North Carolina Newspapers is powered by Chronam.
10The Daily Tar Heel Thursday, October 10, 1985
I D IJ fl A ' M ft MR TT- -L-
fl m. ft
aily Mm -IBM
will flciWo i im ii
93rd year of editorial freedom
Arm; Rickert and
State and National Editor
He stoops to inquire
Harvard University will celebrate its
350th anniversary with its September
convocation next year. In deference to
tradition, Harvard's president, Derek C.
Bok, swallowed a great deal of profes
sional pride by extending an invitation
to President Reagan to speak at the
event. Bok, who chairs the Association
of American, Universities, has been
highly critical of Reagan's views on
student aid, maintaining that the policies
outlined by the administration would
dramatically affect the ability of lower
income families to send their children
to private colleges. But the Reagan
administration, perhaps underestimat
ing the tension latent in the situation,
made an acute tactical blunder in
responding to Bok's invitation.
In the words of a recent New York
Times article, the White House "dis
creetly inquired whether the President
could receive an honorary degree."
This, of course, is the kind of material
that editorialists dream about at night.
But let us give pause for a moment
to contemplate a slice of Americana. In
1886, Grover Cleveland agreed to speak
at Harvard's 250th anniversary celebra
tion but declined the university's offer
of an honorary degree, saying he was
not worthy of it. Then, in 1936, Harvard
alumnus Franklin D. Roosevelt was
asked to give an address at the 300th
anniversary celebration. (He, however,
had already received an honorary degree
The budget fudge-it
Congressmen have long known how
politically painful cutting the deficit can
be (i.e., cutting domestic programs that
voters tend to pay attention to); they've
also long known the comfort and joy
of making impassioned pleas for deficit
reduction. These two truths have come
into a curious conflict recently as the
Senate wrestles with a plan to balance
the budget in six years.
Many of the lawmakers love praising
this legislation as a glorious end-all to
the mess over deficit reduction a
means to force, by law, that wonder of
wonders: a balanced budget. Problems
solved. The deficit will go away because
the law says it will.
But after looking more closely at this
quick-fix proposal, they start to come
to the disappointing realization that it
won't make all those difficult decisions
they've been avoiding for so long
disappear. Problems not solved.
Social . Security will still be around,
though most don't dare whisper of
cutting it. Defense spending hassles will
still be around, though the administra
tion still refuses to yield there, relying
on those politically potent words
national security as its shield.
Indeed, the proposal, which would
write into law a series of deficit targets,
starting from $180 billion in fiscal 1986
While you've got the time
We don't know where you're reading
You might be reading this in the
classroom (naughty, naughty), sitting
waiting for a bus, between classes,
between meals, or wherever.
Maybe even on the toilet.
Oh, you're not the only one.Tt's not
uncommon to take a bit of reading into
the bathroom while you're doing your
daily business. While we aren't advocat
ing the elimination of toilet paper, we
feel a good read complements one of
Now a Simmons Market Research
Bureau study commissioned by the trade
publication Madison Avenue has come
along to back up our claims. It seems
that people are coming out of the water
closet, so to speak, and telling these nosy
researchers just what their favorite
magazines are when nature calls. The
top 10, based on a ratio of total
readership to bathroom readership, are:
1. True Story. Makes you wonder who
they surveyed, doesn't it? You won't even
find this confessional in the DTH offices.
1. Seventeen. It's a stage every girl goes
through, we suppose.
. Lee Roberts
note the key word, received.)
And so we come to the present
moment. Ah, 1985, when honorary
degrees are not so much to be received .
as to be "discreetly inquired" about.
Need anyone conjecture whether the
patron saint of Public Relations is
presently exchanging high-fives with the
deities of Tastelessness and Illogic?
Soon, perhaps, candidates for the Nobel
Peace Prize will be flying in the face of
reason and undertaking progressively
cruder crimes against mankind.
Well, principled defenders of higher
education everywhere may heave a sigh
of relief for the moment. As word of
the Reagan administration's "discreet
inquiry" spread, heated debate con
sumed the pages of Harvard's alumni
magazine. Five faculty members wrote
an open letter requesting that the 350th
Anniversary Commission "go back to
central casting for a better actor in the
lead role." Well said, gentlemen.
