Liquid Courage

Can a culture be defined by the toxic combination of alcohol, caffeine and sugar?

For the first time in Alpha Sigma Sigma history the Michigan State University frat threw a party that guests actually attended. Until recently the nerds of ASS never knew the secret to throwing a good party. They missed all the signs: the neon lights illuminating every club in town; the car stalking the streets hunting down impressionable students; the cans littering every party. If the ASS brothers wanted people to come to their house and get rowdy, they needed a sponsor. And that sponsor had to be Red Bull. Alpha Sigma Sigma threw down big last night, and half the campus was wasted.

Guests filled every room in the house, spilling out onto the lawn. Every student there drank Red Bull mixed with whatever kind of vodka they could find. As the 80 grams of caffeine and 27 grams of sugar from each can of liquid speed combined with each shot of vodka, the pledge brothers made fools of themselves in all 26 rooms of the house. It didn’t matter that Matt told half the campus the secret password to get into chapter meetings or that Erick puked down every corridor in the house before passing out in the front lawn, they had their wiiings on and they could do anything. The fact that almost half the brothers were already hugging the toilet by 11 p.m. went unseen – everyone was too inebriated to notice. The party wrapped up sometime after the second ambulance came to whisk away yet another girl suffering from alcohol poisoning.

Man, that party was awesome.

Amid all the wreckage, silver and blue coats the landscape like freshly fallen snow. The only real distinguishable items – besides some broken furniture – are the slim, chic silver little cans that made everyone’s night awe-inspiring and everyone’s morning a living hell. Red Bull did its job in more ways than one: It not only got every student at the party tanked, it also got its logo plastered all over both the campus and impressionable young student minds.

The “extreme” image being promoted by Red Bull plays perfectly into college culture, and is spawned from unique and delicately designed marketing campaign. Each time that crazy skydiver lands his base jump or that BMX biker does a triple tailwhip, the daredevil is accompanied by that scheming little bull. This same little bull is found in the hands of every student trying to fulfill their desire to be hardcore. It’s as if with each crack of the tiny 8.4 oz can, the drinker develops a new superhuman complex. With each gulp of liquid courage, their muscles bulge a little more and their ego follows suit.

Can a culture be defined by the toxic combination of alcohol, caffeine and sugar? If so, what’s the next step?

Lauren Haehnel is an up-and-coming writer from Michigan State University. She is a sophomore dedicated to a pre-nursing degree. Lauren’s rock will beat your scissors and paper any day!