sure it won’t be the last. Discussing the event with a group of female friends, I heard tales of fear — both real and imagined — when walking somewhere alone at night. I hate the fact that I have to consider what path to take through a park or walk in fear to my own front door just because I’m female. I know 90 per cent of my paranoid freakouts stem from too many scary movies and episodes of Buffy when I was little, but the question still remains; how valid are those fears, and how many of them are our own fabrications from years of pop culture submersion? From Little Red Riding Hood to Scream, women are taught to look twice when going down a dark alleyway or to look over their shoulder when walking through a park. From our first fables through present day horror flicks cautionary tales have been told to young girls so they know what kind of situations to avoid; however, what if those little life lessons are actually perpetuating the problem? I have to wonder, if I didn’t have that tiny grain of fear twitching at the back of my head, would I have turned around and faced them? Told them off and stopped them from bothering another girl? Or would I have made it worse? Most likely, had I stopped they would have laughed, said something crude and that would have been it. They would have done it to the next girl too, and I probably would have been even angrier. The situation could have proved dangerous, so logically I know that walking away was the best thing to do. Are scary movies and modern day fables created to teach women to protect themselves from necessary evils? Or, are they abetting the system by normalizing a female culture of fear? My thoughts are split on this one, because I feel pop culture is more a manifestation of the ills of our society than a catalyst; however, its impact on our society is equally undeniable. So, I leave it to you. Go online to http://imprint.uwaterloo.ca and share your thoughts in the comment section because this issue is too complex and multifaceted to be fully explored here. I’ll be adding thoughts, research and links to other articles throughout the week on this very subject to help further the discussion.
acsanady@imprint.uwaterloo.ca

Most people I know would be really offended by Christine’s opinion. While she has her ways of being cheeky, she does raise an important perspective. As a campus minister in the city, I thought it appropriate to say thank you for bringing these problematic evangelistic methods to the forefront. Also, I’d like to assure Christine and the readers of Imprint that many Christians are doing their best to re-examine and re-articulate their evangelistic zeal in a way that is truly authentic. I’m also sure the Campus for Christ desires to grow in their approach to serve and support students on campus. Christine’s important perspective is a great sign on how much we can learn even from those who don’t particularly agree with our perspective. Thank you.
— Domenic Ruso, M.A. Lead Pastor, The Embassy

Pink tie activism
The Internet Collective actively tries to court computer geeks to work on a centralized WPIRG infrastructure so that the rest of the organization can do the important things like, you know, change the world (instead of changing their web pages). They don’t get all that many people, but it’s a great resource for people who want to carry the revolution without being that in-your-face or even all that idealistic about it. I was at a meet’n’greet for the Waterloo Sustainability project a few weeks ago. I encountered a few people who were frustrated with the state of their group’s online communication and infrastructure. They were not at all aware of what other like-minded groups were doing, and it even sounded like these groups shared similar mandates but remained isolated; two different groups dividing resources that could better be spent together. But that’s a political issue upon which I’m digressing. You’d figure that, in the centre of nerd batongaville, there would be at least a sizeable enough bunch of nerd-activists to set up these ships and keep them running. This fourth-year CS nihilist shouldn’t have to be concerned about the state of his faculty’s attitude on social activism. This school has untapped power — coder power — and we haven’t yet done a damn thing about it.

COMMUNITY EDITORIAL
This is probably due to the following reasons: 1) This school loves balkanization. I have heard arts faculty crave interested people to work on their convergence of english/philosophy/etc. and computer science and not even think about asking their northern neighbours, many of whom would love to work on an educational video game based on the Canterbury Tales or whatever. For goodness’ sake, we have at least one class per term of idiots who sacrifice sleep for OpenGL! In general, one faculty’s population tends to be ignorant, condescending and rather scared of any other. If that stupidity permeates our primary function, can you expect it to dissipate when it comes to our extra-curricular activities? 2) Surely there are a significant number of people who don’t partake in co-op, but this school is structured such that too many CS people spend two months settling into their roles at Waterloo before preparing themselves to leave again. I’m certain that no matter how many people stick around, too much time

is spent dealing with revolving-door attrition and retraining instead of matters at hand. 3) I wish I could say that all university students spend most of their time doing work, but it does feel like select non-math faculties work in extreme workload bursts while math is more of a constant churn. If this is actually the case, who can blame students for spending their time on weekly assignments instead of taking advantage of their student population membership? I hope that the Internet Collective, Waterloo Students for Information Commons and all other geek brotherhoods continue growing as I’ve seen them do in these last few months. I hope that the UW Website Designers (a proposed Feds club pending approval) achieve their plan of forming a centralized computing resource for Feds organizations, and that some kind of movement allows Waterloo to have a strong activist presence in math/CS that matches that in the interest/ethnic groups we tend to favour. Gaelan D’costa was one of those OpenGL idiots, in which case the term is apt description and not one of endearment.
— Gaelan D’costa

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