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Thursday, February 28, 2019

Whackademia: The Absurd Professor

     At first blush, one might consider the politically radical professor as someone who dangerously poisons the minds of vulnerable, easily influenced college students. In reality, except for wasting their tuition money, these academic fanatics are nothing but grandstanding fools looking for attention. Take University of California at Davis professor and poet Joshua Clover. Dr. Clover, an academic in the oddly combined disciplines of political theory, political economy, poetry, poetics, and Marxism, has been calling attention to himself by making outlandish statements regarding his hatred of police officers. He is probably a member of the only profession that would tolerate such irresponsible, foolish rhetoric.

     In November 2014, after officer Darren Wilson was appropriately cleared of wrongdoing in the police-involved shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, Clover tweeted, "I am thankful that every living cop will one day be dead, some by their own hand, some by others, too many of old age." A month later the professor was at it again with this tweet: "I mean, it's easier to shoot cops when their backs are turned, no?"

     In an interview published in January 2016 in The California Aggie, Professor Clover was quoted as saying, "People think that cops need to be reformed. They need to be killed. I think we can all agree that the most effective way to end any violence against officers is the complete and immediate abolition of the police." (Great, if an armed intruder breaks into my house in the middle of the night I'll call a poet.)

     I imagine that most of Professor Clover's adoring students are future radical academic poets who will probably turn out to be as ridiculous and irrelevant as he is.

     This is how it goes in the protected world of the pontificating academic fanatic. Moreover, in whackademia, it seems that the crazier the professor, the more renowned and expensive the school.


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