‘We were disheartened to watch the video and learn of the mistreatment of these customers by another passenger. Our employees intervened to offer assistance and diffuse the situation in a calm and professional manner…’

Southwest Airlines assures its passengers that, faced with a very nasty situation, they did all they could to spread the problem around.

Scathing Online Schoolmarm says: Learn the difference between diffuse and defuse.

For America’s Favorite Sport, the Good News Just Keeps on Coming.

Long considered one of the best places to live in America, Damascus, Maryland – a short drive from UD‘s Garrett Park – has big houses and good schools and pretty landscaping. And (yawn) it has teenage anal rapers galore.

Yawn because do you know how many teenage anal raper stories I’ve covered on this blog? So many high school football teams in the country seem fiercely devoted to jamming broomsticks up the asses of new players as a kind of Welcome Wagon gesture… If I wanted, I could blog every week about pool cues, broomsticks, and pretty much anything else being jammed up the anal canals of newbies.

Why? Why? Why?

Oh, who gives a shit. It’s a thing, a major thing, part of the university fraternity hazing continuum, only I guess more intense because of the very small closed absolutely brutal world of the football team.



If anally raping junior players is the key to success, why mess with a good thing?

With a victory Friday [this was the Friday just before the rapes were discovered], Damascus will pass Urbana (1998-2001) for Maryland’s longest winning streak of all time and add onto the country’s longest active winning streak.

Yes, with its patented broomstick-up-the-ass technique, Damascus has formed a truly unbeatable team bond!

Scathing Online Schoolmarm notes, however, that the experience of reading the Washington Post’s breathless pre-rape article about the school’s amazing achievement is a little different now, with the eye landing hard on certain words, the mind automatically altering certain words…

‘Over Damascus’s 50-game winning streak, Coach Eric Wallich has searched for new ways [LOL] to motivate his team.

… With a victory Friday, Damascus will pass Urbana (1998-2001) for Maryland’s longest broomstick [haha make that winning streak] of all time…

… Damascus (8-0) has become the premier team in Montgomery County this century — winning six state crowns since 2003 — by relying on a rape-heavy [ahem! run-heavy] system.

… Kids look on and dream of donning the green, gold and white jerseys, even as high school football participation has dropped nationally because of concussion and health concerns, among other reasons. [Like anal rape.]

… The Urbana teams that set the state winning-streak record also featured a savvy run game and deep-threat ability. [Turns out you can go to jail for deep-threat ability.]

… [One of the players] said Damascus players are also viewed highly at school and in the community. Handling that attention has helped them manage the spotlight in crucial games. [Managing the spotlight just got a lot more pesky.]’


Hey but wait but oh oh oh says the school’s principal: It was the JUNIOR varsity team, not the big boys with the new state record!

A commenter on this article speaks for UD:

In all the media reports the emphasis from Principal Crouse about this not having anything to do with the powerhouse varsity team is a little disturbing and I question her priorities.

Correct. You might have noticed that football everywhere has a (cough) culture problem. You don’t get to break up the team when something like this happens. You don’t get to suddenly chuck all your language about how everyone’s part of the team, we’re all a unit, blah blah. You don’t get to claim in your official statement that the group rape is “unrelated to the varsity football team.” First of all, we don’t know that yet. Second, this is the varsity team in a very short time. And if you’re trying to convince us that the event was a bizarre one-time, Halloween-night grotesquerie etc. etc. good luck with that.

Another thing: UD knows of virtually no group teenage anal rape these days, football or non-football, that doesn’t include someone recording the thing, texting about the thing. If the Bixby Oklahoma case is anything to go by, parents are currently trying to buy the evidence (!) and everyone’s madly erasing tapes and texts. Damascus has a state-wide record to protect… IOW: get ready for the investigation.

The Kingdom of the Texas Cancer Researchers

The idea was to fund a team to study carcinogenesis — how cancer starts. But in reality, [Jim] Allison soon discovered, they pretty much had free reign.

