The 95 Theses
by The Martin Luther Historical Agnostic Society
October 31, 1965
On this date, October 31, 1965, we — the members of the Martin Luther Historical Agnostic Society –come together to commemorate the 448th anniversary of the famous day when one Martin Luther did nail the original ninety-five theses on the chapel door in Wittenburg. We herewith present, in the tradition of medieval scholasticism, some ninety-five theses (revised):
(The Martin Luther Historical Agnostic Society has, for the past three years on the evening of October 31st, attached its commemorative theses to the door of the Thompson Memorial Chapel and read them publicly in the Snack Bar.)
1. There’s no business like show business.
2. In light of this, it is manifest that education is not, has not been, and will never be a business.
3. The trustees and administration of Williams College have not seen this light.
4. Wherefore, as God is the light and the truth, and the truth shall make us free; and
5. As the primary duty of an administration is to limit freedom, we proclaim
6. That they are wrong and we are right. In witness whereof, we offer these examples:
7. The administration has seen fit to construct, under the guise of the Residential Ideal, a complex, clearly meant invidiously to undermine the light and truth inherent in the student body, and has seen fit to christen it Grey Lock.
8. We object to, anathametize, condemn, descry, reject and deny Grey Lock.
9. lt looks like shit.
10. The emasculated and impotent architecture is reminiscent of the early W.P.A and penal traditions.
11. You can see through the curtains.
12. The dining room looks like a union hall.
13. Since September, no less than five students have disappeared into the Greylock labyrinth, never to be heard from again. Countless others are suffering from a Greylock complex.
14. Certain windows, imported from exotic shores, cost more than tuition.
15. It is manifest that the Dean has erected Grey Lock as a machine in his degenerate scheme to phase out dogs, since the barbarously low ceilings obviously invite an invasion of bees.
16. In light of which we offer this solution: send Grey Lock to RPI.
17. More than one travesty has been committed in the hallowed name of Greylock, the highest mountain in Northwestern Massachusetts.
18. Callous capitalists of the town of Adams persist in their neo-coIonialist plot to deface our mountain with, of all things, a ski slope.
19 We deplore, dislike and damn this scheme to attract legions of the immoral and rich.
20. Further, it has not been sufficiently demonstrated that the town of Adams exists.
21. f it does exist, we propose that it be abolished.
22. This would be the first step in a creative campaign to eliminate Eastern Massachusetts.
23. We further propose to abolish air pollution, politics, ideology, the Rand Corporation, Herman Kahn, Fillmore Baker, Little Orphan Annie, Little League Baseball, J. Edgar Hoover, Buckley, Beame and Lindsay, traffic, Time Inc., Portugal, the cut system and compulsory chapel.
24. In their place we propose to install swimming naked, dancing in the streets, Dionysius, good coffee, Laszlo Versenyi, LSD, right opinion, hobbits, chicks, sounds and ball, the Greek Islands, the Relevance Foundation, foetus compensation benefits, anarchy, laughter, and pot.
25. For the New York mayoralty campaign, we offer the team of Joe Palooka (Italian), David Ben Gurion (Jewish), and Dionne Warwick (soul).
26. Whereas the income tax is to be abolished, and,
27. Whereas our fair nation is hung up in a glib bag of rhetoric, and suffocates under a veritable verbal barrage of verbiage and prolific verbosity;
28. Whereas this amalgamated malaise is incarnate in, exemplified by, and spews forth from the Williams Record, the Congressional Record, folk records, Burma Shave signs, neon signs, high signs, signs of the times, the New York Times, Eastern Standard Time, the national bureau of standards, bureaucrats, democrats, Washburne’s and the 95 theses;
29. Whereas there is a gold crisis, and we have known from youth that silence is golden;
30. We therefore propose a graduated word tax.
31. Cum laude.
32. All words will be taxed.
33. Some words will be taxed more than others.
34. A hundred-per cent tax will be levied on words such as relevant, real, Communist, camp, pop, fab, gear, obscene, historicity, filmic, ecumenical, status-polarization dichotomy, consensus and Lady Bird.
