Straight from the Page of your Favorite Author

It’s OVER! Actually it’s been over for almost a week now, but I gave my shampoo seminar last Wednesday and just got done evaluating myself. Self-evaluation is a funny thing–I started out dreading it, but then I started watching myself and realized the seminar went waaaaaay better than I thought it would.

Now for something completely different: an interesting, completely non-chemistry-related controversy is going on at UK right now. On Friday the Kentucky Kernel printed an editorial cartoon that depicted what appeared to be the auctioning of a black student to several Greek fraternities. It invoked all kinds of racial stereotypes, and as a result pissed all kinds of people off. What amuses me about the whole controversy is the fact that the cartoon was designed to be anti-Greek, but was taken horribly out of context. Granted it was horrifically drawn and tasteless, and the message could’ve been portrayed a little more “gently,” but all the same I sympathize with its anti-Greek message. It’s become obvious that the cartoonist is nowhere near racist…he’s just a terrible cartoonist, and the whole thing boils down to a bad expression of his opinion.

The Kernel has needed good cartoonists for a while now…hopefully this will be a catalyst for change.



  1. “Nothing is so simple that is cannot be misunderstood.” I’ve seen this attributed to a handful of people, including Calvin Coolidge, but it is true no matter who, if anyone, said it.

    The question arises- do we get to claim ownership of the intent of what we write if we offend someone? A lot of current literary scholarship rests on the assumption that we cannot- that ‘intent’ is too naive, and that meaning is not so simple, and is always laden with the experience of the interpreter.

    Frankly, I think that this position is stupid, and threatens the very idea of meaning, but the cartoon guy better be ready to make the case that there was an intent that was poorly expressed, and to expect that it will in fact fall on some deaf ears. It is never safe to use one group to club another over the head, because the ‘club’ may not appreciate being applied thus.

    Sounds like some fantastic controversy. Wish I was there. I always loved wading into the middle of stuff like that.


  2. Apparently it’s more common than I thought…students at Arizona and a small school in Connecticut have gotten in trouble for the same thing.


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