Advocate Offers "Apologia" for Iran
My! what an apologia for the Islamic Republic by a spokesperson for the "People's Republic" of the Pioneer Valley ["Can We Talk About Iran?", March 15, 2012]. I recommend those interested to google sites such as Dhimmi/Iran. There once was a large and old Jewish population in that country, but most who could leave have fled. Jews suspected of harboring Zionist sympathies are under surveillance, have been jailed, and at least one man hanged by the followers of the "Supreme Leader." The status of non-Muslims is "dhimmitude," which is not exactly equal rights. Yes, there is one token Jew in their parliament, but he must hew to the party line or else.
Of course, Iran also is a "cleansed" society with no homosexuals, according to President Ahmadinejad. I recommend the Advocate send copies of your journalistic enterprise to the Iranian regime to demonstrate how journalistic libertarianism is expressed in your advice columns, which instruct readers in techniques of anal intercourse, for instance.
The Iranian regime has promised to annihilate Israel, and is working on the bomb. I for one am grateful that the British bombed the Peenemund Nazi heavy water site in World War ll. Ahmadinejad admires the Nazis. Do you? I am an old leftie who has said "So long, fellow travellers" and left the socialism-of-fools cult.
Phony Ad in Bad Taste
I know the weather is running a month early, but does that mean April Fool's Day came early, too? That's the best interpretation I can make of the advertisement [actually our cartoon, The Optimist] that appeared on page 6 of Vol. 40, Issue 11 (March 15, 2012). I don't know whether your staff missed it, or thought it was funny; but one only has to step back and relax one's eyes to see that the real product being sold by that ad is suicide (just look at the capitalized words and the product name).
While some may find this funny, I feel that without any context of humor in the surrounding text, it's in extremely poor taste. I'm in favor of a free press, and you have every right to print what suits you; but be aware that you've offended this reader, and I rather hope others, too.
This is in regard to the ad for "Enditol" on page six of the March 15 issue of the Valley Advocate. The ad urges people who are contemplating suicide to "Do it! For your friends! Do it! For your family! Do it! For yourself!" I had to read the ad several times to realize that it was a parody. My guess is that the ad for Enditol was a satire on the ads for anti-depressants that one sees on television. I actually take one myself.
I am an aspiring comedian. Jokes about politicians always make people laugh. A harmless ethnic joke makes it. Even a dirty joke is all right now and then. Suicide is not funny. Neither is AIDS or cancer. I would never make jokes about the aforementioned.
I know personally several people who have committed suicide. The effects of suicide on the immediate families were profound, devastating and never-ending. I have a first cousin who committed suicide in 1977. His surviving twin brother seeks solace by immersing himself in spiritual matters. He hopes to be united with his brother in the afterlife. Please, educate people about suicide. Do not trivialize it.
Recently the Valley Advocate published a fake ad for "Enditol" suicide pills, signifying to readers that this publication tacitly approves of the ad's insensitive and potentially harmful message. While intended to be humorous, the overt content of the ad nonetheless encouraged suicide and self-harm ("Maybe no one likes you because you're such a major downer. Maybe you're a defective human being." "Do it for your friends. Do it for your family. Do it for yourself.") Thoughts of inferiority, feeling burdensome to friends and family, and the idea that loved ones would be better off [without one] are all too common among people considering suicide.
These messages—in any context, even satire—can potentially cause devastation if seen by someone contemplating self-harm or suicide. Furthermore, such messaging can bring back feelings of despair, grief, and loss among those who have lost a loved one to suicide, or themselves attempted suicide. The Massachusetts Coalition for Suicide Prevention encourages responsible reporting of suicides and compassionate and thoughtful treatment of any media discussion of the subject, including—but not limited to—satire. Such consideration could save someone's life.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, call the statewide toll-free Samaritans line at 1-877-870-4673 or 1-800-273-TALK.
Peggy Morse, Chair
Berkshire Regional Coalition for Suicide Prevention
Jennifer Kelliher, Managing Director
Massachusetts Coalition for Suicide Prevention
This letter is in response to Rush Limbaugh's comments about Sandra Fluke. Mr. Limbaugh, you have certainly done it again. Although this is not the first time you have spewed such hateful language, perhaps it should be the last time you say anything on your corporate-sponsored program. Yes, that's right; it is time for you to resign or be put out to pasture.
You didn't "apologize" for your remarks about Fluke until after it became apparent that your political torpedo missed its target. Once you realized that your paycheck might be affected—as if you don't have enough money—you switched on the damage control to avoid further embarrassment. This time, however, it has failed miserably and people from all sides of the aisle demand that you leave before making any more despicable comments.
Some could argue that the words "slut" and "prostitute" could just as easily be leveled at you. Don't you "earn" money by performing a certain "service"? Our capitalist system has allowed you to become very wealthy by just ranting all day against anything contrary to your personal views. It is evident you do not represent the views of Republicans, conservatives or evangelicals, nor do you really believe in the venom you spit out at Democrats, liberals and reformers. Do us all a favor and resign.