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Monday, November 12, 2007

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Janet

That's so funny. Plenty of guys clubs exist, only they claim they play manly games like poker or darts and drink and watch football or other ... sports. Maybe if it were a secret that men were actually reading books, they be willing.

Hey! Wait a tick ... Is is possible that all those secret men-only societies are really just male book clubs? The Masons? Shriners? Skull and Bones? Knights Templar?! We could be on to something here ...

Daniel

I'm in. Except we live in different towns, so that drunken drive home from Nashville with an unread copy of the latest Douglas Coupland is going to be a real bitch.

hue

ha ha, a men's book club.

The last time I was in a book club was about 10 years ago when I worked at the paper in Raleigh. Now that I think about it, I may have been the only guy in the club. It was called the Slackers' Book Club, i.e. you don't have to read the book, but please show up. With those rules, very few people actually read. There was drinking involved, but there are plenty of other activities with drinking involved.

The problem with a men's club is that guys don't get together and talk. Guys get together to do stuff, play poker, watch a football game, play trivia at a bar. Guys do talk, but only while doing something else or watching something. So yes, you basically asked him out on a date.

Daniel

Well, there is truth in that. I realized earlier this year that all my sustained social contacts are really based more on stuff that we DO together than on any other factor: interests, affection, affinity, geography, WHATEVER. I relate to the world through the stuff that I make or study or do, and I relate best to the people who are doing those things with me. Even thinking about things is an act of doing, because most of the things I think about get filed under possible things they could be used to create.

Is that a male trait? Is that what men do?

I don't think so. Most of the men I know don't really DO very much at all.

But maybe we could have a men's book club where we MAKE books.

Pam

Well, maybe Dan, while you're at your male-making-books-club, Janet would like to go to a bar and play trivia games with me?

Janet

I'm in, Pam.

If it weren't for football, a lot of men would be mute at social functions, if they would even go.

hue

football and social functions ...

Have you ever been to a party or a cookout when someone turns on the TV and there is a game on? The next thing you know, the women are still in clusters chit chatting. The men are standing or sitting around the TV.

In one of my favorite short stories, "Goodbye, My Brother" by John Cheever, there was a costume dance at the boat club. (It was written in the 1940s.)

The invitations that year said to come as you wish you were. After several conversations, Helen and I decided what to wear. The thing she most wanted to be again, she said, was a bride, and so she decided to wear her wedding dress. I thought, this was a good choice, sincere, lighthearted and inexpensive. Her choice influenced mine, and I decided to wear an old football uniform.

When they showed up at the party, there were more than a handful of football players and 10 brides.

Things have changed a bit. But if Cheever were to write that story today, the men would still be in football uniforrms. The women?

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