Welcome to the thunderdome: Put your name on it


First off, I’d like to congratulate the person that made the account on Instagram making fun of Maryville College students.

I haven’t seen such a gross display of cowardice, meanness and stupidity since seventh grade. Or, rather, I would like to congratulate them, but I have no idea who they are, because, again, they’re completely yellow and an embarrassment to the college, town, state, country and their immediate relatives, probably.

Don’t get me wrong, I like anonymity. I’m not really down with the idea of commenting on websites using your Facebook account, or how Google wants to link your Google Plus account with your YouTube, Gmail and all their related services.

The idea of anonymous discussion is critical to an open society, and there should be forums to do so, especially when there may be legitimate reasons for someone wanting to keep their identity private—stuff like sexuality issues or political rights. The freedom to be anonymous lets the minority opinion voice their thoughts firmly and without repercussion, and it’s intellectually stimulating to challenge and debate social norms.

However, it’s not okay to hide behind a veil of anonymity for the purposes of making others feel bad.

That’s what happened recently, and that’s just a dumb, scared and mean way to do things. If you really want to tell something to someone, you owe it to them and to yourself to be honest and respectful. It’s not like there aren’t a million methods for discussion on campus.

Again, as I wrote in an earlier article, we have freedoms in the academic universe that we’re not going to have for most of the rest of our lives. We ought to take advantage of that instead of writing mean things about each other online like we’re in a high school movie.

Back to the larger point: the importance of taking credit for things, good or bad, cannot be understated.

A lot of people hate Michael Bay, director of the “Transformers” series, “Bad Boys” and “Armageddon,” among others. They think his movies are shallow and glossy, lacking character depth and a central focus on philosophical issues. The highest-rated movie that he has on Rotten Tomatoes is “The Rock,” at 67 percent.

That said, he knows what he’s doing. He makes movies for teenage boys. There’s nothing wrong with that—there are a lot of teenagers that go to the movies, and his films have a recurring aesthetic that is the mark of a true auteur. I would rather have 10 Michael Bays making movies than see another movie like “About Schmidt,” a movie that’s so full of its own smuggitude that it never says anything interesting about anything.

The danger of saying something is that someone might disagree with you. Screw them! Say it anyway! You might look like an idiot, but it’s a bad trend for society to be heading to a place where people are afraid of looking like idiots. The ability to do something massively stupid is one of humankind’s most endearing traits. Use it.

Try something out and put your name to the activity.

Don’t hide behind being anonymous or scared. Put your name on it!

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