Commentary  Grow a thicker cowhide

The great Frosh debate.

The return to school is evidence that the summer months are coming to a close, but the hot air from Natalie Church’s article (“Ro-dee-NO,” Commentary, September 6, Page 6) is sure to keep us warm for many more. An analysis of her piece could begin with the horrendous historical inaccuracies that undermine her credibility. Or, it might look at the triple jump linking cowboys to sexual objectification to rape that’s so large it would win gold in London. But addressing those inaccuracies would detract from the true matter at hand, a reality that is worsening at an alarming rate: society is becoming oversensitive.

Prior to Church’s piece, I wasn’t aware cowboys were rape-enabling murderers who society should have buried in the never  examined part of history. Today I know not to trust the wide grins of bloodthirsty Yosemite Sam and Toy Story’s Woody.

For a moment, let’s follow Church’s advice and believe that the cowboy theme is inappropriate. What should replace it? Arts decided to use the nineties classic TV show Fresh Price of Bel-Air as their backdrop. Will Smith taught many family-wholesome lessons in the show’s six seasons, such as being honest and abstaining from drugs. However, he also served as an agent in the hyper-sexualization of America, instilling lewd behavior into the minds of formative teenagers.

Science picked the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: a harmless children’s cartoon? Or a seductive temptation to the minds of youth, glamourizing violence, encouraging unhealthy eating practices, and dumbing down of English language?

Management Frosh went old school with Monopoly, a game that I played on many rainy days at the cottage when I was young. It’s a good thing I didn’t understand the game’s sinister undertones – the domination of the market by a single entity whose objective is to deprive other players of their income and force them into bankruptcy.

Do I believe any of that garbage? Hell no. In politics, there’s a saying that if you dig deep enough in anyone’s closet you’ll find skeletons. Any idea can be interpreted as either a shining example of good morals, or the degradation of society. Nevertheless, finding meaning where there is none isn’t the goal of Frosh. Cheerful, boisterous partying and making new friends is what Frosh is about – themes serve only to add flavour to the experience.

We’ve become a society that’s nearly asking to be offended. Instead of taking everything as a personal attack, let’s just chill out and take it all in stride. If you want to revere cowboys or the Ninja Turtles or Will Smith, go right ahead and enjoy them for what they are – facilitators of fun.

The Daily’s decision to publish such buffoonery makes me question the competence of the paper’s editorial board. What will next week’s insanity hold? Marxists upset about Monopoly Frosh or Parents Against Media Violence writing in about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?

Sean Coleman is a U2 Political Science student. He can be reached at

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