some push back
Above: CU Regents, hard at work.
Me and a friend have spent the last six months bitching about What Comes After. He finishes in the fall, and if all goes well, I finish in the spring, and as much as we have come to like Denver and Colorado generally, there isn't really much out here for us. We have discovered that as blue as the state has become and as big as the bookstores are, there is still a ceiling out here: I can't seem to find an environmental organization to work at that doesn't begin with "Public" and end with "Interest Research Group" or is otherwise fully committed to doing the valuable work of maintaining mailing lists, while he is planning on doing a doctorate and going on to teach, but in his words, all the post-grad environmental degrees here deal exclusively with "mining and oil."
Ward Churchill tried as hard as he could to bust that ceiling, but there's just not room, at least not yet, for certain kinds of talk and thinking. Indeed, Ward fucked up so bad he turned the Rocky Mountain News - a newspaper that announced on its front page that the weapons of mass destruction had been found and mocked Vine Deloria, Jr. after his death - into an arbitrator of truth and all things Indian. He gave a redundant Bill Owens oppo to leave office on a high note, the chance for scads of minor-league McCarthys and Coughlins, sky high on Bush's reelection, to dream of a world without uppity races and know-it-all Jew professors and people who just said disagreeable things. He even gave the alt-journalists and alt-columnists at Denver's alt-newspaper a chance to show how grown up they are and write bold articles scolding that nasty old boring "Indian" (har, har) and all that boring crap about boring genocide and human rights and land and blah blah boring.
They say the secret to advertising is that you don't sell the product, but that you sell what the product's supposed to make you feel like - that damn essay (and "Some Push Back" is what this is all about, as the fraud and plagarism charges are truly flimsy, obvious even to Naropa students like myself), questions of style notwithstanding (and it's not his best stuff, not by a long shot), that damn essay, it's just a bummer. Now, had he called for the creation of a system of legalized torture, or had actively worked to install the intellectual framework for military despotism - these are things that do not kicked you out of uni. No, they do not. They get you on CNN and on the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal, and while a little pricey, these are notions that are nonetheless highly coveted by serious people, the Orange County-Aspen-Martha's Vineyard set.
Anywho, there are always the coasts. I am partial to the mid-Atlantic, though I've never been to the Pacific Northwest. It looks quite nice.