This page copyright 1998 The Shrubbery
Angry Dan's Column
by Daniel Strohl
I thank God I don't live in Dayton or Salt Lake City. Not because these arent all-around lovable cities, but because of the Straight Edge movement so prevalent in those cities.
I'm not totally against the movement. I do agree with living a clean life and keeping one's own body in working shape. I also enjoy punk rock every once in a while, but that's where my agreement with the Straight Edgers ends.
My major complaint is that they think other people should bend to their will. If a group of Straight Edgers see someone light up a cigarette at one of the punk rock concerts they frequently attend, they beat up the smoker. I don't like it when others smoke near me, but I also don't assault people to get them to stop. Hell, I could care less if the person chooses to smoke or not, just as long as they dont blow smoke in my face.
But the Straight Edgers seem to believe that their philosophy is right and the philosophies of everyone who chooses to smoke, drink, eat sugar, wear fur, etc. are wrong. That's just stupid. If anyone has made a valid decision to do something, then allow them to do it. It's not the Straight Edgers' place (or anybody else's, for that matter) to be the philosophy police. By philosophy I mean the decisions and interpretations one has made and the thoughts one has about the world around them. So it's useless for a Straight Edger to say another person's philosophy is wrong because the Straight Edger never interpreted the world like the other person has; they've only interpreted it in one way and should only make decisions for themselves.
The Straight Edgers also seem to be fighting some trivial battles. About animal testing, I'll just say it has helped advance the human race mentally and physically in many ways. Sure, there's a lot of horror stories and seemingly stupid tests (pigs don't need to wear lipstick), but I believe that's the only facet of animal testing people who are opposed to it look at.
On the topic of diet, steaks and marshmallows wont kill you if eaten in moderation. Too much, and one will quickly develop cholesterol problems and cavities, but none at all for any extended period of time will lower one's ability to process these foods. For example, I have a friend who became a vegetarian. Three years later, she had to be hospitalized after an auto accident and lost a dangerous amount of weight. To regain that weight, the doctor had her include meat in her diet. The meat made her sick, but only because she hadn't eaten it for years and her body had essentially forgotten how to process meat. In this way, then, the Straight Edgers' dietary choices seem inane and harmful.
So I don't really care if individuals decide to become Straight Edgers; that's up to them. But the point at which I come into opposition to them is when they feel they should make choices for other people based on their personal thoughts and opinions.
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