I frequent a coffee shop that is near one of the satellite campuses of George Mason University and a few metro stops away from GWU, so it is densely patronized by the campus set. I've occasionally eavesdropped on some spectacularly gag-inducing office hours conversations, including one this evening between a girl and her sociology(?) professor, a youngish guy with one of those goatees that reveals the lecher within. They discussed how rebellion against "the system" unfortunately presupposes the existence of a system, which means that the world will always be a sad place because in order to live a good life (that is, one of rebellion), you had to be in a bad situation (that is, part of a system). It's like, what is the world coming to when you can't just have a revolution for the fun of it?
This then led them to the question of whether all these revolutions and rebellions were actually getting us anywhere.
Professor: It could be that we're just going in circles.
Girl: Really? But that would be so depressing! My life would be meaningless!
Professor: Or, we could be going in a spiral. It may seem like circles, but we're gradually progressing.
Girl: Oh! That is so interesting! I have never thought of that before. Hmm...yes...a spiral. That is so beautiful.
Finally, as I was leaving, I walked past a religious studies professor discussing his course syllabus for a class called "Varieties of Religious Experience" with one of the baristas: "I'm having them read Martin Buber's I and Thou, and then we'll watch The Life Aquatic. You know, that scene with the sharks. It's very religious."