Monday, August 10, 2020
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Fashion, Fads & Flops: Smells Like No Spirit

By Javier Burdette

You shouldn’t wear a Niners jersey in Oakland. You shouldn’t wear a “Make America Great Again” cap to a Bernie Sanders Rally.

Any rational creature could come to the aforementioned conclusions. When it comes to clothes that make a statement about the wearer, whether it be a declaration of faith, an endorsement of political ideology or a call to arms, there is always a time and place in which they are appropriate, and perhaps even more in which they are not.

It’s a matter of common sense. And yet, it is not uncommon to see someone traversing Aldrich Park wearing a Yale hoodie, skating down Ring Road in a Harvard tee, or perhaps, most egregiously, stepping out of a lecture hall in a crewneck emblazoned with the UCLA logo. Why anyone would wear anything but Anteater gear at UCI is a mind-boggling mystery.

However, there must be a reason and I have formulated several hypotheses.

Here’s the first: These people genuinely think they’re students at the schools adorned upon their chests. There’s only one possible explanation for this phenomenon.

These individuals live in a dream world occupied by delusions and born from denial. Their senior year of high school, the world was their oyster to shuck. They applied to all the big schools, all the Ivies. They were absolutely convinced their SAT scores and four hundred hours of half-hearted community service would make them a shoo-in at the Y. If all else failed they’d still make it into Dartmouth, Brown at the very least.

As the rejection letters began to roll in, they began developing their own worlds in which they could take refuge from the bleakness of reality, the psychological equivalent of curling up into the fetal position and sucking your thumb.

When it finally became time for them to make decision they sifted through the pile of acceptance letters from mid-tier schools, and pulled the one with the UCI monogram printed on it, fully believing what they held in their hands had been mailed from Cambridge, Massachusetts.

When you ask them why they’re wearing  Ivy League apparel at a UC, they react in much the same way. They get a confused look on their face and say, “Irvine? I’ll have you know we are currently standing on the hallowed grounds of Dartmouth University, you plebeian.”

My second hypothesis involves sabotage coming from two distinctly different sources.

Here’s the first: These individuals see themselves as revolutionaries. They’re sticking it to the man, one pair of screen-printed sweatpants at a time. They’re saying, “Screw you” to the amalgam of wealthy, conservative monotony that is Orange County. To that, I say, “Right on, man. I can dig what you’re laying down.”

The second source of sabotage is the other colleges and universities themselves. Believe it or not, these kids you see in Berkeley beanies, Harvard hoodies and Stanford sweats don’t actually go here. They are, in fact, undercover  agents  imbedded here in order to dishearten the student population and dissuade prospective students touring the campus from coming to UCI.

In all seriousness, wearing apparel from other schools is a pretty lame move. Is UCI perfect? Of course not. We don’t have a football team, and no matter how hard I try, I never can seem to catch Kobe working out at the ARC. But Anteater spirit is a beautiful thing. Doesn’t your hand feel a little better when you’ve got your thumb pressed to your middle and ring fingers, pointer and pinky raised high? Didn’t you feel the energy of all of Bren Events Center channel through you as you screamed “Mamadou” at the top of your lungs?

Come on, Anteaters. Take that Bruins gear off and go get yourself something from The Hill. You’re going to like the way you feel, I guarantee it.