… America’s top college students are nihilized into the power elite will recall Walter Kirn’s classic Lost in the Meritocracy, where he chronicled his transformation from an earnest person who loved literature to “the system’s pure product, clever and adaptable, not so much educated as wised-up.” At Princeton, he learned to hone

more-marketable skills: for flattering those in authority without appearing to, for ranking artistic reputations according to the latest academic fashions, for matching my intonations and vocabulary to the background of my listener, for placing certain words in smirking quotation marks and rolling my eyes when someone spoke too earnestly about some “classic” work of “literature,” for veering left when the conventional wisdom went right and then doubling back if the consensus changed.

Now there’s this year’s account of the ‘“intoxicating nihilism” that dominates campus social life’ at another corporate feeder.

At the sports factories, it’s one-and-done. In the higher precincts, it’s four-and-whore.

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One Response to “Those with a taste for the details of how…”

  1. david foster Says:

    “not so much educated as wised-up”…reminds me of the late Michael Kelly’s thoughts on knowledge vs knowingness.

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