[percy-l] "I don't pay much attention to the right or the left. . ."

Brian N. brian at beachcitygas.com
Sat Dec 28 19:40:18 EST 2002

". . . Students are, if the truth be known, a bad lot.  En masse they're 
as fickle as a mob, manipulable by any professor who'll stoop to it. 
They have, moreover, an infinite capacity for repeating dull truths and 
old lies with all the insistence of self-discovery.  Nothing is drearier 
than the ideology of students, left and right."

That's on page 219 of Love In The Ruins.

Sitting on an airplane for five hours en route to Kauai for Christmas 
holiday I worked my way through this three decade old book.  But stuff 
like this quote makes it seem written yesterday.  Or at least prescient 
of the university students here in Santa Cruz in the new century.

Someone once said something to the effect that the only thing that 
doesn't change is the avant garde.  Well, maybe we can add university 
groupthink to that as well.  Why is the current out gassing from the 
ivory tower today hardly different than three decades ago?  And I 
presume that what Percy wrote at that time had meaning because it was a 
reflection on the three decades or so prior to that.

And, perhaps like WP was presaging, we now live in what can fairly be 
described as the post-civilization/post-human culture.  There is lots of 
freedom here, thanks to the local meatheads:  Safety free, prosperity 
free, civility free culture.

Where was it I recently read that "libertinism is the final step before 

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