Why Academia Sucks!

remember to thank all the books you haven´t read over the past three years

Or…in Academic Terms

The overall quiddity (sic) or, thusly, goal, as it were, to be stated, clearly and indelibly, of this exploratory blog post (ad hoc, academic text) on the issue, thereof and henceforth, at present, of the quality, or lack of henceforth, of these texts, and a further (inquisitive) discussion upon whether or not, one relatively intelligent human being (aka: Homo sapiens and in some, although minimal cases, Neanderthal and more minimally, Erectus), can, without guided expertise, focus on that and in and of itself, the material per se that the imbibed is in hope of attaining the information here and of other sources that he, or she, if so be the case, can attain.

And why that sucks.


As part of my never-ending quest to punish myself for something I did in a prior life (at this point, I think it’s possible I was Cartaphilus) I have begun working as a language editor for a few academic journals. After two weeks of reading and rereading various journal articles, I have come to the conclusion that academics are bad, bad people who want to keep all the knowledge to themselves by shrouding it in a cloud of arrogance and confusion.

What is an ‘Academic’ Text?

While editing these articles, I have made a list of warning signs that are indicative of an academic journal.

  1. Has the writer taken a relatively interesting subject and destroyed all elements of interest, enjoyable learning and entertainment? I refer the reader to any sex manual written before 1975 and anything ever written about Lyndon Johnson.
  2. Is every letter of the alphabet and eleven of the sixteen basic punctuation marks represented in every sentence?
  3. After reading a sentence several times, are you still unsure what the subject of the sentence is? Are you unsure about the existence of a subject at all? The latter arises mostly in essays on politics and philosophy.
  4. Are there more prepositions and conjunctions that in a fiery episode of Conjunction Junction?
  5. Have you been less confused watching a David Lynch film or deciphering an Andy Warhol piece?
  6. Are there adverbs?! Oh the brutally, painfully, awfully, obnoxiously, obviously compensating for a tiny-prick overuse of adverbs!


If you have answered “Oh, dear God, yes!” to any three of the above questions, then congratulations, you are reading an academic journal. You are either an academic and therefore deserve what you are getting or you have mistakenly looked to an academic journal for knowledge. If the latter is the case, I direct you to the measures section below. And we are all praying for your soul…and brain.


First of all, put the academic paper, book or journal down and step away from it slowly. Once at a safe distance, run like hell and watch baseball or your preferred national sport.

Secondly, find a well-written piece of literature on the subject you would like to learn about.


Why would anyone write in this manner? To scare people and to keep knowledge away from us minions! Take back the information, people! Oh take it back!

NB: The author realizes that a great deal of dramatic license has been taken in the writing of this post. He understands that there are far more exclamation points and an overall Salem Witch Trial feel than is usual. Please disregard these aspects of this particular post and consign them to a temporary insanity brought on by reading academic journals. Pray for his soul.

  1. #1 by Emma on December 19, 2011 - 1:04 pm

    Ha! I did that for a while for the Tech Uni department of aviation. The only thing I learned was that apparently no one understands why planes fly. Also, that when exceeding a word count, Czechs will solve the problem by simply eliminating all articles.

  2. #2 by Andy on December 19, 2011 - 8:48 pm

    Damien, you are a very funny man, though clearly a bit masochistic, wholly disturbed and maybe even a touch paranoid. Of course, well-socialized people don’t make my “friend list” and they certainly don’t make good story tellers; thank god you are counted among both. Keep on keepin’ on, my damaged friend.

  3. #3 by Kyle on December 20, 2011 - 1:36 am

    Hahaha. Great stuff, Damien. Unfortunately, this isn’t limited to just the western world. Imagine if everyone spoke in something similar to Old or Middle English–that’s academia in China.

    You may or may not have already seen this:


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