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Crooked Timber and Me

My previous post has sparked its own little feeding frenzy in the Comments section of Crooked Timber's original we've-been-sniped acknowledgment. Apparently, Scott McLemee is not, in fact, a professor of any kind, nor does he even have a BA. Someone … Read More

By / February 18, 2007

My previous post has sparked its own little feeding frenzy in the Comments section of Crooked Timber's original we've-been-sniped acknowledgment. Apparently, Scott McLemee is not, in fact, a professor of any kind, nor does he even have a BA. Someone called Henry writes:

It would have taken about 10 seconds Googling to discover that Scott has never held an academic position, and is rather an independent writer, critic, and recipient of the National Book Critics Circle’s Nona Balakian prize. This is surely the kind of intellectual laziness that annoyed Scott so much in the first place. I’ve seen Scott in reviewing mode – he takes a lot of time to write a several hundred word review b/c he takes care to do a lot of real research reading through the secondary literature on the subject of the review. He simply wouldn’t treat a topic that he was writing about with the sloppy incuriousness that these folks have displayed.

Sorry I didn't Google McLemee. I might have just contacted Henry, who appears to be his press agent. Nevertheless, can I plead that my generalization about the cultural condition of academic bloggers was so willfully over-the-top that I figured the trope to be obvious?

My generalization about the cultural condition of young Jewish writers was so willfully over-the-top that I figured the trope to be obvious, and it certainly will be so to any smart yJw’s who happen to read it.

Anyway, turns out Weiss took high school Latin, so I take it all back. He should be careful about figural language however. Referring to my display of “symposium bathroom break erudition” might be taken to imply that Movable Snipe is a urinal cake of wannabe hipsterism. And that would not be good.

That's McLemee defending his weird non-observation about the state of Jewish intellectual and prose standards, which Movable Snipe evidently inspired him to make.

I never took high school Latin, though I'm disappointed to see myself being misquoted by someone with such bruited rigorous research skills. Swapping "erudition" in for "pedantry" — my high school Intro to Freud class might have termed that "projection."

Anyway, "urinal cake of wannabe hipsterism" made it all worthwhile for me.

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