Wednesday, September 5, 2001 Volume 67, Issue 10


Pictures connect writers to readers

Matthew E. Caster

One particular aspect of this column should immediately jump out at you. It should be particularly startling to everyone who regularly reads my column (you folks are the best!).
Matthew E. Caster finally has a face to go with the name. And what a handsome face it is, right?

At the behest of my fellow staff members at The Daily Cougar, I finally had my picture taken to run along side my column. They've been trying to get me to do this since my first
column ran in October.

At first I was afraid, simply because I'm not as astonishingly handsome as Shaun Salnave, or as enigmatic and mysterious as Ed De La Garza. Then I became afraid for a
different reason: I discovered that I thrive on controversy.

I haven't exactly been an angel in my columns, preferring more to go for the gusto and write with little regard to sugarcoating my point. All in all, I enjoy criticism, as it proves to
me that the UH community is alive, informed, and passionate about certain issues. Although I must admit, quite frankly, that the death threats I got after my apology to the
Chinese were a little excessive.

But I hope that now, as my stunningly handsome photo appears next to the article I write each week, both of us will benefit. Perhaps my articles will seem a little more credible or
connected to you, and not distant as they might have when it was simply an e-mail address without a face.

As much as I enjoyed the rumors that I was UH President and UH System Chancellor Arthur K. Smith writing under a pseudonym, I guess the time is now to come clean.

I, too, will be forced to live up to a higher degree of quality, striving more than ever to ensure that whatever tough political or social issue I tackle in the ensuing weeks is
well-written, informative and -- I hope -- persuasive.

This is my ultimate goal, ladies and gentlemen: to get you to think about whatever topic I choose, even if you disagree with my opinion of it. Think about why you feel the way
you do, and what arguments you might bring up to either refute my views or strengthen them, depending on how you feel.

I've said on several occasions that everyone is entitled to my opinion, even though I already know that most of you will disagree with me. As a member of the far right attending
arguably one of the more liberal campuses in the state, I don't expect to make a lot of friends with my articles.

What I do expect, however, is to get all of you to reason out your thoughts on a subject for yourself. If something I write about angers you to the core, is it because I discussed
something you feel strongly about, or is it something your parents, or your friends, or the media feels strongly about?

Make up your mind for yourself, and then send me e-mail about it. That's why my address is printed at the bottom of the column. I'm just doing what I can to ensure that we don't
start passively accepting what's going on around us.

In any case, I hope you all enjoy glimpsing my stunningly handsome visage every Wednesday. I also hope you enjoy the topics I choose this semester. Just remember, this
newspaper is supposed to be a student voice on campus, and every voice deserves an answer. Just don't color in a mustache on my picture.

Caster, a junior chemical engineering 
major, can be reached at

To contact the Opinon Section Editor, send e-mail to

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The Daily Cougar Online staff, 


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