And so it is that David Rosen, a
spokesman for the university,
announced the Harvard Corporation's
firm and final decision that "no degrees
will be granted." As members of the
university's highest governing body
headed out of their closed session last
week, we expect they were still shaking
their heads and wondering aloud,
"Whoever suggested that notion
Well, don't tell anyone else who told
you this, but . . .
and declining each year to zero in fiscal
1991, seems to be more a tactic of the
politicians to give the country the
illusion of a solution, than any concrete
reason for hope on the deficit crisis.
The proposal wouldn't be so bad if
it were left to a relatively simple series
of conditions and targets it might
finally stir Congress and the president
to truly act on the deficit but already
sponsors are agreeing to keep Social
Security out of consideration and
Reagan is reminding Congress of this
year's budget resolution allowing a 3
percent per year increase in defense
spending for the next several years.
Once you take these out and those
the Office of Management and Budget
will be given the power to-deem "rel
atively uncontrollable," then what's left
are the domestic programs nobody
wants to touch the status quo returns.
Congress and the administration
should stop concentrating on such
attempts to appear active on the deficit
and stop avoiding the facts defense
will have to be cut, domestic programs
will have to be cut, and, unless they are
(and significantly so), taxes will have to
Attempts to dodge the facts that
masquerade as positive action are no
3. Time. For the truly discriminating
infomaniac with time on his hands.
4 and 5. Sport and Sports Illustrated.
Some of those SI articles might require
6. Money and The Mother Earth
News (tie). What's the connection?
7. Sports Afield. When youVe lent out
your last copy of Sport or Sports
8. Prevention. We know what it is,
but what is Prevention!
9. Cosmopolitan. For today's on-the-go
woman, we suppose.
10. People and Us (tie). Remember
The Big CMP. Jeff Goldblum would be
Simmons' survey, in case you're sitting
there wondering, was conducted among
1,000 people 18 and older Other
revelations were that 36 percent of all
adult men take their reading to the
lavatory, compared with 26 percent of
' all adult women. And college graduates
spend more reading than their non
collegiate counterparts. Nice to know -you're
on top of things, isn't it?
We just report these things, folks; we
don't make them up.
By GARY H. MESSENGER
Effective Oct. 1, the N.C. legislature revised
our state's obscenity laws. The changes were
intended to address the presence of adult
materials in the state. The authors intended
their changes for the protection of minors
minors who might be exploited through child
pornography and those who might be exposed
to adult materials in general
The intentions are laudable. But it appears
that the law will only terminate legitimate
access of adult entertainment materials for
home use by consenting adults. Through vague
and inconsistent language, our legislature has
abridged citizens' constitutional rights.
The state has argued that adult materials
are obscene and thus aren't protected by the
First Amendment. But the law takes such a
broad view of obscenity that any number of
generally acceptable materials could be
grounds for prosecution. The law further
encourages selective enforcement of the
statutes. One district attorney, given his
hometown political climate, might use the law
to mount a Moral Majority-type community
clean-up. His counterpart in the next county
might have different priorities, lesser resources
or more pressing criminal problems.
Basically, no one wants to define obscenity
because, like beauty, obscenity is in the eye
good for state
By J. THOMAS JACKSON
The new pornography law has been criticized
for being too strict, even ridiculous. Merchants
say that it will hurt business. How, say some,
can it support it? I ask how anyone cannot
The law seeks to end the exploitation of
women and children, and to protect minors
from being entangled in the deadly shame that
obscenity creates. Some may complain that this
is legislated morality. Tell me; what law is not
legislated morally? It is not a question of
morality being legislated; the question is whose
Consider: 70 percent of adult pornographic
magazines sold ends up in the hands of minors.
Seventy-seven percent of child molesters of
boys and 87 percent of those molesting girls
admitted imitating the sexual behavior they
had seen modeled in pornography. Chld
pornography has victimized as many as 600,000
children in the United States. The states with
the highest readership of pornographic
materials also show the highest rate of rapes.
