Oct

16

22 Comments

  1. umm  

    i think the sexplorations link is linking to page 2 of the article and the link itself is broken over a few lines

  2. Really  

    It's so nice to see Sexplorations take a firm moral stand on the issues of our time.

  3. kids

    HERC is for faculty and staff jobs.. hardly a ticket to corporate whoredom

  4. what  

    happened to promiscuous edition??

  5. sigh  

    Latino studies and Latin American Studies were two different majors and departments. Now Latino Studies and Hispanic Studies are two different majors and departments. I should let Spec know.

    • actually  

      it looks like it's Bwog's error -- spec had it correct, that "Latin American Studies" is what is being called "Hispanic Studies". Bwog's title "Latino Studies" references the other completely different department.

  6. whoa  

    all of the jokes changed

  7. Sprinkles  

    The problem I have with naked parties is that everyone's ass germs get smeared around on the furniture.

  8. Yo dudes  

    There's No Business Like Show Business

    On Oct. 4, some Columbia University students rushed a stage during a public lecture and prevented Jim Gilchrist, the leader of the anti-immigration Minuteman Project, from speaking. Every day brings new controversies like this one and renewed complaints that the traditional mission of the liberal arts has been abandoned and replaced by partisanship and ideological zealotry, usually identified as emanating from a left-leaning faculty unchecked by weak administrators. There's something to the weak administrators bit, if only because administrators often have a weak grasp of the distinctions that would enable them to draw clear and rational lines marking off what is appropriate from what is not.

    The first thing to note is that although the aborted lecture was to have been given in an academic venue, the occasion was not itself academic; it was theatrical. Any education that might have transpired had Mr. Gilchrist been allowed to give his talk would have been incidental to the shock value of his appearance before an audience known in advance to be hostile to his message. That was why he was invited, not to impart instruction but to provoke a response (and it is the response rather than the content that is always focused on in media reports), although in this instance those who brought him to campus got more than they bargained for. The spirit presiding over this occasion from the beginning was more Jerry Springer than Socrates. Jeers, catcalls, insults and (verbal) brickbats were not intrusions on the performance, but predictable ingredients of it; had they been absent, organizers and audience alike would have gone away disappointed because they would not have gotten their student-fees worth. It's just that things got a little out of hand.

    When I call the occasion theatrical, I am not registering a criticism. Theater is what it is supposed to be, and theater is what it would also be were another student group to invite Noam Chomsky or Michael Moore. The intention, whoever the invitee, is not to analyze an issue, but to "stir things up," a euphemism for the intention to tick somebody off. Chris Kulawick, the student president of the group sponsoring the talk, made this crystal clear when he said it was his dearest wish "to attain the cherished title of 'Most Despised Person on Campus.'"

    Once one understands the true nature of the event, one understands too the scope (and limits) of the university's responsibility. In the context of what is essentially a piece of entertainment, Columbia, or any other university, does not have the responsibility to protect free speech or encourage democratic debate or stand up for academic freedom. These resonant phrases, invoked at the drop of a hat by parties on every side, are simply too large for what is going on. The university's responsibility is, rather, to safety and (relatively) good order. Just as you don't want your rock concert to end in the destruction of property or the injury of spectators (although you do want a little unruliness; it belongs to the genre), so you don't want the provoked energies of those present at a campus spectacle to break up either the program or the furniture. After all, tomorrow is another day and a new act will be coming to town (on October 10th it was I), and it won't come if the university gets the reputation of assembling crowds which it cannot then control.

    It follows that the editorial page of The New York Post was wrong (as usual) when it demanded that the Columbia administration "expel each and every one of the guilty students." Guilty of what? Apparently no one was hurt, so the answer cannot be guilty of assault; even guilty of attempted assault would be a stretch. Guilty of a violation of Mr. Gilchrist's free speech rights? He has no constitutional right not to be shouted down or hounded off the stage. No government has abridged his freedom of expression. And he can give his talk elsewhere (no doubt he already has) or come back and give it at Columbia when the university has instituted better crowd-control measures. At most, the students are guilty of being impolite, bumptious and rowdy, but again, this is the kind of behavior that the event – more akin to a keg party than to a reasoned discussion – was designed to elicit. If there is any discipline to be meted out here, its object should be not the students, who were doing just what they were expected and (in some sense) directed to do, but those administrators or staff members who, by virtue of their positions, were responsible for seeing that nothing went wrong, or, at least, too wrong.

    Everything I have said so far is simply an unpacking of the distinction between curricular and extracurricular activities. Extracurricular means outside (the Latin extra) the curriculum and therefore outside the protocols and values that govern the classroom. And this means, in turn, that the norms by which extracurricular activities are to be measured belong not to morality or philosophy or constitutional law (all versions of what I call "big think"), but to show business. The question to be asked is not did it further free speech or contribute to a robust democratic culture or provide a genuine educational experience? Rather the questions to be asked are: Did it rock? Was it a blast? Was a good time had by all?

    Now one might think that if we turn from the extracurricular to the curricular – to contexts that are actually and centrally academic – the moral and philosophical questions I have just dismissed would be reinstated with full force. But in fact I don't believe that morality and philosophy have very much to do with curricular matters either, although if you are interested in knowing why I believe that, you'll have to wait for my next post.

  9. no,  

    No, both Spec and Bwog are wrong . . .

    "In order to expand the department's reach, a brand-new Hispanic studies program debuted this semester, replacing the old Latino studies major."

    Spec uses "Latino Studies" and "Latin American Studies" interchangeably, when they're not.

  10. yep  

    expect a correction tomorrow in the spec.

  11. Miriam  

    needs to STOP WRITING ABOUT SEX AND ANYTHING EVEN REMOTELY RELATED TO NUDITY, NUDE BODIES, AND NUDE BODIES IN RELATION TO HER.

    • Anonymous

      I agree. I don't know what it is about her column; is it the writing style, the emulation of Cari Bradshaw, the rambling, or the general dissatisfied feeling I get after reading her column and realizing I have no idea what I just read.

  12. DHI  

    Are you supposed to avoid getting a boner at naked parties?

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