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Politics, Not Erotica, Deserves Attention

There seems to be a lot of interest from both sides of the debate as to whether or not the Lecture Series Committee should show erotic films. As a matter of fact, nearly two full pages (minus advertising space) was devoted to the subject in the Dec. 10 issue of The Tech.

I will not argue in either side's defense. I will not attend the films, and I really don't care whether or not they are shown. What I find disturbing is that this subject is getting more attention than did the issue of voting for our country's president in November.

There seems to be a great apathy related to the political scene coming from every place outside the Beltway. There was even a group of people who organized to boycott the elections. What did they think that would do? Did they think that the candidates would swoop down on MIT and places like it to woo their support? I highly doubt it. These politicians were happy to win without their vote.

I agree that the political system is corrupt (some people, not the entire system), inefficient, and in need of a drastic overhaul. But what will standing on the sidelines do? The key to solving the problems facing our society is to get involved. The system is set up such that, slow as it is, we the people can be heard.

Here's what we have to do:

1. Register to vote. People listen if you are a potential voter. Additionally, if you have friends or acquaintances that share political beliefs, band together and form a group. Special interest groups carry so much weight because (aside from campaign contributions) they are comprised of large blocks of registered voters.

2. Vote. If this sounds too easy, that is because it is a bit simplified. You can form an opinion based on what you see in slanderous campaign ads, sure, but are you getting the truth? If you want to vote based on that information, go for it. You will be doing more than many others in this country.

What you should do is seek out relevant information; it's all around you. Read the newspaper, watch television, give yourself an Ethernet I.V., or get the information any other way possible. It's right at your fingertips. Start by choosing a few politicians you believe will have the greatest impact on your future. As the time for an election nears, pay attention to possible important candidates.

Armed with this vast wealth of political information, go and vote. Living away from home is no excuse. Absentee ballots are just a phone call away.

I have one thing to say to those people so intent on supporting or blocking the showing of explicit films: I voted in November. Did you?

Todd C. Bailey '99