We’ve already examined British lad culture once or twice on these pages, but you may be wondering: What do our American cousins have in it’s place? Well, they have something quite similar, but as you’d expect, there are a multitude of social and cultural distinctions to be made, which make it very complex to analyse. Here’s how you do it.
1. It’s slightly less about class.
2. It’s slightly more about sexuality.
3. Remember that ‘beer’ is American for ‘lager.’
4. That’s it.
MensHumor is at the vanguard of this particular cultural phenomenon, keeping it going with a perpetual recycling of the same few things, over and over. Real men play beer pong. Real men go to any lengths to avoid looking at or touching other men in any way. Real men eat bacon. Real men have poor standards of hygiene. Real men see women as purely existing for sex and servitude. Real men drink fizzy 3% ‘light’ bee- nope, I still can’t understand how that makes sense as a totem of masculinity in anyone’s world.
People with degrees of slightly less employability value than my own (I don’t have one) have probably written about how this sort of shit is a reaction to feminism, ‘new man’ ideals and whatnot, idiots becoming more extremist in their own ideals of manhood as they exist in a less masculine age. And the thing is, MensHumor is probably written and run by someone like me. Do I think that previous generations were more masculine? Yes, but I think that because when my grandfather and his brothers were my age they were fighting the servants of a god-emperor in the Burmese jungle with bayonets, with nothing covering their cock and balls, later to return for a life in the merchant navy, shipyards, or trawling. People who meant every word they said. Not because they used to be able to order their wives around and eat mince for breakfast.
I don’t know how to cope with that. I can’t deal with it. But I’m damn sure that it’s not going to be overcome by running some shitty Twitter account claiming that masculinity is about ogling your friend’s mother and drinking Coors light. The fact your ancestors probably had some interesting views about the role of women and other races, and didn’t know how to boil an egg or iron a pair of trousers is what you’re supposed to use to feel superior or at least comparable, to cope with the fact that in all other respects they were supermen compared to you. They’re not things you’re supposed to appropriate in an effort to cope with being an utterly pathetic excuse for a human being. Now we’ve got the worst of both worlds, Coors and misogyny. Racism and beer pong. They say if they had another great war now, this generation wouldn’t stand a chance. Good.
"Me: "Yes, it’s Friday!" My bank account and my liver: "Oh shit, it’s Friday again.""
"Why would Mitt Romney choose Paul Ryan as a running mate when Ron Swanson is still available?"
"Thinking about writing a new book. It’s called "Fifty Shades of Who Gives a Shit.""