Thursday, December 18, 2008

Jim Murtha is a Coward

That's all.


  1. Wanted to open something up, if I may.

    My views on the ongoing events involving a jumbled New School administration and a defiant group of students are varied and, relative to reactions on other matters, rather complex. Inversely, I can't help but be disappointed by the actions of the students based at 65 5th Avenue and elsewhere on the NSU campus. I dare not question our ability to dissent, but raise a point that there are more productive, responsible ways in doing so.

    The stated mission is to oust members of the administration seen to be unfit. To have fiscal transparency and a reworking of financial priorities.
    Yet they celebrate, saying 'We Shut Down the School!'

    I admit that I, too, would get an adrenaline rush reliving the experiences those who have rebelled for a common objective. The energy must be palpable, the passion indissoluble. But are you just getting off on the high from it all, with the excuse that this discord will shake the administration's resolve, will just complicate shit, raise some hell?

    'We Shut Down the School.' At the moment, and for the last few (and next few + few + few) hours, no New School University student is permitted to reenter a school facility once they exit. This policy was instituted by NSU staff of some form, much to the dismay of many.

    The protesters staked their claim of a small victory over the school, and kudos to 'em, I suppose, if that's the case. I could argue whether or not they did in fact accomplish such a feat of shutting it down, but choose to instead contemplate what good comes of it, regardless of whether the School was in fact Shut Down. Bob Kerrey is in bed right now, I imagine. He can't be happy, of course. But he ain't losing too much sleep based on whether some kids are sprawled across a floor not to be sprawled upon. And the security guards would be there either way, so this might even be a little fun for the more stale hours of the night.

    As the last few days of finals elapse, who needs the school? Who uses it? Students.

    These are designers glued to computer screens at 3 a.m., and writers frantically researching a subject matter as zero hour approaches. Artists who need some space, or a quiet little escape from home, disjointed from the seduction of delicious leftovers and booze and DVD's and high thread-count bedding and just a little nap within said sheets that no, you shouldn't succumb to.

    I haven't slept in thirty-four and one-half hours. This is and was a decision entirely my own, one enchanted by the allure of that perfect window of creative potential when one is lucid and sleepdrunk and honest and inspired and rushed, rushed, rushed. So yeah, that's my fault, my foolish prerogative. A girl spent much, much longer camped out at a workstation a few chairs over. We chip away at the keyboard with zombied demeanor, occasionally slipping out for a breath of fresh air and, more importantly, a cup of deli coffee.

    Perhaps we head home for a quick sec, or to grab that other disk or book or That Important Thing I Forgot. Perhaps for a shower, or a lick of sleep. That's the dirty dance of finals, the ugly romance of procrastination and minds on overdrive and thoughts of home and holidays and eggnog and family. She ain't pretty, but we love her anyway. Or at the very least, we allow ourselves to get sucked back in, year after year.

    This debacle has inhibited our efforts to get our work finished in a manner that is actually argued for by the protesters themselves. You want shared student space, eh? Come on in, the water's fine. The fourth floor of the UCC ain't bad, and there's plenty of room. Your actions, and their repercussions, are denying students that very availability.

    Employees here -- a number of whom I just spoke with -- share the sentiment that the ideas are well-founded, but the methods are not. I overheard one woman contemplate how she and a few other lab workers were going to get dinner. They can't go outside. E7 is Twizzlers, and they go for a buck. There are some candies, too, at seventy-five cents apiece.

    Not to get lost in the personal, but my computer crashed. This building is my only practical availability for getting through this wild mess. If I choose to get a bite to eat that doesn't come from a vending machine, I forfeit my right to a shiny new Mac that is really fast and a nice big office chair that's considerably comfortable, though I trust it's seen better days. Nonmatter.

    I do not blame the security guards, who are merely carrying out the jobs they have been assigned. Nor do I the administration, who must take certain measures within reason so as to mantain safety and order. I blame you, oh brave fighters of right. Was this considered when the big ol' camp-out was coming to life? What did you anticipate happening, and how did you foresee your actions in achieving such a result?

    Come what may from this escapade -- both comedy and drama -- I hope we can consider the veiled selfishness of The Protestors and their Comrades in their valiant fight beyond their handsome prose (one I may also be guilty of), vague objections, and flawed resolutions. Just because you agree with the objective does not mean you must get sucked up in these particular tactics.

    I am not bitter -- this work will get done, albeit under more stressed, unhealthy terms. And I'll be happy. Saturday is my birthday, the first in years that I won't likely be positively buried in work. We're heading to a wine bar or two, me and a bunch of close friends. It'll be great; head over, if you want. Once you leave 65 5th Ave., though, you're done for good. But I'll buy you a drink -- you need one.


    Complaints have been voiced on the basis that Kerrey gutlessly cancelled the meeting. Yet you refused to speak with him when he approached you on multiple occasions earlier on.

    Do you want change, or has getting off on the adrenaline rush become more important?

    At 10:35, you tout your hard work. Yet I'm only aware of the sitting around, the sign painting, The Liveblogging With Capital Letters and ye olde fashioned words. Comrades? Really?

    You tout solidarity, yet your very actions divide the student body.
    You speak confidently and emphasize strength, yet you redact the names and blur the faces.

    Why are we throwing bottles, becoming physical, and escalating the issue into terrain that threatens those not directly involved, or not wanting to be involved in this fashion?

    If we're all going to talk, we need an equal platform. No cheap shots, no manipulation. This goes for all sides, for all parties involved. Get your word out, and use that fine grammar you've been workin' on. I bet you'll win me over. But stake your claim and then (this may be the hard part) listen to everyone else. Not just the administration, the opposition. But also fellow classmates -- myself included -- who revere the ability to stand in opposition to that which we disagree with, to fight at length on the behalf of our rights, beliefs, and expectations. There's more than one way, and more than one voice. Let's just do a little less shouting for the sake of a richer dialogue. There's nothing that could be more 'New School' than that.

  2. Don't blame the students for something the administrators have decided. There is a distinct difference between many students carrying signs and chanting going past Security, and a student that is on her own and has a legitimate reason to be there. They should be able to differentiate between the two. You're blaming other students for something that they did not do.

    And you know what? I wanted to get something to eat today at the 65 5th Ave cafeteria. And I couldn't, because the cafeteria was closed due to the students sitting in. And I was proud that they are holding their ground instead of letting business merely go on as usual. I am willing to give up my Thursday sushi-and-tea snack for what these students are sitting for. It's a very small sacrifice to make.

    Maybe things will look better in the morning. You should get some sleep.

  3. ? is right ... get some sleep Mr. '+'

    maybe then you'll remember that you can't negotiate with someone that has all the power, and none of your interests at heart.

    Kerry has to go, and this helps.

  4. This whole "occupation" reminds me of a time
    I was in Morocco, at the Hotel Volubilis to be exact. Amid the portraits of notable guests, such as Sir Winston Churchill, Prince Charles, general de Gaulle, Ms. Kennedy-Onassis, etc there were two things to be reminded. The grandiose history of a decadent hotel and its surrounding Roman ruins, and the protest "occupation" held by group of the hotel's employees were holding right in the lobby. it was the most surrealist scene ever... Amid the grandeur of the hotel and its long-gone visitors, there was a deep decadent feeling left by the images of some employess who had threwn themselves on the marbled floors, who seeped mint tea from a pot fired with burning logs that burned the finely crafted Persian carpets, who posted signs protesting King Hassan, and who seem to expect that from inside teapot a gennie would come carrying some news...
    just some kind of a methaphorical message....