September 30, 2022 | CULTURE | By Jonathan Cox

Nothing screams the end of a hard block like blasting “Smoko” at a Fourth Tues-CROÖOZ.

Last year was the year of the Fourth Tues-CROÖOZ. The Flaïr gods bid objectively bad but subjectively good fortune upon CROÖOZers with the full moon aligning near the end of several blocks. Even if the moon didn’t fall on fourth Tues-CROÖOZ perfectly, our supreme leader and CROÖOZ Master, Whitton Feer ’23, declared Fourth Tuesday as the sacred day for CC’s blockly pilgrimage. This alignment of full moons and blocks seems like the Full Moon Cruise – or CROOOOOÖOOOOOZ, for short – was destined to be at CC.

There is something special about riding bicycles illuminated by traffic lights and the reflective strips of a fellow CROÖOZer’s Flaïr during the most important time in a block. After a hard block, many CC students choose to celebrate on a class well done – or to just say fuhgeddaboudit to academic and personal responsibilities, asking said responsibilities to leave them alone. I remember last semester reviewing some tedious, hair-ripping problems for a final the next day and opted for the second, less responsible option. It was one of the best decisions I made during the whole block.

Congregating outside of Worner before the clock struck 10, the hoots and howls of my fellow students, friends and classmates confirmed my decision and I’m sure I was not the only one who made that choice that night.

Blocks come and blocks go, but the CROÖOZ abides.

**Disclaimer: I still do my homework, I promise.**

More students flocked to the flagpole with mystery bicycles and attire as prepared as they will ever be for the voyage through the metropolis of Colorado Springs.

With Whitton’s “block rocker” exuding a deep bass rhythm that electrified the air with anticipation of pure organized chaos, we were off.

The CROÖOZ may be rife with chaos but it is also organized and timeless. The chaos surfaces in that every CROÖOZ is different; you never know what you’re going to get.

The CROÖOZ playlist is intentionally designed to get people moving and dancing ­– moving to the music, but also from stop to stop, with an almost nomadic uncertainty. However, the CROÖOZ remains timeless — the same route on its pilgrimage, the same playlist with the same core songs.

Every great movie, every notable organization or nation-state, needs an anthem – it’s what gives the CROÖOZ its identity to carry on the tradition.

That CROÖOZ anthem is “Smoko” by The Chats.

“Smoko” is the ideal song to bulge your vocal cords to at CROÖOZ. The streamlined Australian punk rock lyrics are easy to follow and relate to for all CROÖOZers. I got the chance to talk with the man who pioneered “Smoko” at CC over block break, Harry William “Buzz” Buzzard IV ’22.

Buzz described “Smoko” as “beautiful in its simplicity,” bolstered by the fact that “you don’t have to think too much.”

The chant, “I’m on Smoko, so leave me alone” lets you turn your brain off from a hard block and dissolve into the community of CROÖOZers.

Let me paint the picture better for you by describing the music video: a redheaded man with a mean mullet points at the camera, and proceeds to “set the scene.” The sun is beating down with maximum intensity in the tropical jungle of Queensland, Australia, “sweating buckets up and down the street.” He proceeds to “spot a bloke” who appears to be “perched atop of his milk crate throne.”

I brought in my Australian friend, Jim Sellars ’26, to interpret the sacred text. He told me that this scene depicts a working Australian man who has flipped a milk crate upside down as a seat on his Smoko. Sellars informs me that this is a common sight in the homeland. The man acts standoffish, as the narrator is interrupting his moment of enjoyment and relief during his laborious day, and barks: “I’m on Smoko, so leave me alone!”

Defeated by this arduous work, the narrator attempts to collect his Centrelink, or government welfare, in the second verse. Unfortunately, all he gets is “elevator music, waiting on the line, on hold all the time.” Suddenly, an operator answers on the other end, but it turns out the operator is also on smoko! This operator is unable to assist our troubled narrator. I guess everyone is on smoko, but the narrator seems to be unsatiated by his amount of smokos, begging the question “Ugh / Oh, what time is it? / Is it smoko?” in the bridge.

The song may be simple, with only two chords and an excessive hi-hat, its sentiment is profound. I guess everyone is “on smoko” together at CROÖOZ, which is a beautiful thing.

To quote another great song, “Astrovan”, by Mt. Joy: “We’re all alone together now.” Maybe CROÖOZ is Smoko, as going on CROÖOZ (or Smoko) lets us “disappear for a while” from our blocks and personal lives — a much-needed form of recreation. Wait, bringing it back to my last column, maybe Vienna is Smoko, too: “take the phone off the hook and disappear for a while / It’s alright, you can afford to lose a day or two.”

Everyone needs to take their own kind of “Smoko” every once in a while.

See you at the next CROÖOZ. In the meantime, if you want to get in the CROÖOZ mood, check out this week’s playlist:

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