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Heaven or hell?
The UNCA campus may have noticed an increase in tempera
tures of late, but it didn’t have anything to do with the weather.
The arrival of our frequent, and generally unwelcome, preach
ing visitor, Gary Birdsong, may have inspired more than a few
students to try and douse the flames caused by his incendiary
and righteously provocative poster. We may wonder, who on
earth—literally—has the right to point out to our community
“It’s your choice...Heaven or Hell?”
Birdsong may ruffle our feathers, but can we even suggest that
he does not have a right to speak in the university’s designated
public forum? He might be annoying (as hell), but who would
deny his right to visit, to attempt to persuade, and yes, even to
convert. We doubt that he is successful, but we do not advocate
denying his right to try.
In some ways. Birdsong’s visits are a good fortune for our
campus. In our isolation, sometimes we forget just how idiotic
the outside world can be until it comes calling at our door.
Reason and honest argument never work with a character of
Birdsong’s ilk. Parades and counter-charges, chants and catcalls
won’t douse his hellish flames. But for the sake of free speech,
we can take the heat.
Public safety's priorities
The public safety department has had its fair share of bad
press in recent memory. What about the infamous emergency
telephone, parked right in front of the office, handy for those
times when the doors are locked?
But recently, public safety took a remarkably cautious ap
proach in dealing with potentially dangerous situations before
they even arose. In an area not part of the campus proper, the
desire to protect students led to the tearing down of a vagrant
campsite and the confiscation of a weapon and drug parapher
nalia, and the de facto eviction of a potentially volatile resident.
Having a cop show up right as you’re getting mugged may
grab more headlines, but nipping a dangerous situation before
it begins is still sharp police work. Public safety’s priorities are
in the right place.
Kyle S. Phipps
Rafrica Adams, Bonner Butler, Lara Barnett, Shelley Eller,
Elise Fox, Gary Gray, Robert Hardin, Kristi Howard,
Stephanie Hunter, Trish Johnson, Tracy Kelly,
Erin King, Melinda Pierson , Adrien Sanders, Kristin Scobie,
Chanse Simpson, Catharine Sutherland
Nate Conroy, James Hertsch, Pam Williams, Tracy Wilson
Mark West, faculty advisor
The 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. An on-line version of The Banner is also
available at http://www.unca.edu/banner/
Nothing in our editorial or opinions sections necessarily reflects the
opinion of the entire Banner staff, the faculty advisor, or the
university faculty, administration or staff.
Unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of a majority of The Banner
editorial board. Letters, columns, cartoons and reviews represent only
the opinions of their respective authors.
The Banner'f/Aaomss submissions of letters and articles for publica
tion. All submissions are subject to editing for clarity, content and
length and are considered on the basis of interest, space, taste, and
Letters should be typed, double-spaced, and should not exceed 300
words. Letters for publication should also contain the author's
signature, classification, major or other relationship with UNCA.
The deadline for letters is noon on Tuesday. If you have a submis
sion, you can send it to The Banner, 208A Carmichael Hall, One
University Heights, Asheville NC 28804.
The deadline for display ads and the FYI calendar is on Monday at
noon. The deadline for classified ads is at noon on Tuesday.
Inexpensive spring break ideas
Spring Break! Yeahhhhh!
Wooooo! Time to party, right?
Well, not everyone is able to take a
wild vacation. For those ofyou who
can’t just pack up Friday and head
to Daytona, I’ve provided this
handy guide to economical spring
break excursions. These vacations
are guaranteed to stay cheap, and
you don’t even have to sell eight
cruise trips to get to go on them!
Me? I'm going to Chicago to sit
outside Jerry Springer’s studio un
til I get tickets for “Springer Break
’97,” but that’s another story.
Canton, N.C.: Go to the home of
the Champion paper mill and see
how long it takes you to get used to
the smell. Follow the river down
stream to Tennessee, and see if you
can identify the hardware store
“Dateline NBC” showed in its re
port on Champion. Betteryet, strip
down to your bare nakedness and
take a swim. The Pigeon River is
just like a big, outdoor heated pool!
