The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Wednesday October 20th

As the World Turns, Drama Needs to Stop

Now don't worry, Pauper Players. Hear me out, Ebony Readers Onyx Theater. Relax, Lab! and Company Carolina.

Shakespeare is above reproach. Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller and Henrik Ibsen are all perfectly lovely. Y'all are not part of the problem.

I speak of a different breed of drama -- the soap operas that are constantly enacted among students all over campus. It's as though we just can't relax -- there are so many things to worry about in today's world, and we still seem preoccupied with the incidentals. UNC students have been sweating the small stuff hard-core.

From student social groups that lead endless expeditions into Self-Righteous Land to those folks who make the daily trek back to "Eighth Gradeville" everyone seems to make mountains out of molehills seems to be popular around these parts. And it often makes me feel like I'm stuck in bad daytime television.

The fights! The intrigue! The melodrama! See it all at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Oh, these days of our lives.

There is a distinct difference between being intentionally melodramatic for one's own amusement (which I do at least hourly) and genuinely concerned about serious issues. People often bring drama and complication to things that really do not need to be dramatized or complicated.

Worry about war. Worry about recession. Worry about classes. (If anyone would like to worry/pray about my classes, you're welcome to.) But it seems like the little things we're preoccupied with -- what so-and-so said, who's rushing where, who gets what tickets. A goofy ad from David Horowitz causes a fury. Bickering among senior class officers turns the whole office upside-down. Does it really matter in the grand scheme?

Often I wish I could institute my own educational reforms here at Carolina. I would teach the primary tenets of what I like to call the "Erin Fornoff School of Harmonious Living." I'd have a seminar that would consist solely of a syllabus. On the syllabus would be printed three words: Let it go. It would be a class about living an easier, less frustration-filled life -- ways to cut down on the drama.

It could be a "Guiding Light" for those who find themselves caught up in the dramas we create for ourselves. Sometimes we all seem so full of woe -- and for what? It's all a question of what is incidental and what is integral. It seems to me that this campus could benefit from such lessons.

It would work -- if we could just relax, cut people some slack and try not be so quick to judge or jump to conclusions. Then, we wouldn't have such a great sense of drama. This seems to show an equally heightened sense of self-importance, we, in our college bubble, blow our small troubles out of proportion to a grand extent.

We've got friends giving each other silent treatment, roommate meltdowns, angry protests, loud disagreements, underhanded acts, self-righteous fervor, folks personally attacking one another, a churning rumor mill, various support given and withheld.

All we need now are some clandestine affairs, mothers sleeping with daughter's boyfriends, long-lost evil twins, and people burying each other alive.

My friend Jesse said of the drama (which is not a new thing), "It's like I'm surrounded by a bunch of method actors for soap operas."

I half expect to hear thunder crash and see lightning strike out the window when people make statements these days.

I'm just wondering at what point "The Real World" became the real world, or at least the one on college campuses. I say we harness this energy and use it for good instead of evil. Just think what could be done if we redirected our attention to things that really matter.

Don't get me wrong -- I have certainly spent my share of time laying on a chaise lounge with my hand thrown across my forehead, bemoaning my fate, but this is ridiculous.

It's important to care about things and be aware -- there is just no point in worrying over little things when there are such big ones out there.

"As the World Turns," we can end the drama that adds so much trouble to our lives.

Erin Fornoff knows the truth about you and the poisoned wine. Send her your suggestions, confessions and soap opera plotlines (personal or otherwise) at fornoff@email.unc.edu.

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