Trivia night is all the rage at local bars, and I’ve been enjoying the challenge. It’s about as much fun as people who are old enough to drink legally but are not working on a postgraduate degree until their eyes bleed can have on a weeknight. Plus, it’s a chance to win free beer, and therefore not end up spending disposable income on alcohol! Perhaps not a great chance, but a chance nevertheless.
This framing device isn’t arbitrary – the bar trivia fad is a great example of the things that people of my generation are doing with their college knowledge. Our great-grandparents designed bridges, uncovered the secrets of atomic physics, and argued for a universal declaration of human rights. We can write down Avogadro’s number and come up with vulgar team names to offend any sensibility.
Ha ha! Of course I’m exaggerating. Everyone knows that only the better aspects of popular culture are remembered. Still, it’s kind of funny that a bachelor’s degree in the humanities used to mean a real opportunity to find a good job and earn a good salary. These days, if you pay attention in class, you might win a free pitcher of ale.