Some weird stuff is happening, so it occurred to me we might start a looking-for-our-ideal-in the-past Ezine. Let's call it Truly Mad Magazine. Here's a sampler.
In the "I have no clue why this is happening department" a quick consult of the Sitemeter referral page for my blog reveals quite a few hits, maybe twenty or more, coming from a Google search for "Tom Lehrer, Pedagogy" or some perturbation thereof. They seem to be coming from different people all around the country. Weird! Could these be generated by a robot?
In the "Couldn't be more true department" of course I have to find out myself whether there is some news about Tom Lehrer, so I do a Google search on him as well as a search of the New York Times and CNN sites. I don't find any news that could trigger these searches, but I do find an interview with him from 2003 where when asked about doing musical satire on our current president responded to the effect that he didn't want to do a satire of the president, he wanted to obliterate him.
In the "Watch out for your political analysis column because it might apply close to home department" Frank Rich wrote his typical column today describing the absolute depravity and complete cynicism of the Bush White House and the resulting incompetence in the provision of the public good. He refers to this piece by Alan Wolfe from the Washington Monthly, who argues this is a necessary consequence of the Conservative agenda coupled with the political reality that government spending will not actually be cut because the citizenry want the goodies that are being doled out.
So long as conservatives denigrate government while relying on government to
achieve their objectives, Rumsfeld's vision of how to fight wars is the only
kind of conservative foreign policy one can have.
This piece was depressing enough to read, thinking about the state of our nation, but it is all the more so once you realize that by taking out a Gingrich here and a Delay there the essential argument holds intact for the provision of services at a big research campus like mine whether by Central It or the Library or any other centralized unit, when it is the Deans of the various colleges who run the show and they want to protect their own resources for their own agendas. Such is the legacy of RCM (Responsibility Centered Management).
In the "Kids of patricians make good politicians but their children are not to be trusted department" let's bring back Noblesse Oblige. It worked in The West Wing, didn't it? In the meantime, it seems the Nouveau Rich continue with the feeling of obligation but the detest for government by funding enormous good works projects that literally swamp the now old money foundations funded from the estates of the robber baron industrialists.
And, finally, in the "Universities have to generate more of their revenue from their alumni department" what are we to make of Ray Ozzie's new lofty status as the Chief Software Architect at Microsoft? Hmmm. I wonder if I should joined MSN?