April 13, 2013

The iconic red Solo Cup.

Suddenly, it's everywhere. Or... I mean... it appears in 2 different (and excellent) articles on the front page of the nytimes.com right now.

1. It's in that article — which I just said I loved — about the political microcosm that is one nutty garden club:
[April Ward] listed many indiscretions she said she had seen, smelled or heard around the shed area on summer nights. Smoking (of more than one substance). Grilling. Bonfires. Club money used to pay for charcoal, propane and food. Composting bins used for Solo cup storage. Physical fighting, once resulting in stitches. “Sex noises.” At least one instance of adultery and a resulting divorce.

“We have people in the club who are recovering alcoholics or addicts; they can’t be around people drinking,” Ms. Ward said. “You come to the garden, you expect it to be people gardening. And these people aren’t gardening. They’re having a party.”
2. It's in this profile of the fascinating internet character Jenna Marbles, who puts up junky YouTube videos that young girls love so much she's up to over 1 billion clicks.
In a hushed tone, she chews over a thorny problem of young adulthood: how to apply full evening makeup when you’re already inebriated from drinking all day?

She begins her tutorial by wielding that totem of collegiate binge drinking everywhere: a red plastic Solo Cup. One jump cut later (after a “Law and Order: S.V.U.” drinking game), she re-emerges, thoroughly intoxicated. She misapplies a gob of glue. It dangles from a false eyelash. She lines her lips with a black pencil....

The video, titled “Drunk Makeup Tutorial,” is completely awesome to some, bewildering to others — and above all, classic Jenna Marbles....
Searching the back archives of the NYT, looking for the source of devotion to this icon, I see (from last fall):
Last year Toby Keith literally stumbled his way back into pop culture relevance with “Red Solo Cup,” an ode to the drinking vessel of choice for soused common folk everywhere....
Okay, obviously, I need to catch up with this meme:



I get it. Apparently, you do not have a pair of testicles if you prefer drinking from glass. Henceforth, I will keep track of this pop culture symbolism. Sorry I was slow on the uptake, readers. I'm trying. I'm really trying. Some day, if I can sharpen or blur my perceptions sufficiently for internet purposes, maybe I too will have 1 billion clicks.

Meanwhile, speaking of activities involving red Solo Cups — which you're free to buy at Amazon — here in Madison, the Chief of Police, Noble Wray, would like you to know:
There will be no Mifflin Street Block Party on or around Saturday, May 4th in 2013. The spring student party will no longer be a City permitted or sanctioned event... The nuisance house parties on Mifflin Street, with the rampant over-consumption of alcohol and the attendant safety issues will no longer be tolerated by the City of Madison....

If you are considering hosting a party in the downtown area on or about 05/04/2013,the City of Madison is strongly recommending that you reconsider....
Among the laws that will be enforced with a "no tolerance" policy that day:
The City of Madison has established a glass ban on Mifflin Street and surrounding areas from 05/03/2013 through 05/05/2013. This ban is meant to help keep residents, guests, visitors, police and fire personnel safe. ALL GLASS containers will be banned on public property, even if it is not alcohol. Please avoid any glass containers. If you have glass on the street, sidewalk, or terrace, you will be cited.
No glass, but — I heard it from Toby Keith — you, sir, do not have a pair of testicles if you prefer drinking from glass.

64 comments:

Patrick said...

I find it funny that in the radio version of Mr. Keith's song, they substitute "vegetables" for testicles. Weird.

Tim said...

That Toby Keith song is fun, and funny.

AprilApple said...

Now a red solo cup is the best receptacle
For barbecues, tailgates, fairs and festivals
And you, sir, do not have a pair of testicles
If you prefer drinking from glass

A red solo cup is cheap and disposable
And in 14 years they are decomposable
And unlike my home, they are not foreclosable
Freddie-Mac can kiss my ass. Woo!

cheers.

traditionalguy said...

Broken glass is a weapon. No drunk ever mutilated another drunk smashing a red solo cop to his face. As soon as Bloomberg find out, glass will become illegal in NYC.

Obama's gang will soon see this too. Bottles can be used for Molotov Cocktails. Ergo: only red solo cups will be legally sold without a permit.

Darrell said...

What does a red Solo cup mean to me? Sean Penn trying to bail out the boat he rented for his Hurricane Katrina "rescue" mission, shit-faced. Good times!

CEO-MMP said...

It's like one of my nightmares (notice, not one of my worst nightmares)...Professor Althouse embedding (and quoting) that godawful Toby Keith song.

Why, Professor, why?

