Discussing the Basic College Girl’s “stupidity” with contrariandutchman (in the comments on the previous post), I agreed that “stupid” is the wrong word to describe someone like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez… but there’s not really a right one. I eventually settled on “malicious ignorance,” and since that’s the main reason I retired — because yes, they’re ALL like that — I owe it to y’all to at least try to explain what this means.
It’s a combination of narcissism, subservience, and borderline sociopathy. Ever been around someone with a chronic, debilitating, but non-terminal illness? Not something like a particularly tenacious flu, which, though it feels like it lasts forever, we all know is temporary. Nor something as serious as cancer, which forces one to confront one’s own mortality. I mean the equivalent of “bedridden” (a word I’m surprised WordPress’s spell checker even recognizes). Something like a major heart attack or a minor stroke, where everything you do must now be examined through the lens of your condition. No activity, no decision, is so minor that you don’t first have to think about your illness.
With me? No one handles that kind of thing well. Even the most stoic person tends to get querulous; even the toughest break down if it goes on long enough. Indeed, that’s one of the worst things about such an illness from the family’s point of view — the person who was once a pillar of strength is now a whiny old wreck who tears up if their oatmeal gets cold.
But that’s not the worst thing. The worst is discovering that there’s a kind of person who actually kinda enjoys being sick. They seem to take a sadistic pleasure in making you hop, but when you actually try to help them — get them out of bed, for example, rather than just fetching their tissues or picking up the remote they “dropped” — they give you an utterly convincing “poor me!” act. You feel like the world’s champion asshole for not doing whatever they want, even though five minutes ago your own lying eyes convinced you they were a lot healthier than they let on…
If you’ve ever experienced that, you’ve more or less experienced the Basic College Girl. She wants what she wants, and she deserves to get it, right NOW, and you’re the world’s champion asshole if you don’t give it to her. She’ll issue her list of demands — that’s the narcissism — but if you tell her no, she’ll switch immediately to cringing subservience, and if that doesn’t work, she’ll do anything — increasingly literally — to get it.
Let me illustrate. A few years back, I “taught” one of the most Basic College Girls I’ve ever encountered. No BCG really groks what “extracurricular” means, but this chick took it to the next level. She was majoring in Sorority, with a minor in Activism. Her email auto-signature (yes, they all have those) was longer than my entire resume: President of This, Co-Chair of That, Secretary of The Other Thing. Naturally this kid had no plans to actually attend class, let alone do any of the work. So she simply informed me that, since the first exam was due on the Friday right before some big out-of-town event, she’d be turning it in a few days late.
When I replied that this was unacceptable, I got an email of such pathos that, as Oscar Wilde said of the death of Little Nell, you’d need a heart of stone not to laugh: She’s been working SO hard, and she just loves my class (in which she’s learning SO much), but this is SO important to her future career that she just can’t possibly….
No problem, I replied. The due date is Friday, but nothing says you can’ turn it in early. Thursday would be fine. Heck, make it Wednesday! Just give it to the department secretary — she’ll log it in, and drop it in my mailbox.
You know what happened next: Nothing. Wednesday passed, then Thursday, then Friday. No paper. Snowflake wasn’t in class on Monday, of course, and just before noon the inevitable Dead Grandma Email popped into my inbox. Fortunately for her, though, they must’ve held Grandma’s funeral at the same posh hotel in the same city as the big sorority bash, because ten seconds on social media revealed umpteen pictures of Snowflake having a ball with 5,000 of her closest girlfriends…
Bad as that is, though, that’s not the truly sociopathic part. The truly sociopathic part was that after she got busted, she tried to complain to the Dean. You see, I was the asshole who set the due date. I caused her great emotional trauma by not letting her just turn the paper in whenever, which I compounded by not believing her Dead Grandma Story. And here’s the kicker: She wasn’t petitioning the Dean for a makeup exam, or to force me to accept her paper late. She’d never even written the damn thing. All she was trying to do was get me in trouble with the administration.
That’s what I mean by “malicious ignorance.” From her perspective, I was the unreasonable one. Hell, I started as the unreasonable one, by making her take an exam in the first place. After all, my class wasn’t in her major — it was one of those required classes universities use to fool the rubes into thinking they still teach stuff — and so there was no point in her being there anyway. It was just a hoop for her to jump through. My job was simply to mark the A in the gradebook, and since there’s no possible point to “class” other than getting the A marked in the gradebook, I was seventeen kinds of jerk for not just marking it down and letting her get on with the important stuff, like sorority formals. And since I was being such a jerk, she had to try to ruin me — that’s what one does with “h8rz,” after all.
This was a few years ago, and an extreme case. But do you think it has gotten better or worse since then?
And that, comrades, is why I’m terrified of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.Loading Likes...