Friday, December 24, 2004

Brainwashing 101

Following my post on the suppression of free speech at the University of St Andrews, Mike SC emailed me from the USA to recommend the independent documentary "Brainwashing 101" about attacks on dissenting views by means of speech codes on American campuses.

Visiting Instapundit on a regular basis, I've been aware of the film for a while but have never quite got round to watching it. Tonight, with Mrs Bishop out with the girls and the baby Bishops asleep, I got my chance.

It's really very good. Sort of like a celluloid Mark Steyn column, with the ability to make you laugh and spit feathers at the same time. The courage of some of these students is amazing. I found myself wondering if I would have been able to stick to my guns in the same way if I were in their shoes. Now, perhaps. When I was 20? I don't know. In the situation where the academics have almost complete power over you, a British student is powerless. An American knows at least that they have the protection of their constitutional rights and organisations like FIRE who will stand up for them.

It's funny. Glenn Reynolds recently put up a post saying that it had been a good year for free speech. Not here it hasn't.