Statesville, NC: Go to the “Fast
Food Capital of 1-40” and eat at a
different fast food joint every meal.
Go home and look up your old
buds from high school. Hang out
and do all the fun stuff you used to
do back in the day. Try to realize
why you left that town in the first
Cherokee, NC: Swing up to Chero
kee and watch the tribal casino effi
ciently rake in money 24 hours a
day, seven days a week. Get “Fruit
Falls” and nickel poker tips from
the regulars. Marvel at the irony of
all the white people giving their life
savings away to Native Americans.
Gamble until you run out of money
or until the cigarette smoke swells
your tear ducts to the size of ping
pong balls, whichever comes first.
Wajfle Housefans make this pilgrim
age on foot,
Efland, N.C.: Go to “the land of
the little people” and point out to
the locals that “Efland” is one letter
short from being “Elfland.”
Burlington, N.C.: Get really ex
cited about outlet stores for prod
ucts you never even considered
Come back to UNCA and hang
around in empty classrooms. Have
imaginary classes in which YOU
are the professor.
Find Gary Birdsong and follow
him to the promised land.
Your Imagination can be the best
place to take your dream vacation.
The Waffle House tour: Drive
dov^^n 95 South, and sample the
hash browns at every Waffle House
along the way. Compare franchises
to the independent WaHo’s, and
call the home office to report your
findings. Play a Waffle House jingle
at every stop.
Once you know the words by
heart, sing along loudly (the wait
resses love that!). Once you get to
Georgia, turn your wagon west
ward towards Avondale Estates, the
Atlanta suburb in which Waffle
House was born. Note: Die-hard
Go to Brendle’s, and buy a 5-foot
plastic pool for 40 percent off Put
it in your backyard and pretend
you’re in Cancun. Lie in the pool
all day with your shades on, smiling
like hell. Ifanyone asks what you’re
doing, say “Yes, waiter, I will have
another pina colada.”
The Information Superhighway
can take you anywhere you want to
go, provided there is a computer
and a net connection there. Unfor
tunately, you will stay in an AOL
chat room sharing your most inti
mate thoughts and fantasies with
your new virtual friends. Get really
into cybersex until you realize your
friends “Trish,” “Lynn,” and
“SeXgoDdEsS537” (the busty, 22-
year-old nymphomaniac) are really
38-year old married men and “Jill”
is really a 13-year-old boy whose
voice hasn’t changed yet.
Borrow a video camera and make
fake tapes of people getting hit in
the nuts for “America’s Funniest
Home Videos.” Film something
stupid like you brushing your teeth
and call it art.
Cullowee, N.C.: Drive out to the
middle of nowhere, turn a corner,
and you’ll be at an accredited UNC
system school. Western Carolina.
Find a newspaper rack and pick up
The Western Carolinian. Takfe back
all the negative things you ever said
about The Banner and be thankful
you go to UNCA.
Decide not to go anywhere so you
can catch up on the four papers that
are due the Monday you get back.
Start working on them late Sunday
Panama City Beach, Fla.: Freeze
your ass off in the not-quite-warm-
enough ocean water in an attempt
to be one of the hollering, beer-
carrying jackasses that the MTV
camera pans by for two seconds. Be
really cool and stay drunk the entire
break so you end up in...
The hospital: Wake up getting your
stomach pumped, trying to remem
ber where you got that “Thug Life”
tattoo. Have a blast trying to avoid
choking on your own vomit.
Visit Otto, Tryon, Celo, Marshall,
Enka, Tuxedo, Penrose, Elkin,
Woodfin, Fruitland, Burnsville,
Alexander, Clyde, and Oteen: the
towns after which the computer
science computers are named.
Greensboro, N.C.: Go to Greens
boro and sit in traffic. Once you get
through the traffic jam, it will be
time to come back.
