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…