Thursday, October 02, 2008

Campus Comedy

A promotional ad during a timeout in Saturday’s Wisconsin-Michigan football game extolled the virtues of the “Wisconsin Idea” in education—“The Boundaries of the Campus are the Boundaries of the State.”

That’s another way of saying UW pioneered in developing extension activities. When I was a freshman at Wisconsin, another activity that often drew attention, and sometimes criticism, was nearing its end at the school. The student humor magazine, the Octopus, was in its final year. The magazine’s motto was “The Bounders of the Campus are the Bounders of the State.”

Only a true zany could come up with something like that. The editor was one. He lived in the room next to mine in the cheap rooming house where I spent my first semester. One of the editor’s favorite projects was producing an Octopus issue that was a parody of the student newspaper, the Daily Cardinal.

The editor christened the parody paper the Daily Crudinel. I don’t remember the exact number given, but I do recall one of the most ingenious items on the Crudinel sports page. A headline proclaimed: “Fencers Lose to Illinois, Six Dead.”

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