Font Size

Remembering Robert Naismith

9pm Monday, December 23, 30.

The Cineforum, 463 Bathurst, Toronto, M5T 2S9.


Infamous Rochdale College.”


The Rochdale idea was that each Rochdalian was called to be their own teacher.


As part of the Rochdale experiment the authorities agreed to allow the use of hashish, LSD, marijuana, mescaline and peyote within its wall.


Rochdale was 18 floors.


The higher up we went, the higher we got.


No one better embodied the Rochdale spirit than Bob Naismith.


Naturally the use of LSD, marijuana, etc. made Rochdale the focus of much yellow journalism.


The willingness of so many to submit themselves to the lie of our education systems then and now speaks to the lack of courage so rampant in our world.


“The American educational process prepares those with second-rate intellects to thrive in a bureaucratic environment. Obedience, rote memorization, and neatness are enshrined as intellectual achievements.”–David Mamet.


“Most teachers say you should go to school to get your degree to have something to fall back on. Aside from being a huge lie, that also creates a very high level of mediocrity, because nobody who really believes that is going to take the leap of faith required to be a serious artist. Stay out of school.”–Ellis Marsalis to his sons Branford, Delfeayo and Wynton.


“School is an institution built on the axiom that learning is the result of teaching. And institutional wisdom continues to accept this axiom, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary,”–Ivan Illich.


“We get three educations. The first is from our parents; the second is from our schoolmasters. The third is from life. The last makes liars of the first two.”–Montesquieu.


“Film students should stay as far away from film schools and film teachers as possible. The only school for the cinema is the cinema.”-Bernardo Bertolucci.


“It is, in fact, nothing short of a miracle that the modern methods of instruction have not entirely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry; for this delicate little plant, aside from stimulation, stands mainly in need of freedom; without this it goes to wrack and ruin without fail. It is a very great mistake to think that the enjoyment of seeing and searching can be promoted by means of coercion and a sense of duty.”—Albert Einstein.


“My schooling not only failed to teach me what it professed to be teaching, but prevented me from being educated to an extent which infuriates me when I think of all I might have learned at home by myself.”–George Bernard Shaw.


“Men are born ignorant, not stupid. They are made stupid by education.”–Bertrand Russell.


“I had wonderful teachers in the first and second grades who taught me everything I know. After that, I’m afraid, the teachers were nice, but they were dopes…I have a lack of ideology, and not because I have an animus against any particular ideology; it’s just that they don’t make sense to me…they get in the way of thinking. I don’t see what use they are…University and uniformity, as ideals, have subtly influenced how people thought about education, politics, economics, government, everything…We are misled by universities and other intellectual institutions to believe that there are separate fields of knowledge. But it’s clear there are no separate fields of knowledge. It is a seamless web.”-Jane Jacobs.


“We only really learn in conversation after sex.”—Judith Merril.


“He who without the Muse’s madness in his soul comes knocking at the door of poesy and thinks that art will make him anything fit to be called a poet, finds that the poetry which he indites in his sober senses is beaten hollow by the poetry of madmen.”-Plato.


Bob Naismith had the Muse’s madness in his oh so wonderful soul.


The Rochdale spirit is alive at The Cineforum. That’s why the city is so determined to do everything it can to stamp it out. For a time Bob lived here. His spirit is part of this place. It was important to him that it stay open.

–Reg Hartt


« »