While reading Luke Dumas’ recent Viewpoints article, “A Springtime Strip” (5/12/09), I was reminded of the words of the poet R.S. Thomas upon receiving some unsolicited lines of verse. To paraphrase, while I understand why Mr. Dumas might feel compelled by some combination of frustrations, both psychological and physical, to write such words, I nonetheless believe he should have taken a cue from the cat––who has the decency to bury his feces instead of publishing it in an editorial column for all to see.
While I apologize for somewhat vulgar imagery, I do find this comparison especially apt in this instance. If I were myself to defecate onto a blank broadsheet, and to then meticulously arrange my stool into eight-point font which would then perhaps bear (if one did not look too closely) a passing resemblance to reasonable discourse (as a shaved ape might resemble and parody a man), I am certain that the result would be both less offensive and more pleasurable to read than the article excreted by Mr. Dumas.
That is not, of course, to say that “A Springtime Strip” is without some utility. On the contrary, Mr. Dumas has seen fit to provide the University community with a kind of advance warning of his own deficiencies, the type of which is usually reserved for government-sponsored web sites and neighborhood watches. By forewarning the University’s women of his opinion that their appearance should be tailored to meet his individual specifications (lest they be forever relegated to that untouchable caste: the skank), Mr. Dumas has certainly saved a number of individuals a lot of time that might have otherwise been wasted treating him with respect and dignity.
Particularly laudable is the article’s attempt (in its final epileptic spasms of nonsense) to bring this issue somehow back into an academic sphere. While one might be almost able to sympathize with Mr. Dumas’ inability to focus in class due to the appearance of an errant shoulder or ankle, I find myself far more concerned with the plight of the unfortunate women who must contend with his unwanted stares throughout a 90-minute discussion of Durkheim.
Class of 2009