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The Blue Banner
September / 2, 1996
You are welcome here
For those of you that are new to Asheville and UNCA, the staff
of the Blue Banner would like to extend a warm welcome to all
You’ll notice a few personality traits about our city and our
university. First of all, we fall somewhere between NASCAR
and aromatherapy. Somehow, the “Paris of the South” was built
right in the middle of stockcar country, where tobacco is a way
of life for many, and things are quiet. Secondly, you are just as
likely to run into a retired Floridian as you are a fourth genera
tion native, a professional mountain biker as a farmer, a writer
as a businessman, or a student as a New Age religious leader. It
is this second trait that makes this city, and especially this
Because this is the south, there are strong traditions rooted in
family, in religion, and in traditions. These traditions are very
important to the color and strength of our community. How
ever, there is another aspect that is equally as important in
describing where and who we are, which is the diversity anc
continual influx of individuals who are different than us. It is
important, especially in these times, to respect and try to
understand these differences. It’s not that you have to believe
what they do, have to understand or condone who they worship,
or accept their partners as your partners. But it is important for
us to give each other the basic right to live in peace. We have al
settled here to do exactly that.
This university is a perfect representation of the city that we
reside in. Small, diverse, and rooted in strong traditions, UNCA
is the only public liberal arts university in the state of North
Carolina. What everyone should feel here is comfortable, know
ing that you’ve chosen a university where hopefully your race,
sex, religion, or sexual orientation will not affect the education
that you rightfully deserve.
Many people have said that they were drawn to Asheville much
like a paper clip to a magnet. There are qualities about this city
that make it different than anywhere on earth. We’ve taken the
best parts from the regions of the United States. We have the
kindness and courtesy of the south, the diversity of the east, the
free thought of the west, and we managed to keep the coldness
of the north where it belongs. Take all these qualities, wrap them
in one of the most beautiful areas in America, throw in one of
everybody, and as a bonus, insert a pretty good university, and
you’d be here. Your voice, your beliefs, and your differences are
If we could find a better way to spend your tax money...
Rafrica Adams, Bob Buchanan, Aimee Campbell, Brad Davis,
John Hodges, Trish Johnson, Jay Malinoski, Kyle Phipps,
Mark Plemmons, St. Claire Ready, Alex Self, Jason Wicks,
Wendy McKinney Advertising Manager
Marissa DeBIasio Business Manager
Thomas Estes Circulation Manager
Mark West, faculty advisor
The Blue Banner is the student newspaper of the University of
North Carolina at Asheville. We publish each Thursday except
during summer sessions, final exam weeks and holiday breaks.
Our offices are located in Carmichael Hall, Room 208-A.
Our telephone number is (704) 251-6586. Our campus e-mail
address is UNCAVX::BANNER.
Nothing in our editorial or opinions sections necessarily reflects
the opinion of the entire Blue Banner editorial board, the faculty
advisor, or the university faculty, administration or staff.
Unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of a majority of the Blue
Banner editorial board. Letters, columns, cartoons and reviews
represent only the opinions of their respective authors.
The Blue Banner welcomes submissions of letters and articles for
publication. All submissions are subject to editing and are consid
ered on the basis of interest, space, taste, and timeliness.
Letters must be typed, double-spaced, and must not exceed 300
words. Letters for publication must also contain the author’s
signature, classification, major or other relationship with UNCA.
The deadhne for letters and classifieds is noon on Tuesday. If
you have a submission, you can send it to:
The Blue Banner
208A Carmichael Hall ''
One University Heights
Asheville NC 28804
Compiled from the Internet
This was emailed to The Blue
Banner, and even though
North Carolina wasn’f men
tioned, there are probably laws
like this on the books here,
too. If you know of a ridicu
lous law in North Carolina, or
in your home state, let us
It is illegal for a driver to be
blindfolded while operating a
Community leaders passed
an ordinance that makes it
illegal for anyone to try to
stop a child from playfully
jumping over puddles of wa
You can be stopped by the
police for biking over 65 miles
You are not allowed to walk
across a street on your hands.
