Salient. Official Newspaper of Victoria University of Wellington Students Association. Vol 40 No. 11. May 23 1977
Letters can be handed into the Salient mailbox just inside the door or in the Studass office, or sent to Salient, Victoria University of Wellington Students Assn., Private Bag, Wellington.
Letters must be double-spaced and written on one side of the paper only. Please keep them concise and short.
I have been deeply saddened and perplexed in reading Salient's articles on the Commission on Contraception, Sterilisation and Abortion's findings. It is a pretty unfair view that says that, just because an independent commission makes a decision which you don't agree with, it must be biased and wrong.
A comment of Lindy Cassidy was disturbing: she said that 'the Commission was stacked by Government with people who are well known for their views against abortion." Why did she try to mislead the readers of Salient? The statement I quote is (obviously deliberately) ambiguous — but Ms Cassidy clearly implies that the Commission members' views were known to be against abortion at the time of their appointment. What rubbish! Leading members of the then Government — for instance Tizard and Finlay — supported more liberal abortion laws. The Health Minister was drawing the wrath of SPUC for his views. The Prime Minister —Rowling — was determined to take a neutral stand on the issue. How could these men have "stacked" the Commission with anti-abortionists? Surely they chose people with neutral, if not liberal, views? And if the Commission members' views were known to be against abortion at the time, ALRANZ and the other pro-abortion groups would have made an enormous outcry; If we read Ms Cassidy's comment in the alternative way, then she is correct. After hearing mountains of evidence, including lots from pro-abortionists, the Commission decided that, in the light of the evidence, a certain view on abortion was the more correct: the Commission members are thus now "known for their view against abortion." Maybe Ms Cassidy did not mean to be ambiguous, but It seemed clear to roe that she was being deliberately misleading. Why?
The tenor of Dr Sparrow's interview indicated the view that what in fact were mere opinions had the strength of being facts.
All three of Salient's articles, as well as the propaganda pinned up all round the Campus, assume that abortion is a simple matter of women's rights. Surely it is a deeper and more complex problem than this. The foetus, as a human being in its first developmental stage, and as a future citizen, does have its rights. Who are we, as women, to negate totally the rights of this future(?) section of society as we struggle for our own rights?
I'm not saying that the panel system will be good necessarily — it could well be a degrading experience if the wrong people were stuck on the panels.
Don't you think that abortion is a terrible thing which must be avoided if at all possible? I do think that ALRANZ and its outspokeness is helping to water down women's values and thus cause them to seek abortion more readily; also a lot of women are seeking abortion now who wouldn't have dreamed of it before. In this way, ALRANZ and co (including, sadly, the Students' Association) have been very successful. But I think abortion is a sad thing which must be deeply thought over. The Commission has thought it over, surely, in a reasonably unbiased way.
When will students learn that the practice of stating one's case in extremes for the sake of scholastic debate works in the University, but in the real world it leads only to division rather than maturity and progress? Progress lies in the recognition and promotion of moderate positions which enable consensus to be reached.
A prime example of this is the pro-abortion literature currently being circulated by WONAAC. By stating that "The Commission has denied women the right to control their fertility" and by combining the issues of abortion and contraception, they have stated their case in extremes which inhibit consensus and hence progress. The issue of control by women of their own fertility has to be fought on the basis of availability of contraceptives, and education in their use. This fight many of the anti-abortionists would support, leaving the issue of abortion and the value of the life of a foetus for a separate debate. Given adequate access to contraceptives and education in their use, anti-abortion legislation cannot be said to impinge on the right of women to control their own fertility (apart from the one case of rape — where I as an anti-abortionist was also surprised by the report of the Commission.) While the issues of contraception and abortion are put together the pro-abortionists will find that their opposition is far larger than it needs to be.
National Socialists getting started.
