Grantland’s pop culture desk published a piece on the “bros” of HBO’s Entourage today, written by staff writer ‘Carles,’ of Hipster Runoff fame.
Do not read it looking for a definition of the term “bro!” Such a courtesy would make the fatal error of including Grantland readers in the lexicon of Hipster Runoff–a blog whose relevance depends on convincing as many people as possible that they are in on an obscure joke that the shrinking majority of the world is not.
(For the record, “bro” is a pejorative term for a man at ease in mainstream culture and traditional gender roles, coming from the ironic use of their homosocial term of endearment.)
Instead, the author substitutes the word “bro” for most personal pronouns, many adjectives, and even some syllables that rhyme with “bro” (yielding the neologisms “broment” and “metamorphbrosis”) across an otherwise unremarkable recap of the show’s first two episodes.
Maybe it’s a language immersion kind of thing.
We appreciate that Grantland is paying entrepreneurial Internet writers print wages to do their idiosyncratic Internet thing. (Molly Lambert has even imported the This Recording image-and-text device.) GQ has been doing the same and it’s been a success, insomuch as it alleviates boredom and generates discussion.
But it also requires editing. How many times can a writer use a word ironically before it loses its critical edge and becomes a phatic display of one’s, in Carles’ terms, “alt”-ness? Would you say fewer than 50 times? Because “I don’t “Want to Bro Up, I’m an Entourage Kid” uses the word “bro” 83 times. That’s more than five percent of the total words in the piece.
We can’t even credit this piece with ruining “bro.” It lost its bite so long ago that by 2009’s I Love You, Man, Paul Rudd and Jason Segal–the kind of real life Hollywood bros guys Entourage fictionalizes–were mocking them for mass-market audiences.