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TV Cum Laude
by Travus T. Hipp
Jan 09, 2011 | 621 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
It was the spring semester of 1963 when I broke the last tenuous string with academic studies and embarked on the long adventure that is life in the real world. Until then I — and most of my generation of white, middle-class children of the baby boom — had been hanging about on campus, sampling a variety of classes in the intellectual cafeteria at the universities of the day. Berkeley, Boulder, Anne Arbor and Cambridge all produced a generation of half-baked intellects, dropping out of the system to run free in the beatnik-hipster-folk music jungles of the ‘60s.

Having extended those halcyon days into a late-to-the-table career in radio, I neglected the opportunity to return to the groves of academe in favor of a self-directed study of the current society as I encounter it, the results of which I syndicate to a half dozen stations and a couple of newspapers for a pittance.

Lately, however, I have returned to the pursuit of knowledge as a lifestyle, having been forced into semi-reclusive retreat from society by some stringent restrictions imposed by the Nevada justice system. In short, I spend most of each day, comfortably ensconced in a reclining chair in a sunny south-facing window, watching satellite television and its myriad channels of information and entertainment. And I am learning again.

The first thing I learned is that everything I learned the first time is wrong. From the geological explanations of the biblical events to the root causes of the every war from the Bronze Age through Vietnam, I know the historic context. I know the fate of the Spanish treasure fleet and the real story of the sinking of the Bismark. The tectonic realities of the quake-prone Ring of Fire in the Pacific Ocean are now measured and the predictability of a California disaster established. I understand that mankind has lost crucial knowledge from the past, including the ability to lift and finish huge stones to build megalithic structures around the globe and I worry about the super volcano cooking off beneath Yellowstone National Park.

Thanks to the Discovery channels, I have learned the secrets of cooking from top chefs and low carb cooks of every sort. I can do basic woodworking and plumbing, rebuild a classic clunker into a high-performance street rod with 700 chrome-plated horsepower under the hood. I even know about the Mayan calendar and the end of time following next year’s election. I am clear on the failures of command at Stalingrad, Kursk, Normandy and the Falklands to a degree that military colleges failed to understand only a few decades past.

All of which goes to show the changing process of learning in this new info age. Where knowledge was hard won in study and lecture, the best current thinking on any subject is available for the viewing and consideration daily. The exclusivity of higher education and the material advantage in life it once promised to a ruling class is no longer the standard, much less worth the high cost of formal attendance at our failing institutions of higher education.

Get smart and stay tuned!

“Travus T. Hipp” is a 40-year veteran radio commentator with six stations in California carrying his daily version of the news and opinions. “The Poor Hippy’s Paul Harvey,” Travus is a member of the Nevada Broadcasters Hall of Fame, but unemployable in the Silver State due to his eclectic political views.
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TV Cum Laude by Travus T. Hipp

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