Posts tagged ‘Office Space’

Office Space, University Edition

The movie peters out a bit at the end, but the first 30 minutes or so of Office Space are a classic, and if you have not seen it, go find it somewhere.  If you have seen the movie, you will likely recognize this job description from an article on university administrative staff bloat:

 One $172,000 per year associate vice provost had been hired to oversee the work of committees charged with considering a change in the academic calendar-a change that had not yet even been approved.  Since the average Purdue graduate leaves school with about $27,000 in debt, the salary of this functionary is equivalent to the education loans of six students.
This new administrator blithely told the Bloomberg reporter, "My job is to make sure these seven or eight committees are aware of what's going on in the other committees."

 

The entire article is excellent.  For example:

A recent paper by two respected economists, Robert Martin and R. Carter Hill, shows that the fiscally optimal ratio of administrators to faculty at research universities is one full-time administrator for every three faculty.    Deviations from this ratio produced significantly higher costs per student.  The unfortunate reality as Martin and Hill found is that the ratio has almost been reversed--2 administrators to one faculty.  Martin and Hill's findings suggest, moreover, that about two-thirds of the growth in higher education costs between 1987 and 2008 can be attributed to the rise of administrative power during this period.

A Couple of Free SF Short Stories

Tor.com recently went online, and apparently has a new John Scalzi short story from the Old Man's War universe and a new Charles Stross from his very enjoyable "Laundry" series (I have not mentioned the latter series very much, but it is sort of HP Lovecraft meets Men in Black crossed with Office Space.  Really.)

Willing Suspension of Physics

I went to see the movie Wanted today, mainly because I am home alone and tried to pick the movie I was least likely to take my wife or kids to.

If you like non-stop action movies with computer game physics and lots of CGI close-ups of bullets drilling through people's skulls that were fired by a smoking-hot assassin babe played by Angelina Jolie who actually had to add tats rather than hide them for this role (and, really, who doesn't?), then you will probably enjoy the movie.  The lost opportunity in the film was the very beginning, which sortof tried to be Office Space without being nearly as good.  But there is certainly a big hint that Office Space was on the director's mind -  don't miss the red stapler, though it didn't look like a classic Swingline.

As an additional note, I see from the previews that someone has done a remake of Death Race 2000, though it seems to bear about the same resemblance to the original as the Running Man did to the original Steven King / Richard Bachman book.  The whole fight-against-the-dystopic-state thing seems to have been lost.  By the way, can't they find any actor other than Jason Statham to portray someone who drives cars fast?

As a final shout-out to SF geeks out there, trolling around on IMDB led me, via Morgan Freeman of all people, to this page which seems to imply a Rendezvous with Rama movie is in the works.

Postscript:  I will never be mistaken for a social conservative, but I did find it odd today that in a preview that was supposedly "approved for all audiences" there were numerous F-bombs dropped.  Update:  OK, I can't be sure that this particular preview was "all audiences."  All the ones that followed were, but it may be they have grittier versions of previews they show before R-rated features. 

Clarification:  Sorry if it was not clear, but I actually did enjoy the movie.  Sort of a guilty pleasure.  Fixed Jason Statham's name, thanks to commenter.