Category Archives: Satire

Rector Dragas’ Statement, Translated into Plain English

On behalf of the Board of Visitors, I’d like to speak directly to the extended U.Va. family – to our students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends. We reach out to you today as fellow sons and daughters of this University, who studied here, matured into adulthood here, made friends here, met spouses here, and walked the hallowed Lawn.

Dear proles.

We share your love of this institution and its core values of honor, integrity, and trust. Like you, we have given our energy, commitment, and resources to the University. And, like you, we are inspired by the magic of U.Va. every time we speak with students and faculty. Through service to the University, we have had the true honor of witnessing up close all that the University community does so well.

I’m just like you. Only I was born rich. So trust me, as your relatable better.

This has been a difficult week for the University. It is never easy to announce a change in leadership, particularly after a relatively short period of time since the last selection.

It is in no way my fault that this has been a shit week. What a funny thing that we just got a new president two years ago, and here we are doing it again! But who can say what the cause of that is, really?

While our actions in this matter were firmly grounded in what we believe to be in the very best and long-term interests of the University, and our students, faculty, staff and alumni, we want to express our sincere regret for the pain, anger and confusion they have caused among many in our U.Va. family. We certainly never wished nor intended to ignite such a reaction from the community of trust and honor that we all love so dearly.

Who could possibly have anticipated that a second-rate Virginia Beach condo developer single-handedly orchestrating the firing of the president of the University of Virginia to satisfy the demands of a rich asshole would upset people? Not me! People love that! …right?

We recognize that, while genuinely well-intended to protect the dignity of all parties, our actions too readily lent themselves to perceptions of being opaque and not in keeping with the honored traditions of this University.

It is your fault for interpreting my actions as being bad. (You idiots.)

For that reason, let me state clearly and unequivocally: you – our U.VA. family – deserved better from this Board, and we have heard your concerns loud and clear.

Boy. That escalated quickly. I mean, that really got out of hand fast.

The Board of Visitors exists to make these kinds of judgments on behalf of all the constituencies of the University. While the broader U.VA. community – our students, faculty, alumni, and donors, among others – have varied and important interactions and touch-points with our University leadership, the Board is the one entity that has a unique vantage point that enables us to oversee the big picture of those interactions, and how the leadership shapes the strategic trajectory of the University. Simply put, we have the responsibility, on behalf of the entire community, to make these important and often difficult calls.

When I want your advice, I’ll give it to you.

I want to make clear that the Board had a formalized communications process with the President, involving ongoing discussions for an extended period of time on progress toward mutually agreed-upon strategic goals for the University. And we took this action only as a result of there being an overwhelming consensus of the Board to do so, and after all Board members were thoughtfully and individually engaged.

I mentioned all of this to President Sullivan fully two days before she was actually canned. Also, three people voted on it. So, y’know, quitcherbitchin.

We have heard your demands for a fuller explanation of this action. And while our answers may seem insufficient and poorly communicated, we have responded with the best we have to offer – the truth.

I have provided you with an insufficient, poorly communicated “truth.”

And, to set the record straight on an important point, the Board has never, nor will we ever, direct that particular programs or courses be eliminated or reduced. These matters belong to the faculty.

I’m lying through my teeth.

This is all to say that there is not one single person on earth whose interests we would ever put above those of the thousands of stakeholders entrusted to our care. Not one President, not one administrator, not one faculty member, and certainly not one donor.

Just totally making shit up at this point.

As we look forward to the transition to new leadership at the University – a process that begins today with our deliberation over the selection of an interim President – the U.Va. family can rest assured that it will have a great deal of input. We have already met with student and faculty leadership, and we agreed to broaden and deepen our interaction and engagement going forward.

I gave these same tired lines to the Faculty Senate and the Student Council, and they’re both pretty pissed off about it, but whatevs. I talked at them, that’s the important thing.

For selection of the next president, our Board Manual calls for setting up a special committee, which, in addition to some Board members, will have representation from students, faculty alumni and staff.

We are committed to doing the bare minimum.

We look forward to your participation in this important process.

Oh, Jesus.

On a personal note, I want to say something about our outgoing President, Terry Sullivan. Dr. Sullivan has put all of her considerable energies – and then some – into her work as President, and we owe her a great deal of gratitude for her service, her enthusiasm for improving U.VA., and for always keeping the best interests of this University foremost in mind. We hope that Dr. Sullivan will remain an important contributing member of our U.VA. family in the coming years, and we are very fortunate to have had the benefit of her service.

I’m pretty sure that Teresa Sullivan has absolutely no self respect.

I want to thank the U.VA. family for enduring the tumult of this difficult week. It has been exceptionally trying for all of us, and we accept our great share of responsibility for that. Going forward, the Board of Visitors pledges to work closely with you as we all pull together to restore the foundational unity of Mr. Jefferson’s University for current and future generations.

In conclusion, fuck you.

