03 January 2006

The tale of two professors

Andrew Ian Dodge unearthed (how does he do it?) a tale of two professors. By itself it may be just a bit exceptional, compared to the regular backstabbing, skulking behind the rostrum, poisoning the references academic behavior.

So what: one professor (rightie) hates the guts of another professor (leftie) and dedicates a blog to express his feelings in a form that, being a lawyer, he promises not to be libelous in any way. So far so good. I had me a good satisfactory laugh and was already going to forget the whole story, when something on the second (Brian Leiter) prof's blog caught my eye. It is a poem "Magdalena" by Maurice Leiter (relative of the prof?) . Judging by the repeated appearances of the "Friday Poem" rubric with a poem by the same author, it is somewhat of a permanent feature on this blog.

The poem is a pearl of the leading edge progressive liberal thought, and presents a delicious mix of that thought with a itsy bitsy capitalist satisfaction of an employer watching, liking and being proud of... his domestic help.

Bending at the hip
she wipes the toilet seat
Then on her knees
Washes out the bowl
I wonder at her speed...

An then - the RAPTURE. The leading edge progressive liberal breaks the ancient chains of Das Kapital and hands the said help not only a "gift of cash" "out of obligation, yet striving to be kind", but also... oh my, oh my, I do not believe it... a book by Pablo Neruda (the help is Chilean, you see).


Our flabber is gasted. What can one say in view of such revolutionary act?

Well, only to inquire (humbly) that a) maybe the maid in question would prefer another "gift of cash" to the book of Neruda and b) maybe she knows Neruda's verses by heart already, in her native Spanish to boot or c) maybe she does not give a shit about Neruda or d) maybe a+b+c?

And, since we are into inquiries business, how about this:

Why does the learned professor post such obvious dreck, instead of asking his relative to bend at the hip and wipe the toilet seat and wash the toilet bowl himself? It may do him no end of good, we believe.

P.S. I have done my best to detect a tiniest bit of irony in the discussed verse before posting this, believe me. Probably, it is just not my ironing day...