Monday, 23 April 2007

It's More Than Academic

I cannot tell you my dismay at discovering that my recently-rediscovered friend, Professor Julian Syngen-Smythe, has been the subject of a vitriolic attack by a fellow academic via the pages of his blog.

Not content with perpetuating a bitter feud that has graced a number of historical journals, Dr Reginal Wabb-Nesperton appears to have spilled his venom onto Julian's new foray into the internet.

Personally, I find such bitterness distasteful. Not for me the internecine hatreds that academia seems to go in for so frequently.

Yet I cannot stand on the sidelines and watch someone of Julian's character be dragged through a pool of vomitic smirch. So let me be the first to defend him. There will be some, I am sure (gossips, scandal-mongers and fishwives, the lot of them!) who will point to those halycon days that Julian and I spent at the Amsterdam Festival of Rubberwear back in the 70's as evidence, somehow, that I am biased. I quite forget, now, how we both happened to be there. He, I think, was researching an article on Sexual Fetish Through the Ages for one of those glossy, top-shelf magazines that were around in those days. You know the sort - slightly out of focus shot of a maiden bathing herself in a river. For my part, I had been asked to cover the emergence of sexual rubberwear manufacturing as a major employer of ex-cotton workers in the Colne Valley for the Burnley Times. Just because we spent many an hour comparing notes on the internal architecture of a number of brown cafes does not mean I have compromised my integrity.

All that is really neither here nor there, however. I merely wanted to use my new platform here on these pages to lend my support to Julian. And to rubbish Wabb-Nesperton, who is a second-rate purveyor of popularised history in the Sunday supplements and who is distinguished at the moment by not having a single reference to his work on Google. That very fact, it has to be acknowledged, speaks volumes!


Julian Syngen-Smythe said...

As ever, a heart-felt and rousing piece.

I have learnt to pity this poor, deluded Wabb-Nesperton fellow, with his tawdry, tacky attempts at distributing historical literature.

Until he has stood in my leather brogues, he can never know what it truly means to be a historian. All he will know is how to be history.

All the best,


Bill Blunt said...

You are welcome, Julian. Academic debate is one thing. But venemous vitriol is quite another. Not a man to easily be roused, I nevertheless could easily be tempted to punch Wabb-Nesterton's lights out.