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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Jump off the almighty bandwagon

OK, here’s everyone’s stop, time to get off the bandwagon. Seriously, hop off now. The transmission’s shot and you’re riding off a cliff of mindless conformity, plunging to your homogeneous doom like a Roadrunner cartoon. As the animated “”poof”” floats up and you curse the Acme wagon that got you here (and perhaps this entire metaphor), maybe you will finally come to realize that everything you think you hate or like as an individual is a scam.

Let’s first examine that wonderful phenomenon of something enjoyable getting too enjoyable too fast, and then becoming not only un-enjoyable, but despised. Way too many good things in life have been struck down by the desperate need to show that you are an individual because you and only an elite group of people like a substituent of pop culture. I made a resolution to not make fun of hipsters anymore, but … wink, wink.

The point is that people cannot stand to endorse something endorsed by everyone else, and must turn on it, not realizing that everyone else is doing this at the same time. The process seems most defined when something blows up quickly, and everyone’s knee-jerk reaction is to go, “”Hey, this is good,”” simultaneously, and then, “”Wow, this is awful,”” as a response to the first embarrassing synchronized stimuli. Deep in your heart, you know that if Dane Cook was still underground with Retaliation-like albums, you would be championing him to your friends like he was the next Animal Collective. However, that very thought in today’s world just made you spit up a bit of your Highland Market burrito.

Also, to the people who shout back at ranting mall preachers (Brother Jed) on the slanted grass pods (henceforth known as “”the Shire””?), your stop has arrived as well. Every time a well-meaning, liberal arts-studying, sexually-liberated college kid stands up and shouts back at the religious nonsense, I cringe a little. Brother Jed is easily winning the battle for the Mall. You are giving him misguided God points every time you leap up and say, “”But I can kiss guys and smoke weed, so lifestyle Falcon Punch to you, good sir.””

That’s great for you. Every single college student does that. You are just yelling for your own benefit and for the people on the Shire, so that everyone knows that you are a cool kid. Brother Jed could just as easily be a sheet of paper that says, “”God hates all, tell me why you’re edgy and awesome”” and people would exhale arguments with just as much gusto. Obviously common sense and high school level science refute most of his arguments, but yelling at him just sinks you to his level. Stop empowering him, go home and tweet about how you feel. He’ll be left spitting nonsense to an empty slanted grass pod. Hell, he’ll probably just get up and go home.

Get off of the Fourth Avenue trolley. It is the physical manifestation of the malicious bandwagon. Just kidding, it’s only a trolley.

Get out of Greek Life. Most clubs, teams and other social dynamics join through some common interests. Drinking and seeking sex don’t count. Everyone does that. Welcome to the human experience. There is not a club on campus that doesn’t drink or attempt to get some (Abstinence Crusaders and Liver Squad notwithstanding), so what else does your social group offer? Forced philanthropies to get your super-pledge badge don’t even come close to counting. Ben’s Bells loves your business, but you spend most of your time throwing clay at each other while high, so it hardly ranks as a philanthropic moment, especially on a cosmic scale. Serenade is good for campus-wide entertainment, but the walk from house to house in matching outfits is like a “”March of the Drunken Penguins”” toward proving my point.

We live in a weird and fascinating world. It’s about time you jumped out of the wagon (tuck and roll) and tried some new, obscure and genuinely unique activities in your life. Get arrested, rise through the ranks of the chess club, spend a day meditating to the musical stylings of Tuvan throat singing or an old Kylie Minogue album. It doesn’t matter, just that you tried.

Chances are you’re still stuck on the wagon through the inescapable travesty of our culture and society, but you might find you at least made it to the sidecar.

— Johnny McKay is the multimedia editor of the Daily Wildcat. He can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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