New School Tantrum

Protests today at the New School are just another example of the rising frustration of students with the tale of "go to University, get a nice job" that for some bizarre reason all elements of the University have fallen behind in perfect step.

This tale is starting to lose interest among our students, as it is no longer satisfactory to repeat the same story. Even now the infantile demand for repetition - "No, you're telling it wrong! Tell it how you did last time!" is transforming into "That story is for kids, tell me a new one!" And the tantrum begins when we don't have a good story.

We have excellent people in our Universities, perhaps it is just that they forgot they were telling a tale of opportunity to get students interested in the relevance of the Academy? At some point the tale should have been exposed, like other childhood myths. Like the bad Disney movie, we wish our stories would come true and when they did for a while, it was a bit horrific, but we got used to it. Now the power is waning, and we need a new story to tell.

Perhaps the New School students are not as infantile as I make them out to be. All the tales of what they did during the occupation today make me cringe with a sense of revolutionary paternalism - "Where on earth is the vanguard?" I said while reading it. Anyway, one of them made it to the roof and began to read On the Poverty of Student Life over a megaphone. Pretty hilarious, as it's somewhat self-degrading.

It's been a while, since my Marcuse obsession of 2004, that I have read this document, and today I was inspired to read it again. Thank you New School tantrum. I think I'm starting to find an alternative bedtime story for my increasingly frustrated University students. Perhaps your intent wasn't to fuel what we professors do, but perhaps through some of these elements I can actually be persuasive to your peers in ways that your Made for TV movie 60's style protests cannot.

Also - am I the only one who thinks that when a building is occupied, you should let people from the other side in to debate you? If you win the debate, you leave the building. Judges can be decided from the crowd outside.