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Don’t silence the laughter

Letter to the Editor | Tuesday, March 6, 2007

For those of you who didn’t make it out to see St. Edward’s Hall Players’ comedy, “The Oregon Trail,” I am sorry. It was a great play and I applaud the cast and crew for putting on a top-notch comedic performance. As both an actor and a comedian, I have to say that I was offended by yesterday’s Letter to the Editor (“‘Oregon Trail’ higly offensive”, March 5) that bashed “The Oregon Trail” as offensive and anti-Catholic. It was unfair to assert that the only comedy was derived from the “crude and insensitive jokes.” The hilarity of the play stemmed from the fact that it was making fun of a video game entitled “The Oregon Trail” that many of us played as children.

While I must admit that the play was crude at times, this is the nature of comedy. Comedy comments on the many aspects of society and, whether or not our University or the Church agrees with it, sexuality, current science topics, and our history as a nation are three integral components of our society. At the same time, it is a joke, and it is meant to be taken as such.

I think that to suggest that this type of production should not be “allowed” goes against the very fabric of the American belief system. The concepts of freedom of speech and freedom of academics are two irreplaceable facets of the nation which we (and the University) promise to uphold. While you might feel this play showed the “moral decay” of our society, I feel that the idea of censorship shows a different level of moral decay in society. Where would academia or our Church be today without our ability to speak freely?

I am an improvisational comedian and I would categorize my performances under “this type of production.” Should I not be allowed to perform? What about stand-up comedy? What about controversial plays and musicals? Where would you stop?

While we all have the freedom to say what we want to, you also, luckily, have the freedom to not come to our performances if they bother you so much.

Matt Molloy


O’Neill Hall

March 6