Class of 2016: Mindset
August 21, 2012 12:01 PM   Subscribe

Beloit College examines the cultural backdrop and assumptions of those new college freshpeople headed for, or currently wandering their new college home: Class of 2016 Mindset List
posted by wallstreet1929 (118 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
...electronic narcotics?
posted by gracedissolved at 12:03 PM on August 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


I can't think of Beloit College without thinking of National Lampoon's Stupid Aptitude Test.
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:04 PM on August 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


Ah good, I needed to update my Lawn Restrictions checklist.
posted by Doleful Creature at 12:04 PM on August 21, 2012 [22 favorites]


Why do these get more and more irrelevant?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:06 PM on August 21, 2012 [30 favorites]


BREAKING: ONE GENERATION'S SILLY EPHEMERA REPLACED BY NEW SILLY EPHEMERA.
posted by Apropos of Something at 12:06 PM on August 21, 2012 [9 favorites]


The Biblical sources of terms such as “Forbidden Fruit,” “The writing on the wall,” “Good Samaritan,” and “The Promised Land” are unknown to most of them.

This may be true, but is it more true than it is for current faculty?
posted by madcaptenor at 12:06 PM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Michael Jackson’s family, not the Kennedys, constitutes “American Royalty.”

Oh, yeah, those incoming freshman sure are fond of Rebbie, Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, LaToya, Marlon, and Randy (no, not that one, the other one.)
posted by griphus at 12:06 PM on August 21, 2012 [17 favorites]


I dread these.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 12:07 PM on August 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


Here's a response to number 41 ("Good music programmers are rock stars to the women of this generation, just as guitar players were for their mothers"), in case your rage-o-meter spiked like mine.
posted by carbide at 12:07 PM on August 21, 2012 [6 favorites]


I'm a little befuddled that people couldn't place the Good Samaritan. He appears in the Parable of the Good Samaritan.
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:08 PM on August 21, 2012 [5 favorites]


Generalizations Ahoy!
posted by tittergrrl at 12:09 PM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Why do these get more and more irrelevant?

I'd love to see some research on this but I bet it has a LOT to do with the internet and the ability of people to communicate across interests rather than being restricted to age groups or local geographies, so you have an increasing fragmentation of generational ephemera.
posted by Doleful Creature at 12:10 PM on August 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


roomthreeseventeen: "Why do these get more and more irrelevant?"

I agree. This is a good question.
posted by stbalbach at 12:10 PM on August 21, 2012


These lists just get more and more wrong every year. What's up with that?
posted by The World Famous at 12:10 PM on August 21, 2012


I know (at least I hope) it's just a rhetorical conceit and the writers of these lists don't actually believe it, but I really, really hate their tendency to express "X did not happen within the personal memories of the entering class" as "the entering class is entirely unaware that X ever happened" or some equivalent.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 12:11 PM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


76. Their parents stopped using the term "cyberspace" in 1997.
posted by bondcliff at 12:11 PM on August 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


"Stephen Breyer has always been an Associate Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court."

I don't want to be... whatever, but I'm not sure this is actually per-se on the mind of students at Beloit College.
posted by boo_radley at 12:11 PM on August 21, 2012 [4 favorites]


76. The "Class of 20XX Mindset List" has always been wrong.
posted by griphus at 12:11 PM on August 21, 2012 [6 favorites]


jinx!
posted by boo_radley at 12:12 PM on August 21, 2012


In 2016 this list will include "Beloit college has always come out with this stupid list".

In 2027 it will include "madcaptenor has always made the obvious joke about how Beloit has always come out with this list."
posted by madcaptenor at 12:12 PM on August 21, 2012 [5 favorites]


I still see paper airplane tickets all the time; do kids these days never miss connecting flights?
posted by Pyry at 12:14 PM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


I know (at least I hope) it's just a rhetorical conceit and the writers of these lists don't actually believe it, but I really, really hate their tendency to express "X did not happen within the personal memories of the entering class" as "the entering class is entirely unaware that X ever happened" or some equivalent.

I would hope - not that I think this, but I would hope - that, say, with Bill Clinton, they could ask a few questions about important Clinton Administration things. If the incoming class shows poor knowledge of those Clinton Administration things, then it's fair to say that they don't know much about his Presidency.

I don't want to be... whatever, but I'm not sure [Breyer's Supreme Court position] is actually per-se on the mind of students at Beloit College.

