Monday, February 12, 2007

Celebrity endorsements

It's true what they say: being a professor is exactly like being a rock star, except with even more rock and roll. Last semester I got my first tastes of fame: I had an interview published*, I was quoted in an article in the newspaper**, I opined on the radio***, and I even got a speaking gig****. It should now be obvious to all that I am not just an established pundit, but a celebrity.

Life in the fast lane accelerated for me this semester as I was (and continue to be) sought out for a series of celebrity endorsements. Even better, I am being asked to endorse people. Most celebrities only are trusted to render judgements on things like breakfast cereal or cars, which Consumer Reports does better anyway. But my advice is being sought on the worth of individual human beings.

The power I hold in my hand is truly awesome. I can make or break someone's summer internship. It's quite an "authority rush," as the kids say, but I am careful not to let the sensation go to my head. I keep myself grounded through a combination of yoga and old G.I. Joe cartoons.

Wait, that should say yogurt and not yoga. (Custard-style Yoplait, just like the movie stars eat.)

Anyhow, you, my imaginary readers should be grateful that you are getting in on the ground floor of the House of Payne fame elevator as it rockets through the roof and into the sun. It's just a matter of time now before I am elected Emperor of Earth through popular acclaim. How many academics can say that? Besides Alan Dershowitz, I mean.

Peace out, peasants.


* The interview was in the Political Review, a 4-page magazine written by students and handed out for free to anyone who will take one. The circulation is in the hundreds, I am sure, if you count trash cans as subscribers.

** I was quoted in the Daily Universe, the student newspaper. They asked me about border security as it relates to immigration, about which I know very little.

*** Me and two other guys who work here got to blab about nukes on a program called Thinking Aloud. The thinking I am not so sure of, but I believe we were actually vocalizing, so the aloud part is right.

**** Some folks who work at the bureau of reclamation here in town asked me to come in and talk a bit during their lunch break. It was not, strictly speaking, a paying gig, unless you count prestige as money-- which I do. I assume that dozens of people work there, and I assume that the five or six people who showed up with brown bags took my words and carried them back to share with their co-workers. So the potential impact of what I said is basically limitless.

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