More on Washington State University’s Highest-Profile Representative

Leach talks like someone who can see the fading, wavy outlines of the system he wants to criticize, but because he doesn’t understand where he lies within this political conversation, he mostly comes up with nothing but empty words and sentences. He’s woefully and painfully undereducated on the topics that are upsetting him, and seems confused about what kind of conversation he even wants to have.

And that’s why he’s the highest paid person at a major public American university!

Leach’s own ideology is hard to pin down because he doesn’t really know what he’s talking about; his four-hour Twitter rant and response in this Q&A mostly come down to denial and steering things back towards himself. It’s all honestly impossible to parse, because there’s mostly nothing there.

In other words, a spectacular model for our students!

Background on Leach here.

Talkin Bout My Generation

‘Our Generation was Raised Around Schools Being Shot Up,’ Says Stoneman Douglas Survivor.

Disaster at Florida International University

A pedestrian bridge FIU installed only days ago has collapsed, trapping and killing multiple people beneath it.


Time to dust off the Jung.


UD thinks of her friend Paul Laffoley at this moment. He didn’t live to see the Navy footage.

Jerzy Soltan and His Sister Maria.

Probably 1914.


Twilight Zone.

Meet Howard Trachtman…

… the Martin Shkreli Professor of Pediatric Nephrology at the NYU Langone Medical Center.

Langone/Shkreli: Another great capitalist convergence.


But you can’t really meet Trachtman.

He has no comment.

Thanksgiving, 2015: Thinking of Paris.

More comfortable down below in that thick stew pouring into the Gare St. Lazare, the whores in the doorways, seltzer bottles on every table; a thick tide of semen flooding the gutters. Nothing better, between five and seven than to be pushed around in that throng, to follow a leg or a beautiful bust, to move along with the tide and everything whirling in your brain. A weird sort of contentment in those days. No appointments, no invitations for dinner, no program, no dough. The golden period, when I had not a single friend. Each morning the dreary walk to the American Express, and each morning the inevitable answer from the clerk. Dashing here and there like a bedbug, gathering butts now and then, sometimes furtively, sometimes brazenly; sitting down on a bench and squeezing my guts to stop the gnawing, or walking through the Jardin des Tuileries and getting an erection looking at the dumb statues. Or wandering along the Seine at night, wandering and wandering, and going mad with the beauty of it, the trees leaning to, the broken images in the water, the rush of the current under the bloody lights of the bridges, the women sleeping in doorways, sleeping on newspapers, sleeping in the rain; everywhere the musty porches of the cathedrals and beggars and lice and old hags full of St. Vitus’ dance; pushcarts stacked up like wine barrels in the side streets, the smell of berries in the market-place and the old church surrounded with vegetables and blue arc lights, the gutters slippery with garbage and women in satin pumps staggering through the filth and vermin at the end of an all-night souse. The Place St. Sulpice, so quiet and deserted, where toward midnight there came every night the woman with the busted umbrella and the crazy veil; every night she slept there on a bench under her torn umbrella, the ribs hanging down, her dress turning green, her bony fingers and the odor of decay oozing from her body; and in the morning I’d be sitting there myself, taking a quiet snooze in the sunshine, cursing the goddamned pigeons gathering up the crumbs everywhere. St. Sulpice! The fat belfries, the garish posters over the door, the candles flaming inside. The Square so beloved of Anatole France, with that drone and buzz from the altar, the splash of the fountain, the pigeons cooing, the crumbs disappearing like magic and only a dull rumbling in the hollow of the guts. Here I would sit day after day thinking of Germaine and that dirty little street near the Bastille where she lived, and that buzz-buzz going on behind the altar, the buses whizzing by, the sun beating down into the asphalt and the asphalt working into me and Germaine, into the asphalt and all Paris in the big fat belfries.

Henry Miller, The Tropic of Cancer, 1934.

All the life flowing through that city. Captured by a hungry American in love.

“[T]here was a lot of real quality dialog that took place in that weekend.”

A few years ago, when he was football coach at the University of Washington, Steve Sarkisian went on a couple of those all-important coach retreats – at taxpayer expense, of course – so that real quality dialog, as he puts it up there, could take place. This article shows you two receipts for two such events, representing major hundreds of dollars in state-reimbursed booze for between ten and fifteen people.

UD would love to have been at those dialogs. Like this, only with guys.

