DEFENDING DEAN FORD
To the Editors of The Crimson:
Would someone please inform me why The Crimson seems to have it in for Franklin Ford. He apparently serves as The Crimson's whipping boy when careful and courageous analysis gets dropped in favor of glib and blowhard rhetoric.
For example, when Professor Ford was appointed as interim Faculty Dean The Crimson stated rather smugly and quite viciously that the Graduate Student and Teaching Fellow Union as well as other groups would have a break this semester since Franklin Ford was not noted for his crisis handling abilities. After the GSTFU strike was called off a Crimson editorial appeared which took special pains to attempt to pillory Dean Ford for what was called his unnecessarily rigid position toward the Union and its demands, a position which the editorial offered even the big gun himself, John Dunlop, would not have held.
Leaving aside the shallow analysis in the latter editorial concerning the apparent lack of success of this year's Union as opposed to last year's (when in fact the steering committee of 'stars' last year eroded Union support from within and never had the strong departmental organization of this year; the concrete results of all the assbusting organizing efforts in the nature of the support which was built and the kinds of concomitant difficulties which were encountered are more crucial matters of concern), it seems that The Crimson caught Dean Ford in a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't situation of its own making which allowed The Crimson all the self-satisfying venting of spleen it could hope for. Yet although personal vendetta may fire some imaginations and make some smoke, this can only get into the eye of critical analysis and distort and even obscure the real uses.
Incidentally, a closer look reveals that The Crimson comes up short on its own limited terms of bureaucratiic responsibility. Acting Dean Ford always made it clear that he was the responsible Dean now, whereas the acting Financial Dean, whose finesse The Crimson extolled, kept passing the buck, reminding the Union that after all, he was only the Acting Dean.
As a Union member I am grateful for the genuine support we received from The Crimson; however, journalistic support frozen and suspended at the level of ax-grinding becomes profoundly anti-Humanist and methodologically obscurantist as well. The sword cuts both ways, simultaneously on two levels, personal and transpersonal. Support in such a manner, while it tries to get its licks in (and thereby reveals ironically the extent of the reification of consciousness--even of the staff of a supposedly progressive newspaper), also extends and intensifies the forms of reification. Larry Vaughan