randombio.com | humor
Sunday, October 07, 2018

Survivorguy in academia

Today we have a nightmarish survival narrative, complete with visions of “post-structuralism” being “academic” due to “its” “excessive” “use” of binary “quotation marks.”

H i, I'm Les Droud. Today I'm in the darkest wilderness: a place called Academia. It's a true wilderness, untouched by civilization. It ought to be a World Heritage Site to protect its pristine wildness. I'm going to show you how to survive in this wilderness . . . .

I'm all alone here in a faculty meeting. I can hear growling all around me. I have to be cautious. If I'm caught here without watching my back, I'll get stabbed for sure. That's the thing about campuses. When it gets dark, it gets very dark. As Oscar Wilde said, true friends stab you in the front. That species is long extinct here.

Surviving is not easy here. I'm grading a pile of papers. If I slip and break the point of my pencil here, no one will know where I am. In Academia, you can die from a paper cut. No one will be able to rescue me. I just have to take it slow.

Twenty-five years of survival, and this is the worst place I've been stuck in. All the animals are in a struggle for survival here, and they do whatever it takes to survive. That means staying inconspicuous. If you make any noise it'll only attract gaily-plumed natives . . . or maybe even a gray pinstriped postmodernist.

Ah, some water! You have to be careful what you drink here, but sometimes you just have to take a chance. Oh no. Something's coming over me . . . the . . . the post-structuralist influence has led to the deconstruction of the binary “specificities” that underwrite all versions of both imperialist and capitalist racism. . . . Help, it's doing something to my brain! . . . yet the philosophical “stress” on différance conflicts with the post-colonial . . . aaaack! . . . emphasis on “multiculturalism” . . . which de-emphasizes the de-emancipation and “unitization” of the “binary” . . . and so the “quotation marks” “denote” the “incongruity” “of” “the” . . .

University in psychedelic colors

Whew, that was a close one. It almost got me. Drink the wrong thing, and bam, intellectual diarrhea. The thing about academia is that everybody thinks they're the world's intellectual leaders. That's why they assume that everybody must agree with them, otherwise they think you're an ignorant savage. But it's in the water here. There's no culture, let alone such post-colonialist “abstractions” in which the reified binaries: white/black, male/female, and gender fluid/trans are merely the recontext­ualization of the new face of post-colonial oppression in multiculturalism, thereby signifying. . . okay, I better lie down.

Marxism's universalizing narrative . . . is simply a negative form of the history of European imperialism[212 and references therein] . . . Man, that's bad stuff. I'm okay now. Stay away from those pools of rotting ideologies. From now on I'll stick to burgers.

Ninety percent of survival is psychology. But you have to watch out. If you start following the wrong thing, you can be sick for days. I know a guy who started reading Sigmund Freud. He started saying things like “Freud proposed a tripartite account[Freud 1896c, pp. 203, 211, 219; Eissler 2005, p. 96] of the mind's structure as part of a radically new conceptual and therapeutic [Int J Psychoanal. 76 pt 2, 237–256] frame of reference . . . .” It lasted for weeks. Not a pretty sight.

Okay, I finally find evidence of intelligence: a discarded copy of Aristotle. I scrape off the dirt. With so many advantages, things are beginning to look up. This is shaping up to be a good day for survival. But the echoes of “post-structuralism” being “academic” due to its binary misrepresen­tations of “democratization” are still floating around in my head . . . .

Fresh burger, right from the tree! Mmm, slurp, this is a good day. You hear about sometimes where people go out here among the students and they're still able to find real hamburgers instead of kale, cooked zucchini, and those little carrots. It's rare, but it does happen.

But now it's rainin' again. Funny thing, the long hike, now I know where the burgers are, and most importantly I know where there's some water that's uncontaminated. I'll just put my machete down here and play my harmonica. Sometimes out here in the wilderness you just have to create your own culture. Oh darn, some student just dropped a dollar bill in my cup.

Wow, I just caught a fish after six hours of fishing with this little pole that I made. Now I'm going to start a fire and cook it. It doesn't matter where you are, making a fire requires patience. Let's try a little trick. I've got a water bottle and a memo from the dean telling me to come up to his office for a little talk. It'll make good tinder.

If I don't look past my circumstances, I'll never see the things I need to help me through this nightmarish struggle for survival. I just found a big piece of rubber, but there's a guy from the Chem department who wants it bad.

Tomorrow I'm outta here. I'll just go down there. Every square mile has its own unique life to it. Campus survival is intimidating. But the rule is, never give up. There's always a way out. You just have to resign yourself and never take the bait. Better yet, stay far away.

oct 07 2018, 6:32 am

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