Wisdom trumps education

WRITING - Joe Bob's America

If you wanna go to Harvard these days, or Stanford, or Vanderbilt, or Princeton, you've got to do one of these things:



a) Make straight A's your entire life, beginning with two-year-old Montessori school.

b) Score 1590 on your SAT's, and never go outside the lines of the little circle with your Number Two pencil.

c) Give the school $5 million.

d) Have an ancestor who went to Harvard in 1694.

e) Own office buildings in mid-town Manhattan.


e) Have a fashionable skin color. (Blacks and browns are "in" this season, but yellows, whites and whatever-that-Middle-Eastern-color-is still have to score 1590 on the SAT's).

Then, after you've passed all the standards of smarts, and wealth, and power, and skin color, you get the PRIVILEGE of paying the school $20,000 a year, because they were gracious enough to accept you.

Who NEEDS these places?

Let's take a look at who's gonna be running America in the year 2020:

a) The straight-A student. This guy's not equipped for anything except PLEASING PEOPLE OLDER THAN HE IS. This is the whole secret to making straight A's. It has nothing to do with intelligence, or concentration, or memory, or thinking. It means you're a good con man. You've figured out the system. You've worked the system. You've conquered the system. You're like one of those Mafia guys who's worth a billion dollars, but no one knows your name--because the nature of your skill is that you HIDE your ambition.

We already tried these guys. They ran the Lyndon Johnson White House. They were pitiful.

b) The guy who scores 1590 on his SAT's. These people are psychopaths. They've spent 17,000 hours at a computer terminal by the age of 12, and they will never have any social skills until AT LEAST the age of 55, when they're on their fourth wife. They're the kind of people who insult everyone around them--not because they're trying to, but because they're NOT PAYING ATTENTION. They're so proud of their minds that they have no hearts. They're great for talking about black holes--because they ARE black holes.

We tried these guys, too. They worked at Los Alamos during the war. We're still trying to clean up after em.

c) The rich philanthropic family. This results in an actual college diploma for . . . Teddy Kennedy. I rest my case.

d) The socially prominent family. I've never understood why we fought a war 200 years ago to get rid of royalty, get rid of class, get rid of things like social registers--and today we WORSHIP the British royal family, we act like the president is our ONLY leader, and we keep paying deference to people on the basis of their names. The Vanderbilts, Morgans, Hearsts, Rockefellers--believe me, if it weren't for museum curators and foundation presidents constantly going after these folks' money, we'd have no use for them. One dinner party in the Hamptons creates enough boredom for a lifetime.

We tried these people. Recently. Don't bring em back.

e) The "Trumpist" (named after Donald Trump, who out-trumped himself). There are still plenty of these flashy real-estate vultures out there, buying their way into universities and endowing professorships for the study of primitive Indian tribes in Anaheim.

Nixon used these people. Ahem.

f) The professional minority. This is the newest power bloc in American higher education, a person who defines himself by his skin color, and frequently professes some "mission" to rid the universities of the privileged, the entrenched wealthy, the status quo--the SAME universities that are saying "We've got to haul some more of these People of Color in here before we get in trouble." So this person is basically a subversive--joining a club he doesn't respect, so he can take over the club, change the club, and refashion it in his own image.

We've tried these people. They run Detroit. Great job, guys.

No school that I know of admits students according to the only qualities that matter--honesty and curiosity. Give me an illiterate pig farmer with those two qualities, and I'll have him ready to lead us out of this mess in four years.

But if I were graduating from high school today, I'd tell all these universities to stuff it and go get a job mining uranium in Utah. The company is better. The conversation is better. And, most important, the education is better.