The Daily Pennsylvanian is a student-run nonprofit.

Please support us by disabling your ad blocker on our site.

From Rob Faunce's "With Bells On," ' From Rob Faunce's "With Bells On," 'Now for something different. I'm going to try my hand at storytelling while making social criticism. Envision Schererazade dating Voltaire in my mind. Cut to the end. It's nearly dawn, and I'm numb with exhilaration. I finally understood that "Fuck the system" mentality that eluded me in high school. My heart pulsed with young blood, rebellious blood. I had the highest form of pride and respect for our age group. We are the movers and the shakers, the ones who get things done. We are Generation X, hear us roar. We fight inhumanity and bad hair. Of course it was at about this moment of ideological bliss that reality (and Katie Couric) woke me from my rapture and I screamed over Willard Scott's hair piece, "My God! I'm not a slacker, I'm just a complacent whiner! Help me, lords of acid, help me..." When was the last time you went to a protest? For that matter, when was the last time you COMPLAINED about something more substantial than the food at Stouffer? I have a theory on this. We are Ivy Leaguers, and we thus look down on everyone who isn't -- this includes Brown, Cornell, and Columbia, who make us look like Oxford on the Schuylkill. As a result, we tend to be "dignified" about the ways we protest. Taking over a building would be vulgar; boycotting classes would be uncivilized. In short, we're snobs. In fairness, we're nice snobs. Our ignorance stems not from malice but from this benign posture of politesse that allows us to keep our hands clean. We've become our parents without blinking a lash, and we're too ignorant to notice! The joke is on us, peer groupies: our groovy train docked at Wesleyan. It's not too late for us, though. Disillusionment is an ugly concept (and word), but there is clichZd hope for the future in our buried past. When I was a wee lad, idealism ran free. Within the realm of my imagination, I solved innumerable social ills. You feed the hungry, I'll clothe the fashionably disastrous. It always ended happily, with communal cooperation to terminate world problems. Picture "Hands Across America" while singing "We Are the World." You know what I mean. There were many lessons in our collective childhood that we have forgotten with the passage of adolescence. "Beavis and Butthead" are a fine, if twisted, example of this. Ignoring their famed feeble-mindedness for just a moment, Beavis and Butthead are modern, self-sufficient children. They see things without complication; they live without the presence of parental or authoritative figures. They do whatever they damn well please. They do what they think is just. Granted, they are a poor example of what is just, but apply the lesson to ourselves, and we can affect change much faster than commissioning reports on strengthening the community. Please! Actions get results, not reactionary fluffernutter like that report. She has no talent, but Mariah Carey said it best when she uttered the line: "If you believe in yourself enough to know what you want, then you're gonna make it happen." We need to stop accepting everything; we need to terminate our resignation to our parent's fate. Find your sandbox ideals; find your preoccupation with fire, and burn to your heart's desire. Call me a flaming liberal, but let's torch the commission report and strengthen the community with some heart instead of our mouths. Our children will thank us. Rob Faunce is a freshman undeclared major from Manchester, New Hampshire. With Bells On appears alternate Wednesdays.

Comments powered by Disqus

Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.