Saturday, March 10, 2007


Mark Bahnisch accounts for his diminished blogging output:
"... my workload includes 18 face to face hours of teaching each week this semester, and it’s very difficult for me to find any time or energy for writing, including blogging, at the moment."
And even if he finds the time, some aspects of blogging are loathsome:
The difficulty... is that a minority of self-obsessed vulgarians on an ego trip make it less enjoyable for the rest of us, and taking the time to moderate and sift the garbage is also a significant investment of energy which is often under-appreciated. It’s rare that bloggers get any comments on moderation other than whinges (and complaints are often couched in terms which assume that moderators are constantly doing nothing else or should be doing nothing else than reading threads) and there are few thanks for the effort that goes into maintaining those blogs which do provide a space for interesting and civil discussion.
As if claiming to have the "best read political blog" in Australia isn't indicative of ego tripping.

Update: The crew at the Larvatus Prodeo have their knickers in a collective knot -- sounds painful, don't it?
A little bit of investigation demonstrates suggests that commenter probably came from the delightful J F Beck’s blog:

Who has achieved one of his continuing goals in life by getting a link from timmy.
Bahnisch admirer Pavlov's Cat reckons the poor man is overworked:
According to the orginal model, however, if Mark cuts no corners in any area of his responsibilities, then 18 hours’ tertiary teaching per week means an 80-hour working week.
Update II: Hmm, there's something missing from this scenario... cue the interesting and civilized Tim Lambert to pop into LP and call me a troll, or perhaps Nabakov to point out how few readers I have. I wait in anticipation.

Update III: Bahnisch is working himself to death out of friendship:
He’s taken on two full time academic workloads to cover for colleagues on leave because he feels an obligation for their friendship. I urged him to be more selfish. I’d also urge him to consider following Helen’s wise decision and take a break from blogging. I’m sure he doesn’t need this sort of mindless and hurtful abuse at the moment.
Well, my workmates would know how much work I'd have to do in assuming a double load and wouldn't ask or even allow me to fill in for them if the work would be too hard. My managers wouldn't allow it either, knowing my clients would suffer. Things must work differently in lefty dominated academia.

Update IV: Catallaxy's Jason Soon chimes in with his best Spiro Agnew:
JF Beck is a nasty little nattering nabob of negativity, a mediocrity of the negative fifth degree.
He also thinks I'm a "buffoon", adding:
You’re such a persnicketty sadsack, fella. Go away and engage in some copulation.
Even worse, he removed me from the catallaxy blogroll. Ouch!

Mark Bahnisch has pulled the pin, by the way. I hope it wasn't due to anything I said.
Update V: Teaching is especially difficult for females:
If you are a woman, you spend extra time mopping up the tears of students who have been upset by your male colleagues, resisting sexist manoeuvres in workplace competition, dealing with constant low-grade sexual harassment of various kinds from some of the male academic staff, and periodically cleaning up in the tea-room before the fridge/microwave/sink starts to walk away by itself, to say nothing of the teatowels.
Which reminds me of the old question: why did the female cross the road? Who cares; the important question is, what was she doing out of the kitchen?


Anonymous Mark Bahnisch said...

So, Beck, do you actually ever write a post that isn't critical of someone else or something else? Just wondering... Enjoy your constant negativity!

11:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Poor ickle Mark! My heart bweeds for 'im!

11:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Lancet calculates Mark's working week.

12:29 AM  
Anonymous Mark Bahnisch said...

I'm not saying the work is "too hard", J F Beck. Just that I'm working long hours. I'll leave you to it - but I would like you to ponder what you get out of blogging when every single post is a criticism of someone else or something else. Perhaps you could find some more positive and productive interests?

1:54 AM  
Anonymous guess said...

'projectional "look at me, look at me" personal attacks throughout the blogosphere'

Followed by a link to your very own, so fashionably enlightened, weblog, which consists of, well what do you know? Personal attacks.

Oh Fringie, I believe your utter innocence of self-awareness would be charming if it were not so crude.

10:00 AM  
Anonymous Andrea said...

Re the extra workload "for friendship" -- I'd say the obligation he feels is for the extra pay. Surely he's not doing this for free. (And if he is... what a chump. Or else his "friends" have something on him. Or he plans to hold this over their heads. It's the sort of thing an academic, one of God's most devious creations, would do.)

As for the horrible burdens of being a female teacher in a man's man's man's man's world -- give me a break. Teaching of the lower grades was always a female-dominated profession, and they have long since taken over the colleges and universities too. Most of the remaining men are pussy-whipped passive-aggressive titty-babies like this Bahnisch character. The ones who aren't can be found in the various "male-dominated" (because studying their disciplines needs more than the ability to whine about how the bad mens aren't making it easy for you) schools like Engineering and Physical Sciences.

12:21 PM  
Anonymous hc said...

Andrea, 'Most of the remaining men are pussy-whipped passive-aggressive titty-babies like this Bahnisch character'.


I am a teacher myself, can you expand on the bad news for me? Was I bottle fed? What sorta feline?

1:43 PM  
Anonymous Legal Eagle said...

Seriously, 18 hours face to face lecturing is a lot. From experience, it's quite tiring to speak for two hours straight, to answer questions and to make sense. You've also got to take into account the preparation (say at least 3 hours for every two hour lecture?), the marking (blurgh!) and the student contact hours.

That being said, I do like being an academic - it's certainly more flexible than being a practicing lawyer. You can mark and prepare lectures from home. And you can take a break when you want to. There's no way I would have had time to even think about blogging in my old job. How could I have put that down on my timesheet?

10:43 PM  

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