As Wesfest dawned on campus this past week, and as the admissions office was preparing to welcome perhaps the most highly qualified class Wesleyan has yet admitted, an unpleasant reminder of the campus’s activist underside once more reared its head.
It has been a month since Senator Scott Brown won his surprise victory over Martha Coakley in a race for the seat once thought reserved only for the liberal lion Ted Kennedy, a veritable Mufasa among the Left.
In the wake of the devastation caused by the Haitian earthquake, to say nothing of the dangerously anarchic after-effects engendered within Haiti by the crisis, severe infusions of both kindness and stupidity have leaked into the political bloodstream.
This document is wholly a work of fiction—given that no Admissions office employee would ever draft anything so honest, even in jest.
Having ecstatically declared conservatism dead several times, each time with an increasing level of sickening nausea, the liberal community seems to be shocked, shocked, that, like Freddie Krueger or Jason Voorhees, conservatism has once more risen from the grave, alive, well, and out for blood.
There is a third option in the challenge for our environmental future: that we maintain our “destructive” ways and when nothing happens, radical environmentalism suffers yet another self-induced annihilation of its own scant credibility.
This past Tuesday, the Wesleyan Student Assembly (WSA) hosted a debate between the two Middletown Mayoral candidates, Republican incumbent Sebastian Giuliano and Democratic challenger Dan Drew, in preparation for the upcoming November 3 elections.
Ever since arriving at this school, it has been painfully obvious that many of the students could use a good smack in the jaw to show them just how truly ugly the human condition is, and just how necessary it is for them to rethink their cute little notions of utopia and “social justice.”
This May, as the last snows of winter melted into the dusky, hesitant warmth of a New England spring and the campus teemed with a sense of heavily caffeinated exhaustion and anticipation, a blast of human cruelty rocked the University.
This past Sunday, President Michael Roth came and spoke to the Wesleyan College Republicans, assuring those present that he was very much interested in “intellectual diversity.”
Adam, I knew that I had scarce time on the radio and I also knew that I wanted that scarce time to be exciting both for me and the listeners. Given my experience with what makes listeners happy, I chose you.
Given that the author thought it would be dull to welcome the influx of prefrosh with yet another textbook denunciation of Obama/The Left/liberal shallowness, he thought it more appropriate to sing about them in order to showcase the fact that,k at Wesleyan, even conservatives are unconventional.
Mytheology: Wesleyan Viewed from the Right
The progressive mind is often to be admired for its flexibility, versatility and capacity for reason, but if there is one thing it cannot cope with, it is failure. Granted, all political groups have difficulty understanding that certain of their ideas have failed as implemented, but in the case of progressives, this problem is especially strong, and it is the place from which every critique of progressivism ought to start.
For the first time, Wesleyan’s conservative community will have an established voice outside of a certain column (which shall remain nameless) in the Argus, and more reliable than the occasional publication of a Wespeak by one of our officials.
If nothing else, the modern American progressive is defined by his singular ability to be well-meaning. Progressives are very fond of diagnosing problems, and often have very good intentions with respect to solving them (there are exceptions – see also Margaret Sanger, Benito Mussolini). Moreover, in contrast with the radical, the progressive’s good intentions are usually “good” by an obvious, socially acceptable (if not always philosophically defensible) definition of the term “good.” At his best, the progressive becomes the righteous crusader for the worthy cause – the noble paladin astride the white steed of liberty, equality and fraternity. At his worst, the progressive becomes Maximilien Robespierre in birkenstocks.
If the social habits of Wesleyan’s population are any guide, it’s an absolute requirement to read the ACB.
Last Tuesday, the Argus reported that the WSA rejected the idea of a “student leadership stipend” put forward by Bradley Spahn ’11, citing budgetary concerns and questions of who student “leaders” were as the main reasons for abstention from the debate and for skepticism of the bill.
Upon reading the news in last Tuesday’s Argus that the segmented reading week was going to be kept in place, I briefly considered not submitting a column at all, as I almost certainly would have four 15+ page papers due at the end of the semester with only two days to write each of them, and my time writing this column would probably be better directed towards beginning my research.
President Barack Obama’s inaugural address sounded pragmatic notes, calling for a vision wherein what mattered was whether government “worked,” not whether it was “too big or too small.”
Given that we’re suffering from a recession and also given that it hasn’t gotten better in the aftermath of the election, it would be political malpractice of me not to write a few words about it.
A few hours after my column ran this Tuesday (“Mytheology: Wesleyan Viewed from the Right: It’s a Brand New Day,” Nov. 11, 2008, Volume CXLIV, Number 19) I received an angry e-mail from a friend about my usage of the slogan “Arbeit Macht Frei.”
So there it is. Barack Obama has been elected the next president of the United States. Nothing to be done about it, except to perform the obvious and painful task of conducting a political autopsy to discover exactly why this turn of events has occurred.
Dude, man. What’s going on? Did you hear that Sarah Palin had sex with a chicken? Yeah, dude, it was all over the Daily Kos, but of course the corporate-dominated, baby-seal-clubbing, Repuglican fascist cookie-jar-raiding, capitalist-dominated mainstream media full of Hannah-Montana brainwashed pigs won’t cover it. Markos Moulitsas is so fucking courageous, man. God. Not that I believe in God, just…God.
Mike Levine’s most recent column (Oct. 21, 2008, Volume CXLIV, Number 15), titled with customary dignity as "Why capitalism is screwed from the get-go," (to say nothing of his column’s title itself) makes a number of ahistorical, absurd assertions about the nature of the capitalist system, and retreads objections that lost their relevance in 1972, speaking optimistically.
Reading this past Friday’s Argus (Oct. 17, 2008, Vol. CXLIV, Number 14), two things struck me quite forcibly. The first was the fact that no one had written any Wespeaks, which I take to mean either that all film series failures, racism, sexism and heteronormativity have magically disappeared or that those few politically correct bloodhounds with oversensitive noses who notice such things were simply too drunk/high/busy last week to write.
Right next to the third floor entrance to the High Rise stairwell, amidst a sea of other quasi-anarchist graffiti, sits the simple instruction: “Expect Resistance.” It’s not often that I find myself agreeing with the sort of naïve nonsense that frequently gets written on Wesleyan’s walls, but as a resident of High Rise who is being unjustly fined for the malfeasance of other people, I must concur wholeheartedly with the anonymous writer of this graffiti. Expect resistance, indeed!
“All grandeur, all power, all subordination rest on the executioner. He is the horror and bond of human association; remove this incomprehensible agent from the world, and at that very instant order gives way to chaos, thrones topple and society disappears.”
-Comte Joseph de Maistre
As of now, it is clear to any sober political observer that most college students in the country are likely to break for Barack Obama, who in their eyes is hipper than an MTV reporter, more sexually charged than Dan Radcliffe in “Equus” and able to distill complex policy issues into a single (abstract) noun.
Dear Mr. deBoer,
Considering that you never felt compelled to write in the Argus before now, and I rarely feel compelled to respond to responses to my work, I think we’re both breaking rules here. But I do have to defend myself from your attacks that, I think, arise largely from a misreading of my argument.
Last May, just as all of us were preparing to leave the oasis of intellectual discourse that is Wesleyan and head into the world of summer internships, summer fellowships or even a quiet few months at home, a disaster struck this campus. A series of parties on Fountain Avenue were broken up by police, who used tactics that can most charitably be described as “draconian.”
With an understanding of the incredible irony that such a phrase will invoke the instant you discover who is uttering it, I must say, "welcome to Wesleyan."
Until last Thursday, I was under the impression that the defunct Davenport Campus Center would be transformed into a building known as the Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life, and I found this development to be entirely pleasing. For too long have the disciples of the social sciences been cloistered inside their single building, while more naturally scientific minds were given Hall-Atwater, Shanklin and Exley to serve their academic needs.
I do not usually respond to responses to my columns, but in this case, a few points are necessary to counteract the disinformation leaked by certain members of the Wesleyan community.
Upon picking up last Tuesday’s Argus, I was immediately struck by the headline ‘No Wesploitation’—a highly dramatic title, and certainly one which enticed me into reading the attendant article. According to the writer, apparently the officials at North College are busily engaged in a masterwork of exploitative cruelty designed to make our noble labor unions bend their knees to losing money every year while toiling ever harder to serve their capitalist masters. It is nothing less than slavery that North College demands, we are told, and to make matters worse, the Union might even be forced out by the introduction of subcontractors! Somebody call Upton Sinclair back from the grave, this is really a crisis!
In a stunning report from the Office of Admission at Wesleyan University, it has been revealed that God, the almighty and all knowing, has applied to the University. What is even more stunning, however, is that the Creator was rejected from the highly selective school.
Dear Mr. Xernon,
Forgive me, is ‘Mister’ the right salutation to use with an extraterrestrial? I’m afraid it’s merely my Earth-centric view talking. At any rate, I wish to thank you for taking such an interest in Earth’s affairs that you thought to warn us of your interstellar empire’s plans. Apparently, your planet has a great deal of respect for free enterprise, and I sympathize completely with that view. Therefore, I hope I shall be the first to say that I bear your weapons producers no ill will for the incipient siege of Earth, though I do have to say that your government functions nothing like that which we know on Earth.
This year, the Usdan Campus Center was introduced as a substitute for that venerable old institution known as McConaughey Hall, or MoCon. Those of us who spent our freshman years entwined in MoCon’s chaotic embrace, which forever smelt of mediocre Aramark food and carried the eternal clang of dropped cups, responded with ambivalence. How could this new, shiny, almost clinically clean building, whose atmosphere barely outmatched Pluto’s, hope to compete with darling old MoCon?
Reading this Friday’s Wespeak by Kathy Stavis (“Wesleyan needs to get out of the carnage market of ‘moral war,’” Feb. 22, vol. CXLIII, no. 31), I was reminded of nothing so much as a review of “Atlas Shrugged” by Whittaker Chambers (“Big sister is watching you,” Dec. 28, 1957 issue of National Review), in which the author lamented that, from every page of Ayn Rand’s book, “a voice can be heard, from painful necessity, commanding: ‘to a gas chamber—go!’” The painful urgency, Stalinist rhetoric and utter lack of depth exhibited by Stavis’ piece seem to send a similar message to those of us who would dare to question her group’s methods or motives. Stavis might fancy herself capable of shoving all dissent under the showerhead of scorn, but not all of us will inhale her rhetorical Zyklon B without a fight.
Having recently met with Students for Ending the War in Iraq (SEWI) and a subcommittee of the Board of Trustees to discuss the subject of divestment, I admit to initially being quite depressed. The gulf between the set of ideas espoused by SEWI and those espoused by those of us who do not support divestment seemed to be wider even than that between Heaven and Hell, and twice as contentious.
Twenty years ago, the current Governor of Massachusetts Michael Dukakis declared to the Democratic National Convention that the time had come for the country to consider “competence over ideology” in its selection of the successor to Ronald Reagan. Apparently, the country listened to this injunction, because they chose Dukakis’s opponent, Vice President George H.W. Bush. As a result, Dukakis’s campaign slogan, “competence over ideology,” went straight to the ash heap of history.
The following is a condensed version of the letter that was sent to the Board of Trustees on behalf of the Wesleyan College Republicans:January 31, 2008
With the advent of a new election finally approaching the nation, an excessive amount of uncertainty has leaked into the air. What with the silence of establishment kingmakers on both ends of the political spectrum and the only-recent dwindling of the dizzying number of candidates, it seems we are a long way away from certainty about who will be fighting for the mantle of President when November arrives.
Last week, someone described as “one of the greatest social theorists of our time” appeared on campus, bearing a joyful message that surely brought warmth to the heart of every radical on this campus: in 30 years, the capitalist system will not exist. To prove such a statement would be a tall order for anyone, but perhaps “the greatest social theorist of our time” could fill it, and indeed the speaker, one Immanuel Wallerstein, did try to make such an argument.
Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) will host an upcoming event to protest the ban on chalking at Wesleyan. To advertise the event, SDS has posted two different fliers around campus, one asking students if they think it is “fucked up” that chalking was banned, and another associating the chalking movement with a number of other Left-wing ideas (which for some reason include baseball) with which the group generally holds sympathy.
Recently, the esteemed paper which runs this column ran an article bearing what was probably intended as jubilant news—President Michael Roth had signed the “Presidents Climate Commitment,” a document designed to make Wesleyan “assess the University’s greenhouse gas emissions and put forth a detailed strategy to reduce them.” Obviously, this seemingly good news has caused nature fetishists to exit from the woodwork en masse, no doubt bearing celebratory grins which showcase the stray grains of granola still stuck in their teeth.
Upon entering the Usdan University Center, one may find oneself confronted with some group of activists peddling a political message from behind a table. Recently, the College Republicans took advantage of the lunch line for this purpose, and even groups as universally repellant as communists have set up a table in Usdan, in the hopes of attracting the occasional moral degenerate.
“Sometimes I think if there was a third sex men wouldn’t get so much as a glance from me.”
Obviously, Ms. Vail never attended Wesleyan, where there is not only a third sex, but an infinite series of them. That assumes, of course, that one takes the word ‘sex’ to be synonymous with ‘gender,’ but dare to commit such a fallacy at Wesleyan and you will find yourself cast into the outer darkness of ‘heteronormativity,’ where there is wailing and gnashing of teeth. Of course, the idea that there is an indiscriminate number of genders is quite acceptable, nay, scientifically proven, we are told. And from whence do we get this ‘progressive,’ ‘tolerant’ idea?