Former professor now a bus driver

He describes his new life and how he got there; a fascinating read. The professor is Steve Salita, who lost a job and whose career ground to a halt because he expressed an opinion people didn’t like.

You hear ex-professors say it all the time and I’ll add to the chorus: despite nagging precariousness, there’s something profoundly liberating about leaving academe, whereupon you are no longer obliged to give a shit about fashionable thinkers, network at the planet’s most boring parties, or quantify self-worth for scurrilous committees (and whereupon you are free to ignore the latest same-old controversy), for even when you know at the time that the place is toxic, only after you exit (spiritually, not physically) and write an essay or read a novel or complete some other task without considering its relevance to the fascist gods of assessment, or its irrelevance to a gang of cynical senior colleagues, do you realize exactly how insidious and pervasive is the industry’s culture of social control.

People still call me “prof” but these days I dislike the title. I no longer see myself as an academic (and was always wary of pompous descriptors like “expert” or “public intellectual”). Forfeiting that title is more philosophical than practical. I no longer profess and therefore no longer assume the burden of professorial expectations. No more civility or nuance or dispassion or objectivity or whatever term they’re using these days to impel obedience. It’s as close to freedom as a prole can get in this self-deluded country, where the government legislates on behalf of the private sector and the private sector obliterates dissent on behalf of the government.

An Honest Living

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