On the weekend of Harvard-Yale, a peculiar thing happened to me. It wasn’t the normal stimulus one would associate with such freewheeling fun, but rather a fierce electric sensation that seized me as I sat at my friend’s computer. Now, I normally derive great pleasure from the computer mouse, not just as symbol of the human oppression of the electronic, but for the simple, physical pleasure of moving the rodent around and watching its petite screen counterpart hop, skip and jump. But on this night our friendly mouse sent jolts up my arm, spun up my brain with new threads of learning, and set it jitterbugging around the room. All previous knowledge was decimated, my entire moral system overturned. No longer was there room for good and evil, right or wrong; there was, and could only be, safeness and unsafeness.
The Medford Unsafeness Web site changed my life. Its crew of tough-nosed but lovable folk revealed the mysteries of unsafeness to me in intimate journal entries: unsafeness as world revolution, a movement to question the bounds of what we consider acceptable, or “safe,” behavior; unsafeness as Messianic form, humanly embodied by Kerri Strug; and unsafeness as cultural institution, of course referring to the beloved eBay. The Web site also taught me valuable strategies to employ as an “Unsafeness Vendor,” and which I shall now implement in hopes of revolutionizing your petite, unknowing souls.
Unsafeness. Say it one time with me: unsafeness. You may think this is just some sort of b.s. post-Nietzsche rip-off term. But it’s not. Unsafeness is not just word; it is feeling, emotion, ideology. It has multiple linguistic forms: You already know “Unsafeness,” the noun. Meet “Unsafe,” the adjective: “Judith Colton is a pretty babin’ professor, but she’s pretty unsafe.” And “Unsafe,” the imperative: “Unsafe me/you/him/her/it!” Adverbial form: “How did he walk? Why unsafely, of course!” So you see, unsafeness is a coat of many colors, all of them pretty and new.
Still not sold? Feast yourself upon these facts about unsafeness: it can be hyperbolized, and manipulized, and hyperexistentialized! Street slang it with me:
Safe version: “I went to the super market the other day and saw this old lady. She made me uncomfortable.”
Unsafe version: “I went to the supermarket the other day and saw this creepazoid old lady who was totally trying to stuff her dead husband in the poultry freezer. It was mondo gross.”
I think you’re beginning to get it. You and unsafeness are hitting it off splendidly. Pretty soon you’ll be lying in bed, nuzzling your cheek against this brittle page. Brittle in material, my dear, but not in heart, for unsafeness has nothing but love to give you.
Unsafeness is the sound of corn being shucked in the field. No, not so much the corn, but the sound of shuck itself. Shuck the word. It must be onomatopoeia for something, and whatever that something is must be pretty unsafe.
Shuck. Onomatopoeia. Unsafeness is free association and it is the Associative Free Press. It is the air tingling all around you, whispering the name of the new prophet: Kerri Strug.
But what is it about America’s favorite little gymnast that makes her the next Messiah? Is it the charming elfin smile? The hopscotching antics? The perky as hell voice? Medford Unsafeness Web Site Coordinator J. T. Oldak thinks it’s something else:
“It’s the vibe. Kerri is pure vibe, and that vibe is the pulse of America. She’s got all of the wonder and worry and pain of the American struggle tucked neatly underneath her gymnast’s outfit. Struggle. Strug. You see what I mean? Definitely not a coincidence.”
If Kerri Strug is the New Messiah, preaching the doctrines of unsafeness to the masses, then eBay is her temple. You see, unsafeness is all about the moneylenders and very little about Jesus. Jesus cleaning out the temple was a historical blow to unsafeness, one from which it almost never recovered. So thank some divinity that the Temple is teeming once more, its bread overflowing with butter and jam. Praise the Temple, praise eBay!
Convert. Convert to eBay now! The more quickly you do so, the easier it will be. You must understand: eBay is not just some passive Internet organization, allowing you to violate it with all of your self-indulgent clicking. It is an assassin, trained to hunt you down and kill off the safeness within your soul. For Medford Unsafeness Web Site Manager Sarah Bovaird, alcohol was the weapon of choice for this Internet killer:
“One night when I was drunk as a skunk, I came home and what followed, I can only recount in a blur: a white light appeared, my hands moved as if controlled, a name flashed before my eyes, some bells sounded, and then everything went dark.”
Bovaird woke up to next morning to discover that she had placed bids on four mopeds on eBay. To increase her chances, the drunken girl not only bid against herself multiple times, but sent fanatical messages to the moped owners begging them to give her their ‘peds. Fortunately, our friend was eventually outbid, but only after a 24-hour period of immense soul-searching and self-reevaluation. Alcohol, eBay, the moped: a cataclysmic synthesis, flashing bright in the sky and destroying whatever traces of safeness may have once existed in Ms. Bovaird’s body.
There’s a similar light emerging on the hill of the Yale Campus. It is descending down Hillhouse, coming to claim your soul. That’s right: Unsafeness at Yale. I, Professor T.S. Coburn, am bearing this torch on high. I hereby found the Unsafe Studies Department at Yale! Working with my Medford Unsafeness Web Site compatriots, I will offer a variety of valuable courses for you eager students including, but not limited to: “I Can’t Chalk (Chalking for Beginners)”; “Jigging as Cultural Movement”; “eBay Safeness,” taught via Web-feed by Ms. Bovaird herself; and, of course, “Kerri Strug as a Modern Icon” (K.S.A.A.M.I.), taught by yours truly. Readings for this last course will include Krueger’s “A Philosophical Treatise on the Struggian Dismount” and “Landing on My Feet: A Diary of Dreams” by Ms. Strug herself. Enrollment is limited, experience is priceless. Courses will begin in the spring semester, so start penciling in time to welcome the unsafe learning of tomorrow today!
T.S. Coburn is a legend in his own time.