Ammo Grrrll calls this one SHLEPPING TOWARDS UTOPIA. She writes:
Well, Mattress Girl has evidently graduated from Columbia. In Electrical Engineering, I think. Ha, ha, I kid. Of course it was “Visual Arts.” (Though in fairness, she considered Physics.) Heck, I was a Sociology major, so talk about “High Horse” Syndrome! And she finished in four years whereas it took me three terms: Johnson’s, Nixon’s, and Carter’s. So kudos to Mattress Girl. I’m guessing she intends to shlep this mattress from here all the way to Assisted Living. It’s a great gig.
I know Mattress Girl’s name is Emma, but she has been given quite enough publicity and accolades for her specious tale, and I choose to refer to her as MG.
MG was allowed to drag her 50-lb mattress across the stage with the help of three confederates. What a festive and dignified occasion! I believe that Dr. Thomas Sowell once described college administrators as a crossbreed of a jellyfish and a parrot. That MG was allowed to do this speaks volumes about how we got to this state of affairs. When I went to college, we were introduced to the concept of “in loco parentis,” Latin for “in place of parents.” That meant they not only looked out for us, but occasionally had to slap us upside the head. But nowadays college administrators would be better described by more of a loose Spanish translation of those words – “batcrap crazy loco parents.”
Let’s review the facts as determined by both the police and a school review process highly tilted in favor of the accuser. MG apparently participated in a variety of consensual sex acts with a German scholarship student and then the insensitive assailant didn’t even call afterwards despite her many texts. These facts aside, she still gets to spend a year lugging the mattress around campus and also to make a distracting spectacle of herself at graduation and ruin the occasion for everyone else.
So I am proposing that in the future, EVERYBODY gets to shlep some totem across the stage at graduation. It would provide badly-needed exercise for our obese youth.
Everyone should think hard about some traumatic event and then find something to lug. No traumatic events in your 22 or so years, graduates? Well, for heaven’s sake, make something up! You, too, could win an all-expenses-paid trip to the State of the Union Address. Personally, I would sooner clean the men’s room in a Greyhound Bus Station. But the point is if you make up something good enough – spending thousands of dollars on birth control, being assaulted by an entire fraternity or sports team – you will get a lot of attention.
Even when your preposterous tale is debunked, you will still be referred to as The Sacred Victim and the debunkers virally vilified. So there’s really no downside.
So let’s think of objects to represent your angst. Let me get the ball rolling with some suggestions drawn from my own life of relentless oppression. When I was eight years old, I wanted a bicycle in the worst way. My best friend got a beautiful new blue Schwinn for Christmas. My parents were too thrifty to spring for a new bike. Mother found a used one at a garage sale and Daddy painted it a flat non-metallic red. I was very disappointed, but would have cut out my tongue before I hurt my parents’ feelings.
But that is the kind of item that could be carried or even ridden across the stage at a graduation ceremony. No joyful wheelies though! Remember, you are enraged and depressed at all times. Never let anything go, that’s the secret to the good life.
In the eighth grade I also sewed a hideous skirt in Home Economics. I received the only “C” in my entire academic career until Physical Geography in college. If only I had thought to shlep a Singer Sewing Machine of Misery across the stage. Maybe in a little wagon behind the Bike of Invidious Comparison.
Are you a guy who never got off the bench of the JV squad? (we’re talking football here, not ISIS). You could carry a Tackling Dummy of Deprivation. Fat people could carry A Doctor’s Scale of Humiliation.
Graduation ceremonies already take longer than an Oscar telecast emceed by Obama with a broken Teleprompter, a totally “uh-some” speaker. So having everyone also shlep iconic items with them could turn the ceremonies into eventual sleepovers. Then you’ll be sorry that you chose a scale instead of a mattress! This year, mattresses; next year, full-size floats.
I apologize for the jarring change of tone. But I want to make one final, extremely unfunny point. The mattress fails utterly even as Artistic Metaphor. I have known three women who were raped for real. One was attacked in a parking lot; one was taken hostage and attacked in the woods; one was left for dead by three illegals in a home invasion.
Nobody got a mattress.
A woman with a perpetual mattress on her back is an almost perfect metaphor not for “rape culture,” but for the empty misery of the hookup culture. Billy Crystal famously said, “A woman needs a reason to have sex; a man just needs a place.” So in MG’s world, women are even toting the “place” with them wherever they go. Just in case? Young women voluntarily climb into bed with young men they barely know, who do not love them, and then find that it wasn’t the empowering fun-fest that was advertised. Why are so many drugs and a sea of alcohol necessary to get through an experience sometimes quaintly referred to as “making love”? This hookup culture is an unmitigated disaster on every level. For women, to be sure, but for their sandbagged partners and for our culture as well.