August 24, 2005

We're #1.

Just so everyone doesn't feel they need to email me, I have seen that the Princeton Review listed the University of Wisconsin-Madison as the #1 party school. What am I supposed to say? We're #1? I guess if you're going to have a reputation as a party school, you might as well rank first.

That reminds me of a thing in George Carlin's "When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops?" — the book I listened to on yesterday's long drive home. He's talking about the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list and wondering about whether people on the list care about their high ranking — when there's a new addition to the list, does the guy who drops down to 11 feel bad about it?

Go to the link and do a "search inside the book" for "FBI" and you can read the passage. And speaking of ten, do a "search inside the book" for "Ten Commandments." Carlin considers the fact that there are ten commandments as evidence that people made it up. Carlin is just about as hostile as you can get toward religion, so this is not for everyone, but I found it absolutely brilliant and hilarious.

Enough rambling! Time to drink my breakfast.


Eddie said...

I am surprised it reached that high. When I lived in Madison, I found most students to be brainiacs and boring. Not exactly party animals. Cheers.


LDM said...


Verily would'st I do the analysis of a Vector
if my name were but Hector
Lo! T'would be like intoxicating nectar
Yea! Pure theory that could'st pass the test of any lie detector
-Lonely Donut Man

Monty Loree said...

eddie: SORRY OFFTOPIC: what on earth is GeorgePBush?

Too Many Jims said...

I think folks "drinking their breakfasts" in Madison may have contributed to the ranking (though I suspect you drank something different).

Art said...

George P. Bush is next in line of succession after Jeb. (aka George III)

Mr. Lee said...

I went to Washington and Lee University in Lexington, VA, and we're consistently high on the party school listing, as well as beer, liquor, and Greek rankings. It got to the point that the President declared that we won't cooperate with the Princeton Review anymore, since their surveys aren't scientific - they rely on self-selection from students. And W&L students think it's funny to rank that high on the party school listing, so all the frat guys and sorority girls tell the Review how much they drink.

I tend to think the Princeton Review should do a comprehensive update of its rankings and descriptions. W&L's had the same intro for years in the book, and most schools' listings are the same way - they just don't change what they've written from year to year. Anyway, congrats on wresting the Party School ranking from CSU-Chico, they were getting pretty arrogant about it.

howzerdo said...

Actually, the "honor" was wrested from University at Albany, SUNY, which was #1 last year. (Slipped to #5 on the current list, thankfully). Gina

bill said...

Does Madison still serve beer in the student union? I know it did when friends of mine went there, but never heard if this changed when the drinking age increased to 21.

**flashback to MN high school years - where the drinking age was 19, but 18 in Wisconsin and less than a 30 minute drive** WOOOOO!

John said...

Yes, the Union does serve beer, but when I was there at least, they were really tough on the IDing. Sigh.

Ann Althouse said...

How terrible it would be to take the beer out of the student union! It's a tradition, and there's not a damn thing wrong with drinking beer on the terrace. If it was up to Wisconsin, the drinking age would be 18 anyway, and it should be! If the college kids could drink in settings like that, there'd be less of the stupid house party drinking.

Eddie said...

Our drinking laws, driven by federal funding, are very eggregious. It's too bad MADD would have a fit if we ever tried to change the laws.

Hi Monty!

bill said...

Glad to hear the Union still sells beer and agree the legal age should be 18. But, recalling tales told by friends attending UW around 82-84, trust me, there was plenty of stupid house party drinking.

me said...

My son, a UW student, complained about the ranking because he is afraid that the ranking will bring too much attention from the administration, hence create a crackdown on partying.

There's a kid looking out for his best interest.

amba said...

I could never drive and listen to George Carlin. I'd be disabled with laughter and would go right off the road.

James d. said...

I went to Loyola College, and for years, despite being a bar college, having only 3,200-3,400 kids and no frats, we were always top 20 in beer, hard alcohol and pot.
We dropped off all 3 of those lists (but regained our #1 in dorms) this year, but I wonder if that's merely due to our students toning down the stories. Having been on campus last year, I'm doubting the drop in ranking was based on the facts.

Pastor_Jeff said...

Mr. Lee,

I went to W&L, too - although a number of years before you. In fact, I was in the first co-ed class. The upperclassmen weren't too happy about it, and it was definitely a significant point of cultural change at W&L.

When I started, we had bands in The Cockpit (our student union) and the seniors would send us freshman to buy pitchers, no questions asked. By the time I had left, the Cockpit had changed names, there was strict ID-ing, and the school was in the process of trying to step in and clean up the frat houses. So is W&L still a big party school?

Ann Althouse said...

Amba: It was especially hard in the end, driving in the darkness in the 14th hour on the road, with him gleefully describing incredibly gruesome things — not that I was laughing a lot, but that it was surreal.

