December 28, 2006

She's Baaaaaaaack!

As promised, I have more to say about ESPN's new wonder-hack, Jemele Hill.

I was prepared to be done with her, figuring there's only so many times you can whack a dead horse before the ASPCA comes looking for you. But then I received a positive comment on the series from loyal reader Papa Shaft. Since my "work" so rarely receives positive review, I decided not to give up on Hill just yet.

I did decide, however, that I would only take her to task if her columns were particularly egregious. And thus, I left her next two columns alone, since they weren't terrible, just unimaginative and pointless. But then I saw her her latest column, and I knew it was time to start sharpening my knives again.

This column takes the form of (presumably humorous) advice for Certified World Phenomenon Michelle Wie as she (Wie) prepares to enter college. The column kicks off in the now-standard Hill style of poorly-written non-sequitur:

OK, Michelle, the hard part is over. You got into college. Now loosen that grip on the acceptance letter you got from Stanford for a minute, and pay close attention.

Yes, because surely we never believed Michelle Wie was going to get into college. That's the "hard part"? Also, why would need to "loosen [her] grip on the acceptance letter" to read this column? Last I checked, you can read without using your hands (unless you're reading Braille). And who maintains an iron grip on their acceptance letter anyhow?

She then proceeds to recite a few tired observational humor jokes about college, which I suppose are funny if you're the kind of person who finds Dane Cook amusing:

College will be your chance to find out who you really are. College is a different world, but a good world. It's a place where Captain Crunch is considered a food group, and it's where you learn to separate your clothes into two categories -- dirty and pass-out funky.

Although somehow, I doubt that Michelle Wie, teenage millionaire, will be subsisting for weeks at a time on cereal, or going months without having her laundry done. A fact that Hill notes in her very next paragraph. (Incidentally, Jemele's habit of contradicting herself from one paragraph to the next is downright strange, and getting old fast. Does she realize she's no longer employing the two-voices gimmick from her debut column? Or are her columns really transcripts of the conversation conducted by the voices living in her head? Come to think of it, that would explain a lot.)

Hill posits, perhaps hopefully, that Wie will be able to be just one of the gals in college: "College will give you the opportunity to escape the pressure you've dealt with since you were 13." Because I'm sure none of her Stanford classmates or professors will recognize her, because they've all been living in the Unabomber's cabin in Montana for the last five years. And, of course, the media will leave her completely alone during this time, particularly since (as far as I know) she plans to continue playing in pro golf tournaments during her college years.

From this dubious launching point, Hill takes off into her set of "tips" for Wie, which are a mixture of lame gags deftly interwoven with nonsensical what-the-hell? comments, as only Hill can manage. Some highlights:

Don't be the stereotypical rich kid at college. Don't buy pizza for the whole dorm. Don't buy out the bar. Don't buy everyone's textbooks. Trust me, you'll be much more entertained by seeing how creative college students can be when they have 75 cents to last them the entire month of October.

Yes, because your classmates will like it much better if you use their financial struggles as a source of personal amusement. Feel free to refer to them as "peons" and grind your cigars out on their foreheads while you're at it.

Do become a stereotypical college student. Live in a dorm. See how many consecutive days you can eat Wisconsin cheesy chicken. Learn how to avoid meningitis. Plot a fake suicide with your roommate so you can see if it's really true you get an automatic 4.0 if your roommate kills herself. Make aardvark noises if your suite mate is keeping you awake with really loud sex. Take a philosophy class and ponder the being of being. Use a dryer sheet as deodorant. Stay up for 36 straight hours and then try to take a final. Fail a class. Learn a foreign language -- but not a useful one like Spanish or French. Learn Finnish.

More Dane-Cook-level "humor" (even Jemele seems to realize this; note her use of the word "sterotypical"). I would also point out that, except for living in a dorm, I didn't do any of these things in college. But then, I didn't go to Jemele's Cardboard Stereotype U.

If you're going to use your celebrity status, use it for cool stuff. Use it to jump the line at clubs. Use it to punk your professors into giving you a 4.0, even though you never showed up for the midterm or final and missed their class 22 straight times. Use it to steal the boyfriend of the sorority chick that's been hating on you. You know, the important things.

That's right, kids! Aunt Jemele wants you to know that college shouldn't be about learning. Heck no! That's for nerds. Much cooler to spend all your time jumping the line at clubs (that you're probably too young to go to legally, as if that matters) and stealing other women's boyfriends. Your classmates will surely love you!

Join a student organization that matches none of your interests whatsoever. In college, you're supposed to get to know different kinds of people and learn useless skills. Student organizations help you with both. I did some preliminary checking on Stanford's Web site and I found an organization that would be perfect for you -- the Mariachi Cardenal de Stanford. It's an organization for student mariachis, and the best part is you have to take Music 157: Introduction to Mariachi Ensemble. That's the kind of class that, when your parents see it on your transcript, they will bludgeon you with a heavy object.

Does anyone actually join college organizations that match none of their interests? Unless it's a transparent attempt to meet/impress members of the opposite sex? That should be no problem for Wie; as you may have noticed, she's very attractive, and also she's a teenage millionaire.

Oh, and that last sentence? Clink, clank, clunk. Simply atrocious. It never would have seen the light of day in my high-school paper. (Seriously, don't they have editors at Page 2?)

And finally, today's Jemelism:

I once funded a spring break trip to Florida and sponsored a child in Uruguay with plasma money, but that's a story for another day.

Wait... what?! I just... but... I don't... I give up.

Maybe Jemele's next column will be about the plasma-money story. It would surely be a more enjoyable read than anything she's written for Page 2 so far.

Posted by Mediocre Fred at December 28, 2006 01:14 PM | TrackBack

This article reminded me of the classic Ice Cube line from Boyz n da Hood: "You don't to college to talk to no bitches, your ass supposed to be learnin' something."
Maybe Jemele could have learned something from Ice Cube. Hopefully Michelle Wie does.
And didn't Chelsea Clinton go to Stanford? I am sure you did all those things Jemele suggests.

Posted by: Jordi at January 18, 2007 12:36 PM

I googled this idiot Jemele Hill's name since I was fed up with her moronic aritcles. You should check out her March 26, 2007 article about Kobe > Jordan, and NBA 2007 > NBA 1990's

Somebody shoot her, please.

Posted by: Bobby at March 27, 2007 07:41 PM
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