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Otto FTW


This needs to become a meme:

j.ottopohl posted a comment in He’s a Lumberjack, and He’s OK: The Wobbly Scholarship of Erik Loomis, Ph.D. · 18 hours ago

I am not a leftist and I did my PhD in the UK and now work in Africa. But, even so I was wondering if this blog could read and review my dissertation. The title is Shallow Roots: The Exile Experiences of Russian-Germans, Crimean Tatars, and Meskhetian Turks in Comparative Perspective and I completed it at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London in 2004. You can find an abstract to the dissertation at the url below.

Not sure we’re meeting the standards of peer review…

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  • More like a “beer review”

    • blowback

      He (j.ottopohl) is taking the piss as we Brits say.

      • We on this side of the pond grok taking the mick. :-)

  • Nice. “I want Wayne LaPierre’s head on a stick!” should be the new euphemism for “Would you please read my dissertation?”

    • I’ve got to find a custom chocolate shop to make lollipops of La Pierre and sell them online.

      • peorgietirebiter

        Put me down for a case. They’ll make terrific stocking stuffers for my right wing relatives.

        • CJ

          You can give to your local Republican Senators, Representatives, etc. with the message “Here, go suck on Wayne LaPierre”.

    • DrDick

      I think he now has a model for how to get people to read it by following Erik’s lead.

      • DrDick

        Oops. Misread the post. Props to J. Otto. I may not agree with him about much, but this is an upstanding act.

  • spencer

    I’m not gonna click on TheOtherMcCain because I like my blood pressure where it is, but could Otto have been trying (not very successfully, but still) to make a point – that those idiots are not qualified to offer any substantive critique of academic research?

    Other than that, I got nothin’.

    • tt

      The point is that it’s exciting and even flattering for someone to read your dissertation. Preferably someone whose opinion you care about but you take what you can get. And honestly, I haven’t read Loomis’s dissertation so I can’t speak to accuracy but the summary looks fairly comprehensive. I admire the work ethic.

      • Bill Murray

        I am not sure all my committee members read my dissertation all the way through, but it is ~350 pages long

    • Vance Maverick

      I thought Otto was perfectly successful in making that point. His naturally…deadpan writing style was just right for this. Kudos (but like you, I won’t be getting out of the boat).

      • spencer

        I have difficult parsing Otto sometimes, and I think I may be generally too hard on him as a result.

        So yeah, mea culpa on not really getting the joke.

  • The lumberjack headline belongs on a much more positive post of Professor Loomis. I clicked onwards without realizing what cesspool I was venturing into.

    • Timb

      Why do white nationalist offend you so much?

      Oh, yeah, right. Too bad you didn’t get to the part of the site where McCain defends Emmett Till’s murderers….cause you know what grinds Glen Reynolds gears? Metaphors, but not defense of racist murder

    • Marcus O. Fazomi

      People often do not grasp the specificity original research requires. Dissertations are not greatly expanded high school papers.

  • rea

    Otto can be a pain at times, but sometimes he’s a standup guy. That, I think, is the case here–he’s over there poking them with a metaphorical stick.

    • David Hunt

      Does it have Wayne LaPierre’s head on it?

      • David Hunt

        I referring to his metaphorical head, of course.

  • Cody

    I’m laughing so hard. You all are going to get me in trouble at work.

    Seriously though – I look forward to seeing the blog’s review of Otto’s dissertation. It should be very informative!

  • Spokane Moderate

    I’m pretty sure I’ve never directly interacted with him, but I’ve just gotta say:


    • mds


      • wjts


      • Marek

        Harrumph harrumph!

  • SEK

    I’m just going to float some balloons … can we call it “pohling”?

    • SEK

      (You know, “Like, dude! You read his dissertation? You’ve been ‘rik-pohled!” That way Erik and Otto share the credit.)

  • #slowclap…

  • OTTO: Well done.

  • Everett Volk

    I requested review of my master’s thesis. I think everyone should ask them for some peer review, as well.

    • That’s a great idea except that my real name is all over the listing and I’d rather not hand that over.

  • The review of Erik’s dissertation is “By ‘Badger Pundit.'” Intentionally apt?

