BOTTOMING OUT

In any line of work there are certain signs that one has hit rock bottom in a professional sense. For a lawyer, it's getting disbarred or working as an ambulance chaser. For a classically-trained ballet dancer it might be stripping in a club located behind a dog track (which is in turn located behind a rendering plant). For an actor, appearing in straight-to-DVD horror films or anything starring Pauly Shore.

I often wonder what the equivalent is for an academic. Being an adjunct (i.e., a temp professor)? Some people swear they enjoy it. Teaching at an online-only "college" like University of Phoenix? Maybe. Being a grad student for 15 years? All of these things are pretty bad. But I think the true moment at which the average Professor sits back and says, "Oh my God, what the hell happened to my life?" involves having a serious panel discussion with Joe the Plumber and Michelle Malkin.


Not pictured: dignity

Glenn Reynolds, aside from being almost comically immune to facts and offering the level of insight available from the average 19 year old College Republican, seems so shallow that he unable to feel self-conscious. The idea that he has any shame whatsoever is as ridiculous as his attempts at wit. If he subscribes to any logic deeper than "Look at all the money I have! I must be awesome!" it would be shocking. But any other professor (regardless of field) with a tiny shred of dignity would take a look at himself engaged in a roundtable with an unemployed plumber and a psychotic skeleton and do the only honorable thing: stand up, bow to the audience of bedwetters and abortion clinic bombers, and commit seppuku with a Cato Institute letter opener, withdrawing it at the last moment to spray the webcam with his entrails.

Can we really expect more of the man who linked Timothy McVeigh to Sadaam Hussein? Who claimed that comparing Guantanamo Bay to a gulag crippled Amnesty International's credibility and helped the Bush administration? Who thought Gitmo and Daytona Beach spring break had some things in common? Who thinks most of his readers are so stupid that they won't notice how often he reverses himself and how 99% of what he says either distorts facts or is flat-out wrong? Who exists for no reason other than to put the illusory stamp of intellectual legitimacy ("Wow, he's a professor! His opinion on foreign policy carries much more weight!") on what is nothing but histrionic, blind partisanship and regurgitation of the daily talking points from the bowels of the Free Republic forums and tar-paper shacks in the Bitterroots?

Believe it or not, yes, I'd have expected a little more from him. A little more than this. I'd like to think that there are some depths to which he wouldn't sink, some point at which he'd say "OK, I'm not going to interview a fucking unlicensed plumber" in the same way that a self-respecting actor would draw the line at starring in Baby Geniuses 4. I was wrong. Congratulations, Professor Glenn Reynolds. You officially have no shame, no self-respect, and no dignity. Surely this makes him a more attractive commodity to the ratings-hungry media, though. This guy will officially do anything! Paint him up in blackface. Have him debate a kodiak bear. Hire him to officiate competitive eating contests. Film his segments from the center ring of a circus. Book him at a bunch of county fairs. I guess that feeling ashamed requires being smart enough to understand how stupid one looks, a mental burden of which Glenn is obviously and gloriously free.

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18 Responses to “BOTTOMING OUT”

  1. comrade x Says:

    I truly do not understand how these douchebag right wing pundits can stand to look themselves in the mirror . Fuckin' lying to make a living. How can a sane human being stand to regurgitate the crap the Republican leadership comes up with day after day? Answer: they can't- only a sociopath with the empathy of a lamprey can get away with it.
    Great website- the satire has just the right amount of acidic contempt for the assholes ruining our country and the dupes who blindly follow them.

  2. Jason Harx Says:

    I'd pay to see him onstage with a bear.

  3. dave Says:

    I personaly think they (the malkin, limbaughs, etc) are pychopaths, rather than socialpaths. They are no different than criminal scum on americas most wanted except they are paid to talk.

  4. j Says:

    No, hitting academic rock bottom has to be discovering the structure of DNA, and then 50 years later being a crazed eugenecist.

  5. displaced Says:

    Actually, a lawyer can sink lower than an ambulance chaser without getting disbarred: It's called debt collection and its the hell that many young graduates from law school are finding themselves in these days.

  6. The Malfunctioning Glenn Reynolds Robot Says:

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  7. Charles Giacometti Says:

    Instarube has hit bottom again and again and again.

    But damn you wrote a great entry.

  8. waldo Says:

    'Hire him to officiate competitive eating contests' ~ heh, indeedy!

  9. Lesley Says:

    How amusing that Michelle and Joe NotaPlumber are on top in that pic. Glen's hit bottom in more ways than eleventy.

  10. TomMil Says:

    I think you are onto something here. Someone should take your cue and offer GR a steady gig. He would just not know that he is the butt of the joke. Keep pushing the enevelope of absurdity to see how far he will go for the exposure. A "Fear Factor" for the politically retarded. I bet all the producers would have to do is keep repeating to him and in interviews etc., what "a good sport" he is to make him think he's in on it. Within 3 months he'd be biting the heads off of chickens while sitting in a barrel of his own waste.

  11. g Says:

    Hell, he's probably envious of Joe the Not-Plumber's superior status. Has Glenn ever been invited to brief Republicans in Congress?

  12. Michael Bérubé Says:

    How amusing that Michelle and Joe NotaPlumber are on top in that pic.

    Good point — and I'm pretty sure that Glenn had requested that the billing be "Glenn Reynolds — with special guests psychotic skeleton, unemployed plumber, and puppet show." Well, no matter how the event was billed, I'm sure Glenn hopes we like his new direction.

  13. Dennis Says:

    I've never seen Reynolds before, but he looks and sounds like a caricature of an SNL character — a really creepy affect — disturbing to watch.

  14. mrG Says:

    Now, I don't really know one way or the other, but it seems to me the very most important thing to do with dangerous people is to lock them up somewhere where they cannot possibly be of any credible influence or harm, and thus the very best place for this fellow would be tenured professorship at a University.

    Sad, yes, but sadly true.

  15. tufdaawg Says:

    i realize you all here have a brain, but you are talking about people that don't care about your opinion and most likely think you are traitors to america. glenn reynolds does what he does because he has a captive audience. even though real america is suffering, his audience belives it is not. look at the lastest posting on instapundit about the empty buildings in TN – and tell me how this isn't a sick individual that blames obama for bush's disaster.

  16. Barry Says:

    I'd say that Reynolds has actually seen success – as a talking head. As a law professor, he's a schmuck at a schmuck school. He might have ended up with one column in the WSJ op-ed page in his whole life, and that only with luck.

    Now he's appearing everywhere.

    Of course, he's a lying d**chebag, but that's a sacrifice he was eager to make.

  17. Batocchio Says:

    Nicely done!

    Once upon a time, I thought one needed to be smart to get a law degree. And become a professor. The number of wingnut lawyers and law professors is really pretty staggering.