Alcohol

Forget Anti-Zionism. Is 'Alcoholocaust' Anti-Semitic?

A variation on beer pong, it pits Jews against Nazis, each with their own symbolic cup formation.

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SnapChat

Public school officials in Princeton, New Jersey, are upset about a photo making the rounds on social media that shows the setup for a variation on beer pong played by students at Princeton High School. The complaints have less to do with underage alcohol consumption than with the way the cups are arranged: a swastika on one side and a six-pointed star on the other. The game, known as Alcoholocaust, pits Jews against Nazis, but with a much happier ending than the last time that played out. Here are the rules, according to a post on Twitter:

It's 3-on-3, 30 cups per team. The Nazis shape their 30 cups into a swastika, and the Jews set up their 30 cups as the Star of David. The cups are re-racked to a smaller swastika and a smaller star when 18 cups remain on either team. The Nazis start of the game with a "blitzkrieg," and each player on the Nazis shoots until they miss, but this is only allowed for the first volley. The Jews have the "Anne Frank Cup," and this ability allows them to pick any one of their cups and hide it anywhere in the room, but it has to be shootable, obviously. The Jews can only do that once per game and [it] can be used only during their turn. To equalize this slight advantage, the Nazis also have another ability called "Auschwitz"…The Nazis can pick can player on the Jews team and they have to sit out of the game until the other two players on the Jews team each make a cup. After that happens the 3rd player on the Jews team can play again. Also, throughout the game you are supposed to talk a lot of shit and say as many racist things as possible to make it more enjoyable.

School officials discovered the game thanks to a student who saw a photo of it on SnapChat (not the one above) and blogged about it. (She did not approve.) NJ.com reports that "Princeton schools Superintendent Steve Cochrane said the district is talking to the students and their families about the photo and it's raised several concerns." Chief among them: "As an individual and as the superintendent of the Princeton Public Schools," Cochrane says, "I am deeply upset that some of our students chose to engage in a drinking game with clearly anti-Semitic overtones and to broadcast their behavior over social media."

I remain undecided about anti-Zionism, but I am pretty sure this game is not anti-Semitic. For what it's worth, the guy who posted the rules on Twitter says, "My Jewish friends actually love this game." 

Then again, Cochrane may be on to something. I'm no beer pong expert, but it seems to me the Nazis have an inherent advantage (again!). The Nazi cups are more spread out and therefore harder to hit, while the Jewish cups are grouped together, so that if you miss the one you're aiming for the ball is more likely to fall into an adjacent cup.