Oct 032011
Authors: Colleen McSweeney

Last week, as I was power-walking to my first class of the day, a few things bounced around my exhausted mind: 1) I’m definitely going to be late, and shoot, it’s one of those classrooms with the really squeaky desks, 2) Two cups of coffee –– not enough and 3) Why is everyone around me moving so fast?

I’d hit the quarter-semester wall.

As I dragged myself to the class I was already 10 minutes late for, I suddenly heard some jivin’ instrumental dance jams playing close behind me. At first I didn’t question it, assuming it was just one of the more pleasant side effects of sleep-deprived delirium. But then as it got closer, I turned to look over my shoulder, and there I saw him.

He sort of looked like a smaller, slightly less hairy version of Jesus, and on his shoulder rested a wireless iPod speaker dock. The music flowed loudly and freely, and he wore a satisfied grin that I couldn’t help but immediately mirror.

“Hey,” he said as he passed, the people in front of us also looking behind to see where the music was coming from.

“Oh hi…?” I said back, hoping –– with the lack of profundity in my response –– that he wasn’t actually Jesus.

Suddenly, I didn’t feel so tired. And squeaky-desk class didn’t look so bad after all and maybe, just maybe, I could make it through the day without drinking all of Columbia’s coffee. Whether he intended to or not, CSU stereo guy brightened my, and I’m sure many others’, morning that day.

While it was the first time I had seen him, I’ve talked to a lot people who say they see stereo guy all the time. No one I know has ever talked to him, but they all say they’ve only seen him with the stereo atop his shoulder, music playing and a goofy grin on his face.

I didn’t know his name, I didn’t know what he’s studying but I did know this: he’s a perfect example of how people can get their “voice” heard on campus without spreading blind judgment and condemnation.

On the same day I saw stereo guy, I later walked through the Plaza and became surrounded by the jarring, “you’re going to hell unless you’ve accepted Jesus!”

The preachers’ goal (I’m assuming) of being on campus is to convert CSU students over to their own Christian views, since they think our campus is rife with sinners and delinquents –– but all they’re really doing is eliciting anger and a complete distaste for the beliefs they’re trying to spread.

I haven’t seen a single student walk away from the Plaza preachers with a smile on their face and a desire to actually join their congregation. Instead, people leave wanting to do just that: leave.

While the preachers are a lot more vocal than stereo guy, they are infinitely behind him in effectiveness of communication.

The pseudo-Jesus supporters spread their message with intimidation, hate and judgment, but the Jesus look-a-like spreads his with music, enjoyment and a seemingly unbridled desire to cheer people up.

Of course, I don’t think we should all start walking around with speakers blaring from our shoulders –– something I’d never do, since I’m pretty ashamed of my love for Phil Collins and Celine Dion –– but I think he’s a perfect example of a positive way to spread individuality on campus.

But, even smiling stereo man’s antics aren’t beloved by all. When I asked around about him earlier, a couple people saw him as a stoner who didn’t know what headphones were.

“Oh yeah, I’ve seen that guy. He’s always looks high as a kite,” a girl next to me in squeaky-desk class said.

And one of my friends thinks he’s almost as bad as the preacher guys. “He’s so annoying. Doesn’t he know what ear buds are? What makes him think everyone else wants to listen to his dumb music?”

But I don’t care. I don’t care what grievances anyone may have about the musical lad. Because any day, I’d choose to hear electronic pop, or maybe some smooth jazz, while walking through campus instead of the hate spewed by some man who claims to advocate a religion that is really based in forgiveness.

And he may be “high as a kite,” but that just makes him closer to Jesus, right? At least that’s what he probably tells the preachers.

Editorial Editor Colleen McSweeney is a junior journalism major. Her column appears Wednesdays in the Collegian. She can be reached at letters@collegian.com

 Posted by at 3:12 pm

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.