Now that Sarkisian has behaved, uh, strangely at his latest job (the upshot of those expensive dialogs is that Sarkisian dumped his UW job right after UW paid for them), the gloriously scandal-free University of Southern California, people are… I dunno… beginning to ask whether Coach might have a wee problem. Which has brought on one of the peppiest Coacha Inconsolata pieces UD has ever read. (Put Coacha Inconsolata in my search engine for clarification of that term.)

TIME TO GET OFF SARK’S BACK, orders the campus paper’s sports editor. Coach’s public apology was

as down as I’ve seen Sarkisian, or any college football coach for that matter, during his tenure at USC — even worse than the team’s last-second loss last year to Arizona State.

Pure Coacha Inconsolata. After all, there he was, “manning up and opening up about his issues in front of reporters — not an easy thing to do.” Courage, indeed, to hold a press conference when your public behavior is so obscene that you don’t have any choice.

The writer ends on his strongest argument.

[I]f this year’s team wants any chance at playing in the Pac-12 championship game or even the 2016 College Football Playoff National Championship Game, they’re going to need Sarkisian — not in rehab, not at home, but on the sidelines with his headset on and ready to go.

Shambling wreck or not, we need this guy!


Two other quick points:

1.) Keep in mind Norwood Teague’s recent alcohol-fueled demise at Minnesota. USC’s president is surely thinking about the damage ol’ Norwood did to that school as he ponders Sarkisian’s fate.

2.) What’s with the need for weekend retreats on top of all the country club memberships coaches get? Can’t these guys meet anytime at one of the clubs USC is paying for?

“[C]oaching is the only form of dictatorship that isn’t frowned up[on] by the United Nations.”

Everybody’s talking about junk bond status Alabama State University’s brand new football coach, a man who makes Billy Gillispie, Bobby Knight, Mike Leach, Mark Mangino, and of course Mike Rice look like milquetoasts.

Alabama State is one of this blog’s stalwarts (put Alabama State University in my search engine) – a school so corrupt and mismanaged, with so farcical a crew of trustees, that the mind boggles. You might argue that it’s really not the sort of school that can afford another scandal – hiring a notorious head case to coach a team that a school with a 24% six year graduation rate shouldn’t be wasting the state’s money on anyway – but you’d be shouted down by all the people who think things are peachy there and that nothing’s more exciting than a brand new coach.

The last coach is suing, of course. But at least ASU’s got the amazing Brian Jenkins.

“[R]eports swirled on social media of shots fired inside the school’s Strozier Library.”

Florida State University students have been told to “seek shelter immediately, away from doors and windows.”

First his father, and now his father-in-law!

Jared Kushner, the publisher of the New York paper Observer, is an old hand at defending those near and dear to him who have become enmeshed in the American criminal justice system. He tried to keep his father out of jail, but eventually Charles Kushner

pled guilty to eighteen felony counts of tax fraud, election violations, and witness tampering. In the strangest twist, Charles admitted to taking revenge on a hated brother-in-law by secretly setting up him up with a prostitute, then taping the encounter. He spent sixteen months behind bars for his crimes.

That was in 2009, so Jared had a few years respite before today, when “a federal judge certified a RICO class action” against his father-in-law, Trump University president and soon to be United States president Donald Trump. The class action will argue that Trump “misrepresent[ed] Trump University… to make tens of millions of dollars but deliver[ed] neither Donald Trump nor a university.”

(And that’s just the class action. Don’t even talk about the

court battle [Trump just lost] against New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman when a judge ruled that Trump was personally liable for running the university without a license.

Schneiderman accused Trump of fraud, claiming he had cheated students out of $40 million. New York Supreme Court Justice Cynthia Kern found that Trump and Michael Saxton, who served as the school’s president, knew that the university was being run without a license.

A determination of damages in that case is pending.)

This latest effort on Jared’s part (read the badly timed editorial in his paper here – I mean, badly timed because a day after Kushner published it the RICO thing happened) to keep a family member out of the hands of the justice system has a wonderfully DeLilloesque postmodernity to it, with Trump insisting that after all Trump University was bogus and the class action people ought to have known this:

[Trump argued that anyone] could have known as early as July 2009 that Trump University was not an actual university…

It’s possible that Trump – and his son-in-law – and maybe his son-in-law’s paper – know, as of today, that the Attorney General’s case against Trump and his namesake university is actual.