Promote the freedom of all opinions
As I look back on my four years at
UNCA, 1 have noticed an interest
ing trend running through the time
I’ve spent here. Every year, perhaps
even every semester. I’ve watched
one group orchestrate an
event, seen a second group
take offense, and then I’ve
read the lengthy debate that
followed in the pages of The
The most notable examples
that come to mind are the
“Images in Film” series on
gays and lesbians, which took
place in the fall of 1993, and
last year’s Theatre UNCA
production of “Lysistrata.”
After the film series and its
follow-up discussion, letters ap
peared weekly in The Bannerv/hxch.
alternately expressed support for
and condemnation of the gay com
munity. “Lysistrata” produced a
stream of letters to the editor and
spawned a secondary discussion
between myself and Berry Stubbs
on free expression, morals, and the
nature of reason.
Even though no letters appeared
in last week’s issue of The Banner to
condemn Theatre UNCA’s produc
tion of “Angels in America,” the
play certainly has the same poten
tial to start a lengthy and rapidly
escalating debate between various
campus communities. Interestingly
enough, “Angels” encompasses all
of the issues which have already
been approached through the 1993
“Images in Film” series and through
I am preparing myself to watch
two groups with differing opinions
take sides, dig in, and release their
venom at one another. Based on
my experience with previous years’
discussions, I can easily imagine
how a debate on “Angels” will
progress. First, someone will state
that “Angels” was offensive to his or
her political, spiritual, or personal
beliefs. He or she might say that
UNCA had no business producing
or supporting the production. A
second person will quickly answer,
as I did during the “Lysistrata” de
bate, that UNCA is a liberal arts
school, and that the first person
should learn to live with the fact
that everyone has the right to hold
and express their beliefs. The sec
ond party will likely raise a battle
cry against censorship.
Really, only two possible paths
exist for such a discussion. Either a
mature and reasonable debate will
develop between the parties con
cerned, or the “discussion” will
quickly become a fight with mud-
slinging and name-calling on all
sides.“Images in Film”
brought on harassment and
immaturity. “Lysistrata,” with
a much more toned-down
debate, was closer to a discus
sion than a war. “Angels” has
the potential for either one.
What we as a body of stu
dents need to realize is that
UNCA’s mission as a liberal
arts university is present not
only in its production of con
troversial materials but also in
the debate which inevitably
follows. But that mission is present
only if the discussion is truly a
debate with open minds on all sides.
We can fulfill UNCA’s mission
both through the production of the
play and through keeping an open
mind and an overall attitude of
respect as we discuss the relevant
Throughout the discussions of
“Images in Film” and “Lysistrata,”
I watched people who claimed to be
liberal and open-minded repeat
edly close their minds to conserva
tive viewpoints. I heard supposedly
open-minded people bash conser
vatives, Christians, and Republi
Beyond simply being “intolerant
of intolerance,” these well-mean-
ing individuals contributed to the
overall sense that there is only one
right way to do things, and that the
right way is the liberal way. Conser
vatives are not the only people who
need to be reminded to keep an
As a liberal, I am disturbed when
I hear people attempt to defend
freedom of speech by arguing
against the right to hold and ex
press conservative viewpoints. I’ve
heard people quote the Constitu
tion while attempting to deny oth
ers the right to free expression of
To put it simply, liberals have the
right to be liberal. Conservatives
have the right to be conservative.
But neither group has the right to
attempt to restrict the freedoms of
speech and expression of the other.
By attempting to restrict the free
doms of people with conservative
viewpoints, the liberal community
puts itself into the role of oppres
sor, a role which we claim to detest.
This means that conservatives have
the right to boycott “Angels,” to
write letters to the editor against
the play’s production, and to with
draw their support from Theatre
UNCA. Liberals have the right to
watch “Angels,” to write rebuttals
in the pages of The Banner, and to
offer their support to the Theatre. .
Everyone involved has the right to
open and rational discussion.
However, no one has the right to
restrict anyone’s constitutional free