Hip-Hop Homage to the Downtown Mall

There’s a YouTube trend of filming so-bad-they’re-good self-parodying hip-hop homages to one’s hometown. (See Arlington: The Rap, which I think was the first one, or River City.) They’re all done in the style of Lazy Sunday (Chronicles of Narnia), the crazy-popular SNL short that convinced NBC to put stuff online. With that essential context establish: Emily Bolecek and Arin Noble are tossing Charlottesville into the mix with five minutes of props to the Downtown Mall.

“Secret Agent Ken Boyd”

A friend just turned me on to the brilliant, satirical, and local Beta Carotene Show. Their brand-new installment of the old-time-style radio show is an episode entitled “Secret Agent Ken Boyd.” The show is credited to Steve Ashby, Alex Davis, Bill Davis, and Robert LaRue, who play characters including Wendell Wood, all of the BoS, and God.

I’m so happy to have a chance to use the “Satire” category. This town needs satire, and it needs it badly.

Much Ado About Fuel?

Photo Credit: dcwooten .
Gas prices have been making the news lately. A variety of factors may explain the rise in fuel cost, but a Department of Energy site provides some insight. One surprising result may be that taxes comprise 19% of the cost of fuel.

In the short term, Virginian’s are thinking of ways to save money on fuel in anticipation of the coming winter, especially since 1/5 of the nations natural gas refineries have been made inoperable by hurricane Katrina. Conservation efforts may be the best short term help for home fuel and seeking out the cheapest local gas may help for automobiles. Don’t forget to consider the Ride Share Program to carpool.

On a more lighthearted note, maybe we can direct our road rage into something more useful, or if we get absolutely desperate we can always count on Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez for help.

Council to Install Stocks on Mall

In response to Matthew Farrell’s recent letter declaring himself to be “Downtown Charlottesville’s Leading Public Intellectual,” reader Valerie L’Herrou has provided an article on City Council’s controversial new plan to install stocks and pillories on the Downtown Mall in an effort to curb “Downtown Charlottesville’s Leading Public Nuisance.” (Remember, folks, Jefferson with a moustache means satire.)

City Council to place stocks and pillories on downtown mall

Denies “leading public nuisance” a factor in decision

In a surprise announcement which stunned much of the city today, Charlottesville Mayor Maurice Cox announced that a federal law-enforcement grant would be used to purchase stocks and pillories, to be placed on the downtown mall for the punishment and deterrence of “public nuisances.”

Cox denied that recent antics by self-proclaimed “leading public nuisance” Matthew Farrell had anything to do with the decision. “The city applied for this grant two years ago. We need to use the funds now or we will lose them. The decision had already been made.”

Others were not so sure. “I think the mayor is being disingenuous,” said one downtown coffee drinker, who asked not be identified. “The word on the street is that Farrell is the reason they’re getting those stocks. After all, look at what they’re defining as a nuisance–mannered behavior and over-dressing. And I, for one, will be among the first to throw a rotten tomato at that cream-colored suit.”

Charlottesville’s social-justice community was outraged by the decision. Demonstrators gathered on the corner of Main Street in front of the Federal building, carrying signs reading “Just Say No to Stocks (and bonds)” and “City Council: selling out lock, stock and barrel.” One demonstrator explained, “see, it’s like the stock market, their stocks aren’t worth anything on the world market, so they’re like, dumping them here in small-town America. It’s part of the evil spread of global capitalism.”

Informed of the criticism, City Councilors took it in stride. “It’s about time we had some sense of law and order in this city,” said Republican Councilor Rob Schilling. “Now maybe we’ll see less graffiti. And I’m glad that council was able to agree that linen suits and bowties are grounds for the pillory. Over the next year, the ordinance will be expanded to require anyone wearing Hawaiian shirts, designer clothes, or any item of clothing or hairstyle costing over $100 to be placed in the stocks.” Asked about length of hair, Schilling replied, “come on, I may be a Republican, but I’m not unreasonable. Naturally, any hairstyle popular after 1964 and before 1975 will be exempt from the ordinance.”

Downtown merchants and stylists expressed displeasure with the ordinance. “We don’t have a single item of clothing that costs less than $120,” complained one retailer. “This will really dampen the economy of the mall.”

“Matthew Farrell’s hairstyle was on the verge of becoming really popular,” complained a salon owner. “And it needs to be trimmed every few days to look right. Even women were coming in to ask for that cut. I predict several salons will close down.”

Professional commentators were quick to add their two cents. “Charlottesville likes to consider itself a progressive city,” pontificated perennial pundit Larry Sabato. “So naturally this seems shocking to many. However, we must remember that Charlottesville is a colonial-era city, and it retains its colonial character in many ways. The ubiquitous use of bricks for building material, for instance. And we can see in this decision some of the tension between the revolutionary colonists, who favored the ‘natural look’ in fashions, and the loyalists, who preferred the ‘dandy’ look of powdered wigs and lace cuffs.”

Others contended that the “Farrell nuisance” was likely to be a short-lived fad. “Hey, another summer like this one, and he’s going to trade those suits for shorts and flip-flops,” one flippant observer remarked. “That, or he’ll die of heat stroke. Either way, we’ll be rid of him — and there won’t be any need of the pillory.”