Friday, May 08, 2009


While I was busy with other stuff, somebody else built the career I thought I might have. This distresses me. I landed a book contract with the University of Utah Press, and midway through the rough draft the other guy published essentially the same book. I couldn't bring myself to read it, but I hear it's good. He's since cranked out another book or two and papers in journals that cheerfully reject my submissions. I don't read those either. The other half of my department is braver and tells me that we are essentially clones, soulmates, sharing a single stone tool-based brain and writing the same stuff in the same style.

I guess I'm glad I'm not the only person who thinks about our subject matter the way I do, and that the ideas are getting out there to a wide audience. I'm just bothered that it's under his name rather than mine.

It's my fault, not his, of course. I never wanted to go back and polish up the hoop-jumping and ass-kissing skills that are necessary tools for navigating a PhD, nor did I want to sit through another introductory physical anthro class with a bunch of 20-ish baby grad students, nor have I ever had any interest in an academic career that would require teaching. So I toil in obscurity and wonder if I really have any idea what I'm doing after all after the drawing's done.

My only reliable skill set. Shh, don't tell the boss.


Homer said...

Don't get me started on other people stealing my stuff...

Boltgirl said...

Well, he didn't actually steal my stuff; he just thought of it simultaneously and got around to publishing it before I did. Which might be a tad easier with a doctorate and university gig. Neither of which I am likely to have in this lifetime.