*I like Toby Keith. I liked the song...the first half dozen times the radio played it on the same day. After a long weekend trapped in another guy's shop (meaning no touchy his radio) working on his walking floor, with that song played every half hour on the dot, I despise it. And the damn cups.

CEO-MMP said...

I'm not on twitter, but I look at the twitter web page of a few people (hockey reporters, mostly) and one of them RT'd a comment the other day...'hey dickheads that break bottles on electric poles, dogs don't wear shoes' or whatever part of that fits in 140 characters. Glass is dangerous. Save us, o great government, save the poor puppies!

Chef Mojo said...

One of the many things I love about Savannah, Georgia, are the stacks of Go-Cups on the ends of bars nearest the bar entrance. You want to walk to another bar, but you haven't finished your drink? No problem. Pour it into a Go-Cup and roll. Streamlines the bar hopping scene considerably.

MadisonMan said...

ALL GLASS containers will be banned on public property, even if it is not alcohol. Please avoid any glass containers. If you have glass on the street, sidewalk, or terrace, you will be cited.

A little overreach. I wonder what would happen if a 50-something Madisonian walked down to the Farmer's Market via Mifflin on that day, carrying an iced coffee (from Indie Coffee) in a glass container.

Would breaking glass on the street be an expression of free speech?

Chef Mojo said...

As far as "the iconic red Solo Cup" being "suddenly everywhere?"

Uh, no. People, particularly in the South, have been using them for decades.

MadisonMan said...

Of course, like any good meme, Glee covered RSC last year.

It's a happy song. Overplayed, for sure (not to the extent that Chevy Van was overplayed back in 1975, of course).

bagoh20 said...

This goes back decades. When I was in college this was a meme, and we had live dinosaurs at our parties.

There was a comedian many years ago who did a hilarious bit about partying in the woods and the cops come, and everybody runs through the woods falling down drunk, but never letting go of their red plastic cup. An amazing skill I too picked up in college.

ken in sc said...

My lawyer daughter introduced me to the 'Red Solo Cup' video. She thought it was hilarious. I couldn't see why.
Maybe she has been to too many red Solo cup parties.

Nomennovum said...

Why do so many people think there aren't enough laws already on the books?

Here's my proposal for a law:

No law shall be enacted without at least 10 current laws being repealed.

Chef Mojo said...

Just always struck me as being common sense not to walk around with open glass containers in public, especially in warmer climes. It could really ruin your evening if some stumbling drunk dropped a bottle of beer on the pavement in front of you while you were wearing shorts and flip-flops. Broken glass and flip-flops don't go well together.

edutcher said...

They are de rigueur when The Blonde's family gets together, with names in black marker.

Nomennovum said...

... with names in black marker. -- Edutcher

Damn good idea. It takes me 5 mins to misplace by glass/cup at a party.

CEO-MMP said...

re black marker:

It's in the song.

Chef Mojo said...

When I do pig roasts, Solo cups are at the top of the "to-get" list. Good for liquor, beer, wine and iced tea! And they're made with graduations in the cup denoting appropriate volume levels for liquor, wine & beer, although Solo won't admit to it.

Shana said...

But is it a Sharpie? It has to be a Sharpie.

slumber_j said...

This issue has been explored exhaustively at Hot Chicks With Douchebags.

Shana said...

The Red Solo Cup + Sharpie marker are also de riguer at church meals and potlucks. Good ideas are very flexible in application.

Ann Althouse said...

"As far as "the iconic red Solo Cup" being "suddenly everywhere?" Uh, no. People, particularly in the South, have been using them for decades."

I don't mean that the cups are everywhere out there in the real world. I mean that they are mentioned by name in text that I'm seeing on line.

Why not say "cup" or "plastic cup"?

It's just interesting to me that a phrase comes up and also that the thing is identified as iconic.

I'm sure there are many items that are everywhere in ordinary life that are not talked about as if they have iconic status. Cf. the pink sock in the next post.

Ann Althouse said...

Speaking of testicles, women should not drink from plastic cups. Just have a rule. If you're not getting a glass, that's beneath you. That's not too hoity-toity of a standard, now, is it?

Nomennovum said...

Speaking of testicles, women should not drink from plastic cups. Just have a rule. If you're not getting a glass, that's beneath you.

Women drinking from the navels of other women is also OK.

Darrell said...

Now that Ann has weighed in about using a glass, we will now how a hundred Lefties show up with their "Box Wine Queen" slurs.

Fuckers!

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Every year we go to Reno for Hot August Nites. It is a pilgrimage.

