Inside Higher Ed reports on this week’s candidate for Dumbest Administration Ever: Arkansas Tech:
After the Virginia Tech murders a year ago, Yale University banned the use of stage weapons in a student theatrical production — infuriating actors and educators who believed audience members could distinguish drama from real life. After a few days of ridicule, Yale backed down.
A year later, after another gun tragedy, college officials are still trying to figure out how to make their campuses safe — and theater still is a target. A student production of Assassins, the award-winning musical, was to have premiered Thursday night at Arkansas Tech University, but the administration banned it — and permitted a final dress rehearsal Wednesday night (so the cast could experience the play on which students have worked long hours) only on the condition that wooden stage guns were cut in half prior to the event and not used. Assassins is a musical in which the characters are the historic figures who have tried to kill a U.S. president.
You know, I can understand it when schools attempt to imitate the things that the Ivy League does right. But, really, it takes a special brand of stupid to decide to imitate the widely ridiculed failures of the Ivy League. This deserves some sort of Andrew Burt Order of Merit award.
The best sentence in the article, though, is:
Adding to the anger of many on the campus is that the film American Gangster, featuring plenty of blood and violence — and none from singing historical figures — was screened on campus this week.
Scott Jaschik wins the Internet this morning just for that aside.
(The post title is a paraphrase of something a coach at a basketball camp said to me a long time ago: “Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach. Those who have no fucking idea officiate.”)