Wouldn't it be great if this was something that kids these days were REALLY, REALLY into? Not even out of love or respect of the law or even Breyer himself, but rather out of a tenacious love of everything that looks like Jeffery Tambor?
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:14 PM on August 21, 2012


Probably the most tribal generation in history, they despise being separated from contact with their similar-aged friends.
allow me to mock this old via memes that make sense/appeal only to people from a website i go to, and only within a certain circle on that site
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 12:14 PM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hey, some alumnus threatened to withhold a large donation if this list wasn't perpetuated.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:15 PM on August 21, 2012


76. Their parents stopped using the term "cyberspace" in 1997

Exactly, you sound ancient if you keep calling the Information Superhighway "cyberspace". Pfff.
posted by backseatpilot at 12:15 PM on August 21, 2012


Yeah, I’m sorry, is the word “internets” preferable to cyberspace?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:16 PM on August 21, 2012


"Why do these get more and more irrelevant?"

I'm reminded of this FPP
Everything feels old. There have been no radical changes in style, culture, art, and fashion over the last 20 years—a stark contrast to every other two decade period going all the way back into the 19th-century, Kurt Anderson argues in Vanity Fair.
posted by stbalbach at 12:16 PM on August 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


"Why do these get more and more irrelevant?"

For me it's because I just keep getting older and older, and the shock of the items on the list just sort of wears off over time.

*wanders back over to tv, turns on Twin Peaks and returns to a world that I recognize*
posted by Elly Vortex at 12:16 PM on August 21, 2012


I still see paper airplane tickets all the time; do kids these days never miss connecting flights?

Surely those are boarding passes. Airlines don't give out paper tickets anymore. Or if they do, they charge ridiculous fees like trying to order paper stock certificates.
posted by backseatpilot at 12:16 PM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Their lives have been measured in the fundamental particles of life: bits, bytes, and bauds.

Measured by whom, and I'm pretty sure you're missing a giga- or tera- prefix here. And the inclusion of "bauds" seems strangely anachronistic given that modems seemed to have died around 2002 or so, when these kids would have been 8.

I realized the bit about Kurt Cobain a couple of months ago.
posted by gauche at 12:16 PM on August 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


Next year's list:

Incoming Freshmen were not alive in the year 1995
Or 1994
Or 1993
Or 1992
Or 1991
Or 1990
Or 1989
Or 1988
Or 1987

posted by HuronBob at 12:18 PM on August 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh, and if we're exchanging "I feel old" stories, I went to a show the other night and while waiting on line overheard a livid young lady explaining that she was in fact born in 1993 and should be allowed inside.
posted by griphus at 12:19 PM on August 21, 2012 [4 favorites]


Seems like the person who's been writing this up to now has been replaced. This one is written in a very different voice than the others.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 12:19 PM on August 21, 2012


Why do these get more and more irrelevant?
because were they to focus on actual things, it would get depressing in a hurry
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 12:19 PM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


I have an incoming freshman leaving for school tomorrow. I have lived with these frustrations for 17 years now. These are just this year's version of "What band was Paul McCartney in before Wings, dad?"
posted by JohnnyGunn at 12:21 PM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Paul McCartney was on Wings?
posted by griphus at 12:22 PM on August 21, 2012 [15 favorites]


Last week I was trying to explain to my husband how I used to make my cousin Sam walk around and introduce himself as Bob Dole when he was a toddler. Sam interrupted my conversation and said he was pretty sure it was his older brother that was forced to do that, since Sam was born during the 1996 campaign season. I am old.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:23 PM on August 21, 2012


The only one of these that resonated was “Kurt Cobain . . . [has] always been dead.”
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:29 PM on August 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


I know (at least I hope) it's just a rhetorical conceit and the writers of these lists don't actually believe it,

Now that I think about it a bit more, I'm going to take a new attitude towards these lists. I'm going to assume that these represent the actual beliefs of college freshmen, at Beloit College only.

For example, I will assume that entering freshmen at colleges and universities throughout the country are well aware that the Supreme Court of the United States is an institution with a rich and fascinating centuries-old history, and that over a hundred men and women have served on its bench.

The exception being the poor idiot freshmen at Beloit College, who believe that Stephen Breyer has always been on the Supreme Court. I will also henceforth assume that Beloit College is the only post-secondary school in the US that has maximum SAT scores and GPAs among its admission requirements.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 12:31 PM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


“Kurt Cobain . . . [has] always been dead.”

