Fight for Your Right To Party


Back when we had to walk ten miles to school in the snow in underwear made out of wood, the Philadelphia politician Budd Dwyer blew his brains out on live television. Within what seemed like a couple hours, a local club had plastered flyers all over the grounds of dear old Rutgers, featuring a closeup of Dwyer with the gun in his mouth and the caption, "If you don't go to the Minutemen concert, I'll kill myself!" (I don't think it was the famous Minutemen.) The Scarlet Knights, every man-jack of us, had a good laugh.

How thin-skinned colleges have become since then. The University of Texas's Zeta Psi fraternity held a "Bombs Over Baghdad" party recently, and is now being investigated by the all-powerful "Interfraternity Council Judicial Board," which will determine whether the party "violated the IFC code of conduct by intentionally engaging in a form of harassment." The head of the fraternity claims they are being framed:

Flyers for the party distributed on campus showed photographs of a crying child spattered in blood, a man clutching a child's lifeless body and a mutilated dead man. The caption read, "Come party, and celebrate what we stand for."

De la Garza, a biology senior, said the fraternity had nothing to do with the flyers. He said a student came to the fraternity house claiming he created the flyers and distributed them after seeing a billboard in the fraternity house's front yard advertising the party. The student was not available for comment Monday.

"In my opinion, it was mostly an anti-war flyer," said Zeta Psi President Thomas Madaelil. "They made it, because they thought the intent of the party theme was to promote innocent people dying, which was not our intent at all."

[Thanks to Drudge for the link]

NEXT: Go Long on Controversy

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  1. For the morbid-minded: Bud’s bloody bye-bye is available on Kazaa (or at least it was a few months ago – guess it just depends on whos online at the moment).

  2. Doh! ‘just saw its available on the provided link – sorry.

  3. Ahh, yes, fraternities… the one subculture in America you can still attack with impunity. I never understood the anti-fraternity sentiment, considering the valuable public service they provide, letting the entire campus come party in their basement and assuming all the liability for it. I remember even the anti-fraternity a-holes would show up, hoping that the next morning no one would remember they were there.

  4. I remember even the anti-fraternity a-holes would show up

    Because even the assholes know frat parties are the best place to get some trim.

  5. Only time I ever went frat parties was to steal shit at around 4:00 am. The CD’s usually sucked, but you could always resell them or use them as coasters. Nothing like a house full of rich kids nearly passed out on Natural Light. Show up with a bottle of Jack and it’s was bedtime. The best part was, it only took 2-4 weeks for the place to be completely restocked by mommy and daddy.

  6. Ummm- if the fraternity doesn’t want to be subjec to the IFC, it can always disband. I fail to see what this has to do with libertarians at all, given that this is one voluntary private organization in a dispute with the umbrella voluntary private organization. *can you spot the magic words in that sentence?

    Or is this one of those “private groups can’t censor, until they start picking on a group I like” things? How does “free speech has consequences” (naming their party Bombs over Baghdad) square with the same argument aimed at the Dixie Chicks? Give up? THEY’RE THE SAME!
    Clear Channel and the IFC are both private organizations, and can do whatever the hell they want, despite Tim’s quaint hand wringing about “thin skin”.

    As for the flyer, if it had clearly indicated it was an unendorsed parody, it would be constutionally protected free speech (and a funny rebuke). As it is, it just looks like the fraternity* in question was framed.

    *hatefull fraternity stereotypes deleted

  7. When I was in college (in the early 80’s) we threw a number of Jim Jones parties. We all dressedin our finest tropical atttire and get smashed on grape juice and whatever alcohol we could get our hands on. The only thing worse than the punch was the hangover.

    This was in a dorm no less.

  8. Minor point of correction, Tim: Dwyer wasn’t from Philly. He was from Meadville, north of Pittsburgh. I was working at a radio station in Harrisburg when he shot himself. Our news guy was maybe ten feet from him. Wild shit. Didn’t Filter use Dwyer footage for their “Hey Man, Nice Shot” video?

  9. When I was in college, my fraternity’s social chair was fromt he same town as Marshall Applewhite and photocopied the Newsweek cover (same picture as this Time cover). The headline was “Follow Me” and he appended “to the Heaven’s Gate Party at .” Red dots were added to his eyes. We had made applesauce shots and bought an inflatable woman to dress in black Nikes and cover w/ a shroud (the ‘body’ was removed after objections from other guys in the house). Yes, I know, it’s messed up and very tasteless. We had a very wierd crowd at that party. The funny thing is we only got one angry email. Apparently, another house with similar letters to ours got a lot of calls complaining about the party poster. The funny thing is that the poster had our number.

    Two Heaven’s Gate refs in the comments at H&R in 2 consecutive days, what’s up w/ that?

  10. anti-war people misrepresenting people and being obscene assholes? say it isn’t so!

    free mumia!

  11. When I was in college, I remember a great band flyer: Lee Harvey Oswald, at the moment Ruby shot him, screaming, with a microphone drawn in close to his mouth as if he were singing, the name of the band across Ruby’s back.

  12. You know I had never heard the story of Budd Dwyer(as I was 3 at the time) but after reading through that website I’m completely amazed.

    Do you think it was the flyer or the name of the party that pissed the school off? “Bombs over Baghdad” was after all a rockin’ tune from Oukast. Maybe they should go after Big Boi and Dre as well.

  13. It’s a great image, Clement.

    The minutemen were famous?

  14. Wasn’t this the incident that inspired Filter to write “Hey man, nice shot”?

  15. “violated the IFC code of conduct by intentionally engaging in a form of harassment.”

    Yay, unpopular speech as harassment. On a college campus, no less. Good thing, because a college campus is the last place you want to think for yourself.

  16. I know harassment when I see it, and I see harassment here, but it ain’t the frat boys doing the harassing.

  17. it’s not harassment by any stretch of the imagination, but there’s something seriously fucked up about making an ongoing war your keg party theme.

  18. I guess I had heard of Budd Dwyer. This Montreal hardcore band has a song “the Budd Dwyer effect”.

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