Rivalries Are Fun

by Andrew Dahl | 10/28/04 5:00am

Anyone who had a childhood knows that rivalries are fun. Whether it's a rivalry with that fat kid down the street that really isn't a rivalry at all because you can easily outrun him and pelt him with rocks, or whether it's a "rivalry" with that girl in first grade who you really want to kiss, rivalries are exciting and healthy.

That is why it's really disheartening to see such a ripe opportunity for rivalry (an anti-Dartmouth article by Kwame Spearman in the Columbia student paper) get so bungled by us here at Dartmouth. Maybe we were just caught a little off-guard. Or, maybe some of us didn't pick up on the fact that none of Kwame's attacks were serious.

Though barbs like, " I don't think the school has the Internet yet (they only received electricity last year)" and "I guarantee victory over Dartmouth in every sport" may seem like well-reasoned arguments, they really might just be attempts to exaggerate a bit and create a hilariously stereotypical rivalry between our two schools.

Personally, I think a rivalry would be great. Our "rivalries" with places like Harvard and Princeton have never extended beyond, "I don't like Harvard," or "Harvard sucks, they really suck." Energy and creativity have been missing from our so-called rivalries for far too long. And though Spearman's article isn't the most original assault that could have come down the pipeline, it is in the right direction: a relatively light-hearted, ridiculous critique of Dartmouth's stereotypes.

Now, we could have responded in form and railed on Columbia in a similar manner. But instead, we decided to get angry and hurl back such intelligent and condemning attacks as: "Black people will shoot you in Harlem. Black people will not shoot you in Hanover." Therefore, Dartmouth is better than Columbia. Now, besides making us look like idiots, this argument does paint us as slightly racist, which, besides being beneath us, shouldn't really factor into a school rivalry.

Columbia may be set in a more ethnically diverse area than Dartmouth, but that's a weird and slightly nasty topic to latch onto in a rivalry. I know that, in truth, we couldn't think of much that stands out about Columbia, so we focused on its urban location, which is understandable. I'll take Dartmouth's mountains, valleys and changing leaves over Columbia's skyscrapers and subways any day. But, if I've learned one thing from the current political climate, it's that when you're in the thick of a rivalry, it's much more interesting to just make sh*t up. I've got some friends who would totally be down with forming a "Swift Boat Veterans for the Truth that Columbia Students Are Overwhelmingly Inbred." And, you know, I read a statistic somewhere that 97 percent of Columbia students own Hilary Duff's latest album. Check it out at www.factcheck.tv.uk.com.

Also, I don't know if you guys have been on the "Internet" recently, but I could swear I saw a low-quality video of Columbia peeing on a 13-year-old girl. It was grainy and fuzzy though, so don't quote me on that. But that one doesn't even compare to the night-vision video of Columbia making sweet love to movie producer Rick Salomon. Columbia's cell-phone goes off halfway through the movie -- it's hilarious! And, come on, we're creative here at Dartmouth. Well, most of us are headed to Wall Street but, you know, the rest of us are pretty creative. Why are we beholden to attacks that "make sense." I heard that one of Columbia's required classes is, "Boodong Fart Box 101." Seriously, I heard that.

Spearman already made us look like idiots to all the Columbia students who don't know that it doesn't look like "The Shining" up here. So, let's not dig ourselves a deeper hole by retorting with half-baked, unintelligent, vaguely racist remarks. Let's rise above them and really own this rivalry thing. It may be a while before another one comes down the line.

But, you don't have to take it from me, folks, I haven't been in too many rivalries. I keep trying to find nemeses, but I just end up being lazy about the whole thing and that's not fair to me or my sworn enemy. But, I think some of us up here have the energy. So, let's stick it to Columbia. But seriously, try and keep it clean. And hell, fudge a fact or two. Jesus did it.

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