go to hell carolina, go to duke

Paula is my bff. She is also a Carolina Girl. She thought it would be funny to show this article (see links below) to me about how and why people from Carolina hate Duke. Actually, she probably did it to see how I would react. That is probably why I love her. But in any case, thanks to Paula and columnist Ian Williams, here is what I learned about this deep Tarheel pathology:

1. They truly, truly hate Duke with great zeal and without shame.

2. They rally around an article about their hatred for Duke that was published 18 years ago.

3. The author of that article, after almost 20 years, still hates Duke. Obsessively. And happily admits it.

4. For the Tarheels, this article, detailing the writer’s exaggerated feelings of social rejection on his high school visit to Durham, symbolizes the entire basis of their hatred for Duke.

Here is the basic story: guy visits Duke, cries. enrolls at Carolina, loves it. hates Duke forever. and ever. writes about his hatred. writes about his hatred again.

(You might want to read the articles for the full effect. Then come back for my scholarly analysis.)

This guy went to visit Duke because his high school thought it would be beneficial to his future prospects if he went to a great university. Note: Williams admits that a) Carolina was not well-regarded at his school and b) he had never even heard of Carolina before going there.

Let’s reflect on that.

He is basically saying, Carolina was not good enough to be on my (or my school’s) radar in any way until I had a bad experience at Duke. AND after that bad experience at Duke, I searched for any school I could find, no matter how good or bad of a school it was, that would make me feel good for hating Duke.

We now turn to an analysis of Williams’ experience at Duke. These few hours in Durham were so terrible that they brought back horrific memories of the author’s most traumatic childhood experiences, engendering a lasting hatred that he joyously shares with the world. The great tragedy of that afternoon? He didn’t like his tour guide, had a bad piece of pizza, and tripped in the cafeteria.

Williams had a problem with his tour guide because her name was Lorna, she was from New Jersey, had a loud voice, used the word “students” instead of “kids,” and acknowledged how difficult it is to get into Duke. Really, take away the plethora of adjectives in his story and that is what you get. She sounds like a demonic torturess, wouldn’t you agree? Especially when she flirts with a guy that (gasp!) is handsome and in a fraternity.

It cannot be argued plausibly that a bad piece of pizza is a good reason for hating a school, but I will concede that in addition to other factors, it could be a compelling point. It is not so compelling in this case, since none of Mr. Williams’ gripes are particularly egregious.

Finally, Ian Williams trips in the cafeteria and his pizza goes flying onto some girl’s sweater. Well, that is pretty embarrassing. But don’t blame it on the Duke students who saw you fall. What college student doesn’t yell “party foul!” when someone spills or trips in public?

In the end, even if I concede that Lorna was awful, the pizza made him sick, and people in the cafeteria stared at him when he tripped, is that really the type of experience that would send you back to your worst memory? And even if, being an adolescent boy, Williams was mortified beyond belief, would he not recover from the humiliation in a few months, or even weeks? And even if it takes more than 20 years to recover from one afternoon of discomfort, does it really make sense for him to expend so much energy hating Duke as a result? And (last rhetorical question, I promise) even if he does hate Duke that much, what does it say about Carolina fans that this is the symbol of Duke-hating they worship?

Williams was a psychology major. Here is a little psychology for you, Freud: extreme hatred is just love in its angriest, ugliest form. It is a projection of self-hate. Seriously.

So stop hating yourself, Carolina, and go to Duke. Because we don’t hate you as much as you hate yourself. Not even close.

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