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If you donāt have anything nice to say ·

Illustration by Josh Hagler
By Shane Dale
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday Apr. 30, 2002

In my last chance to sound off this semester, I thought Iād take the time to do something I donāt do often enough: say something nice.

First, I want to take a minute to apologize for something I wrote last semester. On Nov. 30, 2001, I wrote, ćDangers of Islamic Fundamentalism.ä I discussed how I believed that extreme interpretations of the Quran and sect teachings that led to Judeo-Christian hatred were more to blame for the Sept. 11 attacks than any of Americaās past or present foreign policy.

While I do stand behind that belief, I deeply regret the tone of the column. It was pompous, inflammatory and extremely preachy, and I wish I hadnāt written it in the manner I did. At the time, I thought I was somehow brave for writing it, but I wasnāt. I was downright stupid.

I donāt ask forgiveness for my beliefs, but I do apologize to anyone who read the column, whether they were offended or not.

On that uplifting note, I thought Iād use this final opportunity to swallow my pride again and say something nice about all my peers at the perspectives desk, in alphabetical order.

Daniel Cucher: The columnist I most identify with politically, probably because he isnāt into politics that much to begin with. The fact that he writes mostly about nonpolitical issues makes him unique, but I donāt think he gets nearly enough credit for being as fantastic a writer as he is in general.

Oh, and we agree that thereās a liberal bias in the media, which allows me to enjoy his commentary that much more.

Mariam Durrani: She ripped into me after I wrote that column last semester. Itās all right; I had it coming.

Although I rarely, if ever, agree with her on her Middle East commentary, I donāt think any columnist is as knowledgeable in a specific area as Mariam is with the Israeli-PLO situation. The conflict is one that affects her very personally, and sheās done a hell of a job in applying her own convictions and knowledge to her columns.

Caitlin Hall: I wish Bush were as far right as Caitlin thinks he is; Iād probably like him a little more.

In my opinion, Caitlin has been the best columnist this past semester in two areas. One, sheās tackled national and world issues more than the rest of us cared to get involved in. Two, although itās very close, I think she has simply been the best writer on the staff this year to date.

And no, that wasnāt painful to admit. Mostly.

Kendrick Wilson: If Caitlinās the global guru, Kendrickās definitely the expert on local matters. He goes in-depth with issues in and around Tucson that the rest of us are too lazy to deal with.

While national issues may be another matter, I donāt dare debate city stuff with him, because heād likely mop the floor with me (although heād be really nice about it).

Laura Winsky: Although I donāt particularly like Republican Sen. John McCain these days, Laura is right: I still have an enormous amount of respect for him ÷ the tortures he endured in Vietnam were unimaginable.

Anyway, those of you who donāt care for Lauraās commentary ÷ and yes, I know more of you agree with her than me ÷ would have a tough time disliking her once you met her.

Itās actually kind of frustrating.

I suppose Iāll summarize by echoing her sentiments from last week: Although we disagree on almost everything, sheās outstanding in what she does. I wish her the best of luck in law school.

Finally, our editor, Jessica Lee: No one could have done a better job managing the perspectives desk this semester. Granted, her environmental views make me wonder if she ate one too many ćspecialä brownies during her trip to the Netherlands last summer. But sheās an honest, caring and, above all, tolerant person (believe me) who has constantly worked overtime to make pages four and five of the Wildcat as fantastic as they have been this semester ÷ and not just on Tuesdays.

Sheās too humble to spread it around, but Jessica recently won a scholarship and a trip to Pittsburgh for being ÷ get this ÷ the best college columnist in America. She deserves it, but fret not, conservatives: Just because sheās a good writer doesnāt mean sheās right.

At least thatās what I keep telling myself.


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