(Musings from Daniel Everson)
About a month into my stay at Lipscomb University, I heard rumblings
of this mysterious thing called "Underground." What was this
"Underground?" It sounded cool and exciting, a bit rebellious and
glamorous in a "tell authority and censorship where they can stick it"
type of way. So I asked around about it, found out how to get on the
list to receive it, and began to take it in every week.
Some people skimmed The Underground... not me. I inhaled it. I read
every line, sometimes twice, looking for the secret meanings between the
lines. I relished the assumed identities, the shady personas and the
weekly discussion/flame wars/cheesy filler. Yes, I was a geek. But I was
a driven geek, a geeky rebel looking for a cause.
What was being printed in the Underground at the time was WAY better
than anything in The Babbler (as it continued to be ever after, and had
been far before I arrived at Lipscomb). The LU was the inside scoop on
politically-based faculty sackings, unfair administration policies, and
Social Club mishaps. If it happened, you heard it on the Underground
first (sometimes you only heard it on the Underground, if you heard it
So after spending some time assimilating the culture of the Lipscomb
Underground, I became one of the biggest weekly posters. Under the
pseudonym "The Reverend Lloyd Floyd (Freud)" I began spewing sarcastic,
twisted religious teachings to remind people just how stupid and
ignorant uninformed fundamentalist theology can become. I was inspired
in this pursuit primarily by Landoverbaptist.org (which, I understand,
has since been blocked by Websense, imagine that!). I also occassionally
posted under my own name, or other assumed names, on various other
topics. My posts were often stream-of-consciousness, train-of-thought,
pointless musings, but occassionally I said something humorous or
interesting (or so I've been told). Soon, I had my imitators: Pope Bubba
and King Beej, posting their papal and royal proclamations.
Then out of the blue, I was picked by Ryan Gates (a true Lipscomb
legend) to succeed him as host, a job that I relished. It was a great
time, helping to shape the forum of the Lipscomb Underground, while
simultaneously helping to shape peoples' ideas. One memory in particular
I hold very fondly and near to my heart... I can proudly say I
popularized the phrase "chapel all-stars" in the LU. After that, "Chapel
All-Stars" became the de-facto term to refer to those who sat in the
middle of the basketball court during chapel. It caught on like
wildfire... everyone used the term, even non-LUers. In those days,
before people picked their own seats, we used to have assigned seating,
and only "good examples", administration-sanctioned "student leaders"
and RA's were allowed to sit down there. Needless to say, I never got an
invitation... but with one turn of the pen, I completely invalidated the
entire concept for ! the majority of the campus. Lipscomb wanted you to
look like these people and be just like them... but instead of being
looked up to, they became something to laugh about for the 95% of the
campus not beautiful or perfect enough to be one of the chosen.
Alas, all good things must fade... and although my stint as host
began with a burst of concentrated energy, it ultimately fizzled out and
faded. In the presence of a lack of true campus controversy, students
lost interest in the LU. Only the truly disenfranchised continued to
post, most often only to bash one another needlessly. The end of my one
year as host was mentally draining, and I lost most of my energy and
enthusiasm for the LU. Yet, I was prepared to return after the summer to
one more year of hosting it until the unthinkable happened... in a
technological update, all my distribution lists (totalling 600 or so
email addresses) were completely wiped out. Without a correct and
accurate list of who had joined since the beginning of my tenure (and
with many of the older names I DID have records of being out of date) I
had no way to get out the LU. So the LU lay dormant for half ! ;a year,
and it may have been for the better (as painful as it was for me to see
it sleep for so long).
But a miraculous thing happened to the Underground on the way to the
cemetary... in the absence of the Underground, people realized just how
much they had missed it. They remembered a time when there was a
censorship-free forum to discuss ideas that couldn't be discussed
anywhere else, and to break news that couldn't be broken anywhere
else... they remembered that there had once been a place where the
quietest, meekest, most invisible people could cloak themselves in grand
pseudonyms and have their voices heard all over campus. They remembered,
and they missed it. I can't tell you how many people asked me "so
Daniel, when's the LU coming back?"
So ultimately, The LU, after lying fallow for a season, was ready for
a makeover; it was ready to be reborn into something resembling its past
glory. And ultimately, it was reborn into something arguably even
greater than before (or at the least, as great as ever). In the hands of
Jeremy Howard, it took on new life and became once more what it had
always been intended to be; a place for the non-perfect, non-sanctioned
student leaders to spark dialogue and inform student opinion. And that's
worth a heck of a lot more than cheap plastic, interchangable pretty
boys and girls appointed from above to be what Lipscomb "ought to look
like." Instead, the LU once more showed what Lipscomb really DID look
like... in all its imperfect, doubting, faithful, diverse, beautiful,
ugly glory. And as long as the LU is a place where all of those people
can come together and speak their minds uninhibited, th! e LU will be
serving its purpose.
Long Live the LU.
LU Host, Fall 2001-Fall 2002
So there you have it. All the glory that is....
...the LIPSCOMB UNDERGROUND!!!