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August 19, 2008 1:11 PM   Subscribe

It's that time of year again. College students are buying supplies and returning to classes, as their prospective professors prepare syllabi for their budding new pupils. It also means it's time for Metafilter's semi-annual "get off my lawn" snarkfest blowout, which can only be sparked by the release of Beloit College's Mindset List for incoming Freshman. Now with webcast goodness!
posted by bjork24 (76 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
The gay rabbits really fuckin confused me.
posted by Wolfdog at 1:16 PM on August 19, 2008


September never ends on the internet.
posted by klangklangston at 1:17 PM on August 19, 2008 [3 favorites]


I think many of these statements assume the incoming Freshman were blind and deaf to the world up until the age of 13 or so.
posted by bjork24 at 1:26 PM on August 19, 2008


They have always been able to do anything on Zombo.com.

U2 has always sucked.

Grunge has always been boring.

Barristas have always had facial piercings.

Keanu Reeves has always been a musician.

Rainbow parties have always been an urban legend.

Metallica has always had short hair.

There have always been value menus.

The Taco Bell Chihuahua has always implored people to drop whatever chalupa they may or may not be holding.

That chick from Diffr'nt Strokes has always been dead.

Webster has never been cute.

Michael Jackson has always been a pedophile.

Beards have always been cool.
posted by klangklangston at 1:27 PM on August 19, 2008 [4 favorites]


That stuff they put in cans is NOT iced tea, despite what you may have heard.
posted by Weebot at 1:27 PM on August 19, 2008 [5 favorites]


They have kind fo gone from fresh-point-of-view into youngsters-rewrite-history on a few of these points:

IBM has never made typewriters.

Noooo... IBM never actively manufactured typewriters during the lives of this year's incoming freshmen class. But they did indeed make them at some point.

Apparently this year's incoming freshman class has never had an editor.
posted by GuyZero at 1:30 PM on August 19, 2008 [3 favorites]


I think many of these statements assume the incoming Freshman were blind and deaf to the world up until the age of 13 or so.

For instance? I don't see anything postdating 1990.
posted by mr_roboto at 1:34 PM on August 19, 2008


I wonder what this year's incoming freshman class thinks of the extravagant bow tie of Mr. Ron Nief, Director of Public Affairs.
posted by echo target at 1:34 PM on August 19, 2008


Um....
posted by grippycat at 1:35 PM on August 19, 2008


Is it just me or did the list really, really suck compared to years prior?
posted by fusinski at 1:36 PM on August 19, 2008 [4 favorites]


We've always been at war with eastasia.
posted by mullingitover at 1:36 PM on August 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's always cost $5.00 to become a Mefite.
posted by bjork24 at 1:41 PM on August 19, 2008 [8 favorites]


> Noooo... IBM never actively manufactured typewriters during the lives of this year's incoming freshmen class. But they did indeed make them at some point.

All statements are about the state of the world since the Class of 2012 was born. Otherwise they're wrong about much more than the vintage of IBM typewriters.
posted by ardgedee at 1:43 PM on August 19, 2008


The title of the Mindset List appears to be in the Grand Theft Auto font. That says more about the incoming freshmen than anything on the list.
posted by naju at 1:47 PM on August 19, 2008


Time-Warner has always existed.

Salman Rushdi has always been under a fatwa.

The Ayatollah Khomeini has always been dead.

Seinfeld has always existed.

The Sega Genesis has always existed.

Pete Rose has always been banned.

The Simpsons has always existed.

There has never been a cold war.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:48 PM on August 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


Think they overlooked an obvious one:

There's always been a Bush or a Clinton in the White House.
posted by etaoin at 1:50 PM on August 19, 2008




Next year's list is going to be really fucking great, when it says "There have always been American troops in Iraq."
posted by mark242 at 1:50 PM on August 19, 2008


The Royal New Zealand Navy has never been permitted a daily ration of rum.

