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Salient: Victoria University of Wellington Students' Newspaper. Vol. 32, No. 13. 1969.

Letters To The Editor

page 7

Letters To The Editor

All Letters Submitted For Publication Must Be Signed With The Writer'S Own Name. No Pseudonyms Will Be Accepted Save In Exceptional Circumstances.

A Generation ...

By the time this it published there may already be a community witchhunt in progress, so I would like to state what I are as some valid objections to Salient 10 as opposed to any general antidrug or anil-Wilde hysteria.

Firstly, when one does some this as controversial as printing the formula for the synthesis of LSD, the editor should not be studiedly discussing four-letter words but should at leaf preface his issue in the editorial, even if unwilling to defend its contents on the grounds of this muling controversy at that stage or for any other reason, The editor must not only care, he must appeal to care.

Secondly, without wishing to become too involved in the con-strongly oppose those who auto-matically denounce the journalis-tic provocation seen in Salient '69. I heartily agree that much of what the "Establishment" and community-at large dismiss as ir-responsible is rather to be lauded. But there must also exist, where one engages in ye proverbial shif-strirring, concepts of social respon-sibility regarding issues raised in the questioning role the university has so often objectly failed to as-sume. In respect of this point Salient 10 can justly be criti-cised.

The chief complaint as I see it concerns the large article on LSD beginning page 8. By failing to attribute authorship you give an editorial imprimatur by default. (The same thing nearly happens in the Wheeler and Blizard articles through botched typography.) This would not be as significant if the article did not gloss so dangerously over some aspects of LSD. Consider the following: "And somewhere I heard a young men crying and I run. I run from him before he screams as he knows I will. Perhaps a rock, but even rocks crumble! Toll bells, toll the death of hope. The whole world ii black and the sun sets. Amidst the shuddering of the plants the sign posts cease to sign. Standing alone on the edge of the universe —alone in the darkness, alone in the blackness, alone in the nothingness. Tell me, tell me is there a morning? Tell me!!! ..." Go on from there a little in spectacu-lar real-life psychotic colour with panoramic multi-dimensional anxi-ety. Fun? Not quite; and not the kind of hazard the article in ques-tion, with it pseudo-authoritative tone, gives a reasonable appraisal of. The unknown author can ad-vocate away, but Salient should ensure it presents the issue fully when people's sanity may well be involved. Salient 10 may have a good cover, but makes a bad contrail to say Canta's honest appraisal of contraception—failure rates and all.

Bruce Preston.

... to LSD

After reading the article "So You're Going to Take LSD" in SAlient 10, would you permit me to make some statements of my own. Firstly, you must be commended in printing such an interesting and enlightening article; although it could not help but leave me in a state of curio-sity as to its source. I couldn't help but think I was reading something Aldous Huxley had written as a guide to the use of "Soma". Secondly, where can I get some of this marvellous stuff?

Ian Stephen.

Who's kidding us?

"Who's kidding whom?" indeed, that's what I would like to know! When Salient gets so low on copy that it has to make a shadow in a badly printed photograph in FOCUS into a headline pornography story then I think it's you kidding us, not FOCUS catering for all the nasty pornographic minds around. It's about time you stopped looking for such ridiculous scandal end gave us something belter.

I'm all in favour of fancy covers if they're good, and if it isn't done just to copy Canta, but the "Gone to Pot" one went. The pot articles are'nt bad, but what about a review or two, or perhaps you could find something that happened on campus to re-port? Didn't we have a model U.N. on Rhodesia on campus sometime before Salient went to press, for instance?

And please, what happened to the layout?

At the end of the first article on page 2, we have "Public figures throughout ..." which doesn't connect onto anything. The second article, with the exciting title "Marih(J?)Uana And The ..." ends up with "... Wha-pakiwi to Pahiatua." (Note the full-stop.) Hopefully, though in some dread, I turned over the page, up lovely. And the text? No, that would be just too much to expect altogether. Perhaps another time. We never find out what happened to page 2's "Public fi-gures throughout ...", and significantly the first word in the second article on page 5 is "unrelated ..."

Ah-ha, perhaps if I exercise my brain a little and try to put them the other way round. Perhaps the two unconnected bits go together and the articles just got switched, No? Oh, well ...

Please. Salient, hove a pity on wo lesser mortals who aren't sufficiently switched on to fill in the gaps from our own turned off imaginations.

B. J. Wards.

Sick, sick

Preachers and protesters alike have a fondness for a phrase G. W. Calder used in his article on obscenity last week: "Most of us agree that society in general is lick." What rubbish! "Most people" don't think about society in general at all, and those who do with any depth will be forced to the contrary conclusion.

The first question which comes to mind is: When exactly was society "healthy", if it is now sick? When in history did a society take more care of its members young and old, poor and rich, than does that in the Western world and in New Zealand in particular today? When did those members have more say in the direction of their society? When were people so honestly critical of their environment than they are at present? I suspect that those who bemoan the sick society will be hard put to tell me.

But it is not difficult to see why they have misled themselves with this impressive generalisation. Sexual licence is more accepted, and sexual abberation more tolerated. Freedom of speech and publication is constantly expanding. Criticism of religious doc-trine and church activity abound. Every act of government is scrutin-ised and often as not attacked. Very little is taken for granted, and people accustomed to send their thoughts sliding along well-worn grooves are unsettled when someone switches tracks on them.

When required to specificate their charges against society today, there is always "materialism" to fell back on. But just what exactly is wrong with taking a strong interest in material goods and achievements? It occurs to me that the anti-materialists are generally comfortably off, and they use the term when looking with distaste at other people who are wholeheartedly engaged in getting what a rigid social structure has hitherto denied them.

There is no denying that there is a hell of a lot wrong with society and with the world in general; but few problem) are being ignored, and few show no sign of a solution. That people are well aware of what's wrong is a sign that society is healthy, not an excuse for self-styled prophets to make woolly-minded wholesale condemnations. Sure, if you say you're sick when your feet hurt, or your head aches, or you've got indigestion, then society today is sick. But as for the hoary old pessimism that civilisation is breath-ing its last because Bill Maddock takes not and little Fred's first words were "... the Prime Minister": well you know what you can do with it.

Gavin Scott.