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The World According to Prof. Lee

April 20, 1986

Prof. Robert A. Lee prides himself on his ability to challenge any idea or value ever held by mortal man. Here is a partial compendium of the ideas that have outraged or amused those who have followed his 16-year career at El Camino College:

- On drugs--"I don't tell my students to use physically addictive drugs like heroin, but if you use a drug that makes you feel good all the time, what's wrong with feeling good? The problem with Christian morality is that you can't be happy unless you're miserable; you have to fall down on your knees and cry before you can feel good."

- On love--"I'm an advocate of free love, which means you can have all the love you want without pretenses. Love means you are totally open, totally uninhibited. It doesn't mean having sex with a different woman every night--that's a vulgarization of the 1960s. It can mean love between Damon and Pythias, between Charlie Brown and Snoopy, between Laurel and Hardy . . . "

- On marriage--"There is no compelling need for monogamy. That just limits the chances for some females to have a long-term relationship, because there are not enough men to go around. Why not have a wife and two mistresses, or a woman could have a husband and two gigolos? People should be able to have all kinds of emotional relationships, without restricting them unnaturally.

- On premarital sex--"In nature, animals copulate when they are physically old enough to reproduce. For human females, that's about 12 or 13, but the culture says they have to wait until they're 21 and that's bad for their psychological development. With the advent of birth control, there's no reason for anyone not to have sex when they want it."

- On incest--"I'm opposed to adult-child incest because of the exploitation, but I have no problem with sibling incest. I think it's a way to bring the family closer together."

- On the poor--"The answer to poverty is to give these families enough contraceptives so they don't have a lot of children."

- On work--"In the morning, I come in and do my two-step for two or three hours and then go home and watch television, while the rest of the South Bay is just starting their work day. This is high pay at $80 an hour, high status, beautiful surroundings, low effort in front of 30,000 admiring students--it's totally anesthesizing. . . . Cocaine is not the real drug. El Camino is the drug.

- On his reputation--"People see me as a practitioner of all kinds of bad things. I'm radical, a pinko, a pervert, the Anti-Christ. But when I say things in class, that doesn't mean I believe them. That's just my teaching style. When I leave and I don't have to perform any more, I go home and . . . well, my personal life is too dull to talk about."

- On the meaning of life--"I think religion is a dream of something that we'd all like to have, but you're supposed to wake up from dreams. Otherwise, you're having an hallucination. If life is meaningless, then you just have to accept it and go ahead and live your life. What should you do with your life? Do whatever you want."

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