    • Timb

      If you mean “is that guy really a badger?” I think the answer is no. No self-respecting badger hangs around with the KKK brigade

  • Have to give Otto the credit here. That is pretty bloody funny.

  • Sherm

    Not enough gay sex in Otto’s dissertation to merit their review.

    • Malaclypse

      Can you be sure?

    • JKTHs

      It’s not shower material

    • Origami Isopod

      So Otto’s dissertation isn’t what you’d call a towering work?

  • Leeds man

    Nice one, Dr. Pohl.

  • Cheap Wino

    Excellent! Judging by the crickets I think it went over most of the people’s heads.

    • DrDick

      Comic books go over their heads.

      • mds

        Only if our aim is off.

        [Metaphorical! Metaphorical!]

      • rea

        And over the sticks beneath them . . .

      • Timb

        It’s cause he led with “not a leftist.” All they are a simpleton, white racists and they need that litmus test “right/left” before they can hate.

  • I will gladly review any dissertation for a mere $0.50 per page. The fee is necessary only to keep me in good cheer beer.

    • Timb

      This offer will soon be rescinded

  • catclub

    Anybody else remember the Stephen Fry book, in which Professor Trefusis is asked to comment on some hideously violent ( possibly with sex, too)
    US movie?

    He has no problem with the movie, except for the violence it does to the English language.

    I am not sure why this topic reminded me of it.
    The next thing it reminds me of is Richard Feynmann being the only person to testify in favor of a topless bar.

  • Rhino

    I am slowly becoming convinced that Otto is some kind of fairly deep piece of what I can only call performance art being developed here in our corner of the net. The strange combination of depth shown here with the irascibly shallow nature of his ongoingStalin schtick just kind of pry at me.

    Also, what he did here goes down as one of the high points of my Internet life, and I was around in the heyday of alt.peeves and alt.tasteless for some of history’s greatest trolling.

    You have my admiration Otto. If that is who (or even what) you are ;)

  • marijane

    well played!

  • melior

    Little known introductory verse which further supports your point:

    Oh, I’ve got two legs from my hips to the ground
    And when I move’m they walk a-round
    When I lift’em they climb the stairs
    And when I shave’m they ain’t got hairs.


  • drstankus

    heh, actually, I’d love to read some academic papers.

    I’ve got a BA in Econ, so I’m probably worthless, but at least someone would read the thing. :)

  • Wow, thanks for the comments. I actually never expected anybody to notice the comment and just put it out there on a lark. Sometimes you get lucky. For the record most of my life is pretty transparent and easy to find on places like my blog and the International Committee for Crimea site which I linked to in the comment on McCain’s site. Although neither the comment on McCain’s site or this post have generated any traffic for my blog.

    • e julius drivingstorm

      Bump, Dr. J. Otto Pohl.

      Congratulations. You’ve been googled and bookmarked. Kudos for acknowledging over there your union’s role in landing you back pay.

    • Anonymous

      Actually, if you are working on the topic of the Crimean tatars and immigration, I think the case of Crimean tatar minority in Finland would provide a very interesting comparison point.

      The group in question was, when it formed in the late 19th century, the only islamic community in Finland, representing a completely alien phenomenon. However, it has not only avoided assimilation to the main-stream Finnish population, but also remained closed to all non-Tatar muslims. Currently, the Finnish Tatar community numbers around 1,000, and consists mainly of middle-class professionals and businessmen. (In practice, their position in the society mirrors the position of the Finnish Jewish community very closely.) There is some quite interesting scholarship on the topic.

      • I have not done much on Crimean Tatars recently. I had a short piece published in Turkish translation I wrote in 2010. But, that was the last thing I did regarding the group. The English version of the article is available at the url below under the title, “The False Charges of Treason Against the Crimean Tatars.”


        I was not aware of the Crimean Tatars in Finland. I know they have a diaspora going back to the 19th century in various Balkan countries such as Romania and Bulgaria, but I did not know about Finland. I have not done any research on Crimean Tatars other than in the USSR in part because I lack the research languages. I know Russian, but not Crimean Tatar or Turkish.

  • xaaronx

    Late to the party because I’ve been traveling a lot lately, but bravo Otto!

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