Trolling Answers to Serious Questions

“Seriousness is the last refuge of the shallow” -Oscar Wilde

All too often people get serious. Seriousness is the cause of nearly every problem in the world.  The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a direct result of people being too serious. Partisan gridlock in Congress can easily be linked to serious people. Donald Trump is seriously messed up.

Above: Significant world problem

Over time we, the people, have essentially accepted seriousness in the world. Think about it. When you see someone walk by with a plaid shirt and striped pants wearing a polka-dot tie you give them a judging look and say, “seriously?” Is it necessary? No. Does it make you feel better about yourself? I hope not.

So how do we conquer seriousness?

Be a dick.

Cheney

Let’s run through some serious situations and how trolling through them can make everything so much better…

Girl: “We’ve been dating for a long time, I think that we should be more committed.”
Boy: “Uh…”
Girl (angry): “Don’t you like me??”
Boy: “No, everything that I have said and done around you is just for fun. I sometimes like to pretend like I’m actually capable of love.”

Boom. Just like that the seriousness has been taken out of the situation. Girl will either find Boy funny or she will leave Boy alone and he can happily go back to playing Xbox.

Mitt Romney: “I don’t agree with your politics.”
Barack Obama: “I don’t agree with yours.”
Ron Paul: “You know what I don’t agree with?”
Mitt & Barack: “What?”
Ron Paul: “Your SYSTEM.”

Boom. Seriousness gone. Barack and Mitt can laugh, pat each other on the back and have a beer over a Sunday night football game.

Israelis: “We hate you all.”
Palestinians: “We hate you more!”
China: “We could kill you all with a push of a button.”

Boom.

Pro-Lifer: “Pro-Life!”
Pro-Choicer: “Pro-Choice!”
Normal American: “Football!”

Boom.

Kanye West: “I’m so important!”
Universe: “I am over 14 billion light years across and you are just an itty bitty speck that is on an itty bitty speck inside an itty bitty speck that is the Milkyway galaxy.”

Boom.

Adele: “But I set fire to the rain. Watched it pour as I touched your face. Let it burn while I cry ‘Cause I heard it screaming out your name, your name.”
Everyone else: “What?”

Boom.

Eliminate seriousness and the world becomes a much better place with a lot more onomatopoeias (apparently).

Conquering Spanish

I am a multi-lingual young man. I have been speaking English all my life and I have also become fluent in Pig Latin and Ubbie Dubbie.

You know what I’m talking about.

Yet I have always struggled in Spanish class. I took my first class in Spanish when I was in 7th grade. My teacher was a Venezuelan immigrant who’s only qualifications for being the Spanish teacher was his ability to speak Spanish. (They did not consider his ability to speak English). After that year it had become apparent to everyone that he was a man who spoke Spanish. …That did not make him a teacher.

In 8th grade I had a wonderful young lady who was teaching for the first time. She actually challenged us to learn something, and we did learn the most basic of things, but since we were being taught in the 8th grade, she didn’t think to go back and teach us the 7th grade year that we should have been taught. Thus, nothing made sense.

Then freshman year in high school rolled around and I decided to take Spanish 200 because every student needed a 300-level Spanish to graduate. I figured if I could fudge my way through 200 and 300 then I wouldn’t have to take 3 years of Spanish in high school. My freshman teacher was a wonderful lady who actually taught us some Spanish, but I think she may have been ill-prepared for our lack of preparation for her course. I was able to slip through with an average grade in the class.

Finally I had my sophomore Spanish class. The teacher that year was a certified communist who spent a vast majority of our class period decrying America’s horrendous treatment of the Latin American countries. So while I should have learned the conjugations of present-tense verbs, I was learning about the American-funded removal and killing of the democratically elected leader of Chile.

For what it’s worth, I learned a lot about the culture of Spanish-speaking countries. … Unfortunately, I learned no Spanish.

Three-and-a-half years later I found myself in a Spanish class again. This time in college. At CNU we are all required to pass a 200-level language class. I was in Spanish 101 and I was planning on kicking some ass at the subject.

