Professor puts hilarious Deadwood-ish rant video up at the start of his class, drama ensues. “Barry Mehler is a Ferris State University professor in Michigan who was suspended after posting an expletive-filled video for his class in which he told students they were “vectors of disease” who should “stay the f*** away from me” due to COVID-19.”
He’s 74, presumably he does NOT want to be forced back into the classroom to teach, but it’s happening anyway, and Ferris State doesn’t require vaccination. So he’s got himself a fancy helmet, an N95, and cocksucking rage, y’all.
So he posted this introductory class video and this is complete wackadoodle scripted audacious brilliance. He switches back and forth between teaching moments about plagiarism, being super pissed off about the pandemic and what he’s forced to do, and saying audacious shit. And of course, showing some videos of smoking and Deadwood.
He tells students NOT to come to class, he doesn’t want to know their names, and he’s already assigned their grades randomly anyway.
“When you see me next week, I’ll be wearing this helmet,” he said, adding that the helmet cost him $300 and contains filters so “it protects both me and you from this deadly virus that’s going around… Now, uh, I may have f***** up my life.. but I stand before you today beholden to no human c********* and working a paying f****** union job.”
He then said that “no limber d***ed c********* of an administrator is going to tell me how to teach my classes because I’m a f****** tenured professor. So if you want to go to complain to your dean, f*** you go ahead, I’m retiring at the end of this year and I don’t give a flying f**k any longer. You people are just vectors of disease to me, and I don’t want to be anywhere near you so keep your f****** distance; if you want to talk to me come to my zoom.”
“I’m going to be 75 years old in March, and Covid has already killed 1 of every 100 Americans over the age of 60. In other words, whatever you think of the risk of Covid, I live in a very different world. My risk is much greater than yours.”
He said the students’ first assignment would be to describe how the last two years were for them. He said in the past students said they missed their grandparents at Christmas because they didn’t want to “expose grandma and grandpa to a disease that could kill them.”
He continued: “Listen up folks, I’m old enough to be your grandpa and you people are vectors of disease to me, so when I look out at a classroom filled with 50 students, I see 50 selfish… kids who don’t give a sh** whether grandpa lives or dies, and if you wouldn’t expose your grandpa to a possible infection with Covid, then stay the f*** away from me. If you don’t give a sh** about whether grandpa lives or dies, by all means come to class.”
“My classes are all designed to be taught remotely. And everything you need to earn an A is available is available to you on our Canvas page,” Mehler said. ‘There is no benefit whatsoever from coming to class. I will not take questions in class because I’m wearing this f***ing helmet in order to stay alive. So please come to class, enjoy the show.”
He noted, “I will be there regularly because I have no choice. You on the other hand have a choice.”
(I’ve quoted a lot from the heavy.com original article, but if you’re able to watch the video, then please do so and draw your own opinions.)
Mehler has (of course) been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation, which I doubt he gives a shit about one way or the other.
Are students offended at this? Do they care? Well, it sounds like he kind of has a reputation for being interesting anyway and his classes (NYT link) “are very popular, in particular because he challenges students’ assumptions and makes the class extremely interesting.”
Mehler’s response to the whole thing:
“it was simply a humorous attempt “to get their juices flowing.” “If a professor comes in and he’s all high and mighty and using words they don’t understand — that doesn’t help them relax and think. … It was a performance,” Barry Mehler told The Associated Press….On Tuesday, after his video was sent to students, his classroom was full — proof, he said, that most weren’t offended by his stream of expletives… “But they also knew their grade was not based on predestination. That was simply humorous.” And also, “I’ve gotten lots of support since this happened by former students who said, ‘You were the funniest professor I ever had. “People who have watched the video are writing to say, ‘It was hysterical. I laughed from beginning to end.'”
So what is this, exactly? An informative and entertaining class video? Giant cocksucking rage at being forced to risk his life to do his job? Actual “fuck all y’all students” messaging or an in-joke that his intended class audience gets and understands? All of the above? (And yet clearly, it didn’t deter people from coming in person as intended.)
I presume either way Barry will be out of a job soon, but he’s probably fine with that. If you gotta go, then what a way to go!