Comic improvements

October 8, 2004

I have become an avid reader of The Times Higher since the bold, creative move to adopt a more satirical tone on the features pages. In particular, I have turned to the articles attributed to Frank Furedi for a heady combination of rapier wit and belly laughs. Here is a comic creation to stand alongside Laurie Taylor's Professor Lapping and Dr Piercemuller or anything Private Eye has to offer; a lost-world dinosaur living in the dark recesses of a distant senior common room.

Take, for example, his beautifully crafted offering on critical thinking and objectivity that pointedly demonstrated neither (Working Knowledge, September 24). You enhanced the comic effect by placing this alongside a helpful yet challenging piece on improving lecturing.

Imagine my shock then to be informed by a trustworthy colleague that Frank Furedi is a real person. This has, sadly, diminished my enjoyment by pricking my liberal conscience with the thought I may, inadvertently, have been laughing at someone rather than laughing with him. Please don't spoil my reading pleasure entirely by telling me that Gary Day is a real academic.

John Peters
University College Worcester

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