The Way of Hate, by Scathing Online Schoolmarm


When you meet a boy
That you hate a lot
And you want to say
All the hate you’ve got

If a trope should start
As you stand and jeer
Better keep your art
Out of danger, dear

For a “serpent covered
In Vaseline”

Is a bit too strange
To be truly mean

So try once again
To consult your muse
If you really want
To revile Ted Cruz


PS: For inspiration, go here – see esp. “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.”

Scathing Online Schoolmarm Salutes the Superintendent of Terrell County Texas Schools…

… for use of passive voice above and beyond the call of duty. In response to a more than ordinarily ugly fight among players – and a coach!- at a recent football game, she wrote the following:

The incidents that occurred at the Sanderson v. Marfa football game on Friday, September 7th are unfortunate and embarrassing for both communities and school districts. There were actions by both teams that were unacceptable. The appropriate notifications have been made to UIL and TEA. The district will review the incident. Once all the facts are gathered, a decision regarding necessary actions will be taken. Until that time, and based on what is known now, we support our coaching staff.

Ya gotta admit that when it comes to failing even to touch on the subject of her statement – i.e., to use the word fight – the woman is punching above her weight. The incidents that occurred is so wondrous a phrase in its avoidance of actuality that even here, in her very first words, she sets a standard. There were actions by both teams that were unacceptable. Let’s not say what they were. And let’s use the passive voice: actions by both teams.. What actions? Don’t ask.

Notifications have been made. Who made them? What do you mean by notifications? Teams, not people, attacked other… teams. And the district will review… Do you mean you? The superintendent? Teams, district — keep it vaguely corporate and the appalling immediacy of students and their coach beating the shit out of people on a football field disappears. Once the facts are gathered, a decision will be taken. Gathered by whom? What sorts of decisions are available? Who will make them? Where are we…? What is known….? Who knows it…?

Let’s translate into English.

The fight at the Sanderson v. Marfa football game on Friday, September 7th angered and embarrassed all of us. Players on both teams attacked other players, and even a coach reportedly joined the fight. After I review footage, and talk to participants and witnesses, I’ll decide on punishments.

Note that SOS has dropped the superintendent’s last sentence. It’s dumb and unnecessary for her to pick sides when she just made clear she doesn’t know the full story.

‘He’s not Joe Paterno; he’s just some loudmouth in a windbreaker. Why are people lining up to defend this guy when he’s accused of such pointless cruelty?’

SOS says: Nice phrase: Some loudmouth in a windbreaker.

Scathing Online Schoolmarm Doffs her Hat to George F. Will.

It don’t get no more scathing than his instantly famous Washington Post column about you know who, post-Putin.

Let us consider why, amid two years of howling verbal shitstorms, it is Will and Will alone who has captured the attention of the world. What’s he got?

A strong, funny, opening sentence featuring an apt extended metaphor with alliteration and assonance (I’ve bolded the Ps and the long As):

America’s child president had a play date with a KGB alumnus, who surely enjoyed providing day care…

More put-down comedy:

Precision is not part of Trump’s repertoire. He speaks English as though it is a second language that he learned from someone who learned English last week.

You may recall this from the similar technique of Paul Krugman on the subject of Newt Gingrich:

A stupid man’s idea of what a smart person sounds like.

Merciless no-muss no-fuss direct statement:

Trump has a weak man’s banal fascination with strong men whose disdain for him is evidently unimaginable to him.

The winner-word here is banal – really cuts the dude down to size, as in Arendt’s unsparing banality of evil.

Even more — and bear with me here – when you couple a word dominated by the word anal with Uranus – a word NO ONE can read or speak without translating it into your anus – I think you also begin to… infer… Will having some real fun with the anomalous ass in the White House:

[J]ust as astronomers infer from anomalies in the orbit of the planet Uranus the existence of Neptune before actually seeing it, Mueller might infer and then find still hidden sources of the behavior of this sad embarrassing wreck of a man.

Even as[s]tronomers works for Will here as he uh bends over backwards NOT to say that the hidden source of Trump’s anxious Russophilia is long-rumored twisted sex play in a Moscow hotel, about which Putin knows…

Finally, Will knows how powerful iambic pentameter can be. As in:

this sad embarrassing wreck of a man.

