Smoke naked for rights

Peter Gillette

“We enter a new millennium in chains. Despite decades of political struggle, we remain unfree. At no prior point in the history of Lawrentians have the inhabitants of this campus been more clothed, sober, indoctrinated, monitored, governed, policed, taxed, and exploited. Virtue and ethics have given way to obedience. Administration has substituted truth [sic]. We ask our selves [sic], ‘What is to be done?'”

I read something liberally resembling the above blathering nonsense on one of the hundreds of curious anarchy fliers distributed Saturday morning, and thought maybe a campus activism was starting up. It turns out, though, it was just a gumptious anon who, shockingly, suggested that instead of governments we form… community councils.

Well, we have a community council. But do we have an operable student government? Perhaps Anonarchist is correct in drawing a distinction between the two. It seems some think Student Government ought to administer policies coming down from on high; swallow the bitter pill and hash out the minutiae of surrender.

I perversely appreciate a good anti-democratic surprise attack as much as the next closet Republican, but I oppose recent administrative decisions for the same reason I opposed the war in Iraq: both decisions were poorly executed, hegemonic actions that sought to cloak “doctrines of the wiser part” in sham parliamentary decisions.

There are more responsible ways to legislate responsibility.

Certainly an institutionalized orgy poses various PC problems, and those Main Hall smokers (the majority of whom seem to be tenured profs) might stink up my coat from time to time, but LUCC and class offices exist to offer substantial solutions to these problems.

Perhaps senior class officials would have consented to, I don’t know, a drink limit? A simple “you’ve had enough?” Maybe the powers that be from the alumni office would take the first step in pointing out how the VR debacles aren’t “official” by not attending, much less participating in, such revels.

Perhaps smoking rooms would be more effective than smoking halos.

What if students quit? Then they’d gain weight, and later they’d have to diet excessively before the streak, right? Good thing it’s canceled.

You are likely not a smoker, and may likely oppose running around drunk and naked… but someday it will be your sensitivity up for legislation. For instance, someone may want to legislate your right to slip hundreds of incoherent political fliers under doors…

If we don’t make some noise in support of substantial student legislating power, the anarchist’s vision of a non-governing community council may indeed come to pass quite quickly.

Are we going to have to stand naked next autumn with lit cigarettes 29 feet from a building, hoping someone hears our protests?

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