Slavery: a mar in our national history that
ended in a bloodbath. The degrading violation
of the inalienable rights upon which this nation
was founded came to an end after much
oppression. Along with slavery, a whole way
1 v. mwrm
'''WW'. A 1
An open apology
i( V; I ITI-'fl X X,..X71 i& fc : yA-,L,-A-,l'.to.y,: .. V,' -"'i'o Ill I HI 111 - 111 ft , lSS--: WC" JL', X .1 - 11 'I '.I -if 'A 9 V v. V w H
Brighter forms beneath
By SALLY PONT
When I was in sixth grade, my teacher shone
a light on everyone in my class and traced the
outlines of our heads on the wall. We all cut
out the silhouettes, put them on bright-colored
backing paper, and hung them on the wall in
a row. We marvelled at the shapes and sizes of
each other's noses, but all in all we were
unimpressed with our images. There was
something vague and unflattering about mere
outlines of ourselves on flat paper.
To many people, my portrait of Dexter
Romweber ("Dexter Romweber tempts fate
while he courts fame," Oct. 2) was just as false
and unflattering. At the time, I thought that my
perceptions were accurate. Tracing the outline
of Dexter, I captured his exterior and was content
with that. I was so enamored by his facade that
I completely missed the point of Dexter: what's
between the lines.
of the beholder. We all agree that certain acts
and depictions are obscene, especially child
pornography. But the legal basis for banning
child pornography is that a child is being
exploited, not the obscenity of the act that the
child is being forced into.
When we speak of sexually explicit materials
featuring consenting adults made solely for the
entertainment of other consenting adults in
their own homes, the argument of exploitation
crumbles. It is easy to believe both male and
female actors were forced into compromising
positions through threats of violence or
blackmail, or lured into their sordid trade with
the promise of wealth.
The legitimate adult industry, in fact,
resembles the pop music industry much more
than a white slavery ring. Adult stars have
agents, career strategies, promotional tours,
personal appearances, press conferences,
lawyers. But while an adult star's product may
gross millions of dollars, the "star" will see
only a small fraction of the money. Adult film
actors are indeed exploited. But so are Bruce
Springsteen, Madonna and even Miss Amer
ica. The point is they know they're being
exploited. And under such circumstances, they
choose not to concern themselves with their
exploitation. It is not the duty of the judicial
legislative- system to intervene in their choice.
Another serious consequence of removing
adult products from public scrutiny is that all
adult products will then be relegated to the
underground. They will not disappear as if by
divine magic, nor will they cease to be available
to the public. What will surface via under
ground sales are many vile and violent films
of life was wiped out because slavery was the
crutch of the Southern plantation system. No
one who values human rights, no one who
believes in the inalienable rights given to man
by his creator, and no one who loves his fellow
man can approve of slavery and still have a
clear conscience. Today, however, we find '
many people who would openly deny any
tolerance of slavery, participating in a subtle
form of it and defending it for economic
Pornography enslaves women and children
through sexual exploitation. Some seek to
continue this slavery for financial gain. The
new law seeks an end to this slavery. How
many more violent sex crimes will it take before
our society has had enough? Here we find part
of the problem itself: Parts of our society can't
get enough. There is no end to the pit into
which people are throwing themselves.
It all starts with one look. The human brain
is incredible. When a person looks at a picture,
that picture is imprinted in the memory storage
of that person indefinitely, with the capacity
to be recalled at any time. Pornography thrives
off the human capacity to fantasize. Real life
can never measure up to fantasy, so porno
graphy leads its victims into a deeper and
deeper pit, like an insatiable hunger. It is called
lust. Lust is an innate human behavior; no one
has to teach us how. Like the alcoholic who
at one time had his first drink, a person who
takes his first look at pornography does not
intend on ending up in sadism or brutality.
Women and children are- the innocent
victims, but so is the one who indulges in
pornography. He is a slave to it; it controls
him. His problem, though, is deeper than
flh- -w '
TLfc Ql ii inn. RAi.. i
I missed the Dexter that so many people can
love, especially his mother. He is a gentle,
generous person to whom anyone can turn in
time of need. For all his appearance of disrespect,
he is enormously respectful, especially of adults.
