Are they really drinking from the toilets at OHSU?

By Harriet Rubin February 24, 2009

Any candidates for Portland’s funniest home videos? How about funniest webprank? My candidate is "OHSU NEWS::, an object lesson in how to speak truth to power. How? LAUGH at power. “News” is a sweet-n-sour ping at OHSU’s increasingly sanctimoney-ous ways.

This once great institution and still Portland’s largest employer, appears to be in trouble, a result of long standing financial over-commitments in investing in big and half empty buildings, and too little commitment to serving the public. One big gun on the City on the Hill told me, "We should take out the “O” in OHSU, because we’ve stopped serving Oregon."

Laughter is the true expression of power. Think of the Fools who are Shakespeare’s only unbesmirched heroes. Think of Julia Child ( a six foot French chef, come on!), her Lucille Ball routines with booze and hacked thumbs and guillotined chickens. Would she have become so famous if not for her humor? Who’s the woman with the biggest stick these days? Not a super serious Betty Friedan type but Maureen Dowd.

And when is Hillary C. at her greatest? When she’s got that big grin going on.

If OHSU were a better major institution, the city would be better. If we could exert some influence over this Behemoth, rather than protest or just pay its supersized fees, let’s ridicule away.

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