Graduation Mystery

May 14, 2007

Yesterday, my sister Hannah graduated from UNC, with a bachelor's degree in Psychology (though she essentially crafted her own neuro-science major, a topic she is most interested in). She was only 1 of 3 people in her (very large) department that graduated with highest honors, which is a real accomplishment. It's hard to believe that my little sister has grown up so much.

My main focus with this post, however, is one of great mystery. After the Psychology department ceremony (the last one we attended during the day), my grandmother, mother, sister, and I waited around the Old Well while my dad went to get our car. In a grassy area nearby, a group of people were putting on some sort of show for everyone. There were four "characters" in this show:

The Drummers
The first "character" was actually a group of three people sitting atop some African-style conga drums, each playing a consistent, though seemingly random, beat. Each one did this without stopping, at least for the entire time we were there (which was about 10 or 15 minutes).
The Purple Monster
This character was apparently controlled by two or three people, and stood 12 to 15 feet high. It was a purple being, with a large masked head and two large hands. It never moved from its spot, but swayed and danced along to the music from The Drummers.
The Thought Police
This character wore a giant green mask and hat, while carrying a blue baton. They also wore a trench coat, and spent most of their time chasing the next player around the grassy area.
Blue-Haired Person
This player wore a blue wig, a Carolina-blue gown (from graduation, apparently), and red pants. When they weren't being chased by the "Thought Police," they sat atop a "Corporate Ladder."

No one spoke the entire time, which made this strange thing even stranger. The chain of events I could see where this: the Thought Police chased the Blue-Haired Person around for awhile, at least until the Blue-Haired Person climbed the Corporate Ladder. Once the person climbed the Corporate Ladder, the Thought Police left them alone, running around the Purple Monster instead. I took a few pictures of the characters:

Does anyone have any clues as to what this means? Seeing that this was in Chapel Hill, there was undoubtedly an implied political message, but I fail to grasp what it is. Irregardless of the message, the whole thing was pretty bizarre.

4:53 PM on May 14, 2007
I'm guessing it is social commentary on how you have graduated from college, from an environment of (for a lot of people) goofing off and having fun and doing things that you like. But now you must assimilate into the working world, marching to the beat of the man's drums. If you attempt to do otherwise, you will be reprimanded until you submit (by the thought police I guess? maybe society as a whole is a collective thought police??). All the while, the monster represents that the whole thing just feeds the people on top? Or maybe it all has something to do with Tarheel basketball. From what I hear of UNC, them people love them some basketball.
5:04 PM on May 14, 2007
Dean Smith was given an honorary degree at the main ceremony yesterday (as these two photos show), and the place literally went nuts when he was announced. He had a standing ovation the entire time. They do indeed enjoy some basketball.
8:08 AM on May 15, 2007
At least the things were labeled. Because now it all makes sense. Here is what it means: *CENSORED BY THE THOUGHT POLICE* Hope that helps.
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