We’re hearing a lot about “branding” these days, and how important a concept in marketing it has become. Here’s how they teach it at Texas Christian University:
US authorities said a university student who suffered burns when his peers branded his buttocks participated in the act willingly and no charges will be filed.
[Amon] Carter had Greek symbols from his fraternity and a sorority branded on his buttocks Jan. 8 during a trip to Breckenridge and needed surgery after suffering second-and third-degree burns.
Investigators said what happened was not part of a fraternity initiation because Carter was already a group member.
The fraternity is not identified, so I speculate it’s probably Alpha Dumbo Malis. Or maybe, switching gears, something of German derivation.
But the authorities are right in not pressing charges, in fact, if it were up to me (and it isn’t. Nothing is. I’m married, and I work for a living), branding would be a requirement of fraternity membership. Preferably one placed prominently, like the forehead, so as the simpletons age, their youthful values will be on display eternally.
I’m biased, of course. When I wandered the campus (“Seven years of college education, wasted”) a century ago, frat rats were snobs and snots, self-indulgent, shallow, narcissistic, and of course, politically conservative. They respected authority, attended football games, and bowed their heads for prayer. We thumbed our noses, went to be-ins, and howled rock lyrics.
They wore sports jackets, crisp blue button-down shirts and pressed pants. We wore whatever we wore the day before.
They threw loud drunken parties, but our pot was better, and our women swallowed. For peace, of course.
Years later it doesn’t matter, of course. Most everybody grew out of whatever it was they were into anyway. Turns out, all of us were dead wrong about everything, just wrong differently.
So I take it back about the branding. It’s no more bozoic than a tattoo (and no less, either), and while it’s nothing I would submit to, I think I’d rather enjoy wielding the iron. Especially on Texas Christian University students, although I’d prefer sorority butts. I’m biased that way, too.