Letters to the Editor


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A modest (and Mural-preserving) proposal

When times were tough in Britain (during the potato famine in Ireland), Jonathan Swift wrote a beautiful, thoughtful essay titled “A Modest Proposal.” Fine piece of writing. No doubt you’ve heard of it. Probably read it. If you haven’t, you should.

In it, Swift argued that if Parliament wasn’t going to help the Irish — because, after all, times were tough all over and lawmakers didn’t want to set a bad precedent — there was a way that Parliament could turn tough times into a moneymaking proposition (hint: It involves rather unconventional comestibles).

Jackson Pollock’s Mural is owned by the Museum of Art at the University of Iowa. A gift from Peggy Guggenheim to the School of Art and Art History, it’s probably the single most valuable thing in the entire state. Because of that, and because times are bad, some Iowa legislators think it’s time to sell.

I have an idea. Here’s my own “modest proposal” that would help Iowa legislators and the state of Iowa turn a quick and easy dollar or two in the middle of this economic downturn. They won’t even have to sell Mural to do it.

The state owns a lot of land, right? Why not strip off and sell the topsoil of a few hundred thousand acres? Not all of it, mind you. Just a state park or two. How about the Loess Hills? Would Iowa be any the “loess” with one or two “less” [sic] of them? I know a lot of people around the country and the world who would jump at the chance to have a backyard full of certified Iowa topsoil for their own. The stuff is lying around everywhere, after all. Iowa is “filthy” with it. And with the trees and all of that other stuff that would be left over, they could sell mulch.

Just an idea.

Dan Knight
UI staff

Adding to organ story

I want to clarify two points from a DI article from Feb. 16 about organ transplants at UIHC.

There are two large referral sources for patients who require evaluations for liver transplants in the Des Moines area. Physicians at the Iowa Digestive Disease Center have supported the growth of our transplant program through referrals and by providing welcomed feedback for many years. We work closely with them and subsequently see many patients from the Des Moines area. The other source chooses not to refer their patients to us, which is certainly a prerogative.

This brings me to the second point. Despite claims to the contrary, after visiting with patients who seek us out after being referred elsewhere, I have concluded that some patients are not given the option up front to choose UIHC for liver-transplant evaluation. I bring your attention to the article in the Cedar Rapids Gazette earlier last week regarding the immense cost to Wellmark when patients are sent out of state for their health care for evidence of the effect of these decisions.

Alan Reed, M.D.
director, UI Organ Transplant Center

Disco Dolls displayed sickening sexual violence

When I walked in to the Bijou to watch Disco Dolls in Hot Skin, I was not prepared for the level of violence that I was about to witness.

There were two murder scenes. During one murder, one of the characters drowned a young woman while still having sex with her. During the second murder scene, he forced another young woman to perform oral sex on him before stabbing her in the stomach. I could tell based on the looks on my fellow moviegoers’ faces that I wasn’t the only one in shock in that theater.

For those of you who have written to The Daily Iowan supporting this movie, if you want to argue that porn has no negative effects on the viewer, fine. Argue that. But it frustrates me that all of the opinions I have read about Disco Dolls come from individuals who hadn’t even seen the movie.

Don’t pretend you know what you’re talking about when you don’t. Don’t defend something you haven’t even witnessed.

Most of all, what frustrates me is that all of you who have written to the DI fail to provide scientific evidence supporting your viewpoints to the readers.

Moral arguments aside, there have been countless studies done that show that violent porn is incredibly harmful to the viewer, not to mention her or his significant other. I can cite studies done by Garcia (1986), Linz (1989), Padget, Brislin, and Neal (1989), Norris (1991), and countless others.

Sexualized violence has negative effects on the viewer, no matter how you look at it.

And, as for the Bijou: If it intends to have a porn viewing next year, reconsider showing Disco Dolls. Next time, pick a movie that shows the women being just as willing as the men.

Kathleen Jensen
UI student

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