Surviving the squeaky-clean NACA convention

I caught a little bit of the dust-up on Twitter today about this article in the Atlantic that targets the—shall we say—sanitized nature of the National Association of Campus Activities conventions.

Today's college students can't seem to take a joke — .@CaitlinPacific

— TheAtlanticEducation (@TheAtlanticEDU) August 11, 2015

On one hand, we've got reporting that bears out the anecdotal evidence I often hear from artists that you can't afford to offend anyone on a college campus anymore. However, I'm open to a different point of view—that the NACA convention has to be squeaky clean, but that campuses themselves have a much wider spectrum upon which artists can play.

Calling bullshit on @TheAtlantic article about comedy at college campuses.

— Solomon Georgio (@solomongeorgio) August 11, 2015

There's no "right" or "wrong" here, other than to note that:

  • If you want to play a college campus, you're almost certainly going to have to go through NACA to get there.

  • As much as you might want to criticize NACA for conservative content, if we heard one single report of someone going blue on a conference stage, you'd see a thousand bloggers with pitchforks in hand, asking how much state and federal education money went toward that comic/singer/juggler who cussed in front of "kids."

  • You can still get paid an order of magnitude more for doing a "clean" set through a NACA booking (even at 2:30pm next to the Chick-Fil-A) than a standard set at a club in a college town.