Sunday, May 20, 2007

Blogging v. Political Activism: Huh?

I was disappointed with our commencement speaker, Hal Prince today. We gave him an honorary doctorate and then asked him to inspire our graduates; instead, I am sure he left them feeling scolded and upbraided. He bemoaned the times, how easily we could lose all that we hold dear as Americans, and, chided this generation for a failure to protest their government.

Look, I feel this way sometimes about my students, but I just found it tacky to take the occasion of college graduation to basically piss off the students going forth into the world. A good many of our graduates do act--whether they protest, engage in service or head to policy institutes. Sure, many of them are apathetic to political issues (they can afford to be). But, why not inspire those who are already out there, challenging our leaders and policies by commending their service and asking for more . . .

Lastly, I want to mention a comment Prince made that I found to be puzzling, if not emblematic of how out of touch he is with this generation. He criticized this generation for lulling themselves into blogging each other (almost his exact words) rather than engaging in political activism. I wondered if Prince had ever seen a blog or read about how influential bloggers have been in recent activism and political races?

Has the Civil Rights generation turned curmudgeonly?