One of the MIT students behind the non-hilarious idea to "prank" rival schools by giving homeless people clothing festooned with enemy logos (because get it? Poor people are worthless, just like USC) has had a change of heart and written a self-flagellating apology that's just about as sorry-sounding as an apology can get.
Yesterday, Laura alerted us to Hobojacket, a stupid joke that turned into a website run by two MIT freshmen that aims to pool donations from haterade-drunk college kids and use the funds to purchase jackets for homeless people depicting the reviled academic institution of the donors' choosing. When the piece ran, both students behind the site defended themselves by declaring themselves super advanced funny humans (what I refer to as the Rape Rape Holocaust Dead Baby Rape Style of Humor, the sort of humor that demonstrates a lack of understanding of the line between "funny/clever" and "just throwing offensive shit at the wall and seeing what sticks" — but I digress), super smart practice Mark Zuckerbergs, and super benevolent nerd Mother Teresas. None of the above were true, and now Jin Pan, one of the brainparents of the site, has realized this, taking down the entire site and replacing it with a heartfelt sounding apology,
I thought I had a clever idea for leveraging existing college rivalries to raise money to provide warm clothing for the homeless.
But I did not actually understand that my gimmick was dependent on objectifying the homeless.
The site's so-called edgy manner was designed to spread quickly, but I realize now that it also allowed my insensitivity to go viral.
I wish I could rewind time to Sunday and reverse the decision to take the site live.
But time is irreversible and I've learned a hard lesson.
I'm sorry that I offended so many, and I'm disappointed in my own lack of judgment.
I've matured a lot over the last 3 days in listening to the flood of more mature voices out there.
I especially apologize for using those who can't as easily speak up for themselves.
Phew. I cry with relief to know that the grad school applications of the students involved are now safe.
So thus ends the saga of the Hobojacket. And just to throw my two scents in, I always assumed that seeing one particular school feature prominently on homeless people's clothing meant that alumni of that particular school are successful and conscientious enough that they have extra wearable clothing to donate and they have the good sense to give it to the less fortunate. Which ultimately reflects positively, not negatively on the school. If Hobojacket had gotten legs, it could have totally backfired on the jackasses who felt compelled to donate.