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Melanie Kruvelis: We're all shmucked

By Melanie Kruvelis, Senior Editor
Published September 12, 2012

KERRYTOWN, ANN ARBOR – Everyone has lost faith in humanity. They are horrified, they are embarrassed and nobody can stop watching.

“The cinematography is just so terrible.”
“I don’t understand why they didn’t use more fisheye.”
“Is this even a song?”

Why yes, it is a song. It’s called “Work Hard, Play Hard” by Wiz Khalifa and maybe if we hadn’t discovered this “Shmacked” nonsense, we could’ve listened to it ironically while cashing bowls on our homework and damn, wouldn’t that have been cool. But it’s too late — we’ve seen it. And when did we stop using our houseplant as the ashtray?

Alright, so here’s the deal. We’re in Kerrytown — oh, a note to freshmen: Kerrytown is north, it’s hip and for the love of god please stop wearing those key card lanyards. Anyway, we’re in Kerrytown and everyone looks absolutely miserable. Well, more miserable than usual. Someone found this video, “I’m Shmacked The Movie: University of Michigan — Welcome Week,” and the expressions in the room range from nauseated condescension to apathetic-American-Apparel-model-meets-kicked-puppy. The tragically hip haven’t been this upset since that anthropology professor used Comic Sans. It’s that serious.

If you haven’t seen the video, don’t worry — the concept is simple. A couple of college kids go around campuses and capture students at their finest hour — 9 a.m. on a Football Saturday. They’ve recorded St. Patrick’s Day at West Virginia University, filmed 4/20 at the University of Vermont and now they’ve shot Welcome Week here at Michigan. Which is fantastic, really —we’ve finally got a chance to stand up and reveal what beats inside every last Wolverine heart: “If you don’t go to Michigan, you’re a peasant.”

Hear hear, young white male.

But back to shotgunning Nattys, smoking pot, downing shots in South Quad, doing a weird drunken leprechaun jig on the sidewalk, and all the other too-drunk-to-care shenanigans you can cram into four minutes of video. From here we get the true meaning of “shmacked,” which is not the Yiddish expression for “bagel toppings.” It’s actually Yiddish for getting drunk and throwing away the futures we don’t have, and — most importantly — not caring, because in the end we all look really, really awesome. Hell, we are really, really awesome.

“This school is the best school in the entire world,” says a girl in a tube top (Side note: technically it’s the 14th best school in the entire world, but no reason to let something as trivial as rankings get in the way of assertions, right?). “Fucking Go Blue, and we fucking go hard! Fuck you, ‘Bama!” yells another partygoer, referring to the Alabama Crimson Tide, not the President. (Okay, so they actually killed us, but he almost got it right).

But perhaps the most touching affirmation of our scholarly excellence: “It’s the perfect mix of like, party and like, work, you know?”

Of course, moms, dads and everyone else who sucks may be alarmed by the video, finding this homage to Stifler’s wet dream to be a self-indulgent, stomach-churning display of everything that’s wrong with everything. At least half of Kerrytown threatened to drop out after watching the video. “I wish I’d never seen this monstrosity,” one disenfranchised Kerrytowner said. To which every other student replied, “What’s a Kerrytown?”

It doesn’t matter if you’ve seen the video or not. Yeah, maybe it’s not the most flattering image of our school. But while some cringe at the sight of our fellow students beer-bonging their livers into oblivion, they’re forgetting one crucial fact: this isn’t groundbreaking. Step outside on any game day and you’ll see the exact same thing. So if you’re going to take anything away from this, let it be this — this isn't new. This is how it’s always been and how it always will be.

God, are we shmucked.

Melanie Kruvelis can be reached at melkruv@umich.edu.


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