Connect with us

All Articles

From the Magazine: Bootlegging Revisited

Illustration by Sevan Gatsby

In the latest issue of the Blue & White, contributor Michael Adame chronicles the prohibition. Yeah, we know you still have some in your fridge.

There’s not much more to be said about Four Loko; blogs and newspapers alike have breathlessly chronicled the overly social beverage’s quick march into oblivion. In the depths of this frigid winter, Four Loko has vanished, and we are from here on out frozen and alone.

And yet a dash of hope remains. Several enterprising freshmen (who, for fear of retaliation from authorities legal, academic, and familial, remain unnamed) recently organized a rescue expedition to a local distributor of the drink. Suitcases in tow, they bought “cases upon cases on the cheap” as a preventative measure ensuring future “shwasty fun,” as one hoarder crowed. The group espouses a particularly topical brand of libertarianism, decrying what they see as unacceptable overreaching of an unaccountable government. “It should not be up to the government to decide what is and is not good for us to put into our bodies,” a Four Loko-ite explained. “We should be able to make our own decisions based on personal responsibility and common sense. Four Loko is composed of FDA-approved substances. In a sense, if it is banned, it seems logical to ban other things that are not good for us in large doses—Big Macs, Sonic Blizzards, John Jay food, etc. Why is the government not banning these things?” She also added that to ban anything that is so “fizzy, fast and fruity” is exceedingly nefarious.

After the Four Loko ban went into effect, one fraternity hosted a party commemorating the drink’s reign on campus. These thrifty brothers also deployed wheeled suitcases and backpacks on a border-crossing Loko run, but refused to divulge the source of their secret stash. A spokesman for the party (CC ’13, name withheld as, “My mom reads Bwog!”) told this reporter, perhaps justifying the nature of the evening, “Four Loko deserves a place in everyone’s household. This is America. Banning it here, it will only increase binge drinking. Plus, it forces us to go to Connecticut or New Jersey. New Jersey!”

New Jersey aside, there’s something funny about the nature of these protests and the way they perfectly mimic what passes as America’s latest culture war. In a poetic twist, the Columbians up in arms aren’t quite the lefties of yore; instead, they more closely resemble the Tea Partiers, unhappy with airport security procedures and the authoritarian behavior of the Food and Drug Administration.

Perhaps this strict small-government logic would take hold on campus if the drink in question weren’t so, you know, disgusting. While one generation finds in the ban inspiration for their age appropriate anti-authority rallies, more experienced members on campus view this hoarding and mourning as utterly boring. Rosario Quiroz, CC ‘11, offers that despite her reputation as “the go-to person for Four Loko in my group of friends…in all honesty, it does not do much for me.” She does admit that since the announcement of the ban she has Lok’d up on the sweet nectar at least twice, taking advantage of an 8-for-$20 deal. As student desperation grew, driving up prices in neighborhood bodegas, Quiroz balked and stopped hoarding (although her roommate does maintain a closet for this exact purpose). “I refuse to pay more than $2.50 for the drink. [It] was disgusting but convenient. R.I.P. Four Loko…I’m ready to get back to vodka.”

And so perhaps this is how it all ends: radical dissidence gives way to cold, hard capitalism, while the faithful stock up as if for the end of the world. The rest of us, meanwhile, return to a familiar alternative: the $12.99 handle of Nikolai from International.

Write a comment

Your email address will not be published.



  • Glad that says:

    @Glad that you can accurately draw a can of four loko. Your people on the other hand…

  • It might mean something when says:

    @It might mean something when Nikolai costs about the same as rubbing alcohol. That isn’t to say that it doesn’t get the job done.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous But Four Loko tastes like shit…

    1. THANK YOU says:

      @THANK YOU Jesus Christ, how many posers can inhabit one campus? (that was rhetorical)

      “Hey gang, this beverage is deemed too radical and dangerous for consumption. It is now the defining drink of our generation. Aren’t we hip? Look at our wild, anti-establishment ways!”

      “I’ve been drinking ‘4-L’ since I was 15, dude. It’s like legend.”

      “Yeah, I’ve gotten seriously shitfaced off this.”

      No, no you have not. You noticed it for the first time last semester when you heard it was being pulled off the shelves and made it your new mantra then and there.

      Really, especially you little sophomores stocking up on it hoping it’ll get people to come to your parties in the future; just who are you kidding? It tastes like a fat Russian man’s bile after he’s eaten a shitload of beets. Yeah, it’s effective but so is a pack of baby aspirins.

      Stop trying so hard.

      1. Anonymous says:

        @Anonymous Bitch, step off. Some of us drink alcohol to get drunk, not for the fucking taste.

      2. CC14 says:

        @CC14 youre obviously not a freshman, cause if you were you would have known four loko was around during nsop week. so back off.

  • God says:

    @God The only thing more obnoxious than a bro with three cans of Four Loko is a bro with three cans of Four Loko and thalidomide syndrome.

  • you go says:

    @you go roro.

  • The only thing says:

    @The only thing more embarrassing than the Columbia 5, would be a 4 loko cartel going down on national news.

    1. Actually... says:

      @Actually... I’ve been wondering if that might be a VShow sideplot this year.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous One can always count on the interests of a few ruining it for the rest of us, in this case pilfering crack-dels once seeming infinite supply for selfish profit motives–thanks scrotebags.

  • Have Your Say

    What should you actually Venmo people for?

    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

    Recent Comments

    Truly truly, I loved this piece. Keep up the good work! (read more)
    Recent Columbia Crushes That Bwog Will Be Taking The Liberty To Cancel
    February 22, 2020
    not online unfortunately (read more)
    Review: Bold Beautiful Barnard Underwear
    February 22, 2020
    It’s being renovated. You will survive. (read more)
    ConspiracyBwog: The Pupin Elevator is a Portal to Hell
    February 22, 2020
    or maybe don’t be annoying? just a thought (read more)
    To Whoever Just Shushed Me On Milstein 2
    February 21, 2020

    Comment Policy

    The purpose of Bwog’s comment section is to facilitate honest and open discussion between members of the Columbia community. We encourage commenters to take advantage of—without abusing—the opportunity to engage in anonymous critical dialogue with other community members. A comment may be moderated if it contains:
    • A slur—defined as a pejorative derogatory phrase—based on ethnicity, race, gender, sexual orientation, ability, or spiritual belief
    • Hate speech
    • Unauthorized use of a person’s identity
    • Personal information about an individual
    • Baseless personal attacks on specific individuals
    • Spam or self-promotion
    • Copyright infringement
    • Libel