Don Williams
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Don Williams is a prize-winning columnist, blogger, fiction writer, sometime TV commentator, and is the founder and editor emeritus of New Millennium Writings, an annual anthology of stories, essays and poems. His awards include a National Endowment for the Humanities Journalism Fellowship at the University of Michigan, a Golden Presscard Award from Sigma Delta Chi Society of Professional Journalists, a best Commentary Award from SDC, Best Feature Writing from the Associated Press Tennessee Managing Editors, the Malcolm Law Journalism Prize from the Associated Press, Best Non-Deadline Reporting from the United Press International, Best Novel Excerpt from the Knoxville Writers Guild, a Peacemaker Award from the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance, five Writer of the Month Awards from the Scripps Howard Newspaper chain, and many others. In 2011 he was inducted into the East Tennessee Writers Hall of Fame. His 2005 book of journalism, Heroes, Sheroes and Zeroes is under revision for a second printing, and he is at work on a novel and a book of journalism. His columns appear at and have been featured at many other well-known websites. To run his column, gratis, at your website, post this link to a dedicated spot: Need a speaker, panelist, tv commentator or teacher for your group or to lead a writing workshop, in your town? Email

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Dr. Suess, Dubya & Cormac answer the question on everyone's lips
(Copyright by Don Williams, All rights reserved   08/24/2001)

Moderator: In light of the shocking news that the University of Tennessee is a party school--Number One in the country, according to the Princeton Review--we've rounded up a panel of experts to answer the question on everyone's lips: "How did UT come to be named Number One Party School in America?"

George W. Bush: If you try hardest enough, you can achieve the improssibable or at least the unlikly-able. And even though it's widely admitted I'm likeable, it's also been said I partied a lot in college. Well, it came in pretty handy when I joined the biggest party of them all--the Republican Party. Big Tent Party. Elephants. But it was at Harvard where I learned the benefits of getting polluted and that's been of innumerable help in forging environmental policy. But as we all know, when it comes to education, the waste is a terrible thing to mind... or something like that. You know what I mean.

Rep. Gary Condit: It's tragic and regrettable, but as my wife here beside me can attest, I had nothing to do with the UT party scene, as I've been with her night and day for weeks and months on end. I've had no time to party. I will say my heart goes out to the parents of the students and I can only wish those young boys and girls the best, especially all those young impressionable coeds... in their swishy little skirts... uh, what was the question?

Dr. Joyce Brothers: It is well known among those who study aborigines that when the chief or king is in a festive mood, why then the whole tribe will take his cue. It's been widely known in this culture, for instance, that the former president of the university--i.e. "the fisher king"--at least aspired to party down with a certain overpaid and much younger hireling of the female persuasion. This was not lost on all the uncivilized young primitives, who said "Alright! Yes! This is the school for me. Party down!" And there's nothing too wrong with that.

Bill Clinton: It all depends on the meaning of the word "party." As Will Rogers said, "I don't belong to any organized party, I'm a Democrat." So, in that sense, you could say being a party school is a good thing. Let me add, that, I can relate to these young people. I feel their pain, but to truly understand them, we must also strive to feel their pleasure. That's why I'm coming down to UT this weekend. Look for me to show around midnight tonight. It should be a heck of a celebration.

Dr. Seuss: They like to party on a plane/ they like to party in the rain/ they like to party with no clothes/ they like to party with their nose/ they like to party here or there/ they like to party everywhere/ they'll even party in the road/ it's a party town you silly toad.

Hardly Reed, (UT Sophomore): I don't know what all the fuss is about. We were just tryin' to get a good grade. See, I sign up for this course called Life Experience and the instructor says it's about raising your consciousness and I'm like, "What does that mean?" and my buddy's like, "That means gettin' high," and so we tell all our friends and we're like all of us raisin' our consciousness at the frat house and in the dorms and on the strip and in several nearby communities. It's just a real popular course.

Cormac McCarthy: Now in the dusty clockless hours of the town when the streets lie black and steaming in the wake of the water trucks and now when the drunk and the clueless have washed up in the lee of walls in alleys and cool cats go forth high-shouldered and lean in the grim perimeters where lightware shadows make a gothic harp of blood-bucket tavern doors... uh, what was the question?

Lance blaze (UT Football Star): After last year's final poll come out and we finished in the top 10 party schools, some of us got together and said 2001 is our year. So when it come time to party, we just went out there and did our thing. Like Coach always say, stick to the game plan, so I say gimme the bottle and quarterback start passin' the bottle around and these kids catch the bottle and they converge on the bottle and they hang on to the bottle and they go after all the loose bottles and so here we are. No. 1 in the country and everybody act surprised but I seen it comin'. Yeah, baby.

William Bennett: They party to forget their pain and the true state of affairs at their school. Look, when the president of the university has to resign for having some kind of sordid affair. And when a former assistant dean is tried for distributing kiddie porn, and when tuition rates go up every semester and the married students apartments start to crumble and salaries fall so low you've got assistant bottle washers teaching quantum physics and political science, why then, kids must be given a certain latitude when it comes to their attitude. They're only as good as the example set for them.

Charlie Hardy (UT freshman): Hey, I'll be glad to answer that. Lemme study on it. Aw, heck no time for that. I'm kina late for a party right now. I should be in about 3. But don't wait up. Here, hold my beer. Uh, what was the question?