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"Enough Already"

Note: This essay was written in response to the rampant publication, by The Good 5¢ Cigar, URI's student paper, of activistic editorials (usually used to disguise the more self-promotional designs of the authors) to which I objected primarily because nobody else was apparently willing to. As can be expected, the publication of this work prompted a plethora of mean spirited retorts that seemed to center, extraneously but predictably, on the fact that the paper had allowed me to remain hidden behind acronymic anonymity. The paper printed an apology, but I, feeling that it would be against the precepts of my acronym (Student Hoping to End Egotistical Self-promotional Hypocrisy) to claim my newfound fame, convinced the Cigar's editor that the mistake had been his and, therefore, I reserved the right remain in un-named obscurity. So... for any who are still piqued at being unable to lavish the proper renown upon me, I step from behind the curtain. In my defense, if such is necessary, I assert that I am not against the majority of our nation's common causes; rather, I am interested in having those who espouse those causes improve their strategies and increase their willingness to listen to opposition.

"Enough Already!" was first published, in a slightly varied form (mostly by virtue of typographical errors on the periodical's part), as an editorial in the November 18, 1997 Issue (Vol. 33, No. 40) of The Good 5¢ Cigar, Pg. 7.

Enough already! Am I the only person on this campus who thinks that the happenings at Midnight Madness have been blown entirely out of proportion? Does anybody else realize that the Greek system does not create social problems, but makes them more visible and manageable? Are you all that bored that you must create issue after issue about which to be upset? Of course people are equal at their core! Of course women should feel safe at parties or when walking at night! Of course teenagers should not be hurt or killed by activities involving alcohol! Of course measures should be taken to give EVERYONE on this campus, in this country, and on this planet a fair shot at happiness! But you overzealous self-proclaimed "free-thinkers" and "civil activists" are a bunch of hypocritical, juvenile, and closed-minded evangelists who feel unfulfilled unless you bring peopleís blood to the boiling point and foster the very hate that you so fervently speak against!

Perhaps I am living in a different world. Perhaps my dedication to my own education has left me blind to this reality that seems so prevalent in the minds of everybody else. Perhaps all these groups with their cute little acronyms and their free-speech lynch-mob parties have more insight than me, a mere middle-class, deanís listed, ex-manual laboring, Caucasian frat boy who has never urinated on anybody, who has never seen or been involved in a drunken gang rape, and who skips lunch, not a misdirected griping session, to write down his thoughts.

Folks, we have all got to work together in this world whether we like it or not, and that will never be a comfortable reality until we give up our titles and allow others to exist outside of theirs. When people can neither be condemned for nor take credit for any actions but their own, when we can classify miscreants without condemning the people who may be in some superficial way similar to them, then maybe we can testify honestly that we are not bigots ("one who is intolerant... in matters of religion, race or politics" regardless of his or her own affiliation-- American Heritage Dictionary, 3rd Edition). We waste our limited time and precious breath by fighting for our groupís ideals and trying to convert others, while we should be developing our own opinions. This is not to say that we shouldnít involve ourselves with any movement or activity, but that we must not stigmatize people for their own choices of movement and activity. It is the most free-minded person who argues both sides of a discussion before coming to a conclusion. What a great deal of you activists fail to see is that in your fight you have reduced yourselves to the tactics of your enemy.

It is easy to hate those who act against your interests, but perhaps it is wiser to fight those who agree with you too violently. So think what you want about what I say, but donít assume Iím wrong until youíve exhausted the possibility that Iím right.

Enough already.

S.H.E.E.S.H. (Student Hoping to End Egotistical Self-promotional Hypocrisy)