Thursday, October 20, 2011

philosophy jobs panic

Before coming to school today (and installing my new column - check it out on Facebook!), I collected a couple days' worth of mail from our box. In it was my copy of the American Philosophical Association's Jobs for Philosophers. I'll refrain from a lengthy diatribe on the moral cesspool of the academic hustling market, because that wasn't the first thing on my mind this morning.

In fact, the first thing on my mind this morning was that the APA has finally noticed that I'm a dues-paying member. I've had a long-standing feud with the APA. I pay membership dues, and they stop sending me publications. I complain. I stop paying dues, and they start sending me publications. I don't complain. They stop. Undeterred, I continue not to pay. Coquettishly, they start sending me every other publication, leading me on, and I succumb, and pay my dues. They immediately stop sending me anything.

Yes, the APA is a filthy, and unfair, whore. But we already knew that.

(Oh, and a further diatribe on the incredibly snotty conversation I had with an APA person one year when I had - she swore, though I knew better - failed to check the box indicating I wanted to receive the JFP on my dues notice, and so, she explained, I had irrevocably refused to receive it and this problem could not be fixed until dues were paid for the following academic year.)

So, I got the JFP in the mail, which must mean I haven't paid my dues this year. It's exactly like Arthur Dent's relationship to the utilities service.

I haven't opened it yet. I've barely smelled the newsprint. It's in my backpack on the floor of my office (with newly installed column), tell-tale-hearting at me. I can't face it. When I consider applying for an academic position, I am faced with the certain futurity of my own death. Truly: for me, applying for an academic position has always been a moment of insight into the uncanny, in the Heideggerian sense - a moment of authentic Being-toward-death. So I'd much rather idly write a blog post about it...

Will my so-called academic career survive? Will I survive my so-called academic career? Will anyone survive my Bioethics class, set to begin in ten minutes' time?

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