Thursday, March 17, 2011

Real Goddamned Mail. Jerkface Edition.

  • I don't like the current header for the page.
  • I don't think you should argue with people on the blog. You're supposed to be above it all.
  • Your goal as moderator is to inspire discussion, not shut it down.
  • I don't like the current background image. I can't even tell what it is.
  • You should not change the background of the page so often. I'd just gotten used to it and now it's different. Branding, people. It's always branding.
  • I'm not sure I always get the humor on this site. If you want to reach a lot of people, you might consider more mainstream remarks and references.
  • I'm a parent of a college student and I hope that you are not a professor at his school. You're a jerkface.
  • I wish that the most popular writers could have their posts always at the top of the page. I get sick of scrolling over the dumb stories.
  • I wish you wouldn't link to articles at other magazines. If I wanted to read CNN or something I would do it. I don't need you telling me there's information there that I should click to read.
  • You should consider developing more writers so that it's not the same people sending in things all the time.
  • I don't know why you even allow Commenter A to be a part of your blog. He's a complete idiot.
  • If it wasn't for Commenter A, I'd never read this shitty page. He's the only one who seems to understand what's wrong with you all.
  • I posted Xxxxxxxx yesterday and then some other people posted right on top of me. I mean it was only a few minutes after I posted. So, could you move my post to the top tomorrow and leave it there all day?
  • I posted something two days ago and only got 5 comments. Can you repost it so that more people see it and write about it?
  • Do you submit the best posts of the day to the Chronicle or something? You should consider that. I wrote Xxxxxxxxx last week and I think it was pretty good. Maybe you'd like to send it to the Chronicle for them to link to it. I'd be happy to find you a name.
  • The font on the page is too small. I'm one of those sliverbacks you like to make fun of, and I need reading glasses even for my Kindle. I don't want to work so hard.
  • I used to read this page but I don't anymore.


  1. Such an eloquent parent. I assume his/her kid had other, better models of linguistic expression; otherwise the student would never have made it past the SAT.

  2. Leslie! I hope you get as big a chuckle out of the mail as we do. It's hilarious what kinds of complaints you get. It blows my mind.


  3. I'd reply to every email with this: "Feel free to change the channel."

  4. Did he really type "sliverbacks"? God, you cannot make that shit up.

    I'm glad people care enough about the page to make suggestions, but, seriously, they should start their own sites with all of their insight and knowledge.

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  7. Well, it's true, Cassandra. A few of you lot ARE phenomenal jerks and little bitches. For example, chap called Crazy Prof or similar, posted remarkably unsubtle insinuations about the women he teaches or works with sucking or riding their way to good grades and paycheques... without any shred of evidence whatsoever. And not only did none of you call him out on it -- in fact, the woman who glories in being a very butch-looking het female came and gave lots of sympathetic advice to this poor man who hadn't a vagina his boss could make intimate use of -- you lot even royally ignored commenters who did. It leads one to think: how low will you sink for greater numbers?

    And then there was a line in an old post about an Indian slacker student taking time off for Eid, and one seasoned poster was all, 'OMG this is a lie because he's Indian and Eid is a Muslim holiday!' Then some other fool came along and said stentoriously, 'But there ARE Muslims in India'. And it was as a revelation unto all. I mean, for college faculty in the social sciences not to realise the world's third largest Muslim population resides in India, and has led to a large number of case studies for current global governance theories... well, it goes to show that a great number of you are just as ignorant, shallow, and arrogantly self-absorbed as the students you supposedly suffer.

    All in all, except about two of the older lot, CM appears to be a distinct bunch of bitter, ill-informed, and intellectually limited second-string teachers, for students who can't afford better.

  8. Rimi, reduce your dosage immediately. I think you're getting too much of something.

  9. Rimi--Am I a little bitch? Or a phenomenal jerk? I aspire to both of these, please let me know ASAP. (I only ask that you refrain from the use of "c--t". Thanks kindly.)

  10. Rimi: Why are you here? (Answer: you're a jerkface.)

    Leslie K: Who is commentator A? Enquiring minds!

