There you are leafing absent-mindedly through the faculty bulletins and you suddenly see a "Junket to a Third World fly-speck shit-hole to be seen with a psycho dictator" application. Is that cool? You might still be a nerd but the photos of you will look extra special and hardly anyone will ever know you're really better at research than being a Cold-Eyed Killer of the Globo-Nazis. OK, so you might be a third-rate hack in the faculty as well. But those photos. The Image!
Edward Said: Columbia University's famous warrior-scholar, is dead, felled at age 67 by leukemia.
Columbia mourns. "This death is an irreplaceable loss to the realm of ideas," said President Lee Bollinger.
Bollinger's grief is shared by many. CounterPunch, a journal of the radical left, has run a series of fervid tributes to Said's life and work. The Saudi government-controlled Arab News has extolled him in almost glowing terms. Not since the Soviet-Nazi nonaggression pact of 1939 has there been such ideological harmony.
Said not only united fascists and Communists, he also served as an ecumenical bridge. He was the rare Episcopalian admired by Hamas, whose goal of eradicating Israel he shared; Hezbollah - which was his host in southern Lebanon on his famous rock-throwing expedition - and other pillars of Islamic orthodoxy.
Ward Churchill: is perhaps one of the most provocative thinkers around. A Creek and enrolled Keetoowah Band Cherokee, Churchill is a longtime Native rights activist. He has been heavily involved in the American Indian Movement and the Leonard Peltier Defense Committee. He is Professor of Ethnic Studies at the University of Colorado and has served as a delegate to the UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations.
One of Churchill's areas of expertise is the history of the U.S. government's genocide of Native Americans—the chronic violation of treaties and systematic extermination of North American indigenous populations. His many books include A Little Matter of Genocide: Holocaust and Denial in the Americas: 1492 to Present (1998) and The COINTELPRO Papers: Documents from the FBI's Secret Wars Against Dissent in the U.S. (2nd edition, 2002). His new book, On the Justice of Roosting Chickens: Reflections on the Consequences of U.S. Imperial Arrogance and Criminality, was just published by AK Press (www.akpress.org).
As a member of a people who have been on the receiving end of violence, Churchill has a rather distinct perspective of the U.S. and the effectiveness of political dissent and social change.
From Satya: "Dismantling the Politics of Comfort: The Satya Interview with Ward Churchill" ; April 2004. Follow link to Ward Churchill to a defunct blog that concerned itself with vegetarianism, environmentalism, animal advocacy, and social justice. How can one get any cooler than that? Well, one might try carrying a gun and wearing sunglasses and a beret.
Jean Ziegler: (born April 19, 1934) is the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food and a senior professor of sociology at the University of Geneva and the Sorbonne, Paris. He was a Member of Parliament for the Social Democrats in the Swiss federal parliament from 1981 to 1999, now he is one of the biggest protagonists of the alter-globalization movement.
In 2006, Ziegler said, "I refuse to describe Hezbollah as a terrorist organisation. It is a national resistance movement. I can understand Hezbollah when they kidnap soldiers ..."
Al-Amir Fudh: Former sociology professor at Harvard's School for Advanced Marxist Dialectic. Fudh converted to Islam after the fall of East Germany's Communist government in 1989, at which time he became a world-renowned jihadi, perhaps as well know as his acolyte Osama bin Wadin.
Famous for his fatwas on Ducks, Fudh is also known for his fatwas on Wabbits, who must be, as he says, killed: Watch it here.
Since I don't have sunglasses and an AK47 to pose with I guess it's time to get back to the books. But, I'll be back.