If Kurt Cobain had been born at the same time as this year's incoming freshmen, he would have had a tattoo with that precise inscription (including ellipsis and brackets). But Kurt Cobain died so long ago that hipsters didn't even consider tattoos cool yet.
posted by The World Famous at 12:31 PM on August 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


@stbalbach

the best part of that FPP is the usual suspects going all defense-mode nothing-is-wrong. here is another repost on a similar tangent.
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 12:32 PM on August 21, 2012


Martin Lawrence has always been banned from hosting Saturday Night Live

I'm pretty sure that SNL isn't a culture touchstone for the class of 2016.
posted by asnider at 12:33 PM on August 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


The first time anyone ever made me feel old was right after I'd graduated high school. I was working at a theater that summer, and there were a ton of little kids running around as part of the theater's summer camp. Knowing that I'd be dealing with a bunch of 8 year olds, I dug up some ratty old t-shirt that I had from a bike trip I'd done with my Dad. While I was trying to corral the kids, a little girl ran up to me, read my shirt, and said, "1994? That's when I was born!" It was vaguely inconceivable to me then that someone who had been born after an event I remembered clearly from my childhood could walk around and talk, let alone read.

Cheyenne is going to be a college freshman this fall.
posted by Copronymus at 12:33 PM on August 21, 2012


Also, no one should be admitted to college without a working knowledge of Rod Serling.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:33 PM on August 21, 2012 [4 favorites]


roomthreeseventeen: "Last week I was trying to explain to my husband how I used to make my cousin Sam walk around and introduce himself as Bob Dole when he was a toddler. Sam interrupted my conversation and said he was pretty sure it was his older brother that was forced to do that, since Sam was born during the 1996 campaign season. I am old."

Though that would be a useful trick now -- to get a fetus/baby to be the Republican nominee is certainly an ideal scenario for some.

--

We were lying in bed today when the TV or radio (I wasn't quite awake yet) started talking about the Beloit list, and they mentioned the Kurt Cobain one, and my partner and I both, not even realizing the other was awake, both muttered 'fuck' under our sleepy breath. Because, seriously, fuck.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:34 PM on August 21, 2012 [4 favorites]


My little brother starts college this year; none of these things seem particularly relevant to how I think of him. Except perhaps Star Wars?
posted by ChuraChura at 12:34 PM on August 21, 2012


Part of the problem with these lists is that they don't account for the fact "always" starts around age six. I was born in 1987 and Kurt Cobain has always been dead. I sort of remember him dying, but I don't remember him being alive.
posted by fbo at 12:37 PM on August 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


OK-I admit I had to look up #24. I don't remember this at all. So, I'm guessing White House security missed those very special episodes of Life Goes On?
posted by atomicstone at 12:39 PM on August 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


The exception being the poor idiot freshmen at Beloit College, who believe that Stephen Breyer has always been on the Supreme Court.

What? No. No no no no no no. During their lifetime, Breyer has always been on the Court. No one actually thinks that Stephen Breyer is this immortal law troll who has been on the Court for the past 200+ years.
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:40 PM on August 21, 2012 [6 favorites]


I went in wanting to be moved to thought and wonder and laughter at the fact I am old enough to remember when these new students were born. Instead I was hit with what seemed to be crib notes for really sorry G-rated open mic suburban standup. Written by Soft Left Baby Boomers. What a missed opportunity to really consider how the mental cultural tectonics have changed, and what this means for learning, effective teaching, politics and culture. Even on a crass PR and marcomms level, this is a major dropped ball. Urgh.
posted by The Salaryman at 12:40 PM on August 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


xkcd version
posted by longdaysjourney at 12:41 PM on August 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


The fact that Life Goes On has been cancelled for the entirety of their lifetime has suddenly become a much more painful touchstone. Poor Jesse.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:42 PM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


MCMike, well, yeah, now you can differentiate the musical theatre nerds with people who have seen Life Goes On.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:44 PM on August 21, 2012


Um, you kinda could back then too.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:46 PM on August 21, 2012


During their lifetime, Breyer has always been on the Court.

That's not what the list says. I'm taking it at face value.

No one actually thinks that Stephen Breyer is this immortal law troll who has been on the Court for the past 200+ years.

