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the decline of close male friendship

I was sent a very interesting article in Touchstone. Here's an excerpt and link...

We still have the word “friendship,” and we still have something of the reality, but it is distant, dilute, bloodless. For modern American men, friendship is no longer forged in the heat of battle, or in the dust of the plains as they drive their herds across half a continent, or in the choking air of a coalmine, or even in the cigar smoke of a debating club.

That is partly because our lives, for better and for worse, no longer involve the risk and the sweat that was the cement of deep friendship. No man will help hew the oaks for our cabin, because we no longer live in cabins. No man will stand by as we jump overboard to set the trawling net, because we have no boat and set no net; we live too comfortably for that. Under such fortunate circumstances, we need all the more the camaraderie and intellectual risk of the club.

But gentlemen’s clubs have vanished or have been sued out of existence. (The Citadel is not the Citadel, as the woman lawyer who sued it to death herself admitted, unwittingly and with amazing intellectual amnesia; on Monday arguing that her client wanted the same experience the young men then enjoyed, and after her victory on Tuesday crowing that a student’s experience at the Citadel would now be forever changed.) More than ever do men need to come together to eat and drink and argue and think, because more than ever their work separates them from each other; but now they are virtually forbidden to do so.

It is but more of the devastation wrought by the sexual revolution. That we fail to see it as such is no surprise: Naturally, when we think of that recrudescence of paganism, we think first of its damage to the family and to relations between men and women. We think of divorce, pornography, unwed motherhood, abortion, and suicidally falling birthrates. But the sexual revolution has also nearly killed male friendship as devoted to anything beyond drinking and watching sports; and the homosexual movement, a logically inevitable result of forty years of heterosexual promiscuity and feminist folly, bids fair to finish it off and nail the coffin shut.
Read "A Requiem for Friendship: Why Boys Will Not Be Boys & Other Consequences of the Sexual Revolution" by Anthony Esolen


Hubcap said…
This is an issue that I think a lot about, so many things have gone and are continuing to go south in our society. I often wonder if it's too late in our society for men to stand up and make a difference. Often those who do are brought down and destroyed by any means the people around them can find. Perhaps now that society has tasted the freedom of poorly defined morals it will never let us return to a state where people act responsibly. Moral unaccountability can be a thrilling thing if you let yourself slide into it, and it takes a strong will to let it go. Often the only thing that can keep us in check is having other like-minded men around us who help keep us accountable. Those close friendships give you someone who not only will help you cut the logs for your house, but also tell you when you stray, and hopefully when you trust somebody that much you'll actually listen. I count myself lucky that I was given two brothers who for the most part fill that role. The moral compasses of the three of us each point a slightly different direction, but I guess that would happen with most friendships. That's where the arguing part comes in. :)
Mostly I think it's too late to change our society into something more wholesome. But that's not really what I think I'm supposed to do. I try to live the best way I can, and hope to lead at least a few by example. Even if I am the only one affected, at least that's one.
Sandy said…
Thanks for you personal reflection on this. Our culture -- with its feet firmly planted in midair -- is falling apart at an alarming rate. We are called to be faithful, and as you said, to encourage other like-minded men. Good to see you tonight & glad you stayed for communion.

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