Homecoming, and I’m going home

Game day or Election Day? You decide.

Adri Mehra

I know I’m going to lose some of y’all with this noise, and I might as well apologize (with fingers crossed behind my back) in advance.

But I’m just going to go ahead and say it.

I hate homecoming. And all it stands for.

I abhorred it in high school, and I continue to revile it five years into college.

I know, I know. I’ve taken a musty piss all over some sacrosanct dictum. I might as well use my pending diploma for a diaper, for all I care about this school, right?

Not so fast. This ain’t about being elitist and/or anti-jock. Buddha knows how much I dig the field sports, especially soccer.

In fact, in some parallel universe, I’m old-schooling AC Milan on banana kicks, Maradona-style – all while I’m third man running.

And it’s not about hating on American football either.

Sure, I could call the sport an extension of a culture of violence if I wanted to – ‘cuz it is, actually – but I won’t go there, as that debate is better reserved for a discussion about media and ethics.

What really make me sad about homecoming are the sheer masses of young people allied behind an empty cause.

I see the throngs of bored Gophers sweat shirts and I wonder, where are these bodies on Election Day? Earth Day? May Day? Labor Day?

Imagine the type of collective action that could occur if we filled stadiums with the same bright, vibrant students – but with the flames of civic engagement and social activism burning in their souls, instead of the pancreatic perils of warm Pabst burning through their lower intestines.

Sigh. If only our desire to change the world for the better equaled our desire to customarily “beat the other team” into submission.

But it’s not even really about the savage futility of the American “Survivor” endgame.

It’s about picking up my school paper on a bleak Monday morning and seeing half of the front page devoted to a picture of six students sucking on an octopus of beer tubes in a parking lot on Washington Avenue.

I was struck by the stark, clinical sickness of the photograph. Filthy pathos washed over me, and I thought I was maybe going to be sick.

The picture reminded me of images from a BBC documentary about malnourished Ethiopian children, except in that case the tubes were nutritive IVs intended for rescue, not for listlessly bourgeois afternoon intoxication.

What’s the point of this crap? I know people need their rituals, but do they have to be so mind-thuddingly dull and disgusting?

I don’t mean to be the Grinch Who Stole Goldy, but I’m tired of celebrating things that don’t even exist – at best, tangentially, and, at worst, only to make us dumber and number.

So, please, if you insist on putting your sperm and eggs into the thrashing of Indiana Nov. 4, at least try to vote Nov. 7.

Neither activity will likely do much to change things – hell, both can be enjoyed drunk – but with one of them, it’s possible you’ll help the rest of us win that week.

Adri Mehra welcomes comments at [email protected]