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I think we have to rethink the frat party. I know I’m a 30-year-old and it’s weird that I just used the word “we” about tinkering with the party system of 20-year-olds. If I showed up at your party and started waving my arms as I turned off the music, shouting, “Hold it! Hold it! We got to make some changes!” The whole party would think I’m looking for my missing daughter and run. But this crap is starting to make me look bad as an old frat guy.
Currently, there’s only negative news about greek life. Last week, Bill Maher did a five-minute rant on banning fraternities that currently has a 936 to 80, “Thumbs Up” to “Thumbs Down” ratio. At this point, a video of Kanye spitting on a homeless guy would have a better approval ratio than one praising frat guys — but none of this comedy was groundbreaking. Referencing fraternity houses and their lacrosse sticks and red solo cups are all easy jokes. Part of that is because a lot of frat guys play into those stereotypes. We play with lacrosse sticks on our lawns for the same reason we chant the word “chants” at a party. We love that you don’t get that we get it — we win. Recently, this joke has gone beyond our own lawns and into the public consciousness. Bill Maher did a lazy five-minute rant about banning fraternities because all he had seen online is stupidity. People generally agreed because that’s all they had seen too. The whole thing is our own fault.
Do a quick Google search for “college Party” and there are videos from all around the country. It’s a marathon of, “You think you party? Check out Blank University.” I get the need for comparison and competition because that’s been happening for a long time. One of my years at Penn State we were ranked the number one party school in the country and you know what happened the next year? Rules, about fifty new rules to be exact — because no school wants to be known for that. No administration is high-fiving over that number one spot because that’s just a pain in the ass. One kid dies, and it’s not because he screwed up, it’s because there’s a “culture problem.” Now with the internet, it feels like people aren’t going for a number one spot as much as they’re going for views or likes. Sometimes that works, and you get to show off your awesome party but most of the time people post dumb crap that gives the Bill Mahers of the world a pulpit from which to preach.
I blame the internet. Websites like this one that promote these videos have created too many attempts to one-up one another that manifest into something ugly and criminal like the KDR story at Penn State. I’ve been doing shows at a lot of different schools lately, and there are always a few guys that ask me how their Greek system stacks up to the others. How does the Pacific Northwest compare to the South? Is this as fun as the Northeast? Did my buddy projectile vomit as majestically as they do in Texas? There’s this constant need for comparison that is really just a huge waste of time. There are certain things your school won’t be able to compete with. You will not have hotter girls than they have at Arizona State — it just won’t happen. That’s the tissue God’s cum made a direct hit with. That’s a school with a special blend of easy to get into and weather you need to always be in shape for that can’t be matched by many schools.
I think the greek system has to adapt to the new realities. Yes, the goal is to have fun. But every time you have the biggest party and film it in an attempt to show off to a school across the country, you end up killing your next party or inspiring an idiot. I think a “you do you” policy should take form. Let’s get smaller. Let’s get creative. Let’s stop posting videos. Let’s stop looking for validation from across the country. Since I’m old, I’ll give you some perspective. The parties I still talk about with my friends aren’t the big ones. The ones we reminisce about are the parties that would never make the news because it was just dumb guys being dumb guys (#dudesbeingdudes). The ones we pulled off. The ones that we could hear one another ball bust over the music. The ones we try to explain to outsiders who walk away thinking, “That guy’s insane.” The ones where we spent two weeks growing mustaches and then drank pounders on our front lawn wearing t-shirts with Tom Selleck’s picture on it while admiring one another’s mustaches. Bill Maher might be able to make an easy gay joke about that but we’d all agree he didn’t get it and that’s why we win, and there’s no Youtube view that would feel as good..