Saturday, May 7, 2016

"No Future Graduation Cap" Collection for Angry Grads

[05-16-2018 UPDATE: After seeing customizable paper plates "trending" on the Zazzle homepage, I decided to add an additional product to my line of "'No Future' Graduation Cap" products: Disposable paper plates for disposable college graduates!

A complete product description and image preview are available after the prefatory* blurb explaining the concept. Your post-modernist pals can forgive graduate under-employment; but they won't let your straight-laced graduation party proceed un-mocked. #GetThesePlates

(*Indeed, the apropos adjective is "prefatory," not "predatory." And "apropos" might be Greek to you, but it's English to me. Alright, moving forward... together! #HowIImproved the #WisconsinMotto? #AddedTogether) -JPO]

[NOTE: The following blog post is unofficially sponsored by The Replacements; more specifically, by their 1984 melody "Unsatisfied." Look it up! [/NOTE]

Grads of all ages, including grads-to-be, may make a public statement about their desire to bring a better future for all, not merely the most capable (who are actually a sliver of the huge grade-inflated, impractically knowledgeable, Honors College crowd facetiously referred to by educators as the "best and brightest").

The "No Future Graduation Cap" ensemble is a perfect gift for the following:

1) Nihilistic high school graduates.

2) College graduates who wish to express discontent with the economy; the apparent value of their hard-earned degree(s); and/or the poor career placement services of their alma mater.

3) Family and friends of the above.

Designed by a disgruntled grad -- one who palletizes stuff for a living because he has been denied an office job, the past half-decade or so, since he graduated with a master's degree in public administration from UW-Milwaukee.

NEW for 2018: "'No Future' Graduation Cap" Dinner Plates

'No Future' Graduation Cap Dinner Plates

These daring dinner plates are equally apropos for high-school graduation parties. Even if you're heading to Applebees' Bar and Grill for your post-graduation celebration, their suggestible staff will accommodate your whimsical demand to use these paper plates. #GoAhead, #YOLO!

The "No Future Graduation Cap" Tee Shirts

Each style and every size is available to ensure your shirt fits your body type. Looks great on men, women, and children!

Unisex styles (including baseball sleeves):

'No Future Graduation Cap' Baseball Tee (All Sizes and Cuts)

Men's sizes:

'No Future Graduation Cap' Men's Tee (Including Ringer Style)

Women's sizes:

'No Future Graduation Cap' Women's Tee (Including Ringer Style)

Kid's editions:

'No Future Graduation Cap' Kid's Cotton Tee (Also Available in Onesies)

Basic / Economy / Value / Standard Tees

"Good enough" for the grad without a seemingly promising future, as many who do appear "promising" often end up moving back in with relatives or otherwise "slumming" while working jobs for which they are immensely overqualified (from an academic standpoint, to say nothing of the ill prejudice human resources staff tend to hold).

'No Future Graduation Cap' Basic Tee (Available in Poly-Blend Cotton)

The "No Future Graduation Cap" Trucker Hat

What's an ensemble without headgear? Let others know what's going in your headspace by donning these dashing "No Future Graduation Cap" trucker hats!

An illustration of a hat on a hat. About as artsy-fartsy as your "commuter college" fine arts grad!

Also available in baseball styles, which -- logically and statistically speaking -- would go well with the baseball tee above. (No thesis necessary!)

P.S. -- Contrary to the name of the style in which the trucker's hat is fashioned, an actual trucker / big-rig driver / owner-operator has a better future than the putatively "gifted and talented" but future-deprived grad.

'No Future Graduation Cap' Trucker Hat

The "No Future Graduation Cap" Coffee Mug

'No Future Graduation Cap' Coffee Mug

"No Future Graduation Cap" Mortar Board Topper

The "No Future Graduation Cap" Mortar Board Topper is a large sticker (wall decal) that can be trimmed to fit a standard graduation cap.

Suggestion: If you're too poor to order this item, then paint "No Future" on your graduation cap or mortar board to communicate the same idea.

The message we spread is more important than how much I earn from sales of these things, but of course I'm not going to buy any of these for anyone else unless someone bequeaths me a bunch of cash.

Legal disclaimers, also known as "fine print:"

- Check with your high school principal to see whether you can wear this item (or paint a similar message) on your graduation cap without being denied your diploma. Although colleges and universities are more permissive overall, school districts often have draconian rules about "proper conduct" at graduation ceremonies, including what you cannot wear. -

- Not affiliated with the collegiate organization Mortar Board. I know most people would never confuse the common noun "mortar board" with the proper noun denoting the organization, but here is an obvious disclaimer for those who would argue otherwise. -

Interesting fact (repeated for emphasis): This item was designed by a disgruntled grad -- one who palletizes stuff for a living because he has been denied an office job, the past half-decade or so, since he graduated with a master's degree in public administration from UW-Milwaukee.