Everyone drinks out of the plastic cups all the time when out on the street, checking out the cars, watching the street cruise. You just go into any casino or bar and ask for a "to-go" cup. You CAN'T get a glass to go, but you do see a few idiots drinking from glass bottles and glasses.

The BBQ Rib Cookoff is a lot of fun too and you won't see people with anything BUT a plastic cup....not necessarily Red Solo, but plastic.

I'm not to hoity toity to drink from a plastic cup. If that is what the host of the party is using....that's what I'll use too.

Shana said...

Ann said : " Speaking of testicles, women should not drink from plastic cups. Just have a rule. If you're not getting a glass, that's beneath you. That's not too hoity-toity of a standard, now, is it?"

I use my collectible Blackburn jelly jars with the handles to drink margaritas at home. Keeps my fingers from freezing. Now that's high class stuff, right there.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Because the cups are pretty flimsy, smart and experienced drinkers retain the first cup and just slip the second drink cup into the first for more stability.

Smart drinkers also don't stack more than two...maybe three. More is a sure signal to the Reno Police (toughest police force you will meet) that you are on your way to being drunk in public and for them to give you more than a casual glance. :-D Although....in Reno, you have to be really REALLY obnoxious or stupid to make them do anything about you. They have much more important things to do than to worry about a few happy drunks.

James Pawlak said...

"Freedom Of Assembly"? The party should go on with each person carrying a clip board with a political petition attached.

Shana said...

Toby Keith has mixed feelings about the cups vs glasses, you know:

We'll raise up our glasses against evil forces, singing, whiskey for my men, beer for my horses.

That's actually my favorite Toby song. Plus, it has my favorite old tax avoiding Austin hippie, Willie Nelson, singing along too. Great song.

virgil xenophon said...

Ala Chef Mojo, "Go-Cups"were ubiquitous a LSU my freshman year "62 and have ALWAYS been in New Orleans. Chauvinistic me says I'd wager a fair bit of money that the State of Louisiana--whose legal drinking age was for centuries 18--was probably the FIRST State in the Union to institute the "go-cup" as a general matter. ANY FOOL want to challenge me? :)

Shana said...

I believe Louisiana also pioneered the drive-thru diaquiri shacks.

edutcher said...

Um. whatever happened to Dixie cups?

Are Solo cups de rigueur in Dixie?

Shana said...

But is it a Sharpie? It has to be a Sharpie.

Absolutely.

Darrell said...

The Dixie Cup was invented in Boston, edutcher. It had been around as the Health Kup first (around 1912). The big deal was the machines to make them and the big break for the company was when the railroads adopted them. I know it after American Can bought it in the 50s. There was a big plant in Chicago.

Ann Althouse said...

"Solo" implies drinking alone. But if you were home alone, you would surely use a glass. Sometimes you feel alone in a crowd, but should the inferior vessel be pushing you to feel that way.

Christy said...

Oh, my! When my garden club gathers I use great grandma's tea cups, but do find wine glass charms useful for guests who prefer cold beverages and liable to set their glasses any ole where.

tim maguire said...

Red solo cups are best filled by kegs.

Red solo cup = kegger

Red solo cup = party

Person holding red solo cup = partier

Glass = wine and cheese and (probably) arugula in the crisper drawer

Person holding glass = your dad after he got boring

Ann Althouse said...

It's possible that I have never attended a party.

Nomennovum said...

Red solo cup, you have been shaped and made into a vessel that can be used for many purposes. You shall then emerge a beautiful vessel that can be filled and sent forth.

gadfly said...

As for the Mifflin Street tradition - some people are going to party anyway.

Rabel said...

Might I suggest a compromise for Althouse?

Darrell said...

I suggest this--
http://c2.diapers.com/images/products/p/th/th-020_1z.jpg

Not only does it not spill, it makes it much harder to be Roofied.

jr565 said...

How do you play Das Boot with a plastic glass? Do they may plastic boots?
Does this apply to shots as well? Wine?

Palladian said...

I prefer to skip cups and glasses and drink my liquor straight from the bottle.

Palladian said...

OK, my previous comment isn't true. It's funny, for years I've had a personal rule that I will never drink alcoholic beverages from plastic cups. And... let me check just to make sure... yep, I've still got my sizable testicles.

Christy said...

I remember my youth - a freezer full of beer mugs.

EMD said...

I have an irrational love of Koby Teeth.

jr565 said...

