20 November 2011

The Chancellor's Conundrum

Faced with intense pressure and stinging criticism following the pepper-spraying of non-violent protesters on her campus, UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi should do what responsible administrators always do under the circumstances: find a scapegoat.

In these difficult times, the Chancellor's mind must certainly be considering the central question: who? who should I fire to save my own job?

One obvious candidate is UC Davis Police Chief Annette Spicuzza, whose transparent deception in relating Friday's events makes her a clear choice.  She declared that her officers were surrounded by a crowd and had to resort to pepper-spraying to make their way out of the difficult situation. But she should have been aware of a saying, in the language of her forebears: le bugie hanno le gambe corte — lies have short legs — and lies certainly don't go very far these days when everybody carries a high-resolution video camera in their pockets.

But scapegoating is an ancient and delicate art, whose fundamental principle is that you should go as far down the command ladder as you can get away with.

In this respect, we would like to suggest that UC Davis Police Lt. John Pike, who is the primary pepper-sprayer of the whole episode, would make a much more suitable target. The look of a VoPo in a Darth Vader costume, the nonchalant attitude with which he sprays children (children!) sitting on the ground, his leisurely stroll as he inflicts chemical burns on non-violent students, not to mention his girth (well-fed by those very students' tuition money): he's the ultimate incarnation of the banality of evil. He's absolutely perfect, the perfect fall guy. Your own job is safe, Chancellor Katehi.

1 comment:

  1. Looks like Katehi threw them both under the bus... Wanna start a pool about whether/when she resigns?