Curmudgeon: "The postmodernist student is inherently anti-intellectual." Student: "Whatever."

Beloit College released its annual Mindset List yesterday; the Globe and Mail article says Beloit uses the list "to remind teachers that cultural references familiar to them might draw blank stares from college freshmen born mostly in 1992."

You know, things like, "remember when there were only three channels on tv?" (I remember She Who Will Put Us In A Home, now 19, being absolutely delighted as a seven-year-old to discover that my apartment had a wall-mounted dial telephone. A three-channel tv universe would, I suspect, have been much less welcome.)

This year's list points out to instructors that the class of 2014 is unlikely to write in cursive, that Czechoslovakia has not existed in their lifetimes, and that Nirvana is on the oldies station, along with the Beatles and Brewer & Shipley.

(The Globe and Mail's subhed also points out that "knowledge of... Wayne Gretzky’s Oilers career sorely lacking among the class of 2014." As if, the Globe implies (tenaciously clinging to the hope that any average American gives a rat's ass about hockey at all), they might know about his time in LA, St. Louis, or New York. But I digress.)

The list is a handy way of reminding of us that our cultural touchstones are moving targets, that things are always changing.

Well, not that everything is always changing, mind you. There's always some crank, like reader "Atlas Is Shrugging:"

The postmodernist student is inherently anti-intellectual. They are incapable of following a logical argument. Ideology is all that counts. There is no genuine reason to bother acquiring facts and evidence to support your argument. At a minimal level, one merely needs to embrace the zeitgeist and be on the right side of history. This mindset pervades the softer sciences to such an extent that normally only a hard science credential deserves instant respect.

Not like you, eh, Atlas? All those big words - postmodernist, ideology, zeitgeist - you must be an intellectual. And way to slam those postmodernists. I presume you spent some time acquiring facts and evidence to support your argument, but space limitations prevented you from including them in your comment. Or did you decide that once you let us know about your ideology, you didn't have a genuine reason to bother, either?

I suspect reader mvarick had Atlas and other like-minded commenters in mind when he or she posted,

My lawn...

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