I would Like to complain about a fraudulent piece of false advertising which I fell for at then end of last term. Seeing posters all round the union building advertising some guy Deutscher or other speaking about "Australian students fight for a living wage" I decided to go along and listen to what he had to say. I got a bit suspicious when I saw that there weren't any Students' Association representatives round anywhere and I got even more suspicious when I saw that the walls of the Union Hall were covered with posters advertising some National Socialist Conference or something In short I quickly found out that I had been duped. This guy Bronstein or whatever wasn't a representative of Australian students at all, but some Australian mate of these guys that were putting on this Young National Conference or something. It seems that he wasn't in any elected position at all but was merely going to put forward the views of him and his mates, while claiming that he spoke for Australian students. Worse yet, when I went to leave I found that I was trapped by some of these guys trying to sell some "Socialist Reaction" paper or something. Who are these guys anyway.
Lost for words.
Why haven't you printed my letters (i.e. D. Duck & J.C.) are you some sort of degenerate that trips on destroying freedom of speech who are you to decide what should be published or not. God. Every letter submitted no matter how racist or bigoted it may be should be published as that is obviously how the contributor feels, he/she should not be denied the expression of his or her opinions in his/her newspaper. So you'd better pull your finger out of your arse and do your job properly or resign. Salient stinks, most of the letters are boring, dull moans from homosexual pull joys. Most of your degenerate paper is full of communist crap — what's wrong with monopolies. Lastly I heard this morning that Rhodesia has declared war on Zambia, good job, they should wipe out Mozambique and Angola while they're at it.
Sexism shows progress.
A copy of your issue of 4th April has just come to my notice in which there is a report of a talk I gave to the Women's Study Group in March. First, I had no idea that the talk was going to be reported. Secondly, the report through its false emphasis, distorted the point which I try to put across. It is very easy to sensationalise working-class sexism, especially from the sedate detachment of the academic world. When I described my experiences, I hope to show the positive forces that can be used to overcome sexism. The Longbura' sub-branch had a policy of equality of opportunity lung before I came on the scene — it was in fact a response to the dispute at Whakatu over women on the viscera tables. This received no publicity at the time, nor the fact that women in the now on the viscera tables at Whakatu. I have nothing whatever to do with the growing number of women at freezing works nor the Wellington Branch policy of equality. This policy is a recognition of women in the industry. The undoubted sexism that exists must be balanced against this. My efforts are to fight against sexism by promoting the ideas and feelings that unify men and women. We must not give in to sexism, but we must not exacerbate the bitterness that it inevitably produces. To be dominated by bitterness is defeatist. Your report paints a picture of "bloody men" as if any progress can only be made in the face of their implacable opposition. The conclusions to be drawn from my experience are just the reverse and your report does the struggle for equality no service.
Who runs the country?
We see that the young Auckland law student who was granted an injunction against the bus stoppage lost his part-time job at an hotel noted for its working-class patronage. Funny where these types turn up, when not in Nazi-style uniform. Harder belongs in the Pub Service Champagne and in the pub, serving champagne and cracked crab not for him are capitalisms ills to be questioned. With the need to do battle and improve conditions on the job or win a wage rise.
A good question here — who runs the country? As an instance: this hard working office worker sent home for a week, with loss of pay for calling the head clerk 'lazy cow.' No, it didn't happen back in 1877 — it was yesterday. (The writer was there.)
Then there's this worker who was forced to replace the foor over his head (a cottage size place) after a storm — the price $2,957,73. Where's the wage worker who has that kind of money on hand? Note (the) seventy three cents tacked to this "asking price?" Well it's capitalism isn't it.
Let me express my appreciation of the letter by 'Just an Asian' in the issue of May 16. He was Very right in recognising the fact that the Bible can be used by white colonialists from Europe to propagate imperialism in the 'Third World.' I am not against Christianity as a religion, but let me reiterate that this religion, as far as Asia is concerned had in the past been an instrument of colonialism and is now a well-disguised weapon of neocolonialism and ruthless imperialism of the West. The Christian missionaries in the East practise a new brand of 'divide and rule' and it is time that the undermined people of the East realised this.
I come from a country which successfully checked and evicted Christianity and the horrors of the Holy Inquisition in the 17th century. It is not a surprise that we have ever since never been ruled by the imperialist West.
Let me add one of my extreme views: a good Church in the East is a demolished one.
Whoever owns the pigs or let the vultures out of their cage — please own up!
Dear Editor of Salient,
I am writing this letter in an honest attempt to point some subtle but broad diseases in the body of people in this campus. While universities were founded as institutions to examine the truth about the universe, I believe that we as students today have slipped Into a very dark and gloomy ditch from this high calling. I refer more specifically to the wide and blatant contrast between many of our academic and social lives.
