First, the video. Then, if you’re good, I’ll tell you an Alan Dershowitz story. It involves Stephen Jay Gould.
So, when I was a graduate student teaching human behavioral biology and stuff, there was a class taught by Alan Dershowitz, Stephen Jay Gould, and some other guy. This was a large Socratic “lecture-courses” and one of the sessions involved ethics and gender differences in the law, so it was customary among the E. O. Wilson and Irv DeVore Teaching Fellows to crash the class and watch.
Imma let you get back to worshiping Stephen Jay Gould and all when I’m done, but I gotta tell you that he was more often in a crappy mood than a good one, and he was almost always rude, and his rudeness was the sort that arises from his highly elevated stature and is sharpened in the academic context. He was at his worse at major conferences or large classes like this, while in one on one conversations he was only half-asshat and sometimes sort of nice, but always annoyed. So as the class progressed, the moment came when a lot of students who had double booked their schedules would have to get up and leave to get to their next class, 30 minutes prior to the end of the 90 minute affair. As they started to rustle around, Gould stopped the action and firmly announced that any student who left before the end of the class would not be welcome back, and so on and so forth. And, as he berated the Harvard students, they rose to their feet, one by one or in small groups, and left the lecture hall, utterly ignoring the increasingly agitated ultra famous professor who by this time was letting steam out of his ears.
Eventually all the student left who were going to leave, about thirty, and Gould finished his rant with some comment about how utterly rude it was to leave a class before it was finished.
The next thing to happen was Alan Dershowitz engaging in the final segment of a Socratic dialog with a handful of brave students, in which the issue of whether or not there was a difference between a woman with very bad PMS killing her husband (who was kind of asking for it anyway) and a man with sexual dysfunction killing a prostitute he had hired to cure him but who ended up laughing at him. These were real cases and they were discussing the merits of the defense in each instance, and so on and so forth.
Then, about 15 minutes before the scheduled end of the class, Dershowitz uttered a series of summary sentences as he walked to the back of the lecture hall’s stage, behind a large demonstration table (these was a science lecture hall), and as he spoke reached down and picked up a piece of luggage. He continued his final remark as he walked towards the exit, stopped and turned to Gould and said, “I’ve got a client in New York who does not like to be kept waiting” and walked out.
The room fell silent.
Laughter emerged, and the tittering never did really stop until the class ended at its appointed time.
Of course, if you know your recent American History well, you may guess as to who the client was. Let’s just say that for Gould, Dershowitz’s premature departure was something of a Reversal of Fortune.
I can’t find the discussion of Wikileaks on Youtube. That would be interesting.