May 4, 2010

Graduation / rumination / exhortation

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We like to hear ourselves talk. Columnists, more than anyone. Spring brings saddened seniors waxing nostalgic for their Cornell past, rehashing old controversies and crafting call-outs to their chums. Polemicists pen final praises, proffer parting shots, compose proleptica and panegyrics for their peers passing on. After years of collegiate punditry, it’s hard to let go.

And of what did our commentary consist? A brief review:

1. Johnny O’s / sorostitutes / sex in the stacks / Johnny O’s

Oh debauched denizens of the forlorn fratosphere! Your insouciant shenanigans and inebriated antics bring joy to us all, scoff and sneer as we might. The sight of freshly-shaved legs in over-tight stockings, radioactive tan lines and mangled mascara — and in February no less! — makes Collegetown the creepy carnival that it is. Who says libido and libation don’t mix? Who needs reality TV when we’ve got all the self-abasing hysteria we need right here? Three cheers for the bros, the ho’s and all those who take candy up the nose.

2. Christians / gays / discrimination / chalking

Didn’t Jesus just hang out with a bunch of dudes anyway? And isn’t God love? Despite the fact, it seems even Cornell isn’t safe from the confluence of Christianity and cock-love. The Bible’s infallible, eh? The crazy-chalking (and anachronistically named) Campus Crusade for Christ (let’s hope they don’t reach Jerusalem) seems to think so. Well, if some books we found in the sand are true, why not anything else? How about the bathroom stalls in Olin Library? Look: they say, “You suck dick.” Guess we’re on the same page, then.

3. Dubiously racist comments / lack of sensitivity / who’s the victim?

Conservatives, tired of centuries of self-appointed supremacy, cry “wolf” at the slightest sign of a slighting. Liberals and multiculturalists, along with their effete fellow travelers, see slander in the clouds and feign offense at the faintest tomfoolery. Are we really so thin-skinned? Can we all not take a joke? The world’s a wild place, full of slander and sniping: Would we want anything less?

4. Obama / death panels / Palin

All hail our Beloved Leader! Or at least his adorable daughters. The past couple of years has brought Hope, then the Hope Hangover and now the Hope Withdrawal. From our perch up on the Hill, we observe the prating of the politicians, the carping of the congressmen, and wonder what it’s all about. Do these people take themselves seriously? Are they all in on some big joke? A warning to future legislators: Check your irony at the door. In terms of spectacle, Washington beats the Schwartz Center by a mile, and the fact that the Fate of the Free World hangs in the balance — well, that just makes it all so much funnier. Can the IPD issue noise violations to the Tea Party?

And, finally:

5. Dropping the f-book / tweeting and twats / new media, old bullshit

Will we be judged by the contents of our Facebook? Will that JuicyCampus “sluts list” stick in our side forever? And will our texting and tweeting hasten the apocalypse? To all the Crackberryites / iPhoners / Droid-ians out there: My dumb phone can kick your smartphone’s ass. And to DC++: you’re an “A-” in my book (could have used less animal porn, but still). Drugged into dullness in a digital dungeon of our own design, we set screens above socializing and typing above talking. Glued to the tube (and no longer just the boob-), we grow lewd and crude and sour the mood.

And if, in the end, alliteration was just a substitute for substance, rhyme just a stand-in for thought, well, at least it was entertaining (we hope). Democracy can’t function without a free press, and, as The Sun costs nothing — be grateful. “Hi-ho silver and sacre bleu,” as an old friend used to say, and we’ll see you on the other side of the page.

Ted out.

Original Author: Ted Hamilton