!
posted by mdonley at 1:52 PM on August 19, 2008


The Beloit College Mindset List has always sucked eggs.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 1:53 PM on August 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


The Hubble doesn't eavesdrop, it, like, eye-drops. If only there were some word that meant "spying with the eyes".
posted by Mister_A at 1:56 PM on August 19, 2008


This gimmick is so goddam tired. Also, I hate everything.
posted by rocketman at 1:58 PM on August 19, 2008 [4 favorites]


As a Beloit College Graduate I can say that one of the most embarrassing parts of being a Beloit College Graduate is the Beloit Mindset List. I know Tom McBride reasonably well (never drank with him though) and while he is an entertaining professor and while the MinsetList was an innovative thought experiment the first time it was produced it has become a truly foolish tradition. Kind of like all of the Freddie Kruger and Jason horror flicks, too damn many of them. It might have been slightly better had they not done one every goddamned year.

I rather wish they'd quit doing it for a little while.
posted by Sam.Burdick at 2:00 PM on August 19, 2008 [3 favorites]


Oh here's a little-known piece of trivia. Beloit, along with Swarthmore, is one of three sounds commonly made whilst sitting on the toilet.
posted by Sam.Burdick at 2:01 PM on August 19, 2008 [6 favorites]




The Royal New Zealand Navy has never been permitted a daily ration of rum.

Their tubes must be getting some kind of intermod with Massey U.'s New Zealand Mindset.
posted by Herodios at 2:04 PM on August 19, 2008


There has always been Pearl Jam

Jesus, how depressing. Of course, Pearl Jam has existed for all of my life as well, only they used to be called crappy 70s arena rock e.g. Bad Company, Grand Funk Railroad, etc. The only thing that was missing was the pretentious egotistical creep of a frontman.
posted by DecemberBoy at 2:04 PM on August 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


The only thing that was missing was the pretentious egotistical creep of a frontman.

Oh, Robert Plant has been fronting that band since 1968.
posted by Herodios at 2:08 PM on August 19, 2008 [3 favorites]


Most of them will be about 18 years old, born in 1990...

Ah, this year's graduating class was born the year I graduated from high school. Ouuuch.
posted by nanojath at 2:11 PM on August 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oh, Robert Plant has been fronting that band since 1968.

Don't go there son.
posted by Liquidwolf at 2:11 PM on August 19, 2008 [3 favorites]


It's still not "Beloit University"?
posted by Zambrano at 2:19 PM on August 19, 2008


1990 - the year John McCain celebrated his 88th birthday
posted by mattbucher at 2:26 PM on August 19, 2008


At this point, the No. 1 thing the world knows about Beloit College is that its incoming freshman are stupider than floorwax.

Windows 3.0 operating system made IBM PCs user-friendly the year they were born

That must have been an interesting year. Wonder why they reverted at the end of it?
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 2:26 PM on August 19, 2008


Wayne Newton has never had a mustache.

Man, that one takes me back. Who doesn't remember just where they were and just what they were doing the moment they learned Wayne Newton had shaved off his moustache?

I recall seeing him on Jackie Gleason, and then skedaddling out to Vegas in my Ford Fairlane to see that hep cat in his Vegas revue. Those were indeed the days. And then I was cryogenically frozen for 25 years, and when I awoke, I could barely talk for the quarter century of cotton caught in my throat. But still I remember turning to the nurse and croaking, "Wayne Newton's moustache - it's still there, isn't it?" The poor bird could barely bring herself to shake her sad head.

America wasn't the same after that, and neither was I.
posted by gompa at 2:26 PM on August 19, 2008 [8 favorites]


I have to agree about this list sucking even more. I'm not a huge fan to begin with, but there's usually one or two on them on there that I can find some relevance from how my personal experiences differ wildly from theirs, important, I think, since I'm dealing with the Class of X+1. But, these I find nothing useful in. One of them "IBM has never made typewriters" is baffling, since I'm surprised the whole "Typewriter" concept wasn't Beloited out long ago. I was going to go and pick individual ones out to display how bad the list is, then realized that the list stood on its own - in entire - as a paragon of trite superficiality. Each entry could stand alone as an example of how terrible this years list is.

