Pompous Ass of the Day

February 4, 2010 by Keyser Söze | Filed under Asshole of the Day, Bad Manners, Bad Taste.

Jesus Christ, there get a load of this:

I was born in Seattle, and I grew up there and in Manhattan; Columbia, Missouri; Long Beach, New York; and Portland, Oregon. I have also lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Austin, Texas, but I prefer the Pacific Ocean. I have some Norwegian ancestors.

My wife has taught courses on Pindar, Herodotus, detective fiction, and Elvis. Our cat Sophie also admires Elvis, and our cat Sam studies fluid dynamics; both are avid birdwatchers.

My sister is a Tibetanist, and so is my brother. He’s a linguist working with language archives, and so am I. Our great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather did some Algic language documentation, so does our eighth cousin once removed, and so do I.

My father is a philosopher, and so is my uncle. That uncle was a provost, and another is a college president. My mother is a banker, my grandparents were teachers, a nurse, and a fireman, and their fathers were in farming, fishing, pharmacy, and the army.

My family’s cats were each called “Kitty” when I was young, and so were my grandparents’ cats. My sister’s cat is also “Kitty”, and my cousin’s cat was “Black Kitty”. For a while I was called “Boy”. People in our family eat a lot of pie.

I teach at Berkeley, and so do my wife and my fifth cousin once removed. My eighth cousin five times removed wrote a famous book, and my tenth cousin died in a car accident in 1997.

My college friends teach at Clark, Harvard, Ohio State, Sheffield, and Suffolk, or they are Canadian actors and comedians.

Either this guy’s got the biggest inferiority complex this side of the Pecos, or he’s desperate to be included in the next edition of the Almanach de Gotha. (The original’s chock-a-block full of links, if you give a shit about validating all those cousins and friends and things.)

Oh, and did he tell you that he’s great-great-great-gerat-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-uncle twice removed on the Isildur side was once punched in the nose by Gandalf the Grey for naming dropping? True story.

10 Responses to “Pompous Ass of the Day”

  1. Rob says:

    Oh dear lord, are you threatening to saddle us with P.A.O.T.D.instead of the kitty pictures? Ugh.Although granted he almost had me interested until he said “Canadian” actors and comedians.And what the gently caress is a “Tibetanist”? I live 4 hours away from the bloody place and wouldn’t give two figs for the lot of it; why would any sane person study and/or advocate for it?

  2. Keyser says:

    A Tibetanist is somebody who studies the Tibetan language. Oddly enough, D.R. Shackleton Bailey, one of the most famous (as these things go) Latinists of recent years was a Tibetanist for a while. Go figure. And he no doubt didn’t give two figs about Tibet.

    Rest assured if Keyser comes across an interesting picture of a scantily-clad Tibetanist, she’ll definitely be in the “daily image.” After all, Keyesr’s opened ended when it comes to these things. No doubt most of them vote Democrat (if they vote at al). Not the point!

    Have no fear. The repository of interest soft-core imagery that the Lair has become of late is not likely to become a collection of ridiculous ruminations of linguists from Berkeley.

  3. Keyser says:

    Anyway, what have you got against John Candy and Lorne Greene?

  4. Isn’t there also the possibility that this is a parody? (The “Norwegian” connection combined with bragging about (and simply mentioning) absurdly distant relations suggests Njorl’s (rather than Njal’s) Saga.)


    Then again, the humorless self-obsession is all too familiar from daily life. Although this extreme, even by those standards.

    “My family’s cats were each called “Kitty” when I was young, and so were my grandparents’ cats. My sister’s cat is also “Kitty”, and my cousin’s cat was “Black Kitty”. For a while I was called “Boy”. People in our family eat a lot of pie.” This free association on a not quite important topic is reminiscent of literary representations of autism. I.e. fake representations thereof… Hmmm.

    Oh, and you have ruined this day for me. I had no idea that Lorne Greene, surely near the top of anyone’s list of the ten best thespians of the 20th century, was Canadian. I may not eat for 24 hours.

  5. Keyser says:

    Well, maybe it’s a parody, but of what? Keyser doesn’t know of this being a regular practice of academics, and if that’s not it, what is it?

    As for Lorne, according to the font of all human knowledge, Wikipedia, he was the “Voice of Canada” on the Communist Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and was duly inducted into the Order of Canada. You can’t get more Canadian than that.

    Anyway, what’s the matter with being Canadian? If it’s good enough for William Shatner and Jim Carrey, it should be good enough for all of us.

    But sorry to have ruined your day.

  6. Sorry, I should have made myself clearer.

    I think this *sounds* like something that *should* be a parody, but almost certainly isn’t.

    All too typical of the self-important ego-maniacal types who make up 98% of academics in the humanities and the social sciences.

    One stands in awe of Keyser’s ability to tolerate such stuff in his working life–all in the services of the higher interests of daemonology!

  7. Keyser says:

    Oh, sorry for misunderstanding. It’s a sad (po-mo) sort of world where one becomes a parody of oneself.

    As for Keyser’s colleagues, there’s not much of this sort of thing in his immediate vicinity. However, the univ. rag newspaper recently had a story about how someone started a “year of dissent” to celebrate how contrarian academics are, and the story noted, without the least sense of irony, that not one voice was raised in dissent at the prospect. Conformity in leftardery. Who’d a thunk?

    As you note, Keyser can at least take comfort in his study of the consolatory teachings of Baphomet…

  8. Rob says:

    Sorry, I was unclear too. It just irks me when people feel compelled to interject their “Canadianess”. Are Canadians so dour and humorless that to be a Canadian comedian is shocking? Are we so untalented that an actor from the north is unheard of? It just seems petty to me.

  9. Keyser says:

    Well, since the guy talking about himself is an American, presumably, it was just the distinctiveness of them being Canadian that’s remarkable. So you’re a Canadian (to judge by the “we”)?

  10. Harry the Hittite says:


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