$100,000? It's Not Worth the Paper It's Printed On.

While I was mismanaging my time on Facebook the other day, I came across a link from my Alma Mater's School of Journalism page.

What's The Point Of Journalism School, Anyway?

Thanks J-School, for reminding me of how useless my degree is.

I mean seriously, I just went to your school for four years, payed thousands of dollars to do so and you gave me a piece of paper that even you now acknowledge isn't worth diddily-poo, if I can paraphrase Jim Mora. Almost six months out of school and I have yet to get responses from the vast majority of the applications and emails I have sent.

With journalism's place in new media up in the air, the shitty economy and the ability for anyone to be self published on the interwebs (see:, my current job - looking for a job - has become an exercise in futility.

One of the worst parts of my on going search is the fact that I have no experience in journalism. Normally, one with no experience just applies to work, for free, at a reputable proprietor of journalism. These are called internships. They still have these wonderful entry positions, but because of all the problems in the industry named above, people who already have experience - through other internships or jobs - are now applying to these positions to get their foot back in the door.

So now, people in a position like me face a steep uphill battle. To gain experience, you need an internship. To get an internship, you need experience.

I have discovered the theory of self sustaining nomentum.

This mobius strip of unemployment has left me to question what I am doing and how I can start a career doing what I love.

One of the students interviewed for the article said something funny yet, sadly, somewhat true.

"As much as I would like to pursue my love and all that, I like food, too. And I just don't want to sacrifice it all."

Food or Thought.

The article brings up a major point too, that unlike nursing, teaching or other college majors, journalism is an industry that requires no degree or accreditation (see: So why bother majoring in Journalism even having a journalism program?

Well, I can think of three very important things I learned in journalism school that are important to what I want to do in my career.

First is ethics. A constant emphasis of ethical and legal reporting was stressed in every class I took, including a capstone class in which we discussed ethical issues on a daily bases, which turned out to be one of my favorite classes I ever took - even on par with the History of 70s and 80s Rock.

Secondly, one of the most important things I ever had a teacher tell me in college was when one of my mentor's told me that if I wanted to and worked hard, I had the ability to make it in the industry.

"Can you write?" is an important question in journalism, whether it's TV, radio or print, writing and story telling are a part of the job that is unavoidable and vastly important. Most of the time, this question cannot be answered by anyone other than people who have done it.

When I was told this, I was thrilled. I knew it didn't mean I was destined to greatness, or that I was already at a great writer. What I did know was that someone who was in journalism, and now taught it, thought I had what it takes. This is an indispensable resource for students that is almost unreproducible anywhere else.

And something that is also unreproducible to the journalism school experience is the access to research and the knowledge of how to use it.

The university setting is a rare opportunity for young journalists to have access to the research capabilities and information otherwise not known to the average person. Your local public library is no university library. And in the case of BigTen schools - who share library resources online - mass research sources are provided to anyone with a university username and password.

Good journalists uses sources and facts rather than hearsay and opinion and too often the borders are crossed by online 'journalism'.

But while I bemoan my degree and my - so far - wasted four years at college (I kid, I would never change my degree even in hindsight), I do not have the most unemployable degree I saw in my four years. Journalism is certainly on par with things communications or sports management. I mean, do you just apply to major league teams, or are there back ups?

Hell, I lived with someone who majored in ballet.

My degree is better than ballet.

Sure I can't touch my toes, but my desired profession is mentioned in the constitution.

Of the United States.

And at least I was more focused than 'business'. Everything's a business.



Sometimes in America we forget how good we have it.

In all the hullaba-Bullshit we have to put up with from our political leaders, we sometimes lose sight of how far we've come and how much better we are than we give ourselves credit for.A German man wondering aloud why Muslims dress so weird.

Take this for instance

The link above is a news article which talks about how German Chancellor Angela Merkel recenty noted that multi-culturalism has failed in Germany.

Just a few Highlights from the article:

""We feel tied to Christian values. Those who don't accept them don't have a place here," said the chancellor."

"Nearly 60 percent of the 2,411 people polled thought the around four million Muslims in Germany should have their religious practices "significantly curbed.""

""Multikulti", the concept that "we are now living side by side and are happy about it," does not work, Merkel told a meeting of younger members of her conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party at Potsdam near Berlin."

""Subsidising immigrants" isn't sufficient, Germany has the right to "make demands" on them, she added, such as mastering the language of Goethe [German] and abandoning practices such as forced marriages."

And the best quote in the thing:

"The integration of Muslims has been a hot button issue since August when a member of Germany's central bank sparked outrage by saying the country was being made "more stupid" by poorly educated and unproductive Muslim migrants with headscarves."

It's mind boggling what is said in this article. Take the last quote, if an American politician said anything equivalent to that, they would be forced to resign immediately after saying it.

And the last little dig at Muslims is so unnecessary and beside any point.

