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Um, the Inutility of Academic Drivel in Diurnal Existence


Fuckin failures in a country of failures. Its nae good blamin it oan the English fir colonising us. Ah don’t hate the English. They’re just wankers. We are colonised by wankers. We can’t even pick a decent, vibrant healthy society to be colonised by. No… we are ruled by effete arseholes. What does that make us? The lowest of the low, the scum of the earth. The most wretched servile, miserable, pathetic trash that was ever shat intae creation. Ah don't hate the English. They just git oan wis the shite thev got. Ah hate the Scots.
Irvine Welsh, Trainspotting


Um, the Inutility of Academic Drivel in Diurnal Existence
Choose one

If you were given Irvine Welsh’s Trainspotting and Theda Skocpol’s States and Social Revolutions‎, what would you choose? Consider you know these books but you have not read them. As separate as they are as in Scots and Americans, still, both of them would be no wrong choice.Trainspotting is real, States and Revolutions is equally real but it lacks the basic punch. It is not Skocpol’s fault but is of the entire academic world.

Your choice would offer some insight into what we are interested here. The uselessness of highbrow — I mean educated, academic writing and brazenly formal bibliographic attempts as a whole — is so apparent in our daily life. Ironically, despite its ubiquity, it hardly matters in our everyday life. What is so important in life, anyway? Oh, goats, deliver us from all those epiphanic words and one page-long sentences and jibber-jabber shits. We can somehow try to be more real.  

FAULT LINE OF OUR BASIC ASSUMPTION

If you believe only the learned and erudite folks of the human race are capable of influencing popular attitudes and social behaviours, then the case ends here. I presume, then, you might as well want to fall in love with the Noam Chomskys, the Slavoj Žižeks, the Emma Goldmans and their ilk.

This starts crossing all boundaries of absurdity when the lesser mortals try too hard. This is most visible in their use of funny suffixes that are added to all kinds of noun. And more conspicuous in the words and works of the those folks other than Chomsky and Žižeks.

Sample this chalk-and-blackboard-reeking word: Politicality. A politician sounds more familiar with an ian, which is again taken from Latin anus. (That politicians are the class of real anus makes more sense).

This is just a random selection. We can find them using such words galore. It is amusing to listen to the university teachers in our town. If you know what I mean. It is amazing to count the number of those fancy as much as rib-tickling words: a boustrophedonistic writing, the pandiculation after a hard night’s drinking, the dread of formication (with an ‘m’, not an ‘n’); the prattle-prattle can go on endlessly.    

MISAPPROPRIATION OF CONSTRUCTION

Of the entire half-read books I have, I see no wonder most of them fall into academic genre. Would you be willing to start a movement to prompt these authors to be less boring, if not interesting? On the other hand, there are as well issues of the futility of their, you know, master reading and oratory and writing powers in a backward region, like my hometown. Those are, ironically, most evident in dust-laden hardbacks on the shelves of some rare, yet deserted public libraries. And in some undocumented conferences and talking shops. Nothing counts in regions, read our native place in a corner of pseudo-democratic India, which has been bogged down by multiple identity issues. I stand by my words at the cost of being labelled an uncultured, subtlety-challenged person, with an obsession for colloquial language.   

Um, the Inutility of Academic Drivel in Diurnal Existence

In academe, all you want to say should start with an assumption that you can talk over, you know. Question it before stating it in the longest way possible. Who would even want that, by the way? Stop academic chicanery and be more objective. We can be more real, live happier, read happier, listen happier, see happier. Not all is in the books. This is even more apparent in a system where rote learning can take you anywhere; even if all the national reputed universities and institutes (read JNUs, IIMs and IIT) are at the top of the list, only when we turn the global ranking upside down.

GRAY AREAS BETWEEN THE PAGES

We can keep scientific studies a little apart but research in humanities is just like a religion. We have some insight how a phenomena has been created but we cannot go beyond it, just like gods prohibiting any knowledge beyond its dubious existence. Most of the understanding has their premises on theories that we can never consider them complete. Take, state formation, for example. No more we need creating facts after facts that are best used only in classrooms.

Even the most rational science is subject to change because it is so relative vis-à-vis our understanding of the universe. The ethereal nature of our understanding makes the academics so redundant. Anybody who has studied moral science in their high school know as much as them, though there might be slight contrast between their experiences. Precisely, our knowledge is limited with just the understanding of time and space.

It is unbelievable that knowledge could drive a wedge between do-knows and don-not-knows. If nothing else, it lays bare in a thick jungle of words or abstract mathematical symbols.

At the cost of earning another label of ill-mannered retard, I stand for what I have to say in lowly colloquial rants. No matter how hard we try, simplicity remains the ultimate sophistication. I stand against simplicity-challenged academics. We can see quite comprehensively, the complexity in the inutility of academic drivel in diurnal existence, on one hand. Simplicity, on the other, is evident in living mindful of the surroundings, found in simple things. In this restraint lies the option between ‘Trainspotting’ and ‘States and Revolution’. I suggest, you should read both of them, but demand not the title of a bookworm idiot.

Be someo yourself.      

Um, the Inutility of Academic Drivel in Diurnal Existence


Just found!
I found three interesting pieces today (updated on 25 Feb 2014)
Image by Peter Griffin from Publicdomainpictures.net

by Joshua Rothman, The New Yorker 
“Academic prose is, ideally, impersonal, written by one disinterested mind for other equally disinterested minds. But, because it’s intended for a very small audience of hyper-knowledgeable, mutually acquainted specialists, it’s actually among the most personal writing there is. If journalists sound friendly, that’s because they’re writing for strangers. With academics, it’s the reverse.”

by Nicholas Kristof, the New York Times 
“Professors today have a growing number of tools available to educate the public, from online courses to blogs to social media. Yet academics have been slow to cast pearls through Twitter and Facebook. Likewise, it was TED Talks by nonscholars that made lectures fun to watch...”

by Erik Voeten, The Washington Post 
“...the piece is just a merciless exercise in stereotyping. It’s like saying that op-ed writers just get their stories from cab drivers and pay little or no attention to facts. There are hundreds of academic political scientists whose research is far from irrelevant and who seek to communicate their insights to the general public via blogs, social media, op-eds, online lectures and so on.”

Comments

  1. amusing to listen to the university teachers... hehe so true

    you really write on some interesting topics.. its a treat to read such articles...
    I think most of us are victims of stereotypedness..
    just spitting out the same crap some other person has said or done somewhere else..

    Someday I'd like to read Trainspotting.. I've only seen the movie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It sure is amusing, but there is some blatant redundancy in their approach. It is intolerable at times. Their long drawn out methods with no sense of originality is pathetic. In fact, there are some people who insist only on formal academic way to understand the issues. They drove me to write this piece. Yet, I'm reassured again how biased can I get, which I can sense myself.

      Do read 'Trainspotting'.

      Delete

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