The Pleasures of Life in the Bubble

Unless you’re a very new reader (in which case, welcome!) you know I worked many years in academia.  Reflecting on the joys of life in a college town has helped me to understand a bit about the Leftist mind.

First, and most important, life really is pleasant in a college town — even for a deep-cover shitlord like me.  In a weird way, it might even have been more pleasant for me.  A Leftist has to be outraged by something to feel truly alive, but since the stuff they get outraged about is so cockeyed, so cattywampus to reality, wandering around town and watching the Very Concerned People be Concerned is like constantly being low-grade stoned.  I’ve never been as worked up about anything as these people pretend to be about everything, from the plight of the three-toed stink beetle to the entire planet’s daily weather.  It’s surreal, which means it’s always good for a chuckle.

Moreover, college towns cater to transient populations, so everything is on-demand.  In flyover states, college towns have the only 24-hour anything within 100 miles.  I’m naturally a night owl, and college towns always have somewhere to go at 2 in the morning.  Add to that the “diversity” — which we all know means “different kinds of ethnic restaurants” — and you have the kind of dining / drinking / hanging out options you’d normally only find in a metro five times the size.  Throw in the twitchy schizophrenic panhandlers on every corner, and you can pretend you’re in the bright lights of a big city, but without the crime.

And then there’s the rock star vibe.  College kids don’t know or care about academia’s elaborate pecking order, so even though nobody who mattered in my department knew my name, I still got pointed at on the streets.  It’s an odd fact of student-professor relations that the kid who acts like she’s doing you an enormous favor by deigning to attend your class will fawn over you to the exclusion of all other customers if she’s your waitress or barista.  (It’s extra fun to scandalize ’em by ordering something alcoholic).  You’re never anonymous in a college town, and if you’re the kind of person grew up getting ignored — if you’re a mousy little nerd, in other words, like all academics are — it’s heady stuff.

But best of all is the power.  One of the main reasons Leftists have such difficulty telling the difference between “fact” and “opinion” is that they’ve never had to practice.  This was true even back before Standardized Tests took over completely, but now that they have, your classroom pronouncements might as well be the Ten Commandments.  I could tell a class that Napoleon’s last words at Waterloo were “Led Zeppelin rules!” and they’d copy it down without a peep…

….then spit it right back at me, verbatim, on the test.  Which proves what a great professor I am — after all, everyone is acing the final exam!  They must really get it, that Patriarchy is bad and Capitalism is exploitation and &c.

In a college town, in other words, every minute of every day is an opportunity to be smugly self-righteous.  Who could resist?  And if the rest of the world isn’t like a college town, then it must be someone’s fault!

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8 thoughts on “The Pleasures of Life in the Bubble

  1. Recusant

    “It’s extra fun to scandalize ’em by ordering something alcoholic.”

    Viewed from this side of the pond, the US started to slide when drinking a decent Martini became shameful.

    1. Severian

      Agreed. Americans were legendary drinkers well into the 1960s, as befits a free people with a robust frontier tradition. But… that’s why it had to go — healthy, normal, heterosexual men enjoyed it. And I must say, there’s a real lesson for us in the way the Left steered our “national conversation” on intoxicants. Alcohol is still legal, and widely available, but now our painkillers of choice are pharmaceutical-grade painkillers. Why on Earth should there be an opiate epidemic among unemployed Whites, when good ol’ Budweiser is right there?

      Someone ought to study that.

      1. Recusant

        I was with you all the way until the sales pitch for Budweiser. Please God not that rice water. Say it ain’t so that Severian’s refreshment of choice is a Bud drunk by the neck. Always had you down as a Boulevardier man.

        1. Severian

          Alas, I can’t drink anymore — health issues — but when I could, I loved import / craft beer. It’s for the best, I suppose — all the hipsters drink craft beer now, so I’d have to give it up (those turds ruin everything).

          If, however, you want to drink your blues away, Budweiser will do the job as well as any. It’s legal, it’s cheap, you don’t have to fake “fibromyalgia” or whatever to get a prescription. I’d love to know just how our intoxicant culture was shifted from drinking — hemmed in with all kinds of social controls — to pharmaceuticals. Especially if, as I only half-jokingly predict, Big Pharma is going to get going on Ghetto Affective Disorder and serious People’s Happy Pills in a decade or so.

  2. Jay Carter

    I have prepared an admissions letter for every incoming college student:
    Admission Letter to All College Applicants

    Mr. or Ms. (Fill in the blank)

    You have been accepted to (Fill in the blank) College/University.

    Upon the satisfactory completion of your courses, you will find that we will have provided you with an excellent education, and we will, in return for your efforts, award you with a “degree”.

    I hope that during your orientation, you took the time to observe the names of the various buildings on the campus.

    Your time spent here is not time that you should spend trying to get us to change their names.
    We’re not changing them.

    I hope you took the time to familiarize yourself with our teaching staff before remitting your tuition. Don’t bother asking us to fire one that you don’t like. If you do ask, we will first regretfully ask YOU to leave.

    The campus is patrolled by police who have guns.

    Don’t you, (or any of your fellow students) waste paper by petitioning me to bar them from the campus.

    They’re here now, and they will be here long after you’re gone.

    If you destroy anything on the campus, you will be referred to the police.
    You will be discharged. We will press charges, and you will be relentlessly sued for any damages.

    Please examine our food services. No changes will be made.
    The menu is “static”.
    (If you want Sushi for dinner, we do permit outside food deliveries)

    Good luck.
    Enjoy yourself here.
    John Doe
    Dean of Admissions

    PS. This letter must be signed and returned before you will be allowed on campus.

    Signature ____________________________

    PPS. If you don’t like it, go somewhere else.

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