Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A Consensus on the Kimmel Center student takeover at NYU, with notes on Corporate Water

This is the saddest thing I've ever seen.
It's sadder than "Dog Day Afternoon". It's more depressing than "Midnight Cowboy".
This is sad.
Just wanted to warn you.
A group of NYU students, no doubt intoxicated with the
romantic 1960's campus takeovers, took over their student center cafeteria. After a few hours, they realized they'd forgotten to take over a toilet.
Potty breaks were eventually negotiated (through non-violent confrontation).
My God in heaven, this is sad.

They're taking these kids, pumping them full of theoretical bullshit, teaching them how to sprinkle a few Smart Words into every sentence, and then releasing them, untethered, into the Post-Marxist Mist, where they flounder about trying to define the hierarchy in their consensus space. (You'll understand that sentence later on. I promise.)

The video begins with some campus official looking over the barricades and asking the students for some identification.

:27 Idiot: "We're using Democratic Process here; I don't know if you guys understand that....We're using consensus here, and the way that works is they need to come back and report to us what the disciplinary measure are....We need to collectively decide how to proceed."

This was in response to the cops asking for their student I.D.'s. It gets better.


The cameraman is addressing a large security officer who has had to climb over an improvised barricade, and who is not amused. He doesn't seem to have much patience for spoiled little documentarians whose parents pay $48,000.00 a year in tuition, only to have Junior take over the Food Court as a Poli-Sci project. He doesn't seem amused at all. Plus, it's a privately owned school, BTW.


I believe the Spielberg wannabe might have glimpsed a taser at that point.

1:50 Our heroic cameraman briefly breaks character when he spots a competing cinematographer. He goes from whiny little consensus builder to "Dude ! I'm getting the same footage !"

2:17 Idiot: "Are they armed? Do they have tasers? As long as they don't have Devices Of Force, okay."

I don't think anyone was needing your approval, buddy.... But if they'd had Devices Of Force, this would be a much shorter video. And the world would've applauded the Force Device Wielders for ending it.

2:35 Idiot addressing his Trustafarian troops: "We have to be civil, let's be civil, this is civil disobedience...."

3:00 to 3:30 The University's designated Flak Catcher has to explain that this is not a negotiation. This is private property, and you will show us your school I.D.'s.

In the words of one YouTube commenter: What... what exactly are they supposed to be doing? I've taken part in many protests myself, but this is the first time I've ever been rooting for The Man. What a pathetic display of entitlement and... well, pissiness.

3:40 Idiot: "We need to use a consensus process to move forward. This is directly democratic, okay?"

At this point, all decent god-fearing Christians, Muslims, Jews, Scientologists and Seventh Day Adventists want to crawl through their computer screens and LET THE STRANGLING BEGIN.

3:55 Cop: "There is no cooperation. You guys need to leave."
Idiot: "We need to democratically decide on that."

4:10 Idiot: "We would like to democratically decide in a consensus area...."

More confusion while Idiot tries to get his troops rallied into a consensus area.

5:10 Idiot: "Who is the hierarchy here? Like, who is the top...."

5:15 "Guys, focus on consensus here, we have 10 minutes....we need to look at the situation here, the hierarchy here, the power relationship here, we need to decide if we're going to cooperate with their demands by force, okay? They're using force."

(Note to cameraman: You are freakin' surrounded by cops. Some are campus cops, and outside the building are the NYPD cops. And they don't like you. That is the power structure.)

5:40 Screaming erupts from stage right. One of the young ladies in a PLO scarf accuses the cops of touching her, and perhaps trying to throw her off the balcony. She's screaming "Don't touch me !" They don't make revolutionaries like they used to.

Every one of these police officers deserves the Congressional Medal Of Honor. For restraint. Normal humans would've gone Medieval on these people.


I guess this is as good a time as any to discuss their demands. There were 13 of them. The first one was the most self-serving (amnesty for all protesters, of course). The funniest one is that the school library should be open to the general public. The most contradictory? They want to rebuild the University of Gaza, provide scholarships for 13 Palestinian students, and (ahem) lock in tuition fees at a fixed rate. Nothing was said about a free pony.

6:30 Idiot: "We have to decide....can we have some space where we can discuss in private? We can take this space and discuss what's going on and....We need to have a consensus ! Freddy ! Freddy ! We're going to decide without you !"

I think Freddy might have decided to abandon censensus-building principles, and embrace a more libertarian world view in a more remote space.

7:20 Idiot: "We can negotiate in private. We're going to talk in private. We use consensus process, right? We're going to use this space to privately discuss....They're not going to let us have four of our people to consensus.... " (One glorious shot of a kid with dreadlocks, giving up, and picking up his skateboard to go home.)

7:35 Idiot" "We're going to use this space to privately discuss...."
Cop: "No, stay over here, please."
Idiot: "Well, you'll have to use earmuffs. Ok, just pretend you can't hear us."

Get ready for my second-most favorite line of dialogue. Let me set the stage. Rome is burning. There are barbarians at the gates. And what does our Che Guevara wannabe have to say?

7:50 Idiot: "Okay, who wants to be facilitator? Who wants to facilitate at this point? I have markers."

At the 8:00 mark, our cameraman cuts away to the backpacks. He's apparently looking for contraband, maps of the Pentagon, incriminating evidence, the weapons stash, weed, or anything else that the authorities could use to force the consensus-builders to miss The Big Game or Serve Detention in Study Hall.
He finds iPods, MacBooks, various laptops, and he's using a nice video camera. Got that? He shows iPods and Mac computers on his video. iPods. Macs.

8:30 Idiot: "Water bottles. I don't think they want (our) water bottles. I bet they drink Corporate Water."

The End. Except for....

9:22 Idiot: "I guess we're converging back into this space...."


Dr Ralph said...

I couldn't bear to watch it (I deal with enough idiots as it is), but based on my experience and your blow-by-blow, these people probably have brilliant careers ahead of them not in leftist politics but in upper-management at any number of Fortune 500 companies.

Years from now, after the campus romanticism fades, the cluelessness will remain.

Browncoat Libertarian said...

I wonder if, off camera, any of them chained themselves to the latte machine?

Dr Ralph said...

WS - BTW, if this is the saddest thing you've ever seen, you obviously haven't checked your 401k lately.