Vengeance thy name is ‘BroTales: Fairy Tales for Bros’
Why we decided to write a satirical children’s book about Bros and Bro-Culture, in the age of Thiel, Trump, Shkreli.
When I lived in Seattle, nothing was more essential than a good pair of headphones. I would walk the streets of rapidly gentrifying Capitol Hill in 2014, and watch the newly arriving Amazon or Facebook (or Google, Or Microsoft, or Redfin….) employees walking out the doors of now-unaffordable apartments, as they avoided the homeless, eagerly played on apps, or talked loudly about their new startups.
I figured if I couldn’t hear them, it wasn’t my problem.
It was around the time that a disgraced pro wrestler sued Gawker Media, which we all later found out was funded by Peter Thiel. That was the first straw.
Then came the rise of Martin Shkreli, who gleefully admitted he would root for people’s suffering if it meant increasing his bottom line. As he raised drug prices to unaffordable levels. His punishment? Sky-high returns on his stock and wealth.
And finally we arrive, much like Dante in the 7th circle, to Trump. A man who has roused supporters not just with noxious racist rhetoric, but a message dripping with entitled bullying. “Shut him up!” “Beat his ass!” “He’s an idiot!” “I have big hands…and you know what that means.” A relentless and belittling style, that appeals to those who’ve long been bullied by the same billionaires.
What’s the common thread of all these men? They’re all bros!
Now I won’t attempt to fully define what a bro is here (that’s what our Kickstarter below is for!) But I will say that an aspect of “broishness” is that of men or women who expect their privilege, status or wealth to buy silence and loyalty. Black holes, sucking up any and all dissent and in crushing it form the singularity of their ego. It is those for whom disagreement is dissent and nuance is just another obstacle to overcome in the fact that they are right and you are wrong.
So far, this is what 2016 has brought us: Bernie-bros, Trump-bros, Tech-bros, Pharma-bros, Wall-Street bros, Frat-bros. Men and women (but, let’s be honest, almost exclusively white men!) who, despite their various causes and beliefs, have a central unifying theme: They are right and you are wrong, and if you disagree you can shut the fuck up.
I shut up when tech came for my city (pushing out the thriving gay community of Capitol Hill, destroying the historically black Central District). I shut up When Shekreli sniggered and Thiel sued.
But with Trump… we couldn’t shut up any longer.
So working with my writing Partner Elliot Trotter, and our illustrator RR Anderson, we created Bro Tales: Fairy Tales for Bros. A satire that we hope — through humor — can remind people of the fact that the men listed above, and other ‘bros’ are bullies. Or at the very worst tyrants — and the best way to defeat either or not be scared, is to laugh at them.
BroTales investigates many real issues within America’s bro culture — power, gender, wealth, and the entitlement of hetero white males — through classic tales like Swole White and the Seven Pledges and Oh the Places You’ll Bro
But we need your help to make it happen! We are currently raising money on our Kickstarter Page to make this project a reality. Please have a look, we’ve posted some pretty funny videos there and tweets here. Now its up to you to decide…do the bros get to win again? Or do you want to help us make the world a bit more safe for the rest of us, and a bit less ‘brotacular’.
Thanks for reading!