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Happy Kollege Kid Day!

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Double-click on your brain and hope that it loads.

Then pose for a picture of you and your buds wrapped in American flags so you remember where you were on that fateful day.

Text mom.

Tweet dad.

All together now: “USAUSA!”

Happy “Kollege Kid Day!”

Our Web site is under construction and will soon be available in violent video game form.

“Yaaaay, yaaaay, it’s Kollege Kid Day! Do we get free beer? Extra credit for coming to class? A’s because I always got A’s in high school? ”

No, you get nothing except egos inflated to the breaking point and an unhealthy dose of shallow thought designed to make students feel unrealistically good about themselves as they prepare to step off campus and face a cruel, cruel world.

And, you get an F for failing to understand the depth of the breadth of the assassination of Osama bin Laden. Google Osama and check Wikipedia if you’re not really sure who he is.

For whatever the reason, thousands of college kids stormed quads at their respective institutions of higher learning to celebrate the death of the world’s most well-known “terrorist” at the hands of American Navy Seals.

Thousands of students hit Beaver Avenue in State College. Hundreds hit the green at the University of Scranton. And I expect Wilkes University students to follow suit once the kids get the word in the next few days.

Thankfully, the Penn State kids didn’t turn over car or set fires the way they did when they rioted in past years over the bars closing early or football or whatever other perceived insult attacked their brain stems.

Google “Penn State riot” if you forget and need to hit refresh.

But this time was different.

This time was patriotic – and idiotic.

The mindless youthful urgency that morphed social media into a frenzied flash mob says volumes about the superficial emptiness that nowadays takes up time at “school.”

The kids are not all right. The kids are increasingly less inclined to think through any matter of substance, let alone the execution of a man whose name many students would likely misspell in a test or any exam paper they didn’t purchase online.

My guess is that more criminal justice majors gathered per capita on campuses across America Sunday night into Monday morning than any other major. It’s doubtful that many Women’s Studies majors or even Political Science majors showed up with blood read words written on beer case cardboard that read “We Got Him.”

Actually he got us.

The insurgency this Arab Spring puts us right where the terrorists want us - dumb, happy, vulnerable and proud of it. This wrong of spring carries serious implications for Generation Twit. Their devolution of intellect is striking in its innocent recklessness, hawkish in its aggression.

But, in the absence of intellect, patriotic posturing can be fun. The best minds of this generation did not hit the streets to shout jingoistic oaths to the heavens. In the real academy, brains still score higher than brawn. Intelligence still means more than the precursor to an execution. Intelligence means the aptitude to grasp complex ideas that might challenge commonly held public opinion.

Such dissent is dangerous.

But the good news is that most college students stayed inside – hopefully studying sad facts of history that teach how flag-waving ultra-nationalism gets us into trouble every time. Look what happened in Iraq. By most credible accounts, our national foray into Iraq proved costly in terms of lives, tax dollars and global credibility.

Look what’s happening in Afghanistan, the nation we invaded with a mission to capture Osama. OK, we got him – in Pakistan, a nuclear-equipped ally the White House admits we don’t trust.

Osama’s dead and so are we in the sense that each day in Afghanistan is a grave-digging detail for tomorrow’s funerals – ceremonies that will likely not include most of the students who gathered to scream their fervor for war.

Upload, download, what’s the difference?

Lock and load is where it’s at.

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