Can I Join?
Once again, I have been left off a list to which I feel I am well-qualified to join. Okay, I'm not a UCLA prof. But as I should have explained to Mr. Jones in the letter below, any prof. at a UC school has full privileges at another UC school, so I believe I have a good case for inclusion despite the 40 miles between us.
Please, Mr. Jones, don't leave us radicals at UCI off your radar! I am in fact starting a cite called "www.dangerousprofs.org" to help him out, in which any self-defined radical prof can do their own profile, although i'll be sure to link to Mr. Jones site. If anyone out there actually knows how to make a website and has the time to do so, I have at least a dozen profs ready to put up their profiles, so that students across the country will no longer be able to say they weren't warned about the professors just waiting to convert them to communism or other un-godly ideologies (secularism? liberalism? Free Masonism? Islamism? PETA-ism? VEGETARIANISM!).
HERE'S MY LETTER:
dear mr. jones,
Hi there. My name is Mark LeVine and I'm a professor of modern middle eastern history at UC Irvine. It's not UCLA but it's not too far away either. I hear you have some kind of list where you feature profiles of some of my friends up at UCLA. Could I ask if you'd be willing to put one up about me. I have a book recently out and could always use the publicity. If you don't have time, I'd be happy to write it for you (if that's ethical. But given the lack of public concern about that guy from Oprah and his fake prison/drug record, I don't foresee a problem). Or you could take the profile on me on Campus Watch and use that (okay, it wasn't really a profile, just a few mentions, but one of your friends did say I was like "Noam Chomsky as Rock Star").
The point is, I'm having a bit of anxiety that I keep not making these lists. Could you please send me some pointers on how I could get on. I have tried really hard, and was even yelled at by both Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity when appearing as a guest on Fox News. Someone even put a poster up outside my office asking "Who's a bigger threat to America, Osama bin Laden or your professor?" I'm pretty sure the poster was talking about me, although come to think of it, there is that colleague in German who's just a bit too neat for my liking. and he teaches Marx!!
I have to tell you, though, off the record, that several of the people on your list are not at all happy with their ranking/number of fists by their name. One colleague believes there's some sex/age discrimination involved in her rather low placement and is considering legal action, so you might want to brace for a law suit. My suggestion is to rotate the rankings so as not to bruise any notoriously prickly academic egos.
Another potential legal issue is that in your profile of Prof. Gabi Piterberg you have a picture of him smoking. This clearly sends the wrong message to impressionable youngsters who might stumble upon your site that it's okay to smoke. I can't imagine that you want to give that impression--someone might think you're being funded by the tobacco lobby--so perhaps you could ask him for a different photo, just for the sake of the children... Indeed, given that he smokes so much, I think you might want to get rid of the "self-hating Jew" description and perhaps just say "self-hating." In this day and age anyone who smokes must have serious issues unrelated to their religious/national heritage, don't you think?
Finally, I see you are offering to pay students to do research for you. That's so great and much needed considering how little money the government gives them these days. Could I ask if you'd be willing to pay some of my students as well. They're always looking for research work they can put on their graduate school applications.
Anyway, you are doing a smashing job, and it's just too bad that UCI's alumni aren't as dedicated as you. Just too bad. Keep up the great work! I'm sure President Bush will give you a medal for this (or perhaps even an ambassadorship to an oil rich Central Asian country).
Best and peace
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