My post about the termination proceedings against Nancy Roseman wasn’t up for six hours before it provoked passive-aggressive, censorious third-party whining on behalf of dearest Alma Mater. The gist of the complaints was to the effect that I’d stirred up a hornet’s nest and exposed my source and those around herm to some sort of vague, mildly pissy retribution from college bigshots gravely offended by the breach of confidentiality. As far as I could tell, no one involved felt at risk of meaningful professional retribution, e.g., loss of employment or income. It was more that some puffed-up assholes would get upset, make some hurtfully critical comments to their understudies or water boys, and maybe, just possibly, expel some schmoozing social climber from a nonpaying position on some institutional advisory board.
It should go without saying that I have absolutely no sympathy for anyone complaining about being in such a bind. Those involved are familiar enough with my circumstances to know that they are much, much more professionally connected and successful than I am. By mere virtue of mentioning IN THE FUCKING TITLE that I routinely sleep in my car I should have made my own relative poverty and marginalization abundantly clear to anyone reading that essay. Dickinson bitch this is not. On the other hand, Dickinson bitch the others in question is. These whinging dipshits are acting like there’s some sacred protocol that must be followed for timing the disclosure of board votes to fire nonprofit CEO’s or the existence of active harassment complaints against their dependent and cohabiting spouses. In the case of trustees and advisory board members, there may in fact be a duty of the sort, although it is far from sacred or morally inviolable. In any event, I took care to protect the identity of my source, to the point that only a creepy dirty trickster would be able to identify the source. Moreover, I am not a fucking member of the Dickinson College Board of Trustees, so any such oath of confidentiality does not apply to me.
It’s like I’m suddenly Carl Bernstein and I just magically transformed one of my college acquaintances into my personal Robert Philip Hanssen by writing about some institutional gossip, most likely to be disclosed publicly in coming months, that I heard from hän. I’m an obscure blogger best known for a hot take on some of the most unspeakable sex acts in Arabia. Dickinson College is a moral shithole as an institution, but it’s a half-assed moral shithole. It doesn’t have the juice to silence a normal person with a functioning moral compass and disgust with its institutional behavior dating back over a decade. I don’t work for Dickinson. These other people don’t work for it, either, but they’re sorry-ass timid Timmies in their relationship to our alma mater. What in hell do they think anyone at Dickinson has on them? I was once directly told that I was on a shit list at the Carlisle Police Department and the Cumberland County District Attorney’s Office. Later I was told that most of the student government was fed up with me because I was some kind of boorish shit-stirrer, probably because the others were god-awful social climbers worthy of Maoist agricultural reeducation. I’m a fruitboy who scavenges deposit bottles out of trash cans for pocket change. I averaged less than three dollars an hour at the blueberry farm last summer. I publish comments about my trysts with prostitutes under my legal name, although somewhat discreetly so.
Meanwhile these dipshits are worried that some whiny bastards at the college may modestly inconvenience them by trying to drag them into the Spanish Inquisition over their knowledge of the identity of my internal mole. If the inquisitors make anything worse than whiny pests of themselves, their targets are free to call the State Police or 911, just as I was free to call code enforcement officers down on Joe Dirtbag on account of Pot-o-Shit Friend. Private citizens do not have the authority to forcibly interrogate others without their consent. Neither do the police, for that matter. The way they talk, you’d think they’d pledged a blood oath to the mob toughs who killed Jimmy Hoffa. What they actually did was to promise some paper tigers with closets full of Vineyard Vines that they’d stay quiet about some shit that they could immediately report to the police the moment it started to look criminal. I work with actual vines in actual vineyards. Literally, as they say.