I like drinking Beer from a chilled bottle if possible. If getting it from a tap, I guess plastic is as good as anything else. In fact, I guess I would find that preferable as I'm never sure how well the people I'm getting the beer from have washed the glass.

But drinking an ice cold Heineken right out of the bottle is much preferred to drinking warm beer from a plastic cup.

jr565 said...

If I'm at a kegger (not that I've done one of those in ages) Plastic is the only way to go. But that's college drinking where you have a little bit of money and no standards.
We once drank wine from a box, that's how little we cared about quality. If that's the kind of drinking youre doing, just to get shitfaced, then any cup will do, the more disposable the better.
But if you now drink occassionally and not to get shitfaced, then a plastic cup is low class.

Big Mike said...

you, sir, do not have a pair of testicles if you prefer drinking from glass.

Them's fighting words, Toby.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

a plastic cup is low class.

There is a time and a place for everything. If you are at an outdoor picnic or barbeque, often a plastic glass or 'Solo' cup is acceptable rather than using your good crystal. Some people aren't very careful :-) Agreed that nothing beats a frosty cold bottle of beer, but if you are at a kegger or a street event....well.....a cheapie plastic cup is de rigueur.....not to mention safer.

If we are having an event at home with people mingling on the deck, it depends on who they are if I'm going to use my glasses and stemware or if I'm going to break out the plastic glasses

The one thing I would not do is to sneer at whatever serving ideas my host is providing and imply that I'm too good for their shitty plastic glasses and crappy plastic forks and that they are low class for using them. That would just be rude.

Shana said...

" The one thing I would not do is to sneer at whatever serving ideas my host is providing and imply that I'm too good for their shitty plastic glasses and crappy plastic forks and that they are low class for using them. That would just be rude."

Not to mention low class.

MadisonMan said...

If you're on a picnic, I would take sturdy platic cups, not disposable Red Solo cups.

Something like this would be good for lemonade from a thermos.

RSCs are great for keggers, but not for many other things.

jr565 said...

There is a time and a place for everything. If you are at an outdoor picnic or barbeque, often a plastic glass or 'Solo' cup is acceptable rather than using your good crystal. Some people aren't very careful :-) Agreed that nothing beats a frosty cold bottle of beer, but if you are at a kegger or a street event....well.....a cheapie plastic cup is de rigueur.....not to mention safer.

I agree. He does mention barbecues, tailgates, fairs and festivals. at those kind of events the idea of using a glass made of glass sounds crazy. Everything else is plastic and getting thrown away at the end of the meal, so why would you carry around dozens of glass cups?

For that kind of drinking he's right. It's just that there is more kinds of drinking than drinking at fairs and picknicks and with a keg.

If you go out to a bar for example where you don't have to bring all the forks and knives and cups, a glass bottle works better. For me at any rate.

It's the difference of, are you drinking at a place where you have to bring the beer and glasses or at a place like restaurant and a bar where they already have them supplied.

jr565 said...

Dust Bunny wrote:
The one thing I would not do is to sneer at whatever serving ideas my host is providing and imply that I'm too good for their shitty plastic glasses and crappy plastic forks and that they are low class for using them

Pointing that out would be in and of itself low class.
The only real time I can see drinking with a glass is at home or in a bar or at a wine tasting.
Imagine though if you went to a wine tasting and the wine came in a cardboard box and they gave peope red plastic cups to drink wine.
Or if you went to an upscale steak restaurant and the steak came out on a plastic plate and you were given a spork.

Ann Althouse said...

I couldn't listen beyond a few lines of that Keith song, but I assume the point is that very casual, outdoor parties are the most fun.

I probably agree, actually.

Big Mike said...

And the background activity at 1:28 is beyond disgusting.

Smilin' Jack said...

There will(sic) be no Mifflin Street Block Party...

That should be spelled vill.

Also, if you're at a party and you're not drinking beer from a can, you're a pussy, and everyone already knows you don't have testicles.

LL said...

In New Orleans, we refer to them as "go cups"

paminwi said...

I read one comment on a local Madison website re: Mifflin Street.

TOGA TOGA TOGA.

I love how some movie quotes never lose their appeal.

paminwi said...

I read one comment on a local Madison website re: Mifflin Street.

TOGA TOGA TOGA.

I love how some movie quotes never lose their appeal.

bagoh20 said...

" If you're not getting a glass, that's beneath you."

So please don't even show up. We have plenty of sticks in the mud out here already. Go dust your books again.

Roux said...

terrace (plural terraces)
A platform that extends outwards from a building.


So if you're sitting on your terrace with glass of orange juice they will arrest you.