Thursday, April 13, 2006

Bar-crawl solutions

by Brendan Fitzgibbons, DI columnist

UI students have unknowingly developed a social system that will permanently end all inequalities in race, class and gender.

What is this impenetrable social scheme where petty and arbitrary differences are brushed aside for a more just and level communal society? Communism? Socialism? Lycanthropism? Bar crawl t-sheets, my friends, bar crawl T-shirts.

When I was out and about Iowa City last weekend, I noticed an alarming trend in bar patrons and citizens: Every one was wearing a bar crawl T-shirt. Swarms of people decked in red, black, blue, turquoise, light green, white, etc., divided and conquered every bar and communal area in Iowa City. That's when it hit me. This is the answer to every significant social problem facing America today.

Did I say America? I meant the world.

Here's how it works. We (by we, I mean me and a couple of my friends) or the government, it doesn't matter, randomly assign and pass out bar crawl T-shirts to every student at the University of Iowa. Every student must wear their designated shirt everyday for a month. Then we rotate shirts through, keeping everyone excited and engaged in the system.

After a month, each student gets a newly designed bar crawl T-shirt. Now, we won't be able to guarantee that each student gets a new color, but we will try our damnedest to accommodate everyone.

I know many of you are thinking that this sounds a lot like school uniforms. Not true. School uniforms are boring and often checkered. Our bar crawl T-shirts will feature an array of designs, from beer popsicles to drunken Super Mario Brothers characters, to animate keg figures and pictures of discombobulated prostitutes. Our shirts can and will be everything - everything but checkered.

It might take several months for the idea to take hold, but here are the desired social implications of the bar crawl T-shirt system. We as a community will now only judge people based on their shirt design and color. For example, when you approach someone on the street and they're wearing a light blue bar crawl T-shirt with the slogan, "Billy's Shit Tanked Booze-A-Palooza," with a drunken Billy-goat character on the front of the shirt you'll know how to place said person within the social schema of Iowa City.

Race, gender, class, who cares? All you'll need to know are what color shirt, and what kind of design. Describing people will sound something like, "Yeah, he's black shirt, with 'Snowshoeing for a Drunken America,' little polar bear on the front." The person is the shirt.

From strictly an aesthetic perspective, it looks like this shirt system will create entirely new social divisions instead of eradicate them. Well yes, that's the entire point. Now we can slice and dice ourselves up in new creative and colorful ways, instead of the boring old way of stereotyping, "You're a black guy. I'm a white guy. We're different." Under the new system, we'll all be different in creative ways, and at least we won't have to worry about being colorblind.

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