The custom of tossing mortarboards high into the air at the culmination of university graduation ceremonies could be hazardous to your health.
At least that appears to be the case for one university in the United Kingdom where "authorities" have asked the graduating celebrants to refrain from the hat-tossing jubilation that has gone on for generations without anyone being maimed. Officials at Anglia Ruskin University issued the following written request (the somewhat unusual term of "graduands" as used here refers to "new graduates"):
"It is requested that graduands do not throw the hat up into the air. This not only causes damage to the hats but it can also cause injury if the corner of the hat hits the graduand or others who may be nearby."
God knows what carnage may be thus averted! We recommend disobedience here and also a celebratory cigarette. While the university is merely suggesting that the graduands refrain from the traditional act of celebration, in today’s Britain, perhaps ground zero for meddlesome, hyper-hysterical nannyism, it would take only a few ersatz studies to convince the officious bureaucrats that wield power to issue an edict against throwing the mortarboards into the air. One disgusted student speaks for a nation:
"I understand the university’s concern but I think it’s health and safety gone mad."
Almost right. It’s doubtful that the student understands the university’s "concern" since safety and health have absolutely nothing to do with its real concerns, which are all about thwarting human nature, regulating every aspect of human behavior, and transforming people into quaking, whining, and powerless fools. As to the sanity of the "health and safety" ethos that is inundating the industrial world, it went mad decades ago, and the only thing left to do with it is confine it forever to a loony bin.