Monday, April 15, 2013


Offender Details:
age: 22
projects completed: senior thesis
department/area of concentration: architecture

Dumb shit art school kids say:
offender: "That party was so lame."

DSASKS: "Yeah. I don't dance anyway. Especially not in crowded apartments without air conditioning."

offender: "I was talking to a girl who was pretty cool though. I think you know her."

DSASKS: "Who?"

offender: "The short girl."

DSASKS: "That's really specific. Which one?"

offender: "I dunno, the short girl!"

DSASKS: "Does she wear red-framed glasses?"

offender: "No."

DSASKS: "What color HAIR does she have?"

offender: "Red!"

DSASKS: "Red, curly hair? That's Jamie."

offender: "No, the short girl. She lives with Alex."

DSASKS: "Lisa? Lisa's 5'9."

offender: ----

offender: "Well, I dunno! She's shorter than me."

A judgment of height is not baseless. When you ask whether Lisa is short, you're not asking whether she's short compared to a sunflower, a garbage can, or a stingray. When you ask whether Lisa is short, you're asking whether she is a short person -- because, fact: she is a person. And when you ask whether she's a short person, you're asking whether she is short for a person.

That's when you'd need to refer to some statistics on the height distribution of people:

Compared to the rest of the population, Lisa is tall for a woman, average for a man, and tall for a person (average for man + woman = 5'6-5'7).

Alternatively, you might be asking whether Lisa is a short person compared to the people at the party. The people at the party represented a very random sample respective of height (because it wasn't an NBA party), so no, she isn't. Actually, she is tall compared to the people at the party, like she is to the rest of the population.  

But if you use yourself as the sole basis for comparison, and you just so happen to be 6'2 (like the offender), then yes, Lisa is "short". And yes, obviously, the sun revolves around YOU.

When you use yourself as the universal basis against which everything and everyone is judged, you make no sense -- unless you happen to be average in every way imaginable. Even then, you might happen to make sense, but you won't be aware that you make sense or understand why it makes sense.

On top of that, your understanding of the world will be very egocentric.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Thinking outside of the box

I took a drawing class in college. On the first day, we were encouraged to rearrange the classroom into a non-conventional setup, so most of the students (and the professor) ended up cross-legged on top of their desks. The professor still sat in front of the classroom and gave us an hour-long condescending speech on his policies and expectations.

Sorry, but that's the same kind of "thinking outside the box" as getting conventionally married, but then getting matching tattoos instead of rings. Or getting conventionally married, but then getting plastic surgery to look like one another, instead of rings.

The thing about desks is that they're only good for their intended purpose when you're working on something that needs to be on a flat surface directly in front of you. On the first day of class, of course that's irrelevant. But as time goes on, you might actually want to use the desk when convenient. Like, uh, when you're drawing and need a flat surface that isn't the floor.

If you go and sit on top of the desk, it should be because you understand that it's not particularly ridiculous, that it's not a big deal, and that there's no reason not to. Never because you DO think it's ridiculous, and you think it's some kind of brilliant way to push "boundaries" that a person only observes in the first place if they're hopelessly oversocialized.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


Offender details:
inconsequential, but he is an art school kid.

Real-life dumb shit art school kids say:
DSASKS: "There's a character on Parks and Recreation who reminds me of [mutual acquaintance] Brian."

offender: "Oh yeah? Which one?"

DSASKS: "Tom."

offender: "Yeah, idk. I never watched that show, it sucks."

The sad thing is, he's not being deliberately obnoxious.
The sadder thing is, conversations with him always sound like this.
Sadder still, the expectation is that I am now to feel ashamed for knowing about Parks and Recreation.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Dumb Shit Hipsters Say

"Existence precedes essence, and Woody Allen's films are the break-even point of existence."

I too someday aspire to reach the break-even point of existence.

Along with other big dreams, like learning how to brush my hair, butter my own toast, pay rent, get the pee in the toilet *almost* every time, and yes, even date the nearest person I'm capable of being flirtatious with.

Because I'm so smart and sensitive (oh so tragically smart and sensitive) that life has traumatized me far beyond being able to practice agency, or cope with the idea of the possibility of the concept of failure, or attempt more than inahalation and exhalation. Instead I must passively cower from it, aspiring to nothing and attempting nothing so that in the event (just in the event) I amount to nothing, I can easily tell myself that was what I actually wanted anyway.

Basically, reader, inside every hipster is a shambling mess of defense mechanisms... nothing else. That's why they identify with Woody Allen so well.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

I love how snide this font looks in italics. It serves the purpose of this blog so perfectly.

Me and my friends

I thought it would be fun to throw in some variety, now that the tone and purpose of this site has been established. So I present to you...

