Mar 7, 2008

The Safety Dance

This pic from Thomas Waugh's 'Out/Lines and Lust Unearthed' (via Unnatural Devotions... again!) Reminded me of the 'Herndon Ritual', AKA 'Let's all put a condom on the phallic god':

In the name of safety, the U.S. Naval Academy is considering an overhaul of one of its most bizarre traditions: the annual ritual in which a thousand first-year midshipmen struggle to conquer a 21-foot granite obelisk coated with 200 pounds of lard.

The Herndon Climb has occupied a hallowed place in Naval Academy tradition for decades. For members of the plebe class, the climb represents what a former midshipman called "our final exam of all finals." The starter gun fires, and the plebes, working together, race to replace a blue-rimmed sailor's cap, known as a "dixie cup," with a midshipman's cap.

The scene is unforgettable to those who watch, as the sweating, grunting, red-faced midshipmen at the bottom, their arms linked, support a human pyramid surging to the top of the monument. The pyramid often collapses, but the plebes invariably make it to the top whether it takes them minutes or hours. --Washington Post

In the Name of Safety


Doug said...

LOL I knew that image looked familiar. Btw: that writer from the Post seems awfully excited by those "sweating grunting red-faced midshipmen".

JB said...

NOT gay. Not gay AT ALL. Now let's spend a few months alone at sea surrounded by thousands of hunky seamen lol

Ben Fairhall said...

Hi Michael: very interesting find, thanks.

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