While students energetically pursue the exploration of the realms of higher learning in their daytime hours, in their spare hours the cries echo through hostel corridors, library foyers, across cafetaria tables and everywhere a person is blessed to walk — of "Let's go down to the Boozer and get Pissed" or "Let's go down to the Club or to a Party and Pick Up a Bit of Crumpet"'
Do such cries come from our budding intellectuals or are they the snorts and grunts of the Makara Valley pigs at feeding time?
Still to be illumined on this issue and feeling the need to find out what kind of disease lies at the core of the matter, I thought that someone, somewhere, somehow might know.
But I guess that until this disease is eradicated or someone, somewhere, somehow lets me know what is going on I will have to face and bear the croak of those cries and the grunt of those animals.
Another boring letter on Exec honoraria.
Sirs and Madams.
I am disgusted to hear of your pay rise. Being a student of many summers. I have come to know of the corrupt and underhand methods of getting what you want. Many students refuse to take part in your meetings because of the childish and insulting ways they are held. It is obvious from reports and the minutes of the meetings that many resolutions are passed with a minimum of votes. Anything to do with Student Money should be Voted on by all Students. Your "Type" have been very critical in the past of the repressive laws around the world, and conditions here at home, but you are all too ready to "rip off" the student money along with the rest of the capitalist scum in this society. I find it hard to believe that people of your supposed nature would first give excessive increases to already excessive salaries, then in the next breath suggest (?) or have(?) increased the student union fee to $43.00. However on reflection this is exactly what we have come to expect.
There is also the question of the $10,000 loan to the book shop. Is this true? If it is true then there should be an investigation into the whole business of student money — who is getting it? why? and how much? A Published report is Salient within 2 weeks of this letter is not requested but Demanded? Furthermore I think in future that anyone who wishes to become a member of the Executive should do so without any salary, grant etc. These positions should be free from the influence of easy money which is definitely the case. To argue that the increases are due to inflation and that they could get better money working part-time is ludicrous, a load of bull-shit, and simply a moronic attitude If they want money go and work for it, don't sit on your arse and steal it from the student purse.
Not true! We deny it all!
I would like to complain in the strongest possible terms about your censoring of my contributions to Salient. I have now submitted 5 articles and 15 letters to Salient this year and not one has been printed merely because I have been signing them with other people's names.
Yours etc.Still trying.
This year's best letter.
I would like to compliment you on the high standard of Salient this year. The articles have all been full of interest and the layout has been of exceptionally high
standard. The design, proof-reading, graphics, Photography and captions are without fault. The paper is a pleasure to read.
(We have reason to believe this letter was not written by our Technical Editor. — Ed.)
Health Service criticism.
Dear Mr Editor, Sir,
I witch in every edition of Salient an article on the vanity's health service. I watch, not read since I don't give a fuck about the health service because I feel that it (or they at the Practice) don't give a fuck about me.
The reason for such an exciting statement is due to an incident earlier this year, my first year at varsity. I took crook and went down to see them one night after my last lecture. I explained that I knew they didn't want to see me since I live in Wellington but that my own G.P. was out of town and because of labs, lectures etc. that I couldn't see one of his partners for at least 3 days. In other words it was better seeing any old fucker now as opposed to seeing another fucker in three days time. I was naturally turned down, excuses were: "It's got something to do with poaching patients," "Why not skip a few labs or lectures and see your C.P.'s partner?" And the best yet: "It's got something to do with professional ethics."
Poaching patients? Crap! Those practitioners at the H.S. don't want to over-work themselves. Skip a ½day of lectures or labs? Come on, not with internal assessment end my I. Q. of 38.
Well they like to call the health service the "Aviary" A fitting title. It's where I would expect to find a bunch of Quacks.
Yours with the greatest of interest for condemning replies.Medical Intermediate Student.
Fighting for peace?
An open letter to the leaders of the NZUSA.
Lisa Sacksen's speech to the Easter Seminar organised by the Campaign Against Nuclear Warships provides yet another illustration that most people think with their feelings, and that democratic leaders find it easy to follow along behind the majority even if they don't already think in the same emotive grooves.
