Brenda-Lee shares her observations of a particular type of old man.
It takes all kinds of make a world and you’ve probably noticed that people fall into different categories: the incompetent boss, the naïve and angry punk, the air-headed bimbo, etc… This phenomenon should not be new to you (P.S. you are a character too). If it weren’t for our ability to categorise people into characters, we would not be able to enjoy stories (literature, TV, history, you get the picture) because we wouldn’t be able to relate to them. While some characters are more universal, there are some with which we only become familiar if we run in certain social circles.
I would like to describe a certain type of person of which I have only observed four specimens in my lifetime, they seem to be especially prevalent in academia, but I am sure they are to be found elsewhere.
Meet the Senile Idealist:
This man is at least 65 years old, he is still riding the waves of a brilliant career in either one of the social sciences, philosophy or theology. It has to be a “soft” field because if someone was rambling nonsense in the sciences it would be easier to ask them to back up their claims (unless they are speaking off topic). Even though it has been years since he has contributed anything of substance to his field, people keep inviting this kind of man to conferences so as to have a “big name” on the list of speakers – invitations which he gladly accepts, despite being obsolete. At these conferences or in his classes, he spends his time rambling off topic, quoting various authors though has a particular fetish for the works of Shakespeare and the Bible. You’re better off skipping class if you have the misfortune of having one as a professor and besides, as long as you ramble like him on your exam/assignment, you are guaranteed a decent grade.