Via Flickr user David Shankbone
There are certain villains of society whose relative merits no one will defend. Anyone standing up for child molesters, serial killers or members of the Bush administration would be publicly pilloried, and justifiably so. But there is another group that seems to have been added to the list, and though he is without champion, it’s about time that someone stand up for him. This aggrieved class of human is none other than the American Bro.
Just last week on this here website, the American Bro was deemed “the worst guy ever” in a scathing attack that called into question not only his behaviour but also his existence. This article paints the picture of a man who lives only to consume and impress, someone who wants to leave his mark on everything, not just the women whose tits he jizzes all over and the gutters that he vomits into after one too many craft beers, but on everything at every moment. He is loud and aggressive, not because he actually has something to say but because he wants to steal that moment – and your attention – for himself.
And what is so wrong with that? That is what men do. That is what men have always done. The problem is not the bro but the society in which he lives. America used to be a great country, a country that made things. It used to produce crops and clocks and cars. Who made all these things? Who ran the farms and worked union jobs in factories and provided for their children? Who were the bikers, cowboys, construction workers and other Village People archetypes we prized? Men. They got to take this atavistic need to stamp a little bit of themselves onto everything and put it out there into the world. They made your cotton, soldered your TV sets and tightened the bolts on the first space craft to make it to the moon. They not only manned the tanks that rid the world of Nazis, but they drove them too – a dozen men in uniform with their bodies pressed against one another fighting for freedom.
Now our only major exports are more episodes of Two and a Half Men and orange powdered cheese. What do you expect all these men to do? They’ve taken jobs in the financial sector where they shuttle bits of phantom money and units of “risk” back and forth and try to make more phantom money. This is how America creates wealth now. We don’t make things; we create illusions. And the bros do it for us. Since they are no longer creators and territory markers, they vent their aggression and brute strength in their social lives. They redirect their biological imperatives to letting their big dicks flop around in basketball shorts while they do squats at the gym, grunting so that everyone who isn’t looking at them knows that they are there.
Via Flickr user torbakhopper
Who is going to save this country from drowning in a sea of Chinese debt and high-fructose corn syrup? Not the mild-mannered hipsters obsessed with mustache wax and crafting artisanal honey in their urban sanctuaries. No, they only create small batches of things, trying to leverage their modesty as authenticity. Modesty did not cure polio. Authenticity didn’t win the Cold War. Honey isn’t going to get Putin out of Crimea.
That’s why we need our bros. They are the spirit of can-do American ingenuity. They are the chest-thumping alpha males who will keep other countries from trying to knock us off the top of our colonial heap. That’s why they’re doing so many bench presses. It’s because our supremacy rests squarely on their broad shoulders. They’re sculpting their obliques to look statuesque and formidable, to keep the scrawny Iranians and Pakistanis from fucking with all of these Captain Americas.
And it’s silly to make fun of the bro’s wardrobe like that take-down article tries to. What is wrong with tank tops? If author John Saward spent as much time doing biceps curls as he did cowering behind his keyboard, he might have some tickets to the gun show himself. But he’s jealous, imagining these he-men flexing in their toothpaste-stained bathroom mirrors, running their wide hands over their undulating abs right before they take a #fitlife photo for Instagram. He wishes he could look like that instead of staring down at his pasty paunch.
The article also seems obsessed with bros’ johnsons. “To him, everything is a dick pic, a flex, a look-how-hard-I-get, a watch-me-fuck-the-universe,” it says. He is right, dick pics aren’t about the recipient – they’re about the sender. When these dudes fluff their meat up to make it more distinguished, they’re just trying to reclaim the tenuous masculinity that has been decimated in our culture. When they get fully hard and press their packages up against remote controls, shaving cream bottles or Red Bull cans, it is a way to make themselves not more attractive to women but more appealing to themselves. Their very way of life is being threatened by these attacks, and if we can’t look at their throbbing cocks and tell them that they look wonderful and large and juicily appealing, we have failed a whole generation of our young men.
As the cultural tide seems to turn against them, the bros only have one another to turn to. They always travel in packs to insulate themselves from the naysayers. Or maybe it’s because the only company they can find that is as handsome as they are is their own. Yes, they totter down the street, their toned arms around each other’s shoulders as they drunkenly stumble from one destination to the next. They swat each other’s butts when they score anything – a basket, a sale at work, a hot new piece of ass. They shake hands and embrace one another with the left arm, wishing they could hold longer. Just wishing that, in our world, they could pull their fellow bro toward them, their gym-honed torsos, like two bodies in competing underwear ads, rubbing against each other, their heads close together, their mouths only inches apart from one another as they draw their heads back, staring into each other's eyes and wondering what might happen if just this once they leaned in and met their bro for a stubbly kiss as the last game of the NBA playoffs blared in the background of whatever sports bar they’ve been in all night.
Via Flickr user CAHairyBear
We need to support these men, our finest specimens. The ones whose asses bounce in their jock straps as they strut toward the shower in the locker room. The ones who jog shirtless through the park, the sweat cascading in rivulets into their sopping shorts. The ones who sit with their legs wide-open on the subway, calling attention from all quarters to the fleshy mass in their shorts that is just dying to be sucked. These are our champions, and we really should be championing them.
I’ve certainly done my part. One night, back in college, I was driving home with my bro friend Dave, who was majoring in econ and pussy pounding. He'd a bad night with one too many green Jell-O shots (green is always the worst colour), and the girl he'd been getting handsy with had had the audacity to reject him. He had made a big scene about how it didn’t bother him, how he had bigger and hotter girls, and how he got as much ass as he could ever want. But in the car he was different. He was despondent, clearly lingering on his rejection. “You OK?” I asked. “Yeah, brah. You know, bitches,” he said. “Yeah,” I replied putting my hand on the knee of his jeans. I left it there a little too long, and when he looked at me, I didn’t know what to expect.
“Dude, will you do me a favour?” he asked. “Will you tickle my back?” He took off his white baseball cap and pulled his T-shirt over his head, his rippling muscles flexing and relaxing in astounding patterns as he bent over in the passenger’s seat. I rubbed the tips of my fingers across his smooth skin for what seemed like hours. Eventually he sat up, and I moved my hands. “Keep going,” he said, letting me cup the firm contours of his chest, the stiff prickles of his nipples, the trail of hair that led into his jeans. I rubbed everywhere, down onto the crotch of his jeans, which was now propped up with what those “bitches” didn’t want. I let my hands rest on the button of his jeans, unsure of how to proceed, thinking as much about his own pleasure as what was happening in my own jeans. I hovered there a minute, and he sat up straight in the chair, his head back and eyes closed, waiting to get what he wanted – no, what he deserved.
“What are you waiting for?” he said, remaining still.
Man, there is nothing better than fucking a bro.