The finely controlled language of his whole piece implicitly juxtaposes Will’s (and his assumed reader’s) calm Shakespearean maturity and Trump’s mad-hatter hauteur, and this final poetic line (still the well-deployed assonance: sad/embarrassing/man) is the quintessence of the basic move: crude content/elegant style. You recall how it works for Shakespeare:

Of this dead butcher and his fiend-like queen

In the rank sweat of an enseamèd bed

A poor, bare, forked animal as thou art

Like most really good writers, Will has learned from him.

As in all of the tragedies, the elevated language invokes a noble past and promises a noble future; but for now, words of contempt and hopeless pathos must in our phrases be enseamèd.

‘The Russian World Cup has been troubled by politics from the start, when the country was awarded the tournament by FIFA in a 2010 vote wildly believed to have been tainted by corruption.’

Giggle, giggle, goes Scathing Online Schoolmarm.


Make that laugh out loud.

Talk about Freudian slips getting by reporters and their editors.

In an article stating the obvious – Moscow under the imminent World Cup regime will be both the world’s strictest police state and the world’s violent epicenter – the LA Times writer can’t help but let slip the even more obvious point that Russian corruption, in this and every other sphere, is not only widely, but wildly, credited.

Annals of New Pretentious Terms

From a full-page print ad in today’s New York Times for 108 Leonard, a new apartment building.

108 Leonard features distinctive 1 to 4 bedroom residences and over 20,000 square feet of amenities including a 75-foot pool and rooftop gardens, as well as motor reception with private parking.

UD thinks motor reception is what we used to call valet parking; but maybe for the cost of your apartment (“Priced from $1,535,000 to over $20 million.”) you get a catered reception.

When Googled, the term “motor reception” shows up only in the context of speech and hearing studies (“the learner’s motor reception… the latent sequential imitation that analyses the articulatory-phonetic sequencing…”).

Scathing Online Schoolmarm Solves a Writing Conundrum.

George Washington University’s law school should have bragging rights on this one. One of its graduates has been chosen to handle a lawsuit against the highest-profile person in the world. It’s already a very high-profile suit, and will almost certainly become even more high-profile.

So: GWU press release on its way!


But there’s the question of how to word it.


That’s a bit… sensationalistic. Let’s see…


First, go with her birth name. Use formal titles. Tone down other elements.


Ah. That’s better. Scathing Online Schoolmarm gave her a middle initial because it sounds more respectable, and because it creates an equivalence between her and Donald J.


The GW law grad is a master of the mixed metaphor. SOS has rarely seen such a strong one.

“[A] Supreme Court Justice once said that ‘sunlight is the best disinfectant.’ And we fully intend on bringing as much sunlight to this matter as possible. Let the chips fall where they may.”


Yes! Utah State University Maintains the Campus-Hero’s Page of Football Player…

Torrey Green, who graduated with a top-ranked 7.0 sexual assault average, and on whom the school looks back with pride. No better time for the school to celebrate Green than now, when he’s on trial for “12 felonies — including kidnapping and rape — in seven cases, after seven women came forward saying he sexually assaulted them while he was a student in Logan between 2013 and 2015.”

Of course, they came forward years ago, but USU didn’t do anything. USU puts its resources into maintaining Torrey Green’s hero-page.


USU’s finest is facing so many charges that his lawyer, in an act of editing-for-concision that Scathing Online Schoolmarm finds commendable, asks that all the cases “be merged to avoid ‘redundancy.'”

It’s so tiresomely repetitive, the details of one (yawn) rape case after another… You’ve heard one rape case you’ve heard ’em all…

This way we’ll save time and keep the jury awake…


And after all, I mean… entre nous… it’s Utah, where a man can lose track of his sister wives… I’m sure it’ll be easy to convince a local judge that Green’s large blur of womenfolk can be herded into one trial.

