South Park and PhD Defences: Disturbingly Similar

I just finished watching the final part of South Park's Imaginationland episodes. If yous have not seen them yet, go find them and have a look. They're all about terrorists taking over Imaginationland and the events thereafter--lots of people from pop culture and "reality" show up, the US military tries to nuke Imaginationland and Mel Gibson proves surprisingly useful to the boys.

I won't say more since yous really have to watch it. One thing though--today's final part had discussions about imaginary and real things and whether things in our imaginations can also be real (or, what is reality really?)

Surprisingly (or maybe not so much), a similar concern was raised during an event this afternoon--a dissertation defence* of one of TUWSNBN's PhD-ers. In terms of ceremonial pomp, the defence was quite different from South Park. In terms of some of the major issues raised, it was rather similar.

* It was definitely a defence--questions flew around the table, assertions were made and countered, heavyweights such as C. Wright Mills, the Monthly Review and Ralph Miliband--but not his more famous sons--made cameo appearances, the popcorn gallery (such as we were) was ruthlessly marginalised as we sat and watched and were silenced from speaking but the outcome was the production of a successful doctor of philosophy.

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