 

So my friend Lynsie and I decided it would be in our interest to flash-card the crap out of our Spanish 101 class. We succeeded so much  more than either of us had expected so when Spanish 102 rolled around we rolled over to Harris Teeter and rolled out with 1000 flash cards ready to become vocabulario.

This was the result.

That’s just from a semester of 102. Now we are in 200. We are ready to create a pile that will rival the Trible tower. Only one thing is certain: We can, and will defeat the Spanish.

Soy seguro.

Rain: CNU’s Reckoning

Legend has it that there was once a great bright light that came from the sky. This “sun”, as it was called, was said to warm the land and keep it dry and comfortable.

I have been in Newport News since Saturday and I have to admit that this legend becomes more unbelievable by the day. I had no way of knowing that my Ford Taurus would act as a submarine the day I moved back onto campus. The not-so-ironic names of the James and Warwick River dorm buildings were not lost on me as I watched the rains flood the hallways of the first floor.

From the high-ground of the second floor I watched as the flood waters receded but the rains did not relent. Nervous rumors spread of President Trible’s plan to build a giant water craft with which to carry two students from each class. …The rumors have not yet been rejected by the administration.

Illogically, the temperatures in each of the academic buildings seem to be trending downward. The David Student Union is roughly the temperature of your average house-hold refrigerator. McMurran Hall has been approximated at Maine temperatures and the Forbes Science Hall is a glacier waiting to happen.

We are all soaking wet when we struggle through the doors of our respective halls. When confronted with the sub-zero temperatures hypothermia sets in fast. First the science students lose feeling in their fingers, then the government majors develop a slower heart rate and they fall asleep in their classrooms. The theater kids are the last ones to go because they have developed a tendency to share bodily warmth in the costume closet.

Realizing that we are ill-prepared for the unforgiving conditions, some of us attempted to seek out natives who would know how to survive. We realized, to our horror, that we kicked them half-way across the continent 200 years ago. Moral is as low as our hot chocolate supply and none of us dare make a Harris Teeter run because none of us have scuba gear.

We must keep calm and carry on. Wish us luck.

“Legitimate” Rape

Recently, some moron made some interesting comments about rape. Republican senate candidate from Missouri, Todd Akins, informed the nation that women can’t actually get pregnant from “legitimate rape”. When asked about his opposition to abortion in the cases of rape and incest he responded:

“From what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

um…

So basically, according to Akins, there is such a thing as legitimate rape, and the way that you can determine “legitimate” rape from “illegitimate” rape is a baby. If a woman get’s pregnant from a rape, then she must have wanted it, and it can’t be rape.

Let’s disregard for a moment that there is absolutely nothing to corroborate Akins’ claims and pretend like he’s right.

…Imagine how this would revolutionize crime in America! If we were to accept the Akins Doctrine of rape, then who would get prosecuted?

Well, obviously, in cases of rape, if the woman gets pregnant then the rapist gets off scott free. Rape requires a lack of consent from one of the parties involved. By getting pregnant, a woman’s body clearly offers consent. No matter how many times she said “No! No! No!” according to the Akins Doctrine; actions speak louder than words.

Yeah they do!

Let’s consider theft under the Akins Doctrine. Theft requires an individual, or individuals to take possessions from other individuals without their consent. If a burglar successfully steals your t.v. and you don’t successfully stop him, then you’ve implied consent for him to take your t.v. Clearly you didn’t want the t.v. enough to risk your life protecting it from being taken, so that means that you actually wanted them to take it. If you are shot and killed by the thief while you protect your property, then you demonstrate that you truly tried your hardest to keep your t.v. The burglary then becomes legitimate.

And lets not forget about murder! According to the Akins Doctrine, murder would only be legitimate if you survived the killing. If you die when someone attempts to kill you, then your will to live just wasn’t high enough. The person that killed you shouldn’t be charged with murder, they just assisted your suicide.

Maybe, deep down, Akins is just trying to get us to look at criminals from a kinder point of view.

…Then again, maybe he is one.

General MacArthur

Today I went for a tour of the General Douglass MacArthur Memorial Museum. My family and I had just arrived in the Norfolk area the day before and I was not as hot to go shopping at the MacArthur Mall as my mom, sister, and grandmother.