35. No tax will be levied on words such as fuck.
36. The self is a relation which relates itself to its own self.
37. A bush in the hand is worth two birds anytime.
38. Love is not a gadget, love is not a goy.
39. Brown and small, with whisker. Grave and round, with neat ears and silky hair. It was the Water Rat.
40. Dolomite rock is composed chiefly of dolomite, the mineral of the same name.
41. Whereas we deplore the lack of research facilities on the Williams campus, we greet with enthusiasm the proposed idea of the Berumpfman Science Center;
42. Albeit we know from Plato that Ideas made concrete are inevitably corrupted and profaned.
43. We therefore suggest that in place of this mass of concrete, the college erect on the same site a three and a half million dollar abstraction.
44. To further this abstraction, we propose the establishment of a Williams University Press.
45. The Williams University Press will be devoted entirely to the publication of scholarly footnotes and scientific symbols.
46. To assist the Press, there will be established a footnote committee, headed by Freeman Foote, and composed of Fielding Brown, R. F. Magill, Charles Samuels, Benjamin Labaree and the Williams History Department.
47. We protest the administration’s plan to build a particle accelerator in the steam tunnels.
48. This plan would involve the relocation of some thirty students and friends, thereby further aggravating the housing shortage.
49. We are greatly pained to report that the cause of evil continues to flourish in this world.
50. Year after year we have pleaded, and yet, while the college spends millions of dollars for housing, not one cent has been spent for more pull-chain toilets or for the removal of the bird shit from the chapel tower.
51. What about the fluoridation of the Williamstown water?
52. What about school prayer?
53. What has been done to check Sid Chisholm’s ever-spreading domain and our increasing sorrow?
54. Where is Viet Nam, anyway? Who’s been there? Hey, Joe, you got gum?
55. Why is administrative virtue at Williams limited to the ladies of the snack bar?
56. Nobody goes to the chapel any more. Therefore we propose moving Eph Williams’ grave to the pasture recently constructed next to West College.
57. If you think that because you’re an intellectual you’re immune to propaganda, prepare for a shock: you’re probably the most vulnerable of all!
58. Would Jesus have carried a draft card?
59. Would Lyndon have carried a cross?
60. Hope springs eternal in the human breast, and vice versa.
61. Be true to your school.
62. What will the leaf-mulching machines mulch when there are no more leaves?
63. Why is control of the leaf-mulching machines in the hands of the disciplinary committee?
64. Why are there more machines on campus every year?
65. Why is there a rule against bending, folding or spindling the Dean?
66. To know the good is to do the good.
67. People are the opiate of the people.
68. It is easier for a rich man to get a camel than to put a needle through the eye of heaven.
71. Rock ‘n roll will always be. It’ll go down in history.
72. Don’t knock Luci Baines – you’re too late.
73. T’ain’t a fit night out for man nor beast.
74. As possibility is the mere inside of actuality, it is for that reason a mere outside actuality, in other words, Contingency.
75. A leaf in its place is never missed.
76. Life is a green bubble holding its breath.
77. It is a wise man who makes his own daughter.
78. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him think
79. You can drive a horse to drink, but a pencil must be lead.
80. There’s no fool like a new broom.
81. The strong tower of the wicked comes to ruin, but the root of the righteous stands firm.
82. What this country needs is a good five-cent andiron.
83. May the sacred citadel of your white, anglo-saxon protestantism preserve you from the fornicating beetles of the night.
84. Oranges are good for you.
85. Like a gold ring in a swine’s snout is a beautiful woman without discretion.
86. Don’t reject bits of bone or other substances by spitting them back into the plate.
87. Can a man carry fire in his bosom and his clothes not be burned?
88. Oranges are good for you again.
89. You shall beat your swords into plowshares and your wives into pruning hooks.
90. Don’t throw out the bathwater with the baby. Save water now.
91. Don’t finger articles. Don’t play with your napkin or your goblet or your fork or with anything.
92. Remember the Maine?
93. Climb high, Climb far, Your goal the sky, Your aim the star. Burma Shave
94. Hope, and ye shall not despair.
95. Father, forgive them, for they know not what we do.