Something is Wrong with You. You’re Broken. You’re a burden.

By Guest Writer: Eric Chisler

We expect kids to sit for hours

I just got the most profound sense of grief upon reading this. I’m tearful and shaken. I think I just realized the moment that I stopped living in my body, the moment I became convinced that I was defined by what goes on in my head.

I was diagnosed with ADHD when I was 7 or 8 years old. The same year I went to Chuck-E-Cheese’s for my birthday party and then my first trip to Disneyland the following summer, I was taking 20mg of Ritalin. And an anti-depressant called Desipremine. By the time I was in high school they had piled a diagnosis for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Dysgraphia on top of those diagnoses. By the time I was a Junior in high school I had exhausted every ADHD medication and was back on Ritalin, taking the maximum dosage that was legally prescribable. My whole childhood felt like a long battle with this idea, this question that nagged at me: “What is wrong with me?”

It all centered around my introversion, my natural sense of wonderment and my strange paradox of being considered extremely smart and yet struggling constantly with school.

School. It seems to have been the central drama of my life. It was such a chaotic story to sort out: At the end of 1st grade I was tested to see where I was at academically. Reading level at 5th/6th grade, vocabulary 6 months into 12th grade. At the end of the very next school year I was on Ritalin and by 3rd grade I spent a period every day with a school psychologist. By the time I was in high school I had monthly meetings with a group which included the school therapist, school counselor, Vice President of Instruction, my teachers and my parents.

The narrative looped and looped: “Something is wrong with you. You’re broken. You’re a burden.”

This narrative, more than any “troubles” I was having with learning, has wounded me more than anything else. I’m just learning to face it and cope with it.

I suppose I’m writing this to all the parents out there who are facing challenges with their child in the school system. I implore you: please don’t make your children face this narrative. No amount of saying “You’re special” or giving positive reinforcement can counter the narrative implicit in all of these actions. So much of this tendency in our society comes from the eroding cultural makeup that drives our schooling and our socializing strategies. The kids are not the problem. Your parenting isn’t necessarily the problem.

The problem is the way we force our kids to conform to society of deadening influences. The problem is a school system that views children as a societal product for the economic meat grinder. The problem is a culture that forces children to lead lives that are counterintuitive to the natural impulses and deep curiosity of childhood. The problem is our will to anaesthetize our Children when they respond to these systems and their logic with the chaotic rebellion of youth.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Look to homeschooling, unschooling. But more importantly, look to your child. Look to who they are and how they show up. The wisdom to guide their lives to the auspiciousness of their gifts, their joys, is latent in them. In fact, if you do, I bet you will learn something profound about yourself, about the wounds that exist from your experience in school, in this system, in this culture of control and separation.

“Notes on the Murders of Thirty of My Neighbors”

Writer Jim Myers wondered why 30 of his neighbors were murdered just one mile east of the United States Capitol building during the 1990s. In an investigation of the conditions that led to such a high toll, he found that there was a wide range of circumstances, including, “drive-by killings, run-by killings, sneak up killings, gunfights and battles, car chases…drug killings, vengeance killings, the killing of witnesses to other crimes, accidental killings, and killings that enforce values we can only vaguely fathom.” The killings occurred in a context in which handguns were common, and an illegal drug economy thrived.

By personalizing the victims and perpetrators in The Atlantic in March 2000, Myers provides a nuanced picture of a community where fear, youthful bravado, and distrust of broader law enforcement leads to fighting, confrontations, killings, and woundings. Notably, the characteristics he describes are not only those of the ones holding the guns or peddling the drugs. Rather there is a generalized fear in the community, the anticipation of the unknown by large numbers of people, that provides the context for the killing.

The “epidemic” of thirty killings Myers wrote about occurred in Police Service Area 109 of Washington, DC, an area only 11 blocks wide, between 1992 and 1998. Twenty-six of the thirty victims were black, and one of the whites was a police officer. Three of the killings were by police officers. Many of the victims and shooters had attended Payne Elementary School, which despite its proximity to the iconic U. S. Capitol building, was one of the most segregated schools in the country. Out of 332 students in 1999, 330 were black, and none were white. Over two-thirds of the 30 killings occurred within 1,000 feet of the school. Four of the victims had been members of the same basketball team.

