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November 09, 2007

How Unbelievably Creepy And Bizarre

Check out this story of Michael Albert's about rushing fraternities at MIT in 1965. It starts at 51:20.

This is everything I always hoped a fraternity would be, except twelve million times worse.

Posted at November 9, 2007 08:19 AM | TrackBack

he looks like a character actor from some movie about the mafia. you know, that guy.

Posted by: jonathan versen at November 9, 2007 09:45 AM

Wow. Most excellent; a very engaging and interesting clip.

Posted by: Ted at November 9, 2007 12:44 PM

I watched the frat segment of the Mike Albert video. He mentions there that his "brothers" had picked him as the guy who would be Undergraduate Association President. The thing is - they were right - he DID become UAP. I was there (I didn't know him personally, and he'd have no reason to remember me - but he was a Big Man On Campus).

After he was elected UAP, the Brazil Power Company sent him a letter of congratulations - he posted it on the door of the his office in the student center - with the return address circled - "Montreal, Canada". The transnational corporation ain't no new thing.

Mike Albert in those days was thinner, of course (me too) but he had then a way of speaking in which it was clear to you, the listener, that he had analyzed everything thoroughly, and that the conclusions he had reached were the ones that you, the reasonable and well-intentioned person, would also reach. He's a bit more laid-back now, to judge from this example.

I had a fund-raising call from the MIT Alumni Association last night, coincidentally enough. As a very small potatoes donor, I have the honor of being importuned by persons who assert that they are undergraduates. My caller said she was a sophomore, and after declining her invitation to increase my level of giving ("put me down for the same as last year") I asked her if there was any antiwar sentiment on campus among the students. Not as she'd noticed, but maybe if she looked in the student newspaper she'd find some (I just looked, and what I found is War Party propaganda instead - on today's front page of The Tech is a picture of a young man in uniform carrying a rifle - "U.S. Air Force Cadet Nathan Elowe (Tufts University) slowly marches across the MIT Student Center steps during a remembrance ceremony held Tuesday afternoon. The Air Force, Army, and Navy Reserve Officers’ Training Corps programs held the ceremony to remember prisoners of war and soldiers missing in action." ) - she actually said that students her age paid more attention to MTV than to politics.

Maybe it's true. Maybe it's what she's been instructed to say to any such inquiries - because you can't tell what the person asking such a question wants to hear, what the "right" answer is in terms of encouraging donations, and so the best thing to do is just to give an excuse in order to not answer the question. Back when I was a young whippersnapper, American foreign policy was a life and death question. It still is, of course - except that the people being asked to answer it are not American college students, particularly those at elite universities.

And of course, as Mike Albert knows very well, "War! What is it good for?" has an extremely cogent answer - "It's good for business" - especially the high-tech businesses which are so important a part of the MICFiC (military-industrial-congressional-financial-complex) and MIT's constituency.

Posted by: mistah charley, ph.d. at November 9, 2007 02:01 PM

Mike Albert is one of my favorite people. He is a tremendous man.He has so much energy.He has written about his MIT days on his website, ZNET. I remember reading it sometime ago.It was a very interesting read.
He is Chomsky's friend.

Posted by: Ajit at November 10, 2007 03:08 AM