Take This Outside
been reading zany letters to Metroland for 16 years—several
of them I wrote myself—but none was so far over the top as
the letter by “Nigel D. Johnson” (that sounds like a pseudonym,
and for his sake, I hope it is). Even I could not have written
such a devastating parody of mindless leftist sentimentality
[“One More for the Kitties,” Letters, March 10].
The subject is feral cats, which occasion health and sanitary
problems, and whose lives are nasty, brutish and short. A
veterinarian who has at least some apparent acquaintance with
the problem wrote previously, at undue length, that these
unhappy animals are best put to sleep [“Look What the Cat
Dragged In,” Letters, March 3]. But, thunders Johnson, this
“continues the fine tratition”—I suspect he is trying to be
ironic—“of demonizing a helpless and disenfranchised population”
such that “they [sic] are free to be exploited at will.” “Disenfranchised”?
Does Johnson imply that cats should be allowed to vote? “Exploited”?
Cats cannot be exploited. To their credit, cats, unlike dogs,
refuse to work.
[Editor’s note: Johnson actually used the term “unenfranchised,”
not “disenfranchised,” in his letter. But really, who’s counting?]
But “take care,” warns Johnson, “if these were people, not
cats, we are but a feline step from fascist Europe in the
1930s.” Yes, but, I know it’s a detail, but they’re actually
not people. Johnson’s argument may be paraphrased as
they came for the cockroaches, but I said nothing, for I was
not a cockroach. Next they came for the termites, but I said
nothing, for I was not a termite. Next they came for the feral
cats, but I said nothing, for I was not a feral cat. Next
they came for the Jews, etc., and finally, they came for mushminded
saps like myself, and I looked around, and there was no one
to protect me, because all the cockroaches, termites, feral
cats, Jews, vegans, gay anarchists, singer- songwriters, restaurant
reviewers, etc., had already been taken away.” The slippery
Now I have seen countless liberal and leftist trivializations
of the Holocaust for petty immediate political exploitation
(that word again!). But none came close to Johnson in his
(his phrase) “extremely patronizing”—patronizing whom? Feral
cats? They don’t care, and isn’t he their self-appointed patron?
(being “disenfranchised,” they could not elect him to “defiantly
continue to advocate on their behalf”)—and farcically humorless
self-righteousness and straight-out boneheaded stupidity.
It would be a tough call who is worse-served by this nonsense—cats
or people. Only a certain pompous Pharisee gets anything out
am writing in regard to Nolan Konkoski’s article [“Don’t Ask,
Don’t Recruit,” Newsfront, March 10] on our campaign to have
the heterosexist and discriminatory U.S. military barred from
SUNY Albany’s campus. While I appreciate the attention you
have given us, I feel you have greatly missed the point of
our campaign. We are not antiwar activists “shifting tactics”
to achieve a win for the antiwar movement, we are LGBT people
and allies fighting to end discrimination based on sexual
orientation on our campus, and to stop the persecution of
LGBT people in the military. We do not condone, nor would
we tolerate, anyone “using” LGBT issues to further their own
unrelated cause. True, many of us are also antiwar activists,
but in this campaign we are fighting solely for LGBT rights.
SUNY Campus Action
had to write to tell you how fantastic I thought the article
regarding Billy Idol was written by Carlo Wolff [Recordings,
March 10]. Since I am a self-proclaimed “Idol Junkie,” I read
everything about Billy and thoroughly enjoyed this one article
in particular. I agree with everything Wolff wrote and look
forward to reading more, more, more about my Idol.
Brownstown Twp., Mich.
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