07 Apr 2011

“That Yale Thing”

The image of Yale men used be a lot different in the old days from what it is today.

Back in 1920, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Princeton ’17, in This Side of Paradise described “The Yale Thing” this way:

I want to go to Princeton,” said Amory. “I don’t know why, but I think of all Harvard men as sissies, like I used to be, and all Yale men as wearing big blue sweaters and smoking pipes.”

Monsignor chuckled.

“I’m one, you know.”

“Oh, you’re different—I think of Princeton as being lazy and good-looking and aristocratic—you know, like a spring day. Harvard seems sort of indoors—”

“And Yale is November, crisp and energetic,” finished Monsignor.

“That’s it.”

They slipped briskly into an intimacy from which they never recovered.

The Yale man in fiction was typically portrayed as an All-American, square-shooting man-of-action, along the lines of Frank Merriwell, Dink Stover, Flash Gordon, and even Bruce Wayne.

The modern ascendancy of leftism can **** up anything, even the Yale identity.

Some years ago, Yale gained a national reputation for the size of its percentage of undergraduates playing for the wrong team.

The inverted community at Yale in typical fashion claimed a wildly exaggerated 25% as its membership, and before very long a jesting jingle was commonly quoted on the subject.

“One in Four, Maybe More.
One in Three, Maybe Me.
One in Two, Must Be You.
One in One, No More Legacies”

And where does modernity lead? To the Yale Thing, defined thusly:

0:19 (non-embeddable) video

Hat tip to R. Douglas Clegg.


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