Letters to editor encourage columnist

Roxy Hammond

Roxy Hammond

It always amuses me when there are angry letters to the editor against me. Sure, they are degrading and, most of the time, outright nasty, but it means that people are reading my column and it’s provoking their thoughts enough to write in and tell me I’m stupid. That touches me.

Nevertheless, I normally don’t respond to them, since I feel it sounds catty and most people don’t care anyway. However, since I was fortunate enough to have three people irate with me last week, I figured I should address a few issues.

First off, I am not criticizing Patrick Deuel for being overweight or poor. I am criticizing him for exploiting the good fortune he has been given. I am not even expecting perfection or anything close to it. I am expecting a good effort to be displayed by someone who has been graced with the good will of others. His lack of trying could mean disappointment for hundreds of others who will be denied the opportunity to turn their life around because this man drained the program with little success.

Also, I do not think human life can be measured in a monetary amount. But, often times, people show their benevolence through money, because it is their way of giving a portion of their life. They spent hours earning it and are allowing this person to use it for his own good.

When Deuel uses this money for his survival, he is convinving people that gave it to him and supported him that his life is worth saving.

This changed when he went home and began smoking again and stopped taking care of himself. To me, it says that he doesn’t care enough about his own life to save it – but I should?

What makes his life so much more important? What about the thousands of people that will die of cancer this year? Why can’t we spend this money on research to save thousands, instead of just one? Defining the value of life is a delicate thing, and I’m confused as to why this man has become so important.

You’re right, Lisa Leckey-Swanson. I have never fought any demons. I’ve never had to quit smoking, I’ve never had to overcome a weight problem, and I’ve never had to fight a drug addiction.

I’ll chalk up the healthy weight to good genetics, but the decisions I have made in my life have prevented me from ever having to face down my problems. I used the responsibility and sense of consequence my parents instilled in me to make my life easier, and I don’t think it’s a whole heck of a lot to expect people to own up to their decisions every so often. It’s as if responsibility has become a dirty word.

And don’t worry, I’m not wasting your tax dollars on this education that I’m obviously not absorbing. I’d be glad to send you my transcript from last semester; it has a 4.0.

As for the snide remarks about my trite, callous, immature writing, I invite you to stop reading at any time. If there is one thing I have learned from my education, it’s that people like reading what they can understand. Journalism consists of writing as if you were speaking to someone face-to-face. I am not trying to write my master’s thesis in my columns, nor do I have an obligation to present both sides of a story. I’m not writing the news here, which is why I’m on the opinion page. I have the task of speaking my opinion with an explanation of my views.

I won’t apologize for ticking everyone off. I am entitled to my opinion as much as anyone else. I guess it just sucks for you that I took the prerogative to have it printed. I encourage people to read the columns of the Collegian and to tell us when we’re wrong. After all, conflict brings thought, which provokes action. Or wasn’t I inspiring anyone to do that?

Roxy Hammond is a sophomore journalism major.