November 13, 2004

Who Gets the Academic Job?—The

Who Gets the Academic Job?—The Answer

In our last post, dear reader, we inaugurated the higher-education version of the old television commercial “You Make the Call.” According to our updated and slightly intellectualized version, the audience plays the role of the chairperson of a prestigious university’s comparative literature department, and must decide between three final candidates.

After offering you, dear reader, potted profiles of the three finalists, we exhorted you to send us an e-missive, and, as they said on the commercials, make the call.

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” would now like to offer you the official answer to our query.

First, a brief review of the candidates. Janet Stancill is a left-wing chucklehead who focused her research on the arrant nonsense contemporary academics label “cultural studies.” (Interestingly, “cultural studies” has essentially nothing to do with culture or studying, but that is another matter.) The second candidate, Philip Largent, is a left-wing chucklehead who focused his research on the crucial sub-field of wax modeling. Apparently, this has much to tell us about the patriarchal, misogynistic, xenophobic society we inhabit. The third candidate, Jose de Jesus, is Latino.

We are delighted to inform you, dear reader, that the large majority of our readership answered correctly: The tenure-track gig must surely go to Mr. de Jesus. This hasn’t anything to do with the caliber of his work; he appears to be engaged in the same kind of pseudo-academic dross that has enraptured Ms. Stancill and Mr. Largent. In fact, it is certain that—like Ms. Stancil and Mr. Largent—Mr. de Jesus is slightly to the Left of Joseph Stalin. Some mistakes were made, but, overall, the Gulag was a good thing.

Yet, as many of our readers realized, none of this matters a jot in the world of contemporary academe. Jose de Jesus is a Latino; as such, he offers a unique perspective on matters, even though he has precisely the same opinions as everyone else in his department. This, you understand, is the real meaning of the word “diversity”: A passel of folks of varying skin tones who tout the same left-wing political shibboleths.

One clever reader offered the interesting notion that Mr. Largent had formerly been Ms. Largent. In addition, this reader claimed, Mr. Largent was black. To be sure, if this were true, Mr. Largent would be hired immediately. After all, blacks trump Latinos in the “oppression sweepstakes,” much as a royal flush beats a straight. (In fact, a black beats a straight, too.)

Yet we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” certainly would have informed our readership about all of Mr. Largent’s intellectual qualifications for his job: I.e., that he’s a transsexual black.

The prestigious university for which you served as the chair of the comparative literature department blithely informs its applicants that it is “an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer.” To us, this is much like saying that one’s organization is firmly dedicated to pacifism—and routinely kills people.

So, congratulations to those of you who answered Mr. de Jesus. You made the right call.

Posted at November 13, 2004 12:01 AM | TrackBack