Today on Slate, I offer a companion piece to the Chronicle of Higher Ed’s weeklong exposé (not to be confused with Exposé, in case my friend Justin is reading this) about alcohol on campus. Because I am a special awesome snowflake I was given a peek at many of these articles when they were still embargoed, and as I read through them (they are, by the way, impeccably reported and obviously the result of a lot of very hard work), I laughed to myself at the continuing omission of one of academia’s biggest drinking problems of all: THE FACULTY. HELLO.
Yes, #notallacademics, whatever. Many academics do manage to drink in moderation, but goddamned near all academics drink, and they expect you to as well (and will ostracize you if you don’t, no matter what they say. Really, they will. Ask anyone who doesn’t drink — like doesn’t at all — how they feel at departmental events). And there are so, so, so, so, so many who drink too much, and cannot hold their liquor and act like embarrassing fucking 19-year-olds — and sanctimoniously believe this is an important part of the Life of the Mind.
This is one of my final Slate columns before I go on maternity hiatus, so I am ready to scrap with anyone and everyone! Give me something to miss/not miss when I’m too busy making my own kid milk-drunk to piss anyone off on the Internet.
Here’s a taste — and thank you to the many, many, many people who contributed stories, most of which didn’t make it in because (understandably) nobody is able to talk on record about this, lest their “collegiality” and “fit” be questioned.
The “rose-colored glasses of life,” as Fitzgerald called it—or “pain-go-bye-bye juice,” as Patton Oswalt did—has been a central element of the scholarly mythossince before Faust conjured wine at Auerbachs Keller. From Plato, Euripides, and Homer to (if the scholarship of Monty Python is reliable) every modern philosopher ever, there apparently can be no legitimate thought, no great art—in short, no Life of the Mind whatsoever—without the fruit of the vine. In gently suggesting that scholars learn to cut themselves off, I will be accused of engaging in the height of anti-intellectualism.
Read more here!