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On Campus at U.PE
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In the fall of the year, as leaves turned red and gold on the campus of U.PE, an aging professor stood on the podium to give the welcoming address to the new class of freshmen. His hair was white, his mien one of resignation and cynicism. He looked as though he would rather be almost anywhere else. He spoke as follows:

“Welcome to this…place. I trust, or fear, that you have settled in.

You are now officially in college. You need to know several things about this condition. You will not like knowing them, which is part of why they are important. I will elucidate.

To begin, you do not belong here. You are spoiled, self-important, narcissistic, infantile brats, unprepared for college work, in which you likely have little interest. In the past, students of your age were almost adults and trying to learn how to be adults. You are different, alas. Your chief interest for four years will be in avoiding adulthood. This will be easy because you are less mature than earlier students, less prepared academically, and less ready for university.

In all likelihood you will waste these four years of your time and mine in this institution, which once was a university—during which you will take absurd courses of your own devising, courses having nothing to do with the purposes of education, of which you know nothing. You may already have discovered English 205, Batman and the Legacy of Patriarchy, and Sociology 202, Subliminal Oppression and the Frontiers of Resistance. You will study such nonsense in a spirit of tiresome self-adulation. I will have to babysit you during this sorry process. I do not know who is getting the worse of the deal.

This state of affairs is not entirely your fault. Here is something else you need to know: This university is interested only in collecting your tuition and, having no spine, will accede to whatever your little hearts may desire. You will find that nothing is too silly, imbecilic, or pointless to engage your attention, and nothing too absurd for the faculty to permit. You will make fools of yourselves protesting about the rights of transgendered endangered hermaphrodites of color with AIDS and, like three-year-olds, you will throw fits over imaginary racism, rape, microaggressions, and all the other embarrassing gewgaws, glass beads, and shiny objects of the undeveloped mind.

Your time here will be wasted because you do not know what you need to learn to enjoy a cultivated existence. In the past professors acted in loco parentis. They would have guided your progress toward civilized maturity. This goal has been forgotten. Today the younger faculty do not themselves know why they or you are here. You are the leading edge of a dark age. You will not notice because you will be pecking at smart phones.

You have been sold a bill of goods. In exchange for going into lifelong debt, or draining your father’s bank account, you will pass time in a university-shaped place. It is not a university. You have been had.

When you graduate, a terrible shock awaits you. You will find that employers have no interest in your wearisome righteousness. They will not pay you for Victims’ Studies or contemplation of grievances. They will not care about the high GPAs you got through grade inflation or sleeping with the professor. They will expect you to do your job, if there is a job for you to do.

Which is by no means certain. You are going to debouch from this institution onto a world that is already grim and becoming more so. Jobs are scarce and the scarcity intensifies. The qualified struggle. You are unlikely to be among them. It is a sorry age to be setting out into life, to be half-schooled and unaccustomed to the shocks the flesh is heir to.

The world will not treat well your fragilities and sensitivities. In real life you don’t have “safe spaces” in which a subservient institution does everything possible to protect your alert sensitivities from the slightest offense. I wonder whether you have any idea how risible your safe spaces are, how comic are the boiling little concerns that will occupy you? In the world that awaits, you will not be able to run to mount a protest march every time someone says a word that you do not like.

A few of you—a very few—will perhaps discover the pleasures of knowledge and even of the attempt to understand life and the world to the extent that they can be understood. These unusual students will concern themselves with literature, the sciences, the arts, music, history, and languages ancient and modern. The university will not encourage you. It will instead tell you that such studies are elitist, that they deal too much with Dead White Men. Except for a few aging professors such as I, your instructors are no better than you. Those who do remember the purpose of a university will not subject themselves to attack to try to rescue you from the zeitgeist. They will quietly despise you.

Any interest you might show in, say, philosophy or classical antiquity will be ferociously condemned as elitism. So will almost anything of substance outside of the school of engineering. If you want an education, you will have to acquire it on your own.

You will not realize how degraded your schooling is here because you have no standard of comparison. The chain of civilization has been broken and, once broken, is not easily repaired. It is not even remembered. When the children are in charge of the kindergarten, no good comes of it.

You will write dismally in ungrammatical English, but regard correction as elitist and oppressive or perhaps having something to do with White Privilege. Your professors will agree. Your essays will be badly organized and poorly thought out, not worthy of an eighth-grader in years gone by, but you will reject criticism as elitist and an encroachment on your freedom of expression. Your professors will agree with you. They too need jobs.

Enough. Go forth, roll in ignorance, and God be with you. You will need him.”

The professor concluded amid a roar of displeasure from the assembled young. That afternoon, under the leadership of older students, they formed a committee to oppose racism and hurtful speech. In the social media they launched a campaign to have the professor fired. The administration apologized to the students, promised to behave better in future, and began proceedings to end the professor’s tenure. For his part, he went home, poured himself a double Scotch, and settled into a chair with the Anabasis. Xenophon was at least grammatical.

CORRECTION: In the foregoing I said that employers would not put up with the righteous Fauntleroys of today. I have been informed that I was wrong. I knew that the more limp-wristed economic sectors—government, teaching, academia, media—had gone whimpery, but did not know that real jobs—engineering, programming, business, construction—had gotten so bad. I guess my surroundings corrupted my thinking, as Mexicans do not do microaggressions et al., university students being focused on learning to make a living, and employers here definitely would not put up with. Anyway, mea culpa.

(Republished from Fred on Everything by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Political Correctness 
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  1. Escher says:

    I fear for my kids’ future.

