Degeneracy: discussed by all, known by none, and all but unthinkable to a man of faith and virtue.
I aim, though born in sin, for this last category of person. I avoid gambling, strong drink and verbal contractions. I attend Church regularly, Sundays at 10 a. I visit my yiayias, a dozen in all, to give them, if at all possible, the scant comforts owed yet denied them by spiritually underdeveloped grandchildren.
Imagine, then, my surprise, as a man unspoiled yet by the ecstasies of intercourse, to find the following headline on the front page of this paper(!) over my Arrillaga breakfast: “Man found masturbating in Escondido Village elevator.” I would not write it myself had the catechumens’ eyes not already been defiled.
But defiled they are, so write I must, and I write out of a sense of duty. It was time for an investigation, time to root out this degeneracy run amok once and for all. Fortunately for yours truly, I had a lead — thanks (less fortunately) to the very same paper that made slop of my breakfast. You may have read the recent reports of degeneracy in an as-of-now unnamed freshman dormitory in Stern. Here, the Orthodox Christian Fellowship was of inestimable value to our mission. Enter Panos Papadopoulos, ’22, freshman, believer and confidant. Our call, partially reprinted here with Mr. Papadopoulos’ permission, went as follows:
“I prefer Konstantinos now.”
“I’m not calling you fucking Konstantinos.” Ineloquent, but to the point. Exactly why I called him.
“I’m calling to inquire as to the names of a few of your more distinguished peers.”
“I think there may be a connection between recently reported acts of degeneracy in Stern and another certain act of degeneracy in a nearby elevator. If I make myself clear.”
“The masturbator?” The boy is quick.
“Are you familiar with the recently reported dormitory? Or, better yet, any unnamed residents of said dormitory?”
“You want the kid who yakked in the RF report?”
I did, Watson, I did — if Mr. Papadopoulos can learn to control his tongue, the young man is destined for the Patriarchate. It was a dream I harbored myself one day, but my conversion, I fear, came too late. In any case, Mr. Papadopoulos read to me a number that I called, as any journalist would, promptly. This call, made to the “yakker” in question, was considerably less productive. I reprint the full transcript here, without Mr. [redacted]’s, ’22, permission:
“Yeah?” These freshmen, it seems, cut to the chase.
“Mr. [redacted], Konstantinos MacLeod. I assume you have been expecting a call?”
“It is regarding, I imagine you know, the recent report your Resident Fellows made as to your (to put it lightly) engagement in certain acts of degeneracy. I will begin simply before proceeding to questions of (shall we say) greater consequence. Mr. [redacted]: what response did the leak of the report in question elicit from your person?”
He paused, I assume, to give his words due and careful consideration.
“Hm.” This man, clearly, was no great deviant: certainly not the genius I sought. I hung up my cell without ceremony.
It was time, finally, to go to the Patriarch. I had long admired from afar the Stanford College Republicans’ enlightened stances on degeneracy, so-called “sex positivity.” If anyone would share my interest in identifying the once-elevated fiend, I had no doubt that I could find him through their Patriarch. I reached out to an eminent spokesperson for the Stanford College Republicans, whose number I had solicited through an email exchange earlier in the quarter. After an exchange of pleasantries, I leapt, journalistically, to the heart of the matter:
“I’m calling to inquire after your patriarch.”
“Yes. Our interests, I believe, may be aligned.”
“Gaddis, we don’t have a patriarch.”
“Ha!” A man of great wit deserves great acknowledgement — I decided, against my more Heavenly intuitions, to play the gentleman’s game. “If you have no patriarch, then who wrote on your page, my friend, that ‘there is no moral or practical reason that … masturbation should be taught in classrooms?’ Answer me that!”
Excessive wit, it seems, had struck him dumb. He hung up.
So another call, another dead end. Thus far, my celibate friends, I have yet to find success, but fear not — the chase goes on. To the fiend, the object of my hunt: Konstantinos swiftly approaches.
Contact Chapman Caddell at jcaddell ‘at’ stanford.edu.