Well, of course not. That would be absurd. I'm suggesting the freshmen at Beloit College think the Supreme Court has only been around for 18 years. Or possibly that the universe was only created 18 years ago and anything that seems to have happened earlier than that is a false memory, implanted by a malevolent creator.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 12:49 PM on August 21, 2012 [4 favorites]


God implanted Stephen Breyer fossils into the earth to test our faith.
posted by Apropos of Something at 12:50 PM on August 21, 2012 [8 favorites]


No one actually thinks that Stephen Breyer is this immortal law troll who has been on the Court for the past 200+ years.

Look, I don't disparage your religion.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:50 PM on August 21, 2012 [18 favorites]


anything that seems to have happened earlier than that is a false memory, implanted by a malevolent creator.

For these kids, Descartes has never been alive.
posted by backseatpilot at 12:53 PM on August 21, 2012 [5 favorites]


My daughter graduated from Beloit College this year and says that this list is a total embarrassment to most students there.
posted by Isadorady at 12:58 PM on August 21, 2012 [5 favorites]


For most of their lives, maintaining relations between the U.S. and the rest of the world has been a woman’s job in the State Department.

We've come a long way, baby.
posted by teleri025 at 12:59 PM on August 21, 2012


In 3 years, they will be able to say that there's never been a year without a Beloit list. Then the world will collapse upon itself.
posted by deezil at 1:03 PM on August 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


Or they could stop doing this for 18 years, and then return with the first Beloit list.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:04 PM on August 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


WE MUST GO DEEPER HOLY ZARQUON

*vuvuzela drone*
posted by deezil at 1:06 PM on August 21, 2012


I felt old last month when my wife didn't believe me that there used to be a knife-sharpening truck that drove the neighborhood.

(I also felt old because I needed the services of a knife-sharpening truck, but have yet to stop the ice cream truck this summer.)
posted by uncleozzy at 1:08 PM on August 21, 2012


If college freshmen don't hear "Selena" and automatically assume "Gomez", I will eat my hat.
posted by padraigin at 1:25 PM on August 21, 2012 [7 favorites]


Wait, they don't have tan M&Ms anymore? And haven't for like 18 years?

You win this time, Beloit. This time.
posted by chimaera at 1:33 PM on August 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


There's so many better observations to be made. Like that for freshmen this year, Facebook has been widespread and popular for as long as they've been old enough to be allowed to join.
posted by lookoutbelow at 1:42 PM on August 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


I was all set to post a comment about how it's not that none of the incoming freshmen know about the things on the list, but just that professors shouldn't expect them to know these things. Then I started reading this year's list and hoo boy this is just a mess.
posted by ckape at 1:47 PM on August 21, 2012


I went to a show the other night and while waiting on line overheard a livid young lady explaining that she was in fact born in 1993 and should be allowed inside.

I realized the other day that Appetite for Destruction is older than the entire cast of Teen Wolf and while it didn't make me stop creeping on any of them, it did make me a little cranky.
posted by elizardbits at 1:47 PM on August 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


What? No. No no no no no no. During their lifetime, Breyer has always been on the Court. No one actually thinks that Stephen Breyer is this immortal law troll who has been on the Court for the past 200+ years.

Now I do. I refuse to not believe this, despite being born well before the date the man would have you believe that Stephen Breyer, allegedly mortal law troll, joined the Court.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 1:48 PM on August 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


I felt old last month when my wife didn't believe me that there used to be a knife-sharpening truck that drove the neighborhood.

There still IS one in the West Village. It is like being unstuck in time.
posted by elizardbits at 1:48 PM on August 21, 2012


I realized the other day that Appetite for Destruction is older than the entire cast of Teen Wolf and while it didn't make me stop creeping on any of them, it did make me a little cranky

You're not a nearly 50 year-old receptionist at a small law firm are you? Because I'd really like to keep the number of women I know who are lusting after the cast of Teen Wolf low, and it would really help me if it turned out you were the same person.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 1:51 PM on August 21, 2012


lol no
posted by elizardbits at 1:51 PM on August 21, 2012


4. Michael Jackson’s family, not the Kennedys, constitutes “American Royalty.”

WTH is that supposed to mean?
posted by Doohickie at 1:58 PM on August 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


Astronauts have always spent well over a year in a single space flight.

To the class of 1966...real space exploration is right around the corner!
To the class of 2016...real space exploration has never been right around the corner!

Hi, I'm a member of the international space station team, and I'll be drinking tonight!