Dexter can talk to anyone adults, kids, cops,
teachers. What's more, he likes every single one
of them, and with his generosity, wins every single
heart. I should be as generous as Dexter.
Just listening to Dexter play, anyone can see
that he is brilliant. The complexity and ease of
his music shows rapt attention and perfect
understanding. As a child, he was a prodigy of
the caliber of Mozart. Mozart composed his first
symphony at the age of 12; Dexter was playing
his own music at the same age.
Dexter's creative brilliance is also obvious in
the way he talks. He is a wit, a master storyteller
and entertainer. He knows how to bring words
to life in order to captivate his audience. The
stories themselves are deceptive. They tell of
recklessness and abandon. But don't be deceived.
Dexter is in complete control of his music,
-TFK iSn I Emm . LS . T . asw fei " ll II linn ! tmtM
not readily available today. At least in the
public eye, judgment can be passed on such
V materials and whether they are acceptable.
Let us now define the differences between
adult bookstores and legitimate video. In adult
bookstores, there is on-site viewing with either
books or screens, as well as sexual parapher
nalia and other peripheral products. Without
their adult product, including the more violent
and sexually abhorrent, there is no business
nor a reason to remain open. A family video
store has no on-premise viewing, nor is the
business itself dependent on adult materials.
The video store is in the business of selling
entertainment, of which adult products are a
generally acceptable part.
But at the heart of the matter is the legislation
itself. Adult material no longer needs to be
explicit to be deemed obscene. The law allows
for actual or simulated sex, normal or
perverted, clothed or unclothed. All fall under
the definition and are punishable as a felony.
I'm not arguing whether obscenity is a valid
social question. But a citizen's right to control
his personal life is in serious jeopardy with
the passage of this legislation. The door is now
open for the control and censorship of not only
entertainment outlets of choice, i.e. video,
theater, plays, but that of television, books and
periodicals. This law goes too far in protecting
N.C. citizenry from itself, and places the
control of personal tastes and morality
squarely in the hands of the legislature and
Gary H. Messenger is president of North
American Video Ltd.
looking at "dirty" magazines. His problem is
what God calls sin, though a person given over
to this pornographic depravity can't get
enough. His conscience warns him of his
danger, and when he repeatedly defiles his
conscience, it becomes scared, and his passion
Basically, we are all slaves to sin and under
the law of death. The word of God tells us
that all have sinned and come short of the
glory of God. Sin is what separates us from
God, blackening our conscience, and distorting
our view of God. God's law says that the sin's
price is death eternal separation from God.
God created man to have fellowship with man,
and so he gave out of the abundance of his
heart. He gave Jesus Christ, his only son. The
blood of Jesus was shed so that we could live.
His death and resurrection affords us the
opportunity to know God. Our sins nailed
Christ to the cross. He says "Come unto me,
all you who labor and are heavy laden, for
my yolk is easy, and my burden is light.' We
owed a debt that we could not pay, and Jesus
paid it in full. Now he asks you to step out
in faith, to turn away from your life of sin
and death and turn to the life of God.
Jesus died for you. Will you spit in his face
and shun his love, or acknowledge your sins,
take up your cross and follow him? God's grace
will lead you to repentance, but your hard heart
will send you to Hell. It's your decision. What
are you going to do about the fact that Jesus
Christ died for you?
J. Thomas Jackson, a sophomore history
major from Asheville, is co-chairman of
Students For America.
his audience and his life.
His creative urges compel him to create a
persona that is . as thorough and vivid as
everything else he creates. It is that wild and
reckless persona that I described. It is incon
gruous with his character. So why does he do
it? Perhaps just as another means of creative
expression. Perhaps to sell his music. I cannot
rightly say. Dexter says that his persona is true
to himself. Still, others who know and love him
say that Dexter's exterior simply is not Dexter.
Dexter is indeed a paradox.
As potent as Dexter's exterior is, as provoc
ative and myth-inspiring, I feel that I have been
dishonest in reporting only that. In my. fasci
nation with the persona, I did not find the person.
And so I must apologize, to readers, to all
concerned and above all, to Dexter. I am truly
Sally Pont, a senior English major from
Northford, Conn., is a staff writer for I he uaii)