Friday, January 5, 2018

That 1980s feeling

On another blog, I wrote about how the fall of 2016 was feeling a lot like the time leading up to the 1980 election:
I was cheered last week, when walking back from the bus stop I saw two school buses carrying students from Carleton University to a protest march to the effect that university education should be free. I was cheered because Carleton has 28,000 [full-time] students and the people organizing the protest could only gather two school bus loads to support their cause.

That reminded me of how it felt back in 1979. The protesting few got all the press then as they do now. You felt alone if you didn't agree with the notion that university education should be free. You might meet others who felt this way and it felt good to talk to them but that good feeling would be quickly overwhelmed by all the press and attention to protesters got.
To be a university student in the late 1970s was to feel oddly disconnected. The press reported all the time that students were politically radical and the students running the student federations all were but you rarely ran into students who felt that way. Students tended to be liberal but in a pretty easy-going and noncommittal fashion as, I suspect, they have been for centuries.

Anyway, there is further evidence of this disconnect, it seems students are not nearly so fond BDS as we have been led to believe.

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