Oh, How Violent: Hollywood, USC, and the Sickness of Denial

USC Pro-Palestine encampment, YouTube screengrab.

The encampments have gone. Tall metal riot fences ring USC. Underpaid security hovers nervously at metal detectors. They paw through your bag when you enter, past the receipts, gum, phone, AirPods, and the overdue library book you never even opened. They’re searching for something. A tent? A Palestinian flag? A keffiyeh? A signed declaration of your commitment against genocide? What they are searching for is unclear, and it’s apparent they themselves don’t even know. The result is not the point; the display is. Like most college campuses, USC is invested in the performative, the circus act in all its summer and acrobatics and glory, something to distract us, for the moment, from the mundanity of reality. The mundanity that college campuses are really just another business: meaningless, archaic, and invested only in its commodification and profit.

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Ruth Fowler was born in Wales and lives between Los Angeles and London. You can find out more about her at ruthfowler.net or Venmo her at @ruth-iorio

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