Lindsay Perigo
Lindsay Perigo

The Politically Incorrect Show - 05/03/2001

[Music - Die Fledermaus]

Good afternoon, Kaya Oraaa & welcome to the Politically Incorrect Show on the free speech network, Radio Pacific, for Monday March 5, proudly sponsored by Neanderton Nicotine Ltd., the show that says bugger the politicians & bureaucrats & all the other bossyboot busybodies who try to run our lives with our money; that stands tall for free enterprise, achievement, profit, & excellence, against the state-worshippers in our midst; that stands above all for the most sacred thing in the universe, the liberty of the human individual.

[Music up, music down!]

Today, the story of Rupert & Andrew, two pals whose friendship is a bit strained at the moment. Rupert writes a column for the Auckland University student magazine, Craccum. He wrote one in January lamenting that modern-day students don't get excited about global issues the way students used to - when they DO get off their chuffs to demonstrate about something, it's something piddling & parochial like student loans. At least, I THINK that's what the column was saying - it was so contorted by mangled sentences & spelling errors it was hard to tell. Had I been the boy's editor I would have given him a damn good thrashing, but that's another story. Rupert also appeared to contradict himself by taking potshots at students like Andrew who DO get vocal about global issues - in Andrew's case, THE global issue that I get vocal about: freedom.

So Andrew got a little upset with Rupert. He decided to write a reply. Now it would be fair to say that Andrew has a slight problem with being succinct - he wants to state his whole case from every angle every time he states it. He has the enthusiasm & sense of urgency that new converts to causes normally have, & gets a bit carried away at times. His reply to Rupert ended up being three times longer than the article he was replying to & much longer than anything Craccum would normally run. So Craccum are not going to run it. Andrew & Rupert had some frank & meaningful exchanges on the matter, & things between them, as I said, are a little strained right now.

It's a pity the matter won't be aired, though, since Rupert's question - & Andrew's answer - is a very good one. In my brief time as a student, the air was electric with political activism. And it was more than just politics - we would sit up till all hours of the night debating all of life's big questions, often ferociously. From all accounts, that doesn't happen any more - which IS odd, since it is at this age in particular that youngsters search for ideas & ideals.

Andrew's answer is that this generation has finally succumbed to decades, centuries even, of scepticism in philosophy, whereby there are no answers, only questions, which, since there are no answers, it is pointless to ask - one should just shrug, mumble something like "Who gives a shit anyway?" & act on the whim of the moment. That DOES appear to be the line that many youngsters take - the line of least intellectual resistance. And it WOULD appear to be the line encouraged by some of their philosophy tutors - there will be an account in the next Free Radical of a lecturer who tore down every philosophic system in sight & then told his students that the best they could do was "place bets" as to what might be true.

Philosophy is capable of much better than this. So too are modern youngsters.

Which brings us back to Andrew & Rupert. Will they patch things up?! Personally, I hope so - it's sad to see two such likeable rogues estranged. In the meantime, Craccum's loss might well be The Free Radical's gain!

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