Saturday, 19 February 2011

The Joys Of University

Pay. Nearly £4000 for one year. Pay for the privilege of being insulted. Over and over again. Not over a 2:1? Check! English not first language? Check! 4 grand to spare, presumably under the proverbial mattress? Check!
Barriers. Walls, even. That’s what they are, that’s what they are there for. To keep you out. Don’t think for a second that they are there to teach anything. I’ve spent enough time in academic settings to know that the learning process is anecdotal. They are walls designed to keep millions out, to kill your aspirations and dreams, to eliminate all sight of opportunity from your unwritten destiny.
I read their “requirements” and my anger bursts out inside me with two very determined words. Fuck you. I don’t normally swear, so this is a sign of how much contempt I have in store for their values and their rules.
I cannot help but wonder how people worse off than me would react to these institutions. My feelings, if nothing else, at least give me a taste of the experiences of those further down in the social hierarchy. How much contempt do they have?

How much of what society presents as “good and noble” do they respond to with hatred.
It is entirely reasonable to hate those who hate you. It is entirely reasonable to spit at the door being shut on your face. It is reasonable not only to despise the values used to keep you away but also to despise the very institutions based on those values.
And that is why the poor, the “working classes”, the marginalized, the oppressed, don’t want to take part in the “paper chase” of the Ivory Tower. Because they are kept away, on purpose. And because we humans tend dislike those who dislike us.
They may not want to “improve themselves”, where “improve” means “being more like the elites”. They may not want to be like the ones who look down on them. They may not believe that the “good and noble” institutions are actually all that “good and noble”. And here lies the problem. Because everything that our society deems “truth and beauty” has had the blessing of the elites. It will espouse their values.
The “oppressed” are then deprived, one way or another, of any semblance of “truth and beauty”. Either it is kept away from them on purpose, in which case they won’t be able to access it, or it will reflect the values of those who keep it away from them on purpose, in which case they will be the ones rejecting it.

Fuck you, university. I wonder what I’ll do without you.   

No comments: