1. I think, erroneously, that just because I didn’t get a job in academia, that my inability to secure said job is the sole signifier of academia’s toxicity as a profession.
*FACEDESK*. This is such spectacularly failed logic that neither a facepalm nor a headdesk will suffice. FACE ON DESK IT IS. Listen, Internet full of morons (yes, I appeal once again to the Internet full of morons): my failure to secure a tenure-track position was not the cause of my various tirades about academia. It is what freed me to write said tirades down and publish them under my real name. I am not saying all of this because I didn’t get a job. I am saying all this shit OUT LOUD because I didn’t get a job.
2. I failed to get a tenure-track job in German because I am not good enough.
3. I failed to get a tenure-track job in German because of my terrible attitude.
Other way around, Sherlock. The reason I have a terrible attitude now is because I failed to get a job.
4. How could I have not know that a PhD in German was a terrible idea?
Because in 2005 the market was approximately 120% better than it is now. I will have a post up from Adjunct Nate Silver next week that unequivocally proves this, once and for all, and maybe then you can all go fuck yourselves.
5. Literature is a dumb waste of time and anyone who thinks otherwise deserves to be unemployed.
The fact that this is an acceptable attitude to have in the United States of America is so disheartening it makes me want to go jump off San Clemente Pier. Is it really my fault that one of the most beautiful and worthwhile pursuits the world could ever have, something that makes you a realer, better, more inquisitive and more emotionally honest person is a “dumb waste of time?” Is that something we should be proud of?
6. There are just too many PhDs for jobs, and it’s my fault for getting a PhD.
Not really. There are plenty of jobs–they are just shitty adjunct jobs. The fact that there is an ample supply of suckers willing to do them does not excuse paying those suckers sub-minimum wage. Deflecting the blame from the heartless management to the exploited worker is classic, by which I mean dumb, and can go fuck itself.
7. I need to be willing to do what it takes to “network” for a job in academia, because you’re a lawyer/engineer/man, and you know things and I don’t!
If you don’t actually know anything about the MLA conference or interview process, then how about you shut the fuck up and quit mansplaining things you don’t know about?
8. You can’t actually touch my systemic critique, because it’s 100% accurate. However, you benefit from the system/want to benefit from the system/think, deludedly, that you are just about to benefit from the system/are too chickenshit to fight the system, so you are going to attack me personally and enjoy yourself doing so, because I’m not a real person, I’m a figment of your tortured humorless academic imagination.
Fuck you. And while you’re fucking yourself, ask yourself: why are you trying so hard to make me go away? Why is it so important that my voice be silenced, that I do what we academic failures are supposed to do—which is genuflect before the Ivory Tower, thank it for what it deigned to give us, and then skulk away in silence, to feel appropriate pangs of shame at my singular, personal failure for the rest of my life?
Guess what? I write in tirades sometimes because I am emotionally honest. I am very sorry (by which I mean, not sorry at all) if this is seen as a negative trait in this fucked-up, backwards country, where having a giant diamond, and fake tits, and a big lawn, and driving everywhere are seen as positive traits. I am emotionally honest, and today that honesty is saying: please, enough with the constant barrage of mansplaining, tenuresplaining, corporatesplaining and gradsplaining. I’m thiiiiiiiis close to just giving up this entire enterprise and skulking back into the shadows where I belong. And not because you’re right. You are as wrong about me and about my reasons for what I do as you have ever been. I am just so exhausted from defending myself.