Death by a thousand administrators!
No college experience is complete without at least a little Animal House excess. The statute of limitations having expired years ago, the Head Groundskeeper recalls Harvey Roesler’s Wapatoolie parties. (Harvey was one of our predecessors as editor of the student newspaper and a legend at UW-Oshkosh.)
Pour whatever Boone’s Farm, MD20, and Mateus Rosé wine you have on hand into a bucket for liquid refreshments. That’s your “wapatoolie.” Toke some Maui Wowie. Throw some Jimi on the turntable. Now the pièce de résistance: a string of plastic bread wrappers knotted together and suspended from the ceiling over a washtub of water. Light the contraption on fire. As the blaze works its way up it strobes at each knot while making a WUP WUP sound.
Our own son et lumière on the (student off-campus housing) cheap! Harvey called it the WUP WUP bird. Good wholesome (fire code unapproved) fun! (Later on in life, your scribe went to work for Gov. Tommy Thompson, before descending into the ignominy of on-line blogging.)
Words like ‘swell’ and ‘so’s yer old man’
The music was better then and so was the fun. The Head Groundskeeper is old enough to remember all-American panty raids! Pity today’s college student, too many of them majoring in Grievance Studies, flagellating themselves like medieval mendicants on the bramble path to under-employment and bottomless debt. (Vote Democrat!) Woke school administrators are proving H.L. Mencken right! Today’s Puritans fear that someone, somewhere, might be having fun.
As in misogynist Iran, there is nascent resistance on American campuses. Consider prestigious Stanford University. Student newspaper there did its own J’Accuse! exposing “Stanford’s War on Fun.”
The Stanford marching band’s mascot is not an animal like the UW’s Bucky Badger but a tree of indeterminate species, anthropomorphized with bug eyes and wearing a hat. At the school’s homecoming football game, the Tree unfurled a 40-foot banner reading “Stanford Hates Fun.” The school proved the point by firing the mascot. Thereupon, a student magazine staged a photo of the Tree splayed out on the sidewalk, like a State Street derelict, next to a liquor bottle and a giant cigarette. Headline, “Tree Gets Axed; Found Trunk in Public.”
The felled tree is not a one-off. Stanford Administrators this year published a 13-page index of forbidden words. (“Content Warning: This website contains language that is offensive or harmful. Please engage with this website at your own pace.”) One example: Even if you are a recent hire, do not call yourself “the low man on the totem pole.” Why? Because the term “trivializes something that is sacred to Indigenous peoples,” Stanford scolds.
It gets worse. The Wall Street Journal reports that Stanford began mandating students file an application two weeks ahead of a party. The application must list attendees along with “sober monitors.” Fret not. Stanford’s “associate vice provost of inclusion, community and integrative learning” says the school is working to address students’ concerns about Stanford’s social atmosphere. The Wall Street Journal adds:
The party-planning process will be streamlined and more administrators will be hired to help facilitate student social life.
The floggings will continue until morale improves!
Blaska’s Bottom Line: This is what conservatives and, especially, libertarians mean when they say they want less government. Fewer rules and regulations. Fewer administrators. More freedom. More fun!