Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search


Sam Smith: Premature Aging

Premature Aging

By Editor Sam Smith

One of the most striking changes in Washington culture over recent decades has been the disappearance of radical youth and their replacement by a culture of elite, young, right libertarians coming to the capital intent on increasing their own capital, financial and political. The recently jailed graffiti artist Borf is a rare exception to the rule, but the weekly paper and many local blogs, for example, rarely break out of a culture of self absorption and when they do it is often with a snobbery and contempt - which they mistakenly regard as hip - towards those portions of the city not yet blessed by their gentrification.

Thus, reading that Harvard students supported the lately departed Lawrence Summers comes as no surprise. After all, the students are at Harvard to do as well as Summers did until confronted by some declasse groups such as blacks and women. And as the author of a forthcoming book on Harvard students put it, "There is not a speck of irony on the campus."

And now we learn from Donald MacLeod in the Guardian that things are no better in Britain: "Universities have appealed to lecturers to call off industrial action over pay as a student union broke ranks and condemned the strike and boycott of exam marking. Bristol students' union said it strongly condemned the tactics used by the lecturers' unions. . . in pursuit of their 20% pay claim. . . 'We will put pressure on [the unions] to resolve their pay dispute before targeting students at their most vulnerable time of their academic year.' But the unions look set to go ahead with a one-day strike on Tuesday, followed by a boycott of setting and marking exams and coursework."

Consider in contrast some of the slogans of an earlier young constituency, the French student rebels of 1968:

- Boredom is counterrevolutionary.

- No replastering, the structure is rotten.

- We want nothing of a world in which the certainty of not dying from hunger comes in exchange for the risk of dying from boredom.

- The boss needs you, you don't need him.

- Your happiness is being bought. Steal it.

From such thoughts, so odd today, we have come to student bodies that can't even tolerate a one day strike for better teacher pay. One need no better warning of the collapse of the west than that its elite young have become so, and even gloatingly, conservative. It now seems a race as to which will do us in first: the unprecedented warming of the earth or the unprecedented aging of its youth.

Since 1964, Washington's most unofficial source
1312 18th St. NW #502 Washington DC 20036
202-835-0770 Fax: 835-0779

© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


Werewolf: Living With Rio’s Olympic Ruins

Mariana Cavalcanti Critics of the Olympic project can point a discernible pattern in the delivery of Olympics-related urban interventions: the belated but rushed inaugurations of faulty and/or unfinished infrastructures... More>>

Live Blog On Now: Open Source//Open Society Conference

The second annual Open Source Open Society Conference is a 2 day event taking place on 22-23 August 2016 at Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington… Scoop is hosting a live blog summarising the key points of this exciting conference. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The Politicising Of The War On Drugs In Sport

It hasn’t been much fun at all to see how “war on drugs in sport” has become a proxy version of the Cold War, fixated on Russia. This weekend’s banning of the Russian long jumper Darya Klishina took that fixation to fresh extremes. More>>


Binoy Kampmark: Kevin Rudd’s Failed UN Secretary General Bid

Few sights are sadder in international diplomacy than seeing an aging figure desperate for honours. In a desperate effort to net them, he scurries around, cultivating, prodding, wishing to be noted. Finally, such an honour is netted, in all likelihood just to shut that overly keen individual up. More>>

Open Source / Open Society: The Scoop Foundation - An Open Model For NZ Media

Access to accurate, relevant and timely information is a crucial aspect of an open and transparent society. However, in our digital society information is in a state of flux with every aspect of its creation, delivery and consumption undergoing profound redefinition... More>>

Keeping Out The Vote: Gordon Campbell On The US Elections

I’ll focus here on just two ways that dis-enfranchisement is currently occurring in the US: (a) by the rigging of the boundary lines for voter districts and (b) by demanding elaborate photo IDs before people are allowed to cast their vote. More>>

Ramzy Baroud: Being Black Palestinian - Solidarity As A Welcome Pathology

It should come as no surprise that the loudest international solidarity that accompanied the continued spate of the killing of Black Americans comes from Palestine; that books have already been written and published by Palestinians about the plight of their Black brethren. In fact, that solidarity is mutual. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news