Letter from The Editor of The Great Abyss

Freaks and Geeks,Congratulations! You’v e been rejectedby your contemporaries somany times in your life already thatonce you reach college, you’ll stillbe some kind of isolated outcast! Assuch, you and your friends are offi-cially uninvited to an innumerableamount of social opportunities forthe rest of your lonely lives.Not that this is necessarily a badthing. Often, being an outsider givesone the best vantage point fromwhich to see the madness- especiallywhen one is somewhere theydon’t belong, or just don’t fit into.Sometimes called “wallflowers,”they’re the photographers in the riot,the eye of the hurricane, the guy withthe rainbow wig and the “John 3:16″sign at Yankees games.Maybe not him. I think he’s servingout a stalking sentence in some federalpen. But they don’t matter, becauseNomad Of Lower Campus, youaren’t them. You are The Uninvited.And just because you weren’t told(or it wasn’t implied) that you couldcome to the get-together, it doesn’tmean (A) you can’t go, (B) you can’tget in or (C) you can’t have a bettertime than anyone else there.This past Thursday night, insteadof making a beeline down 400 Southfor a long Long Island at Cabana aftera long day at work, The Great Abyssinstead chose to take me on the pathless traveled. Sober and curious (orcuriously sober), I found myself nearthe carnival-looking-ruckus nearthe LDS Institute of Religion. Supposedly,the members were dividingthemselves into chapters or frats orwhatever and the event actually hadsome sort of purpose to it. I have noaffiliation with this group of people,socially, financially or in semantics.I don’t do carnivals. I hate Yellowcard.But here in The Great Abyss, theterm “crashing the party” is an endearingand sentimental one. Andas my friend Calendar and I walkedonto The Field Of Wholesome Fun,”Ocean Avenue” blasting in my ears,I couldn’t help but consider thatmaybe I wasn’t welcome. That maybeI needed a drink. And no, I didn’tride the donkey, bob for live goldfish,risk my life in the most angry gameof dodgeball in Utah’s storied history,jump on the trampoline or takepart in one of the more surreal “datinggame” setups I’ve ever seen. Ididn’t participate in anything.What I did do, though, was have anincredible time, the details of whichcould surely harm one very reputableAbyss. Even more incredible is that itwasn’t our fun time to be had. Andeven better? We made it one…withoutbreaking too many laws. Luckily, webusted out of there before Calendarcould get caught smuggling goldfishoff the field in his pants.”The main idea behind the outsidertheme which has run throughouthistory is that the outsider is oftenvisionary,” proclaims J. Dennis Willigan,an associate professor of sociologyhere at the U, who sees howbeing The Uninvited isn’t (always)such a bad thing. “But,” notes Willigan,”the outsider can also be anextreme deviant. Somebody like TedBundy (the serial killer) was an outsider.Somebody like Gallileo was anoutsider. So there are many differentkinds of outsiders. But becoming anoutsider, trying to get an outsiderexperience can be a really valuablelearning experience. That (learningexperience) gives you a perspectiveof the culture around you that enablesyou to be not a mindless robot,or somebody that’s living within theculture according to the way the culturewants you to live instead of livingin how you want to live in a waythat’s true to yourself.”Hate sports? Go to a football gameand cheer for yourself. Feel rejectedby local scenesters? Take over thepatio with your friends on a Fridaynight at the Salt Lake Coffee Breakand pretend you’re at a bar. Grudgeagainst greeks? Sneak your way intoas many of their parties as you possiblycan. Can’t stand poetry? Go toany one of the many poetry slamsacross the city on any random night,and call them all out. And make sureto get this all on tape.Even if your Uninvited presence/mischief is only felt by yourselfand those cast away with you, thegratification you get from going outshouldn’t be a standard of anyonebut your own. And you shouldn’t letanyone stop you, or in our case, inviteyou, from having a good time.Perhaps Hunter S. Thompson saidit best: “When the going gets weird,the weird turn pro.” Amen, brother.Here’s to crashing parties and [email protected]