Thursday, September 27, 2012

John Silber R.I.P.

There the Former President of BU is at the Gates of Paradise, haranguing Saint Peter over the slack operation he is running.

While on Earth though, Silber ran up quite a rhetorical tab, as President of Boston University he routinely lectured incoming freshmen girls on dress, deportment and the mysteries of femininity. Thats when he wasn't harassing recalcitrant professors, paying himself a Fenway Major League Baseball Salary, hired Billy Bulger to a lecturer's gig, tripling BU's endowment, enrollment & tuition in general disporting himself like a Prussian Drill Instructor gone ever so mad on Emanuel Kant.
In sort he was a columnist's dream,  a mean spirited eminently  quotable windbag who no more confess ignorance of a subject than he'd back down on the efficacy of cold showers and the lash.
Silber was destined to run for governor and in a last bit of cosmic irony, as a democrat as well in that far off year of 1990 with it's curious"angry white males".
To call the man a gaffe machine would be utter understatement he insulted everyone, Cambodians, Puerto Ricans, welfare recipients, he called his GOP opponent "An orange haired WASP"and then in final transport of fury opened verbal fire on Natalie Jacobson in a TV interview and thus met his Waterloo.
He also dragged down a few good democrats that year, notably George Keverian the democratic candidate for State Treasurer and his owning running mate Marjorie Clapprood whose promising statewide political career came to an abrupt end on election night 1990.
There is little to remember of the man, he was angry, self righteous and given to bullying...but curiously despite his tendency to alienate core democratic constituency he stuck by the party to the end.  One can only imagine the long term damage he could have done to the GOP if he had switched over, but know perhaps Silber's most memorable virtue was loyalty.