I’m too fashionable to get new clothes.

My grandad, dad and I first watched an old black and white documentary that ran through Douglass MacArthur’s life from beginning to end. The video looked like it had been compiled in the 70’s and looked like the worst stereotype of a military propaganda film. I knew from previous education on the end of the Korean War that General MacArthur became a dangerous, ego-centric threat to world stability, and that, if not for President Truman’s relative restraint, MacArthur would have delighted in the use of nuclear weapons to wipe out China. In the end Truman decided to fire MacArthur after repetitive challenges to executive authority and MacArthur’s choice to deliberately disobey Truman.

“You deliberately disobeyed me.” -President Truman

But the documentary skirted around the damaging facts like a GOP presidential candidate trying to avoid releasing his tax returns. In the museum, the only facts that are released are the ones that paint MacArthur in the brightest possible light (in some cases literally). He is the hero of this museum, and no opinions of his hubris or his disregard for human life are accepted.

At the end of the tour there were quotes by MacArthur in which he said that he would have preferred to have worked for peace rather than for war. His decisions led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people over the course of his life. His actions spoke much louder than his words.

As we left the museum; I asked my dad, “How can we consider a man who killed people for a living as a great man?”

His response: “I don’t think we can.”

We can learn a lot from Douglass MacArthur. We can learn that peace is a harder approach to getting what you want than violence. We can learn that peace can be much more unpopular than war and we can learn that some of the greatest individual glory can come from war.

But we can learn from the hundreds of thousands of un-named victims of war that ease, popularity and glory are never worth the price.

Leaving Maine

Sometime soon I’ll be leavin’
The land that I love far behind
the tale of my life will start to unravel
While I stumble through the thing blind.

But I’ll find myself with longing
For the land in which I was born
Of the air and the trees and the mountains and foliage
Pristine even in thunder storms

Now I don’t know when I’ll return
But the warmth of the fire on a cold winter’s night still burns

So when I arrive in places
Where the people will only look down
I’ll pack up my bags and aim for the northern air
After I turn my self ’round

It may be hard for some to process
The feelings that I possess
But once you’ve star-gazed by the edge of her rivers
You’ll know you want nothing less

And I don’t know when I’ll return to you
To your sweet lovely pines and lakes of blue

I’ll never forget the way that Maine has treated me
I’ll take with me a piece of the way life should be.

CNU Changes

Have you ever found yourself in an entirely new place but you get the strange sense that you have been there before? This sense of deja vu is common for students of Christopher Newport University. After a summer away from their place of academia, CNU students return to a campus that looks only vaguely like the one they left the year before.

What used to look simply like this…

Is suddenly replaced by stuff like this:

Glorious.

Just last year, as I was getting ready to start my Sophomore year, I decided to take my sister on a tour of the campus. It was embarrassing. There is no question why the vetting process is so extreme for tour-guide-candidates. The campus is changing faster than the emptying of your bank account. I turned a corner and gestured to the hall that I had my first American history class and I had to stop and do a double take because the building was literally gone. (It has since been replaced by the ironically-named Luter School of Business)

Subtle.

I had to discontinue the tour of the campus because I was learning as much about the campus as my sister was at that point.

This year I will be returning to a school that allegedly has a new, “double-wide” dining hall, a new dorm building, a completed business building, and a chapel. Another dorm building is under construction on the far side of campus. I’m particularly interested to see what the great lawn is going to look like when we return to campus.

It seems that the great lawn changes by semester. In the last two years they have taken out trees, added trees, gotten rid of some paths, added some paths, painted the grass green and put up “stay off the lawn” signs (no joke). As I head back, my expectation is that the great lawn will be painted blue with a big Captain Chris head smiling menacingly in the direction of McMurran (anything less will be a disappointment to us now.)

All that said, CNU has something that other universities are missing. Whereas most schools will have buildings that will be recognizable to all alumni, CNU goes a step further and inadvertently provides memories that all the alumni can share. If there’s anything that every single student at CNU can relate to, it’s the enjoyment of learning in a University that is exploded with culture, success, and good people.

And I wouldn’t trade that for anything.