Saturday, March 10, 2012

Hipsters are not the problem

A point-by-point response to "20 Ways to be Popular at a Liberal Arts School": (Sarah Lawrence, Amherst, Bard, Bates, Hampshire), by Ben Saucier. (The title is a bit of a misnomer. It's really, "Things that many people do at liberal arts schools." My responses are based on whether or not large amounts of folks at Bard did what the author is claiming were "popular.")

1) This is true. However, more people should support Palestine. A lot of what is wrong with the world is because of America's perverse relationship with Israel.

2) Yeah, I never got the appeal of Parliaments. I smoked Camels, that nice, bland, middle class white brand of cigarette.

3) Not true. Bard had school spirit up the wazoo. That was awesome.

4) True. But also true about the Real World, e.g., vague complaints about immigration, the economy, kids these days. Hipsters do not have a monopoly on vague, self-serving bitching.

5) I'm sad that nobody ever occupied a building when I was at Bard. There were some protests about the new performing arts building or the new science building, but these, I believe, tended to devolve into surrealist circus-type antics and drinking.

6) All college kids smoke weed and don't do homework.

7) See #1. Sure, a lot of kids may not understand why they should be offended by sexist or racist language, and some may only be taking on being offended as an affect. But I think that's better than not caring at all, calling everyone "fag" and everything "gay", etc. In other words, wouldn't the world be a better place if more people, not fewer, took offense at homophobic speech?

8) Sure, you could skip class. But then you'll probably fail, and, deep down, you actually do care about what you're learning.

9) This is very true, and I never understood it. So many people were always talking about the inevitably of transferring specifically to NYU, and then never did. Mysterious.

10) Very True. And hilarious.

11) Yeah, this happened more than it should have. The funny thing is that I never saw anyone ever get anything done on Adderall. Mostly it just led to chain smoking and writing and rewriting the same one paragraph for days on end.

12) Yup.

13) Yeah, there were a couple of students I could name who never seemed to get the point, who always somehow changed the class conversation to that one dream they had last night, or whatever. But they were pretty well outnumbered by people who worked hard, cared about the material, and respected other people's opinions.

Furthermore, now that I am at a big, state school, I am shocked at how many students do not do the reading. This is not a quality of rich hipsters at small liberal arts schools; they largely did their homework. It's the students at the big, faceless universities that never do their reading because they're just gonna be sitting at the back of that 200-student lecture hall, so why fucking bother, eh?

14) Philosophy is awesome, so back off. Although, to be fair, I spent way too much of my time building arguments to precisely refute people saying, “Well, your entire point hinges on the false assumption that a physical reality actually exists.”

15) Sure, why not.

16) This one passed me up. I was either wearing the same hoodie and pair of dungarees I had been wearing for two weeks, or a suit.

17) OK, I'm actually too old for this one. Some folks would wear Hannah-Barbara t-shirts, or weird shit with, like, Voltron or some obscure anime characters on it. But Spongebob had yet to become a "thing" yet, as far as I am aware.

18) Fun is totally in the eye of the beholder. In my opinion, drinking games like beer pong are simply not fun. The only drinking games I have enjoyed are card games like Presidents and Assholes and Drunk Driver, which is essentially one person dealing him or herself an entire deck of cards and drinking whenever a face card is played. (Flip Cup is OK, but it stresses me out.) Having said that, implying that standing in the cold drinking and smoking a cigarette is lame overlooks the fact that a lot can take place during that smoke. As I have said before, any evening that begins in the gentlemen's club, discussing Wittgenstein, is an evening well spent.

On the other hand, no one should ever judge any one else for having a good time at a party (within limits). I ain't gonna judge anyone inside the party whooping it up, but, you know, there are important things to be talking about.

19) There's a lot in this one. a) Is "governmentality" a word? b) Everyone should learn to love Foucault and Derrida. c) I have an uncle who plays the banjo and it is awesome. d) "Deconstructionalism" is definitely not a word and if Mr. Saucier had done his readings he would know that. e) Always throw it at them.

20) Thought about getting a tattoo. Never did. Do not regret that decision.

1 comment:

Billy's Sabbatical Blog said...

ahh, you like your uncle's banjo!


your uncle