Mitch Albom's latest Detroit Free Press column didn't go over well.

Filling a column with hackneyed jokes about gender identity, biological parents and more reasons college has “changed since 50 years ago” doesn’t seem like the smartest move, but apparently no one told Mitch Albom that. Albom, the long-time Detroit Free Press columnist (where he’s previously gotten in trouble for fabricating a story about players attending a game as well as self-plagiarism), decided to write a column along those lines this week, and it’s so, so bad. Let’s start with the gender identity and biological parenting jokes:

OLD: “We drove our son to college today. What a proud moment. He was a little embarrassed by Mom and Dad coming up to his room, but we promised not to make any ‘square’ jokes. We unpacked his trunk and Mom helped organize his drawers. We met his roommate, who seemed nice. His name is Scott.”

NEW: “We drove our young prince to college today. What a proud moment. He was embarrassed by having his mom and step-dad and dad and former step-mom and dad’s current girlfriend all coming up to his room, so we had to watch from a distance. We saw him hook up his cable TV and his Xbox, then assemble his IKEA furniture. We also met his roommate, who seemed nice. Her name is X. And we are not supposed to use the word ‘her.’ ”

Oh, but there’s more. How about some “jokes” about safe spaces?

“After helping our son hang his flat screen and surround-sound speakers, we went for a walk around campus. We saw the 24-hour state-of-the-art exercise facility and the 24-hour Apple computer labs. He showed us the ‘safe spaces’ where no offensive words can be used, and the ‘healing spaces’ where you can go if you were accidentally exposed to an offensive sentence. There were seven cafeterias to pick from, so we chose the non-GMO, gluten-free, nut-free, dairy-free, vegan facility, which made our young person very happy. His nonbiological father took him aside and said, ‘Listen, friend, we know the drinking age is 21, but since you’re 18, please go easy on the beer. You don’t want to pass out in a hot tub and have it uploaded to YouTube.’ ” 

Or sex? Apparently, that’s a thing kids are having these days, and that’s bad:

We wanted to have ‘the talk’ with our child, after he told us the hookup rate at his school was one of the highest in the nation. We toured the nearby Planned Parenthood office and the sexually transmitted disease clinic. His step-dad gave him a box of condoms, as did his mother. We were happy that his biological father reminded him that tuition, with room and board, was $70,000 a year. So it would be good if he studied once in a while.

Let’s check in on how this went over:

Yeah, that’s not great. And it’s worse than some of Albom’s other recent dreck, including his 2014 column complaining about sports having negative stories. It’s unclear what the benefit to the Free Press in continually publishing Albom’s “kids these days” rants is, apart from the hate-clicks. And beyond even the offensive comments here, this is just painfully bad writing. It’s certainly not winning Albom, or the paper, many fans.

[Detroit Free Press]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz is a staff writer for Awful Announcing.

  • skirkpat12

    What part of the new isn’t wrong? That was a good laugh. Even though I went to college in 2008 I guess that falls into the old category

    • namingrightsforsale

      “What part of the new isn’t wrong?”

      In this sort of question construction, people are asking with the implicit position that they believe the opposite of what they are asking at the end of the question. In this case, since you’re asking for someone to explain what part of the new “isn’t wrong,” you’re implying that you think generally that the new is wrong. That’s not consistent with the rest of your post, of course, but I’d think that little slip belied how you really felt about it.

      • Conundrum

        The new is indeed often wrong. Can’t use the word “her” to describe a girl?Insane. Safe spaces to avoid differing points of view? Dangerous.

        • Carter_Burger67

          again, what part of that is wrong? We are seeing it all over our college campus…or is that campii…these days.

        • namingrightsforsale

          Lol this is a rather inaccurate characterization of those things. Who told you that? Fox News?

        • Adam JK

          That’s not what a safe space is.

      • Carter_Burger67

        wow, you really are butt hurt over this. Must have hit a little too close to home. You need to go to the safe space and play with some Play-Doh?

        • namingrightsforsale

          Well yeah it hit a little close to home, given that this sort of nonsensical thinking is rather representative of the factors that led to the toxic mess we have for a presidential administration. Calling me butthurt because of that, though, just makes you look like an insecure bully. I don’t think anyone should be proud of that or desire that for themselves, don’t you?

          • Carter_Burger67

            Insecure bully? I’m not the one whining about it like you are. The safe space you are looking for is the third door on the right down the hall. They have butthurt balm by the drum in there.

      • skirkpat12

        I’ll rephrase it for you. The is new is absolutely spot on!

        • namingrightsforsale

          Oh well that simply isn’t true.

          • because you millennials are conditioned to believe that anyone who disagrees with you is wrong. So lame.

    • rollwhip

      Almost all of the new is wrong. It’s stuck in the 90s, which isn’t surprising since that was Albom’s peak. Divorce is down, so all his family takes are dumb. Teens and college kids are having less sex than they used to, so all the puritanical shit is wrong. He even acts like Ikea is some exotic extravagance instead of cheap crap. It’s just all dated idiocy.

  • frugalscott

    Dave Barry wrote these columns for years, but that was back when people had a sense of humor and could laugh at themselves. Maybe that’s the biggest then vs now of all.

    • namingrightsforsale

      It’s hard to “laugh” at something like this after so many years of having the noxious conservative media try to hold back society’s progress towards greater concern for the well-being of others. Whatever valid criticisms of liberal overreach are present in this column are subsumed by its utter lack of quality and stark resemblance to the worst elements of dishonest conservative propaganda.

      • Carter_Burger67

        Sounds like you need to visit one of the safe spaced on campus.

        • namingrightsforsale

          Surely you can think of a more creative response than that. maybe something that doesn’t scream “denial of the truth,” which is, of course, rather ironic given you are complaining about safe spaces.

