Sunday, October 24, 2010

The hazey days of summer

First things first; I'm not pro-abuse, and given that people have died from hazing before means that I think it should be regulated fairly heavily, if allowed at all; but the recent news storm from the Delta Kappa Epsilon (DKE) fraternity house seems overblown and ridiculous. The video which was secretly obtained and given to the university of Alberta newspaper, The Gateway (which only reinforces my belief that it was someone connected to the paper itself. Given the ridiculous amount of attention it has received, who in their right mind sells it to the ho-hum local school paper?) allegedly shows students being kept in boxes, forced to eat vomit, and tormented in various ways.

CBC, the news-source with exclusive access to the footage, cautions people that the images on the video may be disturbing, and they're right. I can't see a darned thing, and that's disturbing. I'm pretty gullible, so when I hear a news story, my instinctive reaction is not usually skepticism,  but when I can judge for myself, well, I have no idea what people are getting their panties in a bunch over.

Parents, when they send their children off to post-secondary, often worry that their children will be corrupted or harmed while they have left the safety of the nest, and this fear is occasionally played upon by people who are bored of tormenting their Sims. But even I, with my incredible low tolerance for violence, find the video hum-drum.  A box is displayed which allegedly holds a pledge, a  kid sits on a couch with some tape on his shirt, a guy stands up and makes vague allusions to "paddling" someone, and there is some yelling. The announcer intones that there is booze everywhere, to which I can only reply, "have you ever been to a college party? Of course there's booze (mostly just beer is seen, and not even in a quantity to get most university students buzzed enough to fail an English test) and people are yelling because it's loud.  The final scene is so much cheese that I must ask Dear Reader to have faith that this is not a joke. The last scene is in a black room, only lit by candles, filled with people in black robes. A voice intones that when they eat whatever is in some nebulous cylinder, they will be members. It has been reported to be vomit, but the likelihood it actually is, as opposed to something gross looking, is pretty damn low (running the risk of giving new pledges some kind of blood-borne pathogen through tiny throat cuts and stomach fluids seems like a bad idea if you want to remain under the radar).

The filmmaker has conveniently decided not to come forward, out of fear of "retribution" and some "high level supporters" have been alluded to, but the whole thing stinks on ice. A sketchy video by an unknown person with unknown motives and some dog and pony show about how it's abuse and no one complains because they're scared  but people keep joining? Uh-huh. No more spy movies for you.

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