Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Revolutionary Fervor

One of the more stressful things about being a graduate student, or other aspiring academic, is the constant refrain that there isn't necessarily a job waiting for you at the end. It's an exceptionally tight market right now, and many extremely smart and qualified candidates won't end up with a position. It can get a bit wearying. And it can get a bit infuriating when you see who has gotten these oh-so-rare positions:
An American college professor was arrested by Miami-Dade police on Saturday for launching into an extended rant about Venezula and smoking on an airplane, all of which was captured on video.

Karen Halnon, identified as an associate professor of sociology at Penn State, was on an American Airlines flight from Nicaragua to Miami, according to television station WFOR.

“The United States has declared war on Venezuela,” Halnon repeated throughout the video, which was posted to YouTube as a clip titled "Crazy woman on a plane."

“Venezuela has been declared a national security threat," she repeated on the video.

"You're a national security threat," another passenger shot back.

Halnon later told WFOR that she was returning from a trip to Nicaragua working with single mothers and felt the need to talk to people about the destructiveness of U.S. imperialism.

On the tape, she eventually unbuckled her seatbelt as passengers around her groaned.

"My great hero Hugo Chavez nationalized the oil supply," she said. Halnon was then informed by a flight attendant that the police would be arresting her shortly.
Oh lord. You "felt the need" to go on a bender about the joys of your favorite autocrat? Which do you prefer -- his paeons to Carlos the Jackal and Idi Amin, or his penchant for jailing judges he dislikes? To quote Ron White, "next time you have a thought, just let it go."

Oh, but it gets better:
At one point, Halnon calmly lit a cigarette as the passenger next to her got up and left.

"This girl's a gangster," another onlooker said.

Hanlon confirmed to WFOR that she indeed lit a cigarette on the plane.

“I took a few puffs out of it," she said. "Every other revolutionary smokes. Fidel. Daniel Ortega. Tomás Borge. Che Guevara."
"Every other revolutionary smokes"? What are you, twelve years old? This is a joke.

In any event, if you're a sociology graduate student wondering who's getting the job you so desperately want, here's your answer. Blergh.

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