I haven’t had much to say lately. Lots of reasons. Start of a new semester; being back in Polar Vortex Thunderdome; being, suddenly, much less able to withstand the nastiness that inevitably comes from writing anything in public these days. The other day I got a comment–on my commenting policy post!–that basically called me useless trash. It shouldn’t get to me, but it does. I don’t want to write anything if it’s just going to be met with people writing just sub-human things to me. Lots of things going on. Overwhelmed, scared, sad.

So, in the meantime, before I have to issue a code-red Bummer Alert, here are some things I’ve read in the past few days.

Clarissa explains all about why nobody wants to hang out with academics at party: too fucking pedantic about everything, even when they agree (tell me about it, sister).

I love Josh Boldt and this newest in Vitae, who is getting some annoying pushback about inciting “us vs. them” rhetoric when really he’s just talking about survival.

Yesterday I lost like fifteen Twitter followers in 10 minutes, and briefly changed my nomme de Tweet to Jean-Ralphio Bieberhausen, after I called out this mediocre link-bait on the CHE for being pseudonymous when it didn’t need to be (the author still thinks he has a chance on the market–even as he writes about how the market precludes giving anyone a chance. Fucking come on).

Suddenly, I was saying that nobody should use a pseudonym, EVAHR–not bloggers whose spouses are terminally ill, not rebels inside authoritarian regimes, not union organizers dispatching from anti-labor HQ–when really, all I was saying was this: this particular article being pseudonymous was overkill, emblematic of the total culture of paranoia and cowardice amongst academic job marketers–yes, the paranoia is justified, but as the article itself said, you don’t have a chance on the market anyway. In the words of Peeta, if you’re going to die out there, DIE AS YOU. I mean, shit. Maybe the reason I get such outsized hatred for saying obvious shit in public under my real name is that I’m one of the few people who do. Now I’m just getting mad again. Anyway, way  to jump directly from zero to mortally offended, Twitter.

Suey Park takes XOJane by storm. I predict seventeen days before it’s XOSuey. GET TO ST. LOUIS ALREADY WILL YOU. I KEEP GOING TO KOPPERMANN’S BY MYSELF AND EATING LATKES ALONE. Because I must. Eat. Latkes.

In case you’ve been in a sensory deprivation tank hallucinating like Homer Simpson, Miya Tokumitsu’s “Do What You Love” essay in Jacobin was republished at Slate, and has handily out-trafficked even the most viral articles of yours truly (yes, EVEN THE ALDI ARTICLE), and deservedly so. Awesome work, Miya.

Jonathan Rees is highlighting the unconscionable behavior of CSU-Pueblo toward Tim McGettigan, and everyone should be paying attention.

And, finally, THE ADJUNCTS OF GREATER ST. LOUIS ARE ORGANIZING. UNION! UNION! MOTHERFUCKING UUUUUUUUUUNION! Unless, of course, SCOTUS kills all public employee unions in the US, because those old-ass rich people pulled their old rich asses up by their bootstraps, so SO CAN WE. Ugh.

9 thoughts on “Link-a-doodle-doos

  1. A A friend of mine, years ago, left academe for a foundation job. His family (rich, business) asked how he was doing with the mean, back stabbing stuff in business. He smiled and said it was much less rotten than in academe where people were smarter and so could think up meaner attacks.
    If you speak out, they’re going to spiel out. S**t on them!
    And congratulations for being effective in your criticism of what is a disasterous situation….taking on students only to stock the adjunct nonsense. Their fault! Climb down you characters and start teaching again–without your seminars.


  2. Schuman,

    You are one of the best bloggers out there. I am seriously enraged that people would be so mean to you. I wish you the best of luck and I hope that you continue to do the valuable work you do. I know that your blog really helped me to think about what I want to do once I am done with my M.A. Your advice was infinitely more valuable than most of what I got from my advisors.

    The only change you should make is using more pictures of yourself. The times when you use your picture are great. You have a very expressive face so when you had the disappointed face picture on one of your articles I thought it was awesome.

    I hope you can keep providing this valuable service for years to come. To hell with your haters. They are likely jealous that they can rock the glasses as well as you. In the words of the immortal bard Ice Cube, do ya thang, (wo)man, fuck what they lookin’ at.


  3. Honestly, I wish I had the bravery to speak up and say what you do on the Net (I’m bringing “Net” back). The main reason I don’t put myself out there more is precisely because I know how harrowing all the hate mail would get (and yeah, speaking up about this stuff under a pseudonym is helping no one). So, the part of me that wanted to jump on a table and scream during my PhD studies, the part that gets real satisfaction reading well-written take-downs of the nightmare that academia has become, hopes you keep at it. The rest of me hopes you do whatever’s best for your sanity!


  4. Love that you went all old school Nickolodeon in this post.

    I don’t have half your bravery, and internet comments are so vile, I would not blame you for a moment if you decided to retreat a bit from the intertoobz. But I agree with Nicholas that what you are saying and doing is important. And it is appreciated.

    And besides which, you’re pretty doggone funny.

    Keep on keepin’ on.


  5. I recently forwarded Thesis Hatement (and other essays written by you, amanda krauss, prof. is in, etc) to a student of mine who came to me about “wanting to go to grad school” in the humanities. We’d had a conversation on this matter before he graduated last year but this time I was more explicit and expanded on what I called the “what grad school programs will never tell you” reality. No need to elaborate on what that is on this forum!

    Bottom line of my advice: do not go for a Phd (an MA only if you have considerable funding AND ONLY if it’s got a practical application–and that’s AFTER several years of working AND knowing that grad school is NOT going to get you a job nor teach you how to do it). Let’s just say that he is now very disinclined to apply to a PhD in the humanities. I made it clear to him: you do not need to cease your own intellectual development in the humanities and you can research and write if you want to as well. There are ways of doing both without getting a PhD.

    Rebecca: you work has and will continue to save many souls–SERIOUSLY. Disentangling oneself from the financial and psychological mess of the phd is much harder once you start. It’s best to prevent it–it’s my own public mental health initiative campaign among students: grad school is not a good idea.

    So: if you need a break for yourself, temporary or permanent, know that you have contributed to humanity in more meaningful and positive ways than one or two monographs ever could. You have walked the talk (and paid a steep price) for the “greater good.” If you need to quit doing this work you should do so without remorse. You’ve done plenty, sacrificed way more than many of us are willing to (including this chicken anonymous reader of yours) and you owe it to yourself to preserve your sanity and pursue your happiness.


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