OK, two things. First, here’s my latest in Slate, which is an explanation of why the Fulbright program matters and the cuts the Obama administration is proposing to it should go elsewhere. In the article, I explain that the program is not a government-sponsored drink-at-thon so much as it’s unofficial, powerful soft diplomacy.
When Fulbright grantees return home, they bring with them a humanized understanding of a foreign culture that they spread to their family and friends. After a year in Vienna, for example, I gained both 10 lbs in Manner Schnitten, and some valuable insight on life in what was once a mighty empire (ahem), that then fell into disarray and decay (ahem), before living out the rest of its days largely irrelevant (AHEM). Imagine the insights and lasting cultural cooperation that come from grants in Ukraine, Egypt, the Philippines, Oman—or, say, Russia, just to put a random one out there.
Anyway. Second thing. Check it out! Eric Jarosinski, otherwise known as the voice behind Nein Quarterly, is getting the fuck out of academia:
I’ll only be a professor for another couple of months. If you want to hire me to sneer at your thesis, act now.
— Nein. (@NeinQuarterly) March 26, 2014
Eric, as Nein, was once instructed to “take me to task” for writing “Thesis Hatement,” which to my knowledge he never did–perhaps, as I see now, because he, too, realizes that the academy in general, and German studies in particular, is a crumbling, festering shit-show and that the best people should GTFO while the getting’s good. Or maybe he did “take me to task” and I just didn’t see it. Either way, a truly herzlichen Glückwunsch to him.