I just got back from a weekend of yuppie camping in Santa Barbara, California. I knew that upon my return my inbox would be full of emails asking that I write about various campus controversies. So I decided to write about the controversy that seems to be most on the minds of my readers. The clear winner is the recent University of Maryland attempted showing of a hard-core pornographic film.
Maryland had planned to show Pirates II: Stagnetti's Revenge at midnight Saturday in a campus theater. Since the film was offered to the student union free of charge, some thought it would not provoke significant controversy. They were wrong.
Reverend Kyle Ingels is a chaplain on the Maryland campus. He is also is one of the few adults working on campus with the sense to see the film as degrading, not just to women, but to people in general. Other Maryland officials are less able (or perhaps less willing) to state the obvious.
Some Maryland officials buy into the incorrect notion that viewing porn is simply a personal choice that has no effect upon others. They told the local media that the triple-X movie was an alternative to late-night drinking and other dangerous activities. I suspect that if the film were shown it would have been followed by some later night drinking and possibly dangerous activities. After all, it would have been over by around 2 a.m.
Lisa Cunningham (not to be confused with Marion Cunningham the wife of Howard) told a Baltimore news reporter that it (watching porn) would be “something fun” for the students to do.
But now that the university has decided to can the film there are two serious problems: 1) The Terrapin students have nowhere to turn for “fun” and, 2) I don’t have anything controversial to write about. (Author’s note: I consider #2 to be far more serious than #1).
But, of course, I have a solution. In the aftermath of the cancellation of the triple-X film, Cunningham and other Maryland administrators can follow the lead of my favorite university UNC-Greensboro (sarcasm = on). UNCG recently decided to pay a $3000 honorarium for a speech on the “Art of Kissing.” This is a clear improvement over their decision to host a speech (in 2004) on “Safe Sodomy.”
It is worth noting that the speaker, named William Cane, was flown into UNC-Greensboro to host the speech/seminar after the school had announced that recession-driven budgets cuts would result in the cancellation of classes and firing of staff members.