Close your eyes, and go to your happy place. What do you see in this vision of momentary ecstasy? For me, it entails a calm wind blowing across an insurmountable ocean. The sound of the wind blowing, and waves lapping against an immovable shore causes time itself to still. I stand between a wall of ancient conifers and an indifferent ocean. In this moment of clarity, staring where light grey sky meets sea, I’m at peace. But alas, we’re not here to discuss these fleeting moments of peace in this educational hellscape.
As most students in the humanities can tell you, a world of differing opinions and well-spoken arguments is at your fingertips. Those specializing in such studies often develop strong bonds based on their knowledge of how the world works, and how the world is affected by those inhabiting it. On paper, this would seem to be an incredibly diverse and intellectual community dedicated to studying the various consequences of humanity’s existence. However, the atmosphere of community, intelligence, and thoughtful debate is all brought to a halt by that one fucking guy.
In humanities circles, this guy is referred to as the “Devil’s Advocate.” They usually express their opinion in the middle of lecture, offering apologist rhetoric and subtle advocacy for such fun, harmless things as the rebirth of fascism, colonialism, Jordan Peterson, the status of immigrants, and more. This frustratingly outspoken male was last seen wearing a navy pullover, light blue jeans, and grey sneakers of an unrecognizable brand. Dangling from his front left pocket is an “I ‘heart’ Boobies” lanyard, adorning the keys to a purple 2013 Jeep Wrangler with a “GAS SL*T” sticker on the back window.
Last seen in a FPHL lecture hall on Friday, while the professor was guiding students through the legacy of colonialism and Post-Apartheid South Africa, the young man raised his hand, asking about the “blatant White genocide” being perpetrated as the country opens up to the possibility of land decolonization, redistribution, and reform. As a collective groan left all those present, the professor engaged in a 30-minute debate with the man, whose arguments became louder and incoherent as the discussion progressed. When the professor finally decided to move on with the lecture, a shit-eating grin arose from the Devil’s Advocate’s face as if to say, “I made my 4chan friends proud.”
This incident is the fifth reported case of this general whiteboy™ speaking up and wasting the time of an entire class. These events consist of the infamous “say what you want about Mussolini, but he made the trains run on time” and “Hitler was a great artist” rant during a lecture on fascism in Europe. The “Look, Jordan Peterson has valid arguments, and de-platforming him is a violation of freedom of speech” argument, which caused the frustration-related deaths of two Political Studies students last September also comes to mind, along with the “what about the Christians being oppressed for their faith?” debacle several hours later.
When gathering information on the extracurricular activities of this subject, the representative of the Trent Conservatives hurled a stone at the ground and yelled “Smoke bomb!” while sprinting away, refusing to comment.
Assessing a general consensus of students’ attitude towards the Devil’s Advocate, I was met with a plethora of “Fuck that guy”s and groans.
I approached Kent Francis, a joint Indigenous and Canadian Studies major in his second year, as he stood on the edge of the Champlain parking lot.
“Like, I’m fine with the occasional nursing student taking an INDG course as an elective and saying ‘OMG Pocahontas was my childhood’ whenever that problematic film/story is brought up,” he said. “But when it’s day after day of smug, willful ignorance, it takes a heavy toll on us.”
Humanities students are urged to keep an eye out for the Devil’s Advocate, and are instructed to evacuate the building at the first sign of an indistinguishable white male raising his hand in lecture. For yours and others’ safety, do NOT approach, engage, or validate this young man, as he is plagued with “economic anxieties” and will ruin your experience of a higher education.
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