Academic Funny Bone

, Malcolm A. Kline, Leave a comment

In a November 16, 2012 Academe Blog posting, Wright State University English professor Martin Kich has given us an idea of what academics find amusing.

He writes:

McSweeney’s has published a wonderful parody of John Steinbeck’s most famous novel. Called The Grapes of Mitt, the parody imagines how things might have been different if Tom Joad had been born Mitt Romney. In the following passage, Tom Joad’s climactic speech about his commitment to the long fight for basic workers’ rights and human rights is recast as a persecuted rich man’s lament:

“Well maybe like Paul says, a fella ain’t got a soul of his own, but his corporation does—an’ you can’t take that away—an’ then—”

“Then what, Mitt?”

“Then it don’t matter. Then I’ll be around. I’ll be ever’where—wherever you look. Wherever there’s a corporation that’s being told it’s not a person—I’ll be there. Wherever there’s a regulator beating a Limited Liability Corporation, I’ll be there. Wherever there’s a white guy voting against a socialist, I’ll be there. . . . God, I’m talking like Paul. Seems like I can still see him sometimes even though he gone back to Congress and I’m—I’m still here. Comes of thinking of him so much. Thinking of him—and of his flannels. God, I loved his flannels, and the way his pecs looked in his flannels.”

“I don’t un’erstan’,” Ma said, “I really don’t.”

“Me neither,” said Mitt. “It’s jus’ stuff I been thinkin’ about. Get thinkin’ a lot when you movin’ aroun’ between vacation homes.” He glanced at his watch. “You gotta get back, Ma.”

“You take the Super PAC, then.”

He was silent for a moment. “Awright,” he said.

“And Mitt, later—when it’s all blowed over, you’ll come back to the way you were? Back when you believed in speaking French in public and that immigrants were people?”

“Sure,” he said.


Malcolm A. Kline is the Executive Director of Accuracy in Academia.

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