The International Partying Score: Greeks – Zero; Icelanders – Over the top!

 

Everyone knows Scandinavians are the best partiers ever!

I WRITE ABOUT STUFF THAT REALLY MATTERS TO ME ON YOUR SHELF LIFE. I write irregularly, as the spirit moves. It’s moving.  What got me going today?

This article: UCSB to Greeks: the Party’s OverAn article from the Santa Barbara Independent talks about the fraternities and sororities at UCSB, members of which are acting up and getting the institutions kicked out in record numbers. I would have lifted images from the article, but they were all copyrighted and stuff. The first one was of a sheriff’s officer looking tough. Scared me.

But here’s a good one: “Greeks”–fraternities–are being banned from UCSB at an unprecedented rate. Since early December three fraternities have been banned and a sorority suspended. The linked article tells you all about it.

The stupid and inane behavior on the part of the Greeks that got them tossed has prompted me to share this never-before-revealed anecdote from my early years.

I never saw the reason or need for fraternities or sororities. Places for guys and gals who already felt superior to everyone to band together and throw parties that the Vikings would find offensive, and feel superior about it? Why? I thought they would have died out in the 1950s from sheer irrelevance.

I never saw the need for “acting out” either–getting so drunk or stoned I didn’t know where I was or who I was with, other than another “Greek.” Nor will I allow myself to be “hazed” by anyone or perpetrate the practice on my fellow humans. So why Greeks? Why do people join them?

There is one valid reason for fraternities and sororities. That is to introduce young people to parties so wild that they will not be horrified when they go to Scandinavia. I know this. When I was a high school senior (and what were fraternities doing allowing 17-year-olds at their parties???), I went to a frat party at Stanford. My girlfriends seemed to find them fun. I don’t know why. I’ve never seen such out of control drunken behavior in my life. It didn’t seem fun.

But, my family visited Iceland the following summer. Most of the young people left the cities and went to work on the farms during the summers. They had parties, BIG parties. I went to one in some big community building somewhere and discovered that when it comes to partying, Greeks are Pablum-eaters. I survived only because I’d been shock-proofed at that frat house.

Grow up Greeks! We Vikings have means to tame you.

So, good ol’ Stanford frat, whatever you were, thank you for opening my eyes to the potential for over-the-top depravity. Aside from a couple of roving fistfights, they seemed to be having a better time in Iceland, too.

Despite my anti-Greek sentiments, I must confess that I am a member of a fraternity, or honorary society,  Omicron Delta Epsilon,  the International Honor Society for Economics. Or I used to be. I haven’t paid dues in about forty years.

Despite all those Greek letters, did we economists indulge in drunken riots? No. We were/are so serious that we are sometimes called in to defuse international political battles. We do this by boring the combatants into comatose states. We’ll do it for your group, too. Just let me know and I’ll dispatch a cadre of econ nerds pronto.

So long for now,
Sandy Nathan, who’s got a lot of cool books for you to check out. Click the link.

The article's over: the fat lady's singing.


2 Responses to “The International Partying Score: Greeks – Zero; Icelanders – Over the top!”

  1. Sandy-

    You are so adept at turning a phrase. Characterizing Greeks as “pablum eaters” was perfect to concisely make your point. You do again and again in your writing.

    Bravo!

    Kate

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