Also, it's not a year, jerks, it's 6 months each, and we've been doing it since these kids were 6 years old. Continuously. Which is cool, but I'll still be drinking tonight.

posted by zap rowsdower at 1:59 PM on August 21, 2012 [8 favorites]


14. There has always been NFL football in Jacksonville but never in Los Angeles.

Fixed it for them.
posted by Doohickie at 2:01 PM on August 21, 2012


I still see paper airplane tickets all the time

You ride paper airplanes? You're brave. I take the metal kind.
posted by sweetkid at 2:04 PM on August 21, 2012 [10 favorites]


26. They have had to incessantly remind their parents not to refer to their CDs and DVDs as “tapes.”

Incorrect. I can't remember the last time I heard someone from their parents' generation (of which I am a member) incorrectly use "tapes" to refer to CDs or DVDs.



Oh, and while you're at it, get off my lawn.
posted by Doohickie at 2:05 PM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


I still see paper airplane tickets all the time

Are you referring to boarding passes? Those aren't tickets. Neither are itineraries printed off the computer.
posted by Doohickie at 2:06 PM on August 21, 2012


I think "tickets" here mean like train tickets. You boarded the flight and then paid en route. I don't think any nation-wide carrier has done that since the 70s.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:22 PM on August 21, 2012


No one actually thinks that Stephen Breyer is this immortal law troll who has been on the Court for the past 200+ years.

No, that would be Scalia.
posted by gimonca at 2:34 PM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


You boarded the flight and then paid en route.

That is a seriously "whoa" concept to wrap my head around, and I was born in the late 70s. They really took off before you paid?

I thought that was just a joke in an Indiana Jones movies. Also, zeppelins.
posted by BeeDo at 2:35 PM on August 21, 2012


I don't think that this list's seeming "wrongness" has much to do with my age. I've found the thing amusing in the past, but this year's just seemed judgmental and spiteful.

There's weird digs at "electronic narcotics," right-wing hand-wringing over biblical verses, some weird assertion that the non-Michael portions of the Jackson family are relevant to somebody born in 1995, a sarcastic slam at Jon Stewart, weird inclusion of a current(ish) event ('too big to fail'), etc.

Others gripes:
posted by schmod at 2:35 PM on August 21, 2012 [4 favorites]


4. Michael Jackson’s family, not the Kennedys, constitutes “American Royalty.”

WTH is that supposed to mean?


I don't know, but this was probably written before the Kennedys recently became relevant to the list's target generation (one of the kids is dating Taylor Swift).

i have tweens, my cultural context includes a lot of pop singers
posted by padraigin at 2:49 PM on August 21, 2012


2024 or so: cats have always been captioned.
posted by acb at 2:49 PM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Re: Tickets, there were also tickets that you got in the mail after paying for a flight, and then you brought them to the airport, showed them to the agent, and were presented with your boarding pass. Computerized record-keeping has pretty much obviated the need for the customer to present an "I paid" token at the counter.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 2:50 PM on August 21, 2012


2024 or so: cats have always been captioned.

I see you have quite the optimism about "Peak LOL."
posted by Navelgazer at 2:52 PM on August 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


As long as we're nitpicking individual entries, Who Shot Mr. Burns aired in 1995, so that seems to erring well in the opposite direction of their normal problems.

Also, the phrasing for #70 makes me want to punch something.
posted by ckape at 2:54 PM on August 21, 2012


Also, the phrasing for #70 makes me want to punch something.

They did the exact same "sooooo last century/millennium" thing on last year's list. Number 30. I guess they thought nobody would notice, BUT I DID
posted by theodolite at 2:57 PM on August 21, 2012


Are kids really not taught about the Star Wars missile defense system when learning about the Cold War? Seems like a pretty crucial element...

Uh, I'm a decade older than the freshmen in question, and they sure didn't teach us anything about Star Wars. Or the Cold War, outside of the missile crisis. But that's probably more a comment on my school district than anything, really.
posted by junco at 2:59 PM on August 21, 2012


hey did the exact same "sooooo last century/millennium" thing on last year's list. Number 30. I guess they thought nobody would notice, BUT I DID

Soooooo busted!
posted by Kabanos at 3:00 PM on August 21, 2012


airline ticket
posted by junco at 3:01 PM on August 21, 2012


I felt old last month when my wife didn't believe me that there used to be a knife-sharpening truck that drove the neighborhood.

