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- Image via Deadspin
Don’t call it a comeback. Call it a hiatus. You heathens can tell me you didn’t like my ideas, you can tell me you didn’t like my fuckin’ neck tie, but don’t tell me you didn’t enjoy the occasional Dick essay.
So let’s talk about partying through the decades.
In a word? Ballsy. 1920s America was on the biggest social probation of all time: the Prohibition. The cops weren’t going to break up underage drinking; they were going to break a night stick over your skull if you were in the same room as a beer.
During the Prohibition era, drinking took place in private fraternity houses or off-campus at speakeasies and jazz clubs. Any “college party” on campus would have been much more formal, like dinners that included a lot of speeches and other specific rituals.
Love it. Fraternity houses or speakeasies. Wonder which one most college students (sorority girls) wanted to attend more? Go to the nice brick house near campus or go to the speakeasy where G-Men may or may not bust in and put a pick axe through the kegs? Fraternity house 100 times out of a 100 is a fair guess. Hosting formals in the face of adversity. Good stuff, guys.
Also, college men and women would interact through fraternities and sororities at formal events, like dances and dinner.
I guess you’re going to tell me the sun is going to set tonight, too. Got it.
Not too much changed in the party scene. Formals, dances, probably some debauchery. Things would progress. There was this, though: Female education was on the rise, but it typically focused on preparing women to be wives.
Just let that one sink in for a second. Classes for women on how to be a good wife. Seems legit, but just one thing — men had to be teaching those classes, right? I’m not saying women couldn’t teach this class. I’m just saying there was probably some “guess what I said that wives should do for their husband” lines being thrown around by the men in the teachers’ lounge after class. It’s the only explanation for things like road head and post-coital sandwiches, and that’s something I think we can all stand behind.
Okay, so the party scene didn’t progress immediately. All of the red-blooded American men were fighting a war. It’s kind of hard to throw a rager when America is busy defending freedom overseas.
Now we’re talking. I’ll paint a picture for you. You’re a man that went from storming beaches while Nazis rained all hell, piss and fire on you to storming home where you are, in every aspect of the word, a hero. Then you re-enroll in your respective college. Add the fact that you are now subbing Japanese fighter jet bombshells in your face for American blonde bombshells in your fraternity house, and what you have is primal male behavior on a molecular level. Basically, wild horses couldn’t drag a soldier away from what he had in mind.
Veterans turning underwear into flood zones when they showed up to the sorority house is how I imagine it went. Do you think these guys were going to let pre-war collegiate social norms affect their thirst for countless beers and sexual conquests? Well, those norms weren’t there when the men were hauling blow torches toward German machine gun nests, so I don’t think they regarded obstacles in any environment anymore.
Late ‘40s — that’s when college partying turned it up a notch. So if you can read this, thank a teacher. If you can read this in English, thank a veteran. And if you can black out in a sea of foam and lights and coeds, then you should also thank a veteran.
I think the term “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” would apply best to college partying for this decade.
This decade brought the sexual revolution, and students of the opposite sex could finally visit each other in their dorm rooms. Not a whole lot I can say. I had no clue this was ever an issue. Bang up job ‘60s. Coed dorms. Bang up job indeed.
Let’s not forget that the classic film example of student partying, Animal House was set in 1962 and based on experiences the writers had during their fraternity days in the ’60s at Dartmouth College and Washington University in St. Louis.
Inspired Animal House. Some movie about a fraternity and partying or something. I don’t think it ever really caught on, but it’s a start. It sounds like the ‘60s were shoveling a lot of coal into the college party train that we ride today. There was some hippie shit going on with protests and tree hugging and whatnot, but I choose not to acknowledge that nonsense. I’m going to pack a dip and move on.
A typical college student might’ve gone to an anti-war meeting, a rock concert to drink or smoke, or “just go on a double date to the movies.” Yet, the Greek system’s model of formal parties remained strong. These Animal House-esque parties continued, as evidenced in photos from business magnate Mark Cuban’s Indiana University days posted to Deadspin (above). One of Cuban’s photos shows “rugger bowling” — throwing a naked rugby player down a table into a stack of cups.
I’m sensing a pattern. The Greek party life stayed strong and true to its roots, whereas the pot-smoking bongo circles were becoming more hit or miss. The concept of raging in a formal setting is a timeless art for the fraternity gentleman. Much like a Remington 870, our style has staying power. And thanks to Animal House, the lewdness had a solid blueprint to further build upon. Another away: if you don’t think that I’m adding “rugger bowling” to my to-do list, then you don’t know me very well. Thanks, Mark Cuban.
Ah, the ‘80s. Many of us consider it the golden age of college raging. There’s a reason why one of the more popular party themes today requires stellar cheap sunglasses, neon colored wind breakers, and more spandex than any one person would deem necessary. Then sprinkle some coke on it.
Quick snippet about the ‘80s:
The 1980s were perhaps the last years before the great higher-education arms race, when colleges began to compete to see who could have the campus most like a country club.
Country-club style campuses, huh? I don’t want to brag, but in some social circles, I’m considered an expert on country club college campuses. Dick University, college for those who enjoy the finer things in life, will happen. My plan is bulletproof, really. I go on ABC’s Shark Tank. I tell everyone to leave the room except for Mark Cuban. I maintain perfect eye contact with Cuban while I pitch my idea. He agrees with a sturdy handshake and then we celebrate with rugger bowling. End of story.
There is only one scar on the face of the ’80s.
Congress passed the National Minimum Drinking Age Act in 1984, forcing states to move the legal drinking age to 21 or lose federal highway funding. I don’t think I really need to go into why this is in no way, shape, or form a real issue to the majority of this site’s readers.
So that’s where it stops. I guess the author of this article forgot that there was another decade or two after the ’80s.
I get it, though; I’m sure not a lot changed after the ’80s except for when campus police began bird-dogging underage drinking for sport. Other than that, I’d say the party continues. Carry on, you wasted-face sons of bitches.