A while back (as in, I wrote this blog post hot, but didn’t post it straight away because I don’t want to commit “career” suicide) I attended back-to-back zoom meetings.
The first promised to be on a crucial question about how we respond to escalating social, political and environmental crises. All the right theorists got cited. All the right lines got trotted out. Over 50 minutes, we were given a detailed, coherent and cogent analysis of how and why we as a species are screwed. Then there was two minutes of a shopping list (six items, so, would go through the basket lane) of “what is to be done?” An admission that the question of WHO was going to do this was not on the table.
Holy mother of god. START THERE. START AT THE FIFTY MINUTE POINT. WHAT IS THE MATTER WITH YOU?
Then it was off to a different seminar, that I went to because I was interested in the topic (I won’t say what – “career” suicide and all) but because I was assured that the format was interactive and innovative.
So, even though we only had 15 people present, there was no introductions. Nope, we had one person talking about a paper. Then we had someone else talking about the paper. Then we had someone talking about another paper. Then we had someone else talking about that paper. Then we had the author talking about the paper. By now we were 45 minutes in. Then, rather than open it to the floor, the chair of the meeting (male, since you asked), decided to ask his own questions.
HOLY MOTHER OF GOD. IN WHAT BLOODY UNIVERSE IS THAT ANYTHING OTHER THAN THE MOST STALE FORMAT IMAGINABLE?
What do academics think of themselves? Where do they get these ridiculous notions that they are anything other than bees following a genetic script. Buzz buzz buzz. Why can’t they see themselves and their entrapment in comforting soothing rituals?
These are all rhetorical questions, btw.