Wait, I take some of that back. The one about GPS systems I like, and the one about Muscovites and Big Macs would have quality if not so hopelessly in love with its own cleverness.
posted by absalom at 2:28 PM on August 19, 2008


Heh. I don't relate to those specifics at all, but that made me a little nostalgic for this list that went around when I was a freshman. References to GI Joe, the Challenger, and what not.

That said, I'm sure I should be getting off of someone's lawn...
posted by wg at 2:30 PM on August 19, 2008


55. 98.6 F or otherwise has always been confirmed in the ear.

Does that sentence actually mean something, or did they just give up after a while and start stringing random words together?
posted by jack_mo at 2:36 PM on August 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oooh oooh, let me bust out a phrase from my generation: Lame

McDonald’s and Burger King have always used vegetable oil for cooking french fries. Because, you know, people care greatly.

They never tasted Benefit Cereal with psyllium. Ditto.

Living wills have always been asked for at hospital check-ins. ...

Christ, half of these things neither the class of '12 nor their parents give a damn about, which makes this list pretty much completely irrelevant.

I think that in order to tell the kids to get off my lawn, they would have to be on my lawn in the first place. That's not evident from this list.
posted by Brak at 2:38 PM on August 19, 2008


Freshmen, get off my quad!
posted by clearly at 2:45 PM on August 19, 2008


It has always been socially acceptable for adults to play video and computer games.
posted by Flipping_Hades_Terwilliger at 2:45 PM on August 19, 2008


References to GI Joe, the Challenger, and what not.

Apparently you and I are from the same college class 2002. I read "our" list as well, and was appalled at how inaccurate it was. Not only did I know exactly what the Challenger was, but I remember vividly when it exploded. My entire school was sitting in front of three television sets in our gymnasium watching what was supposed to be the first part of a "Teaching from Space" study curriculum for K through 6, taught by Christa McAuliffe.

I also remember exactly where I was when the Berlin wall came down. And on and on and on and on and on. Suddenly I'm angry at myself for writing his FPP. >:(
posted by bjork24 at 2:47 PM on August 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


55. 98.6 F or otherwise has always been confirmed in the ear.

I believe this means that their temperature has been recorded using a thermometer in the ear as opposed to one under the tongue.

But yea, these people seem as out of touch with the English language as they do with the mindset of incoming freshmen.
posted by clearly at 2:50 PM on August 19, 2008


Born in 1990? I was graduating from high school in 1990. I was smoking a pack a day in 1990. In 1990, I was already in debt...

Fuck, I feel old.

Kids, do me a favor, don't get off my lawn. Stay there and let me get my weed-wacker. Your pain will make me feel better about my greatly advanced age and sure to be oncoming senile dementia.
posted by quin at 2:53 PM on August 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


Paris Hilton, has always been like, omg so hot.
posted by clearly at 2:53 PM on August 19, 2008


Obligatory: I keep getting older, but Freshmen stay the same age.
posted by clearly at 2:54 PM on August 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


A bunch of the ones from my college year aren't true. Many of my textbooks included Yugoslavia because they were often several years old, grandparents referred to iceboxes and still used breadboxes, etc.
posted by Tehanu at 2:55 PM on August 19, 2008


Wow:

"For these students, Jim Henson has always been dead." (approximate quote)

God, has it been so long? It's so sad that people are going to forget the Muppets.
posted by Malor at 2:59 PM on August 19, 2008


So, in seven more years we can add "The Beloit College Mindset List has always sucked" to the list??
posted by never used baby shoes at 3:12 PM on August 19, 2008 [3 favorites]


Thanks, clearly. I probably would've worked it out if the temperature had been given in fancy modern degrees Celcius.

And now I get it, I'm surprised - Americans really have those hospital-style ear thermometers at home, and have done since 1990? Well futuristic.
posted by jack_mo at 3:21 PM on August 19, 2008


Are you speaking American, jack_mo?
posted by bjork24 at 3:22 PM on August 19, 2008


Americans really have those hospital-style ear thermometers at home, and have done since 1990?

No. Not in my family, anyway. Those are around but generally I've seen them used for babies and very small children.
posted by Tehanu at 3:40 PM on August 19, 2008


> The Royal New Zealand Navy has never been permitted a daily ration of rum.

