Riffs

By Eric Mosher '13 and Pete Fey '13

Courtesy of Pete Fey '13

Courtesy of Pete Fey '13

  • It’s so easy to ignore world news at Bennington, which is something we’re forced to reflect upon in the wake of the recent Boston Marathon bombings and subsequent manhunt. Boston and its surrounding areas were in a state of near-martial law, but our Bennington life is so insular that a student could conceivably have had no idea about the upheaval happening less than 150 miles away. Eric recalls his first Spring at Bennington, when the Deep Water Horizon oil spill made international headlines for weeks: “I managed to entirely ignore it for over a month until I got back to my family and their television set, which made ignorance impossible.” 
  • According to a Fall 2012 survey, 36% of students are daily cigarette smokers. Does this mean we are unhealthy? How do we compare to students at other schools? Based on his experience at Kansas State University, Pete guesses that we probably smoke more cigarettes than they do, in part due to our lack of Greek Life: “Most fraternities ban their members from smoking, and sorority girls certainly do not smoke. However, Bennington students definitely chew less than Kansas State students.” We dare any student to chew tobacco in class. If you get away with it, we’ll buy you a 12-pack (or a comparable reward if you are not of legal drinking age). Imagine hocking up tobacco juice into your Joe’s Tea bottle in front of Marguerite, Mansour, or some other professor of high esteem.
  • The results from the same survey indicate that 53% of students report having had five or more alcoholic drinks in one sitting during the two weeks prior to answering the survey. This stat does not mean that we are unhealthy. We like to binge drink. Students at every college like to binge drink. Unless you go to BYU.
  • We also contend that 5 or more drinks should not constitute binge drinking. Hell, we could probably pass a sobriety test after 5 drinks.
  • Speaking of BYU, thank heavens we are here and not there. Two years ago, the star player of the Brigham Young University basketball team was not only kicked off the team but was also expelled from college after admitting that he had consensual premarital sex with his girlfriend. The BYU Honor Code states that all students must “be honest, live a chaste and virtuous life, obey the law and all campus policies, use clean language, respect others, abstain from alcoholic beverages, tobacco, tea, coffee, and substance abuse, participate regularly in church services, observe the Dress and Grooming Standards,” and also “requires all members of the university community to manifest a strict commitment to the law of chastity.” Booorinngggg.
  • The Honor Code also allows students to be gay, in the sense that they are allowed to have homosexual “feelings and attractions,” but does not allow for any homosexual behavior, as that would go against the law of chastity. Even more boring.
  • Homosexual hypocrisy does not end there. The Boy Scouts of America announced on Friday, April 19th that they are lifting a decades-long ban on homosexual members. They will not, however, allow adult leaders to be gay. We commend this action as a step in the right direction, but also note its inherent self-contradiction. Says Pete, an Eagle Scout from Troop 42, “Well, most Boy Scouts are gay anyway.” 
  • Here’s another thing that makes us gay: There are three new planets! And they could support life! No longer will we humans be alone in the slow, painful death that is existence. Maybe in the future we will make it to Kepler 22-b and collaborate with the Keplerites on some real macabre poetry. Or maybe their version of Sylva Plath can come share her agony with future Bennington students in the Franklin Common Room. At least it will be better than Mary Jo Bang.
  • Let’s not spend too much time thinking about space. It’s too deep. As we sit in Pete’s room, smelling the fumes of old pizza, sadly sipping on bad beers, passing a long expired stem bowl that only has resin to offer--who are we kidding?--space makes us feel even more insignificant than we already do. The mere fact that the largest of these new planets is almost the size of Neptune gives us homeworld penis envy. Whatever. We’re bigger than Venus.
  • The best part of outer space is that it inspired the name for the most fun thing that Bennington has to offer: SunFest. What are you going to do? Pete plans to drink forty-six cans of Mr. Pibb and eat twenty packages of Red Vines. Eric thinks Pete’s plan is ridiculous; he is going to gorge on chewing tobacco and roast in the sun like a stuck pig. BTW, does anyone know where we can get some lean? 
  • More importantly, does anyone know where we can get some justice? We’re talking about the window screens in the Colonials. Back in the good old days, the screens were not machines of oppression but something you could actually move, depending on the weather. Now, if you remove your screen you are subject to hefty fines imposed by the unstoppable bureaucratic terror that is the Bennington Facilities management. Says Emma del Valle, senior, “The installation of screens that do not open, and which we are charged for removing entirely, is one of the most subliminally oppressive changes in student housing that I have encountered over the course of four years at this school.  A window was once a secondary means of ingress and egress, a scene of transaction and exchange, and a social destination.  The space outside of one's window is just as much a part of one's room as the bed or the mirror.  A screen which does not open limits this freedom substantially, and has cast an insidiously heavy pall over these past few months of my time at Bennington.  I am going to take this fucker off tonight." If you are planning on having fun at all during Sunfest, take a page out of Emma’s book and take that fucker out!
  • Last Word: Fall Out Boy’s still a band?