Academic B.S.

I didn’t know it is this pervasive. But here’s a sampler (and I leave it to my readers to place these inside their mouths, masticate, and then digest these hard to swallow strings of ‘complex’ high order thinking):

  1. Expound on the exclusion/inclusion, private/public identity dichotomy faced by the protagonist. Frame her personal struggles vis-a-vis her communal values and their conflict with the personal.
  2. How does the imagery used by the author support the contradiction confronting the main character (i.e. her barrenness)? How does this strengthen/weaken the obvious paradoxes posited by the text?

Verbal gymnastics and ostentatious display of erudition cloud and slow down thought processes rather than enlighten and streamline what should be a smooth exchange and/or transfer of knowledge. Now, if an intellectual thinks that he strengthens his position in the academe through constant use of these fireworks, if the supposed scholar thinks that by utilizing these intellectual calisthenics he gains respect and prestige in the academic world, then either his values are problematic or he is a moron. A classic case of missing the point.

To judge whether a particular thought is pedantic or otherwise rests heavily on context. Context dictates whether a situation calls for the use of terms such as leit motif, othering, subaltern, exclusion/inclusion principle or it is an obvious waste of one’s precious time trying to understand words like these that do not easily lend themselves to shallow reading, and when there is an easier and more accessible way of saying them.

Rather than an expression of knowledge, comprehension, and succinct ability to synthesize, pedantry, erudition, or however you call it, if grossly or moderately taken out of context, is a reflection of the very insecure state an intellectual over-determinedly and over-eagerly wants to place himself in.

Cryptic language and a problématique of the hypothalamus

In literary criticism, cryptic language became popular with the emergence of deconstructionism and post structuralism; although the method has been employed ever since language began so as to protect vital information which if divulged could imperil members of a tribe, its popularity and functionality (or the lack thereof) surged when the subaltern (the term as explained by Gayatri Spivak) or some other entities belonging to the periphery started to speak and demand a place in the center of discourse.

Simply said, cryptic language means the use of ambiguous terminologies that allows the reading of a critique of a text to have as many interpretations as there are readers.

In writing, it is of utmost importance to be able to deliver thoughts clearly using simple language where reader response is expected to follow. However, with the use of cryptic language, something akin to the use of jargon, thought responses are slowed down and ambiguous (which often times is intended). This explains why some members of the academia shuns the use of cryptic language as it is a sign of sloppy thinking. To some, nonetheless, it is the pinnacle of intellectualism which could even lead to elitism and snobbery.


As a point of reference, I am presenting here a problematique, a devise in literary criticism that presents that presents social and economic issues as they are presented in texts, albeit here the term is extended beyond the confines of criticism.

One of the components of the problematique I am presenting here is the tendency of the involved parties to commence with the union in such a hurried fashion with little scrutiny of the obvious given for according to most of them such whirlwind encounters are the best representations of this glandular process, if not the only best way it can be expressed. I’m calling it as a primal reaction because logic is not all employed, or if employed at all, is used in such a haphazard manner that leave the intellect totally inutile.

Nonetheless, I must concede that such social contracts are too effective in finding a broad mass base because we’re more carried away by melodrama than the more rational stiff-upper-lip approach to our affairs, have more affinity to empiricism than abstraction. Such is the human dilemma most of us have already unraveled and demystified. But for a small portion, including the author, this dilemma is maintained.

The author, a few days ago, met somebody who seemed to have caused this sense of contradiction and stirred up what was supposed to be a routine existence, reversing the entire process of demystification and placed the scenarios in the author’s life back to where it has been several months ago – an almost-eternity of flux.