Notes from a small island
A weblog by Jonathan Ali

Friday, January 03, 2003  

It's Friday, I'm in the papers...

"I was reading a really ridiculous statement on the Internet recently in which a person by the name of Jonathan said that the calls to remove the Infinity bar from UWI are part of a mindset that continues to prevent us from becoming a serious nation. What rubbish!

"This supporter of the Infinity bar on the compound of the university states that 'in any serious country, on any serious university campus, the campus bar is a hotbed of discussion, where the future leaders, thinkers, poets, artists come together with passions enflamed to debate the pressing issues, or just unwind after a day of slogging over mathematical formulae and literary theories. (It’s also a place where drunken louts go to get wasted, but in serious countries people tolerate what they personally find undesirable along with what they do find desirable.)' "

That's an excerpt from a letter to the Editor in today's Trinidad Express, from Carol James, a "past UWI graduate" (sic) in New York who didn't see it fit to mention me by my full name. The quote marks enclosing the comments from my post (which I can't seem to locate) are mine. I don't imagine Ms James wished to take credit for what I said; I'm assuming she just didn't bother to put the quote marks in.

She also quotes selectively from my post, failing to mention the last paragraph where I said perhaps Infinity should be closed after all, but for different reasons than the ones being proposed. I was half-joking, of course, but Ms James certainly isn't:

"I fully endorse this call [for the bar's closure], mainly because the university should be setting an example for young people in T&T. Allow me to point out that many of the students drinking at the Infinity bar would have been arrested in the USA because the drinking age here is 21 and over.

"Many years ago, I was a student at UWI and there were students who came into the classroom drunk after having too many beers to drink at the Infinity bar. My former husband used to brag about how good a student he was even though he was drunk. He also boasted of drinking with some of his lecturers at the UWI bar....

"I certainly do not want to have any drunken intellectuals in my home anymore. Look around at some of the clubs around UWI and you will notice the amount of students abusing alcohol and then getting home at the wee hours of the morning. Many of the landlords know what I am talking about.

"I hope you find some space in your newspaper for this letter since it may influence UWI principal Dr Bhoe Tewarie to close the Infinity and not cater to those who want to drink alcohol on the university compound. UWI is sanctioning drinking on its compound and in so doing encouraging students to drink and go to class."

I have no intention of replying to Ms James and her non-existent arguments. I am, however toying with the idea of changing this blog's title to the Drunken Intellectual.

posted by Jonathan | 8:38 AM 0 comments


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