I mean, in the US that quote would look something like:

"The integration of Blacks has been a hot button issue since August when a member of Alabama's State Senate sparked outrage by saying the country was being made "more stupid" by poorly educated and unproductive Black people with their do rags."


"The integration of Mexican has been a hot button issue since August when a member of Texas' Border Patrol sparked outrage by saying the country was being made "more stupid" by poorly educated and unproductive Mexican migrants with their sombreros."

The logic is flawed and the message is unbelievable xenophobic.

I mean, to say multiculturalism doesn't work is idiotic. The United States most economically successful period was both post-slavery and post-civil rights movement and our country continues to be diversified with many estimates putting the white population under 50% within the next 50 years.

Now, to be fair, some of the points make sense. Immigrants' assimilation into society is often expedited by their willingness to learn their new home's language and understand it's culture. And, yes, arranged marriage is antiquated but it is not the place of a government to prevent or impede such marriages to happen unless someone is committing a crime (such as assault) while imposing this practice.

But what is implied and said by these German officials is insane. The Chancellor of Germany is on record saying, "Those who don't accept them [Christian values] don't have a place here."

And 60% of the people polled in Germany say that Muslims need to "significantly curb" their religious practices.

What about a ground zero mosque? Thanks for pushing that into the background of Muslim minds Germany. Way to take one for the team.

But what's even more shocking is that THIS IS GERMANY. Not France or Canada or the US but GERMANY. You know, that country that killed all those people because they believed that their ethnic group was lazy and the cause of all their economic woes.

You know, Germany. The place where all the political and governmental leaders asked of those immigrants was that they stop talking and looking like their ethnic group and maybe curb their religious practices to, let's say, not doing them.

They were even so kind as to set up camps where they could help these people understand, or concentrate on their goal of assimilation.

People are stupid, it's a fact made all too clear by Tommy Lee Jones in the documentary, Men In Black, but I'd like to think American's are smarter than this.

Thanks Germany, for proving that your additions to the 20th century, namely bad techno music, disturbing pornography and pathological racism, will continue on into the 21st century.


These Are What Indiana's Uniforms Should Look Like.

Last December, when there were rumors that Indiana would be changing it's classic/plain/boring/Oklahoma ripoff uniforms I was excited. As a recent graduate of IU ('10) and an avid college football fan, I was hopeful that a tasteful upgrade of our already decent uniform would mean we would start to have our own strong yet classic visual identity.

That is, until I saw this...

Now that image doesn't look too bad (it could have been a lot worse). The jersey echoes the double stripe from the old helmet and pants on the shoulders and the "HOOSIERS" is intact on the front but the rest of the image is a bit disturbing (even ignoring the mannequin's missing hand [FTW]). There appeared to be white side paneling (and a lot of it) on the jersey, the numeral font was atrocious, the collar was less than stellar and the pants seemed to have changed but that was unclear. But it was rumored that this was one of many prototypes shown to IU.

Well, spring practice rolled around and we got a glimpse of the actual new unis. Shit. The only real difference between the prototype and the actual unis is that they fixed the numeral font. Worst of all the pant change was confirmed. Overall, the pants, jersey side piping and collar all look terrible. So I set out to fix these issues thanks to EA Sports in depth online uniform editor, TeamBuilder.


For the Home Jersey I decided to start off by flipping the colors of the IU helmet. I love white helmets with white facemasks. I don't know why, I just do.

From there I took the new jersey and removed the side paneling. I'm not supper attached to the white stripe at the bottom of the sleeves but I like how it makes the red pop even more. I reduced the size of the white collar but I liked the shape of new unis' so I kept that aspect of it.

As for the pants, don't fix what ain't broke. They are the exact same pants the Hoosiers wore in '09.


Here is where I bring back IU's current helmet - sort of. I tweaked it by adding a white facemask, which it used to have before the addition of the stripes so I don't feel like this is too far of a stretch.

The jersey, yet again, is just the new uni sans side panel. Nothing world beating.

As for the pants, don't fix what ain't broke. They are the exact same pants the Hoosiers wore in '09 (sound familiar?).


Finally, TeamBuilder allows you to create alternate jerseys so based on this photo showing a 1950s Hoosier team sporting some beautius baby blues, I decided to render a modern day version of this Hoosier "classic".

The helmet in the picture proves this is from the 1950s. The Hoosiers sported a white helmet with a single red stripe from 1949 until 1955 when numerals were added to both sides for the next three seasons. It is hard to tell which helmet they are wearing but it appears to be the '56-'58 type. I, however, couldnt add numbers that looked right so I went with the earlier version.

The jerseys: What can you say? Beautiful.

The pants: Plain as the day is long, so I added the IU logo.



Welcome to Tim E. O'Brien dot com. This is a place where I will be posting otherwise unpublished essays and writings.



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