David Fleming
It's All Academic   www.davidflemingsite.com   
Empty The Room

July 14, 2018

A mandatory requirement for all jobs should be the expectation that someone gets away from their immediate environment, ideally to spend time with people who can help re-frame perspective.

I have noticed this several times the last couple of weeks as I have met with colleagues from other colleges and universities around the state and the nation.  The result has been a healthy reminder that the issues that surround my work are either not that unique or not that big of a deal.

It is nice to know that when someone writes inarticulate diatribes, they are recognized as such even by people not at the heart of the diatribe.  One can't even count on such reinforcement through social media. It is even more comforting to hear that people see through the hypocrisy of the loudest person in the room.

In the end, I have to take comfort in that fact that these people, to paraphrase Morrissey, "in their usual ways will empty the room."*

Empty The Room

Look around you, whom do you see?

Is there room for you to stay in here,

Among the boors,

The sociopathic, belligerent, arrogant,

Antagonistic, hypocritical boors.

Screaming to drown each other?


Here is one bore to scare you,

And another to charm you,

And a third simply to ignore you.

They all have come to empty the room.


He will be so self-assured:

He knows you need space to take the floor,

To take it all to be at the center of attention.

Be glad he needs a room to empty it.

Give him room, that pious, self-righteous voice,

Because he can only empty what is filled.


I will stay outside, watch the fleeing masses,

Escaping at their first chances,

Having seen the vitriol, ritualistic lies,

That accompany the glib asides.

If everyone gets out unscathed,

We can consider the room saved.

* Morrissey. Now My Heart Is Full. Vauxhall And I. 1994.