Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Proof that a higher education
pays off in the end.
I recently took my 16 year-old daughter on a tour of a couple of colleges. We got a pretty good idea of what we could expect -- a lifetime of college loan repayments. Both schools admitted tuition didn't come cheap, but that we should look at it as an "investment."

Oh so? I thought the whole idea of "investments" is that, in theory anyway, they eventually turn a profit to the investor. But as my broker reminds me at the end of every phone call, my principal is subject to loss. So why should higher education be any different? Look what my diploma got me: a blog.

That's me in the last row on the far right.
Just from two tours, I could tell college is certainly different than it was when I was sleeping through American History (not just the class, but the real thing). The broadcasting departments, for example, feature state-of-the-art equipment that allow the students to produce their own news shows, soap operas, sitcoms and the like. Considering what TV has become, they might as well skip the soap operas and skip straight to the reality shows about overweight hoarders with bratty children who are on the lam from airport security.

The guides boasted of a student population involved in everything from physics to public service. All I saw were kids tossing around Frisbees while others withdrew their parents' cash from an onsite ATM before going into the college-owned food court featuring every chain from Starbucks to Subway to Domino's Pizza. There were the usual fraternities, of course, like Eata Smegma Pi and Grabba Girla Dae. Somewhere between the compost station and the wi-fi laundry room, I think classes were mentioned, too, but I can't be sure.

Apropos of nothing,
I hate this shit.
But at least the kids looked nice enough and, even better, normal. No signs of political strife or cultural warfare. This wasn't the case for the college that another couple had toured with their son. The first thing they learned was that  some students might not identify with their sex; therefore, the words "he" and "she" are inherently sexist, and have been replaced by "ze." And faculty being what it is today -- Whatever the kids do is OK because we don't want anyone's feelings to get hurt -- this is considered not only acceptable but desirable. And they say college doesn't prepare you for the real world!

This whole "ze" business, aside from reeking of undeniable stupidity, is ready-made for interesting conversation over late-night beers at the campus pub:

"I was talking to Bob and Mary today."
"What's up with them?"
"Well, ze told me that ze is transferring to another school."
"Really? What does ze think about it?"
"Well, ze's not happy about it, but -- and this is what ze told me later -- ze was told by everybody else that ze had to accept it."
"Ze's right."
"Yeah, but so's ze."
"Yeah, I hadn't thought of that."

If it's good enough for Tom Poston...
I don't know where this leaves possessives. "His" and "hers" seem equally sexist, as do "zis" and "zers." If it didn't already have another meaning, "zits" would seem to be the logical choice (using "logical" very loosely.) Perhaps they should go with "zotz," since, as Tom Poston knew, it's the magic word for fun. And brother, fun is something these maniacs need more of. A lot more. I mean, like getting laid for any reason other than as a political statement.

Otherwise, why stop at he and she? Let's go the whole hog and eliminate names. "Hank" sounds more masculine than "Betsy," for example, so it's best to replace them with, say, "Menu" and "Wristwatch." Too bad those names can be easily considered politically incorrect. Better make it "Vegetarian Menu" and "Non-Blood Diamond Wristwatch."

Uh oh. Diamonds are associated in our sexist society with women, so we can't have that. Better make it "Hourglass." Except there's that old saw about women with hourglass figures. A simple "Clock" sounds too much like a certain masculine-oriented slang -- wait, isn't "orient" racist? Make that "masculine-Asianed" slang.

Where was I? Ah, the new name for Betsy. "Time Piece"? Uh uh. Haven't you ever heard how men degrade women by calling them "a piece"? There's always "Sundial"... if the first syllable didn't sound exactly like "son," thus paying homage to our sick, paternalistic society. The bastards always win in the end, don't they?

Forget about identifying with my sex. I'm having a hard enough time identifying with with my species.
Today's ze-obsessed college students could learn a thing or two from this 1960s Folger's Coffee commercial:

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