Your RDA of Irony

Transcendental Journalism

To my immense disappointment, none of you readers seem to be Hollywood producers.  If any of you are, why are you remaking “Spider Man” instead an epic on one of my Byzantines?  I am willing to compromise:  the Justinian Code could be a kewl kid’s guide to dating at Constantinople High.

We now resume the ongoing satire known as my life.  In the course of scrounging for writing assignments, I was asked to produce my college transcripts.  (But human resource departments also reject supplicants if they sound like college graduates; the trick is to go to school without learning anything.)

Yesterday, while applying for my college transcripts, I discovered that Northwestern is unaware that it has a school of journalism. The online service was quite adamant that I was making up Medill. Since Medill did not produce Stephen Colbert or Ann-Margaret, the obscurity may be deserved. Being old-fashioned, I am familiar with the telephone and decided to notify Medill of its demise.

Its number had not been disconnected, and the human on the other end was also surprised to learn that the college did not seem to exist. She did promise to help me obtain my transcript but she would need some basic information from me.

Her first question:  “Can you spell your last name?”

I replied,  “Yes, otherwise I doubt that I could have gotten into Medill.”   Five seconds later, she laughed.  I then proved my literacy by spelling Finerman.

Her next question:  “What year did you receive your degree?”

The answer was “1980.”  She seemed stunned, and I felt obliged to fill the silence.  “Yes, Guttenberg was on the faculty then.”  She seemed shocked that anyone my decrepit age would ask for a transcript.  Apparently, nursing homes and mortuaries don’t request them.

Ironically (what else), my request is a tribute to Medill.  With all the benefits of its education, I am adequately literate and definitely penurious to keep writing.



  1. Cindy Starks says:

    What the heck is Medill? No wonder no one knows it exists. Sounds like a new health care program. Enlighten us who are not insiders, wouldja?

    • Eugene Finerman says:

      Dear Cindy,

      Allow me to introduce you to Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism. Haven’t you seen the ads on matchbook covers? The school was named for Joseph Medill, publisher of the Chicago Tribune and head of the Lincoln Super PAC. Remember how the Tribune covered the Lincoln-Douglas Debates.

      In response to the handsome, suave Lincoln’s eloquent critique of a divided house, the grotesque gnome slobbered something–but no one cared.


      • Cindy Starks says:

        Thanks for the info., Eugene. The trouble with you is that every time you respond to something you expect me to go to yet another blog of yours! sheesh! You think I’ve got all day? Anyway, I think I read the Lincoln/Douglas debate one, unless it’s new. And speaking of Lincoln, what do you think of his slaying vampires this weekend as Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Slayer opens . The NYT review suggests ol’ Abe is even pretty buff for this role! I would go to see it, but I am a pauper plus I read it has an overabundance of gore.

        And not Al! Love, C

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