oh dear, oh dear…
Writing about web page http://www.blogs.warwick.ac.uk/ccarter
(now with added paragraphs!)
…it really doesn't take much to annoy some people, does it? for those of you who aren't aware, my good friend mr chris carter posted on his blog recently a declaration against the apathy which does, unfortunately, characterise a proportion of our university. at high risk of being hit by the barrage of criticism and controversy which was immediately levelled at chris and which resulted in his blog being taken down, i feel i must mention this on my own site.
now, what really astonishes me about this whole situation is the extremism of the general reaction to what was clearly a tongue-in-cheek post not without self-deprecation or a healthy dose of…dare i mention it… irony.
it is precisely this sense of irony which seems to be lacking amongst a great deal of students unable to do anything but take themselves absolutely seriously, and ready at a moment's notice to be outraged by something…anything.
i find it particularly demoralizing that in a university which rightly prides itself on a liberal sentiment, an attitude oppositional to freedom of speech and, it must be said, firmly aligned with the right wing, seems to be springing up, rather retrospectively.
whilst i would not suggest that such attitudes should not be articulated – to do so would negate my own sentiment – i do find it surprising that they exist in the first place; particularly in this supposedly leftist centre of learning. granted, personal attacks or deeply egregious material should not be posted; but it does not seem that chris felt the need to stoop this low; and it does seem ironic (there's that word again) that the responses of those who criticised him for it were not only misinformed, without self-consciousness or a sense of humour; but that they rapidly descended into personal attacks themselves (to whoever commented 'i hope you rot'...oh dear.)
what i also consider worrying is the level of 'nannying' which occurs at this university and which led to complaints against chris' blog which resulted in its being taken down by administrators. not only does this suggest a worrying 'told on you' attitude, but it also reminds me of the age-old response to the needlessly offended: just don't look at it.
if something such as chris' anti-apathy declaration strikes a chord of offence with you, examine why this is; presumably, because you identify with it on some level, and are therefore guilty of that which annoys so many of us in the first place.
yes, everyone (apart from chris, apparently) has the right to exercise their own opinion – and not all of us will be excited by the same things. nevertheless, the tide of apathy at warwick is an astonishingly difficult one to combat; and i do get the impression that those who complained have never tried to do just that. chris and myself have both tried constantly throughout our university careers to generate interest; chris in music, myself in student-written theatre; and, far be it from me to whine, both of us have come up against some very demoralizing opposition from some of the student community.
granted, music and theatre aren't everyone's thing, but the thwarting of many of our attempts to make these accessible to all has been deeply frustrating. this frustration has only been compounded by the events of the last few days; i can only hope it will generate creativity of the sort evinced by chris (albeit a creativity which is often articulated in a rather ascerbic manner) and that it will not cause us, exhausted, to sink into the apathy against which we rail.
in the meantime, let's hope we can all relax a little bit. and let's not forget our senses of humour.
or, to sate the urges of those of you just itching to get het up about something…