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Tuesday, Dec 18, 2007, 4:48 pm

The First Rule About Campus Conservatives…

By Brian Cook
A lot of folks are having a laugh over this story, about Francisco Nava, a campus conservative, anti-condom activist at Princeton, who beat the crap out of himself in order to blame it on "thuggish," pro-sex activists. (The New York Sun, Robbie George and--wait for it--David Horowitz all bought Nava's pretty transparently dubious story hook, line and sinker.)

I wonder, however, if there isn't a deeper, more profound and quite radical political logic at work in this incident, something along the lines of Slavoj Zizek's reading of Ed Norton's self-flagellation in Fight Club--that "in order to attack the enemy, you first have to beat the shit out of yourself." Perhaps leftists can learn something from Nava, when it comes to committing ourselves to the point of physical sacrifices if that's what it takes to realize our political ideals. Perhaps...nah, nevermind. This dope's antics are just too frickin' hilarious.

Brian Cook was an editor at In These Times from 2003 to 2009. He now works on the editorial staff of Playboy magazine.

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