I held my last exam at Roskilde University on January 27, 2017. Thus ended my 10 years of tenured professorship.
I quit the academia. When I walked into the union man’s office (the union is still strong in Denmark), and asked about the rules around quitting – just like that – he looked at me as if I fell from Pluto: ‘Nobody ever quits,’ he said, ‘I’ve no idea about the rules. I have to check.’ He did, and I consequently walked.
The long and short story is that the university and I are no longer speaking the same language. Whereas I insist on maintaining some integrity regarding the ‘higher’ in higher learning, the university insists on false images, ranking, evaluations, and interminable bullshit.
That’s just so dull. Academic administrative rhetoric bores me to death. It’s dull. And it contaminates. First caliber researchers are not immune. They may think they are, but they are not. I go to conferences and I hear the dullness.
What is astonishing is that the university administrators and moronic reformers purposefully forget that they are talking to educated people; people into the business of deconstructing language, seeing through cliché and dullness. They keep at it though. Why? Because we let them.
Everyone is afraid. Of what, exactly? Of losing money? And with losing money, losing your religion, the religion of your self and image? Is this a joke? Do we educate ourselves in the university for this joke? Oh, the dullness…
We have a saying in Romanian: ‘Beware what you fear. What you fear you can’t escape.’ Tenured professors, who thought they were going to stay on the job until they croaked, got fired during the summer. This instilled great fear among the ones hoping that their turn will never come. Oh, the tragedy, and the ensuing dull competition for who is to be master…
My own English department closed. While the staff was ‘saved’, and no one got fired, we were encouraged to live with the vague promise that if we get a new profile – ‘language is good, like grammar and phonetics’ – ‘then we can integrate with the communication department, or something else.’ Such bullshit. What is this ‘something else’? No one has a clue. Oh, the dull irony…
I walk the corridors of the academic tower. I read the names of the illuminatis on their doors. There is no light coming in from anywhere. Everyone is hiding in their den, devising strategies of individual survival: ‘Who are we going to bullshit next? Will Carlsberg give me a sack of money for my intellectual begging? Come on Carlsberg, be a sport, if you give me this money you get to be associated with my illustrious name, and together we will create headlines.’ Oh, so awfully dull…
I’m done with dullness. As I sit here and contemplate, I praise my luck. My own strategy of going against dullness – as I’m not interested in coping with it – is to say ‘no’ to it.
NO AND NO AND NO AND NO – NO
Following my big NO is a new beginning.
ARADIA ACADEMY – That’s my new school. It will open its doors in spring 2017. You can get a preview below, as the first to see it, though I’m not done yet with fiddling with website code and content. Enjoy the masterful gift posters of Aradia by my long-time student, illustrator and card maker, Ryan Edward.
We offer foundation level and advanced courses in practices of divination, divination techniques, divination philosophy and its cultural history, under the signature, Read Like the Devil.
Yes. I can do better than dull. I can teach others to read artfully and brilliantly, be that visual text, cards and oracles, or their own nature. Have you heard of how valuable your emptiness is?
I have students in my Nonreading program who would swear by this value. Nothing is more liberating than knowing that you have no substance, no self-existence. Let us now laugh and take a bow. We are very privileged to have access to this information.
I take my last oral exam at Roskilde University with a student in the graduate program as a good omen. The student scored the highest grade. Of course he did. I supervised him. There are some things I’m goddamn good at. Teaching.
My last exam at an institution that has no honor frees me from having to honor ‘no honor’.
Now I can plunge into my own radiance. Spread it around.
How is your approach to dullness? How do you radiate against its background?
If you are clueless, ask your cards this very question:
How can I go against dullness?