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Cougars & Mustangs: The horses are coming



The double-bass lays a dark fog across the darker void, giving the floor of our view a real thickness. The violins enter softly at first, then rise in volume with increasing aggression, jerking back and forth frantically as if played by malfunctioning automatons. As the title of our work wipes, then bleeds across the screen, the brass section, as one multi-octaved beast, lumbers its prey into a corner and towers above it, to an almighty cry of “It’s coming! It CREEPS THIS WAY!” Fae Wray screams herself hoarse … just as you scream now, “HORSE! HORSE! THE HORSES ARE COMING!”

It’s rather uneducated of you to call them horses rather than mustangs, but whatever. You’ve found one interpretation of this work. In less than two weeks’ time, the town will meet its equine demise—or rather, will see the beginning of a new semester of college at Cal Poly, which, if you haven’t gotten used to by now, is a tad worrisome. In this increasingly inappropriate metaphor, the eager, multiplicious students who add even more color to this tiny, cozy town are something like Godzilla, just as SLO is something like Tokyo: dramatically impacted by the beast’s arrival, but pretty used to it by now.

Sometimes Godzilla trashes Tokyo. And sometimes Godzilla saves it and the entire Earth from the threat of the monster you see on the cover, but doesn’t really start a fight until the last 20 minutes of a two-hour movie.

Just so with students. For as much as you’ll hear people complain about the actions of some Mustangs, others will praise the great boon to the economy, culture, and renown of our fair city. They’re a big part of this place, like it or not, so this is your friendly reminder to not lay your generalizations on this student population for the actions of some, just as you shouldn’t blame one side of Godzilla’s severe split-personality disorder for the actions of the other. So, when “HORSE! HORSE! THE HORSES ARE COMING!” reaches the ornate ceiling of a theater near you this Sept. 16, keep an open mind!

And thus begins the second trailer. In a mere week’s time, you, too can experience the Oscar-hungry, merchandise-driven fantasy world of New Times’ own Student Guide, with (among many others) an appearance by yours truly! Be sure to pick up this special issue, wrapped neatly like a hunk of veal inside the week’s “regular” issue. And if you miss that, you’ll be able to read it yourself on this website ( with physical copies still available at our office itself.


Intern Chris White-Sanborn should never be trusted with over-extended metaphor again. Send your collegiate news to

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