Four years ago, I visited the John Hay Library at Brown University and got to see a selection from its rare books collection. Of the many incredible works I saw that day, the item that fascinated me most was a page from the original manuscript of George Orwell's classic, 1984. And of the original words Orwell wrote on the page (double-spaced), I think a grand total of seven were not crossed out in red ink. It was at that moment when I realized how brutal and torturous the writing process can be.
It's in this spirit that I thought I would share with you a ridiculous first draft of my column that ran in The Chronicle this morning. For the record, I am not trying to compare myself with Orwell or my angry rant to 1984. I just thought it would be interesting to share the beginning of a draft that could have been a column with you, my faithful readers (Hi, Dad!). So without further ado, a legitimately crazy excuse for an opinion piece (please don't try to have me committed):
Saturday night, I had the most fantastic dream. I dreamt that Duke students got together and created their own state as a haven for Blue Devil basketball fans, a tent city if you will.
We were all standing on a small patch of land in front of Cameron Indoor Stadium-our promised land-watching the sun set over the Gothic campus. Coach K was there, so, too, were John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. I mean, how could some of the greatest minds in political theory miss a moment like this?
"What shall we call this place?" I asked in bewilderment of my presence at the birth of a new nation.
Coack K said, "Let us call it Krzyzewskiville." And it was so.
After looking upon his creation, and seeing that it was good, Krzyzewski ascended to his top-floor office in Schwartz-Butters and left the people-and the team managers, of course-to do the rest of the political dirty work.
Just as Locke and Rousseau began to weigh in on how to best structure this basketball state of fandom, Jesse Longoria, Elliot Wolf, Paul Slattery and Jordan Giordano appeared with an army line monitors to lay down the law.
There were rules for blue tenting, white tenting, wristbands and walkup games. And although the law of land required much sacrifice from the people-time, health, GPA-they agreed upon this binding social contract. For as long the rules were justly executed and followed, there was no need for complaint and the reward was rich. Rousseau and Locke smiled, thinking perhaps their theoretical constructs were coming to life before their eyes. Their gifts to the Crazies were copies of their famous works, The Social Contract, or Principles of Political Right and the Second Treatise of Government.
And Rousseau shouted: "The Sovereign, having no force other than the legislative power, acts only by means of the laws!"
"Every law the people has not ratified in person is null and void - is, in fact, not a law!"
"The legislative power belongs to the people, and can belong to it alone!"
But the line monitors did not hear.
And Locke shouted: "There only is political society, where every one of the members hath quitted his natural power, resigned it up into the hands of the community in all cases that exclude him not from appealing for protection to the law established by it!
"The community comes to be the umpire, by settled standing rules, indifferent, and the same to all parties!"
But the line monitors did not hear.
And suddenly, my dream was a nightmare. Like an overwhelmed Wordpress website crashing under the weight of too many users at once, the little democratic basketball utopia that could crumbled.
The line monitors took the law into their own hands, disregarding the standing white tenting rules, which used to be indifferent and the same to all parties, and gave preference to some strange breed of human dependent on Tweets and Facebook.
"But these are not the rules!" I cried, even taking K's name in vain.
But the line monitors laughed, for the blue jackets had given them undue power. They burned the social contract (because let's face it, it's not as if Duke has beaten Carolina at home in their time here giving them legitimate reason to burn benches). And the people, particularly the town elders only months away from their expulsion from the utopia, were devastated...
...Well, I think you get the idea—and why I didn't, you know, run with this. But hopefully at one point, you flashed a bit of a smile or even let out a tiny laugh. If not, sorry. I'll try harder next week.
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