Sunday, December 25, 2005

Brotherhood of Men

I was watching "Lord of the Rings" yesterday. When they flashed to a scene where Sam was showing compassion for Frodo.

This happens several times throughout the fim. The ring is quite a burden for anyone. It even tempts men of twice his size and stature. Sam has a genuine concern for his safety. Its a true bond of brothers. They work together to accomplish a larger than life task. And yet, whenever there's a show genuine affection, so many people assumes they must be gay!

Whatever happened to real brotherhoods? We never see men working together with real endearment. It's kind of silly if you ask me. I remember I was maybe 13 years old at scout camp. Some shit went down. I'm not sure what happened. But I took the time to comfort an 11 year old the only way a 13 year old knew how. It was genuine feeling because he suffered. Real affection. But not sexual.

The brotherhoods we have now are terribly weak. Frats, Boy Scouts, gangs? These are all distorted forms of brotherhood. We always find corrupted versions of initiation because its based on humiliation. Initiations always have a form of darkness followed by an initiation into light and hope. But we don't have these.

All we have is empty posturing. Trying to be bigger than the next person and pretending like we have our shit together.

I remember when I was younger I wondered if I was gay. I've even had my dad ask me if I was... twice. Not like "Are you gay?" "No dad." "Are you sure." but it was separated by five years. How terribly humilating. I didn't know how to handle myself among frat boys and the like. It took years to develop that. And I'll never be a part of them, but now I have fun with then without compromising my integrity. But I look for so much more.

There were days when men worked together for something bigger than themselves, something they really believed in. A small group of mature men, joining forces and journeying is the basis for a great many adventures: The Founding Fathers and the Declaration of Independence, the Knights of the Round Table and so many more. I think we have a cynical bent towards groups of men because all too often many of the ills of the world spring forth from groups of men working together in small minded self interest. But that doesn't mean we should throw the baby out with the bath water.

I've spent so much time on this because I'm looking for men in my life that yearn for something bigger before I pine away.* Something that can join us together and journey towards. I'm looking for my own brotherhood. Not acquaintances or friends, but confidants, journeymen.

*"The moon tells me a secret - my confidant
As full and bright as I am
This light is not my own"
From "Reflection" by Tool

Imagine no possesions,
I wonder if you can,
No need for greed or hunger,
A brotherhood of man,
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world...
From "Imagine" by John Lennon



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