Saturday, November 19, 2011

Students triumph over UC Davis Police: "Cops are leaving"

Read Jeffrey below on Stones and Time, and also let me join Jeffrey in asking you to read this letter by UC Davis Assistant Professor (let this be a call to tenured profs!) Nathan Brown, who is justly demanding that UC Davis chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi resign.

Watch the video posted with Brown's letter, but watch it to the end. You'll see UC Davis police pepper spray a line of students, and you'll see the faces of the police: watch how they make themselves impassive, doing as much as they can to pretend not to be horrified or pleased by what they do. They imagine themselves subjects of the Law, and--perhaps not being readers of Žižek--they imagine themselves untainted by the inevitable excess of the Law's obscene underside. Auto-reifiers, they want to imagine themselves things, as if they hadn't made a decision to make themselves things, as if things do nothing other than react.

But watch to the end and see the students retake the space. They move from chanting "Shame on you!" to a human-microphoned negotiation, to the chant "You can go!" The cops waver over whether to pepper spray the lot of them, but then back off.


(this wasn't the post I had intended to write. Things got me carried away. Maybe tomorrow or Monday you'll hear what I have to say about Descartes)

1 comment:

Miriamne said...

Karl: These words, "The students win," were almost my 6-year-old daughter's, who asked (we saw the video on , "Did the students win, Mama?" Theirs was a small triumph after an outbreak of unspeakable malice.