Survival of the Fittest

To the Editor:
Harassment and male aggression in the pursuit of sexual conquest, along with road rage, murder, warfare, and the authoritarian thirst for power, are apparently part and parcel of our human, mammalian DNA. To say this is not to condone or accept these behaviors, but to state the truth. They are not a sound basis on which to build a stable social order, and acquiescing to their influence has unravelled thousands of lives, not to mention whole societies and even empires. Our survival in the 21st Century will be dependent upon cooperation, community, and truthful communication, not on our base animal instincts.

Robert Porath

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Female Statuary

To the Editor:
A not entirely trivial bit of the history of female statuary is John Ashcroft’s covering of the breasts of the blindfolded, scale holding symbols of Justice during his tenure as Attorney General.  If Harriet Tubman is not a proper replacement for Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill, perhaps the Venus de Milo or Rodin’s The Kiss might serve to better reflect feminine beauty and mystery and deflect our tendencies to military engagement.  Similarly, lest the reality of Art upstage the surreality of ambition and war, the copy of Picasso’s “Guernica” portraying the anguish and suffering of a village being bombed and strafed during the Spanish Civil War was covered with a tarp as our intention to attack Iraq was being announced from the steps of the UN building in New York.  It seems we have but a tenuous grip on the realities of justice and life.
Robert Porath