|Paper||Southern Utah University Student Newspapers|
|Rights||No Copyright - United States (NoC-US)|
|Publisher||Digitized by J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah|
|Paper||Southern Utah University Student Newspapers|
.' I~ - OPINION ! THE UNIVERSITY JOURNAL• SOUTHERN UTAH UNIVERSlTY • FRIDAY, JANUARY 9, 1998 \ ,, I BRANDONSCHRAND l i COMMENTARY A household item Christmas The interesting thing about Christmas in Soda Springs, Idaho, (population 3, 111) isn't the fact th.it this year it warmed up to 23 degrees below zero. It isn' t the fact that there is only one store ope n for the entire month . But it's the fact that the town is literally dead the entire holiday. So r stayed in doors and kicked it with my grandmother, which was cool... for a while anyway. See, I've noticed something about the older generations. They get up at 4 a.m. as a matter of principle and not necessity. They go to bed at 9 p.m . for the same abstract reason. And they use this neurotic behavior as ammunition against our generation when they charge us for being "slackers." My grandmother, God bless her heart, falls into this category, which pretty much meant if she got up that early, that's what time I got up. It's either that or endure the 6 a.m. wake up call, "Are you gonna to waste the entire day away?" So we got up early to sit there. Right on! We went to bed early so we could get up and sit there ... all day. Heaven knows that if you stay in bed you're wasting the day, but if you get up sometime after midnight and sit around, you' re being productive. The older generations are very much "set in their ways, " as we call it back home. This summer I made a fatal mistake. T bought Surf laundry detergent instead of Tide. My grand mother blew a gasket. Lt was good enough to be a commercial. Needless to say, for Christmas I got a huge crate of Tide and a box of Biz with Bleach. I was told that you have to have one kind of detergent for the whites and one for the colors. Hello! I also received s hampoo and condition er. You can tell if an average co llege bachelor has money or not. If he has shampoo and conditioner, "he comes from money," as we say back home. And I have real toilet paper. No more crate paper for this guy. No more McDonald's napkins. J have the real stuff. Charmin SO-ply. You can take this stuff into combat. I am out of coffee filters, which poses a huge problem. Already I have used the same filter three times. I simply spray it off with a garden hose, dry it with a hair. dryer, re- insert, and enjoy. I thought briefly about using a Bounce dryer sheet or a pair of underwear ... You see, it was my grandmother who gave me all the household items minus the coffee filters. She kept insisting that they were stupid gifts (even with the crisp SO-dollar bills taped neatly to each package.) What I tried to explain to her was that the presents were in fact a gold mine. For example, we all realize how much money a 16-roll package of Charmin is going to costs. It's somewhere in the neighborhood of $83. And the big giant box of Tide? Forget it. In order for the average college student to afford one of those bad boys, they have to attend an extra session of Loan Counseling. T he reason I have failed to purchase any more coffee filters is because my student loan hasn't come through. So although the outward appearance of my household items makes it look like I'm a star, I'm really not. I'm flat broke. What else is new? Brandon R. Schran d is a senior English major. UNIVERSITY JQ~11 PROFESSIONAL STAFF AND DESK PIIONE NUMBERS: EJiw, C.mpus Ediwr Con<uhing Sports Editors Larry Baker 586·7751 Jun Robinson 586·1997 N eil C ordne r 586,7753 Ure11 Jewkes 586-7752 STUDENT STAFF AND DESK PHONE NUMBERS: Associato Editors O. W. And erson 865,8225. 586,7750 llcn Winslow 865·8'225, 586·7750 AP Wire Editor K:11ni Egan 586,7759 Copy Editor Tiana Tew 586-5488 Photo Editor John C ue rt ler 586·7759 Opinion Director llranJon Rhodes 586- 1992 Sports Editor Chad Lamb 865-844J Arts Editor Anna Turpi n 586,5488 Advertising Manager Maggie Nelsen 586·7758 Advtrtising l)esigner Ccnu nie Cole 586· 7758 REPORTERS' DESK 586,7757 The Umvusitr /ou1rwl Is pubh$htd every Monday, Wednesday and Fnday of 1hc academ ic year u :1 publtcation o Southern Uta~ Un1vcu1ty1 Its departmen t of communicatl?n and 1h~ SUU Studcnl Associa1ion. 11w v1cwt1 :rnd opinion, c.xprc.sKd 1n the foutm1I arc rhosc of 1nd1vldual wrucn1 and do not nccc.ss:m:, ,die.ct the opinion of 1hc /oumnl or any entity of the unlvcrsuy. Lctttrs to the editor must bt typc.