Progressive politics, ideas & culture


Shameless Cross-promotion

This Magazine Staff

(Yeah, yeah, yeah. Remember: the Rebel Sell was an award-winning article that appeared first in This Magazine and I’m milking the google hits for all they’re worth. Read the article then go and buy the book, ok?)
Peterborough’s student newspaper The Arthur has an exclusive interview today with our own Andrew Potter about the book the Rebel Sell. It’s a good read, mainly because it gives Potter a chance to address some of the half-baked notions about their critique that seem to be coming mainly from people who’ve only read the liner notes.
But those of you who know Trent alum, or have ever visited, will probably giggle at how Professor Potter describes his students and colleagues (and this lead quite succinctly describes the myth, that political change is somehow achieved through to what you wear or the coffee you drink):
Arthur: When I contacted you about a possible interview for Arthur, you accepted but also remarked with certainty that the Trent crowd would not be sympathetic to your book at all. What do you think is most “unacceptable” about it for the Trent crowd?

Andrew Potter: Well, at the risk of engaging in a gross generalization, it seems to me that the political and intellectual climate at Trent is dominated by what Joe and I call “the myth of counterculture.” That is, at Trent there is a widespread commitment to the ideal of countercultural rebellion as a form of effective political action. To a large extent, this is not unique to Trent; every university has a large contingent of students (and professors) who believe that growing dreadlocks, listening to underground music, wearing clothes from Guatemala, traveling to exotic places etc., are all things that have political import.

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