The independent news organization of Duke University

Dear sir or madam

In an unbecoming move representative of a gradual digression into another gender, I am resigning my membership from the League of Masculine Brave Souls and Die Hard Bruce Willis Fans, an organization whose bylaws I have irrevocably violated by admitting a most sordid flaw.

I am afraid of change.

But I am no longer afraid to admit it (a paradox for some, but only a seamless segue for me).

You've read the news, seen the clues, heard the blues. People are talking about it. When so many enlightened individuals of prestige, acumen and so-called moral accuracy sit down for 10 months, the bulk of 2006, to concoct the vaccine to our tremulous troubles, the real avian flu, I think to myself: What a dangerous world.

Ten months is a long incubation time, for a group of out-of-touch intellectuals bent on curing the future. or a fetus. Seriously, if Rome wasn't built in a day, I am sure it was well in advance of 10 months. Anyway, I am wary and cynical (and a little miffed at not being invited!) at the prospect of so much power in the hands of so few. Call it an initiative, a study group, a performance, whatever you want; I call it an advisory oligarchy.

I have said time and again: "Stay the course," but no one listens. Instead these "words," these "letters on pages," propose extensive and radical changes to a great institution. They say, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Well I say, "Just cause it's a little broke, don't mean you have to fix it." Give. it.. a.. little. time. Here's a fact I read in the history books: Rome wasn't built in a day. Oh, I said that already? Moving on, you've got to give the present a chance to grow into a better tomorrow. That's how seeds work.

This 10 months' work is filthy-akin to soft-core pornography. The advice contained therein is volatile, preposterous, disloyal. To even think of moving them away from the action, it boils my blood. Don't you dare remove my friends at arms from their trenches. Engage different people? What do you think we've been doing for the past four years? We've had so many engagements with different people, even I'm running out of ammo.

Some in the administration would have you think this report is necessary. They say what we're doing now isn't working, especially after the recent debacle. OK, I'll admit it, we're in a losing war with an unidentifiable foe-a UFO perhaps-but do not be abducted by doubt just yet! It's hard to believe that the situation is so "grave and deteriorating"; though they would like us to, I have much too much faith in my compatriots.

I say, don't cut and run! We've invested too much in this place to withdraw at the first sight of trouble. With some persistence, we can rid it of all evil, be it external or within. We can give our kids a safe place to sit down with a book and just enjoy.

So give them a chance to stand up for themselves. You think you can teach global experience? They're getting it every day, whether this. book club. realizes or not. I don't care who mandated it, the president or Congress, but this report is liable to fall into the wrong hands, and I'll be damned if I let this institution, this home, crumble into moral decay.

Yeah, I have a huge bone to pick with Sandra Day O'Connor.

P.S. I rock study groups.

Ashwin Bhirud is a Trinity senior. His column runs every other Friday.

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