Today I got an email asking me why I had not renewed my membership in the AHA. I got a little wordy and my high-horse carried me away:
"I only joined the horrible organization because I was on the job market. I was ashamed to be associated with the organization while I was a member. The annual meetings and publications showcase the most petty, partisan, small-minded intellectual thugs assembled in the western hemisphere. Every year I grow more embarrassed and disappointed with the AHA. I was editing a joural article for a colleague a few months back, taking out all of the new jargon. He wrote me back saying that if he didn't include that buzz-word language that the article would never be published. It was published--with the buzz-word jargon, of course. History has never been more popular with the public, but any history-lover would consider it punishment to watch any panel at the AHA meeting. Most troubling though, is how dissenters are treated by people who claim to be open minded. None of these complaints are new, of course, but I had to hold my tongue until I got a job, lest I be marked a troublemaker in a hypercompetitive job market. I'll leave you alone to publish a journal that nobody reads and hold a meeting once a year to ratify the fact that you all still agree with one another. And why not pass some meaningless resolutions for good measure. Have fun with that."
If I thought twice I would have probably been more restrained.