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Editor's Note: The Elimination of "Parry Monster and Z-Train"


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Caitlin Hall
Editor in Chief
By Caitlin Hall
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Monday, October 25, 2004
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On Monday and Tuesday last week, the Wildcat published two panels of the comic "Parry Monster and Z-Train" that garnered significant attention from the campus community. The first depicted a woman waking up on a roof with the caption, "She hated getting Roofied," and the second showed a man holding up a sleeping woman at a football game with the caption, "It wasn't the one-night stand he was hoping for, but he still thought that things with the narcoleptic would be awkward in the morning."

Both panels received criticism from readers on the grounds that they at worst encouraged and at best made light of sexual assault. After speaking to the comic's writer, Joshua Parry, and the illustrations editor, Arnie Bermudez, I am convinced that the second panel was never meant to refer to, imply or encourage sexual contact with an unconscious woman. The first panel, however, deliberately made casual reference to "Roofies," drugs commonly used in the commission of acquaintance rape. While I believe the charge that the panel encouraged or condoned sexual assault egregiously misrepresents the content of the comic, the panel was nonetheless insensitive to the problem of date rape at the UA and elsewhere.

I take seriously the litany of complaints received by the Wildcat in response to the strip; however, censure is rarely the appropriate response to questionable or insensitive ideas. The Wildcat's mission as a forum for reasoned discourse neither forbids nor demands the publication of panels such as those in question; however, it counsels that unpopularity alone should rarely occasion the elimination of controversial content.

With that mission in mind, the illustrations editor and I asked Mr. Parry to defend or explain his comic in writing to our readers. He declined to do so, and as a result his employment at the Wildcat was terminated. It is important to note that Mr. Parry was not released based on the content of his comics, which, while controversial, was certainly defensible, but on his inability or refusal to reasonably explain that content.

The illustrator, Jerald Zivic, was not in any way responsible for the theme or specific content of any of the panels published under the name "Parry Monster and Z-Train." He was given the option to remain on staff, but declined to do so.

Caitlin Hall is a molecular and cellular biology and philosophy senior. She can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.



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