Gail's Reviews > Moo

Moo by Jane Smiley
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's review
Dec 06, 09

bookshelves: begununfinished

this was a bit too episodic for my liking. but very funny in parts. and insightful. from my favourite chapter:

"It was well known among the citizens of the state that the university had pots of money and that there were highly paid faculty members in every department who had once taught Marxism and now taught something called deconstructionism which was only Marxism gone underground in preparation for emergence at a time of national weakness.

It was well known among the legislators that the faculty as a whole was determined to undermine the moral and commercial well-being of the state, and that supporting a large and nationally famous university with state monies was exactly analogous to raising a nest of vipers in your own bed.

It was well known among the faculty that the governor and the state legislature had lost interest in education some twenty years before and that it was only a matter of time before all classes would be taught as lectures, all exams given as computer-graded multiple choice, all subscriptions to professional journals at the library stopped, and all research time given up to committee work and administrative red tape. All the best faculty were known to be looking for other jobs, and this was known to be a matter of indifference to the state board of governors.

It was well known among the secretaries in every office and every department that the faculty and administrators could, in fact, run the Xerox and even the ditto machines. They were just too lazy to do so.

It was well known among the janitorial staff in every office that if you wanted to maintain your belief in human nature, it was better never, ever to look, even by chance, into any wastebasket, but to adopt a technique of lifting and twisting the garbage bag in one motion and tossing it without even remarking to yourself that was unusual in weight or bulk or odor.

It was well known to all members of the campus population that other, unnamed groups reaped unimagined monetary advantages in comparison to the monetary disadvantages of one's own group, and that if funds were distributed fairly, according to real merit, for once, some people would have another think coming."
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