Boomeritis, College Trials, and the Infamous Starburst Incident

Mick Zano

It’s time to pick on the thought police, those destroyers of the 1st and 2nd Amendment rights, the fodder for Hannity’s America, the Pluralistic Pelosi Police (P3).  You know them better as those libs against liberty, hiding in their dubious Ivory Towers.  I really didn’t see much liberal indoctrination during my 6 ½ year undergraduate work stint.  I met the inside of a lot of bars and the inside of a lot of young—never mind.  Suffice to say, my study habits were poor and my drinking habits were poorer.   I drink therefore I cram, kind of sums it up nicely.  

Upon re-reading Ken Wilber’s Boomeritis, his attack on liberal justice in our universities really struck a chord with me.  He thinks the Baby Boomers suffer from a disturbing mixture of pluralism and narcissism. When you give these people power, justice suffers. I never put an event that happened to me in college into perspective until re-reading Wilber’s work.  These professing type people (PTPs) with their PhDs in pluralism, really did railroad me.  I know this happened 20 years ago but…you’ll have to forgive me, as the Crank is quick to point out, I’m a little slow. 

College introduced me to a variety of legal court proceedings as well as a variety of collegiate court proceedings.  Just good clean fun, really.  It always made me smile watching fellow Discordian Dave Atsals on the stand.  He always butchered the arresting officer’s name just to see their neck veins bulge. As the hearing continued, the butchery always reached some absurd crescendo. My favorite was Officer Shoemaker, to Shoemacher, to by the end of the ordeal, Officer Scheissmeister.   He really said Scheissmeister—and not one day of German class.  Makes me almost want to see him back in trouble again, for old doing-time’s sake.  Sure court rooms were fun, but there is a real problem with the thought police currently lurking in those Ivory Towers.  Over the course of my college career, I got to see cops lie on the stand, judges begrudgingly do the honorable thing, and school professors make a total mockery of justice.  My experiences in an actual court of law were pretty darn fair, but academia?  I was always guilty until proven guilty.  The best example came my second or third sophomore year, when I was Cohabitating with Someone Illegally (CSI: Pennsyltucky).

Once upon a semester, my friend Shagg and I were going to visit my illegal dwelling pad.  As we entered the main lobby of the dorm, we passed the desk with a big jar filled with Starbursts.  No sign, just a jar.  Shagg took one of these sugary delights and popped it into a nearby microwave.  As he hit the on-button, the woman behind the counter pointed to a nearby sign and explained how the candy was for a contest—a ‘guess how many were in the jar for charity’ kind of thing.  Shagg dutifully opened the microwave door and plopped the candy back into the jar.   The Starburst was in the microwave for approximately a second or two.  We then said some of our typical drunken witty banter (TDWB) and we headed on our merry way. Little did we know, my friend’s actions would get both of us banned from that dorm for life.  Seriously, for life!  If I go in there now, twenty-years later, alarms will go off and men in radioactive suits will shuffle me into a decontamination room.  When, really, shit like that wasn’t justified until my junior year. 

Shagg received a letter in the mail a few weeks after the “incident.”  He was asked to appear before the monkey collegiate court for his actions—actions unbecoming of a Shaggy person.  And, little did I know, I was also accused of the same crime, but, having no address at the time, I didn’t find this tidbit out until the trial.  You see, in true Thompson/Lazlo fashion, I was acting as Shagg’s attorney (I thought it would be fun).  It was decidedly less fun when they told me, during the trial, that I was facing disciplinary action as well for Shagg’s heinous crime against humanity—or, at least, crimes against small multi-colored squares of confectionary versions of humanity.  Starburst Green, it’s people!

Oh, shit.  I was going to have to actually defend us now!  My original plan involved reciting parts of Otter’s speech from Animal House and belching the preamble to the Constitution.  But now I was on trial too—guilt by dissociation.   Apparently not having a mailbox does not absolve someone from a given crime.  Well, for the record, it should.

The episode even made the college paper, which may have had more to do with the fact that Shagg was a contributor/editor of, said, school newspaper than any actual merit of the story’s news worthiness.  There was a build up to the big day, as Shagg actually walked through campus throwing out handfuls of Starbursts to the cheering masses like some sort of deranged Riff Raffy Santa Claus. 

