“Fun and Hijinks at Phi Kappa Psi”
What the hell am I supposed to say to my daughter when she’s flying out the door, going to college? Probably nothing. I’d suggest she carry some pepper spray, maybe a hunting knife with nice slicing action. And books, oh yeah books, I forgot about those. She’ll need some paper and pens, a notebook computer, and drugs, plenty of drugs!
The idea being that college is nothing more than a rape-trap, a smoldering puzzle-box from Hell. The male culture has gone topsy-turvy in the wake of allegations. It’s not so much the allegations were false. It’s that people still refuse to accept the facts. I remember not-too-long-ago, one of my few Facebook friends swore she would set fire to her UVA diploma unless the University stepped up and did the right thing. What is the right thing?
After the facts came out, she (and many others) did not bother to defend the article nor the principal characters involved. They did not address the probable psychopathy of the alleged victim nor the dubious ethics of the writer. Instead, they chose to remind us that rape occurs on college campuses across the nation, even the world.
It was like, “Oh yeah, this was made up, but it really does happen! So get serious about it! Get involved!”
Yes, we’re serious. Yes, we’re involved. Now what? What are we supposed to do? Other than utilizing some sort of “Minority Report” level of psychic crime detection, I don’t see any other way around it. Yes, rape occurs. Yes, it occurs on college campuses. It happens in nursing homes, and fast food restaurants, and bars, and condominiums, too.
Going back to the male culture, it now seems to me men have become the victims of a perpetual suspicion. That we’ve got “other things” on our minds. That we are rapists and murderers, most of the time, and when we are not raping and murdering, we’re thinking about raping and murdering. It’s interesting. Men have been objectified.
“Sociology of Style”
Eve Kerrigan is one of the strongest, most resilient and courageous women I have known. I include my mother and my wife in that category as well. She’s written several excellent articles for “Sociology of Style” (links to those articles will be included at the bottom of this piece) and her candor and fearlessness are sorely missed in our shared world of literature.
Now people who don’t write, people who are not “writers” don’t understand us. They don’t “hear the music”, to quote from Harlan Ellison, so they refuse to accept that writing is not only grueling work, but also a passion that leads you by the ears when you hear that music. You can’t help but do what you do, in this case – tell a story, share a brief bit of your life, or try to chronicle somebody else’s passion.
This is something I detest in amateurs – people who think they are writers. They call themselves writers, they steep themselves in the “letters”, the literary culture. They pretend they’re all about books, all about the words. They don’t produce. They don’t show their work. As Ellison also said, “you’re not a writer until a writer says you’re a writer”. Unfortunately, though, as with any art (routinely subjective as it may be), even bad work is given legitimacy. Bad movies are still movies. Bad books are still books. Bad writers are still writers. Bad filmmakers are still filmmakers.
This is what drives people like me and Eve to madness. This is why we’re slowly going insane.
I want to thank Eve Kerrigan for joining me in this two-part podcast, and I hope to have her back real soon.
Questions? Comments? firstname.lastname@example.org