A reading blog where I will try to my utmost to avoid the mention of books.

Friday, April 4, 2008

When does death come?

I am writing in black. black like my heart, after a certain incident after class to-day, involving me over-hearing a conversation. I'm not going to say what the class was, or who the student was (ok, I don't know her name anyway), or more importantly what that student's major was, because it is wrong to judge people by their majors, and it is also one of my major hobbies.

We had just watched some video of a lecture by Joseph Campbell (if you don't know him, I'm not even going to say look him up, I'm going to say, don't worry about it, because he is pervasive enough that you will; you won't have to try). The lecture was given in the eighties, when he was not only very well-known and respected, but his scholarship had progressed almost as far as it would do; he died soon afterwards.

As we left the class, one of the girls, walking behind me, remarked to another, "When he started to talk--well, first of all, he was old, which turned me off right away." He was old. And, of course, in the realm of scholarship, being old is a bad thing, because it means that you've had more time to learn and study and reflect, gaining both scholarly knowledge and life experience. You have less to learn from old people. It would have been much better if we had watched a video of a twenty-something documentary film maker explaining his take on the universality and particularity of themes stemming from the subconscious as manifested in world mythology, because his fresh perspective would have been worth much more than Joseph Campbell's 50+ years of scholarship.

Some people do not deserve a college education.

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