June 6, 2015

"Mr. Huntington built the treehouses over several months last year with the help of what he called a 'bronado' of friends."

"He hired contractors to build the skate bowl at the same time. The treehouse crew slept in a bunkhouse on the property, or else in tents or in their trucks. When they weren’t sawing and nailing boards, they loaded up bows and shot arrows; they skateboarded; they swam and fished in the Columbia River; they got stoned and raced motorbikes. One night Mr. Huntington slaughtered a goat and gave a big barbecue for the crew. 'I think of it as a big-boys’ camp,' said Tucker Gorman, a buddy of Mr. Huntington’s [and] a treehouse expert. 'It’s very much like Neverland up there,' Mr. Gorman said."

From a NYT article (with great photos) titled "Escape to Bro-topia/Foster Huntington was an up-and-comer in the New York fashion industry. Then he ditched it all and built his own personal paradise in the sky."

"Bronado" and "Bro-topia" are (unfortunately!) the only "bro-" slang in the article. "Bronado" has been in Urban Dictionary since 2008, when it was defined as "A large gathering of males, drinking and doing nothing." The current top definition is "When a group of bro's begin to fist pump so hard that a whirl wind begins to form and then from that, a Bro-nado rips through the party."

"Brotopia" (without the hyphen) has been in Urban Dictionary since 2007, when it was defined as "A place in which brothers (from another Mother) can bro-lax and or bro-chill in perfect harmony with one another. Although it is believed that a brotopia does exist one has yet to be found." The current top definition is "A totally non-queer land filled with all your favortie [sic] bros."


Eric the Fruit Bat said...

I find it off-putting to consider that some writer could take certain select aspects of my life, and run it through the same NYT style section processing system, and I'd read it afterwards and have to conclude that I must be a homo.

Humperdink said...

The first pic that caught my eye was the trail bike. The legendary Honda Trail 90.

madAsHell said...

Will Tinkerbell ever allow Peter to marry Wendy?

Big Mike said...

Did you write "unfortunately" about "Bronado" and "Bro-topia" being the only bro-slang in the article? I'm pretty appalled that even those words are there.

Ann Althouse said...

Yeah, I wanted it brotastically bro-peppered.

Ann Althouse said...

With bro-ositude.

campy said...

Safe spaces, in other words.

buwaya puti said...

Safe enough.
My long-ago bro parties involved bad rum, mushrooms, and automatic weapons. Granted, we usually had a pack of the local village girls show up, but you can't keep them away from a party.

Chris N said...

One day he'll look upon page 13 of his life's catalogue with brostalgia.

Laslo Spatula said...

I am leaving the apartment of the Neo-Nazi Girlfriend who Is Not My Girlfriend when I run into her downstairs roommate, F-Ready.

"Hey Bro, want a beer?" he says, tipping his bottle of Miller High Life at me.

"Thanks, but actually I was just leaving..."

"Aw, don't disrespect me, Bro," he says, and I never want to disrespect F-Ready: I am sure bad things happen to people who disrespect F-Ready, so I accept a beer.

"She's quite the girl," he says, motioning upstairs.

"She certainly is... interesting," I say, sipping my beer.

"Yeah," F-Ready nods. "Black men want her bad."


"The Brothers: they all seem to want her white ass."

"I hadn't noticed."

"Bro, you are a White Man: you need to notice these things." As he says this he puts on a CD: N.W.A.'s "Straight Outta Compton". I feel uncomfortable.

"Interesting music," I say, noncommittally.

"Bro, you say 'interesting' a lot."


"You're thinking that a Proud White Man shouldn't like N.W.A., aren't you?"

I try not to say a sentence with the word 'interesting' in it and come up short, saying nothing at all.

"I can Respect the Black Man who gets his," F-Ready says as "Gangsta Gangsta" plays in the background. "I just don't wanna live with them."

"I understand."

"Anyway, when you're with her" -- he motions upstairs again -- "you gotta watch out for the Black Men. You gotta be Ready."

"Be ready?"

"To defend her honor. Of a Proud White Woman."

"Of course."

"I don't care if it is three-on-one, you gotta at least go down swinging."

"Yes," I nod: "Go down swinging."

"And you better not break her Heart."


"Last guy she was with broke her Heart, real bad."

"That's awful..."

"It was, bro. I broke his legs though, so some things evened up."

"Sounds like he deserved it, I guess."

"Damn Straight. Then I fucked him in the ass."


"I fucked him in the ass, bro. Showed him who's boss."


"Just kidding, bro. We are on the Outside: no need to follow Prison Rules here."