These still exist! I saw one in Montreal recently. It wasn't just parked, either, the guy was actually in the back sharpening knives, so it's still in service. It blew my mind.
posted by asnider at 3:01 PM on August 21, 2012


Paul McCartney was on Wings?
posted by griphus at 12:22 PM on August 21 [6 favorites +] [!]


He was the cab driver, right?
posted by DigDoug at 3:12 PM on August 21, 2012


It was vaguely inconceivable to me then that someone who had been born after an event I remembered clearly from my childhood [‘94] could walk around and talk, let alone read.

It’s inconceivable to me that someone who remembers 1994 as their “childhood” can walk around and talk, let alone read/write on Metafilter.

They have had to incessantly remind their parents not to refer to their CDs and DVDs as “tapes.”

Oh honey, you’re reading a comment by somebody who just moved with boxes of CDs and LPs and books and letters. Couldn’t bear to toss them. And all I could think- from now on will people (like these freshmen) just move with their one little mobile device containing all the same stuff.
posted by NorthernLite at 3:16 PM on August 21, 2012


How old are the people who write these lists? How long does it take them? How did they become so ubiquitous, considering nobody particularly likes them?

Kids still listen to the radio, Beloit. As a matter of fact, Beloit, your own college has a radio station! Is this irony or stupidity or both?
posted by kozad at 3:19 PM on August 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


He was the cab driver, right?

You're thinking of Jim Carrey's character in Taxi.
posted by griphus at 3:24 PM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think you're confused because his girlfriend was married to Larry Flynt.

What the Class of 2016 really doesn't know that eventually every joke circles around to shooting Kurt Cobain. Of course, they don't even know who he is.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 3:36 PM on August 21, 2012


Kids still listen to the radio, Beloit.

Indeed. College radio is pretty important on a lot of campuses. And, hell, I listen to MP3s. I've got a CD player in my car. I still listen to the radio a lot when I'm driving. Hell, most weekends, if I'm not watching TV/movies, I've got CBC going in the background.
posted by asnider at 4:02 PM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Does Beloit turn out a lot of dentists or something? Because I've been grinding my teeth pretty hard after reading this list.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 4:08 PM on August 21, 2012


There's this stupidly loud Emergency Communications Test that takes place once a month in my workplace. The klaxons are fricking insane, and when the shouting-volume announcer takes over, they always leave the mic on for a full minute while they breathe heavily, shuffle papers, and make people wince with anticipation of the thundering voice to come. Then more klaxons.

I mention this because it's the only way I know a month has gone by. Otherwise it seems like it was maybe a week, week and a half, tops.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 4:51 PM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's funny how this list is mimicking the descent from harmless crankery into scary weirdness that sometimes happens to people as they get older.

On TV and in films, the ditzy dumb blonde female generally has been replaced by a couple of Dumb and Dumber males.

Bizarre and meaninglessness.


Having grown up with MP3s and iPods, they never listen to music on the car radio and really have no use for radio at all.


I just heard about a study that just came out that said kids buy CDs even more than the age cohort that wrote this list. Did I just blow your mind, Beloit?

Probably the most tribal generation in history, they despise being separated from contact with their similar-aged friends.

This one made me LOL. Yes, the most tribal generation in history. Apart from, you know, actual tribes. After that, kids were done hanging out with their friends. These crazy kids.
posted by bleep at 5:14 PM on August 21, 2012


Slavery has always been unconstitutional in Mississippi, and Southern Baptists have always been apologizing for supporting it in the first place

This one was striking, I had to go look this up and yeah they didn't ratify the 13th amendment until 1995. Bless your heart, Mississippi.
posted by bleep at 5:21 PM on August 21, 2012


2030: the reply to "2020: people will have never known a reality that is not electronically mediated, permanently recorded, and crowdsourced" will always have been "Well people still have regular conversations and meet face to face and also poor foreign countries, and there is nothing new under the sun, and things always get better, so there"
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 5:23 PM on August 21, 2012


Only your clones teleport. You will never have known a need for flesh.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 5:32 PM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Pulp Fiction’s meal of a "Royale with Cheese" and an “Amos and Andy milkshake” has little or no resonance with them.