Myers begins his story by drawing a contrast between the highly publicized killing spree by two teenagers at Columbine High School in Colorado in 1999, with what happened in his Washington, DC neighborhood. In the case of Columbine, 13 middle class students were killed in a single day. The incident received international publicity, and politicians from the President on down publicly bemoaned the cultural situation leading to the deaths. In contrast, eighteen of the thirty deaths Myers tracked were unsolved at the time he wrote his article. While several had not even received an article in the local newspaper, the murder of a white police officer received widespread publicity including a mention in one of President Clinton’s speeches bemoaning street violence.

On the micro level, Myers’ descriptions of killing in Washington, DC illustrate well the role of youth, impulsiveness, gangs, bravado, guns, and alcohol in setting the context for killing. Most of the killings were of young males by other young males, on the street. The killings often involved dares and affronts to male machismo; one assault, would lead to a dare, and another assault. The person hurt might or might not have been the cause of the initial assault, thus creating a further grievance, and a widening circle of potential enemies. For example, police “solved administratively” the 1992 death of Theodore Fulwood—they stopped their investigation without officially identifying his killers because the police believed the killers themselves had been murdered. Because Fulwood was the brother of a former police chief, the Washington Post pursued the story and found out that Rowmann Dildy and his cousin Thaddeus Latta were believed to be the gunmen, and had killed Fulwood after an “altercation…over a drug transaction.” Dildy was killed in April 1993. Latta was murdered in 1995 in the same neighborhood, and his murder is also unsolved. What is left in the neighborhood is a sense of fear, suspicion, and distrust. No one knows who has killed, and who might kill next.

So in addition to the issues of youth and impulsiveness, Myers’ story was also about a neighborhood, or a portion of a neighborhood, where people sought a sense of both safety and justice. Around the area of Payne School, the police could not deliver this sense, because they were perceived as being both untrustworthy, and ineffective. Young males in the neighborhood believed that police contact resulted in harassment, and did not view them as all-powerful allies in the settlement of grievances. Potential witnesses were afraid to speak to the police and become witnesses, both because they might have had something to hide, or simply because they feared retaliation on the streets. The unsolved death of one 54 year old woman was attributed to the fact that she herself witnessed a killing; the power and legitimacy of the law becomes tattered in such a context, and potential witnesses would not come forward. Such killings reinforced fears of retaliation, and made even the appearance of cooperation with the police more difficult.

Myers found out that a number of the “unsolved killings” had in fact been “administratively closed” because the police were convinced that the killer himself was killed, and the case therefore no longer worth pursuing. In this context, the police gave up investigations without telling the aggrieved families. Administratively solving crimes without public disclosure protected the rights of the innocent, but also raised a separate question for the family about the legitimacy of police decision-making. And herein lies a lesson about the tension between privacy rights, the need to know and “find closure,” and justice. Justice, in part, was the need for not only the family, but also the neighborhood to know and understand that blame was assigned, and justice provided. But it is also about protecting the reputations of deceased people who themselves have been victims.

For the community, in traditional terms, assigning blame is called justice; in pop psychology it is called closure. It is something that happened in Columbine where the killers who committed suicide had blame clearly and effectively assigned to them. But, somehow, in the more amorphous world of an impoverished Washington, DC neighborhood, such an assignment of blame did not occur, and the cause of justice suffered as a consequence. Families of Columbine’s victims traumatized as they were, were at least able to achieve “closure.” As Myers (and Durkheim) note, this is an important part in reconstructing society after the trauma of such a crime. But this never happened in Washington DC, where the privacy rights of the dead “killers” were respected. Was one result that, with a lack of “closure,” angry people took justice into their own hands, and killed again?

Further Reading

Myers, Jim, “Notes on the Murder of Thirty of my NeighborsThe Atlantic Monthly, March 2000. Pages 72-86.

Excerpted from When Killing is a Crime by Tony Waters.  Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2007.

Imagine a World with No Sociology Department—It’s Easy if You Try

Last week as an April Fool’s Day post, the American Sociological Association announced the end of Sociology as a discipline here at Ethnography.com. For those of you not in on the joke, it didn’t happen. No one announced the end of Sociology as a discipline.

Having said that, I will admit to a brief bit of reverie imagining a world without Sociology Departments. And I think that the answer that followed was actually a bit accurate: Take out the Sociology Departments, and just maybe the Sociological approach/imagination would be strengthened across the academy as people with training in sociological theory, methods, and imagination would start teaching the “sociology” classes.