So with much pomp and circumstance, Lazlo and Thompson entered the head administration building on D-day.  The “trial” began on the third floor in this ivoryest of Ivory Towers.   We did get to meet our accuser, who seemed very uncomfortable with having the burden of facing such dark and heinous burst abusers.  The young lady, or victim, started the proceedings by explaining in breathtaking detail the accounts from paragraph four.  Just as I explained them.  Nothing more to add, nothing to see here, a real non-story, much like an Alex Bone feature.  As far as crimes go, this one was about as benign as Shagg and I got, especially taking into consideration the BACs we were likely sporting at the time. 

I was then permitted, as the lawyer—and now shit, shit, shit, the co-accused—to cross-examine the witness.  I walked back and forth before the woman, arms clasped behind my back in true Groucho fashion.  I asked such compelling questions as, “How do you know the accused?  No, no, that accused, not me.”  I wasn’t even supposed to be here today.   “Were any Starbursts emotionally damaged by the events of October 12th?”

I did ask real questions too, such as, “When you explained that this candy was for charity, did Shagg immediately return the Starburst to the jar?” And, “Did we both follow your direction from then on?  Did we harass you in any way?  Wait, strike that last remark from the record.” (Shagg and I harassed about everyone back in college).   The only thing missing was a graph depicting the microwave’s impact on carcinogenic sweeteners.  Granted, we should have had that.

The woman completely corroborated our story.  We hadn’t, in fact, seen the sign, which was separate from the jar, and when we realized these items were not for public consumption, Shagg returned the single burst of starage immediately to the appropriate jarage.  The whole scene took a few seconds.  And I, the Starburst Kid to his Shagg Cassidy, never touched a thing!  Not the girl nor the goddamn candy!

Now during the “deliberation process” the prosecuting attorney/professor went over and talked to the student peers who comprised the jury.  This is never a good sign.  But we didn’t care at the time.  The state had no case.  We were going to walk out of there free men.   We were puffing on imaginary cigars and puffing out our chests; we were huffing and puffing and would blow their house down.  They had nothun’ on us, I say, nothun’…

When they read the verdict, our shit-eating grins remained on our faces for several seconds longer than they should have (in the same way that a cartoon character doesn’t fall from any great height until, said, cartoon character actually looks down).

Both of us were found guilty and banned from that dormitory for life—for life!  Shagg can probably tell you what happened next better than I, because I really lost it.  I was carrying on and shouting, and was channeling Blutarsky, or Bukowski, or certainly some obnoxious person of Polish persuasion (acronym joke omitted for space reasons).  And at the height of my legalese rant, I actually backhanded a huge stack of papers resting on a finely polished table in the middle of the room.  Truth be told, I had no idea of the scene that would unfold as dozens of these pages flew all over the room and drifted around Shagg and I as we stormed out of the chamber—all the while saying things like, “This is a sham of a travesty of justice!”   I really said that, or something darn similar.  It was quite a scene. 

How does this relate to Ken Wilber’s Boomeritis theory?  Wilber equates collegiate justice as mired in a kind of uber-liberal, thought police—a group that needs to identify a victim to have their green meme witch hunts.  At the end of the day, Shagg and I made someone feel uncomfortable.  We did this all the time, truth be told.  A young lady, who should have enjoyed the circus we created as the comedy for which it was intended (both in the court and in the dorm) instead played the victim.  As a result of our harmless antics, we were cast out like vagabonds (vagabonds that we wouldn’t become until post-college).  But the shadow side of the green meme always needs a victim and, if they don’t have one, it becomes necessary for them to create one. Ken Wilber sites a book by Kors and Silvergate The Shadow University: The Betrayal of Liberty on America’s Campuses as the definitive work on the topic,  I think this post is important for mankind.  And, more importantly, now you don’t have to read that long book.

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Mick Zano

Mick Zano

Mick Zano is the Head Comedy Writer and co-founder of The Daily Discord. He is the Captain of team Search Truth Quest and is currently part of the Witness Protection Program. He is being strongly advised to stop talking any further about this, right now, and would like to add that he is in no way affiliated with the Gambinonali crime family.