Letters to the Editor

Posted: August 13, 2012

I HAVE concluded that the International Olympic Committee is a farce. The brutality that is inherent in boxing is offensive enough when it is engaged in by men. When it is women who knock each other around the ring, the "sport" becomes particularly egregious. I do not understand what thrill there can be in watching individuals seeking to knock out their opponent through blows to the head, but the days of gladiator matches continue for the bloodthirsty voyeurs to whom boxing retains appeal. What "real man" could take pleasure in watching women being beaten by other women?

I wonder whether "The Greatest," Muhammad Ali, would become a boxer today if he had the opportunity to relive his life. The effect of a lifetime of blows to the head are immediately evident in observing this good man, who has aged prematurely and whose cognitive ability and life have been shattered. It is miraculous that he has reached the age of 70.

Would one not expect the Olympic Committee to be a force for good and to associate itself with positive pursuits? Its missteps are part of the reason that the games are utterly irrelevant to me.

Oren M. Spiegler Upper St. Clair, Pa.

Olympics change sex roles

Recently, a Turkish journalist created a storm of controversy for suggesting that the Olympic Games have destroyed the female figure. I think it's far worse. The Olympics, with its relentless media hype, has promoted an awfully weird image of women, as if they were some sort of new third sex. The bigger agenda here seems to be a political desire to make gender and sex roles meaningless.

We seem to be in a cultural moment where we can no longer respect (and enjoy) the differences between male and female, as we are told that gender can be bent into anything you want it to be.

I hope this is merely the great folly of our time, and that someday soon we will see that being traditionally female or male is not archaic, and that respectful equality means we honor our differences.

Richard Iaconelli

Philadelphia

City in emergency mode

In my role with an adult rec league here in Philly, we had the misfortune of dealing with player injuries in back-to-back evenings. After placing calls to 9-1-1 for medical assistance, BOTH TIMES it took 15 MINUTES for paramedics to arrive. It's an absolute disgrace that it would take that amount of time for help to arrive in an emergency situation in this city. Forty-eight cops arrested since 2009, council members and the Mayor's Office receiving cost-of-living allowance increases, the District Attorney's Office trying cases against clergy on inapplicable laws and retrying defendants after 11-1 votes for not guilty. Yes, my tax dollars are hard at work.

John Anthony Johnson

Philadelphia

Christine got it right on priest

Re: Christine Flowers' "Lynn deserves bail" (Aug. 10). This article said it all — spelled it out loud and clear. I have said from the beginning, Judge Teresa Sarmina and prosecutor Patrick Blessington couldn't get out the gate fast enough to make a "name" for themselves — looking for bigger and better jobs. Well, they made a name for themselves, and not a positive one, that's for sure. I'd love to be behind both of them on judgment day, but then again maybe not — I'd get tired standing.

Eleanor Ward

Southampton, Pa.

Driving turns scary

Once upon a time, driving one's car was considered a pleasurable and relaxing experience. Most people drove according to the speed limit, were courteous to one another, and even used their turn signals when appropriate.

Nowadays driving has become a hassle. Madmen/women zoom in and out, drive well above the speed limit, play with their cellphones and tailgate along the highways and byways as if they owned the open roads.

Are reckless speedsters mentally unbalanced or are they hypnotized by television commercials that advertise driving from zero to 60 in a matter of seconds?

Journalists call them the "lunatic fringe": those drivers who are subject to negative periods of clear-mindedness or have "intermittent mental derangement associated with the changing phases of the moon."

But for the normal, everyday drivers, who anticipate arriving at their destinations all in one piece, the term "lunatic" refers to foolish and idiotic behavior of speedsters who may smash cars and sensible drivers to smithereens.

Perhaps there's another reason that causes our irrational brothers and sisters to pound their pedals to the metal. Since a multitude of headstrong drivers achieved limited success at work, school, sports and what have you, then leading the pack and being No. 1 on the highways is their claim to fame. It's a sad, sad commentary indeed, but true to life.

Those luxurious vehicles — be it car or truck — with tons of chrome on the outside and exclusive paraphernalia on the inside and under the hood, have become four-wheeled masterpieces of style that speed about like chariots of the gods.

These shallow-minded speedsters, with frivolous intentions, are growing, and soon moderate, law-abiding drivers will become nervous wrecks seeking psychiatrists' couches for therapy.

Thank God I didn't drive on Aug. 1 — the night of the full moon. For what evil lurks in the minds of speed demons is comparable to misfits who have lost their way.

Doug Leaman

Oaks

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