I suggest, as a corollary to Orwell’s prescient observation that (I’m paraphrasing) some things are so stupid that only an intellectual could believe them, that should you seek stupidity in depth and a full lock on all mental development, enroll in a prestige high-fee North American liberal university. Further, I hold that whatever debates may be underway about the targets of Orwell’s dystopian Nineteen Eighty-Four, the modern university is the only institution that has taken that noble work for use as a manual.
For where else are words turned quite upside down, flipped over to stand on their bruised heads and told to dance to the rigorous tunes of fanatics? For it is only on a university campus that simple, basic words are made by violence to take on their exact and opposite meanings: up is down, right is wrong, day is night, and anti-fascism is fascism.
A couple of nights ago the Twitter-banished, Trump supporter, Internet gadfly and author Milo Yiannopoulos was scheduled to give a talk at the (hilariously regarded) home of the Free Speech movement of the 1960s, Berkeley campus in Oceania, sorry, in California. If I were to characterize Yiannopoulos I’d put him down as a right-wing, more sophisticated version of Jon Stewart. He is certainly more clever. There is a relaxed quality to his goading of the politically correct hordes that Stewart’s more determined sneering never really achieved.
Milo doesn’t have a TV show (yet) but he gives talks and is on a campus tour. Naturally when he showed up at Berkeley a riot broke out. A little flavour of the evening may be gleaned from any number of sources: “Protesters armed with bricks and fireworks mounted an assault on the building hosting a speech by … Milo Yiannopoulos.” Another: “Several injuries have been reported and at least four banks have been vandalized after demonstrators marched away from the scene of a violent protest at the cancelled speaking event by … speaker Yiannopoulos.”