When you read the title of this article, I bet you thought you'd be reading about pretentious idiots with degrees in useless studies doing marginal research in their specialty just to keep their tenure. Well, you're WRONG! And that's a stereotype, and you should feel ashamed for thinking that.
Truth is, academics are some of the most kick ass people on the planet. They have doctorates in Theoretical Asskicking and Improvised Demolitions. They use their impressive intellects to blow shit up, kill bad guys, and keep our world safe.
History never recovered from these guys
History has many rich examples of scholarly men acting in a gentlemanly, professional manner. It also has many examples of those same scholarly men deciding to polish their boots on the asses of people who annoy them. While no means a comprehensive list, here are a few examples of academics in multiple eras of history.
Socrates is considered the Father of Philosophy (Plato is considered the "creepy uncle"). His foundational contributions to philosophy were asking questions that people had never thought of before. For example, he once asked all the wise men of Athens how they knew they were wise. When they had no answer that satisfied Socrates, he kicked their ass, and then called them ass-wise men. This is how he developed the Socratic Method, his famous process of questioning, berating, and beating to lead someone to the truth.
His methods attracted many young students, who wanted to be just like him in the philosophizing, asskicking sense, not the annoying homeless bum sense. Athens, with pains in the asses of its citizens, and flabbergasted that a homeless war veteran with weird questions was considered cool by young people, found Socrates' behavior subversive and demanded his suicide. Socrates stood by his principles and drunk the hemlock, and then the hemlock, and then the hemlock, and then the hemlock, but not before he kicked the asses of every member in the democratic assembly who condemned him.
Late in the Middle Ages, four young men would be drawn together by their common love of astronomy and ass-kicking. These men were Nicolaus Copernicus, Johannes Kepler, Tycho Brahe and Galileo Galilei. Joined together by a common call, they set out to disprove the Ptolemaic model of the solar system. With the use of newly formulated mathematics, they proved that the sun was the center of the solar system, previously thought ridiculous by the known world. Armed with this knowledge, they then set out to let everyone know about their discovery.
Unfortunately, the Church would have none of this scientific heresy, and demanded that they cease their attack on the Church-accepted view of the universe. The astronomers refused, and set themselves to convince the pope of this new truth. Each armed with a signature weapon, they kicked the asses of armies, knights, guards of Rome, and papal bodyguards. Once at the pope, they calmly and rationally presented the proof of the heliocentric solar system. The pope couldn't hear the proof through the sound of his own terror, and fearing for his life, made the new model Church canon. The astronomers' goals were completed, and they settled down to normal, medieval lives.
The actions of their conflict proved so legendary, that a children's TV show about genetically-deviant adolescent assassin tortoises was created, with the four tortoises bearing the names of the four astronomers. However, the original exploits of the astronomers greatly exceed those of the tortoises who bear their names.
Isaac Newton couldn't get laid, so he sat under an apple tree and thought about what to do. Then an apple hit his head. After giving the tree what it had coming, he was inspired to mathematically figure out how that apple fell. So he invented Calculus. And then he formulated Newtonian mechanics. Then Gottfried von Leibniz showed up and called him a pussy and a plagiarizer. While Newton tried to reason with him, saying that they both had independently arrived at the same concepts and conclusions, Leibniz would hear nothing of it, and immediately demanded a duel. Newton eagerly accepted. After they ran out of bullets with their pistols, they quickly discovered since they had both formulated Newtonian/Leibnizian mechanics, that they could break Newtonian/Leibnizian mechanics, such as the Universal Law of Gravitation, as well as the conservation of both energy and momentum. So they began flying and shooting energy bolts out of their hands. It was totally awesome.
After days of fighting, they realized that neither of them could be defeated. Leibniz conceded to Newton that the Laws of Motion should bear Newton's name since he tried to reason with Leibniz before their battle. However, even after all this, Newton still couldn't get laid, since he couldn't find a woman worthy enough for his incredible masculinity. He died a virgin.
Albert Einstein was a German scientist. With the rise of the Nazis, however, he knew that they would try to capture him and force him to create disastrous weapons of war for their evil cause. The Nazis pursued him through much of Germany, until they successfully cornered him. At that point, he formulated his Theory of Relativity, and slipped through a wormhole that led him, and him alone, directly to President Roosevelt's desk. The Nazis who were pursuing him disappeared, though some claim they saw their bodies burn during re-entry.
President Roosevelt was predictably shocked that the prototype for all mad scientists had appeared right in front of him. Albert Einstein, being the genius that he was, immediately saw an opportunity. Einstein would work for Roosevelt, aiding American research and their fight against the Nazis. Einstein was a brilliant scientist, and his aid greatly accelerated work on the Manhattan Project. He also used his knowledge on relativity by teleporting to the Allied theatres of war, and wreaking havoc in occasionally hilarious ways. Somewhere out in space, a German soldier is traveling near the speed of light, while his twin brother on earth has grown old.
