Sunday, October 01, 2006

 

Yeah! Why can't we invite more ... leftists?


Eastern University's Waltonian wonders that if Cabrini College can get someone with the stature of Elie Wiesel to speak at convocation, why can't they? (For those unfamiliar, Wiesel is a Holocaust survivor who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986 for his work against the oppression of all peoples. His novel Night details his Holocaust experiences.) What gets us is the list of folk the aggregate hive mind at the Waltonian came up with that would be ... "acceptable" alternatives to someone like Wiesel.

They first bring up Anne Lamont. We've heard of Anne, but not very often. So, we did some checking. Anne is a columnist at the left-leaning Salon magazine website. Oh-hoh! It should come as no surprise as to why the cumulative cerebral effort at the Waltonian digs Anne -- just take a gander at these column titles: "The Rights of the Born" (where she describes how she "lost her mind" when someone asked her about abortion at a discussion session); "God doesn't take sides" (where she dubs herself a "left-wing" Christian and states "Bush and his people have gotten it so wrong"); and "Teddy and Me" where she writes "At a fundraiser in Oakland, I thanked Sen. Kennedy for all of his good work. Then he looked into my eyes and promised we were going to win." Gosh.

Next, the name of Spike Lee is offered. This one really left us scratching our craniums. Why in the world would an institution of higher learning want to invite a so-so film director who holds some rather quirky -- some would say conspiratorial -- views of the world? Oh, silly us -- this is a university! Maybe Spike could enlighten the Eastern disciples about how the levees were deliberately annihilated during the approach of Hurricane Katrina.

U2 frontman Bono is brought up next. We admit to liking Bono; however, our admiration is mostly limited to his musical efforts. That, and his ability to keep a modern rock group together for over twenty years. Our favorite U2 album happens to be "The Unforgettable Fire" which we're aware puts us in a distinct minority among U2 fans. We don't mind, because we're Brian Eno aficionados. (He produced the album.)

Donald Miller's moniker then pops up. Boy, the unified mentality of the Waltonian staff sure has a limited world view. Miller is a big fan of Anne Lamont -- he admires her ability to drop the "F bomb" every so often, and be a Christian to boot! Isn't that admirable!

Lastly, Ralph Nader is suggested to -- get this -- "force [students] to think more deeply about crossing political boundaries." Our emphasis. Yes indeed -- colleges should force their minions to "think more deeply" about their politics. And who better than 'ol Ralph? Or Elizabeth Elliot, an Anne Lamott clone?

The closing paragraph:

Thus, we should ask the Noam Chompskys and Nelson Mandelas to share their views with us. If a Catholic university can have a high-profile Jewish Holocaust survivor come lecture, then so can we. We need only ask.

We're not exactly certain who Noam "Chompsky" is, although we have occasionally read a not-so-subtle reference to him as Noam "Chumpsky." Not getting this "icon's" appellation correct means one of two things to us: Either the Waltonian's editor was asleep at the wheel, or the communal faculty that is the Waltonian editorial board really has no idea who Noam Chomsky is. If the latter is true, this then causes us to doubt how "well" the board knows all their other "choices" as well.

For the record, we have little quarrel with two choices offered by the Waltonian: Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela. We may not approve of their politics, nor some of their more outlandish statements (especially with regards to the latter), but their life experiences certainly merit recognition in the vein of Elie Wiesel. Which then begs the most obvious inquest: How in the freakin' world can someone in their right mind compare people like Wiesel, Mandela and Tutu with partisan lightweights like Lamott and co.?

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