“Did you miss that lecture on diplomacy? I hope I don’t need to explain to someone as gifted and as smart as you that you could have made your point … without mentioning any [particular] department … [Y]our remarks … cause[d] collateral damage on [Public Administration], in a very public way. They are up in arms, and I don’t blame them… Would you consider an apology to your colleagues in PA?… I highly recommend it and would appreciate it.”

Scathing Online Schoolmarm loves that genre of academic writing which is the outraged high-ranking campus sports-whore attacking legitimate professors and students at uber-jock universities. Before SOS talks about the email from an Auburn University dean that appears in my headline, she wants to share with you an earlier example of this classic clown-school missive.

In 2013, a women’s lacrosse coach at the infamous University of Louisville was informed that one of her players had been seen exercising her personal freedom by wearing a Michigan State sweatshirt. The coach left the following voice mail for the player:

Darby, change your clothes, don’t bother coming to practice today. Do you know that I just got a phone call about you wearing a Michigan State shirt? You obviously have no idea how serious athletics is at the University of Louisville. I do not want to see your face today until after practice, but your butt better be up in my office with a Louisville shirt on your chest when practice ends.

Schools like Auburn and Louisville are like this: They got nowhere else to go. They got nothin’ else. Nor, being game-cults, do they appreciate Winston Smiths who fail to conform to the cult. These schools got brain bashin’ ball or they got nothin’. They’re not about to go down without a fight when alien invaders like the New York Times expose their intellectual nothingness; they’re not going to let some random woman athlete introduce changes to their uniform; and they’re certainly not going to let some dissenting legitimate scholar get off scot-free. Me big macho school, on field and off!! GRRRRRRRR don’t make me mad….



Auburn got so pissed at the econ professor on the faculty who kept complaining about its massive bogus course system – centered on the keep ’em eligible public administration major – that its president

took the highly unusual step of suggesting that the entire economics department be moved elsewhere.

In a memo written on presidential letterhead, [Jay] Gogue recommended that [Michael] Stern be assigned a new supervisor and that the department “no longer be a part of the College of Liberal Arts.”

It’s just what I’ve been predicting, mes petites, and Auburn will clearly be the first school to actually do it: The football cult’s economics department, with its expert financial review of the athletic program and its commitment to academics, must go. Exile. Banishment. Siberia.

And not only that – see again the email that I quote in my headline, from Auburn Dean Joseph Aistrup to the dissenting econ prof. Belitting; threats; a demand for recantation. The whole Orwellian number.

Indeed here is the model for the econ prof’s next step: Room 101, followed by I ask only for you to accept my love of Our Leader.


[One Auburn professor] put a picture of Aistrup arm in arm with… the athletics director, on his office door, alongside photos of Joseph Stalin and Kim Jong-un.


SOS thanks a reader for sending her Jack Stripling’s CHE piece.

Scathing Online Schoolmarm has been rather dormant lately, but…

… when she sees scathe-worthy writing, she rises to the occasion.

Here’s the SEC commissioner trying to get Mississippi university leaders riled up against the overwhelming passage, in that state’s House, of legislation clearly paving the way for conceal carry folk to bring their guns to football games. He intervened in the very same way when Arkansas tried to get guns in the hands of football fans; now he’s sticking his nose in the business of the good people of Mississippi. Here’s what he wrote to the chancellor of the University of Mississippi.

Given the intense atmosphere surrounding athletic events, adding weapons increases meaningful safety concerns and is expected to negatively impact the intercollegiate athletics programs at your universities in several ways… If HB1083 is adopted to permit weapons in college sports venues, it is likely that competitors will decline opportunities to play in Oxford and Starkville, game officials will decline assignments, personal safety concerns will be used against Mississippi’s universities during the recruiting process and fan attendance will be negatively impacted.

Yes, SOS hears you. ‘SEC Commissioner’ describes a position of dignity and gravitas. The SEC Commissioner is not in a position to say

I’m shitting bricks thinking about your wasted frat boys whipping out their AR-15s and blowing everyone away.

But he could still have done a better job of writing to the chancellor. Let’s consider how he could have issued his warning more eloquently.

