Screenshots from a TikTok showing Yale holiday party. In the top right corner is text that says 'Main Character of the Week' in a Daily Dot newsletter web_crawlr font.

@mildredsauce/TikTok (Fair Use)

Main Character of the Week: Yale’s holiday party

Yale evokes haunting images of secret rituals and lizard people. Turns out we were onto something.


Ramon Ramirez


Posted on Dec 23, 2023   Updated on Dec 24, 2023, 6:45 am CST

Main Character of the Week is a weekly column that tells you the most prominent “main character” online (good or bad). It runs on Fridays in the Daily Dot’s web_crawlr newsletter. If you want to get this column a day before we publish it, subscribe to web_crawlr, where you’ll get the daily scoop of internet culture delivered straight to your inbox.

The internet is a stage, and someone unwillingly stumbles onto it weekly. This makes them the “main character” online. Sometimes their story is heartwarming, like the confusing price of Walmart’s mini sliders; usually it’s a gaffe. In any case, that main character energy flows through the news cycle and turbo-charges debate for several business days.

Here’s the Trending team’s main character of the week.

It’s Yale, a creepy school that makes Americans uncomfortable to think about because of its niche geography and jaw-dropping influence on the elites who run the country. George W. Bush and John Kerry, who faced-off for the presidency in 2004, were both in the same Yale frat

Yale evokes haunting images of secret rituals and lizard people. Turns out we were onto something.

This week, Yale’s holiday party for students went viral after one of them posted about it on TikTok. “It’s giving capitol party in hunger games,” a commenter observed. 

The lavish nature of the affair is what turned heads: Ice sculptures, fake snow falling overhead, live carolers, whole trays of sushi, big turkey legs, decadent desserts. It was, as TikTok user and Yale student Millie Liao (@mildredsauce) wrote, a whole “parade of fancy food displays.” Students wore evening gowns and costumes, too.

“Hunger games was based on society in 2008. We have been in the hunger games,” a comment observed about the science fiction series that sparked a blockbuster franchise where the gist is children have to compete in an annual fight to the death that is televised and each child represents an impoverished municipality.

“My school just gives us hard cookies,” someone added.

As we reported this week:

“The Hunger Games fandom is apparently experiencing a bit of a renaissance in pop culture. This is perhaps due to the fact that the original Hunger Games films returned to Netflix in March ahead of the release of a new prequel. Oh, and the worldwide rise in fascism, perpetual war, and surveillance.”

In 2023, academia is in the crosshairs of America’s liberal-vs-conservative culture wars. It’s an easy thought experiment to go down if you’re a propagandist looking to stir the outrage pot: Why should we as taxpayers subsidize our childrens’ indoctrination into left-wing values such as “books” and “sociology” and “science” where freedom of thought actually becomes a single hivemind of liberalism that teaches us all to use the same bathroom? 

Why take on a lifetime of debt for a humanities degree that cannot be traded in for a high-paying job?

The answer is to grow, learn, and be a more connected-with-society and empathetic person.

Look, it is also true that college absolutely perpetuates class tiers and the status quo in America. I would not have this job if I didn’t go to college with the guy who recruited me to report here. (UT-Austin. Hook ‘em Horns baby.)

College disrupts the very myth of American meritocracy because you can get the same education at Yale that you do at any community college. But you fight to get into Yale so that you are eligible to marry a woman who is good with horses.

What the TikTok window into Yale’s seasonal gala shows us is that at least the kids are self-aware about their extreme privilege.

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*First Published: Dec 23, 2023, 6:00 am CST