I, like Russ Rizzo, did not get the cartoon that ran in the Oct. 15 issue of The Hatchet. I tried, but could not seem to laugh.
That is, not until I turned the page and read Rizzo’s parody of a letter by a gutsy college paper editor in chief defending First Amendment rights and the right to be provocative. I especially loved the way Rizzo bravely defended The Hatchet’s role as an empty vessel waiting to be filled with its contributors’ ideas – some valuable, some absolutely inane – as long as they raise an eyebrow and start people talking.
The hilarity ensued when Rizzo described the cartoonist as valuable to The Hatchet because he “sparks debate that leads to valuable campus dialogue” and that this most recent cartoon will add value to our campus by encouraging “a discussion about views on religion.” That brilliant use of irony has us in stitches, as we all know that absolutely nothing of value will come from the cartoon. I can only see the potential for dangerous, damaging remarks about religion and specifically about Judaism.
An editor should make a paper informative, easier to digest and, yes, provoke worthwhile discussion. When the editor in chief cannot understand a cartoon but runs it nonetheless simply to spark what he cannot truly believe to be a healthy debate, that makes The Hatchet into nothing more than a useless tool for encouraging negative feelings and diatribe, if only for a day.
Hillel executive director