April 1, 2009
The April Fool’s Blog That Got Away
Last week I told Andy Unedited that I just didn’t have what it takes this year to pull off a decent April Fool’s blog. Last year I outdid myself and fooled one or two folks who don’t think there’s any humor to be found in over-the-top carbon offsets. I guess counting out your mint, dill and cumin doesn’t put you in the frame of mind for humor.
But if I had attempted an April Fool’s blog, the fodder was to be found in a Chronicle of Higher Education article that Scot McKnight pointed out on his Saturday roundup of “Weekly Meanderings”. It’s about the globalization of academic paper-writing mills. It’s an interesting—and depressing—read all in itself.
The attitude of one student caught my eye:
Outsourcing! Why of course. That’s what it is. This fellow Mickey is brilliant. We editors get to know plenty of guys—gals too—who can do “some good quality writing.” In fact, when we put our black dictionaries together, that’s pretty much exactly what we´re doing. Come to think of it, maybe “The Mick” is the kind of guy we should be hiring as an editor. He’s developing his ability to discern good writing on topics that sell to professors. He’s gaining experience working at the interface between academia and the marketplace. And he would not succumb to the common editorial temptation to get his hands dirty in the writing itself. Factor in his double major in philosophy and religion, and he’d be an ideal candidate for a religious publisher.
And therein sits material ripe for the April Fool’s Day blog that got away: IVP, recognizing a true diamond in the rough, hires The Mick as an editor.
It’s interesting how pragmatic business propositions have a way of sounding quite sensible when the ethical air is sucked out of them. It would have been a challenge to make that happen right here for fifteen to thirty seconds on April 1. But what if I’d succeeded? The thought of some of you believing IVP would succumb to such deflated ethics leaves me more disconcerted than last April 1! The joke would have been on me.
(And Mr. Tomar, if you’re out there, there’s redemption for you. It’s in those parables of Jesus.)