Sunday, June 19, 2005

Stupidest News Item of the Year


I know we haven't even hit the Summer Solstice yet, but this WaPo Saturday piece (featured, unbelievably, on page A1) is so Staggeringly Stupid that, out of context, I would have laughed at it as another topical Onion bit of fake news. Just go read it for yourself. David Adnesik over at Oxblog delivers the necessary fisking here, but honestly, it reads almost funnier on its own. Especially if you read it, only liberally substitute the word Starbucks for "Domus Legis" [my old Dalhousie Law School bar] and latte for "Alexander Keith's" [the beer of choice].

Because the premise, in brief, is that law students who incur debts of over $100,000 to complete their degree do not realize the true cost of their Starbucks "addiction" over this time, a habit that presumably is spiraling out of control.

Put aside that it makes these law students out to be completely childish, incompetent, and unable to keep a proper eye on their finances [perhaps I shouldn't emphasize this one too much, as this year has gotten slightly away from me... though bigger ticket holidays/theatre tickets played that role, and not latte]. Put aside even that maybe, just maybe students choose to buy this coffee from these stores, knowing full well the costs and the value received from it.

The most hilarious aspect of this non-news item is that the people behind this campaign are actually the law school and its director of career services - whose tuition presumably makes up the vast enormity of said debt, certainly in relation to coffee expenses. And yet they have the affront to shift the blame to STARBUCKS (?!) and "crazy" latte spending because this is - wait for it - "insidiously tilting career paths toward jobs that pay more but satisfy less."

Wow. And on the frontpage of the Saturday Washington Post? Maybe the editors wanted to take advantage of some summer weather...


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