Jumping Down the Memory Hole
Somebody said the "long memory" is the most radical idea in America—maybe Emma Goldman or historian Clare Spark or folksinger Utah Phillips, I forget. But I do recall this spring's attack on naughty leftist teachers by rightist David Horowitz in a book titled The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America. UC Irvine history professor Mark LeVine got on the list, no doubt disappointing two radical professors who didn't: Jon Wiener, whose research contributed to the new documentary The U.S. vs. John Lennon, and Marxist MacArthur genius Mike Davis, currently busy scaring everybody about avian flu.
Books by all four authors are in the Langson Library, but to check them out, you'll need to walk by an exhibit that should make Horowitz's next book, Dangerous College Library Lobbies. Part of UCI's Difficult Dialogues project, this understated if quietly remarkable exhibit presents materials related to McCarthyism, conscientious objection during World War II, Japanese-American internment and Vietnam protest—including some that occurred at UCI—much of which hails from the library's own collection: books, pamphlets, fliers, speeches, testimonies, letters, poetry chapbooks, photographs and more. Local interest highlights include an original student anti-war strike poster and a 1970 resolution on the war (the Vietnam War, in case you were starting to lose track) by UCI's Academic Senate. There's a photo of Black Panther Eldridge Cleaver speaking on campus—burn, anteaters, burn!—and OC Congressman and John Birch Society bigwig John Schmitz's anti-commie attack on the peace movement. The exhibit is curated by librarian Stephen MacLeod, a guy who'd better watch his back next time inspiration strikes Horowitz.
"The War Within" at the Langson Library, UC Irvine, W. Peltason Rd. & Pereira Dr., Irvine, (949) 824-7227; www.lib.uci.edu/libraries/new/warwithin.html. Open daily, 7:30 a.m.-11 p.m. Through Oct. 31. Free.
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