Thursday, July 20, 2006

The Frat-Boy Theory

I have a friend who has a theory about what's going on, and he may be right.

I'm of the generation, like our President, who went to college in the sixties. Yes, we're the boomers. And kids, let me tell you there were strange things happening if you went to college in the late sixties. There was a crazy war going on, and the draft, and LSD and turning-on-tuning-in-dropping-out, there were the Beatles and the Stones and Woodstock and Kent State and Charles Manson and birth-control pills and the sexual revolution.

Perhaps the most important outcome of it all was that frat boys weren't cool any more.

Imagine being a whitebread society kid, brought up with geek-intimidating, girl-impressing money, in control of the rules in the schoolyard, and finding out that somebody like John Lennon or -- gasp -- Jimi Hendrix was cooler than you, imagine having some long-haired guitar-player with black lights in his crashpad stealing your girlfriend. Worse, stealing her for one night that she'll never forget, and then giving her back.

My friend believes that we are currently paying for that reversal of the obviously correct social hierarchy. The frat-boys are back in control now, and they're gonna make sure nothing like that ever happens again. And that's what this is all about.

Recently an article appeared on the web that, well, at first it's merely disturbing, but with my friend's theory in mind it starts to make sense.

If this article is not a hoax, then it turns out that Ann Coulter used to be a Deadhead. And she is trying to claim the Grateful Dead as a part of the rightwingers' heritage.

A couple of quotes from Ann:
... I really like Deadheads and the whole Dead concert scene: the tailgating, the tie-dye uniforms, the camaraderie – it was like NASCAR for potheads. You always felt like you were with family at a Dead show – a rather odd, psychedelic family that sometimes lived in a VW bus and sold frightening looking “veggie burritos.” But whatever their myriad interests, clothing choices, and interest in illicit drugs, true Deadheads are what liberals claim to be but aren't: unique, free-thinking, open, kind, and interested in different ideas ...

... Somewhat contrary to the image of Deadheads as hippies, the Dead were huge in my hometown of New Canaan, CT, which is a pretty preppie town. We toyed with the idea of making "Truckin'" our prom song with a "Long Strange Trip" theme, but we ended up with some dorky rainbow theme instead. I tend to associate the Dead with lacrosse players and my favorite fraternities, Fiji and Theta Delt ...

Do you see what I'm getting at here? Through this interview she mentions being a Christian, and not smoking marijuana, but ...

Somebody tell me, is this for real? This web site seems to have actual interviews and follows the "jam bands." Would they have made this up?

Ooh, it's too rich:
I fondly remember seeing the Dead when I was at Cornell. It was the day of the fabulous Fiji Island party on the driveway “island” of the Phi Gamma Delta House. We'd cover ourselves in purple Crisco and drink purple Kool-Aid mixed with grain alcohol and dance on the front yard. Wait – I think got the order reversed there: We'd drink purple Kool-Aid mixed with grain alcohol and then cover ourselves in purple Crisco – then the dancing. You probably had to be there to grasp how utterly fantastic this was.

I'm not going to describe how utterly wrong this is, I think it is self-evident. Or not. Maybe frat-boys were really cool all along, but nobody knew it.

And maybe not.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a fun theory but would only be taken seriously by someone who was out of it at the time or who wasn't alive yet.


July 20, 2006 12:48 PM  
Blogger Orin Ryssman said...

Jim writes,

My friend believes that we are currently paying for that reversal of the obviously correct social hierarchy. The frat-boys are back in control now, and they're gonna make sure nothing like that ever happens again. And that's what this is all about.

While such a "theory" dovetails nicely with the Angry Left's conceit (not to mention political prejudice) regarding the present Administration, I doubt there is much there once the surface is scratched. Quoting a conservative Nihilist (since that is what Ann Coulter is after all), whether or not the interview is authentic is quite beside the point.

Still such a "theory" lends itself well to a laugh or two...or putting a big smile on the face of anyone sharp enough to know the difference between a social theory and partisan political prejudice.

Thanks for the laugh!

July 21, 2006 8:26 AM  
Blogger Theresa said...

Jim I don't think it is authentic.
I have read a lot of Ann's book, and the diction is not consistent.
That could be attributed to the fact that it is supposedly an interview as opposed to written, but I have also seen her on Hannity and Colmes and she appears to speak like she writes....

Also, she is too young to have been a dead head I think...

July 21, 2006 11:42 AM  
Blogger JimK said...

I don't know, Theresa, look HERE, and HERE, HERE, etc.

Also, she's 44 by my math, not exactly a spring chicken. Yeah, she missed the 60s, but the Dead were still huge in 1995, when Jerry Garcia died.

This is starting to look like she really is a Dead fan.


July 21, 2006 11:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I actually don't understand the problem here. Personally, I wouldn't be surprised if Ann Coulter smoked marijuana and liked the Grateful Dead in college. So what. It was fairly common in her generation.

BTW, you can't believe everything you read on the internet. I googled Ann Coulter when Jim put this up and one of the top three hits was some blog whose author claimed he met Coulter at the Farmers Market in LA and she went home with him and ...


July 21, 2006 12:51 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Anon, I'm in Canada this week, and you get a different version of Google here. Can you post or email me the link to that blog, which doesn't come up on any kind of Ann Coulter search I think to do, including Ann Coulter + Farmers Market, search on blogs, etc.

Just curious.


July 21, 2006 1:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I wondered what was going on with you this week. Worried you'd taken ill or something.

You'll have to wait til you get back to the states cause I think the thing is pretty gross- even for a liberal fantasy. I just did the search a minute ago and it still comes up.


July 21, 2006 2:11 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

So send me the link, or at least tell me what terms you're putting into the search engine.

Unless you're making this up.


July 21, 2006 2:16 PM  
Blogger andrear said...

I don't care if Ann Coulter went home with the Dead or the Deadheads or some guy at the Farmer's Market or some farmers. She is just another entertainer -of a different sort.

July 24, 2006 2:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Democrats are constantly bringing entertainers to Congress to testify as experts.


July 24, 2006 4:38 PM  

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