Saturday, April 14, 2007

Prof in quagmire!

Interesting threads going on a under a couple of posts at Pirate Ballerina right now. Professor Dean Saitta of the University of Denver and co-whatever of the Ward Churchophile site Teachers for a Democratic Society (r68!), who's scheduled to speak at CU in Ward's defense in a couple of weeks, is trying to figure out where he stands on issues of access and transparency.

He's kind of stuck.

Update: Over at Try-Works, CU ethnic studies instructor Ben Whitmer has an explanation for my disencolloquialment, and pumps the powerfist of solidarity at Professor Saitta in a post bizarrely titled Contemptible Ben:

Refusing people the right to videotape whatever they want is not a denial of free speech. You go to a Billy Joe Shaver show, you don’t get the right to record without permission. Just as you don’t get the right to post entire books on the internet. The folks involved didn’t have permission to record, end of story. John G. Martin refused to remove his recording devices and was booted. That was his choice. He was scolded, given a second chance, still didn’t comply, then was booted. He can whine all he wants, but those are the facts. A public event means you get the right to attend, not record it.

On a broader point, these are student organized activities. The students should have the right to speak freely without having to worry about being gang-tackled by a bunch of obsessive internet creeps. They’re at as much risk as the faculty — more, in fact — and I think, for once, the faculty ought to take on some of that risk for themselves. You pinheads want to come after me, fine. But I’ve seen you post home addresses of students and attack your enemies’ families. I don’t see why eighteen-year-olds should have to deal with that kind of shit. And anyone who has been reading your spewings knows exactly what you would do with recordings: you’d attempt to ruin any of these kids you happen to disagree with.

Awww. He's doing it for the children, Professor Saitta. And isn't he protective of the family? It just melts your heart. Such a startling turnaround, too, for a guy who once mentioned on my blog (as recounted in Westword!) that he got puke on his face when he drunkenly performed oral sex on my wife. (Ben, of course, is free to post anything I've ever said about his [update: or anyone else's] family, which is zippo.)

Seriously, Dean, if you don't see psycho written all over this goomer, you've got more to worry about than your career. And don't kid yourself that you can avoid him, or that he's not right in there with Ward and Natsu and Glenn Morris and the rest. He is.

Of course, that, in true socialist fashion, is subject to change.

One more instructive quote, Dean:
Folks can get all kinds of exercised over my “tactics,” but where the fuck were any of you when the smear was ongoing? With the exception of one Denver Post journalist and one Boulder Weekly interview, there was no counter whatsoever. I did what I did to get the attention of the fuckers prosecuting the smear. It was largely unsuccessful, but I don’t remember anything else happening. Just a bunch of tenured academics running for shelter, and now and then jumping in with appropriately mealy-mouthed statements of vague support.
He means you, Professor Saitta. Did I say Ben extended the hand of solidarity? I meant the hand of contempt. Or maybe the hand of contemptuous self-pity. No, that's too long. Hand of contempt.

Update II: A source confirms that, as Heidi McCann pointed out in this comment, the organizers of the colloquium broke CU regulations by not noting on their flyer that recording would be prohibited.

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