And when Moses went up the mountain Columbians became impatient, because they could have been studying instead of waiting 40 days for his return. So they created their own idol: the Reddened Bull. When we heard someone was writing an ethnography about Homecoming, we had to get our hands on it. Read on as Bwog’s anonymous ethnographers analyze your school spirit..
An Ethnography of the Vomiting Multitude
All of this, I repeat, seems to me curious, obscene, terrifying, and unfathomably mysterious.” – Pulitzer Prize-winning anthropologist and author James Agee, on the Columbia Homecoming experience
Seagulls hang in the air and circle the stadium, their winged bodies barely distinguishable from the ominous skies above. They can sense the specter of death beneath them. The crowd stands in the bleachers, painted blue and drunk off cheap vodka, all wound up like rubber bands from cans emblazoned with a red ox—one of the favored deities of this tribe. All eyes are focused intently on the ritual before them, as bodies—the biggest and strongest Columbia has to offer—line up to get the shit beaten out of them. The QB gets sacked. The crowd boos. The team gains a few honest yards. The crowd claps politely. A touchdown is scored. The crowd is ecstatic, all whoops and war cries. The marching band bursts into Columbia’s theme song. People sing along almost in spite of themselves—unwitting members of a Dionysian chorus—unaware, perhaps that they even knew the words until now. Here is Columbia’s School Spirit, summoned by alcohol, expensive hot dogs, and the vicarious thrill of human sacrifice.