Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Administrative Stuff, and Other Stuff.

Blogroll Changes:

[Updated in order to correct the impression that Marie Borroff is a blogger. Though I could totally see that happening.]

Some People decided to move their blog homes, and Other People decided to come back from a faked death and an island vacation to Bora-Bora, so I had some blogrolling adjustments to make. Also, I didn't particularly like the "They Wonked" category on the sidebar separating some blogs from other blogs, as if I were making value judgments about the blogs. I was in fact making value judgments about the blogs on my blogroll, but the impression the bullets gave was that I thought a Law-professing dude and trumps Medieval and Renaissance History and Literature professing women. That simply isn't so. I'm sure John Balkin is a swell guy and a terrific dinner companion, but he's no Marie Borroff Eileen Joy.

Speaking of Academic Celebrities:

A colleague of mine was at a mini-conference recently wherein he briefly met super-famous Academic B. Super Famous Academic B is distinguished from the Academic Stah of "Speaking at Microburg, what do I do?" fame in that Super Famous Academic B actually has original, paradigm-shattering ideas of her very own that make sense. I still hate them both, but I don't consider SFAB's salary and speaking fees to be theft, as I do AS's income.

Anyway, SFAB was really rude and dismissive of my colleague who, bless his heart, is a giant kiss-ass. Look, don't get me wrong. I like him. I think he's a genuinely smart, affable, well-informed, and nice guy. But I have also seen him kiss up to 6 asses in one grammatically correct sentence without even using a group noun. And this person, out of arrogance, or exhaustion at being pestered by grad students, or whatever, just blew colleague right off. She didn't even bother pretending she wasn't blowing him off, either. Which shocked colleague, 'cause he's good at what he does.

And I pretended it shocked and appalled me too, because I wanted to be supportive of a person who looked so wounded. But, I'll tell ya what. Even as I feigned a credible gasp, up from the dark and twisted caverns of my soul came creeping a wicked laugh. This was a win-win for me, really. Someone FINALLY said to colleague, in her own special way, that being an attractive, well-dressed and affable young man who sighs all three syllables of "professor" with the perfect mix of aroused intellect and endearing, childlike awe doesn't necessarily mean people will bend over backwards to help you from the moment they meet you. And, BONUS! Super Famous Academic B, from whom I sensed major falsehood in her down with hierarchy writings, was openly nasty to an underling just because she could be.

Let's be clear, I hate hierarchies too, and some day after the end of May we'll talk about what I think about Professors who insist that graduate students call them Professor or Doctor up until the day they're hooded, all the while addressing the students by first name. (Here's a hint: Know what I call my medical doctor? Stan, that's what!) And, honestly, I agree with Super Famous Academic B's thoughts. But I know, in the way that you know these things, that she's full of shit. She expresses herself very well, and people find her ideas radical and sexy, and they cite her articles effing endlessly, but there's the distinct aroma of horseshit there. Kinda like how you just know that certain male 'feminist' academics would always ask the female grad students to handle cooking/set-up/and cleaning for department events, because the men were 'so busy with their academic work.'

But this isn't to say that I am happy that a famous academic is faking her radical beliefs. I wish she really did believe what she wrote. But one likes to know the radar still works, ya know?

P.S. There are male academic stars I hate, too. But you know who they are without my havin to tell you, most likely. If you're reading this blog and agreeing with me often, you probably hate them too. And if you read this blog for someone to disagree with, just imagine all the male academics you think are wonderful.


meg said...

Heh! You tell 'em, sister.

But: Marie Borroff has a blog?!?

squadratomagico said...

Ohhhh this was lovely. Just lovely. Good times!

I knew someone like that in graduate school, but he never seemed to get the put down that I (and, in fact, most of the other grad. students in our cohort) felt he deserved. You're livin' the dream!

medieval woman said...

First off, thanks for switching my blog over! (purr, purr...)

But also, I wish I'd been there to see the smackdown - I would have reacted *exactly* the way you did!

I will live vicariously through your lovely intellectual frisson...

Anniina said...

Heheh, I know exactly what you mean. But: I have to second Meg... Marie Borroff has a blog?

HeoCwaeth said...

Alright, I'll fix it.

Anniina said...

*blush* I guess we ran amock with wishful thinking, tehee!

Bardiac said...

It's hard not to take advantage of power when you have it. Maybe she's deluded and thinks she really is wildly radical?

In grad school, the biggest talking radical was a guy who'd been to upper class schools all along. And when push came to shove, he used every bit of class, gender, and race advantage he could, every time. But I think he honestly thought he was seriously challenging heirarchies.

HeoCwaeth said...

Medieval Woman, you're very welcome.
Squadratomagico, I'll try to enjoy the whole situation a little extra for you.
Anniina, Is that avatar new? She's fabu!
Bardiac, You're right, as usual. Perhaps she started out genuinely radical (doubtful considering her family/class of origin, but whatever), and then the academic stardom turned her.

Actually, I can see this at the grad student level. I attend classes with a person who is one of a very few activists on one particular issue, and this one, pre-phud and with limited fame is all about mememememememe. Which is weird considering the 'field' said student activates in is so other-centered.

Anyway, it reached the point that an uncomfortable attachment was formed to me, because I had heard some of the names that were being thrown with great force about the campus. Until I started pretending not to know nor care about the people who were mentioned as being "so supportive of me, wrote a blurb for my book, invited me to dinner" ad nauseum.

Which could, in part, explain my celebrity fatigue.