A solution to high-school locker-room nostalgia

JuicyCampus.com is a waste of time.

No, seriously.

As Spiderman so aptly teaches us, with great power comes great responsibility. And with Wikipedia at the click of a button so, too, comes the dark side of the web: anonymity.

On one hand, online anonymity allows for infinite free speech. On the other, it enables JuicyCampus.

I logged on to see for myself what all the fuss was about. And after waiting about two minutes for the site to load, I learned that some Yalies while away their evenings cursing rampantly, threatening to rape women and otherwise pretending to be the coolest sixth graders ever. (Between Dostoevsky and Thucydides, where do those DS students find the time?)

Apparently, some people are desperate for the sort of attention that comes from acting obnoxiously without the threat of consequences. There are many Internet personalities who have found fame by positing negative and derisive writings online — Maddox, of The Best Page in the Universe, for example, boasts a section of his Web site entirely devoted to printing hate mail he has received. But nothing productive comes from libel and threats, even if the harassment is only Internet hyperbole.

“A few individuals are spoiling the fun for all of us…” some JuicyCampers will whine. But it is not just one or two users; it is the Web site’s underlying culture. Just take one of its major advertisers: TshirtTank.com,

TshirtTanks says its products “may get you arrested.” These products? Tasteless references to sex, drug use or homosexuality.

Clearly, JuicyCampus targets a specific demographic: it well knows the caliber of human being that it attracts. And as my father once taught me, when you lay with pigs, you smell like … excrement.

Not a single drop of value can be squeezed out of JuicyCampus. If you desperately feel the need to say something vicious about another person behind his back, rant and rave to your suitemates. (What are they good for otherwise?) That, at least, is what I do. But I would never dream of posting on the Internet that I wanted to maim that annoying guy in section.

Even for those of you who use JuicyCampus for something other than nefarious purposes, consider what kind of public forum you are supporting. If you want to share gossip, you do not have to publish it on the Internet. If you want to rant about your professors, other outlets — the Yale evaluation system, RateMyProfessor.com — await. If you want to weigh in on a campus matter, write a letter to the editor.

Today, if I’m lucky, someone will honor my column with a mention on JuicyCampus. I can see it already. Posters will gather around, calling me “gay” for telling it like it is. If I did not want attention, however, I would not have become a columnist in the first place.

So bring it on.

But I won’t be reading.

It is time, after all, to stand up for decency. It is time to rid the campus of this filth.

Legislation is not the answer. Instead, as community of decent people, we should refuse to log on to or participate in JuicyCampus any longer. Did we not get enough of this garbage in the high-school locker rooms?

Plus, there are less hurtful ways for us to get our Internet jollies. You could, for example, log on to Facebook today and look up the profile of yours truly. Upon discovering that it is his birthday, you could even leave well wishes on his wall.

Now, that’s a productive use of time.

Brian C. Thompson is a senior in Branford College. His column runs on alternate Wednesdays.

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