For this, one can't really blame either leaders or membership. History is turning a very sharp corner; and if few can follow it round without skidding, it's only natural that majority decisions tend to reflect the collective picture of individuals who can't make the turn.
After all, the separateness of nations has been preserved for thousands of years by their possessing weapons and being prepared to use them to the full if "necessary". Now, suddenly, the real possibility of an unlivable world confronts us with a stop sign. The technical development of weapons is negating their practical usefulness to us. The traditional security of weapons is turning into its opposite; and in this changed situation our happily grooved emotive attitudes are throwing us all over the place.
Near the end of your President's speech I note the time-worn phrase "a united front against war." Pretty words. And if what you say you are doing — or, at any rate, saying — about it, is likely to have any influence towards actually reversing the tensions between the super-powers, the thing would at least make sense.
What is this tension then? How does it arise, and what feeds it? How often does anyone in the whole peace movement ask questions like these? No, that's not fair. What a spoil-sport I must seem! "Bashing the nuclear" is much more pleasant than the, effort of rational thinking; and "winning the fight for peace" so much more glorious.
We want the cosy feeling of security that has all through history been associated with weapons, (e.g., "Come the four corners of the world in arms, and we will smite them. . .") And we don't want the feelings of insecurity that we rightly associate with nuclear disaster So, if we "think" about it at all, we find good reasons to accept the one and reject the other.
This is the emotive basis for the nuclear disarmament movement, which pictures nuclear powers agreeing to forego their most effective weapons while still retaining the capacity — and the "right" — to make war with conventional weapons. What a dream! With the root causes of war still untouched, and (as correctly noted in the NZUSA's President's speech) the third World War getting closer and closer, suppose that it did begin with conventional weapons only. In the clamp-down of secrecy, wouldn't each side immediately have to re-assemble their nuclear weapons — In case the other side had done so? And then the whole thing would be back to square one — and too late for any real thinking.
I find it curious that your President's speech makes no reference to nuclear disarmament; but I get the impression that this is not because of any realisation of how emotive thinking can run away with practical judgement. The NZUSA seems to have set its sights lower than even this wish-fulfilment picture of nuclear disarmament. "Keep the nuclear stuff away from our parochial shores," seems to be the line, "but leave this whole-world problem to others with wider horizons." And when the crunch comes, of actual war? Well, that's not pleasant to think about either, so don't lets.
"There is a path away from this awful danger," gays Lisa Sacksen. All right. Suppose for a moment that all her "musts" have been achieved. New Zealand has withdrawn from the American Alliance; broken free from "foreign imperialism;" paid back in the course of Just a few years the how many millions of dollars borrowed by National and Labour governments; and a nuclear weapons free zone has been duly established in the South Pacific.
All this is only the smallest flea-bite towards actually preventing a third World War. And if a super-power war-becomes imminent, does anyone really believe that the military of both sides wouldn't put their submarines exactly where they wanted them, nuclear free zone or not? Or again, if a nuclear exchange in, say, the northern hemisphere has decisively fouled the earth's atmosphere with long-term radio-activity, will the nuclear free zoners undertake to line the coast and huff the deadly stuff out to sea again? The rainbow thinking of these people would be laughable if it were not such a tragic waste of energy and leadership.
The thing is, that governments are caught on the hop by the changed world set-up just as much as the student body seems to be. Their particular stereotype, that "weapons represent security," and the follow-up that you have to have the best weapons you can afford. The principle, too, that democratic governments listen to the advice of their military advisors. A majority of electors who voted them into office expect them to do just that. What else can they do?
It's pleasanter to have enemies. If governments, and their acceptance of nuclear warships, are "bad", then one can feel good by contrast. But it cuts you off from seeing them as a collection of sincere individuals trying to lead this separate bit of our fragmented world through the confusing circumstances of a completely unprecedented world situation. If they happen to follow the attitudes of the majority who voted them, isn't that exactly what you student leaders are doing?
Isn't it, in fact, a characteristic of emotive thinking through the whole peace movement that the simplest and most unthinking answer to the nuclear situation will be likely to gain the widest support? So the main stream of the movement has settled for "bash the nuclear," fight the government, and "let it happen somewhere else but not here."
