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The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

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The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

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Pitt baseball players stand in the dugout during a game against Virginia Tech on March 24 at the Petersen Sports Complex.
Pitt baseball shows promise in weekend series in Texas
By Dylan Grace, Staff Writer • 12:32 am

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Pitt baseball players stand in the dugout during a game against Virginia Tech on March 24 at the Petersen Sports Complex.
Pitt baseball shows promise in weekend series in Texas
By Dylan Grace, Staff Writer • 12:32 am

Satire | Weaponizing incompetence against yourself

Satire+%7C+Weaponizing+incompetence+against+yourself
Thalia Sifnakis | Staff Illustrator

Weaponized incompetence. Every girl in a bad relationship has dealt with this at least every day. But what is it? Ugh, I don’t know, and I don’t know how to look it up. I’ll try, I guess… OK, yeah, I’m watching the music video for “All Star” by Smash Mouth on YouTube. It didn’t work, can you look it up yourself? You’re so much better at looking things up than me, you do it all the time! 

That was an example of weaponized incompetence. Straight from my table to yours. But, in case you’re weaponizing your incompetence against me and still don’t get it, it’s when a person uses feigned or intentional incompetence to avoid unwanted responsibility. 

You most often see this on TikTok, or in your kitchen when your roommate’s boyfriend comes over. A poor woman, one to 20 years into her relationship, starts telling the camera how she’s “at the end of her rope” and how her unemployed husband doesn’t ever help out around the house. Meanwhile, she’s basically a single parent to their kids, does all the housework and all of that after working 40-plus hours a week. Then, all the comments tell her to divorce him, and she gets all defensive. The relationship either gets better or worse, depending on whether she finally stands up for herself and makes him help out around the house or not. It’s like watching a modern adaptation of “The Yellow Wall-Paper.”

OK. Great. Now you know what weaponized incompetence is. You can use it against the people you love! Hooray! But why are we here? Here, here, I mean. Reading this. Either you’re obsessed with me and everything I write or you want to learn more about what weaponizing incompetence against yourself entails. Or you’re just trying to check your email and you’re incredibly confused. Be better, it’s 2024. You suck. Or maybe don’t. Maybe it’s OK to suck. It is 2024, after all. Why try anymore? If you ever tried, that is. Everything is rotting and melting and dissolving. Especially when you drop them into acid. 

Being a happy and successful person is too much work these days. Productivity? Ew. The last time I tried to get something done, I threw up. Immediately. Since then, I’ve lived in a cocoon. Also known as a tortilla blanket in my bed. This is peak life. Everyone should try it at least once. Ruin your life so that you don’t have to deal with it anymore. Get off your grindset, get on your do-whatever-you-want-set. The secret is that you’ll still never be happy, because you’ll spend all your time thinking about how you’re failing yourself, but more importantly, wrecking your GPA. This is to be expected. It dulls a bit with time, but not enough to ever be really bearable. Have you read “My Year of Rest and Relaxation” by Ottessa Moshfegh? This is like that, but with fewer references to 9/11. 

So you’re probably already doing this, but just stop doing your homework. Or, if you do do it, turn it in at least a week late. This will show your teachers how little you respect and value them and their time. They eat this up. Academically, you just want to be bad. Group project? Leave everyone else to do it. Long paper? Turn in a couple half-assed paragraphs and call it a day. Discussion question? You already weren’t doing those, come on. Just really make sure that you’re wasting all the money you — well, let’s be honest, your parents— are paying for you to be here. At this point, you probably want to drop out, but you just keep on doing the bare minimum to make you and everyone else hate you. 

The next step to weaponizing incompetence against yourself is to ostracize yourself socially. There’s two extremes for this. Do absolutely everything, or do absolutely nothing. To do nothing, just never leave your tortilla cocoon. You live there now. It is your terrarium to watch shitty Netflix shows you’ve already seen over and over again. And you never have to clean it, because you can just stop caring about that kind of thing. For bonus points, instead of just declining hangout invitations from your soon to be ex-friends, say that you’ll go, and then either cancel day of, or just fully ditch them with no notice. Are you in clubs? Not anymore. Extracurriculars are way too much effort. Anything that’s in any way something a good citizen would do, you’re not doing it. Sleep all the time. 

To do everything, on the other hand, you never go home. You party 25 hours a day, eight days a week. If your friends try to give you one of their pesky interventions, just get really defensive about how you don’t have a problem and guilt trip them for caring about you. Slowly drill cracks into the foundation of your friendships. If you’re maintaining any sort of healthy relationship, you’re doing it wrong. At this point, you’re probably cross-faded daily. Google hangover cures, but don’t go to the effort of actually doing any of them. 

If you find yourself in a silly goofy mood, stab someone — or don’t. Hell, stab a friend! They’re the easiest victims because they never see it coming. This betrayal helps you sever these relationships even better. Or, even worse, don’t respond to their texts! They hate that. Watch “Fight Club.” Take notes for the first time in forever. Try to hit rock bottom, like they said. Or just be Marla Singer. She’s hot, at least. Oh, but you don’t do laundry anymore, either. You kinda smell. Like, really bad. You stopped showering, too? That makes sense. That’s a good idea. You’ve done it. You’ve achieved peak misery. Does it feel bad? I hope it does. Otherwise, you’re doing it wrong. 

Can I just ask, why would you do this? Actually, why would anyone do this? Why would anyone deliberately make themselves so miserable? Why am I leaving all of my homework until the last minute? Why am I prioritizing comparatively meaningless things, even though doing well in school should be my absolute priority? Do I respect my goals and myself so little? I mean, probably. Erm. I should get back on the grindset, probably. Even though school is so boring and homework is so fatiguing and I just want to live in a tortilla blanket and only consume media. We all should. Probably. Time to pull the day planner and cute pens out again. The rot consumes. Everything ends. Nothing ever ends. 

Alaina McCall writes things. They would rather be a lighthouse keeper than do whatever they’re doing now. You can reach them at [email protected] 

About the Contributor
Alaina McCall, Staff Columnist
Alaina McCall is an English Writing and Film Production double major. When they grow up, they would like to write sitcoms, but will probably settle for writing names on coffee cups. Feel free to slide in with your own jokes to [email protected]