The New Stanford politics?

In a column in the Stanford Daily today, Nicole Demby (a Synergy resident, which says a lot) calls upon the West Coast counter-culture to revitalize campus. She holds up last year’s protests of Rumsfeld (i.e.”Rumsfest” ) and this year’s protest of Condoleezza Rice (e.g. “Condival”) as examples of political, aesthetic protests to which we should all aspire and engage.  She writes:

Yet with their embrace of public art as a form of political protest, the aforementioned recent happenings at Stanford combine the best of many aesthetic and political sensibilities. They express an absurdist view demonstrated by many New Yorkers, yet seem to have roots in a particularly West Coast countercultural optimism that claims collaborative action can enact real change. They are the manifestations of what happens when you combine the astounding minds of Stanford students with a critical political consciousness.

Downer had better save her philosophizing for her Soc term paper. It’s tough to get at what she’s really saying since it’s cloaked in so much fancy (and fanciful) rhetoric that even Obama would be left gaping.

If she’s saying what I think she’s saying, then all Stanford students should unite and petition for President Hennessy’s resignation just as NYU students did last week. Why? Because the President’s an authority figure (not to mention a capitalist businessman who exploits his underlings).  To Demby, the fact that this is absurb makes it all the more laudable.

But how about a protest against Congress and the Obama administration to free us from the trillion dollars of debt that they’re embroiling us in? If Demby so fancies collective action, then perhaps she should have attended one of the many tea parties yesterday.


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