Saganashkee said...

This is showing my age but if memory serves me right, Playboy was rating the party and drinking schools in the year I got my BS, 1961, and Wisconsin Madison was #1. I suppose I should add that I graduated from a much smaller and much tamer school in Ohio.

vbspurs said...

Although I say this as a very disgruntled Cane, I don't think you people up there in Madison-Whineyconsin have a thing on Tallahassee.

Florida State University lives up to their reputation as a party school, BIG TIME.

First, there's nothing to do in Tallahassee but party.

Second, the entire city is geared towards the school, with the State Capitol a mere afterthought.

The Carlin bit about then perfect synchronicity of The Ten Commandments is the usual "observations from the world of silly" he loves to make (have you ever heard his NFL-Army analogy? Brilliant).

But true comic genius comes from the mind of Mel Brooks not George Carlin.

History of the World, Part 1:

(Mel Brooks as Moses appears from behind a mountain, with three slabs written in Hebrew)

Mel/Moses: God sends you Fifteen Commandments to follow!!"

(Clumsily drops one slab with a thundering crash)

Mel/Moses: Ten! Ten Commandments To Follow!


Steven said...

Of course, the commandments are never called the Ten Commandments in the Bible, and they are not numbered, and there are three rival traditions as to what they actually are.

With the result that the ten-ness is, as Carlin said, clearly arbitrary and human-selected . . . but an arbitrariness and selection that provides no evidence as to whether God dictated the text or not.

Frankly, if I were counting them, I'd say there are

1) You shall not have other gods besides me. (Idol carving and worshipping included with this.)
2) You shall not take the name of the Lord, your God, in vain.
3) Remember to keep holy the Sabbath day.
4) Honor your father and your mother.
5) You shall not murder.
6) You shall not commit adultery.
7) You shall not steal.
8) You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
9) You shall not covet anything belonging to your neighbor.

Leaving us with nine. Protestants split the first into two bits, Catholics the last one, Jews count the statement that "I am the Lord your God" as a commandment and prepend it.

If you did all three, then you wind up with 12 commandments:

1) I am the Lord your God.
2) You will have no other gods besides Me.
3) You shall not carve idols.
4) Do not take the name of the Lord, your God, in vain.
5) Remember to keep holy the Sabbath day.
6) Honor your father and your mother.
7) You shall not murder.
8) You shall not commit adultery.
9) You shall not steal.
10) You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
11) You shall not covet your neighbor's wife
12) You shall not covet anything belonging to your neighbor.

vnjagvet said...

As a Lehigh grad, I was surprised to see it in third place.

When I was in school (over 45 years ago), it was all male, and in the Playboy survey of party schools, there was a footnote. It read something like, "The University of Virginia and Lehigh University have not been rated in this survey because they are disqualified. They are professional party schools," or words to that effect.

It was amazing how many of us made it through first class (even Ivy League) graduate and professional schools, landed pretty good jobs, and made it safely through life.

I tip my hat to Wisconsin and OU.

ziemer said...

bill, much of the house partying in madison in 82-84 was the result of a bar time of only 12:30. many house parties did not start until then.

when the state made a mandatory statewide bar time of 2:00 a.m., around 1987, some of that decreased.

vbspurs, let me explain something about madison:

the whole city is built around the school, and the state capitol is an afterthought!

and let's all drink to a backlash against madd, and the eventual restoration of sanity and the 18 drinking age!

Wave Maker said...

University of Vermont, 1973-1977 -- consistently #1-2 (trading with U. Denver) at the time, when drinking age was 18.

Well earned, well deserved, and presently a shadow of its former self.

Elizabeth said...

I now teach at my alma mater, and have never adjusted to the fact that the bar is gone and a little grocery store for the dorms is in its place. I have good memories of pitchers on the patio, as the table would grow fuller and fuller with friends getting out of class for the day. We had a weekly jazz night that got some of the best players in town (New Orleans, there's some good jazz here) and thought that has continued, it's in a big, cavernous cafeteria.

18 is entirely old enough to enjoy a beer. Why did we all cave to the federal blackmail?

ziemer said...

we caved to the federal blackmail because we wanted to get back our fair share of what never should have been taken from us in the first place.

Elizabeth said...

That was highway bucks, if I recall. Jeez, wasn't it Reagan? Less government for some, more for others, I guess.

I do recall sitting through some afternoon lecture courses with drunk freshmen cutting up in the back row. I'm glad I don't have to deal with that; I'm cranky enough with this recent generation. They need a lot of hand holding and coddling. Or perhaps they just need a beer.

ziemer said...

the recent generation grew up during a far more paternalistic time than we did. it's not their fault if they need more coddling, it's ours.

and yes, it was during the reagan administration that highway funds became contingent on an 18 drinking age. 1985 i think.

Richard Austin said...
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