  11. Okay, let's start the countdown until MOTHER erases RIMI from the comments. It's a shame. Rimi speaks truth to power, and this dying-website won't even recognize their sad-sack-faces in that stunning and brilliant SMACKUP!

  12. I meant my criticism honestly, and with sincerity. Still waiting for RIMI and me to be deleted...
    ... waiting,
    and, duh, winning!

  13. I was pleased when "douchebag" made a comeback as an insult. "Jerkface" is fantastic. That was a favorite of mine when I was but a wee small beaker.

  14. As much as Rimi overstates (with high emotion) his concerns, it is interesting to hear them. I hope he understands that there is a very wide range of types who read and post here (see the email comments to the moderator).

    Some of us are second-string, some are angry, some are quite pleased with our professions. I think the strength here is that we get to hear from *all* types (imagine if only admins posted here, it would all be roses and cheerleader-speak).

    Sure, most of us would react to Rimi by saying "he's a jerk", but he clearly has some issues he wants to express, it doesn't hurt to listen.

    And, to Rimi, I personally do not know the Muslim fractions in various countries. So I would make similar mistakes. We had a discussion of topics like the Doppler effect, where we have demonstrated that not all of us could beat Watson on Jeopardy. Not knowing everything does not make most the readers here complete idiots.

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  16. [above removed because of a couple of stupid typing errors, which made me feel vulnerable given the context]
    @Rimi: your rant shows some lack of reading comprehension, I think (but I don't have time to go back and search for the relevant posts, since, bad teacher that I am, I'm busy reading student papers). However, it does have the virtue of at least attempting to adduce evidence, which I appreciate. My objection to the parent quoted above was that (s)he was attempting to criticize a group of college professors by using a form of "argument" -- name-calling -- which, as Ben points out, is more appropriate (if anywhere) on an elementary-school playground.

    And yep, BlackDog does enjoy playing around with gender identity and its construction; it appears to be both a personal and professional interest, which is appropriate given her field(s) of study. It's also clear that she knows quite well where the boundaries of acceptable behavior, in the classroom and in other professional contexts, lie (while it sounds like some of her more hetero-normative colleagues don't). If she suggested anything that goes beyond those boundaries, I strongly suspect it was tongue-in-cheek. I know she doesn't need defending -- she can do that perfectly well herself -- but something in the way you wrote "the woman who glories in being a very butch-looking het female" made it sound like a bad thing, rather than a neutral description. I suspect it was the "glories in" part, which, to me at least, comes uncomfortably close to the "why do they have to advertise it?" complaint in reference to gay couples who want to, say, be able to mention their partners in casual conversation, or hold hands in public, or keep each others' pictures on their desks at work.

    P.S. I'm a practicing Christian and a member of a humanities discipline, but I (1) know what the Eids are and (2) would be unsurprised to have a student of Indian descent, or in fact of any ethnicity (one of the fastest-growing ethnic groups among Muslims in my area is Hispanics, mostly due to conversion/intermarriage) ask to take one of them off. I suspect that most people here are similarly informed -- and at least, as honest_prof points out, those who aren't learned something from the exchange (you know, sort of like when a student in class says something ignorant, and the whole class learns when the teacher gently corrects him/her. We may not always be gentle, but misinformation does tend to get corrected, usually pretty quickly).

    I also know enough about conversations within the Muslim community to be just as hard on a student who's falling behind because (s)he's partying too hard after dark during Ramadan as on a student who thinks she should get a "religious observance" pass to take off Good Friday in order to go Easter-dress shopping with her mother (real case from way back, and I really had to bite my tongue on that one, since it's my own tradition, and I have some pretty clear ideas of what does and doesn't constitute an appropriate "observance" of Good Friday). Students don't always understand the difference between religious observances and secular cultural traditions surrounding religious holidays, and, while I'm inclined to let the student be the expert on his/her own tradition (whether or not I share it), I also think professors have some right to interrogate "religious" excuses which seem to ignore such distinctions, as long as they can do so in an informed way, and with an eye to genuinely learning what/how the student is thinking.

