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Why We Might Be Doing it Wrong

I send periodic email updates to the folks who participate with me in a monthly discussion group about nineteenth century and Victorian literature. (There's a difference. It's pedantic, but I'm nothing if not a pedant.)


That's the website for a male-only book group that started in Boston. Why male-only? Well, as the founding member, Tanaka, explained in the New Yorker's Book Bench blog: "I started this club as an anti-establishment book club that spits in the faces of the traditional girlie clubs where people don’t discuss the book, and just drink wine and talk about relationships. I have a good number of smart, successful friends who are very well read, and want to kick ass like I do."

Clearly, we need to kick more ass. (Also: we need to serve more wine.)

We also might want to think about incorporating more of what The Scorpions (that's the name of that particular group) do in their monthly meetings: "Discussion of selected reading material as well as competition, gambling, tests of strength (mental and/or physical) and trivia." It's not enough, as it turns out, to read and understand a novel while also having a penis. One must Smash Things and Drink and then Pee on Things while also remembering things like RBIs and how many nude scenes Bo Derek has in 10.

Also, no Jane Austen for these He-Men. No. They want the heavy-hitters like Cormac McCarthy and Graham Greene and Earnest Hemingway (who, if I remember correctly, struggled with his own sense of masculinity -- but don't tell these boys; you don't want to interrupt them while they're doing something manly.)

When we meet this Tuesday, 18 August, to discuss Tolstoy's very unmasculine Kreutzer Sonata, let's think about what we can do to make our discussions more hard-core. What I'm saying is: be prepared for a belch-off.

Masculinely yours,



( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 14th, 2009 07:38 pm (UTC)
I have to grit my teeth not to go on a rant, but really. Women exist guys, as do their vaginas. Neither mean you any harm, I promise.
Aug. 15th, 2009 12:33 am (UTC)
I wish I could apologize on behalf of all men. I can't, though. Zach, my friend Steve and my friend Max. These may be the only good men I know in the world.
Aug. 20th, 2009 06:45 pm (UTC)
Perhaps he doesn't know what "anti-establishment" means
I think many of the men I knew in college belonged to this book group. They didn't drink wine either, but only because they couldn't stand the taste.

And Mike, you don't have to apologize for the Scorpion-whipped mens. Just be a good one and don't accept the behavior of the bad ones.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )