Pimp Gets Bitch-Slapped

Watching a pimp get bitch-slapped can be funny. But watching that pimp cry for forgiveness afterwards can be pretty upsetting to watch.

I’ve said before the academic ghetto (composed of the humanities, International Relations, and other old boys networks) is a place of low-employment and low-wages. There are four types of people in the academic ghetto:

1. Pimps (professors at research universities) who run the game
2. Escapees (graduates who leave the field but use their skills) who are about to get out
3. Losers, like non-tenture track teachers, those sucked into the system until their time, youth, and money desert them, and
4. Disaster tourists, who get a thrill out of the place

Pimps are in a zero-sum competition with each other. For one pimp’s old boy network to thrive, another has to fall. Thus, the ghetto is a place of violence, where pimps will attack each other for seeming ridiculous reasons. But being in a zero, the reason isn’t ridiculous: it’s because taking down someone else is the only way for your own friends to be successful.

An example of this was at The Duck of Minerva, a blog dedicated to celebrating one alley in the academic ghetto (International Relations). A humorous post on identifying and infiltrating old boys networks by a professor at a research university, Brian Rathburn, entitled “Intellectual Jailbait: Networking at APSA” was taken down, all comments on that post were deleted ,Brian was forced to issue a self-criticism, Brian’s post became a non-entity (substantively replaced by Steve Saideman‘s post “Networking is Hard Work“), and two thinly veiled attacks on Brian were posted, (Daniel Nexon‘s “Sexual Harassment in Political Science and International Studies and Laura Sjoberg‘s Let’s talk about sex). .

But it was Brian’s post, his self-criticism, which was hurtful and upsetting. Because while I view pimps fronting each other as a natural part of life in the ghetto — and in my experience, the academic ghetto is so intellectually and and self-referential that it’s the perfect breeding ground for mob outrage — its obvious that Brian is a transgressive thinker who has learned the art of strategic cowardice. This is doubtless necessary for someone in the humanities ghetto — an individual capable of saying his own thoughts in International Relations is in a situation slightly less precarious than a comedian in North Korea — but it’s still upsetting, painful, and sickening to watch.

If you are young and thinking of entering the humanities ghetto — don’t. If you’re already there — run.

7 thoughts on “Pimp Gets Bitch-Slapped”

  1. If only cowards actually got just desserts.

    Of course, when cowardice is rewarded, its value naturally rises.

    That cowardice’s value can be artificially inflated is not a great argument about the worthlessness of cowardice, unfortunately. In fact, I’m not altogether certain that today’s environments, in general, in any way promote the idea that cowardice is a negative attribute or a detriment.

    There may however be something positive to say about psychopathy—after all.

  2. Reminds me of our Twitter discussion about the fact that the academic ghetto disciplines tend to be those in which mistakes don’t matter much. On-the-job mistakes in those ghetto disciplines are not dangerous. This opens the door for so much activity that is relatively silly—and for the invention of abstract “dangers” down every path; thus, also opening the door for mob outrage, collective circling of wagons; etc. (Incidentally, that last metaphor brought to mind the Shyamalan movie The Village…)

  3. I’m guessing we are about to see what happens when the pimps join to slap down the bitch-goddess War. (IR wonks currently salivating over having “learned lessons” from Bush/Saddam—many having since done a collectivist 180 after seeing their cohorts do same!)

  4. At the end of August, Dan Nexon (the founder of Duck of Minerva, who was one of the centers of the controversy surrounding the feminist riot at Duck) announced he would step down from the group blog following a few posts on a symposium that was about to start. So far he’s kept his word.

    Coincidentally or not, this nonsense coincidences with the silencing of yet another blogger. Too bad.


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