By: Kurt Schlicter
If Animal House were to be rebooted today, Bluto – who would probably be updated into a differently–abled trans being of heft – might ask, “See if you can guess what am I now?” before expelling a whole mass of pus-like root vegetable on the WASPrivileged villains and announcing, “I’m a university – get it?”
At least popping a zit gets rid of the infection and promotes healing. But today, the higher education racket festers on the rear end of our culture, a painful, useless carbuncle of intellectual fraud, moral bankruptcy, and pernicious liberal fascism that impoverishes the young while it subsidizes a bunch of old pinkos who can’t hack it at Real World U.
At least literal boils don’t diss you while demanding you give them free money. We’re expected to shut up and write checks while the universitools ruin our culture. Luckily, due to the happy coincidence of a conservative federal government, technological advances, and the college industrial complex’s inexplicable death wish, we normals now have a chance to lance the boil that is 21stCentury academia.
The purpose of universities long ago stopped being education, yet Big Edu and its liberal supporters keep pushing the lie that the only way to prepare young Americans for the future is to tie an anchor around their necks. America’s student loan debt now totals a staggering $1.4 trillion carried by 44 million Americans, and 2016 grads are weighed down with an average $37,712 each. And what do they get for it? Nothing but four years older and considerably dumber. Record numbers are using their degrees in Papuan Feminist Literature and Genderfluid Break Dance Therapy as gateway credentials into the exciting field of brewing caffeinated beverages for grown-ups who didn’t still live on the futon in their mom’s spare bedroom at age 33.
A house, a family, and a future that involves either dignity or success – these are things walking out into society with a meaningless piece of paper and nearly forty grand in debt prevent. But hey – the important thing is that we continue to subsidize one of the Democrats’ key constituencies and its prime breeding ground for the social dysfunction and soft-handed tyranny that are the hallmarks of progressivism. Too bad if it ruins the lives of the young suckers whose parents pushed them onto the conveyor belt that annually pumps out another crop of credentialed indentured servants.
But even sucking the lifeblood out of Millennials is not enough to feed the greedy academic beast. The bright new idea – one embraced by that commie from New England, that other commie from New England who tricked her college into thinking she was an Indian, and that firewater aficionado who lost the election – is “free college.” Let’s set aside the fact that community college exists to give everyone the opportunity to get some higher education; today, it’s job is to occupy high school students for a few extra years by intermittently teaching them the things the incompetence of unionized teachers ensured they didn’t learn in public high schools. The “free college” idea offers those of us who have already paid for our own education the opportunity to pony up for someone else’s. As the grade-inflated bastions of higher learning say to pretty much anyone who hands them a check and keeps his mouth shut about liking America, “Pass.”
If traditional colleges performed some meaningful function that only they could perform, then there might be a rationale for them in the 21st Century. But there’s not. What do four-year colleges do today?
Well, they cater to weenies who feel “unsafe” that Mike Pence is speaking to their graduates. Seventy-some years ago, young people that age were feeling unsafe because the Wehrmacht was trying to kill them on Omaha Beach.
At our nation’s most prestigious university, students are emotionally incapacitated by the fact that other Americans elected someone they dislike. Their reaction is to form a “resistance” that they refer to as “Dumbledore’s Army.” What a bunch of wand-stroking. But there is one good thing about this mortifying childishness – perhaps now, when you meet a grad, he, she, or xe will hesitate for a couple minutes before telling you it went to Harvard.
And in their quest to ensure their students’ perpetual unemployment, colleges are now teaching that punctuality is a social construct. Somewhere, a Starbucks manager is going to hear from Kaden the Barista that, “I like, totally couldn’t get here for my shift on time because, like intersectionality of my experience as a person of Scandinavianism and stuff. I feel unsafe because of your racist vikingaphobia and tardiness-shaming.”
Academia is pricing itself out of reach even as the antics of its inhabitants annoy and provoke those of us whose taxes already pick up a big chunk of the bill even without the “free college” okie-doke. This is where the fortuitous coincidence of two phenomena collide to give us an opportunity to fix our problem. We’re woke to the scam, and we now have a federal government dominated by conservatives that can use the law and the power of the purse to tame the beast. As the same time, technology that will allow no-frills learning is improving every day. What we must do is pass popular laws that make colleges accountable to taxpayers and students, including by shifting some of the student loan risk onto them. We must also protect that whole wacky freedom thing – colleges can always give up all federal funds if they, say, want to force college Christian clubs to accept atheist members. And yeah – that’s a thing.
At the same time, we can use the law to help facilitate the transition away from the current centralized campus with a bloated administration and faculty/four-year booze cruise model. Laws can mandate and regularize credentialing for technology-based learning to help make non-traditional programs a viable and accepted alternative to a traditional degree. Right now, college is less about learning than about creating a cultural signifier – someone who went to college is “one of us.” But that snobby luxury can’t endure when tuition becomes unaffordable for everyone but ultra-rich folks willing to pony up for their spawn’s sojourn on campus. And it’s unnecessary. To the extent college teaches hard skills – I learned how to beer bong like a boss – students can go on-line at a fraction of the cost to get the specific education they need, without spending time and money on nonsense they don’t. Oppression Studies requirements, I’m looking at you.
The quarter million dollar academic vacation model is economically unsustainable and poisonous to our culture. The world of Animal House was a lot more fun when it didn’t mean preemptive bankruptcy for its graduates and the fostering of a tyrannical training ground for future libfascists. It’s time to get all Bluto on the obsolete boil that is academia; time to give it a squeeze.