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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Reading About Partying Is No Fun

    In college, your teaching assistant is going to be foreign. If you drink alcohol, girls are going to look hotter. A degree in physical education will one day be worthless.

    These are the type of cutting edge jokes in comedian Dennis Bruce’s debut book “”Party Thru College.”” Perplexingly awarded the honor of Best Books Finalist by USA Book News, “”Party”” could not elicit a laugh from a group of stoned freshmen. It features humor so generic and overused as to be offensive to a college student.

    Bruce, a member of Phi Beta Kappa — an honor society, not sex factory — and honors graduate of Penn State, suggests early in the text that his book is a satire. That is a big word to attach to what is essentially a picture book. When I think of satire, I think of Alexander Pope and Jonathan Swift, luminaries of the genre who viciously lampooned society. Conversely, Bruce deals with such profound issues as how to score with a sorority girl — tell her your name — while writing on a third-grade reading level. If I fell down an empty elevator shaft onto my face, this book would be no more difficult to comprehend and no funnier.

    However, the larger problem with Bruce’s beer-first, sex-second, naptime-third approach to college life is that it feels staler than a keg of Natty Light on Tuesday afternoon. Humor does not always have to be written in a highbrow manner, I get that. But if you’ve seen “”Animal House”” or visit College Humor’s Web site, Bruce’s quips come off as banal at best. By the third week of a college education, every student has heard that frat parties are wild orgies and that they should avoid a science degree in favor of something simpler such as philosophy. These suggestions aren’t jokes and they aren’t original.

    The rule of comedy is: unless you are bringing something to the table, don’t come to dinner. The reason “”Animal House”” continues to be a classic is because the characters party like champions in that movie. They party in ways most college kids will never come close to, whereas Bruce’s advice would seem tame to high schoolers.

    Do people really think that students who want to party need a guidebook — or even want one? And do people who don’t party have a desire to read a third-party account on the social scene of beer guzzling? I’m confused who the “”how-to party”” book is meant to connect with.

    Nobody needs a map to find fun in college. If people want to party, they will find a house with a bathtub full of High Life. If they want to hotbox their car and order the entire menu at Taco Bell, they will succeed. You name it, you can find it on a college campus. College makes you Tony Montana — the world is yours. The last thing anyone should be doing in college is reading about how much fun college can be.

    College is an opportunity for young adults to learn what type of lifestyle they want. Going to college is the first step to personal freedom for most students. It is the first time living away from their parents, the first time having a strange roommate and the first time where every night can be a party. More than anything else, college is a blank slate. It’s like a rebirth into a world where you truly control your fate, so reading about the archetypes of college life only blurs the beauty of such freedom.

    Don’t read this book. Drink a magnum jug of Carlo Rossi and drunk-text every single contact in your phonebook instead. That is way more collegiate than this book ever will be.

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