Dumb Shit Hardcore Kids Say:

offender: "I didn't even start drinking until I was in my 20's. Me and my friends didn't drink or do drugs when we were younger."

DSASKS: "Oh, when you were a hardcore kid?"

offender:  (laugh) "Yeah. Yeah, when I was a hardcore kid."

DSASKS: "And you were straight-edge."

offender: "Not -- not straight-edge. We didn't consider ourselves straight-edge or use the term straight-edge. Me and my friends just believed we didn't need drugs and alcohol to have fun."

This person is annoyed with me because he likes to think of his former lifestyle as an independent decision. I apparently am one of those people who doesn't "get it", because I apparently think in paradigms, like people tend to do. Silly me.

I mean, honestly. How can a person possibly be drug-and-alcohol-free as a personal lifestyle choice, and not as part of a broader, subscriptive group decision?

Oh, how 'bout like this: by not opening the statement with "me and my friends".

(Especially when you're only friends with whom you're friends with because they listen to the same kind of music as you.)

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Dumb shit film school kids say

Offender Details
age: 30
department/area of concentration: communications - film
projects completed: senior thesis
additional details (i've included this for a reason): not even in a band. not even in a "band". actually who are we kidding here, this individual doesn't play a single musical instrument.

Real-life dumb shit film school kids say:
offender: "I'm from New York."

DSASKS: "Me too! I grew up in Brooklyn. I'm dying to leave. Have you ever lived anywhere else?"

offender: "Not really, other than Long Island."

DSASKS: "No desire to explore?"

offender: "I like New York. There are so many people here who have the same taste in music as me."

DSASKS: "Oh, do you play music?'

offender: "Nah, I never really got into that."

Yes, sweetheart. Passively appreciating the products of other peoples' creativity (music, etc.) is truly the point of life. Especially for someone who works freelance because they've found their "passion" in life and have chosen to follow their "heart" to pursue their "dream": making a senior thesis project.


Friday, March 15, 2013

I don't like logic. (But I do like dismissing things I don't know about.)

Offender Details
age: 31
projects completed: senior thesis
department/area of concentration: communications department - film (at a non-arts-focused university, where he could easily have expanded his mind beyond his own area of study.)

Real-life dumb shit that art school kids say:
DSASKS: have you ever looked into propositional logic? I think you would love it. Your thought process is very logical.

offender: What's propositional logic?

DSASKS: P's and Q's? It's essential for any student of philosophy, because it teaches you how to think. And how to construct a non-reactionary argument that follows a coherent line of reasoning.

offender: Oh, you mean like if...then questions?

DSASKS: Yeah! That's part of it.

offender: Yeah, I've never really been into those. I don't like how they try to like, push you toward a certain conclusion.

Film school kids get their stupidity from their art school friends.

That's cool, at least it's good money.

Offender Details
age: 27
projects completed: senior thesis; played in a band once (bass)
department/area of concentration: visual arts - painting

Real-life dumb shit that art school kids say:
offender: "I went to school upstate. For art, actually."

DSASKS: "Painting? Sculpture?"

offender: "Yeah, painting."

DSASKS: "That shit is not easy."

offender: "It's definitely not that accessible to most people. Do you do something artistic too?"

DSASKS: "No, I went to school for psychology. Experimental psychology, it's more academic..."

offender: "Do you like it?"

DSASKS: "Yeah."

offender: "That's cool. At least it's good money."

DSASKS: -----

offender: "You know, my brother and my sister are both in medical-type fields. My sister's a dentist and my brother's in nursing school."

Two naive misconceptions that no twenty-fucking-seven-year-old should ever have: 1) all pursuits that aren't artistic are motivated by vocational objectives 2) all pursuits that aren't artistic are profitable

#1 also has an additional misconception implicit in it: pursuits connected to art are always taken up as a labor of love and a personal passion. (PLEASE, like there's no cultural capital in "freelancing" or "being an artist". And like artistic creativity isn't fetishized, especially by young people who like to have sex.)

And finally, one misconception that NO college-educated person should hold, but that most people (not just art school kids) do hold: Psychology is a health/social services field. 

In actuality, that thing that Frasier Crane/the school counselor/that woman who prescribes you xanax does is only a small part of what the word "Psychology" refers to. Independently of all that, Psychology is also an academic discipline. And it's the only social science that concerns itself with the universal tendencies of man, or "human nature". (Outside of that, you have to look to the biologists.)

What's economics?

Offender Details
age: 28
projects completed: senior thesis. Also sells crocheted scarves on Etsy (does that count?)
department/area of concentration: visual arts - painting

Real-life, verbatim dumb shit that art school kids say:
To my friend, who is in grad school for Economics, and whom she was dating at the time:
"Why do you study business?"