In case anyone was wondering, would-be professor Steven Salaita still has his nose way out of joint over his non-hiring at the University of Illinois.
He makes that clear in his new book, "Uncivil Rites," a wonderful example of self-righteous, narcissistic, rhetorically militant self-pity.
In a book likely to draw interest only from his fellow ideological zealots, Salaita takes a lot of people to the woodshed — former UI Chancellor Phyllis Wise, past board chairman Chris Kennedy and faculty members Cary Nelson, Joyce Tolliver and Nick Burbules.
Salaita even rummages through the UI's attic to find an unlikely culprit in his demise — Chief Illiniwek, the retired symbol of UI athletics.
"(Chief Illiniwek) is also partly responsible for my termination," Salaita writes.
The Chief was always a can-do kind of symbol, putting the fight in the Fighting Illini. But until now, no one had ever suggested he played a role in hirings and firings.
But that's what Salaita contends. If the Chief really was involved, this story could hardly be more bizarre.
Readers may recall that Salaita, a Palestinian-American, was scheduled to join the UI faculty in fall 2014. An English professor at Virginia Tech, he was scheduled to teach American-Indian studies.
But Salaita said right-wingers, corporate donors, supporters of Israel and other bad people publicized his profane tweets attacking Israel. As a consequence, top UI officials had second thoughts about him as a potential faculty member and withdrew the job offer, leaving Salaita out in the cold.
No one in such a predicament would be anything but angry, and Salaita is no exception. He's sued the UI to force his hiring, and the matter is in the courts.
Meanwhile, Salaita is teaching overseas in Beirut, where his explosive tweets won't be heard above the gunfire, and has written a book to tell his side of the story.
Like many self-proclaimed martyrs, he's become intoxicated by his sense of self.
"The University of Illinois and (Steven) Salaita are now practically synonymous," he writes.
Yes, he actually said that.
Mostly, however, he defends himself. He defends his tweets, the profane language in his tweets, his public demeanor. In fact, Salaita puts himself under a professional microscope and concludes that he's a pretty fine fellow, almost a model human being, albeit one beset by racists, colonialists, supporters of Israel and micro-aggressors.
"I cuss sometimes because why the (expletive deleted) not," he said, expressing his embarrassment "(for them) that some of my colleagues sermonized about my foul mouth."
Further, he's not uncivil — "I am civil to a fault."
Except, of course, when people force him to be uncivil. But who are they to make judgments about whether his public pronouncements befit a faculty member at a distinguished university?
"My discourse may appear uncivil, but such a judgment can never be proffered in an ideological or rhetorical vacuum. Civility and incivility make sense only in frameworks influenced by countless social and cultural valuations, often assisted by misreading or distortion," he writes, demonstrating magisterial command of politically correct jargon.
And one more thing about that civility nonsense: "In colonial landscapes, civility is inherently violent."
Salaita has a thing about "violence." He regards things he doesn't like as "violent."
"Stupidity can be amusing — until the moment that stupidity becomes a form of violence," he writes.
Salaita has a thing about colonialism, too. Israel is a colonial power in his mind because Jews there won a war for independence in 1948 and created a Jewish state, displacing Palestinians. Hence, his deep hatred of Israel.
The act of two separate peoples fighting over conflicting claims to the same land probably doesn't qualify as an act of colonialism — one nation conscripting another as part of a policy of expansion.
But his narrative of omnipresent colonialism victimizing indigenous people is consistent with the academic trends in the various grievance studies departments at our institutions of higher learning.
It should be no surprise that a man who sees oppressors everywhere takes a conspiratorial approach to his professional demise. He suggests UI officials who objected to his public discourse couldn't think or speak for themselves, instead relying on a "Handbook Strategy" prepared by a pro-Israel organization called the David Project.
So when Nelson stated that he had kept a record of Salaita's tweets, Salaita asserts that the UI professor was following a game plan that called for establishing an "early warning system" to identify "anti-Israel activity on campus."
When then-UI President Robert Easter stated that the professor's polemics show an inability to foster a "classroom environment where conflicting opinions could be given equal consideration," he's merely spouting "Anti-Divestment Talking Points."
Salaita identifies seven examples from the pro-Jewish, anti-Palestinian "Handbook Strategy."
Readers probably get the point by now. But there's one more thing. He insists he's not anti-Semitic, although he wants to see Israel disappear. In fact, he even likes Jews, especially those who agree with him about Israel.
Steven Salaita's six-city book tour includes stops in five major metros — and Urbana, where he's scheduled to appear next Tuesday, from 7-9 p.m. at the Independent Media Center (202 S. Broadway).
Oct. 5: Philadelphia
Oct. 6-7: New York
Sunday: Chicago (Loyola)
Monday: Chicago (UIC)
Oct. 16: Baltimore