Womb to Zoom to Tomb

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, security issues with the popular video conferencing application Zoom have given rise to a new form of internet trolling known as “Zoombombing,” sowing frustration and panic among Zoom’s millions of daily users. Yale’s online classes are by no means exempt, and a recent string of particularly bizarre Zoombombings have left students and faculty scratching their heads. The Herald has been in contact with an  anonymous individual or group—identifying themselves, puzzlingly, as “The Ghost of Mike Myers”—who claims responsibility for these disruptions. They assured our editorial staff that the attacks would cease upon publication of their essay, “Womb to Zoom to Tomb.” The excerpted meditations and demands of The Ghost of Mike Myers are now available exclusively to the readers of The Herald.

Do not concern yourself with how we find your Meeting IDs. There are endless GroupMes to scour, Canvas pages to infiltrate, and departmental websites to peruse. Do not concern yourself with how we progress through the Waiting Room. No elderly professor has the patience, nor the incentive, to check every name against the class roster—he’s too busy cracking open his pistachios, blissfully unmuted. Do not concern yourself with how we evade detection once inside. We go by many names. We might masquerade as “#theyaleyoudeserve” today, but tomorrow you might know us only as “X Æ A-12.” In this bastion of free expression, neither name is quite absurd enough to make you bat an eye. [. . .] Be concerned only when pronouns disappear from our name, our Cross Campus virtual background is supplanted by the DreamWorks logo, and the opening guitar riff of “Accidentally in Love” by Counting Crows begins to echo tinnily through your depressing facsimile of a classroom.

[. . .] It is not that Shrek 2 is an especially good movie. It is not that it screened in legitimate competition for the Palme d’Or at Cannes in 2004, the year of its premiere. It is not that it remained the highest-grossing animated film by any studio until the release of Toy Story 3 six years later. It is not even its chart-topping soundtrack, featuring star power ranging from David Bowie to cast members Antonio Banderas and Eddie Murphy. No, it is not any of these features of Shrek 2 that have compelled us to play it, in its entirety, for every class we occupy. [. . .] A critical viewing of the film allows us to unlock the secrets lurking beneath its glossy, computer-generated exterior.

Shrek 2 broadcasts a resounding message of acceptance [. . .]. While the first entry in the Shrek saga contains an implicit instruction toward positivity, its sequel indulges in none of the same equivocation. Even when faced with an unfraught opportunity to continue their lives as humans, the ogre protagonists elect to revert to the forms in which their love was founded and substantiated. [. . .] Masterful lead performances by Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, and Cameron Diaz instill within all viewers a deeply human message which will undoubtedly echo through the eons.

Until the Academy can recognize its error in declaring The Incredibles the Best Animated Feature of 2004, our efforts will not halt. We have set our sights far beyond the digital walls of any single institution. Within the week, we will commence our national campaign, intent to certify to the American public that they have been deceived, misled, and manipulated for 16 years. [. . .] For the moment, Yale, its classes, and your hopeless professor may be left alone. But until Shrek 2 is formally recognized for the work of unadulterated cinematic genius that it is, no corner of our digital world will be free from our command.

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