another detractor!

We need a name for Our Detractors. My provisional nominee is “Scatterlings.” Anyway, we’ve got another skittish sociology Scatterling calling us out here. Skittish because this post first went up, then was taken down, and then was put back without links. Remember: “If the glove doesn’t fit, you must acquit”? Not as catchy, but: “If you want to be pissy about other people online, you need to grow a freaking spine.” Especially if you are lobbing this stuff from behind a pseudonym to begin with. Come on!

Anyway, my favorite part of the new Scatterling’s post is this:

Outrage? Really? Over a kinda humorous dismissal of the class? You get outraged over people dying, not over undergrad dismissal. Reality check on aisle 4.

A nearly thousand word rant of indignation? Really? Over a blog I’m not even sure why you are reading? Over an effort of commenters to provide social support for a first-year faculty member who’s just had an obviously unpleasant experience? Maybe you could expend that indignation on, oh, I don’t know, people dying. Reality check on aisle [expletive] you.

I mean, it takes a certain type in academia to find “kinda-humorous” in a fellow traveler getting an anonymous note from a student that includes “One might say wasting a whole semester on a class just to figure out that I never want to take a sociology class again is a waste of time. It is. And I just did it.” I know someone who once got an evaluation to the effect of “the instructor was so ugly it was hard for me to concentrate.” I wonder if this person would find that “kinda humorous” or all the way humorous.

Anyway, the person is blogging under the name “antisocialite” (get it?) and the About statement makes matters even more plain: “I should point out that I’m not a particularly nice person, in just about every sense of the word. So if you’re looking for some kind of shiny happy life-affirming blog you can fuck right off.” Yes, dear readers! We are helping somebody work through their Angry Soul Of The Academy schtick, with a special Anarcho-Transhumanism twist!

Luckily my own Angry phrase was brief and while I was an undergraduate. I should post some of my poetry from that time here, though, especially as that might further tizzify those who have worked themselves into the delusion that despite a very modest number of readers (excepting the singular spike from olderwoman’s recent post), we are somehow sociology celebrities because of this blog.

BTW: As perhaps you can tell, I am in no mood for this more generally. A very up-and-down past two weeks here professionally, but nothing that I can blog about.

Author: jeremy

I am the Ethel and John Lindgren Professor of Sociology and a Faculty Fellow in the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University.

15 thoughts on “another detractor!”

  1. I’m not sure if there is something better than scatterlings, but when we engage with them, we could call it “scat fights” and when they become offend and totally lose it like this person, we could assume they’ve a got a case of “scat scratch fever.”


  2. A lot more people read this blog, in general, than I thought. After I posted that link to my website (in my student’s rant) over 130 people visited it! Probably to check out just how jolly and fat I am, and to see if I really am a self-proclaimed elitist. I wonder if this is “the Jeremy Freese effect” – when Mr. Freese joins/starts/participates in a blog, people follow. It’s like having a not-scary version of stalkers. Only sometimes I guess they can be scary.

    If we make T-shirts I say we have two varieties:
    1.) “I blog at Scatterplot”
    2.) “I read Scatterplot”

    And perhaps those who don’t like us can make their own, “Scatterlings” shirts!


  3. OK, I have a few responses here.

    1. Jeremy, I had just the same exact reaction, but I’ve reached my quota of public smackdowns for December already. Thank you for giving it voice.

    2. I would like an “I read Scatterplot” T-Shirt, please.

    3. I would also like a “Reality check on aisle F*ck You.” t-shirt.


  4. I definitely want a t-shirt. The url of the blog was posted on the sociology jobs rumor mill a few days ago…and I imagine that upped the traffic!


  5. I vote for a T-shirt with “I read Scatterplot” on front and “Reality Check in !@#$ you Aisle” on back… then, we should have photos of ourselves with Ts on while we teach sociology and a meetup at the next ASA meeting!

    I, for one, am grateful that Kieran linked to this blog.


  6. I like the idea of a T-shirt although don’t quite see the point of differentiating who writes and who reads it. Or it could be a multiple choice design with the following additions:
    I comment at Scatterplot
    I lurk at Scatterplot
    I sulk at Scatterplot

    I like the term Scatterlings although seems too nice for such people.

    “Scat fight” seems to fit well.


  7. I think the idea of a scatterplot T-shirt is hilarious. If we are still going strong in the spring, I might look into it.

    I think a “Reality Check on Aisle F*ck You” T-shirt is even more hilarious, albeit in a you had to be there sort of way. I’m pleased that line in my post was appreciated.

    It’s hard to interpret the WP page view numbers in terms of how many actual readers we have. At the same time, I don’t want to ever become too concerned with the issue.


  8. My “concern” with the readership is not a concern of popularity (that I want more readers). It’s that perhaps too many people are reading, and I should censor my comments/posts. But I don’t really have the will power for that anyway. So there’s nothing to worry about!


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