15 February 2008

My Alma Mater Gives Me No Love!

I graduated from UCLA many moons ago and I have no regrets. It was a great school, in a great town, and even a schlubb like myself could meet some hot babes once in awhile (it was California after all). So out of respect for the University which gave me so much, I try to keep up with what the college kids of today are saying and their concerns. There's been a lot of buzz in the blogosphere about the ruckus in Berkeley, where the Code Pink folks are trying to shut down military recruiting offices. I have explained before that this is ridiculous since the military is merely the tools of foreign policy not the implementers. UCLA is definitely a lefty institution, but not space-cadet left like the folks still hanging around Berkeley from the 60s. This political biasing always made for some pretty interesting conversations at 3 in the morning at house parties for myself (it beats passing out). So I was a little taken aback when I read this article in the UCLA student newspaper entitled "University Must Sever its financial ties with Toxic War". The Op-Ed speaks of solidarity with those Berkeley loons who have chosen to protest the USMC:

This past November, hundreds of high school students walked out of class across Washington state to rally against the war and in support of more education funding. More recently, UC Berkeley students and local community members came together with the Berkeley City Council in a widely reported decision to pass a declaration denouncing military recruiters. Here at UCLA, students got together in November to rally against the war and instead promoted peace and education.

Ah geez. Well isn't that embarrassing. Many UCLA alumni have been involved with our nation's wars. You'd think these youngsters would have given a least a pittance to us "misguided" folk who chose to sign up with the military. Instead the article only speaks of a foolish call to action:

This Valentine’s Day weekend, from North and South Campus to sorority row to Pauley Pavilion to Meyerhoff Park, dump the war and take hold of your voice for the intimate, loving, caring relationship we all know we want and all know we can have – with peace.

I want in on this intimate, loving, caring relationship! Instead it's totally exclusionary as evidenced by the proposed march to "Sorority Row" this weekend. I wonder if students will need to know the secret handshake to get in on the drum circle. In my day, the kids would protest down on Wilshire in front of the federal building for all to partake, what happened? Well, at least people still care about politics and aren't totally self-obsessed with text messaging their friends in class and Facebook. I just wish they would direct their frustrations towards the people that actually make the damn policies instead of dredging up tired old stereotypes about the military. Good thing the UCLA folks don't have my contact information, since the alumni association isn't squeezing any cash out of me this year.

Is this yahoo the role model of UCLA? (thanks Zombietime)


Bag Blog said...

The sad thing is that college campuses are out of touch with reality or behind the times. Maybe the problem lies with old hippie professors who still spout their glory days of protesting the Vietnam War. College kids just want to protest anything (get out of class free), but they don't have a clue where to start or as to what is going on in the world. Here is an example last fall: http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2007/09/22/4026/ I know two of the Halliburton recruiters that were present at this protest - both young 20 something engineers.

I do hope you get in on some of the "make love, not war" stuff, but you might want to look some place other than CA.

LT Nixon said...

I have nothing against protests, just when they are completely devoid of rationality. I did look elsewhere besides CA and that place is Seattle =)

Brown said...

FWIW, I think the crux of most (not all, clearly) campus protest against the military has to do with the DADT policy. The war is just a handy add-on gripe.

The better expressed logic for clipping the military to the war is that the military needs grist for the mill, and in order to get that grist, it appeals to gung-ho young guys overflowing with testosterone with some addition bs thrown in about benefits and cash for college. Thus they skim the ill-informed (most college kids) and deluded.

So, even though they're merely the executors of bad foreign policy (or good), they're definitely the executioners of young lives. It doesn't seem irrational to me to protest the military for plucking these kids to pay the butcher's bill in Iraq.

In no way am I defending idiocy, however. All movements are most visible through their passionate face, and the passionate of every stripe are often the least rational.

Brown said...

PS: I've added a link to you. Good perspective for my daily rounds of procrastination.

LT Nixon said...

Thanks, Brown, for the comments! I'll add you to my links as well.