Hey, people quit their jobs all the time. Why should we care?

The professors in question were a couple of performance artists who were working in the art department. They’re all in a tizzy ’cause a student wasn’t suspended for a performance.

Anyway, some graduate student had a peice where he aimed a real-looking gun at his head and pulled the trigger. The gun didn’t fire, the kid walked out the door, and the sound of a gunshot rang out from outside the room.

Yeah, yeah, I know. People get to apply for grant money for this? I’m in the wrong business.

But any negative reaction is unwarranted. Near as I can tell, no one was threatened with the gun. In fact, no one was harmed at all. The cops aren’t even sure if the gun used was real. Sounds like a whole lot of nothing to me.

That’s what the school administration figured, since they refused to suspend the kid for his (heh) art. That’s why the two profs, Chris Burden and Nancy Rubins, decided to call it quits and turned in their walking papers.

What’s really fascinating to me is that Chris Burden is bitchin’ about this. He first gained fame in 1971 as a young performance artist who had a buddy shoot his arm with a .22 rifle. (Here’s a blurry picture of the moment of impact.)

Oh, but that was different! Burden claims that the graduate student who faked suicide committed an act of “domestic terrorism”. Having his own arm shot way back when wasn’t the same since no one in the audience felt they were in any danger, while the kid at UCLA caused “genuine fear”.

Wah wah wah. Cry me a river, Chris. He’s probably just jealous that he didn’t think of the idea first.

Click and Read

Did you have an imagination when you were a kid? Then you need to read this.

It’s from Bob Wallace, who gave up on reading because the schools leached all the wonder out of it. Then, when he was 11, he found his first John Carter, Warlord of Mars book.

Anybody else in here remember that day? When you opened a crappy old book, one with words and no pictures or nothin’, and magic happened?

Bob says that we’re not doing the kids any favor by sanitizing their reading material.

“If stories for kids are boring, kids certainly aren’t going to want to read. And if they don’t read, then they can’t take much advantage of all the knowledge available in literature. That’s saying bye-bye to all the accumulated wisdom of the human race.”

Go read his post. It’s not Burroughs, but there’s still a little magic in there.

(Big hat tip to Trajectory at The Beagle Express, who’s another fellow who remembers.)