Sodomy and the lash still OK.
posted by jfuller at 3:52 PM on August 19, 2008 [4 favorites]


Save yourself a couple hundred grand and stay home.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 3:57 PM on August 19, 2008


My daughter has always had "On demand" and a DVR. So there.
posted by Chuffy at 4:01 PM on August 19, 2008


"half of these things neither the class of '12 nor their parents give a damn about, "

Speak for yourself. I'm only Gen X and I definitely remember changes in our (American) culture like the shift to vegetable oil at burger joints.

I think many of you are missing a main point of this list: it doesn't actually matter whether the items on the list are significant for the incoming freshmen.
posted by oddman at 4:10 PM on August 19, 2008


Fire has always been too hot.
Wheels have always been too round.
Taxes have always been too high.
Life has always been too short.
You have always been on my lawn.
posted by ZachsMind at 4:20 PM on August 19, 2008 [4 favorites]


grippycat: "Um...."

I don't see a great freshman year in store for her. Sheesh. What was she thinking?
posted by NikitaNikita at 4:37 PM on August 19, 2008


Harry Potter could be a classmate, playing on their Quidditch team.

Wrong-go. Harry Potter was born on July 31, 1978. I only know that disgustingly fan-boyish fact because that is precisely the date that I was born. So Harry Potter just turned 30 a couple of weeks ago, to his alarm. Or mine. Or something.
posted by waldo at 5:14 PM on August 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


They are still 17 years away from brushing a handful of hair from their balding head, feeling a cautionary twinge in their prostate, suffering the bland disinterest of beautiful girls, or wondering where all those long afternoons and late nights have gone.
posted by felix betachat at 5:21 PM on August 19, 2008


I know Tom McBride reasonably well (never drank with him though)

Ha! I'm one up on you, then.
posted by dhartung at 5:31 PM on August 19, 2008


felix, sing it, man. But the nice thing about advancing senility is you can easily turn the cute cashier smiling at you because you're a harmless middle-aged guy into "she so wants me"--and honestly believe it.
posted by maxwelton at 5:32 PM on August 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


I wonder what this year's incoming freshman class thinks of the extravagant bow tie of Mr. Ron Nief, Director of Public Affairs.

Dude, bow ties mean your cool and smart! And, not in a Tucker Carlson-type of way.
posted by ericb at 5:36 PM on August 19, 2008


*you're*
posted by ericb at 5:36 PM on August 19, 2008


Dude, bow ties mean your cool and smart!

As the meanest woman I ever dated once said: "Bowties? Really? Why would someone want to advertise his impotence?"
posted by felix betachat at 5:38 PM on August 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


Why would someone want to advertise his impotence?"

I just spit out my drink!

Lest we forget Paul Simon (not the singer-songwriter).
posted by ericb at 5:41 PM on August 19, 2008


Perfect case. Can you imagine Sen. Simon singing "Cecilia"?

And why not?

That's right: bowtie.
posted by felix betachat at 5:44 PM on August 19, 2008


But the nice thing about advancing senility is you can easily turn the cute cashier smiling at you because you're a harmless middle-aged guy into "she so wants me"--and honestly believe it.

A fella' walks into a supermarket and buys:
1 bar of soap
1 tube toothpaste
1 loaf of bread
1 pint of milk
1 single serving cereal
1 single serving frozen dinner
The gum-smacking teenage girl cashier looks at him and says "Single are you?" The guy replies sarcastically "How did you guess?" She answers, "Because you're ugly."
posted by ericb at 5:45 PM on August 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


Speak for yourself. I'm only Gen X and I definitely remember changes in our (American) culture like the shift to vegetable oil at burger joints.

Fair enough.

I think many of you are missing a main point of this list: it doesn't actually matter whether the items on the list are significant for the incoming freshmen.

Not me. My argument is that many of the items aren't truly significant to anyone. Unless I'm dead wrong, and some significant portion of the population sits around reminiscing about the good old days of visiting the hospital without having that living will in hand.

