Digging Deep on The Buried Life, All While Partying Like It’s 1999

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By Hilary Weissman > sophomore> Journalism> University of Maryland
Photo by Eric Johnson

Some of you might have heard what John Mayer has to “Say” in recent interviews, and you may have even seen the movie “The Bucket List”, but these guys are no Morgan Freeman, Jack Nicholson, or even Mayer- thank goodness. Jonnie Penn and Dave Lingwood, both 23 and half the awesome foursome behind “The Buried Life” on MTV, weigh in on the Season 1 Finale, airing Monday, March 8th, at 10 p.m., EST.

They’ve asked themselves, and everyone they meet, “What do you want to do before you die?” Inspired by Matthew Arnold’s poem written in 1852, their goals were verbalized by the lines,
But often, in the world’s most crowded streets,
But often, in the din of strife,
There rises an unspeakable desire
After the knowledge of our buried life.

Meaning that based on the human condition, we tend to get buried by trivial qualms that block us from seeing what we truly desire out of life.

The episode features list item #85, “Throw the Most Badass Party Ever,” which proved to be a difficult task when the boys headed north of Los Angeles, California.  Between unwilling hosts and wary police, the go-getters had their work cut out for them. They had to find someone that “understood what the party was about,” and they ended up roping in an ex-Pro skater, but of course you will have to tune in to see who it is!

It was hard to convince the police that they didn’t mean any harm when they encountered officers who weren’t too pleased to find four guys on a tour bus scheming to throw a rager. But nothing says Badass like pissing off authority, no?

Check out these two exclusive sneak-peeks from Monday’s finale!

Buried Life Ep 108 clip 1

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Buried Life Ep 108 clip 2

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“We were inspired by the movies ‘Can’t Hardly Wait’ and ‘American Pie’ for this one,” Jonnie said. These coming-of-age classics featured parties that evoked that je ne sais quoi of an epic party where you land the girl of your dreams, or are just in good company and relishing in the moment.

This couldn’t be like any old high school party or themed college kegger, “we wanted it to be large than life,” Jonnie said. They also hoped their star-studded location would help them get an artist to attend for that extra element, modeling the iconic scene in “Almost Famous” when Billy Crudup’s rocker Russell Hammond yells “I am a Golden God!”

Back in 2006, along with Jonnie’s older brother Duncan Penn and ringleader Ben Nemtin, Jonnie and Dave made it their mission to achieve their dreams bar none, and vowed to help a stranger achieve theirs for every item they cross off their list.

Through their official site, their fan page on Facebook, and their Twitter account, the Buried Life boys have created a rapidly expanding network of dreamers and enablers of those dreams. They already have well over 300,000 fans, who are encouraged to share their lists on the official sites.
“That is the most humbling thing,” Dave said. “Our fans are so active and really think about the question we pose…that’s what we love.”

Though Duncan has already completed his college degree, the other three have yet to cross elusive #11 off their list, they are just too busy. Jonnie studies History and Literature at McGill University and Dave studies sociology at Concordia University, both in Montreal. These bold college students are men that any girl would be proud to bring home to their parents, eh?

All while realizing some pretty incredible dreams of their own, they have already impacted countless lives of those in need of direction by partaking in touching and very real fantasies of total strangers. Dave revealed he was most moved in Episode 4, when they helped deliver the baby, and helped a Hurricane Katrina Refugee find her mother’s grave for closure.

Where to next? Based on the overwhelming response on the Facebook fan page contest, the gang is headed to Boston and Pittsburgh. It could be your college town next, just get all your friends, and all their friends to reply on the wall!

Afterward, they’ll be attacking more ambitious goals on the road and internationally this summer.
When they finish the 100, they have the drive to add more goals for as long as they live. “We really want to prove that anything is possible,” Jonnie said. “It’s going to be utterly ridiculous.”

Check out theburiedlife.com for their official Top 100 list, their blog posts, and to post your own buried life list, and don’t forget to tune in to MTV, this Monday at 10 p.m.!

College Magazine Staff

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