The fact of the matter is that, many other departments already “do” sociology. But they do it with teachers trained in their own disciplines, and not sociological theory or methods. The result is that people steeped in educational pedagogy and policy teach “Education and Society,” theologians teach “Religion and Society,” historians teach “Social History,” engineers teach “Technology and Society,” psychologists teach “Social Psychology,” business departments teach “Marketing,” English Departments teach “Critical Theory,” and so forth. All of it is just rewarmed sociology made by cooks from another kitchen.

Meanwhile, we try to mount the same courses in sociology, and no one takes them. Why? Because each department requires their own course for their majors—like sociology, they are control freaks when it comes to their own curriculum.   (And I haven’t even started to write about how sociological methods including survey research and qualitative methods permeate the academy far beyond the sociology department).

So imagine, poof, all those tenured deadwood sociologists like me would lose their department. The good news is that there are still plenty of classes to teach because sociology so successfully dominated the university curriculum during previous decades. Indeed, sociology departments are already excluded from teaching most of the sociology in the curriculum of most universities. Our curriculum is hijacked!

P.S. I have asked the same question of anthropology. Anthropology’s dominant paradigm for decades was culture—a concept that is so successful that most of the curriculum regarding culture is taught sans anthropological theory and method in every department except anthropology. There are classes on Education and Culture, Business Culture, Religion and Culture, and so forth. Such are the wages of success!

Albanian Blood Revenge

When Killing is a crime

(Extract from When Killing is a Crime (2007) by Tony Waters.  Lynne Rienner Publishers)

During the early 20th century, the small Balkan country of Albania was a remote corner of the Ottoman Empire, a principality ruled by a warlord king after World War I, and occupied by Italy during World War II. For most of the century it was a reclusive Stalinist state sealed off from the rest of the world, and ruled by one of the most severe, controlling, and totalitarian governments. Since 1991 Albania has become an anarchic state, in which the government lost legitimacy, and a range of mafias, clans, and businesspeople assumed control. It is an unusually good place to illustrate the range of roles the state plays in state violence and control. Principles dealing with the role of legitimated third parties, and the threat of totalitarian violence are well illustrated.

As is the case in many places where the government is weak, extra-governmental institutions emerged in Albania. These include norms and rules to both further peaceful relations between groups, and provide compensation or justice when an offense occurs. The kanun of Albania is a code of traditional rules for feuding, which are contained in books and oral traditions. But there are no courts for the kanun; each side in a dispute is left to evaluate the rights and the wrongs visited upon them. This system is inherently imperfect, and as a result each clan traditionally had a three-story stone tower known as a kula to which the men would retreat when a dispute was unsettled. There, they were “locked” meaning that they could be killed if the offended party encountered them. By the 1990s, the kula towers were gone, but the members of the clan against which there is a kanun declared are effectively “locked” and either restricted their movements or risked death. Even in the 1990s, wandering about in town can be a fatal mistake, as will be described below. As a result, the men restrict their movements to areas where in-coming paths can be easily monitored.

Scott Anderson (1999) described the murder of Shtjefen Lamthi, on a street of Shkoder, Albania in 1998. Some 200 people witnessed the killing in which Leka Rrushkadolis pumped 31 bullets into Lamthi, in retaliation for the killing of his father by Lamthi’s father in 1985. No one cooperated with the police to make an arrest even though the identity of the killer was well-known. Indeed, the identity of the killer was so well known that Anderson, a foreign reporter, was eventually able to find and interview the killer, and publish his pictures in the New York Times Magazine. What Anderson found was that death delivered on the open street to people like Lamthi, had its origins in a modern kanun. As will be described below, the sharpness and lethality of such a feud is related to the weakness of the 1990s Albanian government, and its inability to assert a legitimated monopoly over the use of coercive force. In the absence of such a monopoly, the lips of potential witnesses were sealed because they fear the courts could not protect them from revenge attacks.

An Albanian Feud: The Kanun

The kanun killing of Shjtefen Lamthi had its origins during the Communist period when state control was strong. Lamthi’s father, Preka Lamthi, was an official in the government. One day in 1985, Noue Rrushkadoli, a neighbor and fellow member of the Communist Party, visited to play cards and drink raki at his friend’s house. There was a lot of drinking, and Noue, who was known for his temper, ended up turning over the table of his host, a particularly strong Albanian insult. Preka, the elder Lamthi, ordered him out of the house, but Noue Rrushakadoli responded by attacking Lamthi’s son Shtejfen, stabbing him six times. Following this, someone—it is not clear who—stabbed Noue. The knife hit his heart, and he died.

