Monday, May 13, 2013

SharkFox Attack!

SharkFox: An underhanded, sneaky, self-centered, ambitious, utterly incompetent, aggressive person who takes joy in screwing people over for their own advancement, and also because it's just "so much fun".  Vicious and sly with beady little eyes and a creepy smile.  Uses a lack of subtlety as a cover for their scheming in an attempt at faux transparency/diversion, i.e. presents as such an idiot that no one could seriously entertain the idea of them as a threat.  Uses intermittent reinforcement to its benefit because in all actuality it really is an idiot, and it has the uncanny ability to demonstrate that in earnest when people start to suspect its duplicitous nature.  May also share behavioral characteristics with a pigeon.    

The SharkFox is a particularly nasty predator, an invasive species, really, in the academic ecosystem.  It is likely that all institutes of higher education have SharkFox infestations.  The invasive and highly damaging nature of the SharkFox has been the direct cause of death to many doctoral student's careers.  The SharkFox is a cunning foe to those who are unable to recognize the signs of impending doom when in its presence.  For public safety reasons, anyone currently in a doctoral program, or those who may become a doctoral student should learn the risk signs of a SharkFox infestation, and subsequently, a SharkFox attack.
A SharkFox is very skilled at disguising him or herself to unsuspecting persons.  This ability to provide convincing camouflage enables the SharkFox to blend in with other academics in order to pursue its true desires of attention, power, and creation of human suffering.  For example, the most dangerous SharkFox known to the academic world uses the guise of a competent, decent human being with a southern accent as its cover.  SharkFox create their camouflage by ingratiating themselves, constantly smiling, and spewing unctuous and nonsensical verbal diarrhea on any and all humans in their presence.  Their sugary venom can act quickly, and those people not immune to it are easily overcome.  SharkFox venom has the ability to mentally weaken a person to the point of allowing the SharkFox to control their minds and guide their actions.  Given their preference for weak minds, it is perhaps unsurprising that the most common habitat for a SharkFox to invade is the Social Sciences, followed closely by MBA programs and the non-academic settings of political caucuses and religious institutions.  

As noted by my fellow Pink Squirrel, Snarky Squirrel, one of the SharkFox' most effective methods of gaining compliance/pure torture is its ability to stun its prey.  The stunning capabilities of a SharkFox emanate from areas of its body that should at all costs remain covered by clothing such as the chest and thighs.  However, the SharkFox uses its stun capabilities with tact, and its victims often fail to recognize the soul burning, brain melting effect of a stun until it is much too late.

SharkFox use their powers to feed on the burgeoning careers of young doctoral students.  A recognizable sign of danger for any doc student when a SharkFox is present is the phrase, "Hey, can I tell you something...?"  This often leads to venom dispersion in the form of flattery regarding the doc student's background, a borderline inappropriate reference to the SharkFox' own background, followed by an offer to work with the SharkFox.  This is then handled in two ways: SharkFox makes unreasonable requests of doc student at all hours of the day, but favors the morning hours between 2am and 5am, or SharkFox repeatedly "forgets" about the project and does everything it can to weigh it down.  Either way, the doc student lives in fear of a SharkFox attack in the hopes of getting a good letter of recommendation and a line on their CV.  Most fail to see that the SharkFox is simply playing with its food, and it has no intention of supporting them in their careers.    

At this time, there is no natural predator for the SharkFox, particularly if it has been tenured.  While its existence in the academic ecosystem allows scientists to study it in a controlled environment, the SharkFox remains a menace.      

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