•d an include the name and phone number. Only the name wall be printed. Names will not be. withheld under 11ny circumstances and the t:d11or reserves cdmng privileges. Lcucrs must be submlued by noon Fridays for Monday editions, Tuesdays for Wednesday cdulons and Thursdays £or Fnday edit.ions. Cricvancc1: Any lnd1v1du;11 with a gllcvancc agahtst tht: fournal should direct such problem fi rst to the ed itor If unresolved, that gncvancc should then be directed to the fournal Srcering Committee, whi ch Is chrned by Dr. Frain G. Pearson, 586·7971 . University /oumol: Offices In SUU Techno logy BuHdlng 003. Mail at SUU Box 9384, Cedar City, Urah 84720. FAX (4JSI 581\.5487. [ .mail addrcs.: journalChuu.cdu ( )v1t1NTEO ON RECYC LED PIIPER. PLEASE REC YCI.£ nu s COPY. ' i KATHLEEN PARKER COMMENTARY The year of the inconvenient baby As the year of the Inconvenient Baby whined to a close, it was fitting-and sadly, not surprisingt hat a mo t h er who murdered her baby was awarded custody of her other young child. In a ridiculous ruling, a District of Columbia judge ruled that a woman who in 1992 stopped her baby's cryi ng by suffocation was the best woman to raise her 2-year-old son. Better even than Laura Blankman, the police train ee who sought to adopt him, having raised the boy most of his life, and whom the child calls " Mommy." Nope, said Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge Mich ael D. Mason, t he boy rightfully belongs to his biological mother. So what if she killed her other child? Details, details. Mason's explanation for returning the child to his 23-year-old mother, Latrena D . Pixley, was that it's usually not in a child's best interest to remove him from his biological mother and have hi m adopted. He pointed out that Pixley had demonstrated affection for he r boy by maintaining contact with him while in prison and contributing money to his upbringing. The judge also noted that while in prison, Pixley completed her high school education and, upon p ro bational release, got a job. H e apparentl y decided to ignore the fact that while working in said job, Pixley s kimmed $1 ,400 from h e r employer through credit card fraud, for which she was convicted in federal court and subsequently returned to prison. Details, details. From the beginning, Pixley's saga has been a worst-case example of our attachment to victimexcuse-syndrome. Pixley isn' t really a bad person; she's just a victim of everything-poverty, neglect from a substance-abusing mother and an absent father, pregnant at 17, uneducated and, alas, suffering from depression. What do you expect a mother to do when the baby won't stop crying?! Almost anyone would do the same thing. Right. At the close of Pixley's second-degree murder trial in 1993, D.C. Superior Court Judge George W. Mitchell practically needed a transfusion to offset his hemorrhaging heart as he sentenced the convicted murderer to five to 15 years, t h en immediately suspended the sentence. Instead, he placed Pixley on probation, ordering her to jail on weekends. Everything would have been fine were it not for that little credit card scheme at work. In his statements to the court fou r years ago, Mitchell questioned whether prosecutors would ha ve sought a lengthy prison term for "some high-class society woman." "I want to treat all people the same, whether they be poor, rich, or whatever. When I do, I can sleep at night." That's nice. He's sleeping like a dead baby, while I'm tossing and turning like someone with a guilty conscience. Let's do treat everyone the same, starting with th e deceased child, wh o deserves justice, and ending with the living one, who deserv es protec tion. As o n e astute sociologist put it in The Washington Post: "What concerns me most is she killed a child." Is this where we all shout, " Bingo"? And in a comparison tha t tried to justify the judges' rulings, but ought to have alerted the metaphor police, Vincent Schiraldi, executive director of the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, compared Pix.ley's story to an ulcer. Some peo ple with u lcers c hange t h eir lives, wrote Schiraldi in The Washington Post. Others live life as always and " trea t th eir pain with bromides that offer temporary symptomatic relief." " In our horror over Pixley's acts, it is tempting to reach fo r quick fixes, banishing Pixley and any reminder of her actions from our sight. Writ large, t h ese Pepto-solu tions have gotten us exact ly where we are, handing out cookie-cutter justice that decimates large segments of our society." Writ large or small, this is the stuff that gives me ulcers. Exactly what segment of society are we decimating? Certainly not Pixley's. She has two more sons, 7 and 8, being raised by others. Rather than a bromide, amply supplied by Schiraldi, we might do better to offer Miss Pixley some birth control. And her son a safe haven with the woman he calls "Mommy." Kathleen Parker is a nationally syndicated columnist.