Obsessions of college students vastly overratedBy Michael Patrick | 01/30/2012 11:10pm
The very nature of college seems to encourage students to find something to obsess over. We are constantly encouraged to find our passion, be it in flag football, working in a biology lab with renowned scientists, dedicating your life to creating a gender-neutral society or for most of us, watching every episode of “Boy Meets World.” We’re taught to find something we are fervent about and to allow that to foster and develop into something by which we can begin to learn.
In the three-and-a-half years that I have been at the Capstone, I have seen a lot of college obsessions in myself and among friends and classmates. But I do not think any have been as annoying as the obsessions people develop over “Arrested Development” and Ron Paul.
Ron Paul, a Republican congressman from Texas, has been relatively popular since his first bid at a Republican presidential nomination in 2008. But he has more recently become somewhat of a superstar among college undergraduates. Unnerving amounts of people believe this man is the savior of American politics.
I cannot help but see Ron Paul in the same way that I see the characters in “Arrested Development” – they do not relate that well to humanity. The writers of “Arrested Development” spent too much time trying to develop their comedy and forgot to make characters that an audience could relate with. Similarly, Ron Paul’s objectivist approach to both economic and social policy lacks the empathy that humans naturally have.
I have heard many Paul fans rave about the candidate because he is “fiscally conservative and socially liberal.” Despite the fact that a person cannot be both fiscally conservative and socially liberal, Ron Paul’s stances on social issues prove over and over again to range from objective to extremely conservative.
Admittedly, “Arrested Development” is definitely a smart comedy that follows multilayered plots and jokes, but the series becomes extremely predictable and increasingly less relatable. This mirrors greatly how I see the politics of Ron Paul. I don’t care to hear much more about his gold standard, slash-and-burn approach to government agencies or how he wants to legalize pot. In the same spirit, I don’t want to hear any more never-nude or incest jokes from “Arrested Development.”
However, I suppose the biggest thing that Ron Paul and “Arrested Development” share is that people gawk over them constantly despite the fact that there are better presidential candidates in the running this year and better multilayered comedies on television now. Hopefully people will move past these strange, overrated obsessions and start looking at more well-rounded candidates and comedies. Barack Obama and “Parks and Recreation” beat out Ron Paul and “Arrested Development” any day of the week.
Michael Patrick is a senior majoring in political science. His column runs on Tuesdays.