Last week, anti-Semitic accusations were thrown at the First Year Players’ “roll” event. Students were blindfolded and forced to sing “Springtime for Hitler” from the smash Broadway play “The Producers” which apparently offended some people. The satire of the piece was lost on an early Friday morning in Clemons.
Yik Yak protestors shared their disapproval upon seeing the situation unfold; but their objection brings along questions: why were they at the library at one in the morning? To study? Probably not. These Club Clemonners are just infringing on our right to free speech. Edward Snowden wannabes. These whistle blowers, probably from the Comm school, just wanted to see the arts suffer.
So let’s blame the theater. “The theater” is offensive and “the theater” can be taken out of context. “The theater” is most certainly the guilty party; because with “the theater” as a scapegoat, we cannot blame the FYP for having students sing out at the crack of stupid in the morning: “Don’t be stupid, be a smarty, come and join the Nazi party.”
It has become clear that nothing is sacred. Our right to force first years to sing upon the threat of getting kicked out of a group is officially void, since anyone can take a song out of context and be offended. The FYP is going to have to be much more careful. They can’t offend any demon barber cannibals, so there goes greasing up first years, blindfolding them and having them sing any songs from “Sweeney Todd”. Since the whole Nazi/German angle didn’t work well, they should probably steer clear of dressing up like nuns, kidnapping neighborhood children, and singing anything “Sound of Music” as well. Then there’s the French Revolution, you never know what feelings of resentment that might stir up, so buh-bye “Les Misérables.” On the upside, that means we’ll get to avoid the topic of prostitution as well, which is definitely a crying shame.
Apart from the blindfolded “Springtime” singing, other activities that the students had to go through as their “rite of passage” included being woken up and taken to Clemons in the middle of the night, drinking lots of milkshakes, petting kittens, getting a Nazi swastika branded on their ass, mandatory screenings of Triumph des Willens, and selling their soul to Hitler’s ghost.
As painful as a swastika branding is, it doesn’t match the pain of censorship. We should be able to sing what we want, when we want, dammit! Without music, the world is a place of terror and desolation. “Springtime for Hitler” gave people hope in a frightening world, hope that maybe the blindfolds would be removed once the third chorus was over, hope that these poor first years would be accepted into the FYP with open arms, and hope that the act of forcing first years to do dumb things would continue to go un-frowned upon.