'No Future Graduation Cap' Mortar Board Topper

"High School Graduate with No Future" Bumper Sticker

The "High School Graduate With No Future" Bumper Sticker is a perfect gift for your pessimistic high school graduate! Communicates distrust and disdain, with style.

'High School Graduate with No Future' Bumper Sticker

"College Graduate with No Future" Bumper Sticker

The "College Graduate With No Future" Bumper Sticker was designed, appropriately enough, by a disgruntled grad. And not the stereotypical "talentless, unmotivated bum," either...

This particularly marginalized grad palletizes stuff for a living because he has been denied an office job, the past half-decade or so, since he graduated with a master's degree in public administration from UW-Milwaukee!

This motivates the passion by which he utilizes time-tested talent and highly honed skill to both design for Zazzle and write his own ad copy to promote such output. May the buyer believe!

'College Graduate with No Future' Bumper Sticker

Perfect Propaganda for Boycotting Graduation Parties

Are you sick of being told to celebrate the beginning of the next metaphorical stage of drudgery, now that you've walked the literal stage of gladhanding school officials?

Then, use your "No Future Graduation Cap" swag to disabuse the celebrants of their blissful ignorance!

Deposit your hard-earned (or allowance-bought) apparel and merchandise at the entrance of the gymnasium, auditorium, or community center where the official, school-sanctioned graduation party is to transpire.

In many situations, dropping off your own valuable goods in a public place is not a crime: Either someone will take the stuff for themselves; or police will add it to their "lost and found" file (and perhaps sell it when no one "claims" or picks it up).

However, intent matters in some crimes. So in this case, the intent might be seen as "littering," the same as a person who places handbills everywhere might be charged with littering.

(If you're nervous about getting caught, then arrive a few hours early and sneak your stuff around to the back door. You might want to wear gloves when handling the merchandise, as well as to shield your face with a broad-rimmed hat and doo rag, to ensure secrecy. And don't tell anyone! No bragging, or you're busted.)

"Okay, the social outcast has dumped a bunch of 'No Future' items at a place where 'bright (obedient), optimistic (naive)' peers are partying. How is that better than alternatives?"

1) It gives the personal satisfaction of communicating an unpleasant, yet lawful, message. There's no need to gun down anyone and get law enforcement all over you, when you can instead lawfully distribute products bearing protected, non-inciteful speech to your intended audience.

2) You've something thrilling to think about when stewing alone on graduation weekend: The dismayed expressions, cognitive dissonance, and (hopefully!) potential re-evaluation of their lives' goals by the celebrant-graduates.

3) The act itself, of distributing emblems countervailing the predominant peer narrative, is highly artistic! Call this the "bonus points for irony" factor.

3.1) A future focus contrasts with the momentary celebrations into which wearied graduates shelter for but a day, while conceding that if we've really no "promising future" at all, then the moment is all you justify focusing upon!

Nonetheless, many mingling grads must arise the next morning to work a dead-end retail or food service job. A few might have the foresight to focus on getting into light-industrial work through a staffing agency, as opposed to their "college-bound" peers -after- they've spent 4 to 8 years in college and found no one wants to hire them anymore!

For those who've "bound" themselves to college (by unthinking social expectation and by lack of personal courage to refuse this track), either their summer job or a self-directed void awaits their next weeks. (If such job has not been procured by mid-May, then chances are it won't be until perhaps the end of summer -- and it won't be a "summer job" by that point!)

3.2) The purchase of enough items to make a noticeable pile on the premises shows you planned the product placement. This shows an initiative and ability for "executive function" comparable with those of your peers, but you reached a differing conclusion as to where the best return on investment should be (raising awareness of the dim prospects for most graduates vs. presuming you'll benefit sufficiently from the status quo).

3.3) It is an apparel product usage that doesn't involve wearing wearables! Not quite a paradox, but an oxymoron that shows a descriptor can conflict with that so described.

I know the last section dragged on like an academic essay, but that's what too much education will do to you!

The historical Spartans recognized this and therefore frowned upon advanced wordsmithing. Strangely, "college prep" schools continue to bear the "Spartans" as a mascot and thereby contradict this historicity by promoting college as the presumed "career preparation" means!

"Vo-tech or bust," shall be on the lips of many disillusioned-of-the-future high schoolers, a veritable beating-back against the university-for-all mantra of the higher education hucksters.