People v. Harvard Law

People v. Harvard Law

Saturday, November 15, 2014

"Eve of Destruction: Ron Klain, Ebola Czar"

 (NOTE: Disclaimer regarding this blog's non-affiliation with Harvard is here.)

Adding to Harvard Law School's already considerable reputation for producing "elite" lawyers who fill high-level government positions for which they are totally incompetent (in terms of the real-world practical skills and ethical character needed for the job), on October 17 President Barack Obama (HLS ‘91) named Ron Klain (HLS ‘87) as his "Ebola Czar."

To celebrate the occasion, we are pleased to announce the world premiere of a brand-new parody video, Eve of Destruction: Ron Klain, Ebola Czar" (lead vocal by Damian Yonge). The parody video is embedded below, followed by the parody lyrics.

(It's based on 1965's "Eve of Destruction" written by 19-year-old P. F. Sloan (who later formed the Grass Roots), which Barry McGuire turned into a #1 hit. Youtube video of McGuire performing the song, on NBC's Hullabaloo, here.)

Klain, readers of this blog will recall, triggered the ghostwriting/plagiarism scandal which engulfed Professor Laurence Tribe back in 2004-05, and thus was the root cause of the events leading to the launch of this highly entertaining blog. (Thank you, Mr. Klain!)

In our first parody song about that scandal, "I'm Larry Tribe," Klain played only a bit part (you can listen to the song from the start here).

But after Tribe complained he'd been inaccurately portrayed as having personally plagiarized from historian Henry Abraham, we retracted "I'm Larry Tribe" and replaced it with a new, more accurate (and, also, more gender-balanced) parody song, "Harvard Plagiarist Heaven."

We then published the lyrics to several parody songs exonerating Tribe of plagiarism, by making clear it was Klain, while ghostwriting a book for Tribe, who'd done the plagiarizing. Klain had a starring role in "December 1984" (Oh, What a Night)," and he was prominently mentioned in several other songs, including "I'm a Compiler," "You're So Klain," and "American Tribe."
One hopes Klain does a better job protecting the lives of Americans while serving as Obama's "Ebola Czar" than he did protecting Professor Tribe's scholarly reputation while serving as Tribe's ghostwriter!

Although our parody video was completed on October 31, publication was delayed two weeks due to Harvard Law School's stringent procedures (more stringent than those used by the CIA to protect classified material!) mandating prepublication review of any parody bearing in any way on the Law School, as part of Harvard Law School's policies implemented long ago to ensure that in dialogue within our community, no one feels disrespected and no one’s feelings are ever hurt in any other way (only "Orwellian speech" which hews to the politically correct line is allowed at the Law School without prepublication review).

First we had to prove the parody did not run afoul of Harvard Law School's speech code promulgated in 1995, under which parodies must avoid offending anyone in any way related to gender, or they will be deemed "sexual harassment" -- a speech code which, civil libertarian Harvey Silverglate has observed, sends a "message that it is OK to ban controversial or arguably ugly expressions that some do not wish to hear," a message which has contributed to the slow death of free speech at Harvard Law School.

Second, we had to prove that no one involved in preparing the parody had ever written a private e-mail  evidencing politically incorrect thoughts such as the private e-mail written by a student in 2010 which led the Dean to issue a press release castigating the student for her thought crime (a reprimand which reminded law professor Eugene Volokh of Soviet communism).

Third and finally, to avoid being shut down via a bogus DMCA takedown notice like the two notices that were filed in 2012 to shut down student speech critical of HLS administrators, we had to establish (via our disclaimer page, linked at the top of this post) that no one could pretend that someone could mistake our parody video, or our blog, as somehow officially authorized by Harvard Law School, or by any officer of a student group, or even by a majority of the members of any student group. (Those 2012 DMCA takedowns were sharply criticized by law professors Glenn Reynolds and William Jacobson, and we hope such scrutiny will dissuade anyone at Harvard Law School from filing a DMCA takedown notice against our parody video or blog.)

If, despite our best efforts to comply with the prepublication review process for parodies at censorship-obsessed Harvard Law School, we have overlooked some potential hurdle standing between us, as Harvard Law School students, and the right of free expression, in any criticism lodged against us we hope to have the assistance of Harvey Silverglate (HLS ‘67), who co-founded an organization -- FIRE (Foundation for Individual Rights in Education) -- which has commented favorably on this blog.


Oh -- one more point, required by the latest rules for ensuring no one is ever disturbed by anything that ever happens related to academia.  

TRIGGER WARNING!: This parody video includes photographs of a half-naked, middle-aged, male Harvard Law School graduate which, even more than this photograph, could be disturbing to anyone under age 100. Viewer discretion is advised.


"Eve of Destruction: Ron Klain, Ebola Czar"

(Lead vocal by Damian Yonge)

The health care world it is exploding
Virus flarin', ERs loading'
It's strong enough to kill, and that's concernin'
You don't believe it's here, but what's that mask you're wearing'?
And even the President has started carin'

But you tell me
Over and over and over again my friend
Ah, you don't believe
We're on the eve of destruction

Don't you understand what I'm tryin' to say?
And can't you feel the fears I'm feelin' today?
If the virus escapes, there's no runnin' away
There'll be no one to save with the world in a grave
Take a look around you boy
It's bound to scare ya boy

And you tell me
Over and over and over again my friend
Ah, ya don't believe
We're on the eve of destruction

Yeah, my blood's so mad, feels like coagulatin'
I'm sitting here just contemplatin'
Klain can't twist the truth, it knows no regulation
An Ebola Czar who don't know medication
And speeches alone can't bring eradication
When Barack Obama is administratin'
This whole crazy world is just too frustratin'

And ya tell me
Over and over and over again my friend
Ah, ya don't believe
We're on the eve of destruction

Think of all the fun Klain had on vacation
Then, take a look around at a sad situation
Klain may leave here for four weeks in France
But when he returns we don't have a chance
Now he's Ebola Czar, well what a disgrace
He will bury your dead but won't leave a trace
He's a Harvard lawyer who will put us in our place

And, tell me
Over and over and over again my friend
Ah, ya don't believe
We're on the eve of destruction
Ah, no no, you don't believe
We're on the eve of destruction

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