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5 New Book Titles by Our Department's Historians Who Have Descended Into Nihilism
What does it all mean and who could possibly care?
Teaching is not an easy line of work. Nobody is trying to suggest that it is. And since all of my colleagues listed here are tenured, there is not much our department can do about the depths of nihilism into which these brilliant men and women have sunk. Not that it would cheer them up to be fired, mind you, but at least they would be off our plate.
Here are the most recent works. You will all see what I mean.
“I’d Love to Have Been at Agincourt and Died There,” Agnes Turlington, PhD
An iconic European battle, a brilliant historian with a flair for breathing life into the text… and nearly 300 pages of floral descriptions of the many ways she, a talented historian who is on a battlefield for some reason, could be killed.
Also of note: quite a lot of “peasants” are killed in Turlington’s retelling. One gets the sense that they are stand-ins for her real life students. Who can fault her for that, right? And yet, it is concerning.
“The Founding of Our Country Which Is Shit (And Always Has Been),” Fred Dobbs, PhD
There is an important case to be made that the founding of the United States needs a re-telling. We’re all great devotees of the 1619 project, for example. But this is not that. Far from.
In fact, Dr. Dobbs focuses on how America was ruined from the beginning by being too big, which led to too much room for horses in cities, which led to too much parking space, which led to this absolutely bananas book.
“Royal Medieval Weddings that Cost Less than My Health Insurance,” Lisa Xu, PhD
The text of this book is so good and so well-researched I have no doubt it could have propelled this department to new heights financially. But, because of her aforementioned nihilism, the title ensures it will be unread.
Admittedly, Dr. Xu has a point about our insurance premiums.
“Look At These God Damned Fossils,” Sara Bisson, PhD
An enormous volume with vivid photography of the fossils painstakingly unearthed and catalogued by Dr. Bisson over her 30 year career. One does get the sense from her title that she has soured a bit on academia.
I requested a meeting to discuss changing the title and received a very nasty drawing in my inbox as a reply.
“The Battle of Who Gives a Shit,” Burt Koontz, PhD
In fact, quite a lot of people “give a shit” about the Battle of the Bulge and/or the Ardennes Offensive which began in December 1944. That is supposedly the subject of this book.
Dr. Koontz uses Hitler’s decision to try to win a big victory against the Allies late in the war — despite knowing it was pointless and despite not having enough supplies — as what appears to be a metaphor for his own losses at pickleball.
I believe this is in extreme poor taste, and I have said as much.
Dr. Koontz has challenged me to “take it to the court.” I did. I dismantled him utterly at pickleball. He left the court without saying a word and, so I’m told, began writing a follow-up.
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