Thursday, December 20, 2012

Gypsy Scholar: Fraudulent 'Genocidal' Blogger

Scholar and his Books
Gerbrand van den Eeckhout (1621-1674)

I received a sharp if misguided reprimand yesterday from a conveniently anonymous critic who came riding up on his high horse and dispensing 'just' judgment against me on a blog post dedicated to my recently deceased Uncle Bill Hodges:
I came to your page trying to find scholarly articles on 'Gypsies', turns out you are just a fraud. For all your education you're surprisingly ignorant.

Thanks for the cultural genocide.
Taken aback, initially, at the accusation that I pose an existential threat to the Romani people, I collected myself and replied:
Nice comment to leave on a blog entry commemorating a good man's death.

As for your intemperate remarks, I suggest that you familiarize yourself with the expression "gypsy scholar," which is a well-known label for a scholar without tenure who moves from university to university in search of jobs. There are a lot of us.

When you're no longer ignorant of the expression and its meaning, you'll not further embarrass yourself in future encounters with gypsy scholars, nor will you continue to make ridiculous accusations of "fraud" and of "cultural genocide."
On the implausible possibility that my anonymous critic is lurking, willing to listen, and open to learning something new, a professional explanation of the expression is hereby provided:
Gypsy scholar: is an informal term given to some academics who either move several times between institutions and/or work at two or more institutions at a time. There are several possible reasons explaining the existence of gypsy scholars, among these are the fact that many teaching jobs are now either part-time or terminal (1-3 years), with tenure-track positions harder to secure, and also a high cost of housing and living. The latter appears to have become a fairly common situation in California, where the price of housing has skyrocketed (as of 2005).
We see, then, that I am the one facing an existential threat! The outraged fellow, for his part, did not respond to my reply to his comment, nor do I expect a reply to this post. No anonymous commentator need ever apologize for rudeness or false accusations -- that's the beauty of anonymity.

This particular anonymous, frustrated commentator, angered -- in his ignorance of a well-known English expression -- at failing to find what he had wrongly expected, finds himself instead aggrieved at my putative, inadvertent 'slight' against his profound misunderstanding of English and rouses himself in righteous anger to a peak fit for a fit of pique, all the wilder for its unmeasured animosity, so exaggerated as to accuse me -- despite my obvious scholarly isolation, my lonely academic wanderings -- of "cultural genocide"!

Thus have I single-handedly disposed of Romani culture, something not even the National Socialists managed to do. In the mind of my anonymous critic with a grievance, I'm obviously not a gypsy scholar, but rather a fascistic activist . . .

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At 9:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well I'd take offense myself since (your sleight-phrasing) as a gypsy scholar all are defined as "part-time criminals" when the fact of the matter is - seemingly - you're including all us who applicate scholarly criminalshipping with those who do not.

Your so-called (harrumph!) gypsy-scholarship is yet to be found on Wikipedia whereas our's is!

I'd advise to keep that little thing in mind feller.

(Incidentally - I spoke with a Wino today purportedly a friend of your's.)


At 10:13 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

That's telling him, JK!

But is the wino a friend of the anonymous commentator . . . or of me?

Jeffery Hodges

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At 11:07 AM, Blogger John from Daejeon said...

I, too, first thought that the title of your blog indicated the study of Gypsies and their past (which intrigued the history lover in me), but I also realize that many English words have more than one connotation like "right" and "coke."

Your critic was definitely wrong to post his critique where he/she did, but I can also see how a person whose first language is not English might be thrown as I, too, was. I also don't think that "gypsy scholar" is all that well-known outside of higher academia and without some context.

If you asked a sample of random (Jay Leno's) people off the street to give the definition of "Gypsy scholar" without any context, you'd get a lot a people giving answers along the lines of the study of Gypsies.

At 11:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

King Cochranofbyronearabouts I'm pretty sure.

Well, Nearaboutscertainmostlyaboutsbyron.

At 11:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

[.. burp.]

You I guess. Me - but it's been awhile since I've been in the presence of somme royalty.


At 11:36 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

John, I realize that people can be unfamiliar with the expression. What annoyed me was the fellow's inflated self-righteousness and grossly exaggerated claim.

He could have first looked into the expression's meaning. Googling is easy these days. Even if that's too hard, he could have read the explanation that I provide.

My rule number one is: Never assume the other guy is the ignorant one.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 11:37 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

JK, I thought you might be referring to my old drinking buddy . . .

Jeffery Hodges

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At 2:33 PM, Anonymous Tom Ball said...

Well, now I'm really confused.

I had absolutely no understanding or prior conceptions about Gypsies, and I assumed all these years I was learning about them while reading your blog. It's been hard...I gathered that Gypsy culture was obscure and multilayered, mainly explained through odd metaphors that I wasn't quite getting. The beer symbol has been particularly hard for me to fathom.

At 2:56 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

I must acknowldege that this is all my fault after all. Anonymous was right -- I am afraid I am a fraud. If the brilliant Tom Ball has been misled, then all of my readers must have headed down that same primrose path leading to destruction of their minds.

I'll order a several bottomless bottle of beer for each of us. We might as well try to fathom the deliciously unfathomable together . . .

Jeffery Hodges

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At 3:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Uhm... I'm kindqa confused - well - maybe a bit more than is normally normal.

Who, for instance, conveying - or attempting too - places a "Q" so near "I'm" confused.

Then again - I notice I've included the word "normal" and I think maybe putting that "Q" right where it accidently got placed was just to a tap ...

tap tap tap

... oh heck ...


At 3:32 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Always watch your Ps and Qs . . .

Jeffery Hodges

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At 5:48 PM, Anonymous advocatus diaboli said...

Perhaps what "Anonymous" is saying - charitably translated - is that one needs to earn the right to use "Gypsy" as a metaphor, just as someone who calls himself "Jewish Scholar" might be expected to refer occasionally to the Jewish experience (only to show that he hasn't reduced an entire ethnic group to a linguistic token).

At 6:04 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Perhaps, AD, "Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps" . . .

Jeffery Hodges

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At 12:45 AM, Blogger John from Daejeon said...


If you have 29 minutes, you might get a kick out of this brilliant English comedy that has delightful word play. "Wobble Wars," "nudity buffer," "ear bucket," and "shadiam" are my favorites in this episode. This particular episode also features the pitfalls of trying to start an international relationship and the importance of an interpreter.

At 5:52 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

John, I tried the link but encountered this message:

"This video is unavailable with Safety Mode enabled. To view this video, you will need to disable Safety Mode."

I often encounter such a message -- do you know what this means?

Jeffery Hodges

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At 11:29 AM, Blogger John from Daejeon said...

Yes, the South Korean government is quite the nanny state, so you need to go to the bottom of the webpage and turn the Safety button to off. It is the third button after language and country. Also, changing the country button to either the U.S., or Canada, will cease the filtering that the South Korean government does for the good of its citizens.

At 11:47 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Thanks. That'll help in future YouTube forays . . .

Jeffery Hodges

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