Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Spring Madness!!!!

"A little Madness in the Spring Is wholesome even for the King."
-Emily Dickinson

The American Medical Association released a study today, wherein, essentially, through rigorous polling, and due to their obvious brilliance, and exemplary methodological practices, thorough evaluation, astute intuition, probing investigations, back alley beatdowns, shady deals, and general information gathering techniques (perhaps), they found: college women get wasted and have sex on Spring Break! Provocative...Yes....Interesting....Eh.....Surprising....No. The study consisted of an online poll of 644 randomly selected college females. Basically, as I hinted at in the run up, they found a bunch of stuff that is obvious to anyone under age about 30. Speaking of "under age", did you know some girls under 21 drink alcohol on Spring Break? And it's easy for them to get it? I know, I'm as beguiled as you by this.

***Urgent Update: As I was looking for pictures to illustrate this post, I came across this website, and you really should check it out (make sure to read the captions, as they heighten the experience). Kurt and Walter could possibly be the new cult stars of the internet, if only because of this caption from Amsterdam (and this is not even close to the funniest thing on their site):

"Bike ridin' at night! (NOTE: there are ALOT of pictures of us riding bikes - why - because it was AWESOME - you better be happy I excluded the many many more pictures of us riding our bikes I COULD have put up)-- and in an homage to Wally B, this caption should read "Moments later Melena crashed into an oncoming car."

Walter seems nerdier than Kurt (but who am I to talk, I do write on a blog...) but his forthrightness and seeming innocence endears. I mean, how can you not like a guy who isn't afraid (or at least is genuinely dorky enough) to wear a shirt like this:

You know, like nunchuck skills, bowhunting skills, computer hacking skills... Girls only want boyfriends who have great skills.

Anyway, I would highly suggest viewing the Spring Break 2001 - Cancun entry, but you really can't go wrong with these two. This reminds me why I love the internet.****************

So back to the point, right? The AMA study concluded the following things (among others):

_More than half said they regretted getting sick from drinking on the trip.
_About 40 percent said they regretted passing out or not remembering what they did.
_13 percent said they had sexual activity with more than one partner.
_10 percent said they regretted engaging in public or group sexual activity.
_More than half were underage when they first drank alcohol on a spring break trip.

The thing that surprises me the most about their findings is that only 10% said they regretted engaging in "public or group sexual activity". This has to mean that only 10% of the girls had engaged in said behavior right? Not that, of the one's that did engage, only 10% regretted it? Right? Anyway, I guess this study is just further evidence of the tight job market in academia these days. If these people had done a research project on, say, cochlear fluids, they probably wouldn't be getting the press coverage that underage girls getting drunk and having sex has acheived...the inner ear is just not quite so sexy, huh?

So the obviousness of their study is really just a cover up for their quest to secure further funding, I presume. If not, I would have to assume that these people have never gone on Spring Break, never been to a dance club, or never were invited (or felt the urge to attend) college parties (where this type of behavior is readily apparent), in which case they probably look something like this:

as opposed to this:

or this:

Furthermore, in a news story about the study, they interview a college woman who is taking the down time that Spring Break affords to help to make the world a better place by building a Habitat for Humanity house, as opposed to participating in the utter destruction of the universe. Isn't that sweet? However, they go on to say that she "admitted" that Spring Break trips rampant with underage drinking/sex, orgies, rusty trobones, cincinnati bowties, minnesota muff puches, and the like, "have a certain appeal," and that "she hopes to take a more party-oriented vacation next year." So even the nice girls are in on it. Hmmm.....

I think that this study is worthless. Everyone knows what goes on during Spring Break, and I actually do think it's wrong, but what's the point of a bunch of AMA scholars telling us about it? Does that somehow elevate the problem into something that we must now confront? Are they trying to grant us permission to finally care about it? Really, what was the point of this study?

I believe that a more fruitful study would be to look at the effects of celebrity worship in our culture. These people may have effectively documented the obvious problem, but that doesn't solve anything. The real problem is the fact that we have created the image of the perfect woman as a rail-thin, rail-snorting, party animal with loose morals and a looser you-know-what. This is what young girls aspire to be now...Stupid Spoiled Whores, because we, as adults, have created these monsters by condoning them.

For those of you who think I'm being too cynical, or too graphic, let me illustrate my point:

Exhibit A)

Exhibit B)

When you glorify sluttiness, young girls will want to become sluts. It's really as simple as that. Now I will grant you that it may be a chicken or the egg, problem, does the culture create the slut or does the slut create the culture...but either way it just isn't right. No matter what your girlfriend, daughter, sister, friend, wife, etc. says, the fact that Paris Hilton, an obviously trashy, talentless heiress (why is she famous again?) is invited to pose on the cover of Vanity Fair topless puts a lot of pressure on them to be thin, act slutty, etc. Don't get me wrong, like any other man, I think she's hot...which is kind of the problem but, you know, we have evolutionary reasons for thinking such things...whatever it is, blaming men is not the solution. A man will check out anything if it has a nice ass.

All I'm saying is, simply documenting the problem doesn't help. And despite what my libido tells me about Paris Hilton, she honestly disgusts me. This is the real problem facing young American women today. Not Spring Break. Spring Break is merely a symptom, not the disease.

So anyway, to finish on a lighter note, check out some more pictures from Crazy Kurt and Wacky Walter's Wonderful Website:

PS - Based on the places they've been and the people they are with, they actually seem to be kind of normal (sidenote - Walter's sister is pretty hot)...but for some reason I remain utterly fascinated....


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