A government inquest into the death of Noue Rrushakadolis decided that whoever held the knife, the killing was in self-defense. No case was prosecuted, and Shjtefen survived. Noue’s sons Leka and Angelo Rrushakadolis, quietly nursed their grudge, wary of a man they perceived to be a powerful government official of an all-powerful state. The practice of blood vengeance had been effectively stamped out by the Communist government, which ruled with an iron fist between 1945 and 1991. Indeed, the penalty for a kanun-based attack was that the perpetrator was buried alive with his victim.

In 1988, with the control of the Communist party slipping in Albania, Leka Rrushakadoli made his first attack, stabbing Preka Lamthi in one of the town lanes. In response, the two families became wary of each other, even while Albania was changing quickly. Both families moved to a new town, and entered the new free-wheeling capitalist economy. Then, in 1997, the economy collapsed, and Leka began to nurse his old grudge against the Lamthi family. He bought a Kalashnikov automatic weapon, and waited. Shtejfen crossed his path on August 3, 1998, and Leka shot him in the marketplace. From the Rrushakadoli perspective, the score was now even, but they knew that the Lamthi family would seek revenge. As a result, all of the males of the Rrushakadoli family found themselves “locked,” afraid to be seen in public. One member of the Rrushakadoli family who had emigrated to Canada ten years previously, and returned found himself “locked” and unable to return to Canada.

Assessing the Kanun of the Lamthi and Rrushakadoi Families

In 1999 when Anderson wrote, the score was one Lamthi and one Rrushakadoli. But both clans still felt wronged. The end result of Noue Rrushakadoli’s 1985 death was a feud in which 14 years later, two entire clans had removed themselves from the broader community, afraid to move about, or engage in other types of normal social and economic activity. But this was not an inevitable result. Examples of the “what ifs” in this situation highlight some of the broader social conditions that led to the murder of Noue Rrushakadoli in 1985 becoming framed as part of a kanun, and not another way. For example:

What if the death of Noue Rrushakadoli had occurred in 1955 instead of 1985? The strong Communist government would have effectively stopped Noue’s sons from responding. In the event that a revenge killing had occurred, the all-powerful Communist government would have stepped in, buried Leka with Shtejfan, and that the feud would not have gone further.

What if there had been a more powerful government installed in Albania in the 1990s, as indeed there was in a number of ex-Communist countries at that time? Preka Lamthi (or whoever held the knife that killed Noue) might have been tried for manslaughter, sentenced to prison for a few years, and the passions of the Rrushakadoli sons cooled. Alternatively, if the central government had been more powerful, they would not have been hesitant about arresting Leka Rrushakadoli, after he fell from grace, and perhaps try him for the crime.

What if the Albanian economy had boomed, and all had held good jobs? Would the Rrushakadoli’s minds have turned to revenge? Even had Leka killed Shtejfen, perhaps his family have turned on him, and handed him over to the police, so that they could get back to the business of prosperity?

The biggest What If? question is about the role that revival of traditions like kanun play in the assertion of what is right, wrong, and moral in a society undergoing rapid social change. Following the collapse of any established order, a new one emerges. This is inevitably contested, as the society struggles to establish new norms for understanding itself. The attempt to assert (or reassert) an old tradition like kanun becomes a potent tool to define who is part of whatever group is emerging, and who is not.

 

Further Reading

Anderson, Scott (1999). “The Curse of Blood and Violence.” The New York Times Magazine, December 26, 1999.

 

The Rochambo of Paradox, Conundrums, Dilemmas, and School Bureaucracies

The below is pp. 185-186 (Chapter 9) of my book Schooling, Childhood, and Bureaucracy: Bureaucratizing the Child. Other extracts can be read here at Ethnography.com

here, (Leaky First Graders, etc.)

here, (How the Rich Educate their Children: A Swiss Hogwarts)

and here. (Children as Raw Material on the Bureaucratic Assembly Line)

Or better yet, you can ask your library to get you a copy, hopefully by getting them to buy a hardcover copy from my publisher, or a used copy from Amazon.com. If you could also send an email to the publisher urging them to issue a cheap soft cover version, that would be appreciated, too.  In either case, I really hope that more people will buy it—besides the fact that I get a 2% (two percent) cut of net revenues, I really like it when people read my books!

Schooling Childhood Cover

The Limits of the Modern American School: Rock, Paper, Scissors

Bureaucracies, while well suited to deal with matters of the rational mind that pragmatic American habitus celebrates, are in fact ill-suited for matters of the heart. Thus, bureaucracies created to undertake the tasks bump up against the three values identified long ago by de Tocqueville and that are at the heart of many continuing American dilemmas. These include first the dialectical tensions over equality, individual rights, and utilitarianism.

They are the rock, paper, scissors of the American educational system. This chapter is about how this game of rochambo is played out in recent decades. In describing the swings, I will move between demands

to eliminate the inequalities of race and poverty, protection of individual rights, and most recently, the appeal to business ethics in the administration of education programs. Three examples will illustrate the dissonance between these three values: The persistence of inequality, the persistence of radical individualism, and the persistent connection between education and business practice.

Paradoxes, conundrums, and dilemmas underlie the cultural habitus of the American school that drives the dreams of parents, teachers, administrators, and ultimately children. But the experimentation that began in the nineteenth century and was designed to lead to an ever more perfect school system, ultimately has practical limits rooted in the nature of its Schooling, Childhood, and Bureaucracy intertwined habitus. And this is where limits to how egalitarian, how individualistic and how efficiently schools can be managed. Because schools ultimately seek to provide equality in a society that is not equal, individuality in an environment that is group focused, and efficiency in an institution in which inputs be controlled, the product defined, nor flawed goods discarded

In the case of the American school, the limits are most identifiable when institutions bump up against the underpinnings that form the habitus of thought and deed of both individual and the society they create. In the United States, these limits are found particularly in how schools continue to wrestle with the most salient features of American society and how it views its children. Prominent is the persistence of inequality rooted in both socioeconomics and race and the preservation these contradictions in the context of American-style business models; oddly enough, this happens in the context of an insistence on the uniqueness and rights of every individual child to seek their own potential. And so like a rochambo game of rock, paper, scissors, one wins and one loses, but the game never really stops. Egalitarianism individualism, and utilitarianism echo through the schools, pushing each other aside, but only temporarily.

Thus when a school becomes more egalitarian, it loses its capacity to recognize individual differences, as indeed happened in the 1980s. When it focuses on pragmatic service to the business community it tends toward inequality, which is what happened as millions of immigrants, African Americans, and others were sorted and tracked into vocational tracks during the twentieth century. And when a school begins to respond to individual needs, it becomes less efficient, and given the inequality in the American social system, it advantages the rich. In other words, over the decades, the American school system has played a game of rochambo as the tensions between the habitus of egalitarianism, utility, and individualism play themselves out.

Why isn’t ethnography.com more focused on ethnography? Um, ‘cause I don’t feel like it.

I like to use the categories on our homepage to surf through old posts, looking for oldies but goodies to re-post on slow days. I also like to read and think about anthropology and sociology and I can count on finding something here to get my mental juices flowing. And like Mark describes below, I like to think about social science in terms of strategy and innovation. I think that if you want to make it as an anthropologist or sociologist outside of academia, you have to adopt a “broader and more holistic approach” to ethnographic work. A couple of years ago I read an article in The Atlantic titled, “Anthropology Inc.” and it changed the way I thought about doing social science. Click the highlighted link in the previous sentence but make sure you read what Mark has to say below.

Originally published by our founder Mark Dawson in July 2007.

A friend asked me how many people regularly read this blog. Well, not a lot. There is a good reason for this. I have owned the domain ethnography.com for about a decade, as well as several other anthropology related domains. On the other hand, while I am an ethnographer, my professional life is focused on the strategy and innovation, of which ethnography is just one of the tools in my toolbox. This blog is not unlike having a big sign outside your store that says “Motorcycle Repair” and wondering why no one is popping in to order a pizza

If you are looking for information about Kula rings, Margaret Mead, Structuralism and the Yanamamo, let me please point you to Wikipedia.com. For basic social science information, its pretty good. If you want to learn how to make a living an anthropologist, then this is the blog for you!

See, all of these entries are about culture in some way. What draws companies to bring anthropologists into the fold is the belief anthropologists take a broader and more holistic approach to understanding both customers and themselves.

So this bog is about strategy, innovation and people that say interesting things about those topics from an anthropologists point of view. -M.D.

 

American Sociological Association Declares Victory and Dissolves. Starts Over Tomorrow.

(GPI Washington)  American Sociological Association (ASA) President Talcott Webber today announced that the ASA was dissolving, effective immediately. In the ASA press release, Webber explained that

We have come to the realization that virtually every other discipline has adopted the sociological approach to not only the social sciences, but also the humanities and some of the natural sciences. All of this is really just sociology under a different name. There is Institutional Economics, Social Psychology, Organizational Theory, Cultural Geography, Ethnography, Literary Theory, Communication, Cultural Theory, Musicology, Socio-cutural Anthropology, Socio-biology, Mirror Neuron stuff, Gender Studies, Ethnic Studies, Evolutionary Psychology, and a host of other disciplines which are nothing but rewarmed Sociology.  Even History has given up their old hagiographic tricks, and come over to do comparative and social history.

 

As for the applied social sciences like Social Work, Education, Public Administration, Geographical Information Systems, Marketing, and so forth, what are they but Social Problems courses? Zuckerberg even once admitted that Facebook is as much sociology as it is technology.  It is clear that imitation is the best form of flattery—and Sociology has won the game!

 

We’ve even had a Sociology major elected to the US Presidency, as well as a First Lady.  A Sociology Professor was even one of the key figures in the United States Senate in the twentieth century.  And look at the op-ed page of the New York Times today.  Krugman is not really an economist, he’s a sociologist focused on issues of economic inequality. Brooks is the ‘conservative’ who quotes Marx, and is really just a closeted Marxian, Weberian, or whatever,

In light of this, ASA is declaring victory. Webber in his characteristically blunt approach explained,

Look, we won, they lost. They are us, so now we can go home, which is why ASA is closing shop. At some point you need to quit while you are ahead.  Why should we wait for a bunch of bean-counting Deans to shut us down when we are the most successful shop on campus?

Webber seems to think that it is problematic that despite the obviously widespread acceptance of the Sociological Imagination, hardly any of the daughter disciplines actually ask their students to take actual Sociology classes. “But what’s the point of having our own discipline, when we are everywhere? If our discipline is everywhere, we need to be everywhere, too.”

In light of this announcement, the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) has announced that it will support the immediate closure of all Sociology Departments in the United States, and the reassignment of tenured, untenured, and adjunct faculty to the appropriate daughter disciplines. The purpose of this policy shift will be to sharpen the sociological skills in the many departments which have been teaching sociology all along.  To assist with this shift, AAUP is recommending that all adjuncts be granted tenure.

“Look,” said an anonymous source from AAUA.

Why should a retired p.e. coach from the Education Department be teaching ‘Education and Society’ when you can have a well-trained sociologist? Or for that matter, why should some molecular biologist who’s never read Max Weber on social stratification be teaching a course in human cultural evolution? Or someone who’s never read Adorno teach a course in Marketing? Sociologists are the ones who get all this. And I’ve never understood what there is about the ‘socio’ in socio-biology that the Dean of Biology does not understand!

The Association of Post-Modern Sociologists was particularly excited about this development. “Whoa, does this mean we can move into the Business School and teach them about simulacra, consumer culture, and McDonaldization? The Business School—that’s really who needs us. I’m glad to shake the dust off my shoes, and put my backside to the quantoids. Give me Marketing, or give me death!”

As for the statisticians in the discipline, they too were relieved. An anonymous source commented,

You mean we can finally join the Department where they design Student Evaluation of Teaching forms? We can definitely show them a thing or two about reliability and validity of social measures. This will be far better than teaching a bunch of sophomores who hate the obligatory social statistics courses.

As for the ASA’s prime office space on K Street in Washington DC, the ASA is looking to sublet it to their Republican lobbyist neighbors.  There was even a rumor that the resident sociologists from Fox News might move down the street so that they can take advantage of the prestige associated with the academy’s most successful discipline.

After concluding his news conference, President Webber pledged that the institution will reconstitute itself tomorrow with a new name and mission.  “After all,” he said, “bureaucracies, even the ASA, are among the most enduring of all social structures.”