Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Big Thirsty On the Seven Deadly Sins And Which Ones You're Most Guilty of Having, Or Showing, As a Colleague, I Mean, And Don't Worry That Some of the Sins Seem Absolutely Identical. Just Play Along.

Q: Which of the seven deadly sins (or 7 Capital Vices) are you most guilty of as a colleague?

Your choices? wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony.


  1. Avicenna's book on medicine has a section on diseases of the rich and diseases of the poor. Is a typical academic capable of gluttony, given his salary?

  2. Mine's wrath; I get seriously pissed off at colleagues and admins waaaay too often. But I'm really good at hiding it. So it's killing me in two ways. Good times.

  3. for years it was wrath--but as logic and insight are met with indifference, I've learned not to care. So now it's sloth. Just where the bastards want me--wait,that seems like anger. I want it to be sloth, seriously.

  4. wrath: Nope, not enough power. I figure there's no need to be angry if I can't act to change it.

    greed: I take what I can. Does that make me bad?

    Sloth: No again. Don't get me wrong, I would have a sloth but I don't think they make great pets. I do have a little dog that my wife makes me walk every night. For that, I am ashamed.

    Pride: Like a lion.

    Lust: As the Kool Aid Man says, "Oh, YEAH!"

    envy: I hang out witha bunch of losers. I don't want anything they've got.

    gluttony: On my way to the campus dining hall for all you can eat biscuits and gravy. 'Nuff said.

  5. All of them, at one time or another. Of course, in an academic context these sins mean something different than they did when St Augustine was expanding upon them.

    Wrath: If you haven't felt that during a faculty meeting, or a meeting with the deans, then you either aren't paying attention or you've totally checked out.

    Greed: Wait, there's a $2,500 research account bump I can get for abusing some freshmen? Where do I sign up? (like many sins, this is one you'll regret later).

    Sloth: I'll grade those papers later... much later.

    Pride: "Seriously, motherfucker, have you looked at my CV lately?" (This one often follows closely on the heels of wrath).

    Lust: Ooooo, that grad student is a smarty pants. I want him/her for my lab/advisee. (This one is most removed from its real world counterpart, and yet the sublimation is just so fucking hard to deny).

    Envy: Seriously? That fucker won a Guggenheim? Why haven't I won a Guggeheim yet? It must be a conspiracy. (Bonus points if the thing you are envying is totally obscure to members of the general public).

    Gluttony: I'll take that course reduction with a side of teaching assistant for my undergraduate seminar (so that I'll never have to touch a skeevy piece of undergrad prose) please.

  6. Pride: Which is why I take on too many projects. Let's get this CV even more PUMPED UP. THEN let's see you try to deny me a fulltime spot MFers..

    Envy: See pride. I'm an adjunct so yeah, I envy the full-timers in the department.

    Sloth: I'm not the most thorough grader of term papers....

    Lust: not after the coeds. they're so young, and I am happily married.

    Gluttony: I was going to say "no" but then I thought about how I act at conferences in the book exhibit. WANT! GIMMIE GIMMIE GIMMIE! I must look like the seagulls in "Finding Nemo."

  7. Like the stages of grief, I cycle through them all, daily.

  8. Warren Zevon --still far too soon gone--said it best in "Mr. Bad Example":

    "I'm very well aquainted with the seven deadly sins

    I keep a busy schedule trying to fit them in

    I'm proud to be a glutton, and I don't have time for sloth

    I'm greedy, and I'm angry, and I don't care who I cross"

    I'll admit to taking the last Krispy Kreme...which may have been my third....but the secret of the lust will go with me to the grave!

  9. Sloth: too much time surfing and reading CM and not enough time grading.

    I wish I could say lust; it's the most fun.

  10. "Wrath" always reminds me of this, even though I know it's an entirely different word:

  11. I accuse myself of sloth pretty often, but I might just be overwhelmed. There is something to be said for a reasonable workload and a reasonable amount of time in which to accomplish it, and I can't help noticing that, under such conditions, I'm pretty energetic.

    And yes, envy and wrath -- and sometimes the latter as, at least in part, a result of the former -- do creep in.

    Despite what I suspect EMH might assume, given the fact that I'm overweight (and that he might catch me eating from the vending machine on campus now and then when all the other options are closed), I'm not much of a glutton. I'm actually pretty good at eating the right amount to maintain my weight, and most of that healthy. Given reasonable conditions (see above), I'm even pretty good at losing weight through exercise. Dieting doesn't work very well, however, since my metabolism adjusts quite quickly to reduced intake (I suspect an ancestor or three survived a famine somewhere back there, thus perpetuating genes that made the feat possible, but don't work as well in the present food-glutted first world).


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