When I saw the headline “DU books ‘hardcore midget wrestling’ group” on the front page of The Daily Northwestern, I was furious. Where was the news about that delightful squirrel they featured two months ago? That’s what the people want to know. But I read on, and apparently this is what happened:
Delta Upsilon had an open rush event in which the Half Pint Brawlers – a professional midget wrestling company – performed a variety of stunts, including, but not limited to: Simulating sex, stapling dollar bills to each other and running between people’s legs. Wait, never mind, that last one is the squirrels again. But the first two totally happened.
The Daily’s headline implies that DU is being investigated by the university for hazing, a fact never fully backed up in the original story, because the event may have produced “mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment, or ridicule for the purpose of affiliation with a group, team, club, or their organization.”
But the media’s quick takedown of DU made it apparent that what’s actually at stake here is our own sense of superiority. I’m astounded at NU’s ability to whack itself off: Tucked inside The Daily’s Forum section was the finger-wagging warning that “There’s no place for such vulgar events at Northwestern,” and the gratuitous reminder that “Students at this university are known for their intelligence.” And let’s not forget the face on that FOX anchorlady (as Ron Burgundy would coin her) when she expressed her shock that such things could occur at Northwestern – “a prestigious university.”
Sure, midget wrestling isn’t a caviar tasting. It isn’t sophisticated, and it certainly doesn’t advance anyone intellectually. But, honestly, who cares? The wrestling was legal (at least according to criminal law, if that counts for anything) and performed by paid, trained professionals. Maybe it wasn’t tasteful, but does that make it a scandal? It certainly doesn’t make it hazing. Why isn’t anyone stepping back and saying, “Midget wrestling? Hilarity does exist!”
If I could make a living wrestling midgets, do you think I’d be wasting my time writing for NBN? Hell no. I’d be clotheslining Shelly Shortstacks before you could say “human growth hormone.” It seems that the Half Pints like what they do and have a sense of humor about their occupation. To clarify, Northwesterners, a sense of humor is when you can accept and make light of a situation.
Sure, it doesn’t sound that PC to advocate midget wrestling, but it’s also not fair to associate DU with the tainting of the entire Greek community. I mean, what exactly are other frats doing? Holding fireside chats on Dostoevsky? Inviting Renée Fleming to sing in their basement?
Besides, the best thing about the Greek system isn’t what it does right (you know, the rituals and the songs and the homoerotic tension as you accidentally brush your brother’s knee at chapter so very late at night…). It’s the parties where you serve alcohol to minors. Not that that ever happens at a school this elite, of course.
But I digress. What we need on this campus is more debauchery – and less of a stick up our $49,379-a-year ass. We are not better than everyone, and we are not above everything. So relax. The midget wrestling, it’s been done, so why not try ‘Bring a Homeless Friend to Work Day’? Switch the new sorority pledges’ door decorations? The fake nails will fly.
Of course, you can always start small by challenging a vicious squirrel to a sidewalk brawl. See, and you thought The Daily never taught you anything.