I nod and finish my beer.

"I think I gotta go," I say. "Thanks for the beer."

"Next time we'll throw down some shots."

"Next time," I say as I leave.

This seems to be heading to a Bad Place. If it weren't for the sex.

I am Laslo.

chickelit said...

Ann Althouse said...
Yeah, I wanted it brotastically bro-peppered.


I believe a commenter named Louis was wishing out & loud that the chemical elements could be renamed according to a physical property. He said that without realizing that most of them already were named after a physical property.

Bromine. Named after the Greek word bromos-- stench of he-goats.

Michael K said...

I had similar thoughts about living on a sailboat but I had a wife and kids. We made plans but it didn't work out. Wives have too many things they want. We got divorced instead.

My sailboat fantasy lasted until I finally realized I was too old and could not handle the size sailboat I wanted to live on in Mexico.

Not all my fantasies were in my imagination. I did manage to do some serious sailing, but it was limited to days and weeks instead of months. That last boat, after two years' work, turned out to be too much work for me to handle alone.

A tree house would have been fine.

buwaya puti said...

Somewhere, sometime, all of Laslos pieces will end up in a book which I would buy, though I will have to go to confession afterwards.

Laslo Spatula said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Laslo Spatula said...

"Somewhere, sometime, all of Laslos pieces will end up in a book which I would buy, though I will have to go to confession afterwards."

Only if Althouse writes the Foreword.

I am Laslo.

Titus said...

I read this article this morning and abs loved it-so NYTimes. We all dream of leaving the craziness of the city-but money calls! Colby College is fab!

Have a super weekend everyone!

Keep reaching for the stars!


Titus said...

I have a little pubic hair in my teeth I can't get out. Sometimes I pull a pube on me in order to floss my teeth and now it is stuck in my tooth!

I need to wax!

Ann Althouse said...

"Somewhere, sometime, all of Laslos pieces will end up in a book which I would buy, though I will have to go to confession afterwards."

That's like saying take all the treehouses out of the forests and install them in a surburban development.

CWJ said...

"That's like saying take all the treehouses out of the forests and install them in a surburban development."

Which in our youth is where they were originally.

Laslo Spatula said...

"That's like saying take all the treehouses out of the forests and install them in a surburban development."

This reminded me of a certain sentence from the much-loved Althouse Gatsby project.

Reading the comments, I do wonder whatever happened to betamax3000, anyway.

I am Laslo.'

virgil xenophon said...

"...Bronado of friends..."

College fraternities and fighter squadrons..

PB said...

"Bro" has been in wide use for decades. It means brother or close friend. Just like "Sis". Long before the " urban" dictionary existed. Who are these people?

PB said...

"Nobody ever does it"? People have been seeking to escape civilization, since civilization has existed. Does Thoreau ring a bell? Jeremiah Johnson anyone? Bueller?

PB said...

Jack Kerouac. Robert M Pirsig. Just a couple who hit the road in search of something.

Gahrie said...

Guys are so desperate to find a place to get away from women that it has come to this.

How come we never hear about "woman caves"?

Scott said...

My favorite bro-topia was Bob's Java Hut in Minneapolis. Back in the day it was where the sport bikers hung out. We watched the world go by on Lyndale Ave South.

Terry said...

In the book Peter Pan, the "lost boys" were dead. The narrator expalined their origin -- when a child died, its parents explained to the other children in the family that they had lost it. Kind of creepy.

Scott said...

There are no "women caves" because women dominate every other space in the universe.

Roughcoat said...

Thanks for the reference to Robert Pirsig. Brings back memories. I first read his book while in college, in Boulder, Colorado. Give the time and place, it should come as no surprise that I found him profound. Many years later I read the book again and found him profoundly mentally ill. I realized then that his book was a really a chronicle of mental illness not transcendence. I'm not sure whether that was his intention.

Scott said...

In high school I went to a party thrown by Robert Persig's son when the old man was out of town. If he was profoundly mentally ill, he had certainly leveraged his condition well.

traditionalguy said...

Suppose men are eternal beings in a earth/dust body that decays and dies before the eternal home and brotherhood of beings welcomes us. But we long for a taste of that eternal place here and now.

The ways of tasting eternity now are also called opiates, real pharmaceutical ones and religious/political ones.

Ann Althouse said...

"This reminded me of a certain sentence from the much-loved Althouse Gatsby project."

That's the sentence I most remember when I think of the old project. It was so suitable to the idea of hanging out with one sentence until you could really see it, how the sidewalk was a ladder. Normally, reading through, you might just fly by and slough it off as another fluffy bundle of words, that description bullshit novelists need to make the text look like something more than a screenplay.

traditionalguy said...

