A die-hard pessimist’s jaded view of our crazy Spring Weekend debauchery

I am the ever-pessimist. All two of my friends are given ample opportunity to flex their alliterative muscles; routinely dubbing me Debbie Downer and Negative Nancy while deliberately avoiding me every time it’s sunny out. I’d say I see things for what they are, which is generally crappy, and that I appreciate the finer things in life, like sarcasm, self-indulgent brooding, and Alice in Chains. Everyone assumes Scrooge is my idol, but I hate him, and while we are on the subject, I wouldn’t touch the Grinch with a 39 1/2 foot pole and wish Dennis Leary only grimmest of Edgar Allen Poe-ian deaths. Why? Because they aren’t role models, they are competition, and I certainly don’t want to work to retain my title as the world’s preeminent asshole defeatist dickhead douchebag because — and let this be our sad little secret — apathy is the key to keeping that hapless crown.

So it should come as little surprise when I say that Spring Weekend, and other raucous, highly anticipated event weekends like Pumpkin Fest, fester near the front of my extensive I-really-don’t-care-whether-or-not-they-are-burnt-emotionlessly-to-the-ground-and-never-rebuilt catalog of dislike and malcontent. But honestly, and with my identity as a wretched 21-year-old harbinger of parade day rain placed aside, I must say that my brewing disdain for Spring Weekend’s celebration of pure, unadulterated gratuity is not exclusively held. More and more, it seems, I have stumbled upon those like myself who, if they do not flee for the hills of home or high school friends’ quieter universities, are left bewildered, dazed, and dissatisfied as Spring Weekend lumbers off like a drunken tornado. Have these individuals cast aside their rainbows and positivity to come over to the dark side? No, and thankfully so because it’s getting a little crowded over here. What they are doing, however, is simply recognizing that these campus-wide coronations never live up to their epic expectations and simultaneously justify some of the worst human behavior this side of a “Lord of the Flies” made for TV mini-series featuring Charlie Sheen as a coked-out Ralph, Mel Gibson as Jack on an anti-Semitic bender, and Jesus himself, as poor old Piggy.

The reason these events never live up to expectations, of course, is simple: The expectations are way too damn high. Everyone heads out on Thursday night thinking that this is the one weekend where things have to go just right. They think that just this once, with the law of averages and every other formula of life considered, all is bound to go perfectly. But real life never quits. It’s on the clock 24/7, just looking to bust your balls anytime you stray too far from the gates of the reality’s totalitarian kingdom. Every bar has a half hour line: Great. It’s forty degrees, the wind is howling, and the keg is outside: Awesome. Your ex boyfriend/girlfriend still hates you and feels compelled to text you their varying degrees of disgust, invigorated, now, by said individual’s apparent intoxication: Oh Happy Days! (Copyright infringement? Someone call the Fonz, and while you’re at it get a therapist on the line).

More important than these rather juvenile realizations that, despite Spring Weekend, life still continues per the shittiest of status-quos, however, is the sort of behavior that these events seem to foster. Stepping into the D.C. on Friday evening was like sitting down in a haunted house to watch an episode of “Intervention.” Tortured screams, guttural roars, and the whine of what had to be a bone saw reverberated from every damn corner as students stumbled, red faced and glazed eyed, into sloppy embraces and not-so-subtlety swaying pizza lines. Upon exiting, most of these students left the D.C. very much as it was when they entered it: absolutely obliterated. Plates were stacked four deep on tables, food was pulverized into every grain of the carpet, and D.C. employees looked like they might start turning the hot grease on the students instead of their veggie burgers with cheese. It was an ultimately appalling scene and across the northeast mothers must have had their internal alarms ringing off the hook, feeling this behavior in their bones like an arthritic grandmother feels a coming rainstorm: “Uh oh,” they surely and collectively said “my kid is being an asshole… again.”

Beyond the D.C. destruction, though, were a variety of more serious incidents that I simply cannot make light of. As we all hopefully know by now an aggravated sexual assault took place in Carle Hall on Friday morning, when two men (this term is used so loosely here that it may well be entirely untied) sexually assaulted a staff worker. Did it have anything to do with Spring Weekend and the heightened intoxication levels that accompany it? Maybe, maybe not, but the correlation certainly lies in the back of all our minds. There have also been murmurings that some rather unsavory events took place on Sam Adams’ tour bus after the concert on Saturday, involving, of course, several students and their friends. Are these rumors true? Perhaps not, but the fact that they even exist says a lot about what events like Spring Weekend do to the psyches of Keene State College students.

And so although I began this piece lightly, making fun of and indicting myself as much as any other student referenced in the piece, I am choosing to end it here on a rather bleak note. Because all winking, posturing, and joke cracking aside, our behavior was fairly atrocious this weekend, as it was on Pumpkin Fest, and as it was last Spring Weekend. Is it fair to accost the entire student body? Well yes, actually, and hopefully this column has done exactly that, because if we want to continue having Spring Weekends (bah humbug) — if we still want the free t-shirts and big-name concerts — then we need to start showing, especially while in the midst of our celebration, that we deserve it.


Coleman Bentley can be contacted at


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  1. Tina


    Well said, Coleman. It’s about time somebody talked about this.

    • Very true! Makes a change to see soemone spell it out like that. 🙂

    • Eve

      I feel satisfied after raeding that one.

  2. Marcos

    Couldn’t have said it any better myself my ninja.

    • Now I’m like, well duh! Truly thaknufl for your help.

    • I thank you hmubly for sharing your wisdom JJWY

  3. Tom

    Thank you! I couldn’t agree more.

    • I can’t beelive I’ve been going for years without knowing that.

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