Thursday, February 01, 2007

Guest Post by Stubs McKinley

Today I had the misfortune of sitting surrounded by athletes. Please allow me to explain.
I am attending a well-ranked University in Boston, MA, and occasionally find myself in class. The problem with attending a well-ranked University in Boston, MA, is that they tend to be sort of popular (everyone hopes to someday be a Kennedy), and as a result several of the classes in which I find myself are huge lectures, the sort of anonymous experience only the military or an orgy can provide. In cases like this, I find my time is best spent by watching silent movies on mute on my laptop computer while some professor discusses the Crusades and their effect on Philip Roth. The best place to do this is the corner in the back of the room, so nobody can see my screen but the sort of person who would sit in the back row. I’m getting to the athletes.
Today, I became surrounded on nearly all sides (think: peninsula) by people wearing baseball caps. I swear this is true. Each and every one of them is wearing a baseball cap. I myself am sporting a stylish bucket hat emblazoned with “Jacob Burns Film Center.” Like Fred Willard in This is Spinal Tap, I do sort of worry that I will be mistaken for one of the band.
Anyway, unless these people are Jay-Z, most of the attendees of this well-ranked University who sport baseball caps on all occasions are members of frats who participate heavily in athletics. I do not attend Duke; the athletes do not have bad reputations. I do attend any University, so the frats do have bad reputations. As a result of the frat-sport correlation, the smell of weekend date-rape has unfortunately rubbed off on the athletes. The point of this is that I recognize men wearing baseball caps as exactly the sort of man my mother told me not to grow up to be. Call me prejudiced if you like; these are not people who are disempowered.
In any event, here I am, surrounded by baseball caps, and one of them is holding a school newspaper, the Daily. Upon seeing it, they begin to clamor.
Before I continue with this story, I will explain that I always turn to the comics section first. I do not pretend to be the sort of person who cares about Bill Richardson. I am interested in seeing whether Anthony and Liz will end up together.
These gentlemen were similarly single-minded. “Are we in there?” They were. Our paper has extensive sports coverage, and these baseball cap-wearers were included. The only time I’ve ever been included is when I’ve actually written an article (my name will then appear on the byline).
Then one of them grew confused. “Stimmy? Sty-my? What does that mean? Stymied?” Indeed, though the man’s team had been recently stymied, he was baffled by the word itself.
If I may briefly drift off-subject, my well-ranked University has recently been the subject of much controversy, and because of affirmative action. We’re not the University of Michigan. Our conservative paper published an item suggesting that my University’s black students are not qualified to attend such a well-ranked University, and the affirmative action program weakens our school by including them. This is not a statement with which I agree.
Of course, here again we have some white students, all wearing baseball caps, who participate in athletics and do not know what the word “stymie” means. I do not resent athletics, except in terms of their sexual magnetism. I do not resent the fact that my acceptance to this school may have been more academic and theirs may have been more athletic. It takes all kinds. But it occurs to me that when people start looking around for someone who doesn’t belong in a well-ranked University in Boston, MA, perhaps they shouldn’t go after black people first.

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Blogger Serpico said...

I myself am not an athlete and many consider me intelligent some of which include: Stephen Hawking, Steven Speilberg, Stephen Colbert, Steven levy and Stephen Douglas.
I do not know what the word stymied means and I would propose that you're immediate bias towards the baseball cap wearing gentlemen has twisted your opinion. Maybe, you are as biased towards those wearing baseball caps as I am towards those who know how to make "flan."
It is true that many bald men wear baseball caps to hide their baldspots. Others where baseball caps simply as fans of a team. I have also heard that police are more likely to pull over those wearing baseball caps than those not wearing baseball caps. You are not alone in this prejudice.
So perhaps, this prejudice you feel toward the baseball cap wearing other is not all that different from the prejudice possessed by the racists who you dislike so.
As you believe that people wearing baseball caps are more likely to date rape others, so did racists think that about minorities.
Of course, I can't deny that one of these two prejudices permeates society more and is a bigger problem. All I want you to do Mr. McKinley is think about this feeling a little bit more carefully.

Sun Feb 04, 11:29:00 PM EST  
Blogger Guffin GacGuffin said...

"Son do you know what I'm stopping you for?"
"'Cause I'm young and I'm black and my hat's real low?"

Wed Feb 07, 02:02:00 AM EST  
Anonymous Rick said...

"I am indeed crazy for this one, Jay."

Wed Feb 07, 12:14:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I myself am not an athlete and many consider me intelligent some of which include: Stephen Hawking, Steven Speilberg, Stephen Colbert, Steven levy and Stephen Douglas."

Smart like how? Monkey playing piano smart or Dolphin fighting of sharks to save his human master smart? Come on I can name 5 people who think I am smart, but it does not mean I am.

Fri Feb 09, 03:28:00 AM EST  
Blogger Serpico said...

"Repute" my dear anonymous, the "repute" of those people is what matters.

And probably, I fit into an obscure category of intelligence occupied by none other than the hedgehog who cleans my garden of treacherous insects in exchange for love and the occassional tummy rub.

Sat Feb 10, 07:17:00 PM EST  
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