May 11, 2007

Schadenfreude: Post-College Edition

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are nothing if not marketers. In previous “posts” on our humble “weblog,” we’ve touted all sorts of potential products, from an Academic Superstars Calendar to a brilliant Academic Dictionary.

Come to think of it, our brilliant marketing ideas oft seem to have some sort of academic theme. And no wonder: What sells better than painfully obscure prose from fusty old pedants? We can’t think of anything either. Other than boobs, of course.

Accordingly, dear reader, our latest idea also stems from the world of higher education. If we may say so ourselves—and, as of press time, it appears as if we must—this product is a veritable goldmine. It’s genius, pure and simple.

But before we let you in on the idea, allow us to set the scene.

Imagine you’re a miserable academic (pardon the redundancy) who works on such important topics as greengrocers in the medieval world or Hungarian breast-feeding. As you have yet to score tenure, you work plenty of hours on all sorts of professorial tasks: organizing lectures; grading papers; researching for unreadable articles; sitting on useless and thankless committees; &c.

As you might well have guessed, you’re not too keen on some of your students—most of them, actually. Despite the purportedly rigorous standards of your purportedly competitive home institution, the average undergraduate at your college is about as motivated as a corpse. And a lazy corpse at that.

Too busy working on making their livers resemble brown bananas, these students simply can’t trouble themselves to do the sorts of things one expects of average undergrads. You know, like attend class, stay awake, make a dent on your homework, study, and not rape anyone.

Ah, but these kids sure can complain. They spend about five minutes composing their five-page papers the night before they’re due, and thus they read like the work of an illiterate immigrant. But this doesn’t stop them from bitching about their ineluctably lousy grade. If these lowlifes spent half as much time on their work as they did on their kvetching, they might actually earn decent scores. But, of course, they don’t care that much.

And this, dear reader, is where our fantastic potential product comes in. We call it the Professor’s Revenge Service, and we’re sure it’ll be bigger in academic circles than Foucault was in the 1980s.

So, what’s the Professor’s Revenge Service, and how does it work? Well, if a particular student drives you bonkers, all you must do is call up the Professor’s Revenge Service and pay our flat-rate fee. We at the service do all the rest.

That is to say, we agree to videotape your horrid student on his first post-graduation day at his first post-graduation job. We’ll send you a high-quality DVD of your former student in action at his new miserable occupation. You’ll take great pleasure as you watch him, in the inimitable words of Tom Lehrer, slide down the razor blade of life.

“Oh, so you never paid attention in class, eh, and couldn’t trouble yourself to stay awake?” you’ll chortle. “Well, how do you like it now, you jackass? Enjoy your crappy 9-5 job at the eraser factory, you mal-educated ignoramus.”

Just think of all the joys the Professor’s Revenge Service could offer. You can almost smell the Schadenfreude. If you ask us, our service is the greatest academic invention since the footnote.

Posted at May 11, 2007 12:01 AM | TrackBack