Friday, February 6, 2015

The "talent show" imbroglio, Part II

Vulgarity, anyone?
     Here are some further remarks re the Academic Senate's resolution in support of Academic Freedom and free speech, etc.
  1. At yesterday’s Senate meeting, few senators knew what, if anything, had inspired the proposed resolution to support Academic Freedom, etc. The Senate President explained the resolution without mentioning any specific event or events. As I recall, she alluded to “events” (in the plural) and not to a single event. These events, she seemed to say, looked like a possible first step down a slippery slope.
  2. The Academic Senate President and others are rightly sensitive to “free speech” concerns here at IVC since, for many years, the SOCCCD and its colleges were poster children for serious civil liberties abuses. (SEE here and here.) You will recall that, back in 2003, faculty at IVC were ordered not to discuss the war in Iraq in their classrooms. (BTW: If that doesn’t disturb you, you are a moron and an asshole and you should go back to watching Fox News.)
  3. The resolution does not object to “family friendly events” or any event. The resolution is a statement of commitment to the Constitution (especially, presumably, the 1st Amendment) and to the collegiate tradition of Academic Freedom. It leaves unaddressed the question of whether some aspect of any actual college event (such as Monday’s goofy talent show) represented a failure of that commitment.
  1. The “guidelines and regulations” document for the talent show could have indicated that the show was a “family friendly event” (if such was the case; I don’t know) and that acts should be appropriate for that kind of audience. In fact, however, the document makes no mention of families or family friendliness. (Neither does the official ad.) The document does refer to “inappropriate performances," a phrase that normally raises eyebrows in the context of a college, that bastion of free speech. (Efforts to determine who authored the regulations, we were told, have produced only finger pointing and denials.)
  2. TONE DEAF 1. Evidently some readers failed to detect the tone of my original post. The post mocked (1) the seriousness with which the authors of the resolution seemed to respond to the censorious spirit of this goofy talent show and (2) talent shows. I wrote the post largely in this spirit: it’s just a goofy goddam talent show. Let it go.
  3. TONE DEAF 2. Again, evidently failing to detect tone, some readers seemed to suppose that my colleagues in the School of Humanities seek really to perform nude dog and lip-sinc acts whilst covered in chocolate or festooned with weaponry. No. (I must say, some of our readers are quite stupid.)
  4. The resolution was not initiated by anyone in the School of Humanities. In fact, one of that School's two senators was among the handful of faculty who voted against the resolution!
     One more thing, I just finished speaking with a certain Rebellious Friend. She offers a conspiracy theory. The talent show and its regulations, she assures me, are part of a plot to thwart Raghu Mathur's planned return to glory via a lip-sinc performance, in Elvis attire, of "Wind Beneath My Wings," accompanied by a delightful sparkler display emerging from the Great Man's fundament.



     The Rebellious One also noted that lip-syncing is a proud American tradition born of the fact that, as she puts it, "we don't have much talent."
     "Yes," I said, "and what could possibly be the objection to, say, some kid lip-sincing to 'Old MacDonald's Farm' or 'The Good Ship Lollipop'? C'mon!"

Some people they like to go out dancin’
and other people, they have to work
and there's even some evil mothers
Well they’re gonna tell you that everthing is just dirt
you know, that women never really faint
and that villains always blink their eyes
that children are the only ones who blush
and that life is just to die
But anyone who ever had a heart
they wouldn't turn around and break it
and anyone who ever played a part
They wouldn't turn around and hate it
Sweet Jane, Sweet Sweet Jane



No mention of families in the official ad

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I thought I saw Raghu on campus the other day. Did Glenn hire him as some kind of consultant?

Anonymous said...

You said it right at the beginning RB, it was a silly talent show....let it go.

Anonymous said...

I would only attend it there were at least two of the following four items included in each act: nudity, fire, guns, and/or knives.

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