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"Plague" afflicts unsuspecting students

I wish to warn the MIT community of a dangerous threat to its intellectual health. There is something unusual and disturbing about many of the students who attend college here.

This unusual and disturbing behavior, I believe, is caused by a subtle disorder of unknown origin. Possibly the disorder is a result of ozone layer depletion, the impressionable brain of the afflicted somehow being mutated by increased levels of ultraviolet radiation.

Perhaps it is a lingering effect of the emotion trauma caused when Mr. Belvedere was cancelled. Maybe those affected by the disorder are just disturbed by Donald Trump's financial and marital troubles. Biological microbes could also be involved, although it seems unlikely. Whatever the cause, something is definitely amiss on campus.

Before I diagnose this most grave illness, let me first say that the disorder is not fatal. In fact, the afflicted person apparently welcomes it.

Problems arise, however, whenever those afflicted, driven by the disorder, attempt to control others. Evidently, the disease increases the need in afflicted persons to tell other people what to believe and how to behave.

They start talking about "harassment" and "offensive behaviors" constantly, in advanced cases mentioning the words at least a hundred times a day.

They are prone to episodes of irrationality, during which they will say things like "watching dirty movies hurts women," and "freedom of speech does not give you the right to say something which causes another person to feel bad, regardless of your sincerity or intent."

They also tend to be inconsistent. For now, many of you probably realize that the disorder to which I am referring is the dreaded politicus correctus, more commonly referred to as the thought police syndrome. Although there is a cure, the affected individual must want to change before he or she can recover. Unfortunately for the rest of us, most of them do not want to.

(I hope this letter does not offend anyone, since I would really hate to be expelled.)

James W. Reiner '94