August 12, 2011
Having just retired from 40 years in academia and being mindful of the observation by communist-turned-conservative Whittaker Chambers that he had “not returned from Hell empty-handed,” I’m offering the following sketches of professorial types. These were academics who in some cases were my colleagues at various institutions and who in other cases I heard about from those teaching elsewhere. No claim is being made that my list is exhaustive. Readers are free to add their own loonies to my Gallery of Grotesques.
The PC Nature-Lover
This person is more often than not a she, and she is someone vitally concerned (or so she explains to her classes) with ecology. Although this woman is noticeably obese and given to what Dickens called “dainties and other extravagant victuals,” she preaches day and night against such obscenities as raising beef cattle and cultivating farmland. She insists that the rest of us confine our diets to whole grains and a limited number of fruits and vegetables (preferably the ones that grow wild), lest “Mother Nature” wither and disappear. If put in charge of our lives, this lady would have us down in no time to the nutritional intake of an Auschwitz inmate in 1944.
She is particularly savage in blasting Western nations “where people just eat and consume.” She contrasts this nasty behavior to the way Third World countries lovingly husband their sparse resources. When asked (by me) whether we should allow Third World inhabitants to move into our already polluted regions where they might further stress the ecosystem, she expressed shock. It should be clear that Third World immigrants, particularly from Latin America, are “ecologically safe.” From speaking to this person I gather that only light-skinned people in the US, and more especially the white Protestant majority, munch on junk food and litter the sidewalk.
The Socially Conscious Sociologist
This engaged individual is visibly concerned about whatever a proper intellectual is supposed to be concerned about, whatever that is. But she also has an overpowering passion for decorating her door with a special decal showing a pink triangle and the slogan G.L.B.T. SAFE ZONE. When she is not driving every normal person up the wall talking about the scourge of “prejudice,” she is distributing her favorite decal to her colleagues and students. She believes her campus is infested with bigots, which is what she also believes about the rest of the country, outside of perhaps a few dozen hate-free minority neighborhoods. One never knows who’s out there lurking in the halls when a vulnerable gay-lesbian-bisexual-transgendered passes by in search of a friendly haven.
This lady (quite broadly speaking) also advises the lavishly funded campus gay-lesbian organization and prepares its complaints against the insufficiently sensitive members of the college community. These documents are useful for bullying college administrators who are terrified of lawsuits. They can also be submitted to government agencies that may be inclined to launch preemptive attacks against stubborn enclaves of hate-thinkers.