Women may be fined for fall
ing asleep under a hair dryer,
as can the salon owner.
A special law prohibits un
married women from para
chuting on Sunday or they
risk arrest, fine, and/or jail
If an elephant is left tied to a
parking meter, the parking fee
has to be paid just as it would
for a vehicle.
It is illegal to sing in a public
place while wearing a swim
Men may not be seen pub
licly in any kind of strapless
It is illegal for anyone to give
lighted cigars to dogs, cats, and
other domesticated animals
kept as pets.
Bathing is prohibited during
Citizens are not allowed to
attend a movie house or the
ater nor ride in a public street
car within four hours after eat
Kisses may last for as much
as, but no more than, five min
By law, anyone who has been
drinking is “sober” until he or
she “cannot hold onto the
It is illegal to rob a bank and
then shoot at the bank teller
with a water pistol.
Biting someone with your
natural teeth is “simple as
sault,” while biting someone
with your false teeth is “aggra
Mourners at a wake may not
eat more than three sandwiches.
An old ordinance declares
goatees illegal unless you first
pay a special license fee for the
privilege of wearing one in pub
Taxi drivers are prohibited from
making love in the front seat of
their taxi during their shifts.
A parent can be arrested if his/
her child cannot hold back a
burp during a church service.
Females are strictly forbidden
to appear unshaven in public.
A fine of $23 can be levied for
flirting. This old law specifi
cally prohibits men from turn
ing around on any city street and
looking “at a woman in that
way.” A second conviction for a
crime of this magnitude calls for
the violating male to be forced
to wear a “pair of horse-blind-
ers” wherever and whenever he
goes outside for a stroll.
Beer and pretzels can’t be served
at the same time in any bar or
Women are prohibited from
wearing patent leather shoes in
Violators can be fined, arrested,
or jailed for making ugly faces at
It’s either this or castration
“How can you do this?” I de
manded of the editor.
“I really don’t have a choice,”
she told me calmly. Behind
her, the Macintosh blipped
over to screen saver. As lines
bounced back and forth on
the screen, she continued.
“We’ve been threatened by a
As I sank back into the blue
chair, I wondered how this
came about. It had started so
The day before, My answer
ing machine’s blinking red
light greeted me as I unlocked
my door. Dropping my books
on a chair, I walked over and
pressed the button. After a
short bleep, my editor’s voice
issued from its speaker.
“James,” she said on recorded
tape, “it’s me. I was wonder
ing if I could meet with you
tomorrow sometime. Please
call me back at the Banner
office when you get in.”
Ever the obedient Banner
staffer, I immediately picked
up the phone and dialed up
the Banner office. After four
rings, my editor picked up.
‘^Banner office,” she said.
“Hi. It’s James,” I spoke into
the phone. “I just got your
message. What’s up?”
Long, pregnant silence on
the other end. “James, I’ll have
to tell you in person.”
“What?” I joked. “Am I fired
Silence again. The editor’s
lack of response to my jest
bothered me somehow.
“James, what time can you
come in tomorrow?”
“Ummmm,” I responded in
telligently, a little off-kilter.
“How’s eleven o’clock?”
“That’s fine, James.”
“Okay. I’ll see you then.”
Click. Somehow, I wasn’t
comfortable with that turn of
the conversation. A queasy feel
ing passed over me, like but
terflies fluttering through my
esophagus, but, foolishly, I put
it down to the previous night’s
Little did I know.
The next morning, I knocked
on the Banner door. It swung
open, revealing silence within.
Where editors should have
been working, there was only
silence. Basking in the calm
before the storm, little lines
bounced on computer screens
across the office.
