Creating a new norm, an authentic ‘good’

Just about every Saturday I have late night chats with a friend who I will call ‘Nutter Butter’ (for the sake of not asking him if I could mention him in my weekly bluster). We don’t sit around clucking away like old chickens because we particularly enjoy each other’s company, but rather because our entourage, our ‘posse’ of American branded ‘big kids’ (21+) have by then left us and headed downtown to the, let’s call them, ‘hostelries.’

And, Every Saturday after a few shufflings of the card deck and amidst droopy eyelids our gang of all too sober pals roll back through the front door to tell us this week’s version of the hook-up bar story.

The girls tell of their troubles trying to dance ‘like normal people’ while the testosterone zombies that are their male college colleagues begin to do the bump and grind behind them. Not cool. Then, the guys in our group tell stories about how they had to ask several other guys to back away from our lady friends, and how some of the women at the bars ‘are trying very hard to attract one particular kind of attention.’

Ah yes, the hook-up culture. Dr. G had us read a book about it in her intro class explaining how the culture of one night stands have been around forever, just at different levels of discretion. Regardless of how long this culture of sorts has been around, let me hopefully not be the first to point out that this ‘exchange’ is, well… a bit awkward.

Russell Crowe’s character in the film ‘A Beautiful Mind,’ points this out as he brilliantly asks a woman at the bar whom he finds attractive if ‘she would like to participate in an exchange of bodily fluids.’ I offer my sincere apologies or the vulgarity of that example, but his sarcastic criticism of this unusual social norm is spot on. Besides, this very phenomenon is much more uncouth than Crowe’s line.

Rob Thomas and his band Matchbox 20’s song “Get it Back 2 Good,” also does a great job of criticizing the ‘hook-up’ norm. The song is basically one big satirical ballad about how “So everyone here, hates everyone here. For doin’ just like they do. And it’s best if we all keep this quiet instead.”

Here Thomas hits on the hypocritical attitudes we have towards each other, as we are constantly trying to point out the sliver in everyone else’s eyes, so to speak, meanwhile we’ve all got logs in our own.

Secondly, in the same line, Thomas points out the ‘underground’ nature of the whole things. We all pretend like we’re heading down to the bars for a good time, while many of us go to seek out a good time afterward. But, we don’t talk about it, we’ll just pretend like that isn’t actually happening.

In the end Thomas says that ‘he’s sorry now, and he doesn’t know how to get it back to good,’ or how to reverse things back to the way they used to be. But, of course Dr. G’s aforementioned book would say that there is no ‘good’ to go back to.

So, until we can all agree to call off the overly-sexed charade, my friends will just have to stick together and not join the hormone driven walking dead on the dance floors. Of course, their disdain has not led them to stop going downtown, but their morals hold true just the same as I’d trust anyone of them to write these words. Granted they wouldn’t get any closer to ‘getting back to good,’ but maybe our synergetic efforts could create a new norm, an authentic ‘good.’

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