From February 14, 2000 (Dissent 44)
GOODBYE, BLUE MOONDAY!
--The Feb. 7 union meeting
By Red Emma
“Merely corroborative detail, intended to give artistic verisimilitude to an otherwise bald and unconvincing narrative.”
It’s hard to know where to begin reporting on Faculty Association meetings such as the one that occurred at IVC last Monday afternoon. Often, the elaborate digressions necessary to explain the bewildering context surrounding actions by the unhappy Old Guard dysfunctional family overwhelm this reporter’s ability to arrange his narrative into elements familiar to most readers: recognizable chronology, clear dialogue, description and convincing characterization of otherwise unconvincing characters.
How, for example, to fully explain dysfunctional paterfamilias “El Rey” Chandos’ time-wasting, obstructionist strategy of asking pointedly pointless questions, followed by his just plain getting up and leaving the meeting in order to destroy a quorum, but not before consulting his prepared Rep Council PAC vote spreadsheet? How to portray convincingly the transparent duplicity and obfuscation of Old Mother Sharon’s meeting facilitation? How to account for Sharon’s interminable non sequiturs about what she “was asked” by invisible others to do at Rep Council meetings (take a voice roll call, object to proposals, confuse Roberts Rules of Order with a Monty Python Sketch) toward promoting the views of those purposely not attending said meeting? Her leaving early for the past four meetings in a row to “pick up my little girl”? And how to avoid painting a pathetic picture of a weeping waif standing lost at a lonely Mission Viejo street corner, waiting for her mother?
“Where is your mommy, little girl?”
“She’s at a meeting overseeing the destruction of democratic unionism by right-wing born again Republican fundamentalists.”
“Oh, I’m sorry. My own dear mother was only an axe murderer.”
You know, people think Dissent reporters make this stuff up, like the part in the newly proposed board “speech and advocacy” policy where they give Raghu a yardstick and he gets to go out and measure the rainfall on the lawn to see if it’s okay for Deb and Wendy and Scott to plant signs in it. Yeah, that part. Raghu Mathur, Doctor of Horticultural Sciences. Raghu Mathur, Meteorologist. And, now for the weather report with Raghu “Fritz” Mathur: “Well, folks, we’ve got 74 per cent chance of no confidence today with possibility of ACLU.”
But I digress.
Regarding the meeting: first, there were the forty minutes where we all waited around for Margaret, who was later followed out of the meeting after opining that Red Emma’s vote did in fact count on the Rep Council. (Oh, yeah, did I mention? In an elegant concurrence of administrative mismanagement and easy political retaliation, Red’s own writing class was canceled in week 2 with 18 enrolled students—this as El Rey teaches Engineering courses with 6 students.) The question: should Red Emma, now paying his own monthly dues, be allowed, like Sharon, to remain on the Rep Council while on an extended (if involuntary) “leave”? Little Lee huffed and soughed, Sharon and El Rey passed wise looks (think Moe and Curly), Lee Haggerty was absent.
Then, in no particular order that I am capable of reconstructing, Margaret arrived, we “officially” started the meeting, Lee Haggerty arrived, Sharon left, Margaret left, Lee dropped his drawers, El Rey left, and we voted. And, with a quorum (with or without Red’s vote), this local finally changed the standing rules of the PAC at about 4:20 on a Monday afternoon! This without any of the Family Values Family even present.
Red Emma: Excuse me, Sharon. You received a lot of calls about my not teaching? How many? Who called?
Sharon: Yes, I received some calls.
Red Emma: More than one? About little ole me, a part-time faculty? From whom?
Sharon: Yes. Um. Buh. Duh.
It doesn’t take much of a sleuth to identify the attempt by the old folks to rig the meeting, including somebody from administration contacting Sharon to catch her up on Red Emma’s cancelled course. Did I mention El Rey’s spreadsheet? Folks, you gotta admire that level of organization! I wish we were that together, except for the illegal and lying and conspiring part.
Butt (sorry) let’s return to that metaphorical moment when Lee actually lost his pants, hung so precariously from just below his gut. Yes, comrades, there it was, offered to the world, the proud derriere of a great great great-grandson of George Washington, that famous slaveholder and lousy general. Oh glorious, Oh vivid flab. Seeing it, exposed in the doorway of A403, made me want to chop down a cherry tree or throw Curt across the Potomac (except he wasn’t at the meeting) or just stand up and salute what makes America great: too much fried food.
Instead, I pointed. I really did. “Look,” I exclaimed. “His butt!” A couple of other attendees will vouch for the patriotic display, but the curious thing is that, when I mentioned the incident to a couple of SOCCCD veteran teachers, one said, calmly enough, “I’ve been looking at Lee’s ass for twenty years.”
To review: Lee again exposed himself, purposely or not. They all did. We won the historic PAC vote, returning our local to its constituents, as the last of the Old Guard assholes, fully revealed, left the room. —RE