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The Week in WTF

1. College, WTF?

Some scientific studies are mildly amusing and others provide an unlimited bounty of amazed WTFs. This one is a keeper:

Forty-three percent of collegians apparently learn nothing in their first two years of higher education and only marginally more thereafter.

As Bluto Blutarsky infamously lamented: "Seven years of college down the drain."

You can almost hear the exploding heads of every parent who just spent $40,000 a year to send their kid to Northwestern. Or Loyola. Or DePaul. Or UIC. Or, for the love of gawd, the University of Effing Chicago. The city's community colleges? Fuhgeddaboudit. Certainly no learning there.

The first two years of college appear to be a vampire dead zone. Guys are trying to get laid. Who has time for study, even if teachers are trying to teach, which it appears they aren't?

Naturally, every academic at every college in the country will insist it may be true that almost no one learns anything in college, but that's the other college. The one down the street. My college is a pinnacle of academic achievement.

First, some givens. Applying the concept of inertia (a body at rest, etc . . . look it up), college students will be lazy if allowed to be lazy. One of the beauties of college is that no one can make you go to class anymore. So, there's no use berating kids about this. Leopards have spots. Kids are lazy.

Tangentially, if we demand kids be active and work hard intellectually, they usually will. So, this is not a dumb kid problem. This is a dumb adult problem.

What this study shows is that the level of wasteful collegiate laziness is endemic and crazily expensive. College presidents who make millions are lazy. College deans are goofing off. Academic department heads are asleep. Professors are too busy doing something else that makes more money, and the substructure Crazy Glue that makes all of college academics function - the lowly graduate assistant - are likely sliding through as well.

If you are constantly amazed how dumb this country is about science, math and almost everything else that requires cogent logic, consider the natural result of an inability to think clearly: mass dumbness. Peformed by dumbasses. You get what you pay for. In this case, we be stupid.

2. Cubs Fans, WTF?

When the Cubs win, the "W" flag flies. At Wrigley. On vehicle antennas. Off the back porch. We get that.

But a recent visitor to the Cubs convention suggested that while the "W" flag is okay, flying the "L" flag seems masochistic. And considering how often the Cubs lose, you are reminded way too often that today was another Loser Day. The Cubs fan was loudly derided for his lack of traditional values; an elderly man with a walker is said to have approached him menacingly.

The "L" flag, of course, is just as much a Cubs tradition as the pungent troughs that pass for urinals at the Friendly Confines. And considering that no one in Chicago has a portable radio, an iPhone, an iPad, a smart phone, a mobile connection to the Internet or a TV, providing a semaphoric backup probably serves a useful function. Dumbassivity. WTF.

3. Walter Jacobson, WTF?

Channel 2 fossil Walter Jacobson thought it was a lousy idea for Bill Clinton to meddle in Chicago politics this week. Said so on his special commentary though he didn't back it up with any specific evidence other than his generally pissiness. (It's his public personabulation). The problem with Bill backing the Rahmster? He's a Washington insider. Mister Slick Fund-Raiser, etc, etc. And besides, what does Willy know about what Chicago needs? Chicago is the mysterious Land of Oz.

Okay, we get it.

Walter was tense-jawed and his visage was piercing. Either that or his truss was snagged. Sometimes we are compelled to note that Chicago can lapse into the smallest town in the world.


Comments welcome.


Posted on January 21, 2011

MUSIC - Chief Keef Changed The Industry.
TV - Vizio's Best Product Is You.
POLITICS - UIC: Soda Taxes Work.
SPORTS - More McCaskey Malpractice.

BOOKS - All About Poop.


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