BetteBack February 1, 1974: Streaking Hits Bette Midler Type Phenomena

Delaware County
February 1, 1974


Watergate WON’T go away. The Energy Crisis is making Cadillacs as obsolete as scooters. It costs three bucks: to see a lousy movie. And my bookmaker just sent out notices he no longer is extending credit.

The world surely is going to’ hell in a Volkswagen. Or so I thought ..until the; other day when the Associated Press reported, an event on’the Florida. State ”¢University campus. The news item didn’t make all papers – a’ damning insight into the intellectual capacity of most editors – but certain scholars now predict it will have a global impact rivaling that of Bette Midler, if you can imagine such a phenomena. .. .

It seems a group of students at FSU.have come up with a new’ form of campus activity, called,, “streaking.” According to.the AP, the fad is catching on at campuses throughout the Southland, as’ soon as the weather warms’a bit; may be expected to attract devotees in the Big Ten and Ivy League.

STREAKING consists of a student discarding his ‘clothes”¢”¢ in” a. secluded spot, then running – or “streaking” – naked across the’ campus, preferably past some startled’coeds; before ducking into the confines o”f his dormitory.

I for”one welcome the return of such mind-bending diversions to campuses ‘ long dominated by passionately sincere but woefully misdirected scholars bent on (1) burning things down, (2) tearing things up, ,(3) turning things around, and (4) presentirig every hour on the hour another list of “non-negotiable demands,” which, if nothing else provided the academic world with a classic redundancy.
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With “streaking” setting the pace for what good W Cal Coolidge hopefully ”¢ but ungrammatically referred to as a “return to normalcy,” I look any day now for high test gas to go on sale for 28.9 a gallon, the nation to balance its budget and the New York Yankees to win the American League pennant.

NEVER ONE TO jump to conclusions, I checked out this premise with an old friend, Professor Guy Good. That’s not really his name, of course, but the name is appropriate since his students think he is one terrific fellow. One reason is that the professor likes to be “with it” and tries desperately to relate to his students.

A widely traveled and most learned gentleman, he is a veteran of the bitter free speech controversy at Berkeley, the notorious sit-in at Columbia and so many marches on Washington he has a commuter ticket on the Metroliner. As proof of his well rounded viewpoint., he still prizes a pair of lacy undergarments tie acquired during a panty raid at Vassal-.

This, day the i goodj professor affected baggies, saddle shoes and a “big apple” hat, his only link with the distant past a tattered sweatshirt bearing a likeness of Joan and Baez and the inscription, “Hell No I Won’t Go.”

“TELL ME, Professor, what do you make of this ‘streaking’ business that is all the rage at Florida State? “I inquired.

“Really haven’t had much time to dig it,” he replied. “Currently;” I’m into Aztec Civilization.

That’s where it’s at, you know, the Aztecs, fascinating’culture.”

“They lived a long time ago, didn’t they? I guessed.

“Precisely,” he said, “fourteenth century to be exact. Well ahead of their time. Believed in human sacrifice . . . thought the sun needed the blood for nourishment. Wouldn’t be surprised to see it come back. Used to zap about 20 thousands souls a year.

Not a bad number considering they didn’t have automatic weapons. Big spectacle . .. the whole schmear.”…-.

“BUT ABOUT streaking.. > .”I interrupted.

“Oh yes, streaking. Well, I must say it’s about time. The movement is dead, you see. The pioneers of the ’60s have accomplished all the things they set out’to do and the world is a much better place to live.

“Consider,’.’ he continued. “We now have coed dorms, grades are’ a no-no and I’ve heard some colleges even permit beer in the dormitories. The millennium,’ if not already here, surelyapproaches.”

‘”But,” I demanded, “are students.still learning in college?” ‘ –

“You-bet your bippie they are,” he answered.

“Why, no one passes my Aztec course unless he can say Popocatepetl, Ixtacihatl and Tenochtitlan three times in succession without slobbering.”

‘THEN YOtl think ‘streaking’ is a passing fancy … like the hoola hoop?”

”Right, it lacks substance. Besides, the very nature of the business restricts it to warmer climes. Can you imagine ‘streaking at, say, Bowdoin or Colby or Tufts? Bag it. It couldn’t happen.

.”But you. might be interested in something I’ve started to do lately. It’s .becoming quite a thing on campus… it’s what’s happenirig, you might say.”

”¢”And what might that be, Professor?” I ventured.

“Swallowing goldfish… live a real gas. You ought to try it.”

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