For proof positive that nobody has fun anymore, look no further than this instance of frat shaming out of New Hampshire.

Multiple media outlets have targeted a candidate for that state's governorship, Dartmouth grad, Alpha Delta brother, and longtime local pol Mark Connolly, with the full force of their finger-wagging. His offense? Connolly, whose desired office entails ex-officio membership on Dartmouth's board of trustees, sent a fundraising email to his fraternity brothers saying he hoped the school would reinstate the Alpha Delta house, which was banished over a year ago. The Boston Globe writes:

Connolly sent an e-mail to his fraternity brothers — an attempt to raise money for his campaign — in which he wrote he had recently visited the campus and that it was "awful" to see the house sitting empty. "I understand the position the college was in and that some of the students were not fully cooperating, but I don't think hurting past generations and preventing future ones is the best course," Connolly wrote in a fund-raising pitch that was obtained by the Globe. "In the coming months and years, I would hope to see AD back up and running and have its status restored." Connolly later told the Globe, via a statement, that he hopes his former fraternity would be recognized on campus again, "but only after ensuring they are upstanding members of the Dartmouth community."

Someone must have leaked that email to the Globe. Neidermeyer perhaps?

Or Neidermeyer, Jr., anyway. Alpha Delta, Connolly's frat, actually inspired 1978's Animal House. As the final scene (hats off to Senator Blutarsky) tells us, militant Omega rush chairman Neidermeyer was killed in Vietnam, by his own platoon. But his buzz-killing spirit lives on: Screenwriter Chris Miller's fleshed-out recollections reveal Omega was modeled after Sigma Alpha Epsilon. The heroes' Delta House, of course, mirrors Miller's—and Connolly's—lately shuttered frat, which closed down last year after word got around about a pledge's alleged branding.

My first visit to Dartmouth's town, Hanover, is a nervous blur, but I remember Frat Row. Yes, blowup chairs hung halfway out of upstairs windows, there were bare footprints frozen in the snow, and a Phi Delta Theta pledge passed by my dad and me walking three young golden retrievers (all named Buddy, as I'd later learn). Not much to romanticize, really: dirty, smelly, occasionally tragic, often criminal. But still, at least until recently, Dartmouth's "work hard, play hard" ethos seemed fine-tuned to lure every lionhearted nerd. It got me.

By my time, though, Alpha Delta—which is not on Frat Row but down the hill from the Hanover green—was somewhat stunted by its own mystique. I saw once bright-eyed young men become ashen and world-weary and wondered whether a sinister initiation sapped the joy from their debauchery (more likely, just dehydration from all the heavy drinking). I doubted whether they had as much fun as Chris Miller and, indeed, Mark Connolly, did decades ago.

Bearing in mind the real reason Dartmouth's still not done away with fraternities altogether (ahem, fundraising), Connolly's appeal to his pledge class makes perfect sense. Can you believe those nasty educrats bulldozed our playhouse? Fund my campaign, and it'll be just like we're nineteen again. Heck, I'd donate, and I hardly set foot in that dungeon of depravity—and the guy's a Democrat. What can I say? As Daniel Webster, with tears in his eyes, told the court in Dartmouth College v. Woodward, "There are those who love it"—the weird and rugged old college, that is. There are plenty who still do.