NPF: SECOND CLASS CITIZENS

Posted in No Politics Friday on August 29th, 2013 by Ed

I couldn't decide which one of these would be more fun. In fact, I hate making decisions. You will accept both and like it.

1. Whether your experience on a college campus is as a student, faculty, or professional staff it's hard not to notice the, uh, social pecking order on campus. The business school always seems brand new. The hard sciences are often (although certainly not always) ensconced in a glimmering brand new academic megaplex that becomes the focal point of marketing materials and tours for prospective students (not to mention Mom and Dad). And then there are the humanities and social sciences, tucked away in buildings rich in "charm" and often described as "quaint." They might even be covered in ivy!

The ivy, of course, makes it harder to see all the cracks and water damage.

There's an ascetic mindset among people in fields like English, as if they're not really learning or doing justice to the intellectual tradition if their surroundings are not sufficiently dilapidated. Personally, I find this type of charm overrated. I prefer bathrooms that do not smell like a rendering plant and ceilings that don't leak to ivy and hallowed-looking halls.

The site is not very far along yet – I'm hoping it picks up steam – but Classrooms of Shame highlights user-submitted pictures of some of the dingier environs to which the Not Economically Viable subjects are confined on most campuses. I have done the three-temps-in-one-office thing, but honestly I feel fortunate that I haven't experienced anything on the scale of these photos. Sound off in the comments if you have a good story about a terrible workspace you've been given; I know of one adjunct instructor who claimed to hold office hours in his parked car. He would have used the university library…except they wouldn't even give him a parking pass on the car-unfriendly campus. So he met students in the car and fed the meter a quarter every 30 minutes.

2. It's Burning Man once again, which means that for those of us whose heads are not completely buried up our own asses it's time to make fun of people at Burning Man again. This tumblr is doing an outstanding job. The stupid pictures are what we have come to expect, but the person behind this site is killing it with the captions:

Theodore Buckingsworth, a.k.a. “Slambucha,” describes himself as “the greenest playa on the playa.” When Teddy isn’t working as an installation specialist for Time Warner Cable or “turnin’ out fair-trade hoes,” he’s most likely in his “laboratory” crafting his debut album, aptly entitled “Fig Pimpin’.” Promising “the rhythmical intensity of Insane Clown Posse mixed with the philosophical lyrical prowess of Counting Crows,” he’ll be performing some of his original material in the United Western Juggalos tent at this year’s Burning Man festival. If you need a phat beat, some whip-its, or a frumpy, yet earthy escort for your adventures in Black Rock City, Teddy is your go-to guy.

Whenever I see pictures of Burning Man I feel like Kurtz leaving a note for his killer in Apocalypse Now – "Drop the bomb; exterminate them all." The world isn't going to miss 10,000 graphic designers and an equal number of the permastoned and marginally employable white kids with dreads.