September 07, 2006

Homo Academicus

As we informed you in an earlier “post,” we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are delighted that the new school year is at last upon us. For, as parents of the college-aged certainly recognize, this means that countless bright-eyed and bushy-tailed undergraduates will soon return to making their livers into brown bananas.

Ah, the ivory tower—there’s nothing quite like it (though, admittedly, Cuba comes close). Marxoid weirdoes babbling about Foucault; privileged white girls bemoaning the evils of male privilege; unchecked dipsomania—is there anything better than this? Night Court, perhaps?

Still, dear reader, we must admit that we’ve always found the average college professor a bit irksome. Well, that isn’t exactly true: If the PhD in question studies, say, chicken behavior, then it’s not very likely that he’d trouble us. Rather, it is the humanities and social science prof who really rankles. Not all of them, mind you, but more than we’d like to count.

(Further, we don’t just mean economists. Everyone hates economists. Everyone.)

And why, you may ask, do such academicians so irritate? Now we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are hardly your typical anti-intellectual buffoons (after all, we’re not that typical). Heck no: Give us a copy of a chi-chi journal of academic literary criticism and we’re practically in heaven. No cavalier Know-Nothings, us.

Well, dear reader, our irritation with many of our beloved academics has little to do with their courses of study. Nor with their life decisions: We’ve always felt that the life of the mind is a worthy life—unless you’re Jessica Simpson, of course.

No, we can’t point to any of that as our rationale. Rather, it must be the behavior of sundry academic types that so infuriates. In their own way, many professors are just as priggish and self-satisfied as the most ostentatious religious fundamentalist. Naturally, this sentiment would enrage our militantly secular professorate, but it’s true all the same.

Ever have a conversation with a self-important prof? He’ll triumphantly inform you that he’s not like the “typical American”—which, we take it, is a very good thing in his book. Of course, he’ll sniff, I don’t watch any television, I don’t like the orgy of consumerism that is American culture, and I abhor so-called fast food.

Well, well, well, Mr. High-and-Mighty. (Or is that Dr. High-and-Mighty? You didn’t spend 8 years getting an advanced degree in smugness for “typical Americans” to address you as “mister.”) Awfully proud of yourself, aren’t you?

We mean, come on: We don’t care what you do with your free time—reading back issues of The Nation; devouring turnips; selling crack cocaine. Just don’t be so darn smug about it: You sound sickeningly like a fundamentalist browbeating non-fundamentalists for their failure to lead their lives according to the “true way.” In short, you sound like an ass.

Posted at September 7, 2006 12:01 AM | TrackBack