Salient. Victoria University of Wellington Students' Newspaper. Volume 32, No. 16. July 16, 1969
Letters To The Editor
Letters To The Editor
All Letters Submitted For Publication Must Be Signed With The Writer's Own Name. No Pseudonyms Will Be Accepted Save In Exceptional Circumstances.
For some time me now I have entertained a desire to lodge a vehement protest against the prevading cult of amateur psychoanalytics in which the majority of students at tertiary level seem to find it necessary to indulge.
As a result of subjection to continual attacks on my supposed "social immaturity" and "basic emotional instability" I am discovering an aspect of my personality which I had heretofore never suspected existed—probably because it never did exist until brought into being by the assaults of maniacal frendian enthusiasts.
Observing a first-year student in an attempt to expound his or her analysis of a particular character has a direct parallel in watching a small boy trying to throw a heavy brick across Lambton Quay on a Friday night—he is inadequately endowed in carry out the task successfully and so makes a general mess of the whole affair, with the instrument used posing a potential danger to all around him.
The practice is intolerably abusive in freedom of individual develpment, and I therefore exhort all university students who consider themselves intelligent to Refrain From Displaying Their Childish Egoistic Desires To Outdo Freud At His Own Game.
In your editorial of the last issue of Salient you accused me of being the "major proponent of the advice to censor Salient", in connection with the article concerning the alleged "sell-out" of Focus by its Administration Board. You added that my "reluctance to undertake responsibilities had not gone unnoticed".
You omitted to mention a number of facts which cast a completely different light on the situation from the one you present in your editorial The first of these is that one of my least enviable responsibilities is to ensure trial no legally actionable material appears in Salient. A further relevant factor is that in suggesting that certain names be omitted from the article in question I was doing no more than following the advice given by the Association's lawyers. To accuse me of attempting to "censor" Salient is thus to completely distort the facts of the case.
It is interesting to note that the issue here was a legal one: there was no question or interference in editorial policy. You had as agreed to accept the decision of Executive on the matter, and had Executive decided that it would not face the risk of a legal action, you would, presumably, have gone along with this.
In the event, a majority of Executive decided to disregard the legal advice. That you should then accuse the minority of "irresponsibility" says little. Mr. Wilde, for your undemanding of press-executive relationships, and even less for your appreciation of that concept a student editor should most strongly uphold, the freedom of speech and opinion.
If you choose to make completely unfounded accusations, and to conduct minor witch-hunts into the activities of those who oppose your wishes in carrying out their responsibilities, you cannot pretend to be surprised that I do not "present an enthusiastic defence" of your efforts.
J. B. Thomson.
When I first saw the title of one of the Boom Harangue lectures: "B . . . X". I was horrified and disgusted. How could sex be treated in such an openly lighthearted and dangerously offensive way?
However, after seeing the blurb on the last cover of Salient (Jesus Christ never sang the blues . . . etc., etc.) It dawned on me that the anonymous character behind "Boomharangue" are so out of touch with social reality and such blatant mental cripples that it would "swinging" title could have any double meaning
In future isues of Salient, please, please. Please, don't devote your front page to a puke-orange advertisement for a religious crank.
Posh and Out
I'M sitting in Economic Lecture on Monday minding my own business and I notice the posh pussy in new fur coat in front of me. Anyway, she's reading a teller headed NZUSA and I can't help but read it if I hook my feet under the sear and lean right over the bench.
It says something about would she like to attend a cocktail party being held by NZUSA for some Indian broad?
And I wonder what this posh pussy has got to offer this distinguished Indian visitor.
So. Mr. Editor, can you tell me:—
- • How many cocktail parties has VUWSA had this year and how much has this cost students?
- • What sort of people are invited?
- • How do these parties help students pass units?
- • How do I get on the invitation list?
Although it is somewhat doubtful that many students will read my defence to the allegations made in Salient 15, regarding the manner in which I conduct my executive portfolio (Salient having fallen into a proven ineffectual state) it is necessary that it should be made.
They—whoever "they" may be have been, were wrong.
I Should like to make certain criticisms of the leaching of English literature in this University These criticisms are not so much concerned at the curriculum content but with several important literary matters which have been ignored.
The first criticism is that at no stage is there any consideration of what are literary values. Students simply ore not given any criteria which they may apply when choosing books for themselves or children.
The poetry paper of English IB is optimistically labelled "Practical Celticism". Certainly it may be so, but in general any literary criticism taught is pedantic and not transferable. At no undergraduate level are students ever presented with any concept of what makes great literature. Instead students are given a list of set-texts which presumably must be pearls of literature because the department says so. Usually act terns are literary pearls but the student will not spend his later reading life procuring set texts. Students must be given the tools to cull for themselves, and at present in both school and university. They are not.
The second criticism is that the literature or New Zealand is, by and large, ignored in undergraduate courses. Only at honours level does it emerge as a full paper. Surely it is more important for New Zealanders to know their own literature (and thus themselves) than it is to know some branch of centuries old European literature.
The third criticism is that there is too much emphasis on the literature of bygone ages, which may evoke nostalgia but is hardly relevant to life in this century. There must be more attention given to contemporary writing, especially in the fields of new drama and sciencefiction.