Morality and Expediency: The Folklore of Academic Politics

By F. G. Bailey; Alfred Harris | Go to book overview

CHAPTER SEVEN
The Unexpected

Three Anecdotes

I begin with a miscellany of ethnography, not all of it connected, other than in an allegorical way, with life in universities.

In a farmyard in the Australian outback the old rooster, still the stronger in beak and claw, stands triumphantly on the dung hill, having reasserted his dominance over the young rooster. 'But at least I can run faster', says the young rooster. So they fall to arguing, and eventually decide to race around the farmyard, the young rooster to receive a start of two yards. Off they go, and round and round, the young rooster squawking loudly and the old one slowly gaining upon him, when suddenly — Bang! — the farmer lowers his shotgun, picks up the carcase of the old rooster, and takes it into the kitchen. The younger rooster climbs on the dung hill, and though weary of leg, begins contentedly to eye the hens. In the kitchen the farmer talks to his wife, 'Who would have thought it? After all these years, and he turns out to be a lousy poofter!'

From this you may conclude that in Australia as elsewhere roosters which have homosexual tendencies are not in favor. You might also reflect on the political sagacity to be found in young roosters. What the situation has to do with universities, we will come to later.

The second piece of ethnography is about one of those heroes of our time, a vice-chancellor in the age of student unrest. The particular occasion for discontent was unusually

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Morality and Expediency: The Folklore of Academic Politics
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Morality and Expediency - The Folklore of Academic Politics *
  • Contents *
  • Foreword *
  • Introduction *
  • Chapter One - Myth, Reality, and Politics *
  • Chapter Two - Community and Organization *
  • Chapter Three - Chapter *
  • Chapter Four - Committees *
  • Chapter Five - Arenas and Enmities *
  • Chapter Six - Masks *
  • Chapter Seven - the Unexpected *
  • Chapter Eight Privacy, Community, Order and Change *
  • References *
  • Index *
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