Thursday, April 29, 1999
Houston, Texas
Volume 64, Issue 141

Chang on Hooky

Staff Editorial

Letters to the Editor

Editorial Cartoon


About the Cougar

'I'd like to be under the sea ...'

Brandon Moeller

Two a.m., 90 miles an hour and we were looking for the beaches of Galveston to drown ourselves. No, this is not a suicide column.

We didn't pack our swimming trunks. We should have brought a blanket. When we arrived, we left our world on the sand.

The water was cold. The air was brisk and chilling to our nerves. Our nerves were shot anyhow -- I think it's because of society being so mundane.

We soon became numb and proceeded deeper into the heart of the ocean in our clothes. I couldn't stop laughing.

We couldn't resist the undertow's beautiful rhetoric. We were soaked, hysterical -- we were possibly the happiest people awake at such an early hour.

The whole world is afraid of us! It fears a new, powerful uprising of youth! It thinks we all plan to copy two broken, shattered boys' twisted plans of revenge.

Members of society are locking their doors at night, just in case the boy next door decides to build pipe bombs, acquire semi-automatic weapons and go on a mad, counter-productive rampage.

As the ocean embraced me, I prayed for Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, among others. Forgiveness is what these two murderers lacked. Forgiveness is what their taunting peers lacked, prior to the rampage that took some of their lives.

I fight the oncoming wave trying to overwhelm me. The ocean isn't forgiving. The wave overcomes me, and I lose myself in its force. I fall. The ocean swallows my glasses, my shirt, and I laugh at its relentless fury. I laugh at society's new-found fear of youth. I laugh as I remember that it is nothing new.

It has always been afraid. Is there any other explanation for curfews and other insane laws aimed at oppressing the beauty and the beast of American youth under the age of 18?

I then knew we had accomplished our goal in the ocean that night. We lost ourselves. If only for two hours, we were able to drown ourselves.

This is a suicide column. Kurt Cobain, "Artist of the Decade," Rolling Stone magazine. My only complaint about such a title is that he annihilated himself. Society loves this.

Society puts pictures on covers of magazines years after their death. Art (Rolling Stone), mirrors life, or more accurately, society. There wouldn't be a market for ultraviolence if society wasn't into it. Society refuses to come to terms with what it has become.

I can't get the R.E.M. song "New Test Leper" out of my mind. Lead singer Michael Stipe sings, "Judge not lest ye be judged/ What a beautiful refrain/ The studio audience disagrees/ Have his lambs all gone astray?"

You can't walk down the street in the middle of the day and not be judged by somebody. I overhear everything. I often don't react at all. Why, it wouldn't be proper to judge someone who is judging someone.

"She's fat -- I bet she has no friends."

"He walks funny -- he's gotta be gay."

"He's a gangster, mommy, just look at those baggy jeans ...."

Life is dumb. When I made this remark to my friend, he thought I was suicidal. I'm not mad that he judged me. After all, it's human nature, right? And he had good intentions.

But life is dumb. How many people work hard only to become something they hate. It's up to us to change that. I rationed this out when I was in the ocean.

It was easy to lose myself out there. It's a shame that so many young people try to find such a feeling with drugs. I am not judging those who do. To each his own.

I pray for all of the people I know -- and don't know -- who are letting their lives become controlled by a substance. But I can't go so far as to say they're evil. I know that most of them are not.

Besides, it's not up to me to judge another person. Those who think they can are only fooling themselves.

I laughed again. I was thinking about all of this when I was trying to forget it all. The ocean helped me evaluate where I am and how I got here.

If I was where I wanted to be, there wouldn't be any reason to better myself and continue living. That's what life is -- a struggle against what's wrong.

Hopefully, I, and all of us, will get there by the end of our journey.

With open arms, I scoffed at the moon. Never before had I been more sure that there was a God -- and He loved me!

Moeller, a freshman communication major who would rather lounge between the waves than write about Kosovo,
can be reached at brandonmoeller@hotmail.com.

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