Thursday, November 28, 2002

College politics

Oh, to be a college kid and know everything again. Sgt. Stryker has some fun with one here. May the kid live long enough to appreciate just how asinine he was.

Not that I was different at that age. Once in college I called in to a radio talk show host about something that offended me - I don't remember what. I was folded, spindled and mutilated, and then got to listen to the editorializing about how poorly educated college students were to boot. The host was right about me at least, and generally all I had had to offer were some vague sentiments and some attitude.

We won't ever cure this. You can't tell kids they're smart all their lives, then send them off to college and expect them suddenly to develop humility and keep their less informed opinions to themselves. When I run into it I try to point the victim to alternate sources of information which might not have been available, just to see if I'm dealing with someone aware enough to realize that nobody knows everything. It sure would have helped me.

I also seemed to give more credence to things I had discovered on my own than I did to things that were mainstream or part of an established curriculum. It was another chance to preen - I was an independent thinker, dammit. So there was a subversive thrill of sorts from reading stuff like "Steal This Book" and "The Anarchist's Cookbook" (follow the link to see what the author has to say about his own work now that he's grown up). There was other crap too like "The Greening of America" and Carlos Castaneda. Moral: forbid, censor or discourage something and watch how fast the kids find it and soak it up.

Then the day finally came when I got honest 40 hour professional paychecks, complete with brutal deductions. Oh no, the net cash flow between me and the feds had suddenly switched directions. That did wonders for my attitude - good grief, what could the feds possibly be doing with that much money just from me alone?

Hopefully similar epiphanies await some of the current staff of the Hoosier Review. Joshua Claybourn generally has his head screwed on straight, but others there need some work yet.

Fortunately we also have Campus Nonsense, Bo Cowgill, Robert Bauer, Patrick Carver, Ben Domenech, Hanah Metchis, Patrick Ruffini, Kyle Still, and sundry others who deserve mention but I don't happen to remember right now. Any of them do a better job than I probably would have at that age.

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