Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Critical Shakedown

A sad but necessary melodrama is unfolding in the San Francisco Weekly, centered around my alma mater New College of California's current president Martin Hamilton, and the hand-picked sycophant board of trustees. I believe today's feature story is the third in the past year questioning Hamilton's competence in handling financial matters, personnel management, and student relations.

It's long overdue, and I suspect someone is feeding scandals to the reporter in order to save the school from Hamilton's mismanagement.What interests me about the series, though, is the focus on the administrative hypocrisy in promoting the school as a critical, pious beacon of hope, when in fact those who wield power there are self-aggrandizing phonies who prey on the unfortunate for prestige and profit.

What might interest some is that they have working relationships with KPFA radio and Global Exchange. KPFA, while sponsoring many good community projects, also--through its news and investigative programming--promotes conspiracism to the point it practically hand delivers outraged liberals into the hands of fascists like Lyndon LaRouche. Global Exchange, likewise of some benefit to humanitarian work, promotes moral theatrics as serious politics.

I'm not sure how far SF Weekly intends to go with this questioning of conventional activism angle, but in San Francisco there's plenty of material to work with, and in my opinion, it's a welcome breath of fresh air. I'm sorry the school might have to suffer a shakedown, but it's better than to carry on tarnishing its reputation through contemptuous behavior.