Joe College And The Posse Principle

The modern world is rife with conveniences that make our lives easier, better and faster - and we, as a society, couldn't be happier. We're the culture that built the trans-continental railroad, cut a big ol' trench through Panama, and are about to stick an entire highway beneath our own fair city. Jingoism and bragging rights aside, we love technology for two reasons: first, we like to see tangible proof that we can, indeed conquer and destroy nature and second, because it's comforting to have things that beep and flash at us to let us know they're still working.

Of course, all technology has its problems. Who hasn't said, at least once, that they'd like to toss their personal computer into the Charles? Or complained about a laundry machine eating their money? Or shot a menacing glare at someone whose cell phone had one of those mind-bendingly annoying classical music rings? You know what I'm talking about. Yes, you do.

The anger that faulty technology creates builds and builds, mixing with the traditional workaday wrath we generate on a regular basis. This is the psychological equivalent of drinking beer before liquor, and, just like that unfortunate mix of otherwise pleasant liquid beverages, this nasty concoction just has to come out. Unless we're going for some good old-fashioned New England repression, we need to vent this built up anger in the form of rage.

Did your cell phone stop working? Throw it at someone. Upset about a grade you just got on a ten-page paper? Stand up in the middle of class and set fire to it. Angry because a security guard won't let your friends into your dorm to visit? Run out into the parking lot and flip over his car. The Revolution is here, and boy, is it cranky.

Of course, you may have some trouble picking up that car by yourself. If you're not built like the American women's bobsledding team or, if you're like me and you have trouble picking up a gallon of milk, then you're going to need some supporters behind you, my friend. But fear not, intrepid explorers of aggression - for having some "peeps" who "got your back," is not only utilitarian, but also has an important aesthetic value. I call this "The Posse Principle."

You may look pretty cool leaning up against the side of the wall in your backwards cap, Joe College, but do you have any idea how much cooler you'd look if you had five or ten people behind you, eyes shaded by sunglasses and arms folded in an intimidating fashion? The answer - hella cool. You could even probably get away with wearing cowboy hats. The possibilities are endless.

All sorts of famous people had posses, too. Teddy Roosevelt had his Rough Riders. Genghis Kahn had his rampaging Mongol hordes. Princess Diana had her mounted land mine removal attack squad. Maybe if you had a posse, you could get famous, too. All you have to do is gather up enough interested people for your posse and then sack a major city. Honestly, if Princess Di could do it, so can you.

And just think of how useful a posse would be. Sans posse, when you walk to class, you'd probably get stuck behind a couple of slow people. You can try to squeeze in between them, or maybe run onto the street for a bit to pass them, but if you had a posse, you wouldn't have to. The reason those people don't get out of your way is because they don't notice you. But trust me, if you're running down Commonwealth Avenue with a group of people wearing chaps and riding on broomstick horses, people are going to see you, and people are going to get out of your way.

Besides looking cool and helping to vent some psychological pressure, posses could also help to alleviate that problem of campus unity that somebody's always complaining about. Why, if several posses got together, just think of all the great work our united campus could do! We could turn over three - possibly four cars! If one of them were the Chancellor's, maybe he would join up with us and over turn the guest policy. Then we could all sit back together in the B.U. Pub and chuckle about the clever wordplay of it all.

Sometimes, to deal with modern anger, we need to use thickheaded solutions from the past, and posses are the best way to deal out that antiquated justice. When you get caught leading a band of ragtag misfits to claim the lower section of Canada, it's pretty hard to complain about it when everyone is yelling "54-40 or fight!"

Either that, or you could just claim it's part of an ambiguous war on terrorism. I understand you can pretty much get away with anything when you do that.