Tuesday, May 13, 2008
The Meester Rising (Stream of Conscious Articulated Through Warriors of Cult Film and Irish Hisrtory).
In the 1979 cult classic The Warriors Cyrus, the leader of the most powerful gang in New York City, the Gramercy Riffs, calls a midnight summit for all the area gangs, with all asked to send nine unarmed representatives for the conclave. Cyrus then stands in front of all of New York's most notorious gangs and advocates a truce, pointing out there are 100,000 of them and only 20,000 officers in the NYPD (five to one). Cyrus speaks with eloquence that would put Barack Obama to shame. On April 17th, 2008 around 4:35 pm. A man wearing a recycled high school referee's uniform stood in front of nearly 300 members of the Regis student body on top of a keg. In his 4 short years he has become some what of a cult figure on campus. On this day he did not decide to call the summit like Cyrus, instead he was thrust into his responsibility. Earlier in the day he tried to pass the responsibility on his numerous peers, yet no one would accept. At around 1:30 pm, he accepted the responsibility. He felt a sense of pride in calling all the gangs of Regis together in light of recent events. He might have been a reluctant leader in the vein of Louis XVI, but within moments he had a Peter Parkeresque realization, this was his gift this was his curse. Now he stood in front of a mob of peers, many of whom were strangers, and addressed them as one of their own. Much like Cyrus he advocated uniting. The Regis student body totaled nearly 1,400, the staff represented, at best, half that amount. He was stern, yet at the same time matter of fact. He looked around and saw the basketball team next to the rugby team. He saw the baseball boys, the "Baseball Furies", next to an all girl team similar to the "Lizzies." This wasn't a summit, however, this was a Keg Race. The Keg Race had become a Regis tradition back in 2005, and it was at risk of disintegrating 4 years later unless someone united the student body. That man was backed into what he had done, but didn't feel more comfortable in his position until he stood on a keg wearing that recycled ref jersey. When he announced the winner, he felt a backlash. Similar to the "Rogues" pulling a gun and shooting Cyrus, a group threw a beer at our protagonist. Unlike Cyrus, he did not die from his wounds. Instead, it pulled him back to earth. He might not have directly sought out his icon status, it had ultimately become a self fulfilling prophecy. Two weeks later he graduated from Regis, a week after that he realized it was all for not. Fortunately, it was all in good fun. He didn't loose his life, but the parallels seem obvious. What if Cyrus had lived to united the gangs of New York. Society tells us it would have been a short lived revolt, but for those few short moments it would have felt like a significant struggle, their own Easter Rising. In a way he was envious of Cyrus and Patrick Pearse, because they never knew their rebellions were suppressed. They didn't have to deal with the fallout and today they live on in folklore and spirit. Which poses a question that Salinger alludes to near the end of Catcher in the Rye, "The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of the mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one." Well I feel like I am slowly getting to the place where I want to live humbly. I no longer want to stand on kegs, makeshift stages, nor the shores of the grand canal. I will spare the 1st Corinthians bullshit, but I do feel a sadness in that. In a way, this is officially the end of my youth. I might have been the protagonist in this story, but I always saw myself as the antagonist in life. Today I don't.