I’ve never liked it and I’ve always felt it was an unnecessary gesture of appeasement to the “getting in touch with your feelings” crowd: the Bro-Hug. I have nothing against men hugging men as a gesture of goodwill, farewell, or an act of sympathy during times of loss. Yet, the Bro-Hug has become this imposition-cum-salutation as I so frequently see now, especially on television. Like it or not, our media does have influence on us and this is one instance where I wish people would just stop. It’s nothing personal, but I don’t want to hug you unless I really know you and feel you are deserving of a hug.
It has gotten to a point now where if I’m shaking hands with someone, I stiffen up to try to non-verbally indicate there would be no hugging. I have gotten some strange looks, actually, and I wonder if this hasn’t, in some people’s minds, influenced their opinion of me simply because I would not play the superficial game. This isn’t the Tour de France and I’m not going to give anybody the peck-on-the-cheek, which is what I believe the Bro-Hug has come to resemble: the facile “Hollywood kiss.”
I’ve also observed that men are simultaneously “blocking” one another with the crooks of their arms as they shake while administering the Bro-Hug. Talk about non-verbal communications – I think this indicates a discomfort in this gesture, so I’m probably not alone in this attitude. Actually, I feel quite certain I’m not since I have heard the complaint from others.
So, not to make too much of this, but enough with the hug! What are you actually trying to say if you are one of these huggers? What next, belly bucking? Full-on male territorial tilts? Give the Bro-Hug a rest. You don’t need it and it will save us all a little discomfort; because, meeting someone for the first time is uncomfortable enough anyway, right?
Of course, with the failure of the Democrats’ recall attempt in Wisconsin, there is much grumbling from that side about the amount of money that was spent by the Republicans, most notably funded from the Koch brothers. I, too, question the economic motivation of funneling that much cash into an election in Wisconsin, but one thing I am sick of hearing about is how democracy has been sold to the highest bidder. Let me tell you all something here: no matter how you may hate the result, no matter how much you may dislike Walker, THIS ELECTION WAS NOT BOUGHT!! I’m tired of hearing this claim.
Now, you may say “look at all the money they spent!” Yeah? Well, what did they spend it on? Advertising? Are you going to tell me that Scott Walker gets to finish out his term as governor because he bought more advertising? Seriously? I want you to think about that for a moment.
The only way to “buy” an election is to bribe election officials (you know, the ones entrusted to ensure that the vote counting is fair and that everyone voting is actually eligible to vote). That’s it! The only way to buy an election is changing the result from the inside! You can’t buy voters, you can only try to reduce their numbers and mislead them – maybe even lie to them. But you can’t buy them! I would love to have Charles or David Koch come up to me and pay me a million dollars to vote the way they want. I would get that money up front – that’s not negotiable, walk into the voting booth, and VOTE HOWEVER THE HELL I WANTED TO ANYWAY! And there is absolutely no way they can tell what I did. It’s stupid to even think that an election can be turned that way. Now trying to get voters disqualified from voting is more effective, but that is not “buying” an election.
Getting back to the whole notion of “advertising equals votes”: if the voters of Wisconsin could be convinced to presumably vote against their own interests because of Walker’s political advertising, that says much more about the laziness and gullibility of the voters than it ever will about those who were financing the campaign. Politicians can be bought, but they still have to get into office. Voters – voters who are short-term thinkers, voters who are too lazy to research what a candidate endorses or has done in the past, voters who may reflexively vote for one party over another – are the ones who put elected officials into office. It’s high time that voters start taking responsibility for the choices they make and stop blaming anyone and everyone else for the consequences.