A Crash Course in Bro Culture

Popped collars and plaid pants indicate a subspecies of the human race that still enjoys quoting Anchorman. The Bureau’s resident zoologist Jeff Merrion documents the psyche of bro culture and identifies its favorite dinosaur.

A couple of Friday nights ago, I was at one of my favorite coffee houses in Denver. The line was longer than usual, snaking out into the cold. I was shivering near the back of the line when I heard someone say (I swear to God), “Dude! Bro! What are you doing here?”

Another person responded, “Bro! We’re just chilling here!”

I assumed that the conversation was between two hipsters trying to be ironic, but when I turned around, my eyes settled on two living, breathing bros. My field of vision was flecked with brightly colored polo shirts, plaid shorts, and gelled hair. It’s possible that I heard someone request that the employees put on “the new J.T. album.”

Ever since then, I’ve noticed an increase in the number and enthusiasm of bros. For the purposes of this article, I will define a bro as any male who uses the words “dude” or “bro” more than an aggregate total of ten times per hour in conversation, wears exclusively polo shirts or Billabong tees, has an abiding love for Natural Ice beer, and whose top priority in life is to “fuck bitches.”

Things I Have Actually Overheard Bros Say

  • “Look at that suitcase! Dude, it’s a total fag bag!” (Said to me on an airplane, by a bro in the next seat over, in reference to a polka-dotted suitcase. When I didn’t laugh, he assumed the bag was mine, and said “Not, like, in a bad way.”)
  • “Dude, what are you, gay? Just give me a tipper!” (Said by a bro exhorting his friend to hit him in the genitals. The friend did not, in fact, give his friend a “tipper.”)
  • “Dude, we made it.” (Said at a graduation party by a bro, crying while listening to “Here’s to the Night” by Eve 6, his arm around another bro’s shoulder.)

Things I Wish I Had Overheard Bros Say

  • “Hands down, my favorite chemical is bromide. I prefer it to chlorine in swimming pools.”
  • “Oh no, bro! Look at this shiny pink patch of visible scalp! My faux-hawk is no more! I’m going bald! Quick, dude, get some Brogaine!”
  • “Xiu Xiu speaks to me.”
  • “Dude, it was a total bro-down! Total brodeo! Not a single biddy in sight!”
  • “His use of the Dorian mode in that song really brought Nickelback into the top echelon of Canadian grunge, bro.”

Favorite Actors of the Bro Community

  • Adrian Brody
  • Pierce Brosnan
  • Charles Bronson

Favorite Dinosaur of the Bro Community

  • Brontosaur (although it loses points for being an herbivore)

Favorite Politicians of the Bro Community

  • Brosef Stalin
  • George W. Bush

A Note on Fashion
Fashions among American youth are dictated by impersonal dialectics. The square, boring fashion of the nineties could only exist as a subconscious reaction to the pervasive freakery that characterized the eighties. Then came the Internet, which made fashions even more ephemeral. In about 2003, the first wave of “scene” and “emo” fashion proliferated in reaction to the square nineties. As “scene” and “emo” kids became more mired in self-referential and ridiculous styles, the bros seized, and now the pendulum of fashion is swinging back towards the bros.

Perhaps someday the pendulum of youth fashion will reach its dialectical end and stop swinging, and we will achieve an equilibrium in which bro fashion exists side by side with hipster fashion. This style I call the “Kurt Brobain” style. Adherents will wear tattered flannel over popped-collar polos, listen to Jack Johnson and the Meat Puppets one after another, and “tippers” will be given from each according to his tipper-giving ability to each according to his need for a tipper.

While he excels in most other areas, Jeff Merrion’s spatial logic falls within the lower third percentile of United States citizens. He is a Religious Studies major and, as such, has a long life of administrative assistantship awaiting him. To potential employers: Jeff makes a mean cup of coffee.