USC — The University of Southern California is currently in the middle of heated litigation with representatives from the Neanderthal Awareness Student Caucus (NASC), who claim that the USC promoted ‘Primal SCream’ events both ‘victimize’ and ‘marginalize’ Neanderthal students and faculty. According to pamphlets posted around campus written on some type of animal hide the name of the event is at fault, the word ‘primal’ itself having been used for years to relegate and dehumanize members of the Neanderthal community. In the interest of investigative journalism, I went to find a member of the largely secretive NASC that I could talk to.
Having exhausted every cave on campus, and there are many, I was close to giving up. Maybe I wasn’t ‘cool’ enough to be a part of this new clique, maybe I wasn’t hip enough to their primordial jive.
But I persisted. I went across the street to the Museum of Natural History, where I knew most USC students spent their Thursday nights, and found several members of the NASC. They worked during the day as mannequins in the historical display cases. I stood in front of the glass, making awkward eye contact with the pre-humans every once and a while, trying not to stare at the accurate, yet very revealing, fur garb of their people.
I was relieved when their shift was over, and they invited me into the break room. I was surprised to see they had changed into t-shirts and jeans. Apparently being surprised about that already got me off on a bad start as their alpha began to shout at me.
“Act surprised, do you, when you see an Indian walking around in normal clothes and not a head dress!?”
“Native American?” I asked timidly as the Alpha, Greg Uggah Boogah Stevenson, beat his clenched fists on the ground panting. I gave him the Baby Ruth I’ve been keeping in my pocket for such an occasion; he seemed happier then. I figured those candies had to still be made for some reason.
I took a walk with Uggah Boogah and we really seemed to click. I could start to tell why the females of the clan chose him to father their many children before the winter. I thought I was getting somewhere, so I cracked a joke, “If you guys haven’t discovered fire yet, you should check out my mixtape.”
He looked at me without speaking for a second, sighed, then continued talking as if I hadn’t said anything. And so, after breaking the ice, as a journalist, I asked him why he and his Caucus were so vehemently opposed to the Primal SCream events. He seemed disappointed, as if I should have known the answer. He started to spout his pre-written rhetoric for me to ‘write down in my fancy future rock’ as he pointed at the iPhone I was taking notes on.
“If you live in or around campus’ residence caves, you’ve probably become aware of the various ‘Primal SCream’ events being held to celebrate finals, what you may not be aware of is the fact that these events are an outdated, offensive, and churlish pastime. We, the NASC, are in protest of all ‘primal SCream’ events until they are either disbanded or all SCreamers are beaten with clubs.”
“But why?” I asked as JOUR 310 taught me.
He looked at me with his beady cromagnon eyes, “You wouldn’t walk up to a black guy and start yelling the N-word, would you? Would you huh?” Uggah then began to shove me and beat his chest violently. I began to run as he drew the large bone from out of his dreadlocked hair and swung it at me.
“There are dozens of us, dozens!” he yelled after me, beating the ground and a nearby bison skull with the bone.
Having harrowed such an experience, I feel that I–a tall, white, middle class, attractive male– knows exactly what it feels like to be marginalized by society.
USC and the NASC are set to reach a settlement by the end of the month, provided they forage enough berries to make it until then.