November 30, 2005

The November Academic of the Month

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” know what you are thinking, dear reader: The month of November has almost come and gone, and we have yet to elect an Official Academic of the Month. Yet fear not such a horrid oversight. We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are pleased as peaches to use today’s humble “post” to put yet another glorious example of the professoriate up to the usual slings and arrows of outrageous calumny.

That is to say (albeit in a less highfalutin manner), we have picked our November Academic of the Month. Frankly, dear reader, it took a bit of time to do so. For the past few months, we have lauded our share of professorial dimwits and moronic pedants. Yet we still haven’t taken on someone really spine-tinglingly offensive—someone who’s more pernicious than the typical “Gendering the Other”-type boobs we usually excoriate.

Until now. We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” blithely champion one Mona Baker as our Official November Academic of the Month.

And who, you are undoubtedly asking yourself, is Mona Baker? Well, she’s the Director of the Centre for Translation and Intercultural Studies at a university in England called Umist. (As in, “You-Missed” hiring a reasonable professor when you picked this chucklehead.)

Okay, so Ms. Baker is an academic in jolly old England. What—besides the bad dental work—is so bad about that? Well, unfortunately Ms. Baker is a rather reprehensible figure.

Allow us to explain. A few years ago, a gaggle of dimwitted British professors gathered steam for an official boycott of Israeli academics. As David Tell discussed a while back in The Weekly Standard,

Sometime around late April [2002], a petition began circulating in British universities calling for a full-scale academic boycott of Israel—specifically, for a European Union moratorium on funding of Israeli scholarship until the Sharon government proves willing to abandon the use of force in response to Palestinian terrorist attacks.

In essence, then, the ignoramuses who signed such a petition were untroubled by the anti-Israeli violence of those peaceable Palestinians, but Israel’s attempts at self-defense are simply beyond the pale. As such, these doyens (and doyennes) of academic freedom saw fit to support an official boycott of one country’s academics—even though that country is in a region chock-a-block with prime offenders against human rights.

Ms. Baker, our Official Academic of the Month, took this whole blatantly anti-Semitic hullabaloo one step further. The Egyptian Ms. Baker signed the petition and then decided to take her own personal steps to ensure that the academic world was Judenrein. She forcibly removed two Israeli academics from editorial and advisory boards of two journals she edits.

On her “website,” the repugnant Ms. Baker informs us: “There followed a barrage of hate mail (now a common tactic of the Zionist lobby)—some of it explicitly condoned by supposedly reputable institutions such as the University of Pennsylvania.” To which we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” add: Way to go, University of Pennsylvania! Who would have thought you had it in you?

In the pages of Britain’s left-wing Guardian, columnist Rod Liddle wrote:

Professor Mona Baker “unappointed” two Israeli academics from the journal for which she worked. She hopes that, nonetheless, she can still be friends with them. I hope they punch her in the nose. Her husband, Ken, whined that they had received 15,000 emails in 24 hours, many “abusive and obscene.” Just 15,000, huh? Better keep them coming.

That, we feel, is exactly right. Mona Baker is a racist and so disgusting that she is actually a disgrace to academia. And that, in the world of such tomfoolery as Judith Butler’s obnoxiously opaque prose and Cornel West’s obnoxiously ugly hair, is saying something.

Do you, dear reader, have an idea for a future Academic of the Month? If so, please send us an e-line by pressing the “Contact Us” “link” at the top right-hand corner of your computer screen. There are so many academics to detest, and so little time.

Posted at November 30, 2005 12:45 AM | TrackBack