It was less then 10 years ago that I was a college aged guy. At 20, I don't think I understood what being 20 was all about, and I sure as hell didn't have an idea of what 30 would be like. I took for granted the ability to jump out of bed (at Noon) after just 5 hours of sleep and go out and play rough touch football with my buddies. I also had a brain in my head, and understood that there were repercussions for my actions. To that end, I never once got behind the wheel of a car after drinking. I also never tried to drink my age in shots or drank so much that my life was in jeopardy. Neither did any of my friends, which is not to say that there weren't stupid college kids then, because there were.
But, doesn't it seem like there are more of them now?
There are more Antonella Barba's out there now-a-days, and that's a fact. Part of the reason for that is the advent of MySpace, camera phones, and Girls Gone Wild crews at spring break. Call it facilitation of an urge that may lay dormant in certain types people. One of the other things that brings out exhibitionism in the 18 to 22 set is: spring. Boy are they sprung, the warmth hit campus today and the student body is busy showing off their bodies.
As I walked past the big fountain in the middle of campus today I over heard a group of frat boy types daring a girl to jump into the fountain. The guys all had their shirts off, and of course the girl was wearing a white tank top. I kept walking so I could be on time to meet with one of my old professors, so I can't tell you if she took the plunge or not. I'm guessing she did, though, and why not? Antonella's going to get a boatload of cash thanks to her dip in the fountain at the National WWII memorial. Paris Hilton made herself famous by getting boned on camera, and the net is filled with thousands of others that didn't think before they stripped.
I worry about this crop of college students, both male and female. They grew up with email addresses and most of them have had a MySpace or Facebook page since high school. In a year or two we will have a freshman class that watches more YouTube then TV. There is no editorial process to their media, which is both good and bad. They can more easily let their voice be heard, which is a democratization of media. However, that only means something, if they have anything worth saying. Plus, the chances are far better that they will be posting photos of themselves naked in a fountain, rather than their stance on the war.
I have nothing against nudity either on TV, in print media or on the Internet. In the end, I'm just a snob about my naked people, in that I'd like it if they could rub a few brain cells together as easily as they do their boobies. As far as I'm concerned: if you've got it, post it on MySpace, or CrazyCoeds.com or whatever. Just take some time to learn something in your classes while your at it, so I don't have to hear you say the movie 300 is an allegory for the Iraq war. "Like, you know, cause the Greeks are like us and stuff. And the Persian people are Muslims or something, so they're the terrorists... oh wow look! You can see the bottom of my ass in these shorts! That's so fetch!"
The PR advance for the Lynn Peril book College Girls (see the cover above) says:
"From her first appearance in the mid-19th century, the college girl has been a lightning rod for criticism, advice, and regulation not to mention some enduring pop-cultural images. Was she a geek who wears glasses? Or a sex kitten in a teddy? College became a place where women found self-esteem, yet films like Sex Kittens Go to College (1960) and rafts of naughty pictorials in men's magazines reflected a lingering distrust of the educated woman."
I distrust the education of both men and women these days. It doesn't seem to be sticking.