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Gone so long

2009/11/07

I think my schedule is finally getting to me. I’ve had so many things I wanted to do that I haven’t had time for. I bought a new front door over a month ago which is still setting in my garage. I’ve had so much I wanted to write and never gotten on to do so. I think I’m through the worst of the semester now, and hope to tear into it. Here are some ideas I had which never really came to fruition. Maybe they will in the future.

  • One of my biggest strengths has always been my ability to write about fiction. I considered doing in-depth analysis of every episode of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I could apply this same concept to any number of other shows, too.
  • I read and commented on chunks of the New Testament for a class this summer. It got me thinking how little modern Christianity (of any stripe, really) resembles what is seen in the Bible. Maybe I should read the whole Bible and write a commentary.
  • On a more personal level, an in-depth look at how my political views have changed over my life.

There is one thing I want to write about now, though. I turn twenty-nine in less than two weeks. The older I get, the angrier I get. It’s not because the world is going to hell or anything. I would argue that things are better now than they’ve been at any point in history. Gay marriage is legal in Iowa and unlikely to go anywhere. Being thought a racist is pretty much death for any career. Birth rates seem to be on their way to stabilizing. I think what’s increasingly frustrated me is growing sense that the world isn’t fixable. When I was younger, I was unhappy about the way the world was, but figured history was on my side and my way would win out eventually. Now, I keep seeing stuff like this.

First off, I should say the writer of that letter, Marshall Poe, is the director for the department of history at University of Iowa. I am an undergraduate history major and have never met him or heard of him. I’m a senior and still seem to understand very little about how the school works. I had a similar incident happen to me back in my first collegiate career in 2000. I lived in the dorms and had my door unlocked. My roommate was not home. I think he was off visiting his parents. About 2 am, my door opened. I figured it was my roommate, but then the guy attempted to climb into my bed. He mumbled something, then left. Dr. Poe thinks the University needs to crack down on student drinking. However, he doesn’t seem up on University policy. They already have done most of what he suggested. A lot of what’s left sounds problematic. Kicking people out of school for drinking sounds draconian and against the basic principles of the University. Knowledge is a universal good, not a privilege we grant to those we deem worthy.

So far, U of I has extended its student conduct code off campus, the police have been put out in force downtown every night (leading to other parts of town being neglected and the Iowa City Council has put a freeze on new liquor licenses, yet the problem persists. At a celebration of Darwin’s birthday last semester, a biology professor was telling me the main effect of a crackdown is to make more people drive drunk since drunk drivers are less conspicuous than drunks on foot, who tend to get cited for public intoxication. Meanwhile, a number of my friends have been victims of vandalism or worse from drunk college students and I’ve witnessed several people damn near drink themselves to death. Basically, there’s a huge problem with alcoholism and alcohol-fueled hooliganism in Iowa City and crack-downs only make it worse. Personally, I would encourage dealing with it by legalizing pot. Potheads are less dangerous than drunks and with increased intoxicant competition, people may drink less. Good luck getting the federal government to cooperate, though.

I’m tired now, so I will sleep. I hope to get to related issues tomorrow.

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