There Is So Much Controversy These DaysCommentary • Entertainment • Opinion • ISSUE 32•09 • Sep 30, 1997 By Adrienne Butler Adrienne Butler Have you read about all the controversy? I can barely keep my head on straight, what with all the controversy in this country nowadays. I mean, how are we supposed to live our lives when so many critical issues hang in the balance? Just thinking about the new season of Ellen sends my heart rate up to 100. Will she find a girlfriend? Will they kiss on the air? Will advertisers pull out? As Americans, we are constantly faced with issues we must think about and discuss with friends and family, and, ultimately, make a decision as to where we stand. Often, the questions are difficult: Should we allow pornography on the Internet? Should U.S. Army and Marine officers be allowed to carry umbrellas? What rights do smokers have? Is there a limit to athletes' salaries? Has ABC's new ad campaign gone too far? And what about the recall of Fen/Phen? Is America turning its back on the nation's overweight? It seems like every day there's a new, even more controversial controversy. Should we be handing out birth control in our nation's schools? Are airlines compromising safety standards to save money? Does the current TV ratings system really work? Are the country clubs in this nation deliberately excluding women and minorities? Does the new film In & Out go too far with its on-screen kiss between Tom Selleck and Kevin Kline? And what about this new DVD technology—is it a genuine technological advancement or merely a way for manufacturers to make more money? These are important things to think about. I needed a moment of escape from all the controversy, so I turned on the television set last night and—wham!—there's more controversy! I thought the Whitewater scandal would have died out by now, but all of America is still burdened with the question, "Did our President act outside the law?" I'll tell you, if there's a more controversial country than the United States, I'd like to see it. The issue of the paparazzi has been on my mind for a number of years now, but lately it's completely taken over (for obvious reasons). Do celebrities have rights just like everybody else? Or do they give up some of those rights when they choose to become public figures? It's a difficult issue and, to be honest, even after reading a recent in-depth cover story on the subject in Newsweek, I'm still not sure where I stand. Even here, in my supposedly peaceful hometown of Reedsburg, I can't escape from controversy. Lately, I've been thinking a lot about that proposed new public swimming pool. Sure, it's a community project, but would it really benefit anyone besides West Side residents? Could the people of Reedsburg's taxes be better spent, perhaps on a new downtown parking ramp or a new seniors' wing for the library? And what about the controversy over the new "no glass bottles in the park" ordinance? Where do I stand? And as if the JonBenet Ramseys, Marv Alberts and Joe Camels of this world weren't enough, I've got the Greenbaums to worry about. With the amount Gabe and Sylvia fight, should they consider getting a divorce? How does the constant yelling affect their two young children? Will Bobby and Tracy Greenbaum grow up to become part of "today's troubled youth"? And what about all the controversy right here in my own home? Do we need a new van or not? Should we remodel the den? Should Harry's porn tapes be banned from the house, or are they fine so long as they don't cut into our own intimate time? I've had enough of all this controversy. Give me some peace!