Collar back, ‘Nova

Matt Siblo

When people have endured atrocious and frustrating abuses of power, their desire and strength to overcome such hardships is often equally forceful. If pushed far enough, the populace will take back their power. Think of the South on the edge of the Civil Rights movement in the early 1960s. Perhaps even France just before their Revolution in the late 18th century. Now what do both of these very significant and volatile periods in time remind you of? Well, you’d be a fool not to recognize the parallels to those landmark events and the current tension found between two very distinct groups on this campus.

That’s right; I’m talking about you Villanova collar-flippers. We’ve had enough. We’re ready to take back our campus one Ralph Lauren shirt at a time.

I’ve read my Thomas Paine, and I’m pretty sure I’ve understood it. It’s about civil disobedience, right? Well Mr. Paine, I’m ready to disobey, but I can’t promise you I’ll be so civil. Ladies and gentleman, brothers and sisters! Do we not remember how ridiculous we looked in parachute pants? Can I get an Amen? Maybe a Hallelujah?

If you’re with me, I want you to do just one thing … I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go the window, open it and stick your head out and yell, “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!”

Now that I’ve relieved myself of the fire and brimstone that I’ve desperately tried to ignore, I’m ready to be reasonable. Last spring, an alarming new trend rocked the campus harder than a Tim Reynolds and Dave Matthews double bill. (Read into that what you will.) This trend, if you haven’t guessed by now, is the flipped-up collar. Originally thought to be a hijink perpetrated by the Villanova Cleaners in an effort to use up their unwanted spray starch, further investigation proved that these “popped” collars were actually up on purpose. Many were flabbergasted, dozens stunned.

Junior John Paul Anthony had this to say about his first experience with the collar-poppers: “The first time I saw a popped collar, my hope for the tolerance of any mistake in the name of fashion suffered. A part of me died that day.”

Andrew Horne, a senior philosophy major (which means he knows stuff, like important intellectual stuff) stated, “Wearing collared shirts in a raised fashion was a sign of the preferences for killing babies in Vichy, France.” France could not be reached at press time.

In an attempt to better understand where the flipped collars are going, I decided to take a look back at some of the more famous collar-poppers in history to find out where we as a campus, nay we as a people are going. By my estimation, the comprehensive list looks something like this.

1390 – Prince Vlad III “The Impaler” aka Dracula-Vlad spearheads the movement (as he also ironically spears heads) with his famous high-flying collar. Vampire enthusiasts continue the trend for a little while but the contemporary undead have since phased it out.

1974 – Arthur ” Fonzie” Fonzarelli makes his TV debut. Resident “Happy Days” cool guy flips his collar up, stares at himself in the mirror and moans approvingly in opening segment of every episode. Said routine is thought to be still carried on by many on campus.

1980’s – Various cartoon characters. Everyone from Joe Camel to Minnie Mouse (pictured here) succumbed to the dark side of the collar in the decade that Reagan bought. While the effect that Joe Camel had on the current resurgence is debatable, many cite Ms. Mouse as a prominent influence.

The trend has become so prominent that people are now going to great lengths to make sure that their collar is the stiffest. Speaking on terms of anonymity, one Villanova senior, Chrissy Zullo, reported the following: “One of my roommates last year used to spray her collar with hairspray to get it to stay popped.” With Aqua Net reserves at record low numbers, the future of shirt/mousse relations are currently in serious question with many lawmakers concerned for both the environment and the fact that their sons and daughters look like idiots.

As the warm weather of summer begins to fade, some have hoped that the collars will finally drop. Critics of this theory are quick to point out, however, that the people at Lacoste and J. Crew have scientifically engineered their polo shirts to enable the collars to be flipped up underneath a North Face fleece or an Abercrombie sweater. It seems as though the miracles of modern science have once again bewildered us.

I ask you, faithful Villanovan reader, but this one ever-so-slight question: Are you with us or are you against us? Because if you’re with us, I want you to raise your fists in the air and break free from the shackles of this oppressive fashion trend! Get out of your seat and break free! The revolution is at hand! Depending on whether or not that kid who does all those shows on the Villanova channel is busy, it may or may not be televised.