I wonder why there are so many people nowadays who are falling all over themselves in their efforts to tell academics how to do our job. A while ago, there was a profoundly silly article in The New York Times by Dr. Pippin of Chicago U who decided to educate scholars of literature about the many things we supposedly do wrong. Still, Pippin is at least an academic, albeit one who is completely ignorant of how literary criticism works. Recently, I discovered that failed academics who have had to drop out of academia also often like to preach to their more successful colleagues about what we do wrong.
Last week, I stumbled on a blog post suggesting that academics who blog anonymously betray the interests of our educational institutions and of the general public. The author of the blog kept insisting that it's my obligation to post under my own name. Of course, I find it ridiculous that people I don't even know would tell me what my obligations are to my employer and my readers. And especially to "the general public," since I don't know what that even is. Figuring out what my real name is from this blog is a matter of two minutes at most. However, whether to mention it or not and when is nobody's business but mine.
Obviously, I wanted to find out what kind of a name this blogger (who knows what all academics should be doing and is pretty vocal about it) has been able to make for themselves. What I discovered was that this person is so passionately opposed to other people's blogging anonymity simply because they have never managed to make their own name mean anything in academia. This individual hasn't been able to make it in the academic world (which is nothing to be ashamed of, as long as it doesn't transform into annoying preachiness), so now their job is to write online and for all kinds of conservative foundations about how the academics are the devil. In short, a case of sour grapes of humongous proportions.
The problem with this tendency to dump on academics is that we have to go back into the classroom on Monday and we need our students to trust us and respect us. We need to be empowered in our fight with the administrators. What we don't need is to read yet another contemptuous and condescending article or blog post telling us how we have no idea what we are doing and how we are wrong about pretty much everything.