UPDATE: Though there’s not much his son-in-law’s paper can do for him at this point, Donald Trump still has friends in high places:

[Florida Attorney General Pam] Bondi accepted $25,000 from Donald Trump three days after a spokeswoman said she would be reviewing a complaint filed by the New York attorney general against Trump’s for-profit schools. Even though they’ve received complaints in Florida as well, Bondi’s office has yet to take action.

Sweet! Helluva job, Pam. Keep working for Florida!

Once again, the university’s front porch speaks.

And it would be the University of Miami, a comprehensively filthy athletics program. (Put University and Miami in my search engine if you dare.) Of course the dude in question is just your average majorly fucked up nineteen year old male (the article I link to doesn’t even specify the UM drug test he failed), but the entire media apparatus of the United States of America is currently trained on the University of Miami because… Well, they don’t call football the front porch of the university for nothing.

Meanwhile, feast your eyes on the latest I love it but I can’t watch it anymore football fan confession. (Here’s another. UD thanks Dirk for sending the link to it.)

Despite the pull football exerted on [Steven] Almond, a lifelong Oakland Raiders fan, he decided that he couldn’t watch it anymore because of its seamier side: its violence, misogyny and the corrupting influence of big money.

“It’s complicated,” Almond said. “But for me, the darkness was enough to realize that I didn’t want to be a sponsor anymore.”

Darkness? Them front porch lights are shining brighter and brighter.

Chesapeake Bay Bridge…

… instablogging. Strange bridge. Its long long span over the bay and the boats is daunting at this early point in the drive. The girders and struts curve impossibly in front of you. The overcast sky darkens the container ships in the distance. There’s a line of them, like a funeral convoy.

Traffic is slow. UD and her sister listen to Eva Cassidy sing a Paul Simon song. The opposite shore is flat long and dark, like the container ships. No white-sailed pleasure boats out there on a Tuesday afternoon.

And here are the yellow-jacketed construction guys whose work is the reason we’re moving so slowly. We’re at the very highest point of the bridge. The sun begins to emerge.

Okay, we’re going like gangbusters now. Descending into Queen Anne’s County.


Starting point for today’s walk: Cambridge, Maryland. A bayside hamlet we’ve never visited. We’re not expecting to be impressed. Small bay towns tend to be a bit thready.

But the drive… Once past the bridge, you settle into a trance as flat corn and soy fields sidle by. Tobacco? Probably still some of that being planted.


In the event, we are pretty impressed with Cambridge. Sunny day, charming marina, lighthouse, seabirds, sailboats. We walked around the piers and docks, gazed at the bridge over the Choptank River.

And now we’re having lunch overlooking the water at the Hyatt.

Robin Williams dies.

Suicide. Reportedly. A shocker.

He had been “severely depressed.”

Much to think about here.

At the very end of his book on suicide, A. Alvarez (himself a failed suicide) writes that suicide is “a terrible but utterly natural reaction to the strained, narrow, unnatural necessities we sometimes create for ourselves.”

And then too one thinks of the Stevie Smith poem:

Not Waving But Drowning

Nobody heard him, the dead man,
But still he lay moaning:
I was much further out than you thought
And not waving but drowning.

Poor chap, he always loved larking
And now he’s dead
It must have been too cold for him his heart gave way,
They said.

Oh, no no no, it was too cold always
(Still the dead one lay moaning)
I was much too far out all my life
And not waving but drowning.


David Foster Wallace writes about depression in Infinite Jest:

[I]t was as if a large billowing shape came billowing out of some corner in my mind. I can be no more precise than to say large, dark, shape, and billowing, what came flapping out of some backwater of my psyche I had not the slightest inkling was there. … It was total psychic horror: death, decay, dissolution, cold empty black malevolent lonely voided space. … I simply could not live with how it felt. … I understood the term hell as of that summer day and that night in the sophomore dormitory. I understood what people meant by hell.


It is a level of psychic pain wholly incompatible with human life as we know it. It is a sense of radical and thoroughgoing evil not just as a feature but as the essence of conscious existence. It is a sense of poisoning that pervades the self at the self’s most elementary levels. It is a nausea of the cells and soul. It is an unnumb intuition in which the world is fully rich and animate and un-map-like and also thoroughly painful and malignant and antagonistic to the self, which depressed self It billows on and coagulates around and wraps in Its black folds and absorbs into Itself, so that an almost mystical unity is achieved with a world every constituent of which means painful harm to the self. … It is also lonely on a level that cannot be conveyed….

Next Page »

Latest UD posts at IHE