Wednesday, November 7,2001 Volume 67, Issue 55



America is better than ever before

Matthew E. Caster

These are interesting times we live in. Between anthrax scares at home, the war in Afghanistan, and the Yankees losing the World Series, the world has
definitely seen a great deal of change since the Sept. 11 attacks. The triumph of the United States over the evil of terrorism has inspired greatness from
all walks of life.

Few can deny the heroism of the policemen, firemen and innocent civilians who died at the attack sites. Fewer still fail to be moved by the efforts of
those still living to clear away the debris from those sites.

After years where the most popular costumes for Halloween exuded blood and guts much more than anything else, this year police officers, fire fighters
and American soldiers dominated Halloween. Patriotism shone through as people dressed up as Uncle Sam, Lady Liberty or even Rudolph Giuliani (as
I did).

Perhaps one of the most pleasant and least surprising changes since the attacks on our country is the recommitment by many people to family and faith.
Attendance at religious services since these atrocities has skyrocketed. The number of people getting married since the attacks has also risen sharply,
and all signs are pointing to a subtle yet noticeable "baby boom" in slightly less than nine months.

A good friend of mine who has been swearing for the last seven years that he was going to be a lifelong bachelor (he considers himself too much of a
slob to inflict himself on any woman) recently decided to clean up his act and start dating again. I asked him why he had the sudden change of heart,
and he confessed that this was a world he wasn't sure he could be alone in anymore.

The most surprising change in America's social state of mind, in my not-so-humble opinion, would have to be the recent changes in what men and
women find attractive in members of the opposite sex. Of particular interest was a recent article on that indicated non-scientific polling
showed that the newest emerging sex symbol in our nation was none other than 69-year-old Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld.

Despite the fact that he is married, this silver-haired stud-muffin, with his charismatic smile and charming wit with the Washington press corps, has
become a hit with women over 21 years old.

Psychological studies since the attacks indicate that women are generally more attracted to police officers, firemen, construction workers and men in
other "masculine" fields. The focus seems to be shifting away from money and towards protection as the most attractive feature amongst men. Likewise,
men seem to be looking for commitment and security, rather than sex appeal or wealth. According to psychologist Edward H. Stevens, a dramatic shift
such as this in the roles and desires of both sexes has not been seen in this country since the mid-1960s.

It's a new country that we live in, folks. And judging by the enormous outpouring of patriotism and generosity, it's a better country than it's ever been

Fifty years from now, I honestly believe our children and grandchildren will look back on Sept. 11 as the catalyst that elevated the United States to a
level of greatness yet unfathomable. God bless America.

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

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