Friday, August 20, 2004

Did I mention about murky and grainy?

Well, first off, today is the anniversary of the first post coming down at World O'Crap, without doubt on of the finest blogs out there. You may recall that we first tumbled to World O'Crap over their coverage of "Family Circus," and we have been faithful readers ever since. We here at Oi! Thump! offer our most profound congratulations.

On a less happy note, there's this bit of non-news.

Web Posted Aug 20 2004 06:11 AM MDT
Alberta not funding universities: report

Edmonton - Alberta has been ranked seventh among provinces for how its post-secondary institutions are supported.

The report from the Centre for Policy Alternatives looks at how much governments spend on their universities and colleges. In the five years the centre has conducted the study, Alberta has ranked in the bottom half.

Y'know I remember back in the heady days of the early nineties, when student activism actually meant something. That was back in the days when the Klein government's sneering contempt for university students was public, official policy. For example, Alberta readers may remember Mr. John Gogo, Advanced Education Minister back then, who had never been to university in his life and whose open antipathy towards the students culminated in him being hit with an egg at a rally in 1991. I also remember marching across the High-Level Bridge with several thousand others, and a piper leading, on a freezing cold day in March to protest government cutbacks.

Now, the only bit of that policy that it seems to me has changed is the "public" part. King Ralph and his Merry Men still don't seem to have a lot of interest in post-secondary education, except for the engineering faculty at the U. of A., which is rapidly becoming one of the finest in Canada. Which is fine; I'm in favour of engineering. Part of that is the Klein Government's legendary penny-pinching; Ralph doesn't like giving money to anything. But part of it also lies in a large segment of Alberta society that believes the "book-learnin'" is over-rated, and that students are just a bunch of long-haired idealistic lefties who "need to get out in the real world." One gets quite a lot of this if one happens to be, God forbid, doing an Arts degree. It really reminds me of the excellent quote from Blazing Saddles.

You've got to remember, that these are just simple farmers, these are people of the land, the common clay of the new west. You know . . . morons.

Anyway, it's a complex issue (one that would be a Hell of a lot less complex if our provincial government would drop the 'tude and realize that not everybody is interested in studying that which will make them the most money), and I'm babbling here, so I'll stop and go away.

No comments: