NEWS

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August 30, 2009

Chicagoan Cries Foul at Claims of U of C Douchebaggery

The other day, the Maroon's Senior photo editor's gchat status alerted me to this article, entitled, "America's Douchiest Colleges," pubished by GQ on men.style.com.

Amazing what the internet's done for us, isn't it?

The article puts the U of C at 17th, calling it the home of "The Paul Wolfowitz Douche," identified by "Horn-rimmed glasses; pipe; well-thumbed copy of The Antitrust Paradox; precocious ideas of mankind as brutish and disgusting." Surely not great, but at least we aren't "The 'I Went to a School So Exclusive, Only Six People Know About It and Half of Them Are So Smart They're Clinically Insane' Douche" of Deep Springs College (number five), and anyway, GQ acknowledges the entries are "possibly stereotyped." Also, I'll stop calling you Shirley.

Nevertheless, Brent DiCrescenzo penned (keyboarded?) this response on Time Out Chicago's blog (seriously, give it up for the internet) arguing that the school does not belong on the list, despite the fact that he's not even an alumnus. He went to Notre Dame (number 15, "The moral Douche") and understands why his school is on the list; I won't go there.

DiCrescenzo offers this as evidence: "The University of Chicago, however, just flat out does not belong on this list. The student body is socially inept, sure, but in a kinda charming, pitiful way. One guy I know from U. of C. raises a finger before speaking, starting each sentence with, 'Hmm…question…'"

That's not douchey? Pardon my french, but je ne sais pas!

He continues: "Another acquaintance who studied in Hyde Park wrote a long essay comparing a Radiohead record to Finnegan’s Wake. It’s all geeks, few freaks."

Come on, Brent! That's douche-factor five!

But this misses the point, as does DiCrescenzo's post. While this university may not be the home of the classic douche, and you can find a douche at any college (DiCrescenzo says as much in his article: "is any college in this country not riddled with arrogant 'radicals' spewing just-read philosophies, beer-pongers, frat boys, jam-band fans, American Apparel–wearers, Pitchfork believers, Twitter diarists, baseball-cap reversers, Asher Roth–blasters, Girls Gone Wild–viewers, tailgaters and vegans?"), the important thing is that Chicago is on the list.

Chicago belongs on the list because it should belong on every list. It's a great school that wants the recognition its due, and yes, full of douches, but so is Harvard, so is Yale, so are Princeton, Duke, Stanford and MIT. which all placed high on the douche list because they have that recognition. We want to be douchey, at least a bit, because if we're not, we'll never get the awesome douches like us who write great, bizarre essays or dress, act and think like Paul Wolfowitz to want to come here. They are what makes this school great, even if they're sometimes annoying.

The school held a competition this summer - if you're a student, you may have gotten the email - to find a name for its new online community. Maybe we should subtitle it "Home of the Obama Douche" or maybe "the Place for the News Writers who Blog like Douchey Opinion Writers Douche" or even "Where the Meta-Douche Lives."

Yeah. 'Gotta love the internet.