If I am not a gullible fool, and you are not a gullible fool, then why don’t rumors die out as quickly as they should? Stony Brook University is a hub of conversation where the line between “rumors” and “news” is so blurred that people will seem to believe anything upon hearsay. As impressionable students continue to swarm the campus, the spread of gossip is an inevitable phenomenon. Gossip is as destined as the box office failure of the upcoming remake of Godzilla once it is released in theaters this May. Whether they be discussions about fellow peers, professors, classes or upcoming events, the propagation of rumors will always have a fixed place in youth culture.
Perhaps, one of the most pressing rumors I have heard so far are the ones revolving around who will perform at this year’s Brookfest. With famous artists like Bruno Mars and Ludacris making appearances at previous Brookfest concerts, students eagerly anticipate the name of the performer who will be arriving at the upcoming spring concert. So far various names have been thrown up into the air, courtesy of Garry Lachhar, vice president of Student Life, so that the name of the real artist is buried within thousands of conversations as students try to deduce who will headline Brookfest. After asking Mario Ferone, vice president of Communications/Public Relations, about the rumors via email, he gave a supposed reason as to why USG employed such a devious, yet clever tactic in concealing the name of the artist: “My rationale behind this is to bury the true artist name out there with a bunch of false ones, this way no one knows who is actually coming until it is officially announced. It also helps to build anticipation for the show itself”. Nonetheless, even though the USG has not officially announced the name of the performer, some students have taken to social media to express how excited they are that OneRepublic will be coming to Stony Brook. Others are spreading information that Childish Gambino will perform through word of mouth. Regardless of all the hype and excitement, we must realize that these are simply rumors, most of which will be dispelled once USG reveals who will be coming within due time.
Another rumor that has been the cause of my stress and fury is the one claiming that surveys are being given out to let students vote on which dining venue they want to introduce at Roth Café. If Disney ever has the audacity to release another National Treasure film of Nic Cage searching for a mysterious, obscure document, they would probably having him running around looking for one of these surveys that I cannot possibly get my hands on! Personally, due to a lack of evidence, I doubt that any new eating establishment will be unveiled at Roth Café. So, I will just stick to my logical reasoning and expect nothing until I receive and email of some sort or see renovations being made at Roth Café for such purposes.
While rumors are buzzing out and about across Stony Brook, a few will always penetrate our mental defenses like vicious viruses every now and then. After spending a few months at such a large university, I have already made some observations about rumors and gossip that are worth sharing. Ironically, when a person tries to describe something, he or she is actually painting a self-portrait of themselves. The way a person stretches the truth, what details they choose to include or exclude and their emphasis on certain ideologies speaks volumes about their biased perception of reality. As listeners, when we succumb to their yarn-spinning powers, we feed their ridiculous mentality by whole-heartedly accepting their rumors as the truth. Of course, as humans, this is because we can relate better to stories that pick at our imaginations rather than raw, factual data. As a consequence, once everyone decides what the truth is, while social media serves as an echo chamber, reality no longer serves a purpose in our delusional little worlds.