Illustration By Cody Angell
Welcome back, Cats, to the cold and frosty Winter Wonderland of Tucson, Arizona. Since Tucson has seen unseasonably cold temperatures in the last few days, I'd like to take a moment to recommend the Life and Times section of the Wildcat. Readers, take a moment to turn back to section G16 where you'll find suggestions about such things as ice scrapers, anti-freeze and Old Navy scarves. Those scarves particularly are truly a must for warmth in the freezing Old Pueblo, and they're fashionable enough even for the likes of Greek Row.
From those of us who stayed in Tucson over the winter break, a special thanks goes out to Lute and the boys for all the entertainment. The freshman miracle was a joy to watch. But Arizona basketball wasn't the only major event happening while the student body slept, ate fruitcake and for the unfortunate few, took winter session. Quite a lot went on while we dreamt of sugarplums and mistletoe. Shall we discuss the things we missed?
On Dec. 26, Professor Julian Kunnie, the acting director of Africana Studies at the Universty of Arizona wrote a guest opinion for the Arizona Daily Star. It was well-researched and drew parallels between racism and war both in the past and present. For more than a week, people wrote in to praise the war efforts and criticize the column. I wrote in to the Star to praise the column but was not published. Perhaps the Star enjoys controversy as much as the Wildcat does!
Or perhaps my letter was poorly written in my frustration - not unheard of.
In the national world of politics, the Associated Press described a report put out by the University of Wisconsin showing the number of innocent civilians who have died in Afghanistan since the United States began bombing has well surpassed the number of innocent people who died on Sept. 11. It seems as though the Old Testament prophecy of "an eye for an eye" dies hard. During this time, President Bush took a 12-day vacation to visit his ranch in Texas for the holidays. Well, not entirely. He took two or three days off that vacation and campaigned for his tax cuts in key states like California and Oregon. Ah, beautiful California with its 54 electoral votes. Hey, priorities are priorities, right? Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle is working hard to block passage of continued tax cuts as the Republican Party works hard to paint him as a tax-hoarding monster. It will be interesting to see who wins that rhetorical battle in the new year.
In the news of vanity, two portraits were released over the break; both caused a stir. George W. Bush had his portrait hung in Texas near his old office, hanging in eternity next to Ann Richards - what irony. But the the significance of this story was that this made headlines at all. Several months ago, no one would have cared, but the fact that this was newsworthy reveals Bush's current approval rating. Sky high, I might add. Will it last? Or will it peter out like his father's Desert Storm approval rating?
The other portrait was of Queen Elizabeth and has caused quite the uproar in Great Britain. It is abstract and clearly meant to be viewed from a distance. Up close, she looks unhappy, heavy and her neck looks like that of a rugby player. Bloody hell, the artist gave her a five o'clock shadow! For a laugh, look it up on CNN.com and see for yourself. It's truly hilarious when you see who the artist's grandfather was: Freudian slip indeed!
On campus, we left for break discussing the budget crisis, the hiring freeze and the ridiculous Alumni Plaza project. I'd like to pay homage to our new Perspectives editor, Ms. Jessica Lee, and quote her remarks from last semester with her disgust over the continual "Phoenixification of the UA campus." I encourage students not to forget about these topics and to continue to voice your opinions. In general, flood the Letters to the Editor section with, well, letters. It's the student feedback that keeps the Wildcat interesting day after day.
And finally, belonging under the heading of "Things we missed over the break," is a little personal note. Upon the suggestion of one of our "letters to the editor regulars," I asked for a brain for Christmas. Let me tell you, Santa Baby was very, very good to me this year.