Slug: American hypocrisy/ American idiots

Hed: Push me all you want

SubHed: This American stands by her words

01 Oct 04

Sybil Priebe

Opinion Editor


When push comes to shove, IÕll be the first to take my 5Õ7Ó inch frame and shove back with all my might. Maybe itÕs because I have been listening to Green DayÕs new CD, American Idiot. Maybe itÕs the recent shoving my car endured at the Turf (just because you donÕt own your car, doesnÕt mean you get to touch my Ōbought and paid forÕ import). Or maybe itÕs the monthÕs worth of chaos over the sex column (which just makes me want to puke on myself), but I have got some rage built up in me. I have had it with American culture and American media and American idiots. Green Day has got it right; weÕre American idiots. IÕll admit my own hypocrisy, IÕll even admit my stubborness, and that is why, I have one last column to write on this issue. Here are my words that I stand by:


Currently, the American way is the Hypocritical way. We view sex and violence and political bashing and religious wars on TV, but the minute those subjects are in print, particularly sex, Bam!, letters to the editor come pouring in. We canÕt handle those topics in our paper, but weÕll surely go shop at Abercrombie where naked people are used for advertisements or purchase magazines where half the ads use sex to sell us something. Like one of the latest ads on MTV demonstrates, weÕll let our kids watch a head get blown off on TV, but the minute someone fondles someone on TV, the wool comes over the eyes. WeÕll fight openly about politics in our kitchens with 8-year-olds nearby, but we have parents that wonÕt let us ask ŅWhat do Muslims believe in?Ó or tell their sons that itÕs a ŅpenisÓ and not a Ņpee-pee.Ó


One beautiful quirk that came out of all the recent sexual chaos in our community is this: People started to talk about sex. Ooooh, we tricked you. You didnÕt want to talk about it, but then you saw those articles, and Bam, you talked about it, and you thought about it. It all makes me smile an evil smile because I would do it over again all because it got a discussion started.


Just because we are situated in a conservative town/state/region doesnÕt mean that that should be our excuse to bypass discussions on sex or politics or religion. Even if it were true that most of the population of NDSU was republican, white, Christian, and abstaining from sex, discussions relating to the other side of topics should be allowed. Why? These discussions make us critical thinkers. They make us learn. And if we learn more, weÕll be better people whether it changes our views or not. What can it hurt to know how to please a mate now even if youÕre waiting for sex Ōtil after marriage? What can it hurt to learn about the Muslim culture? It wonÕt make you a terrorist. What can it hurt to learn about the democratic party even if you remain a strict republican the rest of your life? (Learning about ŅtheirÓ side may make you a better opponent in an argument anyhow.)


This is why I teach. This is why I am in graduate school. I want to learn more, and I want to encourage others to learn/discuss/write about subjects they are ignorant in. IÕll deal with being pushed and shoved because I want to have discussions, even if theyÕre ŅuncomfortableÓ ones. If life gave you what you wanted, youÕd never grow as a person. If a newspaper or a TV show or a movie gave you what you wanted, where would the fun or enjoyment be? What would you talk about afterward? How it sucked, obviously.


So, let the Face-Offs begin. LetÕs talk about subjects, letÕs get them out in the open. This American is not going to point fingers or complain about ŅuncomfortableÓ subjects. This American is going to stand by her words and stand by her vote in November. And that is the American way.