Yippee! I Found A Pony!

May13/ 2012

It’s a wonderful old analogy.  Little kid comes downstairs on Christmas morning to find a large steamin’ pile of “equine fecal matter” under the tree…. with a shovel laying beside it.  He eagerly grabs the shovel and starts digging thru the steamin’ pile o’ crap.  With the unfettered enthusiasm of the delightfully naïve he knows that somewhere in that pile he will FIND A PONY.  After a lot of recent shoveling, maybe I’ve found a pony. …..

I had a column all set for today.  It was an incredibly on-point narrative satire on The Ever-festering Great Unpleasantness.  I’ll probably end up using that column down the road ‘cause, Tom Ross, this ain’t going away any time soon.

“Wishin’ don’t make it so”.  …… and Carolina drained its wishing well trying to heal Kendall Marshall’s wrist.

Whether I keep pounding the subject or not, won’t change the yuckiness of the whole mess.  Some sort of “independent investigation” is inevitable and, I believe, SHOULD HAPPEN.  Even that won’t satisfy the bloodlust of the zombie mob of course.  That mob will quickly question the credibility of any investigator(s).

This whole ooey gooey mess was scripted by aliens from Pluto with very morbid senses of humor.  That said…..

The most depressing aspect of all this crap is how it does hide all the ponies.  There actually are some darn good worthwhile programs at UNC.  There are some darn fine professors and researchers quietly going about doing good things. …… key phrase “quietly going about”.

When Duke was dog-paddling thru their Lacrosse Scandal for months and months and their admins routinely and publicly poking themselves in the eyes with ever sharper sticks; somewhere in that West Derm Gothic Rockpile, some folks were quietly designing better mousetraps…. medical breakthroughs et al.

When “Queen Mary” Easley was making NCSU Chancellor James Oblinger and Larry The Provost Guy look like Abbot & Costello on steroids….. some bright guys / gals on The Brickyard were finding a cure for some animal or crop disease…. or how to build stuff better….. or writing a software program for the next SAS.

In Sunday’s N&O I ran across a story “about a pony” at Kenan-Flagler Business School at UNC.   K-F has a Family Enterprise Center that assists family-owned businesses in navigating thru generational evolution.

I have long observed that the single largest obstacle to problem-solving is the stubborn belief that our specific problem de jour is “unique” and therefore must have its own unique solution.  There are an finite number of things that cause problems within companies or within internal combustion engines or within the human eye or even within a computer.

Someone else likely “had your problem” before you did.  Even if their solution did not work, knowing that might prevent you from wasting your time with what won’t work.

Wasn’t it Edison that described “inventing” as a process of discovering all the things that don’t work until you are left with what does”?

Michaelangelo took a huge block of granite and simply carved away “everything that wasn’t David”.

Figuratively or literally….
“Carving away everything that isn’t David” is how we eventually find our ponies.

HOLY COW!  Did I write that ?  Quick. Call Successories.  I have the next great poster.

You can link and read the cool story about the Family Enterprise Center.  I think it is a fascinating learning laboratory for a very common problem in many families.  Issues that are rooted in human nature intrigue me.   Where there are no “right or wrong” ideologues; just personal preferences and “roads not taken ……” that make all the difference.  The generational evolution of a family business is exactly that sort of issue.

I’m certain that EVERY academic institution on earth has some “good things” percolating on their campuses.  “Good things” that fly below the public radar…. never making it “above-the-fold”.  Never becoming thread fodder for board monkeys to pick at like head lice.

Neither Marvin Austin nor Haley Koch (UNC’s latest Patty Hearst wannabee) are representative of the average kid crisscrossing Polk Place or The Brickyard every day carrying a backpack filled with anxiety about “growing up”.

How many Julius’ are there at UNC?  One is too many.  Hard for anyone to make a case supporting this pusillanimous possum but likely someone will try.

Me, I don’t care at all for UNC’s hair-on-fire angry anarchist Gene Nichol; or atheist Religion Prof Bart Ehrman; but I know for a fact they both have their fan clubs.  Neither Gene nor Bart have anything to do with this Family Enterprise Center.   Is that a coincidence?

I am always seeing news articles about Gene’s or Bart’s latest harangues.  If I didn’t know better I might think their sort of crap (along with Julius’) is all that goes on at UNC.

Articles like this one from the UNC business school help me “know better”.

Of course:
Not every steamin’ pile o’ crap hides a pony….. but
Every pony, given time, will eventually produce a pile o’ crap.

MORAL:  Never be caught without a shovel.

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