Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Take a look at this letter from a Berkeley professor to his new students--it's a great and righteous rant against what the citizens of California have done to their school system and their children over the past 30 years.

At the end, he calls upon his students to fight back against the greed and selfishness of their parents and re-establish a social contract:

You’re my heroes just for surviving what we put you through and making it into my classroom, but I’m asking for more: you can be better than my generation. Take back your state for your kids and start the contract again.
Which is interesting, since a few paragraphs earlier, he says that the current generation of students is too ignorant of history and too low-skilled in writing to fight effectively for or against anything.

What's sad is the complete admission of defeat on behalf of the so-called adult community, the sense of utter abdication. "The grown-ups screwed it up," he's more-or-less saying, "and they're too blind and stupid to un-screw it. So it's up to you." Which is strangely of a piece with what he's been saying earlier. The generation he's attacking has abidcated responsibility for anything other than its own short-term pleasure, and now it's abdicating it's reponsibility for that abdication of responsibility. "How can you ask me to clean up my mess when I'm the one who made such a terrible mess?"

We're going to need some sort of support groups, like adult children of alcoholics, to help an entire generation cope with the selfish scum who raised them. I think it would be very...cleansing...if the current crop of high school and college students could, as a group, throw it all back in the faces of everyone older than 50 but younger than the surviving World War II veterans, and say, "YOU broke it; YOU fix it. I don't care if you have to live on dog food until you drop. DO IT."

A boy can dream.

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