Sunday, December 21, 2008

Clarion Call: Students! Mills is Your Man!

This Op-Ed piece was intercepted by Brutal Battle using cutting edge, state of the art, brand spanking new, recon-surveil methods--which themselves were gleaned using our blunt-edged, artless, ancient recon-surveil methods.

Massive amounts of money changed hands; innocent lives were lost; new diseases were born, old diseases fought them, lost, and were replaced (none of which had anything to do with this post).

Actually, this was sent to us by the author via email, so it couldn't have been easier. In any case, since this student intends this piece for publication by the Opinion Section of The Western Front, it may prove to ultimately be a Brutal Battle exclusive. Only time will tell. Actually, I hope others will tell, too, because I don't want to have to read that paper every week looking for evidence that pro-Mills propaganda isn't getting the short shrift. As always: If you see something, say something. But say it to me, not to a policeman.

In Defense of Mr. Controversy, Professor Perry F. Mills

To the students of WWU: Professor Perry Mills got a bad rap. He’s no monster, no demon. In fact, he’s much more Santa than Satan, much more Jerry Garcia than Johnny Rotten.

He happens to be the most fall-down funny teacher on campus and one of the best. If you are interested in creative writing, the theatre, filmmaking or the artistic process in general, you’re crazy not to seek him out, take his classes and befriend him.

Yeah, he’s controversial, always has been. He’s occasionally
shocking but frequently hilarious and brilliant. He sees teaching as a performance art. He wants, above all else, to engage you, to excite your mind, to shake your foundations and question how you see the world.

I was fortunate enough to take five classes with him in my time at Western. He was extremely helpful in building my writing skills and opened my mind to important philosophical and artistic concepts. His “Arts Inquiry” course ought to be taken not only by all art (painting, music, drama, creative writing,) students but also by all philosophy students. You will read great stuff that will get your engines churning and inspire you.

Students don’t know who he is anymore. He’s been kept away from the university for so long that he’s lost the word of mouth that kept students pouring into his courses, not to mention the exposure he got from his large seminar course, “Intro to the Cinema” which hundreds attended each year.

Perry’s suspension was pressed by faculty members who didn’t like him. Since I was not a theatre student myself, I have no criticism of the individuals who have ostracized him on any matter other than this one. My interactions with the department were always pleasant. But on this matter, they made a mistake (which they were proven wrong about) and now he’s back.

Find him, talk to him. If you’ve got a sense of humor, you’ll love him. You artistic minds out there – you know who you are – must find him. He’s at this university, on this earth even, to help creative students prosper. There’s nobody like him. Except maybe you.

Eric Stone
Western alumnus 2004

Dramatic Writing & Video Production degree, through Fairhaven College

1 comment:

Spartacus O'Neal said...

Using the term loosely, I am also a Western alumnus (attended 1973-75). My friends taught at Fairhaven College, but I unfortunately did not partake of their courses. As a fellow misfit, I can only suggest that perhaps a Perry Mills appreciation day is in order. Maybe Fairhaven students can organize a parade or other suitable gathering.