Yesterday all of us in the Zenith Community received a message from (Not So) New President saying that the economic situation is grave in our part of the world, and will be for a while. Personally, I like it when someone will just admit that things are bad. It also increases my capacity for trust in the Authorities to be reassured that the people in charge feel that they know what they are doing. The message states directly that any budgets cuts, difficult as they may be to swallow, will be across the board; no part of the university will be spared or favored. "All of us," (Not So) New President notes in this email, "will be asked to make sacrifices."
This, of course, strikes me as a brilliant solution, one that neither the Obama or the McCain campaign came up with in last night's debate. But we historians in the Center for the Americas, given our hemispheric perspective, are entirely prepared for this moment. I propose that we begin our sacrifices by locating a virgin on the faculty, of any gender, and sacrificing hir in front of North College, in an appeal to the Money Gods to come to our immediate aid. Difficult as it may be to find a virgin on the faculty, it will be worth the effort, since history shows that, were we to sacrifice a more senior member of the faculty, one closer to retirement age for example, that the budgetary advantages would be outweighed by the gods' displeasure that we actually thought a gnarly old member of the faculty (someone such as myself, for example) would do in such difficult times.
Postscript: my next post will come from the American Studies Association Meeting in Albuquerque. I can be found at one or more of the locations listed in the sidebar. As usual, readers are commanded to identify themselves.
Grossman on Medical Licensing in Gilded-Age America
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