Stop writing stupid stuff under your own names, you daft college idjits.

This is a generic observation, but possibly overdue: don’t spend your college years writing ‘controversial,’ ‘edgy,’ and/or ‘in your face’ articles and then publish them to the Internet under your own name.  Use a pseudonym, you daft idjits; because ten years from now you’re probably not going to have the same opinions, but everybody will know that you wrote them… including that potential employer who gets to pick between six or so equally qualified candidates, and if you keep this up you’re going to be lucky if you get that far in the interview process.

And now, some likely responses to that:

  • That’s not fair! Maybe.  So?
  • You’re stifling my freedom of speech!  Kid, Terry Pratchett once noted in passing that free speech includes free listening, too.  Translation: if you’re writing something designed to offend, don’t start crying when people get offended.  Including the people that might give you a job later.
  • That’s discrimination! …Yes, that’s a fair way of putting it, I suppose.
  • I said, “that’s discrimination!” Oh, I’m sorry, I wasn’t aware that this required further response.  OK, what’s your point?
  • Discrimination is illegal!  Depending on your location, it may be.  Good luck proving it, buddy.  Collectively you might be able to see a pattern of employers not hiring you because you were an idjit on the Internet; individually it will come down to reading the minds of whoever reviewed and winnowed the slush pile of resumes.  Can you read minds?  No? …Of course not.  If you could then you wouldn’t be worried about getting a job.
  • I will not be silenced! Laudable.  I hope that this righteous indignation will help sustain you ten years from now, when you’ve realized that you’d prefer a spouse and kids and a consistent diet to being a self-empowered, free-thinking individual who fearlessly rebels against everything that pisses off your undergrad professors.
  • Ten years from now all of my opinions will be mainstream so it won’t matter at all!  …Wow.  Deja vu.  That’s Latin for “Everybody thinks that they’re not just going through a phase” and “Nobody ever seems to consider that there’s a reason why each generation of college students revolt against the exact same things.”
  • You’re just saying this because you’re a conservative! No, I’m just saying this because I’m – by your standards – an old conservative.  Which is to say, I’m a guy in his forties who got really lucky that all that stupid stuff that I said in college isn’t a permanent part of the historical record.
  • It’s too late!  Nah, not really.  Just make sure that your last article that you write for your college paper is a tearful repudiation of every stupid thing that you wrote for the last four years.  Blame it all on the aforementioned professors; trust me, they weren’t going to be good references for employers anyway.
  • This is all a partisan trick! Nope; the partisan trick is merely an entertaining side effect, here.
  • Fine!  I’m spending the rest of my life in academia, then!  HA! Oh, OK.  Yeah, you’re golden then, Sparky.  Up until the point where the higher education bubble bursts.  Until then: carry on, my wayward [individual of particular gender, sex, and self-identity].
  • You’re enjoying this situation far too much!  :shrug: I’m also not hiring anybody, so, really: what’s my opinion worth, anyway?  I’m just a idjit writing stuff on the Internet, right?

24 thoughts on “Stop writing stupid stuff under your own names, you daft college idjits.”

  1. It’s a shame none of those idjits will listen to you. Then again, they are far smarter than you as I’m sure they will tell you, given a chance…so they know exactly what they are doing.

    1. the young today make cro magnon man look bright. We thought the baby boomers were vapid, but they just wanted to get high, the young and not so young of today would rather go viral, like herpes.

      1. Dude, Cro-Magnon had to survive in the face of stupendous challenges. Also, iirc, their brain capacity was actually larger than that of modern humans, quite possibly because they had to face those challenges absent the accumulation of several thousand years of knowledge and technology….

        1. I don’t get it

          I say cro magnon was smarter than people today

          then you say I am wrong because, cro magnon was smarter than people today

          !? heh

          1. Cro magnon was smart. So saying the young people of today make them ‘look smart’ doesn’t really say anything negative about today’s young people, which I assumed you were going for? Comment intended in good humor, anyway.

        2. qixlqatl,

          well you acted like I insulted a distant relative or something!

          btw, why can’t I reply to the message I want to reply too sometimes?

          1. qixlqatl

            I was trying to yank your chain, obviously you know cro magnon better than I do. btw, at least my jokes amuse me

            see, the “distant relative” line was also supposed to be a joke. hence, if you believe in evolution, cro magnon IS a distant relative, well that was the joke I guess. 🙂

          2. *Now I’m having a problem with reply, too*
            I got the joke, Doc, even though I wasn’t 100% sure you were joking 😉

  2. Spending the rest of your life in academia? If six equally qualified people are available for every position you apply for in the world, guess how many want the same position in academia? You may have aced your specialized gender-race-sexuality-cultural studies but do you really expect the Cornel Wests of the world to give up their cushy tenured seats? No way! You will be lucky to get on a non-tenured track doing the teaching the profs are too busy for and relocating every 5 to 7 years. Good luck with that.

    PS Freddie Sykes is not my real name.

    1. Oh, it’s worse than that, Freddie. Those same professors who are encouraging a change of majors to Womyns Studies and a future in academia will be *your competition* for tenure the moment you graduate.
      Who are they going to give it to, you the fresh young grad, or the guy who’s got 10 years of track record corrupting (erm.. teaching) ?

    2. They could always pull a Lizzie Warren and claim to be Cherokee or Chickasaw or Apache. No one hiring in academia has enough curiosity to actually notice the blue eyes and blonde hair anyway.

  3. Ow. And today we just confirmed that Moe’s snark meter does in fact go up to 11. Dare I ask what poor idjit writer prompted this particular piece of excellent advice?

    1. I’m trying to be nice and not make the girl’s future job-hunting experience even more miserable than it already is going to be. She wasn’t being hateful; just very very stupid.

  4. Doing a self-Google now and again is also a great cure for this. A few years back I used my real name as my sign in for a car-related forum. I stopped doing that when I self-Googled in a moment of boredom. Nothing embarrassing per se, just a lot of random crap the whole world doesn’t need to see.

    1. People wonder sometimes why I’m such a blatant geek. The fact of it is, at this point I don’t really have a choice anyway. 🙂

    2. good point. people need to realize the ONLY time the internet is important is when you are making money hand over fist, ala Moe, or regretting it, for most of us, avoiding regretting it is the best we can achieve.

    3. Fortunately, my real name (which is not and does not contain my nick in any way) is so generic that Googling me is useless unless you also know enough about me that you might as well know me already. It’s like being John Smith (also not my name).
      Then again, I learned a long time ago (like, before the Web existed) that even with an alias you don’t write anything online unless you accept the risk of it coming back to you personally. Aliases are great against casual review, but if someone really wants to know, there are always ways.

  5. There is a reason the French phrase “Nom de Plume” is part of the English language. Didn’t their teachers teach them anything? Oh right, NO.

  6. Heck, it’s good advice even once you’re out of college. Me, I’ve been using this name since 1990.

    1. I’ve been using mine since I signed up for my first e-mail account. Not sure exactly when that was. Early 90’s, anyway….

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