Sunday, September 13, 2009

Thad Takes His Life Into His Own Hands By Taking On Boston's Bitchy Bear. (Our Advice is In Today's Graphic.)

Dear Bitchy - Bear,

You, understandably, have to live up to your name - I'm ok with that. But I'm still going to have to give you the shellacking you deserve.

First, I realize you are intensely jealous because the RYS guys gave me a WAAAAY cooler picture than you but please don't let that cloud your true feelings - you seen like primo future-ex-wife material (grrrr!).

Secondly, you really should keep your gloves up in a fight - else you're gonna get decked.

You: "I work at an expensive and hard-to-get-into university."
Read: I'm uber pretentious and I prefer to teach people who aspire to pretense as well (or are lesbians at Sarah Lawrence / Grinnell (and what a shame that would be!), or legacies, or suckers who don't mind being grifted by con-(wo)man educators).

You: "The other problem with perspective is that I am from a rural ghetto."
Read: I don't really have any class, but I'm good at pretending to be classy. Look, I even bought a pantsuit. More to the point, being a professor is my feeble attempt to bury my horrid past, and elevate myself to the elite. (Don't worry, I like my ladies a little trashy)

You: "Being part of the elite means.....blah blah blah"
When I read this part, I get that vomit taste in the back of my throat. You're kidding, right? Elite? Sweetie, just cause you like the Char-Donny instead of Margaritas doesn't make you elite.

You: "I have more war stories if you want, but we all know what the first rule of Fight Club is..."
Yeah, Bitchy - Bear, I don't recall the Fight Club members drawing salaries, or canoodling with grad students, or attending Faculty drinks parties, or spending public money. And though I commend you for alluding to one of the coolest authors EVAR, I'm gonna have to suggest you come on back to Comp 101, so I can teach you how to construct a proper analogy.

Let me level with you Bear Girl: I like your style; I only tease you cause I like you. But what your piss poor analogy has so ineptly stumbled upon is something I want to address. Within the first week of teaching I had one of those "If you like to eat sausages don't go to the factory" kind of moments regarding higher education. Along the lines of Fight Club, I wonder, how are we, the bearers (!) of high culture and the the keys to gate of life long success supposed to sell yet another vulgar commodity to these rubes we call students when the basis of what we do is to try to get them to think beyond (and critically of) money, and commodities, and lifestyles, and status (which, by and large, are the reasons they attend).

We sell different products, you and I. I, the lowly Vienna Sausage (at Artisanal Salami prices) and you a steak so highly overpriced that Ruth's Chris would die to be able to sell their products with such a high margin. Higher education is the impacted bowel of American society after all, right?

From my oh-so-middling perspective, I gather that American higher education is basically a con-game. It's a classic bait and switch. Administrators and teachers alike have no actual insight into the intellectual and economic needs of the larger society. We, rather, enjoy our jobs because we don't have to come in sober or like the praise and attention or whatever (Lord knows the actual teaching is only about 10% as rewarding as those who sing its praises make it out to be) . On the other side of the equation we have a bunch of weak kneed politicians that are happy that the unemployment rate here for people 18-28 isn't almost 30% (!) like it is in Spain or France because we have all those suckers enrolled in the Higher-Bureaucracy-of-Massive-Proportions that we call College/University.

I don't have a dog in this fight per se - where I went to grad school was Fun, Frivolous, Foreign and Free (as it should be). But now, corporate university or pretendo-public-university, it doesn't matter...all around our forsaken country we have sheisters, dream merchants, PR and marketing jerks, student loan farmers and blow hard administrators pimping the goose that laid their golden eggs - a higher education system so corrupt, so self-adoring - a higher education that to those who created the Universities in England and Germany would seem like blasphemy.

So, Bitchiest of the Bears, I ask you to reevaluate all your earnest hard work and optimistic fervor. Go ahead. Oh, you're shy? Let me start. I wear a blazer to work but that doesn't mean I'm not a whore. You try it....I wear a pantsuit to work but that.....