FD Guest Lecture: Side of Palmist Building
Today's guest lecture comes from Mark Pike, a frequent commenter here most memorably recognized in these parts for compiling a statistical analysis of Nike's Air Force 25 commercial or hiking Masada in a FD t-shirt.
Free Darko rarely exhibits interest in the realm of the Collegiate, but the background narratives of League professionals and their previous university settings can help illuminate the style + substance axiom.
And, even though Liberated Fandom pays little attention to the merits of geographical proximity, this guest author and several of the FD regulars have had stints on Tobacco Road, thus serving as an impetus for a quick exploration of the intersections of Duke University, viral media, avant garde film, and Michael Dunleavy, Jr.
During his time at Duke, Dunleavy was the protagonist in a short-film made by the charitable comedy group Duke University Improv, or DUI for short (avoid the obvious JJ Redick quips. These funnymen do good work. "Humor fighting tumors."). The film was directed by lit it boy, Dana Vachon (hit up Amazon), and heavily references Ingmar Bergman's "The Seventh Seal", with Dunleavy playing Stratego against Death.
Though I know I am merely teasing you with these tales without providing ample footage, in the nascent era of viral video the film remains locked up in the prison of Facebook's privacy settings. Feel free to visit DUI and ask them to (ironically?) Free Dunleavy.
*Cue the Proclaimer's "This Is the Story". Loop the opening chords.*
It begins with Dunleavy seated on a bench in the scenic Sarah P. Duke gardens, foot-tapping and staring off into the distance. His posture projects loneliness, but his demeanor quickly changes when a man in a bumble bee costume and a chicken mascot materialize next to him. They all hug enthusiastically, multiple times, and then dosey-do in the distance. Logically, lollipops are the only thing that can keep up the pace of the perfect day. Dunleavy is happy. What next? Too close for lollipops, switching to ice cream cones. Clearly, Dunleavy is not lactose intolerant as he smushes the soft serve into his face.
Finished with the snacks, Dunleavy discovers fire in the form of bottle rockets. The chicken and the bee rejoice. But, just as the joy from food is an ephemeral pleasure, fireworks soon fade. Sport emerges. Wiffle ball bat swings and a homerun for Dunleavy. Having mastered the game, the chicken suggests kickball. Dunleavy kicks a chunky ball off into the distance, floating into the air...
*Cue the lyrics to the Proclaimers song. "It's Over and Done With...."*
Death catches the ball. Dunleavy becomes self-aware, or perhaps cognizant of his own mortality, or maybe just sad that the perfect day has changed. Death challenges Dunleavy to Stratego. They play. Dunleavy wins a piece. The bee cries. The chicken sobs, or laughs--it's unclear. They all dance, hand in hand.