Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Boy's First Pundit Gig

For a glimpse into one possible future for me, tune in to WHYY's Radio Times (it's an NPR affiliate) tomorrow around 10 am EDT. I'll be on with an expert (to scarequote or not to scarequote) from Harvard and a recent Bucknell grad to talk about student politics. If you're in the Delaware valley, that's 91 FM. Otherwise, you can stream it from your computer here. I make no guarantees about my performance, especially considering that 10 am there is 7 am here, but Tim Cavanaugh sure has (misplaced?) faith in me:
Topic for discussion: student attitudes on politics; Koffler will be in character as a "young politically active voter" discussing why "Issues are supplanting party affiliation as the new guiding force for the youth vote," and he'll be drawing talking points from his fascinating recent Dissent article that dissected the uselessness of the left, the hopelessness of the right, and the myth of student "apathy." Other panelists include John Della Volpe, who directs Harvard University's annual poll on student political attitudes, so you'll know Koffler's ahead when Della Volpe exclaims, "You, sir, have the boorish manners of Yalie!"
I'll try not to disappoint.

UPDATE: Well, that was fun. I got nervous a couple of times and didn't express myself quite as well as I could have, but I think I acquitted myself okay.

UPDATE: After I went off the air, John from Northeast Pennsylvania called in to say (slight paraphrase): "I want to say something to Mr. Della Volpe. He said liberals are humorless."

The host interrupted: "Actually, I think that was Daniel Koffler."

John: "Okay, sorry then. If he thinks liberals are humorless, I have one word for him: Bushisms."

UPDATE: The final caller of the day opined that: "You guys [i.e. myself and the sweet-sounding girl from the Bucknell College Republicans] are both ridiculous...College exists to indoctrinate people into capitalism. You can be a liberal capitalist or a conservative capitalist, but the voices of opposition you hear come from anti-capitalists."

UPDATE (7/15/05): You can still hear my clip, just follow the link to Radio Times and search for "koffler".


At 1:33 AM, Anonymous Comrade K said...

"Politically active?" Since when has this blog ever represented any form of political activism? Doesn't activism imply action? Oh, wait, apparently I missed the point of Mr. Koffler's essay and am rehashing those obsolete assumptions of the activist left which mistake the "new student politics" for apathy. Okay, allow me to revise my terminology: better to say that this so-called new student politics is "numb;" or, even better, "myopic." Is there any clearer sign of this political decline than Mr. Koffler's essay itself, i.e., the admission by this self-obsessed student that there could even be such a thing as an identifiable mainstream in student politics, one, moreover, which is praised and attributed a mysterious normative power simply because it is (so he claims) the mainstream? We're to believe that those students who seem the least publicly sensitive are not politically disengaged because, in fact, they're just following the dictates of some mysterious, legitimating general will, which just so happens to be characterized by many of the qualities one might associate with political disengagement, such as consumerism and atomism? We're to accept that inaction is action, simply because you classify it as a new species of political activity that is, conveniently, unrecognizable through established political categories?


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