Reality Based Community

Life in the Empire

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OK, cool. Rather than just bitch about our status do something to empower ourselves. But.....they have beaten me down.  Tis the season for job announcements, applications, followed by Affirmative Action forms, rejection emails and, all too often, nothing at all - no acknowledgement that you even submitted your materials.  And then there are the proposals for projects and residencies that are accompanied by a submission fee. 

Sorry, just finished choreographing for the annual dance concert where it appears that J and I are the only ones who give a shit.  Last night was the final dress rehearsal and we were the only non-students there.  The other faculty insist upon the power and control yet they do less then the minimum. Really fucking depressing when we could do the show much better if we were allowed to do their jobs for them.

But, enough of my whinging on.  Your new blog is a good idea.  I will get back to it when I'm less pessimistic.

I hear you and feel every gram of your deep frustration. And I hate "solutionitis," this silly Amerikkkan dis-ease that everything has a neat tidy solution. Like some new journal. These structural problems don't always have a good and clear solution.

But I care about the collapse of the labor market in the arts, humanities and social sciences. It actually matters, in terms of how good a society the Kwa can be, how it can use soft power for positive ends instead of death dealing drone attacks.

I dub thee the editor of OUR arts and culture section. Start getting essays, homeboy. I'll shift it to a better url when i get some bread.

Prospects for jobs are improving.

Just got an interview for an Instructor position.  I'm waaaaaay overqualified and the pay is too low but it is a damn sight better than this part-time shit.  Fly to Kansas State the beginning of the second week in December.

Check out JAR Online journal  You might see some things they are doing that you can use.

I sent a message to my cousin Mike to check out the Adjunct Rebellion. He recently got assigned two American History classes so he could reduce his time waiting tables. He is brilliant in Political Science but he is a former staffer for Cynthia McKinney, was the spokesperson for an anti-invasion organization and his dissertation committee was staffed by known Marxists - hardly the CV for the neo-liberal age.

"...let us be realists.  Let us demand the impossible."   

I senseirony here.  Don't want to overwork a metaphor, but I'm just a grunt,  I go into the bush every day and try to keep my squad alive.  That's it.  Now the officers are demanding the impossible.  Usually because they don't have to actually do it... but not always.  I got two squads of twenty-two.  Each down to about  ten effectives.  Lost about 20% at the drop/ add date. But I don't think this is retention as usual.  I believe it's about trying to create a meta-data smokescreen to cover the ass. What ass aint important  I know it aint mine.  

Compliance are meta-data generated by the machine, Asses thinking beyond kicking.  Do asses think?  Do machines?  For whatever reason, we get paid to think about shit, right?  Because they are indentured to some thing nobody seems to understand,  Who are they and who are we?  Classic dialogue: m'lord the peasants are revolting oh yas aren't they... so the intellectuals are revolting oh yes we are.  I get it.  I am a wobbly and all that, Wear my badge openly at the workplace.   That's the union that will tear the fascists down.  

More pay?  Sure.  Right now I am hung on two procedural meat hooks, rough drafts and peer review.  There is no time for rough drafts.  This is the real thing.  Final draft is the last breath you take.  Let us be realists.  Only we the living are compliant.  We are all public intellectuals... on facebook... where we get our peer reviews.  For most of my peeps, this is their last college English class before they go do whatever it is they will have to do.  Like their last state-side DI sometimes you cry as they march away.  

Metaphor or not, go to even the most remote academic backwater, and you will find a reality-based community member. Hang around for a while, and you realize how rare we are.  They got the thousand yard stare.  We find each other.  Synchronized like magic... because it is.  Mission is to teach them to be generalists because what is hitting them now is only the select few of we the living intellectuals now scarcely comprehend.  Compliance is for cops.  Comprehension is for intellectuals and passing it on is for teachers.  

What we are passing on worth a pinch of shit unless it helps grow a seed or something.   

Like crickets saying before first shot fired.  Wordsworth.  Wordsworth.  Wordsworth...  



Jo got her tenure report today.  Drinking vodka, beer and wine - doesn't help.

But the hands of one of the gentleman were laid on K.'s throat,
while the other pushed the knife deep into his heart and twisted it
there, twice. As his eyesight failed, K. saw the two gentlemen cheek by
cheek, close in front of his face, watching the result. "Like a dog!" he
said, it was as if the shame of it should outlive him.

Failed her performance report, eh? My condolences. If it's any consolation, keeping one's integrity is way more valuable in the end.

She was ranked superior in teaching and creative research and satisfactory in service.  But the committee took the extraordinary step of soliciting for negative comments and, based upon these, claimed that she has not improved in collegiality and they did not come to a clear vote on whether to recommend tenure or to deny.  The Chair wrote a strong supporting document of her but the committee report is the twisted knife - people we thought were friends were on the committee and it appears they took their marching orders from the Dean.

"Collegiality", a nice little euphemism for playing politics. Or being a team player, or whatever the current industry term is now for being a good brown-noser.

Gotta add a completely subjective category to performance reviews so management will still be able to promote their incompetant friends. It's how the world of politics works. And why institutions fail so miserably.

The solicited negative statements included several demonstrably false accusations - in effect the committee engaged in defamation of character via proxy.  We are looking for a lawyer.

Oh shit, Paul, that's sounds serious. Is there a specific incident she's being accused of, or is it a general vendetta? You've awakened the lawyer in me.

Several specific accusations - they have gotten careless because we now have it in writing.  Just emailed a lawyer who was recommended (who won a previous case against the Uni by a prof).


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