NU prof ‘sorry’ for sex demo. Does this sound like an apology?
BY RICHARD ROEPER firstname.lastname@example.org March 6, 2011 2:22PM
Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM
This might be a first: a public apology in which the supposedly contrite person gives his critics an “F.”
The Northwestern University professor who allowed an after-class demonstration so graphic it could have resulted in a loss of license for many a strip club issued an apology of sorts last Saturday and said he won’t let it happen again.
But psychology professor J. Michael Bailey also lectured the media and the e-mailers that went after him for condoning a demonstration in which a man used a machine-powered phallic device to penetrate his fiance. (That should be some wedding ceremony.)
“Those who believe that there was, in fact, a serious problem have had considerable opportunity to explain why: in their numerous media stories on the controversy, or in their various correspondences with me,” wrote Bailey. “But they have failed to do so. Saying that the demonstration ‘crossed the line,’ ‘went too far,’ ‘was inappropriate’ or was ‘troubling’ convey disapproval but do not illuminate reasoning.
“If I were grading the arguments against what occurred, most would earn an ‘F.’ ”
Yes, it’s a class on Human Sexuality. Yes, the students were older than 18 and they’ve probably seen more than the average 50-year-old from a couple of generations ago. Yes, we get that it was an optional, after-class demonstration.
But to what end? Perhaps the professor can explain to us why it would be necessary to invite these human visual aids to campus in the first place. What can be learned from watching them in action that can’t be learned from something not quite so ... literal? Was there a running commentary while the exhibitionists did their thing?
Bailey’s statement also invoked the old “more important things in the world” routine.
“During a time of financial crisis, war and global warming, this story has been a top news story for more than two days. That this is so reveals a stark difference of opinion between people like me, who see absolutely no harm in what happened, and those that believe that it was profoundly wrong.”
You hear that one all the time. “Why are you people covering Charlie Sheen when Libya is in turmoil?” or, “Why do the media obsess over Lindsay Lohan while children are going to bed hungry?”
The media never stop covering wars, financial crises, natural disasters, poverty, education and the price of gas. You want important news, it’s everywhere.
But if a mainstream, general interest newspaper, radio show or newscast (or column) focused only on such things, the audience would quickly succumb to hard-news fatigue and would say goodbye. If the good professor didn’t think the media would jump all over this story for a several-days cycle, he should sign up for a class or two at Medill.
Also, if Bailey sees “absolutely no harm in what happened” and isn’t buying the arguments against it, why is he apologizing? He’s saying it was harmless, yet he’s vowing it will never happen again.
Fedora-wearing warlock Charlie Sheen kept up his manic pace over the weekend, updating his 1.8 million followers on Twitter and doing a one-hour radio show of sorts on USstream.tv in which the profusely sweating actor read from cue cards, showed off his new “WINNING” tattoo, read poetry and rambled nonsensically about waiting for a call from the president.
Never have we seen such strong evidence Sheen really does need Chuck Lorre et al. to write scripts for him. Left to his own devices, he’s more lost than an Oscar-winning actor without a prepared acceptance speech.
In other Sheen News, former porn actress Bree Olson briefly left “Sober Valley Lodge” after a fight with Sheen, but then returned, with Sheen explaining, “I chipped one of my warlock fangs on a great white shark I had to murder. Pissed me off and like an ass I took it out on her.”
Well then. Is there any doubt this will all end happily, with Bree and that former nanny/swimsuit model helping to raise Charlie’s 2-year-old boys for the next 15 years or so?
Olson took to Twitter to say, “The general public must be so confused,” to which I could only re-Tweet, “Oh, honey. The general public has Stephen Hawking-level clarity compared to you.”
Now as for global warning, let me just say I’m amazed that — whoops. Out of room.