Net: Greetings, student gophers, faculty and those in athletic programs! Another summer has groaned by, and going by the cooler weather and the uncompleted and frustrating state of the construction projects on our campus, it seems that the fall semester is almost upon us! This means those back to school ads, complete with very hip and informed representations of college life involving new jeans and/or students buying electronic equipment worth thousands of dollars, will soon end. So enjoy them while you can! Now, many of you may somewhat dread the first day of class, and with good cause, especially if you’ve never even been to college before. You neophytes probably do not know of us, so a brief introduction is necessitous. We are Network. Usually, this part of the BackTalk is filled with e-mail letters from driveling students and/or University-related people, who choose silly monikers, with witty and scintillating bold-fonted interjections thrown in by us, the Network, also known as Net. Here is an example of what you would normally see:
From Mephistofalafeles: Although I have read your column more than twice, I have never before encountered its online counterpart. Net: Neither have we. The Daily’s website never seems to work when we try to use it. Upon seeing your submissions plea, which asks, as you probably know, “Don’t you have something to say about all this?”, Net: It says exactly that, but in an eco-friendly, politically correct, lawsuit-evading sort of way. I realized that, in fact, no, I don’t. Net: Neither do the two major party presidential candidates, but they’re still gonna be at the debates. The contents of these letters inspire almost no reaction from me. Net: And from us neither, but they pay us for this so we gotta come up with some crap for you spellbound, television-subdued cretins. But then I wondered whether saying that you have nothing to say might not be the same as having something to say. Net: An interesting paradigm. Maybe through your studies at the U, you’ll see what the works of Descartes, Foucault, Kant, and Camus have to say. And also the most important philosopher a college student will know: Beer. I’ll leave it to you to decide. Net: Well, you had nothing to say, and you said it. That seems to be a common occurrence in Network.
Net: Isn’t it genius? We think so, and so will you after years of reading the Daily in combination with brain-killing studying. If only the ancient civilizations had an outlet such as this, could all of their dreams have be reached? Would the mighty Persian empire be powerful to this day? Would Cleopatra have thought twice about the asp? Would Atlantis be more than a waterpark in Florida? But back to the main issue! For those of you who are fresh not only to this University but to the idea of the institution of a university, we will share with you a story about our own first day of college!It was a warm September morning that we woke upon, shaking from both anticipation and a case of the delirium tremens that was plaguing us for months (whiskey was hard to find then, and wood varnish became a suitable alternative). After our usual breakfast of shelled figs with elderberry pie, the walk to campus was among us. Although the automobile was invented at the time by an ambitious and gifted Nazi-man, they were so ludicrously overpriced that only the four richest newspaper tycoons owned them and used them to clear out the crowds of the unemployed that would congregate outside cable car stations. We decided to walk the long way, avoiding the cable station and cutting through the Johnson farm. About 30 paces out of downtown a beggar approached us and asked if we had perhaps a shilling or two to spare. His miserable appearance, gaunt and filthy, matched only the contemptible fleshliness of then president, William Howard Taft. The beggar swaggered as he awaited our answer, but being indecisively tongue-tied and naive due to our college freshman age, we hesitated, and the beggar soon made it easier to answer by coughing violently and then dying. Footloose and fancy-free, we skipped on. Our walk continued through the trainyard where the local young toughs were known to dwell. Being the child of Dutch immigrants who worked as peanut salters, we were not unlearned when it came to tenacious street life. A pack of brutes blocked our path as we walked toward the exit of the yard, but soon dispersed as police officers fired indiscriminately in their direction from a passing passenger train carrying the then king and queen of Monaco. Inspired by the feeling of justice and American purity that was in the air, we brushed ourselves off and continued the journey, hoping to one day be as successful as not only the members of royalty that passed us but as the courageous policemen with their gun-wielding exactitude and ambition for public service. Walking past another four miles of drunken vagrants littered on curbs and gutters, half of them probably facing the same fate as the beggar that accosted us several miles prior, we could only hope that our future would bear more fruit than those of the poor worthless bastards we were stepping on. Through hard work and a never-question-anything attitude, we could one day be the ones who owned the cars that sped over the lifeless bodies of the poor, unemployed and useless, freeing this country from a costly burden!Through the decades since our first day at college, our work has been done. Now the ball is in your tennis court, new University-goers! Though you all join the University as one, merciless competition will no doubt weed out the simpletons more interested in numbskullery than college courses! The climb to the top awaits! May you fare well, you youthful and sprightly child-bastards!