Laurie Taylor Column

April 20, 2007

"Academics owe it to society to promote themselves as public intellectuals" - Barbara Misztal, head of Leicester University's department of sociology.

The University of Poppleton

Department of Media and Cultural Studies

This department strongly believes that academics should be involved in the complex issues facing contemporary society and is happy to offer the following range of public intellectuals for immediate engagement.

Professor G. Lapping. If you're looking for a solid middle-of-the-road public intellectual, someone without either strong views or the statistics to back them up, then Lapping should be your choice for public debates and interviews. He currently lacks strong views on Gordon Brown, the Iranian nuclear threat and Celebrity Big Brother .

Dr Piercemüller is at present seconded to the Institute for the Study of Urban Deprivation in Aix-en-Provence. He could be briefly glimpsed in the background in last week's Provencal edition of Channel 4's A Place in the Sun . Although generally anxious to keep out of the limelight ( if not the sunlight - ed ), he is happy to attend any number of well-funded public dinners.

Ted Odgers. Principal interests include bar football and the overthrow of contemporary corporate capitalism. Mr Odgers is against television on the grounds that the only winner in a society devoted to bread and circuses is the cultural elite that runs the circuses ( although presumably the bakers also do all right - ed ). Mr Odgers is, however, happy at all times to stand on upturned boxes in public squares. He does not wear a poppy on Remembrance Day.

Maureen (Departmental Secretary). Although there can be no doubt about the strength of Maureen's views on a wide range of academic and related topics, it is generally felt that she has rather too much to say in public for her own good.

Please note that when appearing in public, all the above employees of the University of Poppleton will be expected to abide by the university's core value system and espouse views that are consonant with the university's recently embraced commitment to a Christian ethos.

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