Posted Jun 14, 2020 at 16:00. Revised Jan 10, 2021 at 19:05.
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Summer storm hits ChaosFarm
The tranquility of ChaosFarm has been interrupted by a severe summer storm and a power failure. The storm hit at supper time and caused JD to see some parallels between fixing a broken power line and a broken college Board of Trustees.
JD was initially quite trusting of the situation and assumed that the power company would soon come to the farm and fix things. They did, but…
It became clear that the power people would have a lot of work to do because of the widespread damage and that it would be a while before they could restore power. Just about everything in the farmhouse depends on electricity, so there was little to do but to take a walk in the south pasture.
A tree in the woods had probably fallen on the line and brought it down. The uninsulated high voltage line is strung from pole top to pole top, so it is vulnerable to falling trees. The line was not broken but had become dislodged from the top of the pole, resulting in a short circuit that could shoot high voltage electricity into the farmhouse when the power returned. A call to the power company from an almost dead cell phone got a crew on its way to ChaosFarm.
An entourage of four men soon arrived in a convoy led by a four-wheel-drive crew cab pickup truck carrying only the crew supervisor. Two giant bucket trucks followed, carrying three more men. Four men were overkill since the job only required one man to climb the pole and put the line back on its insulator. The images at the top of this post show the work method similarities of power line crews and academic administration crews.
The supervisor ordered one of the men to climb the pole and reattach the wire while the other two remained on the ground with nothing to do. The supervisor, having done his duty, disappeared. In the picture, one man sat down underneath an apple tree while the other laid down for a nap in a pile of deer poop left by a roving MUD.
The one productive member of the crew reattached the wire to its insulator, and the team departed. The Oberlin College BOT could use such talents, as well as the expertise of a few psychiatrists to deal with the BOT’s compulsive personality disorders.
Censorship hits Oberlin
There are two major Oberlin Alumni FaceBook groups: The Unofficial, Uncensored Oberlin Alumni Discussion Group, and The Oberlin Alumni Digital Community. People started the Uncensored group because many felt that the Alumni Office, which is the sponsor of the “Digital Community” group, has become a Pollyanna-style marketing front for the College. The Pollyanna group allows only the most flattering and euphoric posts and comments about the College.
The fact that people felt a need for an Unofficial, Uncensored group speaks to the powerlessness the College feels in the turmoil of the times. The College must think that only a grand Pollyanna policy can restore the lost power of yesteryear. Oberlin College has always believed, until now, that healthy discourse and differences of opinion — however unflattering they might be — are part of the path to truth. The introduction of a thought police force with a marketing mission is a deviation from positions that have served the College well until now.
The censored Oberlin Alumni Digital Community posted a censorship policy on June 5, 2020, at 7:47 PM which announced the following:
Posts and comments about current litigation with Gibson’s Bakery against Oberlin College and Dean of Students Meredith Raimondo will not be permitted…
Any reasonable trial lawyer would tell his client(s) not to discuss any of their matters that are pending before a court. The College’s censorship policy is not the advice of a trial lawyer to his client. It is a blanket statement from the College’s official marketing arm (The Alumni Assn.) saying that they will not permit anyone with an association with the College to say anything about the Gibson litigation in their discussion group.
Anyone is legally free to express an opinion on the Gibson litigation as long as he is not a direct party to the matter. In other words, any alum might say, “I think the College’s fight with the Gibsons is unfortunate!.” Saying that on The Oberlin Alumni Digital Community Facebook group would not be allowed.
It is not enough that the thought police will block anyone from saying anything about any pending litigation against the College. Their fear of their folly in the Gibson matter has gone one step further. The thought police have been blocking any comments on this censorship policy itself! They must be running very scared of how their weak appeal to the appellate court will turn out.
This blog has pointed out that the overwhelmingly damning evidence submitted against the College at the trial almost guaranteed a slam-dunk victory for the Gibsons’ lawyers. The College is right to be scared of how the appeal might turn out.
According to the Digital Alumni Group’s policies, everything posted must directly pertain to Oberlin College even though everything in the universe ultimately interconnects with everything else.
Restoring power to Oberlin’s Control Freaks
If we could return to the days of yore when the Looney Tunes cartoons were new, we would see that no one was upset over Porky Pig being an obvious exhibitionist in the screen signature below. Will the College administration bring Porky Pig before its kangaroo sexcapades court? It would be the perfect way for the College to restore its power in the eyes of its thought-control police and its sex control police for enforcing proper social distancing.
/s/ JD Nobody, OC ’61.