I started college 20 years ago this month, which also means that I’ve now been living on the East Coast for two decades (four years in Boston, five in New York/New Jersey and 11 in Philadelphia), and two years longer than I lived in Minnesota.
There are many things different from where I came from and where I ended up, from sports fan behavior to racial/ethnic makeup to cuisine; I’ve written often about these differences over the years. Except for the cold winters- that’s pretty much the same everywhere I’ve lived.
But as the years have passed, there’s one thing I’ve noticed most of all: The way male friendships work. I call it “The East Coast Guy Thing”– the way that groups of male friends in the Eastern U.S. relate to each other- namely, with virtually non-stop insults, teasing and “breaking balls.” Sure, that exists to some degree in other places, but in the Eastern U.S. it’s a whole other animal.
I first noticed this in college, on my freshman hall, and it was jarring, even more than seeing guys from New York who folded their pizza. I continue to see it, even in adulthood, both in workplace and social situations- and even (especially) my annual fantasy football draft, which is typically a six-hour surfeit of insults, trash talk and buffalo wings. You see the “East Coast Guy Thing” all over popular culture, from the The Sopranos to Entourage, where it was a much a part of the show’s identity as fake boobs and bad storytelling.
You grow up a guy on the East Coast, you learn at an early age how to perform, how to think on your feet, how to be ready to answer barbs with even sharper barbs of your own. There’s a reason just about every famous male comedian is from Boston, New York or Philly.
My boys, unlike me, are coming up in that milieu, and while I plan to raise them in many ways in accordance with their half-Minnesotan heritage, I’m glad they’ll have more of a head start when it comes to their native social banter.
On to the links…
At Splice Today I reviewed The Light Between Oceans:
At Farm Dog Productions I looked ahead at the upcoming Ron Howard-directed Beatles documentary.
At Blasting News:
- Seven ways of defending Colin Kaepernick.
- No, Donald Trump is not pivoting– and he never will.
- Why Hillary’s coughing may be a new low in the campaign.
And at Screenrant:
- I eulogize actor Jon Polito.
- Game of Thrones Season 7 is now filming.
- And Angela Lansbury might be in it.
- In great news from 1991, Eddie Vedder will contribute a song to the Twin Peaks revival:
- The latest on the return of Deadwood.
- The Ghostbusters Blu-ray details are here, but a disclaimer: There are girls in it.
- First look at the live-action Beauty and the Beast.
- Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau starred in a comic book.
As always, follow me on Twitter at @StephenSilver.