          • Carter_Burger67

            If the butthurt shoe fits my friend…. I’m not complaining about safe spaces, I’m saying judging by your response to this, you need to take advantage of one.

      • grow up.

        • namingrightsforsale

          I trust you see the irony in this response?

          • No. Not really. I see that you’re a petulant little crybaby who pisses and moans whenever someone (i.e., the majority of posters) disagrees with you. Grow a pair.

      • scott15

        LOL, you call taking away gender, allowing grown men to go into female restrooms progress?? Yeah, you would.

    • flaninerfan

      Great commentary!

    • Albom has always been a hack, so I’m not surprised to see him steal Barry’s eccentric curmudgeon shtick. Albom’s cloying and anodyne habit of stringing together maudlin ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’ tropes had to wear thin eventually.

  • Ted Mark

    If you’re going to write satire or parody, Mitch, try using a pen instead of a sledgehammer .

  • souvien

    jeez-a-loo that is like a rehash of the worst kind of “generation gap” crapulence from the late sixties/early seventies…stuff, at the time, I’d wager Albom found trite and dumb..

  • Adam Domo

    Then; People would read this story, roll their eyes and say “whatever you say grandpa
    Now; Fire him! I want an apology written out that meets our criteria of sorry. Protest protest protest.

    • Richard Hannon

      Two good plans! No need to choose, let’s do both!

      • Adam Domo

        Haha no no. Not everything needs to be an outrage.

  • Daniel Gilliam

    Loved the entire piece! Way to go,Mitch!

  • mitch albom, sanctimonious twat. who knew?

    • No one who’s lived in metro Detroit should be in any doubt. I’ve hate Albom for +20 years.

      Horrible, horrible writer, both in style and choice of subjects.

  • flaninerfan

    Great funny article. Keep up the great work Mitch. The leftist losers are just giving you more material for future musings.

  • Carter_Burger67

    I thought it was pretty damn funny. But then again, you have to have a sense of humor and be able to laugh at yourself to get it. Something that’s lacking in today’s society.

    • namingrightsforsale

      Lol no. It’s not funny because it’s poorly written and shows a terrible understanding of the subject matter, not because people can’t laugh at themselves.

      • Carter_Burger67

        Poor little butthurt snowflake. Again, for all the whining you are doing, it appears this hit close to home for you.

      • Daniel

        Yep, anyone who disagrees with you is “ignorant” and doesn’t “understand the subject matter.” Can I please sit under your enlightenment and better understand these issues. I am, unfortunately, regressive and ignorant…

        Question, can anyone hold a different opinion as you and not be ignorant? Maybe they just hold different views and you are so intolerant that you can’t make the distinction between “I disagree with you” and “I hate you and your view.” For being so tolerant and liberal, progressives sure are conservative!

  • Conundrum

    Hey Mitch. Don’t sweat these snowflakes who can’t take a joke or discern either parody or satire in your writing. They’re actually not offended. Buchholz is merely acting that way to inspire clicks, or if he’s not faking the outrage, he badly needs a blankie and binky.

    • namingrightsforsale

      You understand the irony in calling liberals “snowflakes” and then freaking out when you are exposed to “liberal” ideas, right?

      • all of your liberal ideas are going to cause the world to be destroyed.

  • BobLee Says

    So Andrew Bucholtz has been appointed National Arbitor of Satire. I missed that memo. …. If Andrew is offended then EVERYBODY was obviously offended, right Andrew. Selectively pull a few tweets that support YOUR agenda and declare LOOK LOOK LOOK …. …. Mitch Albom was winning journalism awards when Andrew was a pup.

    • that’s how most of my media contemporaries are on Twitter.

  • HA HA. Hilarious 🙂 I had a roommate at Southern Utah University who was an under-aged drinker. He left beer flasks in the bathtub all the time. He brought in chron once and the Iron County Sheriff said to me, your roommate brought in some of the “good stuff” (OK I made that part up, he didn’t refer to it as that) but I wasn’t allowed into my room because of what he did. Thus, I can relate to it. Snowflakes, no one cares. No disrespect but NO ONE cares!

    • namingrightsforsale

      Don’t you think that not caring enough might be partially responsible for a lot of problems today?

      • I think that dudes who act like they have vaginas is primarily responsible for a lot of problems today. Then again, as Albom says, you can be whatever you want.

  • Rob Wilder

    “Massive backlash” and the writer referenced a whopping 4 dissenters off Twitter?

  • GPearson

    I don’t get the outrage, but then again, I usually don’t.

    Actually, I think the outraged actually kind of proved Albom right in a lot of ways…

    • scott15

      exactly the point I made too

  • davesnothere

    Biggest difference: 40 years ago, college was FUN.

  • Swedish Chef

    Great column.. spot on for today’s SJW culture.. more please

  • scott15

    LMAO!! All you “people” out there offended, are the exact reason why he wrote that article. Where is he wrong?
    He should have added, OLD, back then, you don’t have to worry about not being able to speak your mind, or speech being oppressed.
    NEW: If you hold any differing view from a professor, or any other “person” you will be subject to ridicule, bullying, and even assaulted.
    Safe places…gtfoh!!

  • Daniel

    Everyone watch out! Albom noticed difference!

    Let’s all make sure we learn our lesson and never make observations about historical differences and change in society! To do so is not okay!

    Remember, when in doubt, whatever you do, don’t be ignorant! Make sure to consult a person who is “progressive” and “enlightened” about these issues before you make any observations about difference. If you happen to be a trained historian or sociologist and are regressive and unenlightened consult a more educated person with a B.A. in gender studies and non-profit management first! After all they did read 3 chapters of Foucault once.