The snake-oil standard, and on giving

Read this, which explains many things including Reeducation — it as snake oil, its anti-intellectualism — and also the current academia. Key in the piece is that snake oil is widely preferred over science, and people who would side with science are a minority. It is clear that I should stop believing I am insane or inferior or hurtful to others, and realize I am merely in the minority that sides with science.

The reason I do not like the current academia, or the fact that there is a separate world called “academia,” is that it is so often not an intellectual or scholarly venue, but pretends to be one. I dislike manipulation generally, and I dislike that manipulation in particular. One of my friends on Facebook is being excoriated by academics and leftists because he is enjoying being home in Brooklyn after a harrowing semester in the rural outpost where he works. If he were a good academic, they are telling him, he would prefer that place, and if he were a real leftist, he would not be as enamored of urban life as he is: the true American people, with whom he should identify, are at suburban Wal*Marts and he should “respect” that. This is ludicrous: “respect” as a substitute for analysis or action.

I am trying to be a good Maringouin person but I had a full blown anxiety attack today about being here and I have been exhausted from it since. The issue, once again, is that I was not cut out to be a nurse, and academia is like nursing: you tend to impaired patients and you are patient with the delusional, and you serve, and serve, and serve. I did not know this. I was warned I would have to do research, but if I had been told I would be a nurse in the service of a corporation and its bottom line then yes, I would have done something else. I do have a great deal of respect for the kind of education that is social work and the people who do it. Had I wanted to do that I would have done so at home and with an organization of my choice, not move around the country in search of an alleged research job.

This has to do with the post I lost a few weeks ago, on giving. If you are going to give, and give, and give again, you must have steady sources of nourishment as well as a great store of resources. I have always been told I had an unfair amount of personal resources, good genes, high energy. I should give and give and give and give because that was my duty and role. But the fact is that I never was Maecenas, and my blood is thin now from having been donated so much and so often. I am afraid of being in Maringouin because here is where they lay me on a table, stick needles into me and take whatever plasma I have almost before it is produced.

In sum, I am so traumatized by this institution and by another purveyor of snake oil I worked for that I am having great difficulty today not just running away or running into traffic; I fear the upcoming term very greatly. I keep trying to remember that I have more power than I believe, and that I should take authority. I should tell the university that things are going to be as I say, and that they must be quiet.


2 thoughts on “The snake-oil standard, and on giving

  1. Last night I was hearing complaints from people about having to deal all the time with damaged people and how this state of affairs is even driving those who can afford to leave their jobs out of the service professions. This is a crisis.

    1. Yes. The thing is that I am not trained in dealing with the damaged. How to manage a classroom with autistic students when it is confidential that they are autistic … but they tell you and if you are fortunate there are some parents of autistic students there, who have gotten some training, but if not, you cannot get support because you are not supposed to know?

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