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lost causes

By Brad Wallace
Arizona Daily Wildcat
April 30, 1999
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Arizona Daily Wildcat

I am for Students Against Sweatshops.

It is a noble cause, one that seeks to end injustice and cruelty, and force unbiased examination of corporate actions here and abroad. So imagine my horror, repugnance, and disgust reading about their actions this week. It usually takes several years for a cause to be warped into hideous self-mockery, but I give those sit-in protesters my warmest regards for being so damned quick.

The real hero here is Dr. Likins. If old Manny Pacheco was still running the show, he'd have downed the better part of a fifth and got out the ol' shotgun. Instead, Dr. Likins has invited a corps of negotiators into his office, meeting late into the night on weekends, and compromised on all major points of SAS's demands. Done deal. Score one for human rights, ink the papers.

But sadly, no. Out to break a standing record of four days, SAS pushed for more demands, including a ridiculous student advisory board to watchdog the watchdog groups. They have entered the realm of utter insanity, attacking the Daily Wildcat because we haven't printed every bit of sage wisdom to fall from their mouths.

I should mention that several cover pages have been given to SAS, which is more than I could say for some other tragic and important world events that have transpired lately. Instead we have some graduate students and 24-year-old political science majors griping because the world is evil and wow, gee whiz, isn't it fun to be famous because you're running your mouth off?

In fact, there's names everywhere in the Wildcat of prominent SAS members, and they are receiving spots on most local media outlets. What righteous satisfaction they must feel, prolonging this discussion to get their faces right up there on Channel 4 with Patty Weiss!

Idealism has never tasted so sweet! And they get to smoke cigarettes and watch Ed Wood on the balcony! Golly that must be a lot more fun than school! Not to mention that they require full-time police supervision, drawing officers from other beats on campus. Sure hope that no one gets mugged because of SAS!

Or there's the bald fact that Likins has compromised, and pretty much SAS has slapped him in the face by saying that he is untrustworthy.

If I were up there in the big brick office, negotiations would be concluded. I would feel great reluctance to indulge student activists with future negotiations, based on their unscrupulous behavior. I might even call out the cops, so they could get back to more important things besides baby-sitting some idealists.

There is tremendous evil and suffering in the world. Yes, we should all do something to make this world a little better. But we should do it quietly, not seeking recognition, and accepting the best possible compromise when it is offered.

I tell you what though, I walked by those demonstrators last week, and I signed their petition, and more than one of their delegates was wearing Gap brand clothing. I love the smell of hypocrisy, and so much SAS. Because they must be drowning in it right now.

So get back to your movies and smoking and griping about how goddamn tough your struggle against evil is, because if Ghandi could see what was going on in the big red brick building, I'd bet he'd vomit. And he wouldn't even demand extra media coverage.