Sep 232008
Authors: Ryan Nowell

Campus is still abuzz over Thursday’s rooftop encounter with the Norseman of Unrest.

Draped in the Americn flag and armed with a banner, our intrepid Saxon dissenter caused the largest impromptu spectacle of the semester, not counting the regularly scheduled spectacles of Hare Krishni Oscar-winning rappers, and those creepy old backwoods Christian guys that look like they pan for gold on the weekends.

But despite the attention, the student body seems less than galvanized to the Viking’s cause.

One of several criticisms the protest has received is that the cause is not entirely clear.

The “fuverment,” for those of you who don’t remember, were a consortium of sneeches that suckled like leeches on the hard work of the warbulous weeps in the Dr. Seuss classic “Walter Van Veeble and the Thinly-Veiled Propaganda Magooz.”

A shady crowd, that fuverment, and certainly deserving of a sound gucking. But what could this vague reference mean?

There’s where the protest failed: It was far too subtle. For all the fault that can be found with the stunt, though, I applaud Leif Erik Son-of-Liberty.

I salute you for doing something. Condolences on the bike thing. That sucks.

No, as has been the norm lately, I’m faulting us. I know, again.

But we really do suck, gang.

There was once a time when the word “student” was synonymous with radical thinking and grassroots progressivism.

College campuses were hotbeds for unrest, debate, demonstrations and thousands of insufferable pricks who knew “what the problem is with this country.”

*Cough* What?

Nowadays, “student” is synonymous with beer pong, mooching, hipsterdom and the clap.

And not the kind that turns off lights.

Well . there is this one move, but that isn’t the point, and it hurts a whole bunch.

The point is we’ve been stripped of our political relevance. How can we change anything? The hippies had at least 10 good years before they sold out — we’re cashing in our chips before the legal drinking age.

It speaks volumes of our complacency when our generation’s spiritual successor to the Weather Underground and the Black Panthers is a guy dressed like a Red Bull Flugtag contestant.

The Denver Democratic National Convention’s answer to the Chicago Seven was the members of Rage Against the Machine, two petulant jaywalkers and that guy that yelled at the Fox News lady.

Perhaps the comparison is unfair though. After all, the ’60s radicals were facing a much greater menace when one considers that their rights were being impugned and there was an unjust war being waged.

You can’t see it, but I’m double-taking comically right now. Okay, now I’ve stopped.

Now I’m drinking some water. Mm. Mm. Water. Yes. Hydration is important.

Perhaps I’m not articulating what’s lacking here.

After all, the Weather Underground were terrorists in the property-destruction sense of the word, and the Black Panthers would’ve gladly walloped my cracker head open if it meant freedom from institutional oppression.

Funny hats and mnemonic devices are much healthier ways of expressing one’s dissent next to violence and bombings. It’s the passion that’s gone.

People have to resort to farce to even have their message (assuming they have one) noticed, and we look at them as we would a costumed Disney character, bemused with the quaint novelty of someone’s political convictions.

From our post-post-jaded view of the world, conviction is apparently trite, and the idea that you and your friends could do something to evoke change, an adorable pipedream.

The back of the classroom is getting more and more crowded. It’s not The Man that’s keeping us down.

No Man, no matter how capitalized, can suppress a population that actually wanted their country back. Thing is, we don’t. At least not enough.

We’ll buy Che Guevara T-shirts, pin up the Hunter S. Thompson posters, nod along to “Fight Club” and infrequently say to our friends “Yes. Yes.

That’s so where it’s at.” But it’s not where we are. We have other things going on. Like right now.

I know you’re thinking about it. It’s calling you, whispering its name as you grow more antsy with each word . Sudoku. Go ahead.

I’d judge, but then, I’m back there too, trying to figure out that Pepe comic.

Ryan Nowell is a senior English major. His column appears Wednesdays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to

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