Wednesday, August 23, 2006

wait a minute- what?

so i picked up the year's first version of the commie today. for those of you alarmed by this contraction, it stands for 'the commentator', the official yeshiva college paper, and i think the nickname is more accurate. after reading a couple of interesting articles about the influence of r' joseph b. soloveitchek and a few editorials about new programs in the liberal arts college, i decided to flip to my favorite section: op-ed.

only to be confronted with this handy little clause:

'this summer's military escalation in israel has no doubt left many YU undergrads seeking fresh news and searching for ways to help out their fellow jews entrenched in seemingly endless conflict; the staff of this paper certainly shares their sentiments. but at the same time, it may be noted thtat in-depth news analyses, editorials and student opinions (excluding personal vignettes and experiences) concerning turmoil in the middle east are absent from this edition and all others forthcoming. this should not be interpreted as disregard for the welfare of israel, but simply as an acknowledgement that we are a paper dedicated to raising awareness of things occurring within YU and its greater community. despite its importance, israel remains outside of our domain.' (link )

a few pages later, i was treated to a half-page article covering the warped tour.

commie, old buddy, old pal, i have a few questions for you.

what exactly are you saying here? the warped tour affects us yu kids, whereas what happens in israel stays in israel?

are you out of your gourd?

to me, this seems to be the arrogant epitome of new york insularity. sure we care about israel- but as a forum for jewish college students, BY college students, as a conduit of information and a place for discussion, our paper BANS the subject of israel, to which EVERYONE in this college is tied on at least some level, because...because it 'remains outside our domain'?

dude, it's israel, not queens!

i understand the need to occupy the valuable and expensive space in the university newspaper first and foremost with topics directly pertaining to the university. sure, go for it. the times isn't going to cover our next open house, but they'll probably feature their slanted piece about mideast violence. so be it.

but commie, don't cite space limitations at me when this week's edition featured nine movie reviews, nine book reviews and a warped tour article.

yes, i love the a & c section; hey, i write for it. but i would rather have my 'superman returns' review cut than earnest discussion of what is happening to my people in their own homeland, a discussion held not by hard-boiled biased reporters on tv sets in times square but by people of my generation, many of whom hope to live in israel someday, and all of whom will have to deal with the outcome of this era's wars as adults, as parents educating their children about judaism and israel, and as jews themselves, whose nation is only a shadow of their true identity without israel.

i can't think of anything that would affect a jewish college more directly.


Blogger PsychoToddler said...

Good for you! I can understand the desire to avoid the paper being overrun by opinions on this topic (what's that they say? For every Jew there is 3 opinions?) but to skip it altogether misses the point of having a Jewish College and a Jewish College paper. Let's hear what the students think!

11:38 AM  
Blogger Chaikers said...

Why would the subject overrun the paper anyway!? Do the editors not have the control to just put in one or two different articles having to do with Israel? I think that's ridiculous! To not mention anything about the situation is as bad as saying that it doesn't exist. Make a limit of articles per specific amount of time (ie. 2 articles per month.) It can't be that hard.

3:29 PM  
Blogger Ezzie said...

I think that would make an excellent Letter to the Editor. The Commentator's statement is mind-boggling.

Had they said they don't want it to take over the paper, that would be understandable. Had they said that they are afraid of backlash because the views of Orthodox Jews tend to be RW, and other colleges won't like this and it might knock YU out of the top 50 [or some such other negative response, such as loss of donations] it would have been sad, but made logical sense. This just sounds stupid.

Of course, this will start controversy and more people will start reading it now. Maybe that was the point.

3:57 PM  
Blogger 30cal said...

maybe they don't get that all the readers WANT to know what's going on in israel, wether the editors feel like doing it or not. papers are to inform, not to decide what parts of their lives students should no longer be concerned with. this sounds like an alterior agenda aimed at changing student's line of thinking by cutting and pasting. that's wrong.

alright that looks really idealistic but i would expect better than this from a jewish paper.

8:33 PM  
Blogger PsychoToddler said...

"The importance of the State of Israel is without measure for our community and Judaism as a whole, but under most circumstances it has little to do with Yeshiva"

This line just boggles the mind. The state of Israel has little to do with Yeshiva??

9:02 AM  
Blogger tuesdaywishes said...

Hope they print your blog as a Letter to the Editor.

Mazal Tov on no longer being a freshman (Don't they look awfully young and clueless?)

11:40 AM  
Blogger outofAMMO said...

Hey perel! its me! commenting on your blog!
Dont you feel honored?

5:19 PM  
Blogger outofAMMO said...

wait...were you saying something?

5:19 PM  
Blogger fudge said...

so which of my three brothers are you?

7:45 PM  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

In priority order:

(A) It's mind-boggling, all right.

(B) Welcome back to New York!

(C) I'm bettin' "OutOfAmmo" is the same bro who has a shot of a shotgun on his blog. Either that, or he's been hanging out with "30cal" long enough that brother #1's wiseguy attitude has rubbed off on him. I would suggest that he keep his wits about him, but, considering his current location, that shouldn't be too difficult. :) :) :)

9:56 PM  
Blogger outofAMMO said...

and perel: to answer your question: the smartest one.

7:14 PM  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Oops, wrong brother. It appears that OutOfAmmo will be keeping his wits around him for reasons other than his current location. (Some might argue, on the other hand, that the location in question would be enough to drive one *out of* one's wits, assuming that one had a car of one's own in which to drive out. :) :) :) ) Welcome to the J-blogosphere, OutOfAmmo.

8:13 PM  
Blogger Mordy said...

Just to clarify as the A&C editor: Each section is given X amount of pages. What A&C fills those pages with doesn't affect what the other sections decide upon. So maybe covering the Warped Tour is superficial next to other topics, but it isn't stealing the space.

6:27 PM  
Blogger PsychoToddler said...

mordy: So what? What you're saying is, the paper is committed to reserving space for entertainment, but has no interest in discussing issues that actually affect Jews, the types of issues that a "Jewish College" paper SHOULD be addressing. I think the Commie needs to reevaluate its priorities--or its reason for existing altogether.

3:15 PM  
Blogger Mordy said...

I'm saying that the Commentator isn't a homogenous entity, but rather a group of a number of different students heading different sections. The decision to eliminate Israel coverage from the Opinions section was made unilaterally by those editors. If you feel that the EIC should be personally involved, I don't disagree. But I don't think the presence of an article in one section can say very much about the decisions of another.

This should be comforting as well - just as the students who currently head Opinions got the position, they'll be eventually replaced by students with other takes on how the section should be run. Just like how A&C was heavily High Arts when Menachem Wecker ran it, and is much more concerned with pop culture now.

12:19 AM  
Blogger PsychoToddler said...

Mordy: No offense to A&C (you know how near and dear it is to my heart), but this is like saying that the New York Times (lehavdil) will no longer be reporting on Foreign Affairs, but the Book Review will remain intact.

Well, maybe this was just a stunt to get people fired up about the paper.

6:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Mordy.

10:46 AM  

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