Monday Bloody Monday

January16/ 2000

…… Monday The 8th was more like (Kindly Ol Bill) Friday The 13th.  Jason was on the prowl.   Heads rolled, golden parachutes opened, mobs  howled, disgraced bureaucrats were eulogized and once bright stars were lamented.  No one admitted the slightest wrongdoings, yet we were told to “put IT all behind us”.   Starring John Q …. Mr Chips and, my pal, Mr Peepers. 

The much-maligned Chancellor resigned amid braggadocio, rose petals and palm fronds.

The much-ridiculed and smug ex-Governor’s wife was simply FIRED.

The embattled System President said “let’s all move on and put this behind us. ……

The John Q. Public Howling Mob tasting blood, wants some more.

It was Monday Bloody Monday in The City of Oaks.

 The Pope will admit to pedophilia before a UNC System acade-ministrator ever admits he jaywalked or tore that label off a mattress. The next UNC System admin to admit the slightest wrongdoing will be the first to ever do so.   To listen to these over-degreed pompous bloviators, they poop Haagen-Dazs and their breath is jasmine-scented. 

Am I the only one who thinks James Oblinger looks like Enron’s Ken Lay?  A tall, balding man in his mid 60s trying to say “mea non culpa” with a straight face while you say “been here, heard this before.

The roster of “mea non culpas” who have resigned plum positions in the past three weeks despite being purer than the wind-driven snow rose to four Monday.  First there was Larry …… then McQueen ….. then Cam …… now Obbie.  If Diogenes was still looking for his “honest man” he could find’em here filling up cardboard boxes with their personal effects. Images were flashing like a strobe show all day long.  Obbie, Mary, Mikey, Ersky.  Media websites were changing faster than Memphis Grizzlie head coaches.

I’ve been upfront with my support of Erskine Bowles as UNC-GA Prez.  I remain convinced he has the experience, passion and skills to have major positive impact in cleaning out the Augean Stables of the UNC System.  Day In – Day Out he could pilot the UNC ship just fine.  In a boardroom setting he is masterful, demanding, and usually “the smartest guy in the room”.   But Erskine Bowles is not, alas, to use a baseball player analogy, – “a 5 tool player”.

Erskine Bowles is not “Billy Mays” – the pitchman who stares thru the camera convincing the masses that chicken s**t is chicken salad.  When Slick Willie was hugging his family Bible, biting his lower lip, waggling his finger and redefining “is”, Erskine was off-camera giving him the thumbs up.  Bless his heart, that whole “Mr Peepers” thing simply does not cause a TV lens to gloss over.

Erskine and Bob Jordan felt compelled to eulogize out-going Obbie.  One sentence woulda done it.  Eight minutes of Princess Di level sugarcoating was 7.5 minutes too much.  Was Erskine auditioning for a spot on the dais when Teddy Kennedy’s time comes?

James Oblinger is not a Chancellor any more but, apparently, he’s a shoo-in to be canonized as a freakin’ Saint.  The Patron Saint of Deceitful Chancellors With Selective Memories.

With the TV audience reeling from Oblinger overload, they started in on “Mary Easley was once a bright shining star …”.   NOOO!  It was UNC vs Kansas – April 2008.  I’m yelling at Erskine to call a time-out, but, like Roy, he just plowed ahead figuring he would hit a 3 eventually.  He never did.  KLUNK, THUD, CLANK.

Assembled reporters pulling on hipboots and giggling shoulda been a clue NOBODY was buying it.

Erskine closed with the old Clinton line we heard so often from ’92-00 ….. “lets put all this behind us and move on to a new brighter day ….. OK?”  No matter how many bimbo eruptions, Whitewaters, and Vince Fosters there were, Bill and Hillary would toss’em out the car window like chewing gum wrappers, and speed on down the highway ….. hoping we might forget they ever happened.

Will Erskine survive as UNCGA Prez?  If so, how long?  In today’s ideological street fight can Erskine regain the credibility he did have which was basically with Clinton loyalists plus BobLee.  I still think he’s finer than any person “they” could get for the position.  But he’s not a candidate to replace Pat Sajak on Wheel Of Fortune.

The UNC System is teetering under the weight of the most embarrassing scandal in its history and not one single soul has admitted the slightest malfeasance, misfeasance or even non-feasance.  Go figure.

“The Research Triangle” is so named because of its three major universities in close proximity.  Higher(?) education stirs the drink of the local economy.  This Mary Easley Scandal is as silly and unnecessary as most scandals are.  Scandals are always linked to the character weaknesses of sex, money, greed, power, and/or a sense of “we can get away with this”.  Often they “get away with it” and we never know we were flimflammed.  This time we know.

 An APB has been issued for Governor Dumpling but Bev, Basnight, Rand, and Hackney are no where to be found or heard from.  It must not be campaign season.

Public outrage is being directed at several targets.  A handful of high profile public servants are on the media skewer being not so slowly roasted.   On a much larger skewer is Mr. Chips’ mystical world of High Academe.

John Q. Public’s last direct involvement with Mr. Chips was receiving a sheepskin after a 4-6 year rite of passage in their early 20s.  John (and Jane) Q then went forth to put noses to grindstones and shoulders to wheels in a world that says “what have you done for me lately?” and holds John Q to an unforgiving quantitative measure.  Meanwhile Mr. Chips remained in his ivory tower contemplating his navel, staring narcissistically at his reflection in the mirror and saying “oooohhhh, I am so smart, aren’t I? ….. and tenured too!”

Yes, that is a gross over-characterization of Mr. Chips.  But it is the image that John Q is having crammed down his throat as golden parachutes fill the skies over The Triangle.

We shall speak of this more in the days to come.


Who played Mr Chips?


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