Do you March?
By Isaiah Bennett
Are you fucking kidding me? I March… so hard.
You know what March means, don’t you? Shit might as well be synonymous with spring break! Oh baby, I’m talking body shots, beaches, da boys, and blackouts. I can’t go into details because I certainly can’t remember them, am I right? Of course the experiences may now seem fuzzy, but the month and all nonetheless transformative.
There are of course naysayers, some might call my stance vapid, but I prefer ‘liberated.’ You good times antagonists, anti-party elitists, NPR listening asshole fun-sponges, you don’t know what it means to cut loose, to embrace your animalistic desires. March, as I see it, is something both offensive to your sensibilities and beyond your domesticated, book-of-the-month club capacities for understanding. March, and all it contains, is spiritual. The month presents an opportunity for mystical and transforming experiences. The beaches of Mexico, Florida, and the like serve as a locus of contact between man and the sublime, much like those deserts of the Middle East served the prophets of Abrahamic antiquity.
Illustration by Jennifer Bi
Anyone who would have you believe that April and its showers, May and its flowers, or any other piddly little month could be better than one in which it’s socially acceptable to drink a margarita the size of a small dog house, is a sad fool. In their quasi-intellectual, self obsessed temperance these saps lose out two things: a piece of that which makes them most human, and the ability to take themselves beyond their body, the ability to transcend common understanding in an addled state of glorious stupor. They trade these indescribably valuable bits of themselves for a misplaced sense of superiority, a belief that their pompous apprehension makes them somehow better.
Who cares if I’ve depleted all my serotonin for the next three years? Who cares if some unknown horror has been documented on the internet for my future employers to discover? Who cares if I can’t remember every moment of my getting ‘stupid lit’ for 186 continuous hours? I know who I am. I know what I did. I can feel it in me, as a changed man. Not to mention, we’ll always have the Instagrams.
But uh, have you ever actually seen what goes on down there?… I mean, where do all these greasy psychopaths come from? Wielding beer bongs, platinum debit cards, and hundreds of juul pods, they descend upon equatorial coastlines like a biblical pestilence. Hiding behind each of those oversized sunglasses, beneath each dad hat, each tropically themed 2-piece swimsuit, lies a deeply malevolent spirit: fueled by hysteria and the death-screams of liver cells.
I saw a girl climb on stage, pausing her erratic and crazed dancing only so that the director of ceremonies could shave her head for free drinks. Hundreds looked on with glee, smiling, screaming, and dancing under a thousand-degree sun. Over the beastial cries, only the sound of distorted electronic music could be heard. Half expecting the sacrifice of hair to turn into one of blood, I feared for my life. I feared that if I didn’t dance, the shears wielding emcee would turn on me. That my lifeless body would be trampled into the sand underfoot, pounded deep into the mash of sunscreen, sweat, and beer.
What the fuck is wrong with these people? Someone help me. I just want to go home.
By Nikhil Dominic
No, I don’t march (or protest, or counter-protest, or etc.). I used to back in freshman year, of course, because back then it was still Obama’s America: Things could get pretty grimy, but it wasn’t shit compared to the cockeyed surrealist fantasy we’ve trapped ourselves in now. In late 2016, our nation collectively lurched through the Bermuda Triangle (Crossed through the Looking-Glass? Entered the Upside-Down? So many fictional refractions to choose from!) and now everything is the shadow of some nth-dimensionally reflected hyperprism of a semi-plausible little truthlet. Did that make any sense? No, and it hardly matters, right? I’ve taken enough classes since my last Low Steps poster party to start authoritatively misquoting Baudrillard, so trust me that this is all very profound.
And further trust me when I say that nobody feels our great unmooring from Truth and Justice and That Was What Democracy Looked Like than me. My friends, I am positively overcome with malaise and ennui at the state of this country today. Only French etymologies can express my disdain, and perhaps French culture too, not the part where they storm the Bastille but the part where they sit around sipping burnt coffee and being sad because actually doing things is for neoliberals and Modernists. It’s heavy stuff.
Illustration by Jennifer Bi
The point is that it isn’t apathy or laziness that keeps me from marching, as much as it all might look the same from the outside. I am simply so overwhelmed by the daily iniquities of this terrible nation of ours that I need to spend more time taking care of moi. Sure, we all know people who use “radical self-care” as an excuse to stay in bed and watch Netflix; the difference here is that I would never sully such a noble excuse for anything so frivolous. I never flake on my lunch dates! What I do flake on is political activism, and that’s only because I feel the slings and arrows of the Drumpf regime so, so deeply. Half the time they aren’t even going after any group that I belong to, but it still hurts, you know? I have such universal sympathy for my fellow persons that I simply can’t keep looking at what they’re doing to them. So instead I disconnect by staying home and scrolling through Facebook, and get all my political urges out safely through armchair philosophizing. It’s much less stressful when the stakes are purely theoretical.
And if you have to call it disillusionment, at least note that it’s the romantic, world-weary kind. And if you want to call it bullshit? Then I call fake news on your call of fake news, my guy! Remember that words don’t matter and marches don’t matter and we’re probably not even talking about the same thing to begin with anyway. What does this prompt even mean? Do you march? I swear the lack of definition is going to derail the whole debate before we even get started—although I suppose short-circuiting this argument would save me a dose of guilt from the Affirmative for not vainly raging out there in the cold. Actually, wait: if that’s what I stand to gain from post-truth America, then sign me the fuck up.