Spring break is here, and this video about college vacationers in Panama City, as featured on Sean Hannity’s program, keeps popping up in my Facebook news feed. (Click the phrase “this video” in the last sentence to view it for yourself.) Outraged parents are condemning the behavior exhibited by the young adults on this video (e.g. snoring cocaine off of one another’s ovaries, drinking liquor from a funnel that has been fashioned from a dead hooker’s skull or whatever). I want to join in the outrage, but I can’t. I can’t be overwhelmed with the debauchery. I’m too distraught by the deplorable expressive language skills used through the interviews.
Earhart, the reporter, refers to the beach-goers in this video as “college kids.” Can that be true? Is it possible that someone bright enough to earn a decent score on the SAT, gain acceptance into a four-year school, select a major, register for classes, and maintain a GPA of 2.0 or higher would use a phrase like, “I’m gettin’ crunked than a mug!” (a la the goateed gentleman at 1:53)?
Hannity and Earhart continually comment that the students in this video are “wasted.” I feel like it was their high school career, their free public education, their teachers’ tireless efforts, that were wasted. One example is the young man at 1:44 who states of those not drunk: “They doin’ sh!t wrong.” I feel the need to point out that HE’S doing sh!t wrong. His sentence needs a linking verb: “They are doin’ sh!t wrong.” Jay Z is entitled to leave that verb out, because he is Jay Z. The guy at 1:44 – not Jay Z.
Similar errors are made throughout the 5 minute video. The intoxicated ginger-haired guy with large right flank tattoo (1:48) is asked by the reporter if he has been drinking, and he answers, “What it look like?” I tell you what it sound like: it “sound like” a guy who will be earning a very low wage after graduation.
Panama City law enforcement officials, bless their underpaid hearts, are doing everything in their power to protect these little twerkers. I am a realist and would not presume that any idea I might have could curtail the damage these folks inflict on themselves or the town doomed to host their orgy, but I do have a few suggestions on how we might restore the English language in the midst of the festivities. They are: wet t-shirt spelling bees, male aggression expressed through debate team-style arguments rather than fist (or gun) fights, and rules about funneling wherein the number of syllables of the longest word you can define corresponds with the number of ounces you are permitted to funnel (e.g. defining “parliamentarian” earns you 6 ounces of beer), just to name a few.
I hope that nothing more harmful than a sunburn afflicts these students. That is the honest truth. Part of me, though, my snarky side, sort of hopes the girl at the start of the video, the one who wants to get “f^cked up,” is similarly enthusiastic about how “f^cked up” her paychecks are going to be throughout her adulthood. Part of me, I am ashamed to say, sort of hopes that the girls who declared on camera that they “don’t give a sh!t” what their parents think are not too offended when their parents echo their sentiments: “You need gas money?” their mothers might say, all devil-may-care, “Well I don’t give a sh!t.” And if my kids end up on a Fox news segment about Spring Break ten years from now, I hope the statement they make, the sentence they choose to say on camera moments before dropping trou or rolling a joint, will be polite and will honor the rules regarding subject-verb agreement.