Neil Gaiman Speaks at the Alternative Graduation Held at a College Resisting Ron DeSantis’ Hostile Takeover

His pres­i­den­tial cam­paign has end­ed before it start­ed. But Ron DeSan­tis is the last to know it. And so he con­tin­ues pan­der­ing to Trump’s base. After ship­ping migrants to Martha’s Vine­yard, the Flori­da gov­er­nor now picks cost­ly fights with Dis­ney, his state’s sec­ond largest employ­er; bans books in Flori­da pub­lic schools; and exerts polit­i­cal pres­sure on the state’s pub­lic col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties.

At the New Col­lege of Flori­da, DeSan­tis is using the cud­gel of gov­ern­ment to trans­form a tra­di­tion­al lib­er­al arts col­lege into a con­ser­v­a­tive-lean­ing insti­tu­tion. If you’re not fol­low­ing what’s hap­pen­ing at New Col­lege, read this pro­file in The New York­er. The arti­cle will help set the stage for the video above.

There, you will see author Neil Gaiman speak­ing at an alter­na­tive grad­u­a­tion arranged by New Col­lege stu­dents. Not want­i­ng to par­tic­i­pate in the offi­cial grad­u­a­tion archi­tect­ed by the school’s new con­ser­v­a­tive boss­es (the event fea­tured Scott Atlas, the radi­ol­o­gist who became Trump’s con­tro­ver­sial Covid “expert,” how inspir­ing!), the stu­dents arranged an alt grad­u­a­tion and invit­ed Gaiman to speak via video. Through a per­son­al sto­ry, The Sand­man author remind­ed the stu­dents of the lib­er­al arts val­ues that under­gird the school, and left stu­dents with some time­ly advice: “You must fight for what you believe to be right while nev­er los­ing your sense of humor or your sense of pro­por­tion.” Here’s to hop­ing that New Col­lege out­lasts the erst­while pres­i­den­tial con­tender.

via Boing­Bo­ing

Relat­ed Con­tent 

Neil Gaiman Gives Grad­u­ates 10 Essen­tial Tips for Work­ing in the Arts

John Waters’ RISD Grad­u­a­tion Speech: Real Wealth Is Life With­out A*Holes

David Byrne’s Grad­u­a­tion Speech Offers Trou­bling and Encour­ag­ing Advice for Stu­dents in the Arts

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Comments (3)
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  • E says:

    I’ve always felt Neil Gaiman is over­rat­ed, but after he came out against (and, by exten­sion, libraries) I can’t take any­thing he says about free and open edu­ca­tion seri­ous­ly.

  • Bob Hovey says:

    Gaiman did not come out against, he (and oth­er authors) came out against the group of pub­lish­ers who sued in an effort to cur­tail their lend­ing prac­tices.

  • E says:

    Wow, I don’t know how I made such a mis­take — I read some time ago an arti­cle in a respectable out­let with quotes from famous authors, includ­ing Gaiman, seem­ing­ly in sup­port of the law­suit, but now when I Google it it seems he in fact signed a peti­tion against the law­suit. I guess my read­ing com­pre­hen­sion was par­tic­u­lar­ly low that day or maybe the arti­cle was sensationalist/misleading, but in either case I regret the error. I’m glad to have got­ten it straight now and I’m sor­ry to have libeled him!

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