Silence—like the calm before
the storm—or the hushed ex
pectation of a crowd attending
a human sacrifice. “Hello?” I
“I’m in here, James,” the edi
tor answered from her inner
She told me I was a good
worker. She told me I wrote
well. In other words, she built
me up. Anybody who’s ever
been in that situation would
know what was about to hap
I hejd my breath, sensing
what was coming. She didn’t
like having to do this, she said,
but she had no choice. If she
could, she wouldn’t. A thou
sand hackneyed phrases fell
from her lips like venomous
snakes eager to bite me, to in
ject me with their foul poison.
“I’m going to have to let you
go,” she said, “because we need
more diversity in our staff. We
don’t have enough female col
umnists, so you’re going to
have to go, James.”
I think that’s what broke me.
If she were to fire me because my
writing was terrible. I’d under
stand. If she were to let me go for
not meeting deadline, I’d un
derstand. If she were to let me go
because my writings reflected
badly on the paper,, I’d under
stand. I’d hate it, but I’d under
stand. But this? This, I couldn’t
And, that brought me to where
I started: in an uncomfortable
school-issue chair absorbing this
news. Like any sane person would
do in such a situation, I set loose
a little bit of my inner postal
“Why me?” I demanded of the
“Well, you’re the only one I
can afford to let go.”
“What about the jackass guy?”
“Well, he’s been writing longer
than you have, James. He has
“What about the new guy in
Sports?” I protested vainly. “All
he’s written about is football sta
diums and how great it is to be a
“Well,” she chose her words
carefully, “that’s the sports sec
“This is incredibly unfair, you
“Well, why don’t you buck the
system? Try to change it? Do
something to avoid this?”
T > T »»
1 can t, James.
“You haven’t heard the last of
this. I will fight it,” I intoned, as
I left, slamming the door behind
me for effect. Purposefully, I
walked briskly out of
Carmichael, anger boiling like
lava inside of me. “It’s not fair!”
I protested, hitting the library
wall as I passed. The library wall,
unsympathetic, simply re
sponded by hurting my fist.
Females are forbidden from
doing their own hair without
being licensed by the state.
Dogs must have a permit
signed by the mayor in order
to congregate in groups of three
or more on private property.
A special cleaning ordinance
bans homemakers from hiding
dirt and dust under a rug in a
No man may purchase alco
hol without written consent
from his wife.
A city ordinance states that a
person cannot go barefoot
without first obtaining a spe
cial five-dollar permit.
It is illegal to take more than
three sips of beer at a time
Lawmakers made it obliga
tory for everybody to take at
least one bath each week, on
All lollipops are banned.
It is mandatory for a motor
ist with criminal intentions to
stop at the city limits and tele
phone the chief of police as he
is entering the town.
No children may attend
school with their breath smell
ing of wild onions.
An idea struck me at that
moment; the newspaper’s ad
visor. I could talk to him.
Maybe he could do something.
I strode towards Karpen with
Before heading for the
advisor’s office, I stood facing
a wall for a moment, calming
myself. There, I thought. Be
Barging into the advisor’s
tiny, cluttered, Karpen office,
as calmly as I could, I asked if
he had a few minutes. Turning
from the old IBM upon which
he continually typed, the pro
fessor faced me.
“What’s going on, James?” he
asked almost kindly, his black
beard bobbing up and down.
His glasses, about three sizes
too big for his face, gave his
eyes an almost Satanic appear
ance, magnifying them beyond
any sane size.
“They just fired me down at
the Banner," I told him. Relat
ing my conversation with my
editor, I concluded with, “And,
it’s not fair to do this. You
don’t reach equality of the sexes
with simple bean-counting!”
He regarded me for a minute
from behind those Satanic
glasses. “Well, James,” he be
gan, It s a little known fact
that Shamhat, the temple har
lot in The Epic of Gilgamesh,
had to leave the temple because
the ratio of male to female har
lots wasn’t in line with the
population of Uruk. These sorts
of laws have been around since
ancient times, James.”
Hardly in the mood to dis
cuss ancient history, I stormed
See FIRING, cont. pg. 3