Campus activists are morons

I’m sure most of you have seen this already:

For the uninitiated, a group calling itself the “Greenwash Guerrillas” threw a pie at New York Time columnist Thomas Friedman on Tuesday while he was giving a speech at Brown University. Leaflets thrown to the crowd during the pieing stated that:

Thomas Friedman deserves a pie in the face…

* because of his sickeningly cheery applaud for free market capitalism’s conquest of the planet

* for telling the world that the free market and techno fixes can save us from climate change. From carbon trading to biofuels, these distractions are dangerous in and of themselves, while encouraging inaction with respect to the true problems at hand.

* for helping turn environmentalism into a fake plastic consumer product for the privileged

* For his long-standing support for the US Occupation of Iraq and the Israeli occupation of Palestine. Such committed support to the US War Machine and its proxy states overseas cannot be masked behind any twisted mask of “green” – the US Military is the largest single emitter of greenhouse gases in the world.

* for his pure arrogance.
On behalf of the earth and all true environmentalists — we, the Greenwash Guerrillas, declare Thomas Friedman’s “Green” as fake and toxic to human and planetary health as the cool-whip covering his face.

It’s long been my opinion that campus activism is generally done by self-righteous idiots who achieve nothing, trying to be like their parents in the 60’s and 70’s, who were also self-righteous idiots who achieved nothing. True to form, these imbeciles qualify.

It’s not that campus activism can’t possibly affect societal change. It’s that campus activism is rarely ever about affecting change, it’s about making students feel righteous; it’s all about the fact one is an “activist” rather than any results of said activism. It’s the same egotism and superficiality that makes anti-war protests the useless spectacles they are today.

Like the students at my alma mater who began a hunger strike during their negotiations with the administration on a living wage for university staff, the Greenwash Guerillas’ actions here were at best ineffectual and at worst counterproductive.  I empathize with Thomas Friedman, and that is making me nauseous.  Thanks a lot, hippies.

Oh, and to Dylan and Matt, none of this shit next year, k?


4 comments so far

  1. Jamelle on

    God, I know.

    At my first year at the University of Virginia, the living wage organization held a sit in at the president’s office. Instead of forcing action on part of the administration, they just got themselves arrested, looked ridiculous, and brought the professional hippies/protesters out of the woodwork (which, for some reason, there are a ton in Charlottesville).

  2. John Cain on

    They had a sit-in my sophomore year at Georgetown, in which the administration completely let them do their thing, brought them food, etc. It’s remarkable how co-opted they were, and how little they realized it.

  3. Jamelle on

    I think a successful sit-in is possible, but it requires serious discipline and a willingness to actually incur penalties.

    The most effective thing – and U.Va’s living wage campaign bore this out – is to galvanize student opinion against the administration (and for that, demonstrations aren’t even necessary). There definitely came a point where there was so much negative publicity directed at the administration that they caved in and raised wages for the lowest paid workers.

  4. John Cain on

    I agree, Jamelle. As the perfect counterexample of what you’re talking about, I again look to Georgetown, a few years after I graduated. There was a living wage campaign, and the administration had agreed on the general idea but was haggling over the exact dollar amount. Not content to keep hammering out something, the living wage people went on a hunger strike, which turned a lot of students, alums, and campus media against them (they were seen as employing the nuclear option needlessly). In the end, they got about the same deal offered before the strike.

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