HARARE, Zimbabwe (A…

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — To the cheers of onlookers, thousands of students took to the streets Wednesday to call for an end to Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s 18 years in power.
The protest was the biggest yet against the 74-year-old Mugabe, the nation’s only leader since independence in 1980. The students marched from their campus to downtown Harare after a High Court judge ordered police to allow the protest. Last week, police prevented students from leaving the campus.
Mugabe, who led the transition from the white minority-dominated state of Rhodesia to Zimbabwe in 1980, has faced mounting opposition in recent months over the nation’s growing economic problems.
Wednesday’s march brought downtown Harare to a standstill for more than two hours. Office workers waved from their windows, onlookers cheered and drivers honked their horns in support of the marchers. There were no reports of violence.
Six people died in food riots in January after prices soared by more than 30 percent.

Net: In the spirit of our slightly modified Hank Williams Jr. lyrics, we offer today’s responses to The Angel of Cynicism‘s comments on the U’s recent FFA influx. Beware — small-town folk are everywhere, and they can be pretty darn stubborn when pushed. Feel the heat of the rural cyberflames:

From Cauchy: I’m responding to The Angel of Cynicism‘s whiny tirade of ignorance and arrogance. Farmers seem to be taking a lot of criticism here lately, and I thought I’d clear some things up.
First of all, farming is an industry. Everything you see on TV is about 50 years behind. In reality, the industry of farming uses state-of-the-art techniques and equipment in biology, horticulture, marketing and economics. Yes, farmers do care about the environment. They do not torture animals or pour harmful pesticides into the water intentionally. If they @##%$ up their animals or land, they’re out of a job.
And no, they don’t ##$&% animals like Dr. Date seems to believe. Net: Be kind — he’s just answering questions. And remember, his spring mixer is at the Weisman on Friday. Square dancing, anyone? I’d like to see this “scientific” study. It was probably done by the same people who decided that Surge is cool, and that smoking is harmless. Any study can be done to say anything. Lastly, farmers handle hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars annually. Farmers have to be smart both intellectually and mechanically.
They represent the best of both worlds.
I don’t know much about the FFA, but being from a farm myself, I bet most of them were really impressed by you. My guess is that they wear ties because that’s the uniform of their group, just like the uniform of your group — dumbass, supposedly “intellectual,” alternative, urban punks — may be combat boots and ripped T-shirts. I bet you’re one of those people who couldn’t wait to be a senior so nobody could pick on you anymore and you could make really witty comments about the lowly freshmen. You just about shit your pants when you saw the FFA group. What an easy target — high schoolers from farming communities! It probably made you really cool among the three or so “friends” you have.
It’s too bad that they will have to work their asses off to feed dumbf##$^s like you. Yes, I’m sure they were impressed by the city — Minneapolis is a great place. Just remember, it would be a hell of a lot easier for them to live here than it would for you to live on a farm. To be like you, they would just have to dumb themselves up a bit, pretend that they’re really alternative, and tease easy targets.
But you could never last on a farm. First of all you’d need a personality, then some common sense, a work ethic, and some direction to your sad little life. Saddest of all, no one would be impressed by your “scary” attire, or by your “extreme,” urban upbringing.
I’m not directing these comments at the entire campus, just those who complain about things they don’t understand. People are just different, and most people are content with that, but they’ll always be people like The Angel of Cynicism who need to shut the hell up.

From VicarinaTutu to The Angel of Cynicism: It appears that what we have here is the ignorant making fun of the ignorant. You, who have probably never set foot on a farm, make fun of those who likely have never set foot before on the University campus. For one, there aren’t many farmers named Jim Bob. Also, you may have been turning your nose up at Mr. FFA when he sneered at you, which is a response I have received from many people here as well. I personally grew up on a dairy farm, and while some of your statements have merit, you are speaking from a perspective as ignorant as the “farmers” you taunt. (Many of these people are actually going into agribusiness, and have little intention of farming).
As it turns out, much of rural folk’s ignorance stems from lack of experiencing city life rather than narrow-mindedness. I myself, having visited sisters in the Twin Cities, had more of an understanding of what it was like, but I too was naive and ignorant in many regards. I thought “the Cities” was filled to the brim with open-minded Smiths and Cure fans who conversed like wise philosophers, and the University was a hotbed of liberal thought and conduct. As it turns out, it is quite possible that many of the people here are MORE ignorant of outsiders than farm folk, because many here are blind to accepting people who are not of the same subculture as they.
The list of people from whom I have encountered such behavior include Net: Members of these groups — prepare to respond: rich snobs, over-zealous activists (PSO and Maranatha, take a bow), apathetic video gamers, punkers without a clue, bidness-man Carl$on types, goths (I didn’t wear enough black), clubbers = dance + drink + drugs + sex, and of course, the participants of the annual spring meat market: those selling bodies, muscles, tits and ass at a location near you!! (Could some of you young women out there not flaunt your new breast implants for all to see? Or are you trying to get a better grade on the curve(s) from your male professors?)
All in all, many of these people have made my days as the outlaw weirdo geek at my high school seem like fond memories. Even though I am being slightly hypocritical in saying this, Angel, get a clue! Explore some of the stuff of which you are ignorant. Maybe that hard farm labor would give you a clue.