Friday, June 17, 2016

Ten years ago...

Teapeople: that would be in the past, in 2006. OK?
In a possible world (Dissent; June 9, 2006)

Protecting life as we know it (Dissent; 6/13/06)

O HERE'S MY POINT. I am continually amazed by the short memory of SOCCCD denizens. Some battle will be fought--over, say, how to respond to violations of faculty rights, or, say, how best to approach the upcoming trustee election--and then, a few years later, the battle will be fought again, but with zero recognition that we’ve been through this before and that costly & important truths were then revealed.

That's when the Twilight Zone theme starts playing. Or maybe the Groundhog Day theme.

Let’s remember just what happened a decade ago. A small group of greedy and unprincipled and secretive faculty sought control of the Board by any means necessary, including support of right winged wackos, such as the Holocaust Denying Steve Frogue, the sleazy John Williams, and, a bit later, the acutely anti-faculty and anti-union Don Wagner, Nancy Padberg, and Tom Fuentes. (Maybe Padberg's improved since then.)

I recall a meeting—9 ½ years ago—in which the Faculty Association president was asked to explain the organization’s unprincipled tactics. We asked: How can you defend using a deceptive and homophobic flier? (See The homophobic flier.) How can you defend supporting a Holocaust Denier? How can you defend installing a slate of conservative anti-union Republicans?

We did all that--especially resort to the flier--she said, to protect “life as we know it." She repeated those words as if they were magic. "Life as we know it." Shazzam!

Some of us were upset by this answer. Some of us were not upset! That's pretty upsetting.

Face it: our current plight is, without doubt, a residue of that disastrous Old Guard victory of 1996. Protecting “life as we know it” by any means necessary has given us a board that hates faculty, a board that can't be got rid of for as long as Mr. Connected is around. (Maybe.)

So when you run into Mike or Sherry or Sharon or Raghu or Patrick or Curt or any of the rest, be sure to express your appreciation of history. Say: THANKS FOR THE MASSIVE & INVETERATE DISTRICTULAR SHITULOSITY.

And when somebody like me or Reb or Red comes along and insists on reminding you of events of the past decade, please don’t complain that that’s “old news” or that we’re just “complaining again” and “being negative.” No, that’s not it at all.

You know the Santayana quotation.

OK then.

(For a brief account of SOCCCD history in the last decade, go to Dissent's Very Short History of the District's Troubles.)

Shiny nuts and bolts (Dissent; 6/14/06)

Time passes slowly up here in the mountains,
We sit beside bridges and walk beside fountains,
Catch the wild fishes that float through the stream,
Time passes slowly when you're lost in a dream.

--Bob Dylan

Wow, what a great looking day! Took some pics this morning around my house. Check ‘em out!

On this fine day, only slightly diminished by news of Karl Rove’s good fortune, I drove to IVC to interview a prospective part-timer. He turned out to be just what we were lookin’ for, plus he’s a jazz musician, having tickled them ivories with the likes of Poncho Sanchez. Very cool.

I showed the Piano Man around, explaining about the general atmosphere of shitulosity. “Oh, I’m used to that,” he said. “I teach at Santa Ana.”


A few minutes later, I ran into a colleague who was bitchin’ and moanin’ about room A203, which is sort of attached to the Humanities and Languages Office. “Good Lord,” said the colleague, “sometimes I go in there on Monday and it’s up to here in trash!”

“Here” was his chest. I think he was exaggerating. But I’d heard this complaint about 203 before, from various others. Even the chest part.

He explained how often he had complained and how it didn’t seem to matter. “How hard is it to clean this room on some kinda schedule?” he roared. “Just how hard is that?! Why do I gotta keep callin’? Jeez!”

I got my camera and went in there. Though there wasn’t much trash, except some spillage from the trash container, the room did look generally crapulistic. Urinary even. The floor was Scuff City, the white boards were bird-shit grey, and the phrase “don’t give a shit” wafted lazily across the room.

Rebel Girl had called me a week or so ago to report that “they” were tearing down those shitty old temporaries that we’ve been carpin’ about on these pages over the last few months. Carp carp carp.

I told her I wasn’t about to drive way out to Irvine just to take a picture of that.

So, today, I checked it out. Sure enough, where the notorious “Shithouse” once stood, now there’s a big ugly empty lot, mostly dirt.

With trash. And chunks of asphalt. And big shiny nuts and bolts.

Oddly, I found a friend there, loitering peevishly. I walked up to her. She snickered and grumbled. Then she announced: “I think this is a hazard. They should rope this off.” She pointed to the nuts and bolts.

They didn’t look so bad to me, but what do I know?

“How come there are nuts and bolts?” she asked. She nudged a nut with her toe as though she were checking for signs of life.


I left. The sun was shining. There was a fine breeze. It was good.

People keep asking me, “So what’s happening?” But I dunno. Nobody who knows stuff tells me anything. Plus, I don’t wanna bother ‘em during summer.

One thing’s for sure, though. It’s during the summer when they try to get away with stuff.

Don’t be surprised if, when you come back, you find that they tore the college down and hauled everything away.

Except for those shiny nuts and bolts.

Finger paint fiasco (Dissent; 6/15/06)

An area of lawn at Irvine Valley College was supposed to evoke 
IVC students' “patriotism and piety.”

By Bud Towne

June 15, 2006

OK everybody, stick your hand in the paint and then smear it onto the paper!

That was the idea, anyway. Officials at Irvine Valley College sought to get a large crowd of students together yesterday in a bid to create the “world's largest finger painting.” The project is a part of a month-long campaign to draw attention to the campus by celebrating what some IVC administrators are calling “IVC’s awesome patriotism and piety.”

“Our students are way more patriotic and pious than students at other colleges,” chirped a high-ranking administrator. “So we decided to fingerpaint, since IVC is a school, sort of, and finger painting happens at school.”

“We had high hopes,” added a second administrator.

“Just think of it! We’d be in the Guinness Book of World Records! It would be the crowning glory of a long series of achievements at this fine college!”

But then, yesterday, no students showed up.

"It would have been great," said the first administrator, shaking his head. "I believe that world record holders get a free trip to the brewery."

"Eventually," said the other administrator, "we scraped up a few young scholars who were sleeping in the library.”

“But those guys had really small hands,” said the first administrator.

In the end, maintenance personnel were instructed to spray paint a large blue hand on the 100-yard wide piece of canvas on the lawn in front of the Student Services Center. But since it was the only image on the canvas, and it was smack dab in the middle, it looked tiny.

“It’s better than nothing,” said the first administrator.

“Yeah,” said the second.

For a related story, go to Smile...for the "World's Biggest Camera"


Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear of A203 looking like sh!t. Not good for students or college staff.

Anonymous said...

4:15, you do realize, don't you, that this post's title is "ten years ago..."? --RB

Anonymous said...



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