The brothers of Delta Fresca Nu drink a bucket of rum to help the poor.
As you probably know, the University of Montana banned fraternities and sororities from holding events that involve alcohol last week. Evidently things got a little out of hand over homecoming weekend. In a stern letter to chapter heads, Caitlin Parker warned that “our community has lost track of our purpose as value-based organizations.” And the frats went dry.
It was bad news for me, since I just pledged to Delta Fresca Nu. As a man in his thirties, I thought my button-down persona would contrast with frat life in hilarious and interesting ways, like that movie, Crocodile Dundee. But it turned out to be tedious and embarrassing, like that movie Old School. All my frat brothers want to do is help sick kids, and now I have to do it sober.
You can read all about it in this week’s column for the Missoula Independent. I’d like to take a moment to thank my editor there, Skylar Browning, for letting me do stuff like this instead of telling me to go to hell, as the AP Style Manual instructs. He’s a good man, and thorough. We’ll be back tomorrow with Friday links.
The Blount County courthouse (pre-destroyed)
Like any decent person, I was thrilled to learn that Blount County, Tennessee was considering a resolution asking God to pass over them when he punishes America for allowing gay marriage. After citing “natural law” and “reason” as forces superior to the federal government, the resolution concludes:
We adopt this resolution begging His favor in light of the fact that we have been forced to comply and recognize that the State of Tennessee, like so many other God-fearing States, MAY have fallen prey to a lawless judiciary in legalizing what God and the Bible expressly forbids.
What could be more Christian than asking God to spare you when he punishes other people? It’s like Jesus said in Luke 23:34: “Father, fuck them but forgive me, because I had nothing to do with this.” There’s something enormously pleasing about pious Tennesseans following the teachings of Christ by calling down God’s wrath on everyone but them. But then I read that the Blount County Commission declined to hear this resolution last night.
Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia
Yesterday, New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia announced that he was going to rehab for his addiction to alcohol and would miss the playoffs. Pretty much everyone applauded his choice. You’d have to be a real jerk, even by the standards of Yankees fans, to say that Sabathia should put off addressing his problem so he could pitch the postseason.
But wouldn’t it be great if someone did? I could refute the hell out of that argument. Virtually every person of sense would agree with me, and I could take the moral high ground while savoring that feeling of eviscerating someone else. And if no one of consequence actually says Sabathia should keep playing, I could still put a beating on that straw man:
Tom Hitchner has written a fine essay about this phenomenon and why it surely does no one any good. Central to his consideration is a peculiarity of the internet age: If you can’t find any professionals who are advancing a stupid argument, someone on Twitter is.
Carly Fiorina pauses to remember the truth.
According to the precedents set by Citizens United v. FEC, so-called super PACs can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money in support of presidential candidates, so long as they remain independent from their campaigns. The key word in the Supreme Court’s decision has become “coordination”: the super PAC cannot work with campaign organizers to direct how its money and volunteer hours are spent. In practice, “coordination” has become impossible to prove—partly because super PACs and candidates cynically twist the spirit of the law, and partly because the Federal Elections Commission has lost its ability to enforce its own rules. That’s why the super PAC Carly For America—which received a letter from the FEC saying its name could not include a candidate’s name—changed to CARLY. Problem solved.
Between global warming and Fetty Wap, it sure seems like we have a lot of problems lately. But what if our problems were conspiracies? Wouldn’t it be easier to address things like income inequality or adult-sized Batman t-shirts if they were not, in fact, problematic consequences of flawed systems, but rather stuff people were secretly doing to us? Or stuff lizards were secretly doing to us? We can’t know until we pit MacGyver against Nancy Drew, but I’m pretty sure it’s easier to stop a conspiracy than to solve a problem. Today is Friday, and I’d rather be up against the Rothschilds than structural conflicts of liberal democracy. Won’t you theorize with me?