Letters to OZY: Sept. 27, 2014

Letters to OZY: Sept. 27, 2014

By OZY Editors

A pro-independence protestor sits in front of other demonstrators next to Catalonia's regional parliament.
SourceAlbert Gear/Corbis


Little matters more to OZY than our readers. Keep the notes and comments coming to letters@ozy.com .

By OZY Editors

Re: Scotland Votes ‘No’ But Others Still Say ‘Yes’

The Swiss with their federal government and canton system are probably the best examples of how to maintain unity as a state of different nations with massive devolution of power down to the local level. South Africa, with its incredible constitution, to some extent follows that model with the devolution down to the level of municipalities.

In my area of Friuli, Italy, once subjugated by Venice (Veneto), we speak a Romance language that is so different from Italian or other Italian dialects/languages that it’s a unique corner of Italy, linguistically and culturally.

The idea of secession for most small nations is just a romantic delusional absurdity that will end up in a disaster of some form or another, hopefully only economic instead of one littered with the bombed-out remains of cities, towns and villages. Rather, the South African idea of respecting all the cultures and languages contained within it, and the Swiss model to ensure that, at the most local level possible, the citizens of these levels feel satisfied with the governance.

– Gabri Rigotti


Re: Star-Spangled Murder: The Killing of Philip Barton Key

Even though he owned slaves, Key spoke out strongly against slavery as an institution, especially international slave trafficking. He also represented free blacks and slaves for free in the courts in Washington, D.C. So it’s not accurate to call him a “pro-slavery lawyer.” Key’s complicated and complex relationship with slavery is a big part of my new biography, What So Proudly We Hailed: Francis Scott Key, A Life.

– Marc Leepson

Writer Sean Braswell responds:

I look forward to reading Mr. Leepson’s new book . The accounts I had read previously about Key’s views on slavery, including by Jefferson Morley , described Key’s slave-holding family as well as the occasions on which Key had defended the institution , and I am glad to know the relationship is more complicated than that.


Re: The 20th Anniversary of the Crappiest Show Ever

WHAT? Friends was groundbreaking at the time. What is better — Two and a Half Men ? Sure, New York was not portrayed as it really was, but then, what the hell are you doing watching television for true representation? What’s next — you’ll complain that Family Guy does not portray Quahog as it really is?

– P.M.

Re: Beyond the Condom: A Combo Approach to Sexual Health

There are women in other countries who are not as lucky as we are. They don’t get to enjoy the freedom to assert girl power. They are at the mercy of men, unfortunately. Hopefully, something like this would be made available, even secretly, and these poor women will have a taste of what we sometimes take for granted— girl power! I hope so. And soon.

– Tarah Trevino