Beloit College releases lame Mindset List, wonders what’s up with kids and their Nintendos or whatever
For this generation of entering college students, the Mindset List has always been dumb.
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With the dog days of summer upon us, it’s time for a weary nation to savor the last precious hours of warm weather, and to dutifully lap up the slow trickle of news. For Beloit College, not coincidentally, it’s time to release its annual Mindset List, an increasingly dire compendium of fun facts that purports to “reflect the world view of entering first year students,” but usually settles on making lame jokes about those darn kids and their Lady Gaga iPad rap video game Nintendos or whatever. Looking for some dopey click-bait filled with dopey click-bait nostalgia to share on Facebook this week?
BuzzFeed Beloit College has just the thing!
Since 1998, Beloit’s emeritus director of public affairs Ron Nief and English professor Tom McBride have compiled the Mindset List, which aims to give professors a peek into the brains of incoming freshmen who are apparently only aware of things that happened in their lifetimes. The entries typically range from moderately interesting trivia (last year’s list included “Lou Gehrig’s record for most consecutive baseball games played has never stood in their lifetimes,”) to just plain odd editorializing (“Exposed bra straps have always been a fashion statement, not a wardrobe malfunction to be corrected quietly by well-meaning friends.”) WTF, Beloit College? (For this generation of entering college students, “WTF” has never meant “washing the Firebird.”)
The 2013 Mindset List—which examines the born-in-1995 class of 2017—is equally lame and random. For 18-year-olds, according to Nief and McBride, “a tablet is no longer something you take in the morning” (get it?), and “PayPal has replaced a pen pal as a best friend on line.” Incisive cultural analysis or a collection of Jay Leno-worthy groaners that betray a desperate “Old Man Yells At Cloud” fear of technology and youth? You decide.
Happily, the list has been drawing a fair amount of local and national criticism. The Journal Sentinel wonders if the pop culture review is a “Mindset List or Mindlessness,” while a spot-on Salon piece accuses Beloit College of straight-up trolling. Check out the entire list below, marvel at fascinating nuggets like “Their parents’ car CD player is soooooo ancient and embarrassing,” and be sure to share Beloit’s upcoming list of “34 More Things That Will Make ’90s Girls Feel Old”!
The Beloit College Mindset List for the Class of 2017:
For this generation of entering college students, born in 1995, Dean Martin, Mickey Mantle and Jerry Garcia have always been dead.
1. Eminem and LL Cool J could show up at parents’ weekend.
2. They are the sharing generation, having shown tendencies to share everything, including possessions, no matter how personal.
3. GM means food that is Genetically Modified.
4. As they started to crawl, so did the news across the bottom of the television screen.
5. “Dude” has never had a negative tone.
6. As their parents held them as infants, they may have wondered whether it was the baby or Windows 95 that had them more excited.
7. As kids they may well have seen Chicken Run but probably never got chicken pox.
8. Having a chat has seldom involved talking.
9. Gaga has never been baby talk.
10. They could always get rid of their outdated toys on eBay.
11. They have known only two presidents.
12. Their TV screens keep getting smaller as their parents’ screens grow ever larger.
13. PayPal has replaced a pen pal as a best friend on line.
14. Rites of passage have more to do with having their own cell phone and Skype accounts than with getting a driver’s license and car.
15. The U.S. has always been trying to figure out which side to back in Middle East conflicts.
16. A tablet is no longer something you take in the morning.
17. Threatening to shut down the government during federal budget negotiations has always been an anticipated tactic.
18. Growing up with the family dog, one of them has worn an electronic collar, while the other has toted an electronic lifeline.
19. Plasma has never been just a bodily fluid.
20. The Pentagon and Congress have always been shocked, absolutely shocked, by reports of sexual harassment and assault in the military.
21. Spray paint has never been legally sold in Chicago.
22. Captain Janeway has always taken the USS Voyager where no woman or man has ever gone before.
23. While they’ve grown up with a World Trade Organization, they have never known an Interstate Commerce Commission.
24. Courts have always been ordering computer network wiretaps.
25. Planes have never landed at Stapleton Airport in Denver.
26. Jurassic Park has always had rides and snack bars, not free-range triceratops and velociraptors.
27. Thanks to Megan’s Law and Amber Alerts, parents have always had community support in keeping children safe.
28. With GPS, they have never needed directions to get someplace, just an address.
29. Java has never been just a cup of coffee.
30. Americans and Russians have always cooperated better in orbit than on earth.
31. Olympic fever has always erupted every two years.
32. Their parents have always bemoaned the passing of precocious little Calvin and sarcastic stuffy Hobbes.
33. In their first 18 years, they have watched the rise and fall of Tiger Woods and Alex Rodriquez.
34. Yahoo has always been looking over its shoulder for the rise of “Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle.”
35. Congress has always been burdened by the requirement that they comply with the anti-discrimination and safety laws they passed for everybody else to follow.
36. The U.S. has always imposed economic sanctions against Iran.
37. The Celestine Prophecy has always been bringing forth a new age of spiritual insights.
38. Smokers in California have always been searching for their special areas, which have been harder to find each year.
39. They aren’t surprised to learn that the position of Top Spook at the CIA is an equal opportunity post.
40. They have never attended a concert in a smoke-filled arena.
41. As they slept safely in their cribs, the Oklahoma City bomber and the Unabomber were doing their deadly work.
42. There has never been a national maximum speed on U.S. highways.
43. Don Shula has always been a fine steak house.
44. Their favorite feature films have always been largely, if not totally, computer generated.
45. They have never really needed to go to their friend’s house so they could study together.
46. They have never seen the Bruins at Boston Garden, the Trailblazers at Memorial Coliseum, the Supersonics in Key Arena, or the Canucks at the Pacific Coliseum.
47. Dayton, Ohio, has always been critical to international peace accords.
48. Kevin Bacon has always maintained six degrees of separation in the cinematic universe.
49. They may have been introduced to video games with a new Sony PlayStation left in their cribs by their moms.
50. A Wiki has always been a cooperative web application rather than a shuttle bus in Hawaii.
51. The Canadian Football League Stallions have always sung Alouette in Montreal after bidding adieu to Baltimore.
52. They have always been able to plug into USB ports
53. Olestra has always had consumers worried about side effects.
54. Washington, D.C., tour buses have never been able to drive in front of the White House.
55. Being selected by Oprah’s Book Club has always read “success.”
56. There has never been a Barings Bank in England.
57. Their parents’ car CD player is soooooo ancient and embarrassing.
58. New York’s Times Square has always had a splash of the Magic Kingdom in it.
59. Bill Maher has always been politically incorrect.
60. They have always known that there are “five hundred, twenty five thousand, six hundred minutes” in a year.