A Tempest in a Teapot Is a Tempest No Less

“Most Film and Media dept. faculty know that Gregg can raise issues in ways that are contentious.” Blanca Vasquez, Adjunct Instructor.

Before she embarked on a path to ingratiate herself into D:F/M – or perhaps before I knew she had embarked – Blanca Vasquez and I commiserated occasionally about some of its sordid features. For example, the reputation of a College Lab Technician known for his dedication to students and his technical smarts inspired a fully tenured professor who, flushed in villainy and stealth and paranoia, orchestrated the demise of the CLT as a member of D:F/M.

I kid you not.

I recall how BV, on a particular day we were sitting in the courtyard of Hunter’s West Building, cried out in anguished that she would never forget the underhanded demise of the CLT, her friend. She referred to the culprit with the measured cryptic idiom  “they,” a familiar stratagem imagined to cloak one from being targeted for badmouthing a colleague of significance or one of influence, in this case, the debauched colleague with whom she was ingratiating herself (even though that colleague had plunged the knife into the CLT’s back).

I was touched, indelibly, by her anguish, so much so that years after the collegial commiserating in that courtyard, the calumny she communicated in the email to strangers who didn’t know me caught me off guard. The psychodynamics of D:F/M should always be in the forefront of the minds of D:F/M instructors and staff and other habitues, even if only commiserating in the courtyard of the Hunter West Building, so that the worst one may experience when a Judas (small j or capital) or a Quisling (small q or capital) or a Brutus (small b or capital) or a Madoff (small m or capital) shifts into assassin mode, is a pinprick and not a coup de grâce. I wasn’t shocked, only surprised. A nanosecond.Â

"Hi Aronsonians,
I am forwarding a note from Gregg Morris, who teaches journalism at Hunter
and who has raised concerns about the Aronson student undergraduate prize.
Separating his concerns from how he states them would be a good thing.
Most Film and Media dept. faculty know that Gregg can raise issues in ways that
are contentious." [— Blanca Vasquez, Adjunct Instructor]

A cheap shot ever there was one.

To keep from sucking students into D:F/M’s vertiginous imbroglio, an offense of which I’ve often accused my colleagues (and warned students invited to the fray to ignore their importuning and stay clear of the firefighting – we take no prisoners), my plan has been to move the swordplay and saber rattling to another journal. But this cheap shot can’t be ignored, especially because of its timing and the shoddy attempt to undermine the validity of issues I and others consider serious (as well as because of the camouflaging of the identities of  the real culprits of contentiousness, some real D:F/M lulus).Â

Yep, this episode most probably measures up to no more than a tempest in a teapot (The Four Barnacles of the Apocalypse have been far more sinister). A tempest, it is, nevertheless.


End, Part I of VI







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