If I have their panties in a bunch, that’s their problem, not mine. I didn’t write about the Roseman scandal to gratuitously stir up a pile of shit. I wrote about it because it’s an ongoing scandal involving a corrupt college that I attended, a scandal so far apparently swept under the rug but liable to be blown into the public domain at any moment. It belongs in the public domain. This is especially true of the harassment complaint, the cherchez la femme de la femme thing. (This wasn’t always a coherent turn of phrase, but we’re living in the context of the modern family.) If the abuse of staffers by those in authority over them were consistently exposed in the provinces, maybe it wouldn’t be such a horrific, intractable problem in Washington. It seems that my alma mater has a little Hillary Clinton telling the Secret Service to get fucked thing going on, and to shrilly quote Charlotte Simmons, I don’t hold with that. I don’t want to sound like I’m auditioning to play Adam Gellin when I could write fan fiction featuring the moralizing blowjob governor and his meathead Chippie instead, because that would honestly be a lot less wrong, but the people I’m standing up to on this matter are so fucking sniveling and weak about all things Dickinson that it’s hard to strike back at them without throwing out my shoulder and looking a bit overwrought and puffed-up myself. It’s an opportunity to air some Opposing Viewpoints on academic corruption: “Expose it at your earliest convenience” v. “Shut up you’re literally raping us all in the ass okay if you insist on it and feel that strongly about it I guess….”
That’s basically what I’m facing. Of course this scandal isn’t about a couple of people I know from college who are a bit worked up because I’m running my mouth again. It’s about an entire college, one I attended, that is rotting from the head for at least its second successive presidency. No amount of alumni giving can fix that institutional pathology. Refusing to give the school another dime at least limits the moral hazard.
It’s amazing that my source and those around herm cannot appreciate that I’m annoyed with Dickinson’s pledge drives because I’m getting fuck-all from my education financially and professionally. Anyone with a lick of financial sense would expect to get a damn good financial dividend in his career from a formal education ultimately costing something like a quarter million dollars. Spending that much on college should not be necessary but insufficient for financial success after graduation; it’s either a guarantee of financial and professional success or a gigantic fucking waste of money. What no one will admit, for racketeering reasons, is that the entire pre-professional enterprise at most schools is a chain made up mostly of weak links. This includes much of the nominally liberal departments and their curricula, since these are loudly touted as forming the sort of critical thinking that begets professional success. An alumnus can have enough money for a quarter section in downstate Illinois thrown into a gaping hole on his behalf and still end up out of work for long stretches because the economy is shit, or because he didn’t know to bribe the right hiring manager for a job, or because he didn’t butter up the right power broker, or because he didn’t buy the right $10,000 country club membership, or because he won’t or can’t throw another hundred grand-plus into yet another hole for grad school, or because he just isn’t enough of a slick bullshitter.
If I consider a dozen deposit bottles within reach in the same trash can an Ephesians 3:20 gibs mine, I’m obviously not hooked up with anything that the dipshits who run alumni relations at Dickinson would consider respectable. I know, there’s a place for personal responsibility, but some of these racketeers explicitly and repeatedly told us that our education would be our meal ticket. They want to handle accounts payable on the cheap, pester their homeless alumni for money, and then get into high dudgeon when the latter petulantly refuse to tithe.
If you’re running a very expensive school and telling your students that they’ll be hot commodities upon graduation, and then your graduates fail to immediately and effortlessly secure some kind of paid work, you’re either an incompetent, a derelict, or a fraud. Suggesting that they aren’t being persistent and tactful enough at networking is a garbage-ass evasion. You either deliver the goods or you don’t. In my experience, Dickinson doesn’t, then badgers its disillusioned alumni with angry assertions that it totally does.
Jeff Marsee notwithstanding, I’m proud to have been a Corsair. I am no prouder to have been a Red Devil than I’d be to have done a bid at Lompoc Camp for drug trafficking. If you can’t tell why by now, I’ll be glad to page the short bus. I went there, and I have friends who went there, just as federal prisoners are released from Lompoc Camp with lifelong friends (and opportunities not to shut up for an hour and a half on the Coast Starlight), but by this point, it’s my school the way Marla Maples is Donald Trump’s wife, only less so.