Thursday, January 21, 2010

Social Mobility Studies -- 2.01

Amigos from sea to shining sea: I have it on pretty good authority that Walmart won't be closing its Athens branch after all.

But you fans of public universities do not gloat too much. The rich are still trying to get richer.

Harvard, struggling to make ends meet on a mere $26 billion (pass the hankies, I'm verklempt) has scrounged up enough to make an offer to a major historian of the Caribbean. You could say that, even in a period of fiscal restraint, Harvard has more than the usual, er, degrees of freedom.

19 comments:

  1. It's not like it's her first Ivy offer . . .

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  2. I must say, just when I thought the old Ambrose Bierce "saga" was over, here's *Doughnut-man* to fill the vacuum. I too, stayed in the same hotel for two days spent at the AHA, but was not receptive to the apparent marital infidelity or other forms of “raucous” behaviors. I did not look for “sparks” at the panel meetings, but simply wanted some semblance of communal-building among other academics, ergo professional historians. I realize this sounds naïve, but really, did you expect me to believe that “three inches of plaster” blocked the sound of your oh so tempting eves-dropping? I slept fine with young scholars next door and did not hear a thing—perhaps I had higher hopes for the conference than catching banter buzzing about. How easy it must be for you, living the charade of a professional academic, but underneath the thin, paper like veneer of urbanity, you just can’t escape Ivy-league, provincial, and dare I say, undergraduate repartee.

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  3. Wha? Does Winchell's Donuts even still exist? Your cultural references are as old and tired as your come-on lines to young scholars, my Anonymous friend.

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  4. but simply wanted some semblance of communal-building among other academics, ergo professional historians

    First conference, huh?

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  5. Anonymous number 2, mostly guilty as charged. I am a vacuous sumbitch, that's for sure, irresistibly attracted to what you call "undergraduate repartee," though your undergraduates must be a bit brighter than mine if this is what passes for theirs.

    Still, I must make a few corrections.

    1) I am living the charade of a professional gossip, not academic, and as such, I hide beneath a thin, paper-like veneer of inanity, not urbanity.

    2)Hopkins and Georgia and the University of California system are not, to the best of my knowledge, part of the Ivy League.

    3) Your description of me as "doughnut man" is endearing, even if I wouldn't associate "thin and paper" like with Homer-Simpsoneque corpulence. D'oh!

    4) Contrary to your rather heated assertion, psychological research shows that gossip plays a central role in "communal [sic] building." It's a form of cultural learning, and much more. I recommend that next time you're in the library, daydreaming about "sparks" and other "raucous behaviors," that you restrain such bad thoughts and instead peruse the Review of General Psychology, vol. 8, no. 2, 2004, a special issue on gossip. Fascinating stuff.

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  6. I like you more and more, Winchell.

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  7. Goooooooo Dawgs. Sic 'em!

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  8. Yeah, keep it up buddy. Can't speak for the "historical profession," but your take on conventioneering is right on.

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  9. Aaaw! Was I coming off as endearing?

    Then, I’ll take the bait and play, say, the sanctimonious finger-wagger. It’s quite fascinating how your little ideas, however bemused, tell us more and more about, nothing. I mean truly, do you honestly think that “culture–learning,” as you describe it, comes from the babble of your nefarious blog? That kind of logic, my little friend, would place most of your readers as subscribers to the Phillie-Inquirer as a true source for Head’s Up learning and cues for value-loaded, essential critiques to live by. Unlike your elusive, but all too serendipitous, *way* of discovering who roomed next door merely eludes the fact that your fat ear was plastered to the wall, (lotion in hand) with more than likely, full knowledge of who was “boffing” whom. Such exposure smacks of a Monica “Lewinsque” critique. “Knee-pads” anyone?



    I mean, how ‘bout reach for a balance, other than what jacuzzing, not getting laid, panels lacking “sparks” were the highlights, albeit downers during a national conference—a conference, no doubt, that put its best foot forward during one of the worst economic clusterfucks since the ‘70s.



    Ahh. But I’m the asshole, who doesn’t “get it.” Wanna know what I thought when I heard Lewinsky blew the prez: “Who gives a shit!” That the President’s penis is “bent”: “Snore.” That Mrs. P would stand by her man: “Find the bamboo, and shove it under my toenail.” My point, CW, is that your endeavor is amusing, and I realize you’ve put an awful lot of time into your blog page, but its parochial, juvenile, and well, find the bamboo…its more stimulating than reading about “mandatory” extramarital crap and broken-down urinals.


    Some academics actually went to the conference hoping to create some kind of connections with other academics bearing the difficulties to find work, land appointments with publishers (who by the way are trying to stay afloat too), and actively pursue some hope, however quixotic, the field is not hopelessly consumed by zombies. So, my friend, my other point is that I missed this year's AHA traveling whore-house specials, not because I wanted to, but because I believe the last flicker of value in this field we call History, is dimly lit. Why? Winchell, since you take pleasure making suggestions for free-time reading, try re-reading (however arcane my intention) The Great Gatsby--its “fascinating stuff.” And perhaps you can take further enjoyment making parallels of Myrtle and myself trying to break into the Buchanan's class (TT positions). Have fun!

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  10. It's a gossip blog--entertaining, trite, and occasionally revealing. Let's try not to take it--or life--too seriously.

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  11. Someone needs to talk to a therapist, not a gossip blogger.

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  12. There's no way that Anonymous at 10:47 AM is for real... is there?

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  13. Seriously. No way. Winchell, please tell me you've created a fictional anonymous asshole to heckle you within an pseudonymous gossip blog. That's awesome.

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  14. Re: lotion. Didn't Winchell (the one named Walter) often broadcast with his pants open?

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  15. Honestly, I just wish I'd thought of the "seek gossip at the hotel hot tub" strategy myself. Conferences are boring. All that saves them are gossip, mini-scandals, and back-room deals. Lighten up, idealistic professional up top. This boat is sinking, and the only way not to drown is to laugh about it.

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  16. More gossip please!

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  17. Seriously, it's been ten days since your last post, and you were beginning to gain a following there -- some of us were on the verge of becoming real fans. More gossip for your followers!

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  18. Indeed, more gossip would be welcome. Or general ramblings about departments, whatever you please.

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  19. Got it, hit the hot tub.
    check

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