The Old Codgers Corner: Just Call me Charlie

By: Ken D'Angelo '71, Staff Writer

One of the nicer side benefits of being a staff writer for the Dolphin is the mail from fellow students seeking wisdom and advice from an  experienced, kind and mature source that is wise in the ways of the world. Since most of these requests go to my colleague, Adam Thorne, who does the “Cheers and Jeers” section of the paper, I have little personal experience in this area. However, I have recently received a few letters regarding the Charlie Hebdo discussions that were held last Thursday in the Science Center.  Here are a few along with my replies. In order to limit the possibility of lawsuits no names are used.

Dear Codger,

I was shocked at your comment that you think that the Muslim population of France should go back to where they came from. You should be ashamed of yourself.

Superiorly yours,

A Philosophy Major

Dear Philosophy,

In my life I have done some things of which I am ashamed. But since that is not what I said, this is not one of them. Your emotions seem to be controlling your brain. What I did say was in response to a comment made saying that the Muslim population in France feels powerless and marginalized.  I did say that if this is the case those that weren’t happy with their lives in France may want to consider living someplace else more to their liking. They left their native land to look for a better life in France. There is nothing that says they can’t do it again someplace else. This is called courage, a trait they have, or they wouldn’t have emigrated in the first place. It is, sadly, a trait lacking in too many people

A grandson of immigrants,

The Codger

This next one was the result of a faculty member in the audience attempting to bring Ferguson Mo. into the conversation.

Dear Codger,

I was thoroughly disgusted that a member of the faculty could say that Michael Brown was a thug and that shooting him was justified. I know he modified his statement and said that he should have been shot just once and in the leg only, not five times. Violence never solved anything.

A Sorrowing Religious Studies Major

Dear Sorrowing,

I have to admit that if I was in the officer’s shoes I would not have shot five times. I would have emptied my Glock pistol and put the full magazine of fifteen cartridges into him if that would guarantee my safety. Also I would suggest that you and anyone who believes in the “shoot them in the leg” philosophy of self defense take a police tactical training course where you would be put in simulated life and death situations where you make  split second decisions whether to shoot or not. After you get theoretically killed several times you may not be so quick to criticize. As to your statement that “Violence never solved anything” I would like to refer you to the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Their obliteration was just the argument needed to convince the barbaric military government of Japan to call it quits. That pretty much solved World War II.

Yours truly and well armed,

The Codger

This next and last one pretty much put the event into perspective.

Dear Codger,

Don’t you think that it was totally unwarranted that someone who was actually from France had the gall [pun?] to clarify and ruin a perfectly good argument that showed just how awful that “Charlie” magazine was. When one of the moderators described a cartoon that he said described the Nigerian girls captured by those terrible “Boko” people as “welfare cheats” that Frenchman had the nerve to say that it referred to a welfare scandal in France, not racism, sexism and other -isms that I’m studying. This is not the way a guest in our country should behave.

With sincere feelings,

Gender and Women’s Studies Major

Dear Gender,

I agree with you. Misplaced righteous indignation and preconceived notions should never have to give way to the truth. This would force us to actually think a problem through in a dispassionate and logical manner without regard to our feelings, which we all know are the most effective way to get to the truth. Actually Gender, I’m being sarcastic. Considering your major I was pretty sure that this needed to be pointed out to you. The fact is I would have liked to hug that Frenchman, but I was too busy hugging the French woman seated next to me.

Logically and analytically yours,

The Codger

P.S. Je Suis Charlie