Shuffling Through the Experience

    In the classic film “”One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest,”” a heady, boisterous fellow (played with a volatile aplomb by a young Jack Nicholson) is let loose on a static mental ward in some nameless, leafy and serene country neighborhood. Once ensconced in the tepid environment that is the hospital, Nicholson’s character challenges the establishment’s rules and structures and all types of bedlam ensue. The inmates, emboldened by this brash new character, make strides of their own, strides that probably could not have been accomplished without the influence of this wild, unrestrained new element.

    While I’m fairly sure that there are not all that many mentally disabled individuals populating UCSD’s leafy, serene campus (with the exception of those stick-fighting ninjas on Library Walk and the better part of the A.S. Council), there are definitely those among us who suffer from a darker, more debilitating problem.

    They are the socially disabled types who scorn those other, more enlightened souls who choose to indulge in this or that, and in doing so, tend to push the proverbial envelope beyond their discernible horizon.

    A particularly memorable scene from “”Cuckoo’s Nest”” is one in which Nicholson’s character smuggles in a bunch of booze and a coupla babes for a debauched in-house rager. All the inmates start guzzling copious amounts of booze (including the bedridden guy with the intravenous hookup) and a wild night of reckless abandon is enjoyed by all. The inmates who had previously displayed the cognitive ability of a cantaloupe are now laughing and carousing like the gin-soaked denizens of Hef’s Playboy Mansion grotto.

    Could this be the answer to the horrific mental defect that has descended upon our campus with all the fervor of a locust horde? Maybe, or maybe there is something more insidious lurking beneath the clear-eyed, apathetic veneer of your fellow student — something that ensures that his social life here at UCSD will be void of any semblance of enjoyment and will instead be a zany, book-fueled riot of the most geekish proportions.

    While those of you afflicted with this horriffic malady can do nothing to help yourselves — do the insane actually know that they are insane? It is up to the rest of us to lend a helping hand to these poor souls in need. It may not be easy, but the Geisel Library wasn’t built in a day, and a beer here or a shot there will only help to spur them on their way to a more balanced sanity.

    This weekend offers the perfect opportunity to stage this act of unparalleled kindness. With the myriad of Triton home games happening this weekend and with finals in the imminent future, the inmates are looking more restless than usual. Oh, and if any of you medical students have an IV handy … well, you know what to do.

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