Thin Skin Epidemic Hits Corvallis

By Sidney Reilly

GradFailFreakoutWhy is it that we teach children such startlingly opposite notions than those we actually live by? In kindergartens all over the country, right this very instant, there are children being mean to other children. The victims are reminded to respond with words of kindness, understanding or none at all.

I’m almost positive that nobody is advising kids to respond with an extended multi-week hissy fit including public investigations, name calling and mob justice.

At this point, you’re surely aware that some clever pranksters from Eugene hired a plane to fly over OSU graduation with a banner saying “Go Ducks.” What you’re also probably aware of is that the plane’s owner, a former OSU grad himself, was pilloried on social media and even investigated by the FAA. Now, of course, after the outrage machine has properly run its course and is even starting to grate on some of the people peddling the outrage in its early days, people are finally starting to simmer down. The plane owner apologized profusely, prostrated himself before Benny the Beaver or whatever high authority grants absolution around here, and even donated the fare he collected for the stunt.

The Gazette-Times even called for a ceasefire from the Beaver faithful on this, but I think everyone is missing a valuable lesson. This is, as President Obama famously once declared, a “teachable moment.”

Get over yourselves.

The kids in that stadium getting diplomas have a life full of disappointments and surprises in store for them. By the time the job market has kicked them around for a few years, a graduation zinger will be the least of their worries.

Their graduation ceremony wasn’t ruined, no laws were broken, nobody was hurt and most importantly, it was funny. Face it people, they got us, and they got us good, and the only way to respond is with class and dignity… and perhaps retaliation.

But crying to the referee? Shrieking hysterically and trying to get the pilot in trouble? That’s just pathetic.

Ducks fans just stuck it to us, and if we’re honest with ourselves, they did it inoffensively and within the bounds of good horseplay. The commencement speaker, Anne Kiessling, responded correctly, with a shrug and a cry of “Go Beavs!”

If we want sweet get-back, as James Brown put it, then we should come up with an equally clever way to stick it to them next time. Getting the FAA involved, and attempting to internet-lynch some guy just making a living, is not the answer.

I applaud the GT for their plea for cooler heads to prevail here, but I disagree with their premise. The owner of the plane apologized for his “mistake” and his “spectacularly poor judgment,” and so we should allow him to move on.

That’s nonsense.

He didn’t do anything wrong. He doesn’t owe anyone anything, let alone an apology. And we should all “turn the page” on the incident because it’s the right thing to do and we’re adults, and quite frankly, because it just wasn’t a big deal.

Now on to the more important issue: crowd funding a giant beaver shaped hot air balloon to fly over every single Ducks football game next season…

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