  17. Nat, I couldn't help but notice, with a GREAT deal of amusement, that you think only 'jerkfaces' would read your cherished site. Your poor inadvertant clown. English IS your mother-tongue, isn't it? It isn't mine.

    And that, cupcake, is terribly telling. Of your quality as a college professor.

  18. Geez, I remember everybody piling on crazyprof like a ton of bricks myself, and calling him out on his misogyny, both times he tried it. I can't remember if I commented myself but if I didn't it was because I thought it had been well handled by everyone else already.

    No idea what rimi's so angry about, though. If you don't like the blog why are you reading it?

  19. It's way too easy to say "start your own blog" or "read somewhere else". This sounds to me like "you don't like the laws in this country, move to another". Certainly we can come up with a better solution than to push individuals with different opinions out.

  20. Is there any way we can make Rimi the new moderator?

  21. Well, it is a free country - or so I hear - and I suppose Rimi is free to come here and shit on the folks who traffic this blog.

    But, I could do the same on a blog for tennis players, a sport I have no respect for. (Ping pong for actives?) But I wouldn't. The rules of the CM community are pretty clear, and I don't mind at all if Leslie K puts a stop to this shit.

    These comments in this particular thread are for discussion and comment about the post that they appear under. They aren't being used for that. And that's a shame.

    I always love "real goddamned mail." Thanks for sharing the recent doozies, Leslie K.

  22. Thanks for sharing the 'flakery with us--always a fun read!

  23. I completely missed the deliciousness of the last entry the first time I read through the list. Beautiful.

    I used to read this page but I don't anymore.

  24. Does anyone else feel like they are right in the classroom, dealing with a disgruntled student that is acting out to get attention?

  25. Hey Rimi, you're a hypocrite and a moron.

    Have a look at how Rimi actually responded to crazyprof's "unsubtle insinuations:"

  26. I suppose I figure trollishness has its place in a thread responding to email complaints. I mean, where else would a troll feel at home? To everything its place.

  27. How appropriate for a day when belligerence is even more accepted as a form of social interaction than usual...

    To Leslie: Sláinte.

  28. Sorry, but I don't believe Leslie copied these verbatim.

    "So, could you move my post to the top tomorrow and leave it there all day?"

    That's just a little tooooo slimy. Oh, I believe the context is accurate, but I think that in tweaking to maintain anonymity, some exaggeration got out of control...

    Nevertheless: LESLIE K STAY STRONG!

  29. Love these, Leslie K. So are you going to move my post to the top and leave it there all day, or what?

    I even love the fact that Rimi seems to think that proffies should be the be-all and end-all of all information and knowledge. Personally, I could use a student who thinks I am all knowing and never make mistakes. It helps my god complex.

    I love this blog BECAUSE people recognize that there are other like-minded academics in the world. A little empathy goes a long way to reducing my daily meltdown.

    I don't think Rimi needs to go elsewhere, but it would sure make my life easier if s/he either (a) expected us to be perfect; or (b) expected us to be jerkfaced idiots, instead of implying we are both at the same time.

  30. I have come to prefer "Bridge Substructure Symbionts" to "trolls"

  31. FYI, Samantha, if you're still reading this site, I miss your cartoons!

  32. Dear God. Rimi brought out all the trolls, or all the sockpuppets, or whatever they are. OK, let's do it: this is the TROLL THREAD. Troll away, but leave the rest of the threads alone, 'kay? That way you can have a little nasty-party room in the compound and the rest of it will stay tidy.

  33. @Leslie K: I think you're doing a fine job, and I don't think there's anything wrong with you commenting too. When, however, you speak of your "fondest memories of undergrad days concerning gifted lecturers 'pontificating' me into a sublime fullness," I think, "Hmmm..." :-)

  34. I think people are being just a bit sensitive. I posted some articles griping about some students (like we all do). But, because they happen to be female then that makes me a misogynist?

    That's like the student who says "You failed me 'cause I'm black."


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