The night, crisp with a cool breeze, allowed for a nice walk back to my room after a brief perusal of the den of iniquity that is the Fraternity Quad. I lagged slightly after departing from my friends and unluckily ended up 10 paces behind, and in step with three Neanderthals.
I originally wrote the word in the previous sentence as ‘neanderthal,” but Microsoft Word begged to differ over the capitalization perhaps because the computer senses, as I type, that a capital ‘N” is necessary to accentuate how truly crude these guys were.
Who exactly they were, I don’t know. Maybe they’ll go on to save a litter of kittens from a house fire. But what at least one seemed intent on was getting a little action.
‘I got six phone numbers tonight,” he declared. ‘Probably three will call me back, and I’ll probably get to have sex with at least one of them.”
Joe 12-pack, ladies and gentleman.
I don’t hesitate to judge him, and I do hope he (or all of them) gets at least one sexually transmitted infection. This group of semen machines deserves no less. But certainly they can’t be entirely blamed for their genetic instincts? Testosterone drives the man and guarantees his survival. The blame would be much better directed, instead, at the girls.
It was the girls, after all, who dressed the part heading out to the quad in mini-skirts, three sheets to the wind and one sheet from the walk of shame. These girls bought the gun, cleaned it and loaded it the guy just pulled the trigger. Think of the state of our economy we can easily blame the banks, but they are merely fulfilling their respective instincts survival. In the end, the average subprime-mortgage applicant should have known better than to put him or herself in a poor situation.
These are bitter truths, but ones that the past couple of weeks would lead the average news-follower to believe as being true.
But it’s not. It’s not true. It’s not the borrower’s fault. It’s not the party-going girl’s fault, not one modicum because it takes two to tango, and someone has to lead. Without that leader, there is no dance. That leader, in either scenario, is the problem.
People have to live their lives. Many of those hit by the economic crash weren’t just ‘drunk on credit,” but thought they had an earnest chance of achieving a goal most people work toward their entire lives a home to call their own. I could in no good conscience blame someone for attempting to fulfill the American dream, no more than I could fault a girl for wanting to have a fun night with her friends. And if she gets taken advantage of, it’s because some dishonorable ass left his decency at the bar.
If we don’t accept this line of thinking, then we must blame the jogger who gets assaulted on their route or the victim of identity theft for having a credit card. The world has problems not because of its poor idealists, but because of its power-mongers and manipulators. People need to be unafraid of living their lives. It doesn’t matter who bought the gun it matters who shot it.
Brenneman is a member of the class of 2009.