Absurdity Spotlight: Why is our nightlife likened to a “battlefield?”
“I can’t wait for this weekend,” I texted my friend and esteemed brunchsupporter, “Coach” (name withheld for practical reasons), before a visit to my alma mater (Go Blue!) earlier this year.
His response, almost instantly, read: “Bodies will be destroyed.”
…Wait, what? “Bodies will be destroyed?” Did I miss the memo that we were about to watch (yet again) The Gladiator? Game of Thrones? The Patriot?What was it?! Nope, we were going to the bars, and that was somehow the metaphor used to set the stage for the weekend.
Immediately, I asked myself, when did a night on the town turn into a metaphor for battle, a dark one at that? When did “I’m Peaced” turn into “I’m Schmacked?” When did every friend group delegate their own “Coach” to help dictate not only which bar to go to, but the level of intensity to consume alcohol at said bar?” Knowing my buddy and his mannerisms, I wasn’t entirely surprised by his text response, but it turned into a wake-up call to the absurdity of “going out” in 2016 — specifically, absurdist culture (which, if momma approves, will be a regular column here on brunch).
Now, there are many problems in the world today; most of said problems are infinitely greater in scale than the verbiage used by middle-class young professionals on a Friday after a stressful work week. With that said, I find it particularly amusing how we now describe spending a night out on the town.
No idea what I’m talking about? C’mon we’ve all seen the texts:
“Tonight is going to be savage”
“Let’s get wild”
“Heard the bar is FIRE”
“I’m expecting pure insanity”
“Time to rage”
“We have to Kill that fifth of Grey Goose”
All right, I’m sure I’m missing a few that your “Coach” who always “rallies the troops” (see my point?) uses from time-to-time, but you get the picture.
Let’s look at “rage” specifically for a second (admittedly guilty of using from time-to-time). Now, if we consult Merrian-Webster’s finest dictionary, we see recurring definitions all having to do with “anger”
- a strong feeling of anger that is difficult to control
- a fit of violent wrath
- sudden expression of violent anger
Heck, even one of the most influential writers of the 2nd Millennia, William Shakespeare used the phrase in 1593 (more research needed into whether William Shakespeare liked his whiskey neat or “otr”):
This moves in him more rage…To make the breach.
So how did this phenomenon start? Surely, there was an origination of “rage” with going out before its Urban Dictionary definition came to the forefront of the public eye. Did someone wake up on the wrong side of the bed right before an Avicii Concert years ago? Did a party coincide with an angry moment from Neil Strauss’ The Game? After extensive research, I’ve read hundreds of conflicting reports (thanks, Internet), so I’m not entirely sure.
What I can tell you is that equating “going out” to a battlefield with aggressive terminology is not the only answer, people!
In the words of Larry David…wait, I mean Bernie Sanders…we’re calling for a “REVOLUTION” of savagery terminology for nightlife. To test it out, we went through a brief exercise examining nightlife through the opposite lens of “peace.”
Below is what we conjured up:
“Tonight will be a truce!”
“Let’s get quiescent!”
“Heard the bar is ❄”
“I’m expecting pure armistice!”
“Time to harmonize!”
“We have to nurture that fifth of Grey Goose!”
Without taking any out of context, lightbulbs must be going off? Okay, who am I kidding, each sounds ridiculous, but only because it’s new and often,“new = ridiculous” (just ask the V-Neck when it debuted back in High School).
We don’t even need credit for it, just start talking to your friends this Friday night (or Thursday if you’re going to BRO-J’s in NYC!?!), pay it forward, and see how quickly a change.org petition gets started (or preferably a Know Your Meme collection).
Lastly, do us a favor, and try and make sure your night out is a Pax Romana. Those were the days…