Promo for Simon Fraser University: A Little to the Left

Eldest son Trevor has just graduated B.A. in History from Simon Fraser University (SFU), a fine school located in suburban Vancouver. Like a number of Canadian universities, SFU has been known as leftist in its overall political outlook. Of course, such generalizations about institutions as large and complex as a major university are dubious, if not hopelessly simplistic. Still, by Canadian standards we’re pretty middle-of-the-road politically and Trevor frequently found himself defending relatively conservative positions in his political science and history courses. He liked that sort of engagement, but didn’t admire how merely reflexive were the leftist politics and morality of so many of his fellow students and a considerable number of his professors.

So, as artists do, he sublimated his rage into performance. (Trevor has previously trained as a video and film technician, and has a lot of experience in editing.) And, as Stackhouses do, his performance is sarcastic and, I trust, also pretty funny.

Here, then, is Trevor (SS2K Productions) Stackhouse’s promotional ad for his alma mater, whose current advertising slogan is “Thinking of the World.” Please do visit, rate, and comment on it. He’ll get a kick out of whatever you have to say.

0 Responses to “Promo for Simon Fraser University: A Little to the Left”

  1. P. W. Dunn

    John, Congratulations on the your son’s graduation! It was a great video, but for some reason it reminded me of some SG1 episodes.

  2. P. W. Dunn

    Well, for the sake of your other readers, the campus of SFU looks like the Tollan home world in Stargate SG1. The Tollan were advanced race capable of defeating the Goa’uld. The Tollan world and people were apparently destroyed in ca. 2001.

  3. John Stackhouse

    I’m guessing it IS the Tollan home world, since Stargate SG-1 is filmed in Vancouver and SFU is a frequently used set. (“The Day the Earth Stood Still” features it, for example, as does Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “The Sixth Day,” lots of X-Files episodes, and more.)

  4. Trevor Stackhouse

    Yes, Stargate SG1 was filmed on the SFU campus. So were Andromeda and Battlestar Galactica.

  5. P. W. Dunn

    Despite the apparent destruction of the Tollan home world, the SFU campus remains apparently intact. Also, one of the Tollans, who had a crush on Samantha Carter, apparently survived the Goa’uld attack and returned to Earth appearing again as Simon Wallis, the one-time fiancé of Elizabeth Weir, who evidently was unaware that he was an alien despite her connection with the Stargate program.

  6. poserorprophet

    Um… apart from the Lenin, I thought that all the quotes were bang-on.

  7. John Stackhouse

    #8–I like your contrarian style, Dan, no doubt! But I must demur on the Mao quotation (it’s utopian) and the Chavez quotation (I like markets + protection of the weak + trust-busting + strong intermediate institutions–neither mere capitalism nor socialism). And I’m not sure Lenin is wrong, actually! 😉

  8. Don MacLachlan

    Having grown up with Milton Friedman, Friedrich Hayek, et al., I got advanced LOL when I saw Trevor’s video. Memories of Martin Loney and the SFU of the 1970s.
    But wiuth my official hat on (see sig below) I wondered if those with no sense of humour (or no knowledge of SFU) might be misled by the title “Simon Fraser University Recruitment Ad”.
    Could you pass on to Trevor my thought that he make it more clear the video is a delightful tribute to his alma lefta (sinistra?) and not REALLY an SFU recruitment ad?????

    Don MacLachlan
    Director, Public Affairs and Media Relations
    Simon Fraser University
    8888 University Drive
    Burnaby BC V5A 1S6
    Phone: 778-782-3929
    Fax: 778-782-3039

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  9. poserorprophet

    Dr. Stackhouse,

    My problem isn’t so much with what Lenin says in the quote — it’s more about how that ended up playing out.

    Also, regarding the Mao quote, I reckon that it’s hard to read the NT and disavow any and all utopianism. Although I know some people who do that (*cough, cough*), I personally suspect that Christianity is inescapably utopian.

  10. John Stackhouse

    Ahem. I agree that the Bible is utopian. (Not just the New Testament [*cough, hack, etc.*].) It’s just that its utopianism isn’t a function of “the energy of the masses,” right?

    And of course you’re right about Lenin, but then you’d have to disavow the lines from Marx and Stalin, too.

    (I’ll bet your wife has to finally slap you upside the head in domestic arguments and say, “Stop being clever, you bad man! It’s your fault and you simply must take out the garbage!” Mine does.)

  11. poserorprophet

    Actually, in domestic arguments I’m usually so busy bawling my eyes out that I can’t think of anything clever to say.

    And, while biblical utopianism may not be ‘a function’ of the energy of the masses, it is certainly closely related to it (perhaps even inextricably so).


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