Monday, March 22, 2010

Why I hate academics

Good moooooorning, everyone! And by "everyone," I mean all 2 of you who read this.

You might be wondering (as I am) what the hell I'm doing up at 6:30 in the morning. Well, I'll tell you. I actually got up at 4:30 as part of my attempt to write a "first draft" (due at 7:30 this evening) of this undergrad "thesis" I have due at the beginning of May. If you can't tell how well it's going, here's a hint: I'm writing a blog entry at 6:30 AM and just procrastinated for a good 20 minutes by going through a yoga routine. I'm on my third cup of coffee. You do the math.

"Well," you might say to yourself, "why don't you just stop whining and fucking write your paper already?" Good question! I'll tell you that, too. Because some idiotic part of my brain decided it was interested in studying tourism in Cape Breton, and I'm sitting here surrounded by 21+ sources, most of which I have at least perused if not pored over. And let me tell you something. Tourism studies DO NOT MAKE ANY SENSE. I'm pretty sure a bunch of bored academics got together and went "Hey, let's confuse the hell out of people with theories that run themselves in circles, and let's write articles that decide to take POSTMODERN THEORY and apply it to TOURISTS."

What. The fuck? I'm generally fairly good at understanding fluffy, esoteric ideas that are floating around in the middle of nowhere and bear little to no significance to most people's lives. But read through enough of this stuff, and it's almost a guarantee that you will go brain-dead. The problem is, I know exactly what I want to say about tourism in Cape Breton because I think most of the people who've studied heritage tourism are disgruntled old fogies who hate everything. But trying to couch what I'm saying in terms of what's already been said (which every good aspiring academic is supposed to do) is impossible because I can't understand half of their arguments. Well, it's more like I understand them in the most abstract way possible, but trying to put them into my own words without cherry-picking quotes from every single article is proving impossible.

Why can't people just learn to write in a manner that makes sense? In a way that makes their thinking clear and accessible to everyone? There needs to be reform in academia...because, let's be honest, who's going to bother with most of this stuff? Sure, the theory can be interesting, but if you write about it in a way that's comprehensible to no one except you and your cohorts that are pretending to understand you to avoid looking bad...what's the point?

I don't mean to denounce every scholar who's every published anything. But I do mean to denounce the ivory-towered folks who cater to their own kind and dismiss the rest of the population as plebeians. You know they're out there. And apparently half of them have decided to write articles about tourism.


  1. Academic arrogance is one of those things that I am beginning to increasingly dislike. And that kind of uber-academic writing is, I think, just a cover-up for their lack of REAL communication skills.

  2. I am an academic (in the UK) and I AGREE. I am sick of this stupid theory-based language...if you don't cite this theory or that theory then it is not academic enough..what the HELL! What happened to original thinking where someone can look at something and say something valid without fearing a ton of academic bricks because they 'forgot' to reference some boring fart no-one has ever heard of and no-one SHOULD ever hear of...It's all a game and the terrible thing is everyone is being conned into playing it. Just look at the groaning shelves of libraries filled with the literary diarrhoea of the academic world - produced by people frightened of not being seen as 'productive'... rant over.. :)