It’s not that putative human Julie Bishop doesn’t, necessarily, have a slinky toy where most of a brain should be properly positioned. And it’s not that I’d care for her contributions in a discussion about anything more intricate than mince. However, on one substantial issue, we concur: the kids are getting thick. And universities are hardly doing their utmost to assist.

Although, it does seem they are pressing their scant marketing prowess into the service of web 2.0. That should attract some bookish students and confer academic nobility to the future. Due, no doubt, to a fondness for Big Brother and other high glycemic matter, Yoof receive liberal arts in the style of a sugary buffet. Where once we had canonical high fibre, it’s now a bit more like Death by Chocolate.

The emphasis has shifted from, oh say, little known scribblers like Nietzsche and Yeats to something called Cultural Studies. Or, as Jools prefers to know it, Maoism. Bishie made a wonderful speech last year that cleverly evinced this classics deficiency. When she publicly failed to pluralise “curriculum” correctly, well wasn’t she just ladling out lashings of steaming hot irony? Well, no. Slinky toys, in general, just aren’t terribly good at basic Latin.

Of course, it could be argued that partial privatisation of the academy has led to this reeking ignorance. When illiterate grommets start to believe they are “consumers” rather than scholars, they will, of course, produce papers on Perez Hilton’s genuinely awful blog. And they will, of course, plagiarise Wikipedia.

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Now, as the SMH reports, universities are Getting Down with the Sickness. They’re using viral tactics on Web 2.0 in order to advance their client base. Apparently, the Australian National University studded their Wikipedia entry with adjectives more suited to a gleaming New Delhi brochure. And, bless em, RMIT is encouraging students to upload utopian video visions of the future university to YouTube.

Some consulting whiz called Daniel Guhr has advised our shabby academic community to use Web 2.0 sagely. You know, Facebook and such. LOLZ, engineering is SO GAY, d00d and that kind of palaver. I’m going to write to Bishie. Shakespeare has all but exited the CURRICULA and I can’t see web 2.0 recruitment strategies helping.

Unless, of course, you consider a doctorate in advanced poking methods to retain any worth.

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