Horner: Disappointment in Responses

Dr. Timothy Horner

In the last 12 hours, I have been told to eat unspeakable substances and do anatomically impossible acts to myself. Why? Because of an announcement that came from my e-mail for a peace march in Philadelphia on March 17. If any of you have been following this saga, you will know that I sent out announcements for peace marches before the war and yet this one got the greatest negative response out of all of them. Tens of Villanovans rushed to defend our actions in Iraq and our president. “He did what he had to do,” was the general tenor of the messages, although the one guy told me that if I loved Iraq so much, I should go live under Saddam Hussein. That was so precious that I did not have the heart to tell him the news. I’ll let him find out the hard way.

It’s not that I got my feelings hurt, but this reaction says something about how people (myself included) are conducting themselves when it comes to politics: Cage Match. Right now, politics are incredibly emotional. And I am no exception. That’s the problem. I am usually a really laid-back guy, but I feel myself getting sucked into the ring and fighting not with reason, but with a rhetorical folding chair over the head of anyone that opposes me. This kind of aggressive approach is intoxicating and kind of fun, but ultimately it leads to something undesirable. In a cage match, there are two or more spandex gladiators (what is the record for most wrestlers in a cage at one time?) that go at it tooth-and-nail. It’s kind of a kick to watch, under certain circumstances, with certain genders. But that’s the whole point. Most people end up watching while a few people duke it out. Unfortunately, I have found myself in the ring looking out, taunting the crowd to give me someone to chew on: feed me! And plenty of people are happy to watch, even cheer. But there are also plenty of people who just like to throw fruit (or suggestions) from the audience. The whole thing is warped. And it is not democracy. And I am part of the problem. And before you say, “Yeah Horner you are the problem,” hear me when I say that it is not the content of my thinking, it is the spandex that is the problem.

Politics should not be about watching those who are willing to walk around like Strongbad making a spectacle of their views. But sadly, if you want to be heard by lots of people, you have to think World Wrestling Federation. We can do better than this at Villanova. If we don’t, we are going end up with a few people pounding it out while the rest just get bored and wander off to more exciting venues. Politics does not mean, “shut the hell up or get the hell out!” It is about how you want to live your life and contributing to our effort to live together.

Bag the testosterone and the face mask. Leave the four-letter rhetoric to the professionals. We need to talk as concerned people who oppose spandex. And this includes me, even though that belt grande does wonders, keeping my spare tire in the trunk.