You can Bank on it I reckon! I know who I’d trust with the money – more details tomorrow evening. Do stay tuned in, turned on and Walk Out…

Here.

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  • john hutnyk  On 24/11/2010 at 1:49 pm

    It went off well then. Video to come.
    http://universityforstrategicoptimism.wordpress.com

    Like

  • dissafectedY  On 25/11/2010 at 2:23 am

    Hello guys, what a day! Here are my lecture notes, feel free to put on
    the USO blog if you want.

    Fellow students:
    History has not ended. It has scarcely begun. So why have we stopped
    believing in the possibility of making our own history? It begins with
    simple actions. One more cliché: these are interesting times. Today we
    saw the first lecture of the University for Strategic Optimism at a
    Lloyds TSB branch. It was good to see so many of you there, and I
    would like to thank Etienne and all for the tenacity and courage
    demonstrated in carrying out the lecture in trying circumstances, and
    broadcasting it to the world. One day the University may perhaps have
    less disruptive premises, but for now any bank will do.

    I felt the first lecture succeeded in three ways:
    1. It was fun. I loved it.
    2. It was creative – police, banks, members of the public and
    traditional ideas of education haven’t come across this before. Like
    the magician’s sleight of hand, we can confuse, beguile and inspire in
    small acts which are impossible to predict or contain.
    3. It can be recreated and re-used in a viral way wherever and
    whenever – banks, supermarkets, train stations – anywhere with a
    captive audience and point. You can do this.

    There are reasons to be cheerful. We walked out of our existing
    institutions and founded a new one. Lectures can be held anywhere and
    there are no prohibitive fees. This can be done anywhere – in those
    moments we occupied that space in a way that can easily be replicated
    by any organised group across the world, sidestepping the batons and
    Browne reports that the institutional pessimists beat us with. But
    this authority is very weak, we know this – the point is to
    demonstrate it. That’s one of our tasks.

    Birth is violent, bloody, and ugly, but it is also terrifyingly
    wonderful. I felt a kind of anxious and strangely drunken joy after
    the lecture – to quote the staff of the bank after the lecture
    finished, “what can we do?” Yes! – we are wide awake now. The media-PR
    machines of the government and capitalist interests tell us that there
    is no other alternative, and that we are ‘all in it together’ with
    Dave, Nick and the nice and friendly 100% Thatcherism-recycled
    millionaires’ government. We are not represented by our political
    parties, trade unions, student unions, media outlets. So let’s
    represent ourselves. We’re good enough to do this. Optimism requires
    self-belief. We did really well today, and if the crowd that got
    contained on Whitehall were transformed into 1000 different classes of
    the University of Strategic Optimism, spreading throughout cities.
    what exactly might that look like? Who could contain and demoralise
    that?

    The events after the lecture at Whitehall were incendiary and intense,
    led by 16-18 year-olds with an anger and a young sense of hope. Either
    caught in a kettle at Whitehall or the later riots at Trafalgar Square
    and outside Charing Cross, these were not extremist groups but young
    people who were angry that the chance of an affordable education has
    been robbed from them. But we know that education is just one area of
    this wider attack on social and public rights and ownership, and
    here’s where our next lecture will be particularly informative. The
    problem is, traditional modes of protest are poorly-coordinated and
    easily contained. I think we saw this after the lecture. All groups
    are free to organise classes (and classrooms) based on the syllabus of
    the University. Our methods and ideas might offer everything to a
    youth with no faith in any governments or media, who have been told
    they have no future.

    Universities are now being occupied across the country, and our
    friends at Goldsmiths are helping students occupy part of SOAS in
    protest against the potential privatisation of their university.
    Support their struggle if you can, there is a court injunction to
    force their eviction which will be heard at 2pm tomorrow, and you can
    email goldinsolidarity@gmail.com to find out how you can help.

    For now, I look forward to the next lecture, and I’d like to remind
    any distant-learners that you will be expected to make your own
    presentations for the University. This can be carried out in the
    traditional fashion of a local bank, but please consider other even
    more creative options and refer to the Inaugural Lecture video and the
    course Syllabus. Gather people and have fun.

    D ‘Souvarine’.

    Like

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