have no foothold in Dismaiha: the firstrnand last soccer game, in 1948, promptedrna civil war which continues to the presentrnda’ in the remote valleys of the MordorrnRange. The country is ignorant of anyrn”Doors” but those hung before the women’srnlavatories in the Grand PanjandralrnPalace. No Sinatra or Strauss, neitherrnBach nor Beatle, can be heard within itsrnborders, but only the wailing of the nativernnostril-flute ensembles and the bellowingrnof the bell-and-spigot hornrnbands, variously accompanied by thernflutings of castrati or tormented shrieksrnof small furry animals. VCRs are unknown.rn”Boom boxes” are shot on sight.rnPlagho-Plaguo is without a foreignrnpresence of any kind. Even the Quairnd’Orsa’ extends no diplomatic tendril tornvex the somnolent offices of the Ministr’rnof hifidel Affairs. The only two Anglophonesrnin the population speak varietiesrnof pidgin unintelligible even to each other.rnTfie prepotent Dismailian JujulatricrnGuild has thwarted all attempts by therngreeds- and officious Western medical establishmentrnto subvert native therapiesrnand imperil its members’ livelihoods.rnThe most hardened anthropologistsrndesert their research projects in revulsionrnafter a few months’ exposure to Dismailianrncustoms. In a rare show of Cold Warrnharmony, the KGB and CIA agreed inrn1951 to assign Infiltration PriorityrnURANUS to the country, a status itrnshares only with Antarctica’s Ronne IcernShelf.rnAppropriate theoretical strategies arernfully developed. The campus is in readiness.rnAll that now remains is to findrnsome people willing to take advantage ofrnthe opportunity. It had been assumedrnthat Dr. Kwasiuro Ahrglu-Barghlu, LU’srnprofessor of Postcolonial Literature Theory,rnwould be glad to return to his nativernland to undertake the duties of Dean,rnbut he declines the opportunity withrnpuzzling vehemence. Professor Ahrglu-rnBarghlu is adamant that his post of multiculturalrnduty is in Kafka, South Dakota,rnhome of LU, where the population requiresrnreorientation away from its arrogantrnassumptions of Western culturalrnsuperiority. The Lagado faculties arernshowing a sudden and unprecedentedrnburst of scholarly activity which preemptsrntheir schedules well into the nextrnmillennium. Only professors LemuelrnBungarus of the Herpatology Instituternand Hopalong Spong, the English Department’srnfilmist and South Dakota’srnmost devout and outspoken HighrnChurch Relativist, ha’e so far been willmgrnto accept positions at the new facility.rnAssuming the deanship with his customaryrnenthusiasm, Professor Spong leftrnfor Plagho-Plaguo early in September,rneager to celebrate the Dismailian Differencernand full of the v/ill to tolerate. ProfessorrnBungarus followed shortlv afterrnwith his equipment.rnRegrettably, a major problem arosernin November when Professor Spongrnabandoned his position to return homernhalfway through the semester, a shockinglyrnchanged man. A casual glancernmight overlook the 75 pounds (includingrnthree fingers) he had left in Dismailia,rnbut even the most fleeting glimpserncould not fail to detect the twitches, therntics and tremors, the abrupt gothic grimacesrnand chronic spasms that so alteredrnhis once bland and cheerful countenance.rnThe appalled attention of hisrnfamily and social acquaintances wasrnvariously fixed on the no’el purple-andpueerntint in his hair, the protuberantrngreenish arabesques that pulsed on hisrncheeks and forehead, and the fitful yellowrnlambene’ in his irises which so excitedrnthe Center for Tropical Disease Control;rnbut the deeper horror was left to hisrncolleagues. Although a small thing physically,rnmembers of the English Departmentrnsaw it at once. It filled them with arnnameless dread. It was there on his lapel.rnAn American flag.rnTo get Spong to lighten up, his loyalrncolleagues made the supreme sacrifice:rnthey invited him to jjresent a film andrnslide show of his stay in Plagho-Plaguo.rnThe event was a disaster. It immediatelyrnbecame clear that the “Ping” Spongrnwhose tolerance and openness to Othernessrnhad been an example to all wasrnno longer among them. Of the man whornhad often driven hundreds of miles outrnof his way to experience somethingrnnew to tolerate, no trace lingered. Thernpansensitivitarian cosmopolite whornwould travel across an ocean and a continentrnat the drop of a fez, sombrero, orrnkaffiyeh to acquaint himself with perspectivesrnof diverse groups who werernbusily shredding, burning, or defecatingrnon American flags had been replaced byrna crabbed chauvinist.rnThe changeling’s presentation failedrnto depict a single positive aspect of Dismailianrnculture. His commentary onrnthat nation’s dress, diet, art, architecture,rnliterature, medical profession, government,rnreligion, ethics, and customs wasrnan embarrassing string of slurs, complaints,rnand sneers interspersed with violentrnexpletives, nasty sniggers, and animalrnsnarls. Every slide and frame, ever-rnanecdote, description, and statistic, wasrnrepresented as further proof that Dismaiharnwas the “litter box of the Cosmos.”rnThe litter box of the Cosmos!—rnan ethnocentric aspersion that thernmerest laymammal, taken at randomrnfrom the streets of Kafka, would havernrecognized immediately as insensitive—rnand this strange new Spong employed itrnno fewer than 33 times in a 45-minuterntalk! Definitely the wrong Spong.rnNot even Dismailian wildlife escapedrnhis blanket condemnation. Indeed, arnslide of the Sylvilagus palustris carnivorisrnprovoked in the lecturer a chattering ragernwhich suggested soine association withrnhis missing digits. Members of PETArncould not believe their ears. Here was arncreature as cute and cuddly as a Panda, arnprominent member of the United Nationsrnendangered species list, the onKrnbreed of flesh-eating swamp rabbitrnknown to science, and the founder ofrntheir Lagado chapter was positivelyrngloating at the prospect of its eady extinction.rnHad they not been intimidatedrnby the New Spong’s inflamed mood,rnthey would hax’c walked out in a body.rnThe worst came at the end whenrnHopalong Spong turned on the lights,rnthen turned on his colleagues. He furiouslyrndenounced the English Departmentrnas a nest of heathenish and treasonousrnpererts, flung his resignationrndown on the conference table, andrnstalked off to begin a new career as mediarndirector of Real Americans for JesusrnChrist the Aenger. His erstwhile colleaguesrnsat in appalled silence as the fanatic’srnbooming rendition of “Americarnthe Beautiful” receded down the hallway.rnThen Harry Glibb summed it up:rnwhat had happened was all too clear.rnHopalong Spong’s diversitarian convictionsrnhad failed to stand the test of tlicrnDismailian Difference.rnCorrectly interpreted, this episode willrnbe understood by theorists as emphasizingrnthe importance of the challenge Dismailiarnpresents to those isolated withinrnthe context of American ethnoeentrism.rnIt can only increase the Semester in Dismailia’srnappeal for progressives determinedrnto break free from that context.rnAt the moment, however, it creates arnproblem. Professor Spong’s prematurernreturn leaves only Professor Lemuel Bungarusrnin situ. Bungarus has taken over asrnDean pro tempore and seems quite happyrn44/CHRONICLESrnrnrn