There’s a stiff bureaucratic feel to the whole thing, isn’t there? And given that he wants above all to convey a sense of urgency, dead language of this sort does the opposite. Notice that he begins all bass-ackward, backing up to his point rather than stating it right out.

Given the intense atmosphere…

No. Start right off with guns. Guns make football games more dangerous, and they’re already somewhat dangerous. In other words, the whole intense atmosphere thing begs for clarification.

I mean, having for a long time read coaches and fans talk about university football games, UD would have thought ‘intensity’ in their regard referred simply to wholesome fellowship and partisan fun! No? Ok, then don’t leave me hanging: Is there something else intense going on at football games?


Well, think about it, UD. Look around an SEC stadium during a game. Did you ever see so many police? Why do you think they’re there?


But of course the commissioner doesn’t want to specify the nature of pre-addition-of-weaponry football game intensity, because there’s a large athletics industry supporting him and his family, and that’s nothing to fuck with.

So, along the same lines, he goes for the unbearably ugly negatively impact to try to delicately gingerly ever so lightly skip around …

Skip around what? Good writing is more direct than this. You’d have to be insane to add guns to crowds of drunk agitated immature males.

And now for the windup, which of course features a second use of negatively impact. Finds it so nice he uses it twice.

… it is likely that competitors will decline opportunities to play in Oxford and Starkville, game officials will decline assignments, personal safety concerns will be used against Mississippi’s universities during the recruiting process and fan attendance will be negatively impacted.

I wonder why football players, specially in the south, might not be happy to play in front of tens of thousands of Mississippi university students with big ol’ guns at the ready??? Hm. Hm. That’s a real poser.

But anyway… Let’s redo this final clause, shall we?

Pads and helmets can only do so much. Bad enough you’re concussing your head. You’re also putting yourself out there in a huge open shooting gallery with armed angry drunk southern males. Ditto for sitting-duck game officials. People get real angry at officials. In the pre-technological world of high school sports, you have to get up, run onto the field, and beat officials to death with your own fists. With guns, it’s a piece of cake.

Georgia will not hesitate to tell recruits trying to decide where to play that they definitely could get their asses blown off in Mississippi. As for your fan base: Though the lads’ aim might be wobbly from a few hundred feet, they’re for sure not going to miss the nice broad back of the guy two rows ahead who just called them a motherfucker. So your attendance numbers aren’t going to be enhanced. Unless you add all the new fans who are there to shoot off their guns.


Yes, yes, SOS knows that she has slipped into the sort of language incommensurate with the moral stature of an SEC commissioner. Sorry.

New Year Greetings from Scathing Online Schoolmarm, who reminds you…

… that great writing is mysterious and rare and always worth revisiting.

This is Jan Morris, fifty years ago, describing La Paz at night.

The scene is shadowy and cluttered, and you cannot always make out the detail as you push through the crowd; but the impression it leaves is one of ceaseless, tireless energy, a blur of strange faces and sinewy limbs, a haze of ill-understood intentions, a laugh from a small Mongol in dungarees, a sudden stink from an open drain, a cavalcade of tilted bowlers in the candlelight — and above it all, so clear, so close that you confuse the galaxies with the street lamps, the wide blue bowl of the Bolivian sky and the brilliant cloudless stars of the south.

‘When more than a dozen women stepped forward and accused Leon Wieseltier of a serial and decades-long pattern of workplace sexual harassment, he said, “I will not waste this reckoning.” It was textbook Wieseltier: the insincere promise and the perfectly chosen word.’

Scathing Online Schoolmarm says: Caitlin Flanagan is quite right that insincerity and the perfectly chosen word can take you places for a long, long time. A man can found a career in letters on it. And then he can continue using that approach when his career bites the big one.

Elie Wiesel would have said I will not waste this reckoning if he’d been alive to respond to this. It has a way-dignified biblical-lamentation cadence which SOS would recommend for any Great Man found to have nibbled a tit.

I will not waste this reckoning, announced George Bush The Elder.

I will not waste this reckoning, insisted Bill Clinton.

I will not waste this weckoning, said Elmer Fudd.

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