The post seems to be about special homes off the earth and up in air, among your brothers who built together and now dwell together in peace.

That's all a religious idea, or a Communist idea. But he seems happy without drugs except for the idea he experiences living in heaven.

Michael K said...

".Bronado of friends..."

College fraternities and fighter squadrons.."

And infantry companies. Read EB Sledge, With The Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa"

The survivors stayed close until they died.

Roughcoat said...

If he was profoundly mentally ill, he had certainly leveraged his condition well.

The book came across as a chronicle of mental illness. The author as he portrayed himself in the book is deeply disturbed and suffers shattering psychotic breaks with reality. He is immobilized by them. Reality becomes an illusion and he finds himself disappearing into it. His sense of self vanishes. The proximate cause of his breaks is his study of Taoism. But this is inadequate as an explanation for what happened to him. Healthy minds do not and should not descend into psychosis from exposure to Taoist teaching or any teaching for that matter. Philosophy should not drive you crazy. In some cases it does--e.g., Friedrich Nietzche--but that is because those who were driven to madness by their intellectual pursuits were mentally ill to begin with.

Maybe Pirsig was exaggerating for the sake of writing a good book. Or maybe he got better later in his life.

Howard said...

It's just a nice story. Good for him. It's not a launching-pad to promote narcissistic political superstitions.

Howard said...

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance are how Persig attempted to deal with his mental illness. Given the state of the medical art in those days, it was probably better than Mellarill and/or Thorazine.

Roughcoat: Nice perspective. Reading Nietzsche, my impression was his brilliant writings were an attempt to quiet his quantum overdrive mind. It's the tails of the bell curve that have the most impact as individuals, but the great stable middle prevails.

Roughcoat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Roughcoat said...

Howard -

Yes indeed, totally agree. Thanks.

When I was young and first read the book I was immersed in the Boulder counterculture where madness was regarded as a liberating experience and being clinically insane was thought to be kind of cool. Of course those who believed this nonsense had never experienced real insanity first-hand. They only knew about it from reading bullshit authors like Ken Kesey, R.D. Laing, Charles Reich, and Theodore Roszak, among others. Pirsig was not a bullshit author but it seems that most of his readers (myself included) misinterpreted his writing and placed him in the "madness-is-subversive-and-liberating" crowd. The fact that his descent into madness was a function of his study of the Tao greatly enhanced his appeal, since Eastern religions and philosophies enjoyed great cache at the time. Which is to say, it was very hip of Pirsig to be driven crazy by the intensity of a mystical experience induced by his Taoist studies. Most people had to swallow heavy doses of LSD to have that experience, and he did it "naturally"! What a lucky guy!

What silly, frivilous, dangerous times those were. What a stupid time.

madAsHell said...

Read EB Sledge

I think you recommended this before, and I have now read it. The most amazing part is that Sledge was able to write the book. Most old soldiers/marines prefer not to think about it.

I now understand why my father left the table after I poured ketchup on the meat loaf.

Michael K said...

I'm now about to read his second book, "China Marine," about his 6 months in China after the war ended. He didn't get home until then.

He says in the book that his memories were as clear when he wrote the book in 1981 as when the events occurred. I suspect this is common as traumatic memories are more embedded.

Smilin' Jack said...

""Mr. Huntington built the treehouses over several months last year with the help of what he called a 'bronado' of friends.""

Those abbreviations can be perplexing. Though I go places that are infested with plenty of both, I still haven't mastered the difference between a brohole and a dudehole.

Michael K said...

I like those tree houses a lot.

Fo years, I wanted to retire to the islands in Puget Sound. That would be a great place for something like that. You have to like rain, though.

Jeff with one 'f' said...

"Bro" is a word certain progressive writers love to bandy about in a condescending way. They apparently find male bonding and heavily male-oriented group activities to be threatening and do their best to vilify them. It's really misandrist and revealing of these women's desire to feminize every facet of public and private life, leaving men no choice but to capitulate and assimilate to their ideas about what constitutes proper social activities.

Freeman Hunt said...

There are no "women caves" because women dominate every other space in the universe.

I thought it was because women aren't so gauche as to demand a room in the limited space of the house that is only for themselves.

Ann Althouse said...

I thought it was because the woman has the higher standards of cleanliness and interior decoration or because the man wanted to be able to watch porn or other TV that wasn't acceptable in the rest of the house.

Ann Althouse said...

"I thought it was because women aren't so gauche..."

My grandmother had a sewing room.