University of Richmond Collegian

Flossing and Star Trek: Giving Activism a Real Purpose

By Jeffrey Carl

Jeffrey Carl UR Column
University of Richmond Collegian, March 3 1994

It occurs to me now that topical humor from college campuses nearly 30 years ago does not age well. I’m sure it was absolutely hilarious at the time, though. Enjoy!

Editor’s Note: O, that this too too solid columnist would melt, thaw and resolve himself not to write columns anymore.   

We here at The Collegian pride ourselves on being responsive to our readers.  We’re not sure if anybody actually reads this, but if they did, we would be responsive to them.

Well, actually, I don’t think anybody does read this.  The Collegian gets nasty letters and occasional lawsuit threats for small factual inaccuracies, misspelling of names, and mild criticisms of the Honor Code.  So far, in this column, I have suggested that:

• The Intervarsity Christian Fellowship hold a “fish and loaves” picnic rush event

• Destro, Major Bludd and Cobra Commander were formerly residing in Lora Robins

• Student government presidents should be used for doorstops or paperweights

• The Collegian is actually written by clever trained seals

• “Jail ‘n’ Bail” be changed to a “Turkish Prison Jail ‘n’ Bail”

• The law school be razed to the ground and the earth sown with salt

And I haven’t gotten so much as a small note on pretty stationery saying, “go to Hell.”  All of this leads me to conclude that nobody has really been reading this, or at very best they’re just reading the Over-the-Cliffnotes Cliffs Notes guide they sell in the bookstore.

Well, in that case, what do I have to worry about?  Let me just spin the “Wheel of Offensiveness” I have sitting here by my Macintosh and select this week’s unsuspecting and unreading victim.  And the lucky winner is … student activists.

Now, the activist spirit is a wonderful thing.  But it seems that the choices of what to activate about are so dull and clichéd.  Recycling.  Whoo-doggies is that fascinating.  The environment.  I don’t know about you, but I was considering working for global warming this winter.  Interracial understanding and education.  Nice, but still boring.  All these things are so universally agreeable and warm and fuzzy and boring like National Public Radio after “Car Talk.”  Nothing even as exciting as putting daisies in ROTC gun barrels.

So why don’t people get out for something really useful and exciting? Consider:

• Establishing a campus “Hooked on Phonics” club

• Standing on Boatwright Beach and telling everybody they’re going to Heaven, so don’t worry about it

• Organizing an Arabic-letter social society

• Sit-ins to protest the lack of “Welcome Back, Kotter” and “Misfits of Science” reruns on local TV

• Running around campus, randomly collecting blood from people

• Supporting the death penalty for people who drive too slow

• Letter-writing campaigns to change Boatwright Library, damn it, back to the Dewey Decimal System!

• Circulating petitions protesting the lack of an “Atlasphere” arena in the weight room

• Hanging posters proclaiming, “Pray for Revival of Spock in the next Star Trek movie”

• Writing frequent Collegian columns alerting the populace to the grave dangers posed by the Greek system and the coordinate-housing system; sit back and wait for results

• Coordinating plan to run around campus, throw arms in air, and shout, “Mortal Kombat!”

• Demonstrations in favor of frequent flossing

• Presenting a petition to the English Department demanding that the letter D now come before the letter A in the alphabet, just because it would be cool

• Selling campus dogs to local Chinese restaurants, donating proceeds to charity

• Marching on the Admissions office, demanding that ability to color between the lines, even with fat crayons, be factored into admissions decisions

• Demanding that breathalyzers be placed on all campus phones, preventing hour-long late-night drunken phone calls to old girlfriends/boyfriends in Montana

• Supporting gender equality by mandating that sorority pledges go through fraternity Hell Week, too

• Demonstrations to rouse campus support for beer

• Merging the WCGA and RCSGA to remove the administration’s main arguments for the coordinate system, bringing the school a step closer to real integration

Oops.  Sorry.  That’s a real suggestion.  I promise not to do that again.

• Changing UR Alma Mater to “We Will Rock You”

• Showing support for new president by writing “ROOP 182” on walls everywhere

• Organizing patrols to find people who don’t recycle and beating them with aluminum softball bats

• Letter-writing campaign to make football a Winter Olympic sport so the United States can win something

• Forming a volunteer firefighter company on campus

• Forming a volunteer suicide mission company on campus

• Thinking globally, acting locally, drinking heavily before writing columns

• Protesting the lack of an “E” grade

Consider it, won’t you?  Remember not to send letters, postcards, or old “A-Ha” records to:

Over-the-Cliffnotes™/Fried or Baked Chicken Fan Club

c/o The Collusion

Tighty-whitey Hanes Commons

University of Richmond, TX OU812

Good night and good vibrations.

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