Painting: “Disenfranchised Constituency of the 48th District” 2016. Acrylic on canvas, 24 x 24"
The SUNY Chancellor position has been open since June. Yesterday I read that the Governor has appointed President Jim Malatras of Empire State College (an all online “school”) to run the SUNY Pandemic circus show. He replaces resigning Chancellor Kristina Johnson, who was paid $560,000/year to annually jack up the price of tuition while transforming state education into a high functioning Kafkaesque bureaucracy. Enter a deadly contagious virus, and “Whoops!” she says, “I’m outta here!”
I read further that ethically, the new chancellor’s position should be canvassed, so there be no surprises after a thorough vetting process. Don’t want the Governor’s political favors steering the intellectual advancement of 485,000 SUNY students, especially if one of those political favors turns out to be a serial sex offender to cats. The corrupt must be publicly careful about being too corrupt.
Mr. Malatras has requested from the Board of Trustees a 25% reduction in salary. Propaganda hush money to quell an angry public while a million New Yorkers get appointed to 21st century bread lines. Probably declared at the Governor’s suggestion, since pretty soon he’s going to ration our lives to make us suffer hard. I searched the Internet for the salary of a board member (there are 15), to wonder what they get paid on top of their already established, often very lucrative careers.
And then I watched a video by Gail Tosh, candidate for NY Assembly in the 120th District, calling out the current Assemblymember Will Barclay for his part-time effort at the $110,000/year salaried position. (His full-time job is lucrative lawyer). What put me over the edge was her accusation that local Pathfinder Bank pays him $30,000/year to be on its Board of Trustees. He is tasked with attending just one meeting a year, and it made me think of banks, even local ones, screwing the public good and proper throughout all seasons, even winters of our discontent.
The following is the eternal question all power institutions pose upon themselves, and get the likes of a Mr. Malatras and Mr. Barclay to provide an answer:
How can we insulate ourselves and protect our power over the general population?
Enter the army of lawyers and their Board of Trustees.
Spread out the confusion. Obfuscate the realities. Tome the dictates and mandates. And pay the players well to shut them up. Though they got this far never conflicting with power, and would do the job merely to inflate an ego and top off a resume.
Nobody is to blame. That’s the story anyway. The high propaganda. If you’re angry at politicians, then vote them out in an election which 90 % of the time means “roll out the red carpet for the incumbent”. Because the incumbent played along with the board of trustees, the Governor, the President, the any person or group’s power he helped solidify during tenure.
Today, Assemblymember Will Barclay hosted a media and electronics recycling drive in the parking lot in my neighborhood. Fifty cars lined up before opening, and a continuous line thereafter for several hours. What a great way to get the name out before an election. He sure is for recycling! And fossil fuels too! And eradication of gun violence in our cities! Which cities? You know... Where all those minorities live criminally and shoot each other over drugs and stuff. Will Barclay wants good recycling white citizens to be afraid of the present-day minority groups. Although if you look at his logo on the $2,000 mailer (paid for by recently unemployed citizens of New York), you’ll notice he is a “Minority Leader”. Political oxymoron. Everyone knows he’s the “Majority Bigot”. Many people round these parts vote for him because he has an “R” after his name, which means one can always count on a summer recycling drive during a global pandemic of sickness and death.
Whatever it takes to get the word out.
If we keep offering our dollars and goodness to political grifters, then we get exactly what we deserve. Either engage with the politics that are tearing our worlds apart, or clean out your basement of all the electronic crap you accumulated along the way to dystopic relevance.
Stop paying the rich people!