Lie at the beginning that this article wouldn't be about pretentious idiots with useless degrees performing marginal research in their fields of study to maintain tenure? Unfortunately, these are the breed of academics today. They have termed themselves "passive pacifistic self-asskickers", and if that sounds really lame, it's because it is.
Instead of living up to the legends of their past, academics today instead focus on going to Starbucks, complaining about the free market, enjoying the benefits of tenure, complaining about the right wing conspiracy, publishing articles in academic journals to show how smart they are, complaining about how the United States is not a Marxist commune, and in general, being useless wastes of space.
Academics are concerned about the decline of the academic as they were formally known. They have come up with multiple theories regarding their decline. Most of these theories consist of explanations that remove academics from any responsibility for their useless gobshitery. Such theories are that the histories of various academics are fictional, or that academic asskicking has been diffused throughout the large academic population.
The real reason why academics today are useless wastes of space is that maybe if they would stop talking and shut the hell up about why they're so goddamn lame and instead focus on kicking ass, that suddenly, just maybe, that the awesome academics of yesteryear would return. Unfortunately, the academic community won't try, as those lame things they call ethics prevent them from harming human life.
Academia in Fiction
While modern academics have failed to provide the necessary awesomeness that makes educated life so much freakin' fun, fictional academics have stepped in and filled the void left by their
Perhaps the most famous of all fictional academics is one Dr. Henry "Indiana" Jones, Jr. While he has a degree in archeology, he is rarely seen using it, and is more often seen using his degrees in Practical Asskicking, with a specialization in Nazi ass, and Improvised Vehicle Use, as seen by his fight on a truck carrying the Ark of the Covenant, on a mine cart, and a tank headed for the Holy Grail.
Dr. Jones is usually seen traveling with an attractive female companion. While not often recorded down in history texts, this is an acknowledgment of academics incredible contributions to the opposite sex.
Though there are lots of doctors on television, usually they're in lame dramas as mentor figures and other lame crap. However, there is one who stands out from these average academics. He is the The Doctor. The Doctor of what? His specialty has never been identified, but it's assumed that he has taken courses in Advanced Time Travel, TARDIS Repair, Advanced Sonic Screwdriver Use, and Advanced Wittiness. Some claim The Doctor doesn't have a Ph.D, but they do admit that he is brilliant, and can therefore keep his title.
The Doctor is usually seen traveling with an attractive female companion. While not often recorded down in history texts, this is an acknowledgment of academics incredible contributions to the opposite sex.
In Video Games
Academics are a rare breed in video games, since unoriginal developers largely assume gamers would rather take control of Spec Ops commando over and over again or an elf or something than a man with an education. Gordon Freeman of the Half-Life series shatters all those preconceptions. Freeman has a Ph.D in Theoretic Physics, but never gets to use it. He spends most of his time earning honorary degrees in Improvised Firearm Use, Platforming, and Survival, with a focus on Insurmountable Odds.
Gordon Freeman is usually seen traveling with an attractive female companion. While not often recorded down in history texts, this is an acknowledgment of academics incredible contributions to the opposite sex.
Comics are full of academics, mostly as either helpers to the hero or as victims of terrible accidents with transformative consequences. Here are a few examples.
Professor X is a professor, and is therefore an academic regardless of any attempt at identifying what his educational background is. He has specialties in... umm, Floating Chair Mechanics, Mind Reading, and... School Foundationology. Plus, he's one of the cooler members of the X-men since he's not whiny Cyclops and doesn't let being paralyzed get in his way.
Professor X is usually seen traveling with an attractive female companion. While not often recorded down in history texts, this is an acknowledgment of academics incredible contributions to the opposite sex.
Bruce Banner is a doctor in something. But he just turns into the Hulk. Since the Hulk utilizes very little of Dr. Banner's educational background, there's no point in trying to list what his specialties are. Plus, the Hulk is lame.
Bruce Banner is usually seen traveling with an - oh screw it. No sense in lying about that.
The future of academia is grim. If modern academics continue to be useless wastes of space, then modern scientific and technological advancement is likely to halt. Academics in the past were fueled by their desire to prove everyone wrong, and discovered they were capable of incredible feats of asskicking in the process.
However, in this era of scientific permissiveness, it seems unlikely that there will be an academic who so desperately wants to prove to the world a scientific principle that he lets nothing stand in his way. This is unfortunate. History will more than likely look back on the present and ignore it in favor of the more exciting past.