Silence was golden during the fall break

By Ken Goze

There comes a time in every columnist’s tenure when the usual orthodox fire-and-brimstone preaching and (sometimes) insightful journalistic observation just won’t do. Somebody leaned on the fast-forward button around September, and the end is near.

You probably don’t want to be saddled with more tales of doom, corruption and the perversion of the American Dream, so it’s time to hop off of the soapbox and indulge in that time-honored stream-of-consciousness approach, the Random Thoughts Column.

All right, so it’s not original, but neither is that pirated computer program or Cliff’s Notes essay some of you are working on.

How was your Thanksgiving? Some of us spent a David Lynch scripted holiday in a poorly-lit Bensenville basement with a shrieking parrot, watching our brothers watch TV listlessly as two 80-year-old women argued whether it’s right for the bird to masturbate.

Then again, some of us have strange families.

I returned to DeKalb Saturday afternoon with the hope of getting something done—a noble, but futile gesture. IT’S BREAK, EVERYTHING’S CLOSED (including the rec center and the library)!

The apartment wasn’t a proper atmosphere to study. It was, however, well-suited to gorging on beer and BBQ Pringles.

Then there was the Silence—an indescribable quiet throughout the campus, quieter than summer, maybe even Christmas break. Not a soul anywhere, except the fieldhouse.

The late night drunken litanies in the alley, the domestic disputes outside my bedroom window, the impromptu drag races on Stadium Drive South, were all gone.

I didn’t miss any of it. It was peaceful, not eerie or forboding. A shopping mall with no suburbanites on a Sunday afternoon is forboding.

People are a headache. I will have arrived when I own a small ranch in the middle of nowhere, decked out in white trash splendor, a backyard shotgun/driving range, the nearest neighbor a 15-minute drive away.

For those of you staring down a deadline for a paper that you were supposed to be working on for weeks, here’s some advice: There is hope. With any writing ability and some luck, an impressive-looking paper can be cobbled together the night before it’s due.

Do what the Pentagon missile scientists do—decide what you want to discover and work backwards. Take bits and pieces from the books, and write big—heavy on description, light on analysis, like most textbook authors.

Skip the caffeine, it makes you jittery and distracted. Writers used to work for days at a time by using the real thing, but we’re not supposed to talk about that. This is the Just Say No decade. Mickey’s Big Mouth Malt Liquor, about one every hour, will do.

Anachronism(s) of the week—the Soviet Union, Cele Meyer and the DeKalb Interfaith Network.

Quote of the week—”Tsuki no sen geiko, tsuki no sen seiko.” “A thousand thrusts in martial arts practice and a thousand thrusts in making love are the ingredients for making an individual of character.”— Ryokichi Kotaro, Kenjutsu swordsman.