Monday, 04 September 2006

Almost Famous? It is an ordinary morning. Scott wakes up, showers, downs a cup of coffee and unslumbers his laptop. The air conditioner in front of which he sits spews cool air and white noise. Scott: (to himself) Spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, Eric Rauchway, spam, spam, spam—ERIC RAUCHWAY?!? (vigorously fans his hands in front of his face) The Eric Rauchway? (turns to bookshelf, removes Murdering McKinley from the shelf, stares the cover) Why I—I—I c—can't, c—can't hardly br—br—br—brea— (labored wheezing, followed by a dull thud as his head hits the keyboard) Time passes. Scott unslumps, looks confused, composes himself, replies to Rauchway's email and begins work for the day. The air conditioner continues blanketing his study with cool air and white noise. Scott is completely unaware of the Little Womedievalist as she enters. LW: (savoring the moment) Pack— Scott: (jumping seven startled feet straight up) Jesus Christ! LW: —age from Amazon. (exits) Scott: (gathering himself) What do we have here? Michael's What's Liberal About the Liberal Arts? Excellent. Just the thing I need to procrastinate. (opens book, flips to the acknowledgments page and reads aloud) "I want to thank Timothy Burke, some guy, some famous guy, some guy, Ralph Luker"—that's awful sweet—"Christopher Clarke, Roxanne Cooper, John Holbo, Scott Eric Kaufman and Amardeep Sin"—SCOTT ERIC KAUFMAN?!? (vigorouslier fans his hands in front of his face) ME Scott Eric Kaufman? (turns to mirror, looks at self, looks at book, points at self, points at page) Why I—I—I c—can't, c—can't hardly br—br—br—brea— (more labored wheezing, followed by a duller thud as his head hits the keyboard again) Five minutes later, Scott rouses himself, rereads the page, reacquires the vapors and faints again. Ten minutes after that, Scott rerouses himself, rerereads the page, rereacquires the vapors and faints again. Time passes. Seven hours later, the Little Womedievalist enters wearing a worried expression. The air conditioner still spews cool air and white noise. She looks at her husband, slumped over the keyboard, whispering his happiness in desperate, wheezy syllables and laughs, lovingly, at the foolish man-child before her.
Acephalous Welcomes Scott McLemee* Acephalous is pleased to welcome Scott McLemee as its newest contributor. Scott's work has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, The American Prospect, Bookforum, The Common Review, The Nation, Newsday, Salon, the Village Voice, and elsewhere. He has been a contributing editor of In These Times and Lingua Franca, a senior writer for The Chronicle of Higher Education, and is now Essayist at Large for Inside Higher Ed, where his column, "Intellectual Affairs," appears twice a week. I’ve known of Scott (though we only met this past December) since the late 1980’s, when I was in third grade. I suspect that I am (in both respects) one of the earliest admirers of his work, many of his early articles having been published in journals and magazines which I used to sell at my lemonade stand, and of which I was one of very few readers who colored in all his articles! Via email, Scott sends along this response: If memory serves, Scott [Kaufman] first suggested joining Acephalous about three years ago. At the time, Acephalous didn't exist; still, I declined, as I was at the Chronicle of Higher Education, which proscribes its staff from appearing on the masthead of another publication. Early last year, the founders of Inside Higher Ed approached me with the chance to work a lot harder for a lot less money—an irresistible offer, since it also included perfect freedom in deciding what to write about, and how. (An alternative title for my column, "Intellectual Affairs," might be "Pygmy Polymathy.") In any case, the freedom to roam included the option I'm exercising now, at long last, in joining Acephalous—a site that has been part of my daily reading routine since before [Kaufman] founded it ... At this point, his email descends into praise so effusive I can't publish it here. Needless to say, we here at Acephalous are proud to add another Scott to our already illustrious roster.** * The joke. ** Of Scotts.

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