    • Replies: @pyrrhus
    , @Bill Jones
  2. People who believe education is mostly about signaling and a university education shows that you were smart enough to get into a certain level of university and motivated enough to show up for class and graduate should support this. It’s an improvement in honesty and efficiency. After all, the education part was always mostly an expensive waste.


    • Replies: @JZ
  3. JZ says:
    @Cattle Guard

    What can you expect from a generation that gets all their received wisdom from Facebook and Twitter soundbites?

    We’re doomed.

  4. Back the 1980s, my university campus was neatly divided between the engineering students and everybody else. The other half of the campus was how you describe it. You could get a serious education there, or you could take the touchy-feely options and remain an unemployable child. I wonder if it’s still that way at the hard-core engineering schools.

    • Replies: @Realist
  5. Realist says:

    The vast majority of college students don’t belong in college, but thanks to inordinate greed it will not change.

  6. Realist says:
    @The Grate Deign

    “You could get a serious education there, or you could take the touchy-feely options and remain an unemployable child.”

    That is true for all STEM study.

  7. shmiggen says:

    this is why I chose to go to trade school. university is a joke. we are doomed.

    • Replies: @OutWest
  8. pyrrhus says:

    Amen. And even more so, my grandkids….Their world will be in need of Divine help…

  9. OutWest says:

    I went to trade schools too. Engineering and law.

  10. MTT says:

    I am a glass half-empty guy to say the least. But things move in cycles, and I have great hope that there will be a reaction that will restore traditionalism and say f*** this to all that Fred is describing. I am 46 and have 10 and 6 year old sons, and if I do nothing else important in my life, it is my mission and duty to teach them to reject this abomination, and become learned, skilled and proud men.

    Keep your chin up and keep up the good fight.

  11. Priss Factor [AKA "The Priss Factory"] says: • Website

    Internet killed the university.

    No one reads books cuz they’re online all the time, and hysteria now gets hyped with all the social networking.

  12. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    As a student, I can confirm that it is actually much worse than what Fred described in this post. The younger Professors – mid to late 30’s – are less mature than most of the students, and that is saying a lot.

  13. @Escher

    I agree, it’s the biggest thing on my mind.

    What the hell happened?- well I guess that’s the purpose of places like Unz.

    I did get a great surprise gift last week, my 14 year old son, when asked what he wanted for Christmas had only one idea: “I dunno, Books”?

    I was expecting an X-box type of reply.

  14. Rich says:

    I’ve almost lost hope, too. Every time I see a group of angry Black students with wimpy White kids following behind them, protesting that someone said a bad word or that history isn’t usually kind to the losers, I want to throw in the towel. There may be hope, however, in the young men returning from our overseas wars, men who’ve tasted a little reality and aren’t willing to bow down before the new Khmer Rouge mob. We’ll see.

    • Replies: @Truth
  15. Truth says:

    There may be hope, however, in the young men returning from our overseas wars, men who’ve tasted a little reality and aren’t willing to bow down before the new Khmer Rouge mob. We’ll see.

    Yeah, exactly what your 11-bravo returning home after three years of kicking in doors, swerving to avoid roadside bombs and being ambushed behind sand dunes wants to do…engage in a civil war.

  16. Rich says:

    Civil War? Where’d you get that from what I wrote? I’m talking about standing up and refusing to allow a bunch of screeching idiots to take over the public square. All that has to be done to stop these morons is for present laws to be enforced and for people to stop bowing to their insane rantings. Civil War? That’s nuts.

  17. @Rich

    Civil War? That’s nuts.

    No, that’s “Truth.”

  18. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Well, Fred, at least one young person has at least some sympathies with the professor – whoever made the short film “Modern Educayshun” (you can find it on YouTube).

    I think we’re beginning to see a backlash.

  19. rod1963 says:

    And who precisely will enforce these “laws” when the legal establishment is in thrall to these savages and extortionists along with the DOJ?

    Look what is going on is a result of the establishment caving in. They are more likely to look at a white ex 11B as a terrorist/thug than a man who has had enough of a bunch of whiny assholes.

    It won’t take much given that the DHS has already classified returning vets as potential terrorists along with those who support the Constitution and limited gun laws. So it wouldn’t take much to have some any complaining vet picked up and re-educated or imprisoned.

  20. Truth says:

    Civil War? Where’d you get that from what I wrote? I’m talking about standing up and refusing to allow a bunch of screeching idiots to take over the public square.

    And if they “stand up” and the “screeching idiots” refuse to sit down, then what?

    All that has to be done to stop these morons is for present laws to be enforced and for people to stop bowing to their insane rantings. Civil War? That’s nuts.

    Present laws are being enforced, Old Bean; chiefly:

    The First Amendment (right to free speech and assembly).


    The Ninth Amendment (the right to inalienable rights).

    • Replies: @Rich
  21. Truth says:

    You see, Old Bean, one of the major factors in the start of the Revolutionary War was a group of “screeching idiots” taking over the public square (Boston Harbor), and the “convervatives” (Brits), trying to enforce present laws and make these vandals stop their insane rantings.

  22. Rich says:

    Free Speech entitles one group to stop another group’s free speech? Filing false police reports is protected “speech”? The 9th amendment allows the illegal take over of state and private campuses? If people would just stand up to these bullies, I’m pretty sure they would back down. When you keep giving in to spoiled children, they keep getting worse.

    • Replies: @Truth
  23. Fred is perhaps the best writer here

  24. Truth says:

    Richard, you are totally misled.

    The Boston Tea Party is one of foundational moments in this country’s history. Almost 250 years later we celebrate and look up to this seminal event. What was it really?

    Assault, battery, theft, trespassing, littering, conspiracy, inciting a riot, racketeering, disturbing the peace…

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