You’re Not Alone? Well, You Are Now. | Samuel Martin

Thing haven’t been going well for the University of Manchester. Following the suicide of a postgraduate applicant, who they rejected despite taking his £1000 deposit, they’re now under fire for someone they did let in.

Karl Andersson, PhD student at the University of Manchester, produced some very alarming “research” about some “very young boys”:

“I wanted to understand how my research participants experience sexual pleasure when reading shota, a Japanese genre of self-published erotic comics that features young boy characters. I therefore started reading the comics in the same way as my research participants had told me that they did it: while masturbating.”

Yes, one of the UK’s most prestigious universities subsidises a man to jack off to hentai depicting children and write about it.

Putting aside the fact that, indeed, two bombs were not enough (I would make a Fat Man and Little Boy joke here but the guy in question doesn’t make it work), Andersson’s “research” has, unsurprisingly, received some criticism.

For many, this paper affirms the academic husk known as “The Humanities” is only decaying further, as well as the broader domain of qualitative research (fittingly, the name of the academic journal into which Andersson slung his literary muck).

Whilst I generally agree with this standpoint, it’s hard to imagine Andersson’s research being any more justified had he taken a quantitative approach, rather than engage in that wafty subjective qualitative nonsense. Imagine (actually, please don’t):

“I wanted to understand how my research participants varied in response to reading shota, a Japanese genre of self-published erotic comics that features young boy characters. I therefore recorded the number of pages required for each of my research participants to achieve orgasm… In this essay, I shall…”

I know we are meant to be grown-up [l]iberal [c]onservatives in 2022, talking about brass tacks subjects like housing supply, tax, and spending (it’s the economy, stupid!) and that Fringe Culture War issues that nobody cares about (immigration, crime, The Trans Business, etc.) should be left to low-status loudmouths, but must we be so drab?

“I say, this study is a bit on-the-nose”.

“Indeed. Quite a questionable publication, in my opinion”.

“Agreed, this is all a bit TMI”.


Oh, crumb-diddly. Oh, bother. Now I’ll never mingle with the High-Status High IQ Metropolitan Liberal Remainer Elven Cognitive Elite. It’s so over.

Above all else, critics have suggested that Andersson’s paper serves no utility whatsoever, and that such an unhelpful, never mind perverse, piece of “research” was published in a peer-reviewed journal is utterly unacceptable. I disagree. If anything, Andersson’s paper demonstrates a good deal about our universities, both their internal machinations and how they view people beyond their walls.

The backlash to Neil O’Brien MP’s condemnation of Andersson’s “research” by scuttling no-names is evidence enough. It is safe to presume that a non-insignificant portion of academics have a heuristic, perhaps compulsive, opposition to the right – even if the right is saying: “hmmm, maybe perhaps paying someone to spend time writing about masturbating to shotacon is a somewhat impractical, arbitrary, and morally dubious use of time and resources… possibly”. The U-turns only began once they clocked the hill wasn’t worth dying on – it was not a good look!

Whilst it is hard to imagine that most academics, in the humanities or otherwise, would defend Andersson’s research, the fact that it was published in April 2022 without a word of opposition suggests a strong guild mentality within academia. Moreover, it’s clear that this isn’t the first (or second) time Andersson has engaged in such degenerate behaviour.

“We are the enlightened (credentialed) elite, and we must guard the truth (institutions) against unenlightened (uncredentialed) influence”.

In short: to publicly agree with O’Brien would diminish the status of the guild, to diminish the status of the guild would embolden the uncredentialed, and emboldening the uncredentialed would mean DONALD TRUMP RUSSIA BREXIT CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA DOMINIC CUMMINGS VOTE LEAVE BUS CHEESE AND WINE BARNARD CASTLE FAR-RIGHT POPULISM.

“Sure, Andersson is a weirdo that likes little boys, but he’s our weirdo that likes little boys, so shut up”.

As suspected, Andersson’s “research” has now been removed (in accordance with “COPE” guidelines, lmao), but we must bookmark this debacle for future reference. It is evident that the guild mentality which purges academic dissent simultaneously enables morally perverse behaviour. What is understated is that, with enough pressure, outsiders (academic, political, or otherwise) can bring the existence, and consequences, of this guild mentality to the fore of public consciousness.

Amidst a torrent of condemnation, disgust, and second-hand embarrassment, I shall be the first to thank and congratulate Mr Andersson, for he has produced one of the most widely shared, socially engaging, and politically instructive pieces of “humanities” “research” in God knows how long. My only hope is that he never does so ever again.

Photo Credit.

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