If World War 3 is allowed to happen, none of these issues will matter a scrap.
The sight of a rainbow is more pleasant than the rain which it is. It can't be too strongly emphasised that nuclear disarmament and the nuclear free zone idea are peace time pastimes that would vanish in the event of actual war. Neither of these propositions represent any real security whatever. Students surely have a responsibility to lead something more solid than that.
How then can we come to grips with this emotive thinking and make progress beyond it? By its very nature it leads an individual into a region of blind spots and mirages of self-deception — which in turn are fast becoming compacted and reinforced by group loyalties. It seems clear to me that some sort of team effort is going to be necessary; and any student who is seriously concerned about the lack of reality in this war-or-peace thing is asked to be in touch with Peace Interchange, P.O. Box 93, Whangarei. It's a sort of explorers' club. There's no charge (at present), but it carries no passengers.
A new breed of apathetes.
This great masterpiece would have remained lost to the world had it not been for the valiant efforts of P.O. Glubscrotum, editor of the St Cleves Literary and Garden Review where the M.S. was found buried. The author now resides at Lake Alice where he protests his sanity ("I'm not Insane! I can prove it! Look I've slashed my wrist.") and moans quietly in Welsh.
|(1)||Failing to Join Apathy division of Lapp Goch League and|
|(2)||Not failing to Join any other organisation claiming to be apathetes.|
As non-members of the T.A.L. obviously fail the second requirement they cannot be considered true apathetes. For those louse-infested dung worshippers who doubt my word this is DOGMA (Paper Bull) authorized from the highest authority (Pge 879 J.E. Giscins Dictum on Ornothological Ontology; Pub 1921. Pge 71989 Leopards Boys Book of Adventure Vol III or lurking somewhere in Janes Book of Ships.)
TAL non-participants can redeem their sins honorably in one way; that is battle, yes! We (us L. G. Apathy League) take the (probably) unprecedented step of challenging (or not challenging) the TAL to indifference (or anything else) at 60 yards (or any other distance) at Parliament (or anywhere else) April 3rd 3a.m. (or any other time.) If any person turns up they (and their side) will immediately be disqualified for failing to default.
As a point of disinterest Lapp Goch Apathetes have recently defeated Australian apathetes (no mean feat) in the great tea battle of mid yawn by unintensive contemplation of the naval.
By now some gross nitpicking pile of aadvarks dung has 'wittily' commented that no true apathete would bother to write to Salient and while this can obviously apply to all other self-proclaimed apathetes it cannot apply to the writer of this letter (possibly me but you never can tell) for 4 reasons.
|1)||I have to write a million word essay on the mating habits of Icelandic flatfish for ray Neuro-Theology Tutor the late Prof A.B. Gltschnge D.D. (Doctor of Doctorates) and this a good way of passing time.|
|2.)||No one reads this socialist guff anywhere|
|3)||I am certified insane (I think)|
Yours InsincerelyHis rustic Highness
Sir Timothy Belacqua-Thwarke(MR) H.C.E. Field Marshall 1st Irish Kings General 2nd Welsh Apathetes Major 3rd Gaul Stones Captain Last Great War Right and Legal Sovereign of a Cottage in Ireland (God Knows Where) Whom May God Preserve (If He Wishes.)
P.S. If you wish to not join LGL Apathy division don't call us we'll call you.
Dear Scum of the Earth.
At 1a.m. this Wednesday morning I was making passionate love to a very dear girl whose name escapes me at the moment. At 1.05 I was interrupted by a telephone call. It turned out to be an urgent message from one of my friends who didn't fail his exams too badly and is surprisingly still at varsity. He informed me that something had dared to write to your bloody brilliant (ha) literary journal and pose as a member of the Thorndon Apathy League.
Who is this shit-covered version of Einstein? If this Japanese made imitation dares to show itself it will be eliminated by the members of the Thorndon Apathy League which it now known as the all new, totally original, improved Thorndon Anarchy League.
Though I am no longer at the V.U.W. bullshit factory I refuse to have our organisation exploited by hebephrenic schizophrenics.
Regards.Cyril Martin BumtrinketI/c Explosives Dept.Thorndon Anarchy League.