Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

You fools, I was in the Machine the whole time

In the 2011 film “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy,” a group of British intelligence officials share insignificant secrets with a Soviet diplomat in London in turn for more meaningful information he provides about the Soviets. What they don’t know is one member of their group is actually a Soviet spy who uses the information exchange as cover to leak much more sensitive secrets to the Soviet Union. In the end, the joke is on them.

For the past year, my colleagues, superiors and subordinates at The Crimson White have often reminded me of those bafflingly stupid British agents.

People have frequently asked how I, as a greek student, can cover the Machine for the CW. But, was there ever really any question which side I chose? Surely no one seriously thinks beach trips and bar tabs are the only secrets the Machine is keeping.

Nevertheless, The Crimson White and some of its readers, under the preposterous idea that greeks care about how such an insignificant amount of money is being spent, thought that was a stunning revelation. So, they focused all of their attention on that issue while we focused on what was truly important: maintaining total control of everything outside of The Crimson White. So far, we’ve been successful.

My involvement with the Machine began last spring when I met an unnamed Tuscaloosa City councilman at a polling station for the Sunday sales vote. The councilman told me the Machine had actually elected him to the council, and that if I did the right thing and talked to the right people, I could go far in the world, like he had. I’ve always wanted to be on the Tuscaloosa City Council, so this guy really had me from “hello” (and no, it wasn’t Kip Tyner).

Two weeks later, I was abducted from my dorm room, blindfolded and taken to an undisclosed location. I was forced to eat an entire box of original glazed donuts fresh off the Krispy Kreme Hot Wheel. Those were still the good ol’ days, when we had Krispy Kreme.

By this time, the Machine realized it had made a grave mistake in last year’s election by supporting people who hated the Machine. A new strategy was needed.

But the Machine couldn’t just come out in the open and admit it was changing strategy. That would be very, well, unMachine-like.

I was taken back to my dorm where I was pushed out of the car, still blindfolded. I wandered aimlessly outside for a few seconds before a random GDI helped me remove the blindfold.  I threatened him with death if he told anyone about the incident.

For the next week, I thought about what had happened and tried to think of how we could solve the Machine’s problems. Finally, I received a text message telling me to report to Lakeside Dining at 9 p.m. Sunday.

If you’re a Machine member, Lakeside never closes. It’s one of the few perks for all the hard work the Machine members do.

When I was arrived, I was met by a small group of people who referred to themselves only as “lords.” They explained that my involvement with them would have to be kept completely silent, even from the Machine’s other members.

The lords wanted to rebrand the Machine and support candidates from non-Machine groups and even minorities, but the other Machine members would have never supported that plan unless they felt desperate. So, to get them to do what they had to do to win, we created a scandal that forced seven of our own people to resign. We leaked some secrets that incriminated us, but we kept the real secrets. We bought domain names for our own candidates and registered them to GDIs so that we could embarrass the opposition. And we won.

We played The Crimson White the same way the Russians played those stupid Brits. The joke is on them.

April Fool’s.

Tray Smith is the campus corruption editor of The Crimson White. 

More to Discover