Monday, April 05, 2004
I'm so ugly
That's okay 'cause so are you
We've broken our mirrors
And here it is, ten years later. Today, I suppose, every paper in the world will run something on the tenth anniversary of Kurt Cobain's death. Everyone who's anyone will mourn publically and fashionably (or not, if that is perceived as the most fashionable choice). Cobain's death was the first of two suicides that would send me stumbling through the nineties. The second, on August 3rd, 1995, would be infinitely more personal, but the two will always be connected in my head. Silk was, in part, a response to Kurt Cobain's death. Threshold was, almost entirely, a response to the second suicide.
I'm standing too close to lines I don't cross in public. So I shall take a step back.
Neil forwarded me an e-mail from Lemony Snicket. I will quote from it:
The Academy of Art University here in San Francisco - the biggest art school in the country - recently expelled a student for writing a violent short story, and then fired his instructor for teaching a story by David Foster Wallace the administration also found offensive. As this story broke in the press (SFGate.com) the school has responded by announcing stringent policies regarding the content of students' artwork (writing, visual art, film, video game design, etc.), what can be taught in the classroom, and who is allowed to speak on campus. This was brought home to me when an instructor at the college invited me to speak to his class (along with the fired teacher and a representative of the First Amendment Project) and I was physically barred from entering the building.
Obviously this is creepy and idiotic, and the First Amendment Project is (as usual) doing a bang-up job bringing these issues to the public...On Wednesday, an instructor is inviting a horde of artists to speak on free expression, and we'll be presenting a list to the Academy saying "We support free expression and oppose the misguided policies you have recently adopted regarding what can and cannot be expressed at your institution." If you live in the Bay Area, and would like to come down, that'd be great...
Please read the article at SFGate.com (link above). It is, indeed, an idiotic situation, and it's difficult not to see it as setting a dangerous precedent.