I like this person, I like this person’s writing, and I AM OBSESSED with this person’s nom de Internet-plume.

Also Sprach the erudite and kind Werner Herzog’s Bear at Notes from the Ironbound (the post is many times worth reading in full):

I then remind myself that it is in fact an insane profession.  For instance, I know multiple people who’ve published books with reputable presses on important topics who can’t get tenure track jobs.  I know many more who are fine scholars and stellar teachers who toil as low-wage contingent faculty, or who are on the tenure track at schools that pay little and offer a pittance, if anything, for research funding.  At the same time, I know complete and utter mediocrities with tenure.  I have seen someone get promoted to full professor for being a crappy department chair.  The more I think about it, the more I realize that it is these people who keep the academic dream alive.  The youngsters see such mediocrity and think “if they can make it, surely I can too.”

Werner Herzog’s Bear should have written my Slate article instead of me–under the name Werner Herzog’s Bear, selbstverständlich. Many Internet fist-bumps to you.

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7 thoughts on “I like this person, I like this person’s writing, and I AM OBSESSED with this person’s nom de Internet-plume.

  1. Hey! I’m sure this must be something of a random question, but are you a contributor to Slate Magazine? If so, I may have recently read an article of yours on the reasons why one should not pursue a humanities doctorate, which then compelled me to write a post of my own on the matter (although, certainly not as comprehensive – more of a short rant, really!). Then I happened to stumble upon this blog and I’m amused at the coincidence 🙂

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      1. Awesome! I really enjoyed your article – it was very honest, bringing to the forefront some extremely problematic and concerning trends in academia. I recently attended a conference on university governance, especially insofar as it concerns humanities scholars – all to say that there is a demand for change in institutional behaviour/politics and am very glad to see more people working to address these very real issues.

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  2. “I Used to Be Disgusted, Now I Try to Be Amused,” the blog Werner Herzog’s Bear had before “Notes from the Ironbound” was awesome…even more so, if possible. It’s closed now but I still have posts on my reader.

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  3. Aw shucks, thanks for the kind words. I had to kill my old blog after a former colleague turned out to be a backstabber rather than a friend, and blew my cover. That pretty much says everything you need to know about the department I used to work for.

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    1. Ugh!!!!! This is like the fiftieth time I’ve used this quote in the last month, but it’s appropriate once again: in the immortal words of Iago the Parrot: I think I’m going to have a heart attack and die from that surprise. Academics can be some psychopathic motherfuckers (nobody *I* know, of course ;)).

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