Now there’s a good blog title. I got it from a problem page on Salon:

“I’m a nude dancer trying to finish my Ph.D.”

The student in question is concerned about whether her choice of going back to nude dancing as a way of funding graduate school will have unwelcome consequences on her academic career. The agony uncle wisely advises her to embrace the challenge head on, and to turn her choice of career into an object of study and a theoretical statement.

“So in your case, working as a nude dancer makes all the sense in the world. And I think the logical next step is to own the means of production, that is, create a combination strip club and cultural studies foundation, where the neon sign outside says, “XXX Cultural Studies — the XXX productive force of the XXX 21st century.” Tall enough to be seen from the interstate, it would alternately flash, “Naked Girls! Books! Naked Girls! Books!”

And the first study you need to fund, I think, is a careful look at the lap dance itself, specifically how the lap dance is, as I understand it, the very legal definition of not sex, and yet looks far more like sex than sex itself. How is that? I just find that rather peculiar and certainly worth whatever time a grad student could spend on it. “

He is right, of course. This is like manna from heaven for a social scientist looking to make her name in the field. I almost wish I’d had the idea first.