Before I start boring you with my Feelings™, I’d like to put in a word about the deranged sorority girl email that went viral last week. I think she’s totally fucking hot, and so does my wife.
I like to think I have a unique perspective on this issue: the girl in question is the chair of her sorority; I was social chairman of my fraternity. We both went to ACC schools, both use impeccable grammar, and most of all, both of us make everyone around us suffer under the Tyranny of Fun.
I have spent DECADES of my life trying get people to do stuff, control-freaking my way into big adventures and small get-togethers, road trips, you name it. My efforts have been met with occasionally wild success, but mostly the general feeling that I was trying too hard.
One thing I was pretty good at, though, was the “themed fraternity party”. My particular frat was an odd mixture of the coolest guys at Carolina, the dorkiest spazzes in North America, campus leaders, and bizarre shut-ins. The one constant, as I saw it, was that everyone was basically funny, and participated in Greek culture with equal parts irony and genuine brotherhood.
But we were never going to be any sorority’s first choice; we were lucky to be picked third, past the usual phalanx of old-money houses from Charlotte, Greensboro and down east. Thus, to paraphrase Jane’s Addiction, we may have been skin and bones, we might’ve been pointy nose, but it motherfucking made us try. So when the usual cadre of snorting, guffawing, broke-dicks from our own fraternity lined the wall and made fun of the rest of us for jumping up and down to the Violent Femmes during the Boxer Rebellion Mixer, it made me want to fucking cunt punt them.
So yes, this sorority president from Maryland is a guttermouth rage-aholic who needs sensitivity training regarding “retarded” people and “faggots” (two words and ideas I extincted from my worldview in the late ’80s), and yes, her views on Mexicans will probably keep her out of the California Senate, but let me tell you this: SHE’S TOTALLY RIGHT.
Disregard the profanity and ask yourself: what is she really saying? It’s so easy to make fun of someone utterly wound up in their microcosms – but she would ask, as would I, exactly when are we supposed to stop caring about our immediate environment? How is “not giving a shit” working out for you?
Her language may be common and vulgar, but her theme is universal: Andrew Marvell said it to his coy mistress in 1650, Robert Herrick advised it to his virgins, even Horace, around 23 BC, told us: Nunc est bibendum, nunc pede libero pulsanda tellus (“Now is the time for drinking; now we dance barefoot upon the earth”).
She is carping her motherfucking diem, and we should all be so lucky to have someone in our lives giving such a damn. Those who can’t remember the past may be condemned to repeat it, but those who condemn the present will have nothing to remember.
the Lodge, April 1987 – I’m near the bottom right, leaning back on The Budster