How many pieces of pop culture include a sibling relationship? I'm too lazy to do an actual study, but I'm guessing it's a lot. Bart and Lisa get into shenanigans despite their many differences, Luigi never complains about having to help rescue Mario's girlfriend yet again, and the Pines twins do their best to ignore the fact that half of Tumblr wants them to fuck. Unless you're watching Game of Thrones, the message is always "siblings may annoy you, but ultimately they're pretty rad."
This all makes sense to me in the abstract, because I'm a functional human being capable of basic empathy. And I've had a brother from another mother or two in my day, which is the most underrated of all familial relationships. But when, say, Frozen came out and everyone went on and on about how loving and real the sisterhood between Anna and Elsa felt, my response was to shrug and say, "Yeah, they ... they sure do seem to like each other a lot! 'Let It Go,' am I right?"
"And how about the realistic portrayal of a cripplingly lonely man who's way too into his pet? Did that hit home for you guys, too?"
This extends to friends or strangers with few qualms about sharing personal details, telling stories, or venting complaints about their siblings. Yeah, I understand why their brother is great or annoying or about to become the next Abel if he doesn't get his shit together, but I always feel like I'm missing some underlying point. It's a relationship that fundamentally means nothing to me, so stories about them fall flat.
And again, because you see it so much in pop culture, you can't help but speculate about what might have been. What if I had a brother to fight demons alongside, instead of having to do it by myself? What if he then went to jail on false charges and I had to get myself arrested so I could break him out? What if after he got out, he moved in with our parents across the street from me and kept bringing them over at inconvenient times, and I had to be all, "Dude, stop bringing our parents over to eat my food; we have to go fight the demons that sent you to jail!" And then we'd laugh and reminisce about something and pretend to do a freeze-frame, and everyone else would say, "Oh, those wacky, inseparable brothers!"
"Now stop bonding, and go save the city!"
I might be glamorizing it a little, but I can't help but wonder. Although on the plus side, I'll never have to worry about a sibling betraying me for power or fortune like all of yours are plotting to do at this very moment, and I don't find weird incest subplots in pop culture nearly as squicky as other people do. Shit, did I just end yet another column with an ambiguous endorsement of incest?
You can read more of Mark's endorsements of incest at his website.
And also check out 5 Everyday Groups of People Society Says It's OK to Mock and 4 Signs You Need to Spend Less Time Online.
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