Debates wasted

Once again, the illustrious Coffee House Presidential Debate failed to impress me. Sunday?s Debate in the Common Ground Caf was poorly organized, and seemed like a joke, at best.

By not asking the candidates serious questions and only giving them the opportunity to reiterate their platforms, the debate does democracy a poor service indeed. Of course, a majority of the questions asked stem not from the election committee, but from the audience.

Still, if the committee organized it in such a way that the candidates could pose each other questions, serious questions, than perhaps the debates would be useful, which they definitely now are not.

Perhaps next year the CT, WRUR, or the Messenger can organize the major debate in the coffeehouse.

It should be like the national presidential debates, where a panel of reporters or non-politicians get to ask the candidates thought-provoking and hard-hitting questions, while also giving the candidates the opportunity to question each other.

To know what the candidates think and feel, you have to turn up the heat and see how they perform under pressure.

We should even be able to ask them what their grades are. All should be fair game in politics.

As Truman said, ?If you can’t take the heat, then get the hell out of the kitchen.?

As of yet, the candidates are not exposed to any heat, any serious questions from the electorate. Perhaps the fact that these elections are no real challenge is why people do not rise to the challenge. That is why there is such a high level of mediocrity throughout much of our SA government.

Yet, I cannot fault the students. The U.S. government is much the same way, filled with mediocrities. Perhaps our problems here at UR are merely emblematic of far greater problems which are affecting the country in general.

Perhaps the blandness of the candidates is not their fault, but ours, for not demanding more out of them.

? Robert Wittmann

Class of 2001

Oversimplified music

Andrew Rosenthal?s article on the similarities between classical music and heavy metal music makes for good fun.

But Rosenthal grossly oversimplifies matters: Mahler’s ?Tragic? Symphony evokes a wide variety of emotions, including his ecstastic love for his wife Alma.

I also think Rosenthal meant to say ?dissonant,? not ?dissident? ? either way, Mahler’s music isn?t extremely discordant.

Another thing Rosenthal fails to take into account is that classical music usually unfolds more slowly than any popular music, and the connections the classical listener has to make at various points along this unfolding are more intricate.

Still, Rosenthal?s point is well taken: it would be good if all listeners broaden their tastes; I hope, though, that they also take the time to learn to understand the music that they listen to.

? Rob Haskins

Eastman School of Music Doctoral Candidate



MAG celebrates Black History Month, highlights community resources

In the cold of the February winter, the Memorial Art Gallery opened its doors to its Black History Month Celebration…

Where’s Waldo? Inside of us all along.

Flipping through the next few pages, I spent less time finding Waldo. I was only thrown off when they added red herrings.

The Ward Project is cataloging Henry Ward’s taxidermied specimens, letters, and more

The Ward Project is a collection of artifacts and documents associated with Henry Ward and his Natural Science Establishment from the 1800s and 1900s.