Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

ROSENBERGER: Taking Risks To Spice Up Our Lives

I was surprised by the clarity I felt after a 12-hour car ride and eight hours of sleep across four days. Lindsay and I were sitting in my common room studying — which means Lindsay was solving the health problems of the world while I, finding the poems of Spenser too overwhelming at that moment, was cruising Facebook. I had dumped so much product into my hair over the preceding four days of a business conference that my bangs literally dented as my bleary eyes got too close to the computer screen.

“Oh look! I found the much-hyped ice bucket challenge video!” I suddenly felt more alert.

“Um-hmm.” Lindsay noncommittally mumbled. “What?”

“The guy from the conference — he said he made the greatest one of these ever. Let’s see it!”

“Is this set to Miley Cyrus?” Lindsay said, perplexed.

“Yep,” I offered. “And those are gold go-go shorts. … On that note, I’m going to watch the rest of this a night you aren’t staying over.”

“Ew,” Lindsay said, jabbing me in the side.

I didn’t participate in the ice bucket challenge. The whole thing seemed like a somewhat noncommittal way for people to draw attention to themselves while feeling good about “activism.” Although criticizing mediocre efforts as “charity” may be mean-spirited, I had no intention of joining the herd.

An unstable fusion of sleep deprivation, gold shorts and a literary history lecture graced me with an insight. I now apprehended, as someone who appreciated the concept of fighting ALS, I was wrong to just accept how blase I felt about the entire enterprise of the ice bucket challenge. More importantly, it seems that there is a larger lesson for many of the activities of life that initially appear banal. Just as there is a magnificent way to complete the ice bucket challenge, there is an exceptional way to perform the daily duties of our lives in a way that both magnifies God and serves our own interests.

The idea that risky exceptionalism is wise is being made apparent in the current midterm elections. Joni Ernst set the political world on fire with an ad that courageously included both Harley Davidson Motorcycles and comments about castration.

Sure, beltway politicians might find it undignified to be filmed talking about pig balls, but Ernst used flashiness to stomp through a primary and create a lead for a Democrat-held seat. Ernst isn’t alone in taking some serious risks to stay exciting and ahead in the polls. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) still seems a favorite to win despite being indicted, having threatened a reporter and taking positions outside the party’s mainstream.

While it is perhaps unsurprising that New Yorkers are at peace with having a representative who walks a fine line between congressman and criminal, his showmanship and exciting persona are what keeps him viable and competitive.

This election season promises to be interesting, regardless of which candidates actually win. A female neurosurgeon is destroying the myth that Republicans stand against women while supporting gay marriage, possibly putting Oregon in play for Republicans for the first time in a decade. Some combination of Carl DeMaio and Richard Tisei will bring the first openly gay Republican representation to Congress. On the other side, Mary Landrieu may survive in ruby red Louisiana, helped by providing an assist for a struggling keg-stander at a Louisiana State University tailgate.

For a school that is notorious for its power-hungry student body, Georgetown’s risky exceptionalism is far from impressive. GUSA campaigns are usually very stiff affairs, and even our faculty members are reluctant to engage in eccentricity apart from their research. That “Dancing with the Hoyas” represents the apex of risk is a poor reflection of both our sense of fun and our bravery. Our presentations in the public sphere, no matter how large that sphere is, should be a game. We kill that game when we lose our sense of fun.

I hope to see more excitement in the last weeks of the election — maybe Scott Brown can borrow my friend’s shorts — but until then, I’d love to see students take more risks on our campus.

It’s time to make Georgetown fun.

TimRosenbergerTim Rosenberger is a junior in the College. The Church and Statesman appears every other Tuesday.

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