An "Amos and Andy milkshake"? Exactly how old are you supposed to be to have the proper counter-experience being proposed in this list? "Peanut brittle has never been the most popular of snacks, short pants have never been considered scandalous, and carriages have always been motorized."
posted by Brak at 6:10 PM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh wait, the "Amos and Andy milkshake" reference is Pulp Fiction too. My mistake. I'll just fall back to my conclusion that 75% of the items on this list had no resonance with me when I was entering college either. Or now. Or ever. Most of these things seem eternal in their triviality.
posted by Brak at 6:14 PM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


To be extremely pedantic, it's a "Five Dollar Milkshake," which you can get either "Amos & Andy" (presumably chocolate) or "Marting & Lewis" (presumably vanilla.)

Mia Wallace orders it "Martin & Lewis."
posted by Navelgazer at 7:06 PM on August 21, 2012


18 y/o reporting in. To be clear, Pulp Fiction is still being incessantly, almost anxiously quoted in circles (or Circles^tm) of friends.
posted by Taft at 7:11 PM on August 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


Beloit class of '09 here. The only professor I had who referenced anything from the Mindset list, ever, was the one who co-wrote it. The rest of the school spends the day it's released talking about how wrong most of it is, then never mentions it again. This year is particularly cringe-worthy, in particular the one about "the tribal generation," given the college's well respected anthropology department.
posted by syanna at 7:44 PM on August 21, 2012 [4 favorites]


WTF? Star Wars isn't a movie. It's a line of Legos!
posted by erniepan at 8:16 PM on August 21, 2012


airline ticket

Speaking of anachronisms, look over at the right hand side, about 2/3 of the way down. Yes, there is still a box to indicate if you want the smoking section.

I personally was most recently made to feel old when I asked a colleague, a 3rd year university student, who was wearing a flannel shirt and jeans on "dress like a superhero day" if her superhero was supposed to be Eddie Vedder. I got the blankest of stares, and realized that as a 3rd year university student, she was younger than the album Ten.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 8:23 PM on August 21, 2012


Annie: WWBJD?
Pierce Hawthorne: If that stands for "What Would Billy Joel Do?" I'll tell you right now: he'd write another crappy song.
Troy: ...yeah, in your face, Billy Joel!
Troy [mouths]: Who is that?
Annie: [mouths] I don't know.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:32 PM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


I just enjoy the idea of a students having a mindset. It seems so lovely and empirically unsupported.
posted by srboisvert at 8:48 PM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Speaking of anachronisms, look over at the right hand side, about 2/3 of the way down. Yes, there is still a box to indicate if you want the smoking section.

Pro tip: doesn't matter if you check it.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 9:00 PM on August 21, 2012


Airlines don't give out paper tickets anymore. Or if they do, they charge ridiculous fees like trying to order paper stock certificates.

Nah, they can't give them out at all any more, not even if you ask for one. The IATA site has a short history, which mentions: "On 1 June 2008, the industry moved to 100% electronic ticketing and the paper ticket became a thing of the past. [...] United Airlines was the first airline to issue electronic tickets, back in 1994. A decade later however, only 20% of all airline tickets were electronic. [...] In June 2004, IATA set an industry target of 100% ET in four years." Basically, any airline that prints a paper ticket is not IATA-compliant (a few do exist, I actually worked with some on my last contractor position, but that was because they were setting up e-ticketing codeshare agreements with the major European airline I was at). So there were still quite a few paper tickets in the US between '94 and '98, but yeah, kids born in '94 probably wouldn't remember that.

This list is kind of "whoa" for me because I left the US in '97, so reading it is also like being reminded just how much time has passed and how many things have changed since then. Seriously? No football in LA ever since?? And this: "Despite being preferred urban gathering places, two-thirds of the independent bookstores in the United States have closed for good during their lifetimes." Eek!
posted by fraula at 12:27 AM on August 22, 2012


I played the "How many of these might actually get members of the 2016 class to nod in recognition" and I think I counted three or four, tops.

A significant percentage of them will enter college already displaying some hearing loss.

Okay, now they're just recycling stuff from 1983.

Somebody needs to make a Random Beloit Mindset Generator:

"There have always been hula hoops with stripes, and Benjamin Disraeli has never been a member of the Dave Clark Five."
posted by AugieAugustus at 5:15 AM on August 22, 2012 [9 favorites]


"58.Selena's fans have always been in mourning"

OK, perhaps I'm underestimating cultural significance here and whatnot, but won't The Kids Of Today associate this name with Selena Gomez?
posted by mippy at 3:42 AM on August 28, 2012


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