"Dude, remember when Benefit Cereal had psyllium in it! I tell ya, when they took that out, I finally saw just how fundamentally the cereal industry had changed my life."
posted by Brak at 5:52 PM on August 19, 2008


Maybe I didn't know you
Quite as well as I could have
And maybe I didn't greet you
Quite as pleasantly as I should have

~

I see you cutting corners
You're my neighbors' demon spawn
You were always on my lawn
You were always on my lawn

~

How many times I've told you
But the conclusion is foregone
You may be dumb you may be bold too
I just wish that you were gone

~

All the things I've said and done
All conclusions have been drawn
You were always on my lawn
You were always on my lawn

~

Hey, you..
You think life for you is so damned hard
Hey kid..
Just get the hell out of my goddam yard
It's my goddam yard

~

All the things I've said and done
All conclusions have been drawn
You were always on my lawn
You were always on my lawn
You were always on my lawn....

(Sorry, Willie.)
posted by Floydd at 5:55 PM on August 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


I hate to say this for a variety of reasons, including that 1) Beloit was my alma mater 2) I have not read the link and 3) I have not read any of the comments, but I am getting really tired of posts including the Mindset List. I don't entirely mind the idea, because I suppose at the time they started doing it it was a novel idea as an approach at relating to an incoming class, but they have never really been accurate (especially when they include pop culture or general history references-- seriously, I've never heard of a Remington Standard typewriter just because I wasn't alive when they discontinued them?) and even more rarely have they ever actually been helpful in relating to an incoming class.

Anyway. I guess I'll go read the rest of the FPP now.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 6:53 PM on August 19, 2008


Wrong-go. Harry Potter was born on July 31, 1978. I only know that disgustingly fan-boyish fact because that is precisely the date that I was born. So Harry Potter just turned 30 a couple of weeks ago, to his alarm. Or mine. Or something.

Wrong again. We know from Chamber of Secrets that Harry turns 12 in 1992, so unless J.K. Rowling has stated otherwise since its publication, he was born July 31st, 1980. He just turned 28.

And Sam.Burdick, what's with the driveby Swarthmore diss? Granted, our school mascot was until recently the "Garnet Tide," which sounds either like a semiprecious algal bloom or, well, something that wouldn't help with the persistent misconception that we're a women's school, but still, dude. Whine about your own alma mater.
posted by bettafish at 8:28 PM on August 19, 2008


> They are still 17 years away from brushing a handful of hair from their balding head, feeling a
> cautionary twinge in their prostate, suffering the bland disinterest of beautiful girls, or
> wondering where all those long afternoons and late nights have gone.

But they won't mind because by that age they'll all be looking forward to their rich later lives as Bodhisattvas. I mean, they will be, won't they?
posted by jfuller at 9:08 PM on August 19, 2008


This is probably on MeFi every year too, but here's the 1918 list.
posted by lukemeister at 9:09 PM on August 19, 2008 [4 favorites]


This is probably on MeFi every year too, but here's the 1918 list.


My favorite from that list!

"15. They shall never know war again, now that the War to End All Wars has forged a new era of world peace."
posted by Mastercheddaar at 8:05 AM on August 20, 2008


Soft drink refills have always been free.

Where is this referring to? I've never been there.

Personal privacy has always been threatened.

How did this make the list?

They never tasted Benefit Cereal with psyllium.

I've never even heard of it, and I graduated well before 1990...
posted by GhostintheMachine at 8:56 AM on August 20, 2008


Wrong again. We know from Chamber of Secrets that Harry turns 12 in 1992, so unless J.K. Rowling has stated otherwise since its publication, he was born July 31st, 1980. He just turned 28.

Reading into it more, it appears that it depends on which timeline that you accept. The trouble is that no years are actually mentioned in the books, so it's a matter when one decides that it all began. It depends on whether you base the starting date for the whole affair on the year when the first book was written or the year that it was published. I don't actually care about Harry Potter enough to pick a side in what I'm sure is a fraught dispute.
posted by waldo at 5:57 PM on August 27, 2008


It doesn't matter when the book was written or published. All that matters is when Jo Rowling says certain events happened. And she's said Harry was born in 1980.

This is the internet. There's a lot of obsessive documentation out there about this.
posted by Tehanu at 7:01 AM on August 28, 2008


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