Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A Caricature

In his mind, FLG has this caricature of the worst type of denizen of academia. A person who writes lengthy, languid, caveat-filled, esoteric jargon laden prose that is so abstracted from reality it ultimately contains no meaning and possesses no relevance anywhere outside of a journal article; yet, complains that their very serious and important thoughts are neglected by the mainstream not just of society, but their own discipline. A person incredibly insecure about their status and takes criticism very poorly; who becomes intensely defensive and responds to any perceived slight on their status or criticism, valid or invalid, with appeals to the authority of their numerous credentials, and when that doesn't work, for example because the critic has equivalent credentials, retreats to pettiness and backbiting. The type who upon seeing that the world is lacking a Wikipedia entry that describes their incredible contributions to the world, would write one themselves.

"Wait," you say. "That's not fair. No person like this truly exists."

Au contraire. FLG points you back to the continuing saga of Laura Sjoberg.

Lengthy, languid, caveat-filled, esoteric jargon laden prose that is so abstracted from reality that it ultimately contains no meaning or relevance? Double Check

Complains that their very serious and important thoughts are neglected by the mainstream not just of society, but their own discipline? Check.

A person incredibly insecure about their status and takes criticism very poorly; who becomes intensely defensive and responds to any perceived slight on their status or criticism, valid or invalid, with appeals to the authority of their numerous credentials, and when that doesn't work, for example because the critic has equivalent credentials, retreats to pettiness and backbiting? Check and check.

The type who upon seeing that the world is lacking a Wikipedia entry that describes their incredible contributions to the world, would write one themselves? Unknown, but FLG's working assumption is Check.

Look, FLG may be an asshole in his underwear, but he knows that. Now that he thinks about it, maybe FLG objects to people who take themselves so seriously that their existential tension is almost palpable. There's a shitload of those people in the Academy.

10 comments:

George Pal said...

I love it when you talk like that. Say some more.

Miss Self-Important said...

Also a good example (/warning) demonstrating how the abuse (/overuse) of parenthetical statements and slashes (not that these are necessarily/always problematic in moderation) in writing can undermine meaning (/purpose/intent ((not that I believe in meaning/purpose/intent)) (((at least not ontologically)))).

Withywindle said...

We need a costumed superhero called The Parenthesis.

Andrew Stevens said...

Steve Ditko's 83, so he's unlikely to do it, plus he would have made The Parenthesis a supervillain.

Withywindle said...

A super (sometimes villainous) hero.

Andrew Stevens said...

For Ditko, The Parenthesis would be a straight-up villain. The Parenthesis would deny that A is A after all.

william randolph brafford said...

Wouldn't you want a duo: The Left Parenthesis and The Right Parenthesis? And when you get between them they can make you less significant than everyone else?

arethusa said...

So many names that meet those criteria spring to mind, so many names...

J. Otto Pohl said...

I think you have described a lot of academics. Including a number who I am sure have peer reviewed my articles and rejected them with scathing invective. But, other than your blog I had never heard of this particular pedant. I hope that I never reach that stage.

Anonymous said...

'nother perfessor who stands on her DIGNITY: http://www.press-citizen.com/article/20110420/NEWS01/110420003/1079/UI-
dave.s.

 
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