The Thing Speaks for Whatever

Themeday Thursday: Muppet Diploma Island

In Dave, Docta K, Rooks, So . . . about this blog . . ., Themeday Thursday, This verges on the ridiculous, Unabashedly Epic Group Posts, Vanessa on August 25, 2011 at 4:15 pm

What the fuck is Themeday Thursday? Glad you asked.  It’s an idea predicated on something I’ve returned to a few times as a term of art – curating the Internet, or functionally what happens when one becomes a node for the online dissemination of Interesting Shit.  (I personally would never have achieved this status without other people sending cool things to me that I turn around and spread to other potentially interested parties, but there you are.)

I’ve noticed that sometimes, or really rather often, weeks or days online seem to develop themes – there seem to be a lot of posts about a particular subject, or a number of lines being drawn between ideas and about particular concepts.  (Like the 23 enigma, but way less creepy.)  Rather than fight the feeling, and knowing that many of us collect Interesting Things on the Internet like so much electronic detritus, we’ve instituted Themeday Thursday to force regular posting with groupish overtones, take advantage of the sort of e-recycling we all do anyway, and give folks a lot of random shit to click at work in anticipation of hitting the weekend running.  And we’ll happily do theme mash-ups as well.  (See also this post.)

Unofficial tagline – Themeday Thursday: At least it’ll get you to Friday.

The idea is that either weekly or fortnightly – we haven’t decided yet – we’ll post a link saturated themepost on Thursdays.  It will include both links that prompted the post, as well as other links we’ve seen days (or even years) past over the course of our Internet wanderings.  If we missed something awesome, please feel free to drop a link in the comments; if it comes up, we’ll make a special update section at the bottom of the post and add in additional intel until the next Themeday Thursday post drops.  (Sometimes, we’ll refer to this as ThTh for shorthand.  Alliteration is the bomb-diggity.)

This past couple of weeks have been rife with posts/links/whathaeyou about the futility and struggle of higher education – clearly Friends of RIEtc. like to start the school year on a high note – and MUPPETS, the latter being pretty much the opposite of futility or struggle, and instead being filled with the power and glory of complete awesomeness.  So, since we’ve been seeing a *lot* of grad school is ricockulous articles, as well as a metric fuckton of Muppet-related media (we’re not complaining), this week’s ThTh linkblitz combines (and apparently offsets) the two.  Enjoy!

1. (Grad School) Dave asks whether law school should really be a refuge for folks who don’t have shitall else to do. Representative quote: “The idea that a law degree is a versatile one−’it’s the Swiss Army Knife of graduate degrees!,’ says your Uncle John−while maybe true to a certain extent, is mostly a pernicious piece of self-deception transmitted from one generation of disaffected lawyers to the next. “

2. (Muppets) If you haven’t heard it yet, go check out the Muppet cover album on NPR.  You can thank us later.

3. (Grad School and Muppets) In case you didn’t already know, grad students drink a lot.  This Power Hour (y’all know what that is, we trust) from the University of Rochester opens with Fraggle Rock (actual Muppets), and also has the cartoon version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (the film version has non-Muppets, due to the puppets being “made by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop, rather than by Henson’s Muppet Workshop,”), You Can’t Do That On Television (which Wiki tells me had Muppets at the beginning on occasion, a fact I do not recall at all, but hey, “Wiki Says” is layman’s FAS), and, of course, Muppet Babies.  Even without the booze, this is some seriously nostalgic shit:

Did you know there was a Video Power Hour Directory?  Me either.
I’ll take “Shit I Probably Didn’t Need to Know” for $1600, Alex.

4. (Grad School) Poor English Majors.  First Avenue Q – not Muppets, but we’ll come back to that – and now this:

I would someday like to hear the hiphop lyric, “Rollin’ deep in cash like Scrooge McDuck.” Just sayin’.

5. (Muppets) The first of a few awesome Muppet-related music videos, Docta K discovered what happens when you combine Tom Waits and Cookie Monster.

6. (Grad School and Muppets) We’re finally in a place to start having some guest posts!  This is very cool!  One that I am particularly looking forward to is a post on Copyright and Fan Culture.  Though the author has since, I hear, removed this section from her presentation, one of my favorite bits the first time I saw it was a section in which she complicated the concept of an “original idea.”  To do this, she traced the real life origins of Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple to Bert & Ernie (Muppets!) and their “It’s Complicated” relationship status to the Avenue Q (not Muppets!) ditty “If You Were Gay” to a mash-up of same with Larry Craig’s resignation speech.  Hopefully you can see why I’m pleased as punch with what I consider to be a guest post coup!

7. (Grad School) Apparently grad school is the new undergrad, which would be depressing enough even if we weren’t heading back to discussing law school.  Read this blog before you decide to go.  Representative quotes: [I]t’s as if a Honda Accord cost $20,000 in constant dollars in 1986 but costs $100,000 today, with the explanation from the manufacturer being that now it features a very nice DVD player and optional moon roof.” ~or how about~ “25 years ago, i.e., roughly around the time that most of the people running law schools today were law students, median resident tuition at public law schools was $3,582 per year (Again, hard as it may be to believe, that figure is inflation-adjusted. The nominal figure was less than half that).  But LawProf, you say — wasn’t that during the socialist regime of President Ronald Reagan, when tax subsidies for public education in America were at positively Scandinavian levels of munificence? (I well remember Reagan’s 1980 presidential campaign slogan, “The Struggle of the Proletariat is a Political Struggle”).  True enough, young Jedi. I see you have learned to think like a lawyer, and to distinguish otherwise similar fact patterns. But learn you now this: Median private law school tuition was $14,762, in present dollars. That’s right: 25 years ago, completely unsubsidized legal education at ABA-accredited law schools was slightly more than one third of what it is at such schools today, and 25% less than resident tuition at public law schools today.

8. (Muppets) Oh thank goodness, we’re back to music videos; that shit was depressing.  Muppets are, in Yeezy’s words, motherfuckin’ monsters.

9. (Grad School and Muppets) Speaking of law and music videos, Prince was on “Muppets Tonight” when he was The Artist (formerly known as Prince).  Since we now know that it was a legal strategy, not just Prince being wackadoo, it seemed awesomely relevant. Part 1; Part 2; Part 3.

10. (Grad School) There’s really two ways to look at knowledge acquisition at the graduate level.  Both are arguably realistic, but while one is rather positive in outlook (even if it makes a PhD look a little bit like a pimple on the face on knowledge), the other is, well, funnier:



11. (Muppets) Morgan wants to know why OK Go is so good at music videos?!

12. (Muppets) In Portugal the drugs are way more legal than here.  Not only do the “Bein’ Green” jokes write themselves, but that might explain this, courtesy of Docta K.

13. (Muppets) Did you know another Muppet movie coming out this winter?  Did you also know you could build your own muppet?

14. (Muppets) In response to the the Muppets: The Green Album (link #2), a friend pointed out that “incidentally, in the actual Muppets version [of “Mahna Mahna”], the third time he scats he does ‘Lullaby of Birdland.'”  It’s true!  See for yourself.


That’s IT.  Thankfully, that last link segues into next week’s ThTh, and what will likely be the only recurring themeday: Things that are Good to Know.  (Awesomely prompted by Vanessa.) That does it for this week’s Themeday Thursday.  Updates welcome!

Waldorf: Hey, they weren’t half bad!
Statler: Nope! They’re all bad!

  1. The problem is that Scrooge rolls deep in petty cash. Nobody wants to dive into solid coins anymore.

Whatever, yo.

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