Total Drek

Or, the thoughts of several frustrated intellectuals on Sociology, Gaming, Science, Politics, Science Fiction, Religion, and whatever the hell else strikes their fancy. There is absolutely no reason why you should read this blog. None. Seriously. Go hit your back button. It's up in the upper left-hand corner of your browser... it says "Back." Don't say we didn't warn you.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Goodbye, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Adieu...

Today, ladies and gentlemen, I depart for my parents' home in Florida, where I will remain until my sister's wedding. This, of course, means that I will be trapped in a house with my parents for about a month. Goody.

Still, I am not the only one who is departing for a time. Many of my friends here at Random University are also departing for family homes or points unknown. So, this is a time of goodbyes generally, rather than simply goodbyes for me. Some of my loved-ones may not be so sorry to see me go. My dog Casey, for example, may welcome this respite from my rather whimsical and bizarre sense of humor. Then again, if I leave the house for almost any length of time she responds to my return with almost pathological levels of joy, so I think it's safe to say she'll miss me.

The harder call in that department goes to my guy friends. In college I had mostly female friends which was charming, in its own way, but at the same time a bit strange. Since arriving at grad school my friendship network has come to be dominated mostly by men. This is nice, in that I have people I can go eat crappy bar food with, but it also means that I am once more enmeshed within the peculiarly illogical system of male relationships.

You men in the audience are aware of what I mean- male friendships can simultaneously be very close, and tremendously abusive. In fact, they seem to operate using a system of justice that is entirely different from that in all other areas of life. For example, in most walks of life good fortune is to be congratulated. Not so among men. No, among men good fortune is but an excuse to step up the normal, customary abuse. It is as though there is some sort of guy-karma that must be balanced through the assistance of friends.

Not that good fortune is the only reason why men abuse each other. Additional acceptable reasons include: being in a bad mood, someone else is in a bad mood, it's funny, he deserved it, being bored, the sun is shining, etc. My Hypothetical Roommate and I have elevated this casual cruelty to such a high level that our apartment has come to be known as the HostileHouse. Often, when he was living there, we would preface our statements to each other with various bits of obscenity, leading to comments like, "Hey, fuck-face, what do you want for dinner?" It is as though male friendship is strengthened by more and more extreme forms of moronic, juvenile torment.

So, given what male friendships are like, you can understand why departures like this one are a little strange. On the one hand, we might miss each other. On the other hand, to admit such would demolish the carefully-built facade of cruelty that binds us together. Okay, it's not really a facade, it's a fun and deeply valued aspect of friendship, but that isn't the point. As such, when a group of men splits up for a time, the scene is unlikely to be a treasured Kodak moment.

Yet, still, for all that my female sociological colleages might be muttering about "hegemonic masculinity" and "compulsory heterosexuality" at this point, guy-friendships have their tender moments. We may torture each other, but we also look out for one another. When the need is truly dire we have a way of being there for each other. At times like those, it becomes apparent what the cruelty actually means: first and foremost, that your friend actually cares. Most men I spend time with wouldn't spend energy on someone they didn't like. So, for men raised in a culture where expressions of affection between men are discouraged, faux-hostility becomes the only way to distinguish genuine friendship from simple ambivalence. Silly, I know, but true. There is another purpose, however: men and women rely on their friends for support when the going gets rough. Among men, this is sometimes expressed as someone "having your back," meaning guarding your back in a potential fight. Given this, what better way to reassure each other as to the value of one's support, than to show off one's deviousness through stupid pranks? Similarly, one demonstrates one's own value by enduring such pranks and responding gracefully. Once more, silly, I know, but meaninful just the same.

So, my guy friends, I will miss you during my extended absence. You're a good bunch of guys, even if most of you are so goddamned ugly you have to pay goats to screw you. Have a good break, take care, and I'll see you when I return.

And if some of you find yourselves signed up for an amputee fetish porn mailing list I... uh... don't know anything about that.

Happy Holidays, Fuckers.

Special thanks to Maritza Campos and her amusing webcomic College Roomies From Hell, which provided most of the visual aids for today's post.

2 Comments:

Blogger Slag said...

Happy holidays, fuckface. It's been great blogging with you, even if you are an asshole.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004 3:46:00 PM  
Blogger LinF said...

Hey that was an excellent piece on guy-guy friendship! Now I need you to spill some of that great guyism over onto my blog. I know a guy that needs some great advice and just so happens that I love thid guy with all my heart. And yes I'm am woman hear me plead!

Tuesday, December 21, 2004 4:00:00 PM  

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