The annual college rankings by U.S. News & World Report are out today, and with their release will come a predictable round of excoriating assessments from journalists, college officials, and others. The Atlantic’s Derek Thompson has called this annual chorus a “national carpfest.” Consider mine an early voice in this year’s bray-a-thon.
But, honestly, what’s the point of all this ululating? We might as well rail against Cheetos, soft drinks, lotteries, or articles about the Kardashians. You can bash people over the head with information about how empty, useless, or bad-for-you some things are, yet lots of folks will still want to consume them. Each of us has some kind of tripe that sustains us. For many, it’s the U.S. News college rankings.