Friday, November 16, 2007

Homophobes Sully UVA's "Good Old Song"

As a double alumni of the University of Virginia and as a member of a family with ten (10) family members who are either graduates or current students of the University, it saddens me greatly that small minded individuals like Alex Cortez are sullying “The Good Old Song” and over a century of University tradition based upon their intolerant Christianist mentality.

Historically, after a Cavalier touchdown, the marching band strikes up what, to an outsider, sounds like “Auld Lang Syne.” But, to its tune, students and alumni sing the “Good Old Song,” its lyrics written by Edward A. Craighill in 1895, its mention of all being “bright and gay” a throwback to when “gay” meant “happy,” the line a launching pad for what’s since become a controvesial tradition on the part of some of negating the word “gay” with gleeful (often drunken) shouts of “not gay!”
Typical of this mind set is this: “I’m just expressing my religiously informed political views that it’s wrong to act homosexual,” Alex Cortes, a first-year student and the writer of “Not gay and proud of it,” said in an interview Wednesday.

In my view, Cortez is an asshole who, I might add, ought to be a bit more conscious of issues of discrimination: Given his last name, there was a day and time when HE would have been very much the subject to discrimination at UVA in its waspier era. But then, Christo-fascists think they have a license to discriminate, but no one else has a similar right. Happily, there is a counter campaign against the Christianists:
At a November 3 home game between Virginia and Wake Forest University, students distributed stickers that said, simply, “Where all is bright and gay,” in addition to an open letter explaining that the “not gay” chant “lends community support to harassment, violence and bigotry,” and can make an already marginalized group feel unsafe and uncomfortable. “We ask that you not only not say ‘not gay’ but hold your peers to the same standard. If you hear it, remind them why it is not acceptable and use it as an opportunity to educate our community on how we need to be open and inclusive,” the letter said.
Interestingly enough, the pastor of the university's Catholic parish condemned the "not gay" proponents in a column in the student news paper: More on the issue can be found here: For anyone interested, here are the words of the Good Old Song:
That Good Old Song of Wahoowa,
We'll sing it o'er and o'er.
It cheers our heart and warms the blood
To hear them shout and roar.
We come from old Virginia,Where all is bright and gay.
Let's all join hands and give a yell For dear old UVa.
What though the tide of years may roll
And drift us far apart,
For Alma Mater still there'll be
A place in ev'ry heart.
In college days we'll sing her praise,
And so, when far away,
In memory we still shall be
At the dear old UVa.(chant)

When the stadium of 40,000+ lets loose with the yell, it is really something

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

All in all, after reading for some months the comments and topics you post, I come to the conclusion that a common thread is one of the ugliness of "Elitism", or the idea that for whatever reason, some feel superior to others. Strip aways all the labels and truly look at it. It almost invariably comes down to the fact that man's inhumanity to man is prevalent in every aspect. Mutual respect and understanding should be the goal, should it not? The question, then, is how do we effect this in a sea of counter attacks. Recent history is showing that pride movements are creating counter pride movements. Gay pride lends itself to "Not Gay" pride. Acceptance and tolerance, both for self and as community members should be the goal. We really need to bond together as a total community rather than the current idea of splintering ourselves out and apart from community.