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The Half-Life of YouTube Videos: Long Enough to Be Ashamed?

Here’s a happy YouTube video for you: hashers singing “Jesus Saves” on a crowded city street while a preacher tries to shout them down.

We shouldn’t lose sleep over YouTube and whether hash videos will help or hurt hashing.  Hashers are going to keep right on making and posting these videos.  You and I have to decide what activities we’re willing to participate in, keeping in mind that anyone with a camera cell phone can make us immortal.  Sort of like drinking at the circle and then driving home . . . living is choosing, and last time I checked, we’re all grown-ups.

What I hate, and hate enough to make me think about giving up hashing altogether, is hashers getting drunk in public and trying to shock the citizenry, as the hashers in this video are so gleefully doing.  I’ve seen hashers sing S&M Man in front of captive families on San Diego street cars.  At least once a month here in Tucson, hashers scream out the Head Chant (we fucked for hours!) in public parks, with picnickers all around.  I’m ashamed to say that in my early hashing days, I was part of that crowd.

Look, even though I quit drinking, I wish I still could.  There’s nothing better than a couple of cold beers after a good trail.  Even though I won’t sing certain songs (like S&M Man or Jesus Saves), I do love a good song fest at the circle – as long as it’s just us hashers.  Okay, I’ve been in pubs where patrons who know about the hash ask us to sing a song or two, and that’s cool too.

But what’s happening in this video is the hemorrhoid-ugly side of hashing.  It’s hashers being offensive for the sake of being offensive.  And I am offended.  The first time I heard hashers sing Jesus Saves, I walked away from the circle, even though we were in a secluded place and no one could hear us.  I’m not particularly religious and don’t consider myself Christian, but I won’t ever sing that song.  Would you sing a song that was a slap in the face to Jews, Muslims, or Hindus?  Even if there weren’t any Jews, Muslims, or Hindus around?  I wouldn’t, and I doubt you would either.

On my other blog I recently posted an entry about the time an uncle asked about the Hash House Harriers.  I referred him to my old web site, where, at the time, I was running a feature called Song of the Month.  Of course that’s the first thing my uncle clicked on.  He was so upset he cried.  I really felt bad about that.  Hell, I still feel bad about that.  I meant to share that song with fellow hashers, not with outsiders, and this wasn’t just some anonymous outsider . . . it was an uncle I’m genuinely fond of, a straight-shooting God-fearing man who fought for his country in WWII, raised a fine family, and cared for his invalid wife all through a long terminal illness.  Even though I didn’t mean to, I rubbed that good man’s face in something that shocked him deeply.

I wonder, will the hashers in that video some day regret participating in it?

Hypothetically, if you were part of a crowd on a busy street on a beautiful sunny day, and a small pack of Ku Klux Klanners started chanting nigger this and nigger that, what would you do?  What would you do if you had enough buddies to kick their ignorant fucking asses?

The hashers in this video are fortunate they didn’t get their asses kicked.  They asked for it, and they deserved it.

- Flying Booger

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