Derrick Jensen vs. John Ashcroft

Derrick Jensen came to Knox just three days after John Ashcroft. I could not imagine a more incredible span of ideas on one campus in one week (I guess Ashcroft’s lies count as “ideas”).

Anyway, Ashcroft’s visit was so much fun. The student protests were awesome, and completely stole media coverage of the event. The student questions were good and even got picked up on Olbermann (not bad for a tiny school in the middle of the prairie). And John Ashcroft was a dick to me, but my counter got more cheers than him. So he can eat it. There’s video of that (I come in around 6:10):

Besides getting a chance to yell at a war criminal, the Ashcroft thing was really interesting because The Knox Student got to try out a bunch of new web features, and our coverage of the event rocked. Just a couple months before this, we were not even online yet. I think we changed pretty fast.

But after a really upsetting debate on campus about whether or not the protests were justified (support your protesters, people. They are putting themselves on the line for you, even if you don’t agree with them), I started to lose the rest of my faith in a revolution coming from the American people (and any semblance of support for the Democrats was completely exploded, though there was not much left by this point).

And right at the perfect time, here comes Derrick Jensen. He is the perfect person to read if you are starting to completely doubt mainstream America’s ability to make changes in our completely fucked society. The amazing thing about Derrick is that he really won’t tell you anything you didn’t already know when you were in third grade. Hey, if I have money, doesn’t that mean someone else somewhere doesn’t? Hey, if there is a limited amount of oil, won’t it run out? Hey, if you catch too many fish, won’t they go away? But for me, Derrick was a slap in the face, making me look closely at the very foundations of our culture and realize that it is, truly through and through, insane.

Let’s just say, my world, which was teetering, came crashing down. Here are some videos I took at is talk. Sorry for the shitty quality. I had the camera set from a theater project I did (more about that in a future post).

I highly recommend reading Endgame.

More to come on my new found interest in resistance. And in other news, I stole John Ashcroft’s glass from the podium after the talk. I am going to be putting it on eBay as John Ashcroft’s Backwash. I wonder how much the several-month-old DNA of a war criminal goes for in the market these days…

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5 Comments

Filed under My Life, Resisting

5 responses to “Derrick Jensen vs. John Ashcroft

  1. revivingemma

    Derrick Jensen obviously wins.

  2. revivingemma

    My friend and I picked Derrick up from the hotel in Moline. There was a taxidermied polar bear in the lobby of the hotel. It was a really fucked up way to meet him. Within like 5 minutes we were talking about how culture at large is completely misguided.

    Derrick appreciated our protest of Ashcroft. His speech was a perfect way to counter balance the week. While there was less media attention covering Jensen’s talk, I had more conversations about societal change with a broad group of people after Derrick came.

  3. Pingback: Now selling John Ashcroft’s backwash on eBay « Cheeto Fingers

  4. Matthew

    Nice entry. Thank you for posting the comparative videos.

    I think the main problem is that the discourse promoted by Ashcroft is the same old discourse we are so tired of in both the US and the UK. It’s the discourse of the liar. The lies which are so clear yet totally unprovable. It’s the discourse of the privileged who have experienced the power that flows to them from the system and so are invested and committed to that system, till death do they part.

    Jensen offers something new. He tells the story from the point of view of non-human life. He relates to the land which is necessary for his, and all of our, survival. He doesn’t lie by telling you that he knows how you should live or what you should do. He offers something new and exciting and terrifying and good.

    Thank you for your entry.

  5. justinhahn

    nice reply to ashcroft.
    but honestly, the ashcroft video was so much more fun than the jensen video.

    also, you guys at Knox are awesome.
    War Criminal/Evil Crony: “I don’t have the statue with me–”
    Random Woman in Audience “I do.”

    brilliant.

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