Yesterday, today and tomorrow The Saga of “Mary Whistleblower” inexorably carves its niche into the Grand Mosaic known, at least here, as The Great Unpleasantness. Opinions of Ms Willingham’s worth as a human being depend totally upon where on the partisan spectrum one resides. But…. no one from the Tru-est Tru Blue, Kool-Aid guzzlin’, Dean-worshippin’ Ostrich to the most pointy-toothed, spittle-spewin’, rafter-hatin’ ABCer thinks we have heard the last of…..
Typhoid Mary – or – Mary of Arc. ….. “Terrorist or Freedom Fighter” ???
I’ve never met “Mary Whistleblower”. I have spoken at length with someone who has, but I haven’t. Ergo, my opinions herein are only slightly more valued than 99% of the “I KNOW what she is all about” mob.
So…. I’m not sure:
Is Mary Chapel Hill’s version of the innocent parade spectator who noted and exclaimed “….. The Emperor is not wearing any clothes !!” ?
Or….. conversely, is Mary “The Flagship’s” version of Alger Hiss….. a low-down dirty-no-good secret-revealing spy for the eeeeevil empire – aka The Anybody But Carolina Crowd ?
Or….. is she simply a well-intended “Edith Bunker” who labored anonymously on the assembly line within the vaunted, albeit much-maligned, institutional behemoth. Plucked by Demon Fate from the ranks of multitudes of similarly anonymous laborers to become the latest Andy Warhol 15-minute fame magnet in this Never-ending Mind-Numbing Novella of The Absurd.
Was Mary’s humble passion in life merely to ignite the learning lamp within the young people she tutored. Laboring in obscurity on the oft-chance she might one day look into previously dead eyes and observe a flicker of recognition…. that her young charge might indeed be emerging from an 18-20 year illiterate coma.
Or does Mary see herself as “academia’s Norma Rae” standing resolute on the lint-ridden floor of the textile mill DEMANDING to be heard….. that her concern for her illiterate charges be addressed. That Enough Is Enough and we should….. nay WE MUST…. awaken from our ESPN-induced stupor.
…… Is it asking too much that every youngster who is lured to The Southern Part of Heaven by dreams of “The League” or “The Association” for ever how brief a stay, at least, upon his departure he be able to spell N–C-A-A ….. if spotted an N, a C and one A? Is THAT asking too much?
Did Mary indeed begin her quest filled with the noblest of intentions? Intentions that form the very foundation of the academic institution within which Mary Willingham labored in obscurity. An institution that has now turned “hostile” towards the obscure tutor. “Hostile” ?? How “hostile”?
As Hostile as if she had re-registered as a Republican and stuck a “Rush Is Right” bumpersticker on her Prius. WOW….. THAT hostile? Yes, apparently THAT “hostile”.
It took an obscure tutor to finally bring forth an emotion from Chancellor Charming Little Carol (From DARTMOUTH) other than “unabashed joy and glee just to be here”. “Here” being the afore-mentioned Flagship. Unconfirmed reports say CCLCFD “berated” said once-obscure tutor last week during the process of strongly suggesting she pursue career opportunities elsewhere ASAP.
Historians scurried to their archives to determine if Charming Little Carol is the first Flagship Chancellor to “berate” a humble tutor. Desperate times require desperate measures apparently.
Dean Provost Dean was not present during the reported recent beratement. Since Dean Provost Dean’s ill-fated trip to NYC to himself berate the intrepid BusinessWeek reporter, UNC’s $300,000 Vice Chancellor of Spin & Obfuscation – Joel Curran has recommended Dean Provost Dean not be seen nor heard from “for awhile”.
Least you be lullied into believing I am unabashedly championing the antics of “Norma Rae” Willingham / Typhoid Mary / Mary of Arc….. let me note: There is certainly the possibility that Ms Mary is (1) crazier than an Outhouse Mouse….. (2) nuttier than a PayDay bar….. and (3) ideologically insane enough to deserve full professorial tenure at Ye Olde Flagship. Since, as noted I’ve never met Mary or personally measured her jib. Do berated and beleagured obscure tutors even have jibs?
From a nano-second after “Marvin tweeted” five very long years ago, this “thing” has been an open audition for The Gong Show Does Lets Make A Deal. Alls that’s been missing has been Chuck Barris, Monty Hall, The Unknown Comic and two fat chicks from Carrboro dressed up as Rutabagas. OK, put a paper bag on “Call Me Dickie” and we’d have an approximation of The Unknown Comic.
Maybe Ms Mary IS a life-long “jock-hater” / Academic Terrorist as she has been portrayed by the more vocal of her critics among the board monkey bunch. Maybe she did concoct this whole “thing” simply as a vehicle for her ever-lasting fame / infamy.
Has Mary’s “fame” already surpassed Billy Arthur that midget cheerleader from the 50s yet? Where does Mary rank with Herbert J. Aphtheker, Arthur Beaumont, and “Jeff” that ran that soda shop / porno stand on Franklin Street?
Maybe Mary is indeed “in cahoots” with the dastardly Jay Smith THE Primo #1 Most-Defiled Anti-Jock UNC Faculty Guy as voted unanimously by InsideCarolina for the past three years. Maybe Mary & Jay are indeed a New Millenium Bonnie & Clyde out to score mega-bucks at the expense of the much-ballyhooed University Of The People.
Maybe all Mary & Jay want is a statue, or at least a plaque, in NCSU’s Brickyard for all they’ve done to further perpetuate the eventual imploding of Dean’s Dome.
Betcha didn’t know that, in the ante-bellum South, it was a heinous crime to “teach the coloreds to read”. Maybe it still is…. Just South of Franklin Street.
I don’t know because I’ve never met Mary Willingham.