Li’l Thinks - Friends by Kate Carraway
Illustration by Penelope Gazin
I pushed him into a snow bank on the way home from the bar. He was drunk and had to pee and went down, soft like a wool mitten, and then got up, and then I pushed him down again. I hadn’t—this should be “haven’t”—seen this dude in, like, three years, but that—the “pfooo” of a grown-up man falling slow and landing facedown in the fresh snow, the 2 AM winter-empty side-street echo of us scream-laughing, hard—repeats, for me, as something like an advertisement, not for friendship exactly, but more specifically for the corny, syrupy-sweet juvenilia that is what I liked so much about how and who we were when we were together.
Friendship is a constantly self-renewing frontier of human relationships, a Wild West of emotional and temporal adventure times. Without the common and commonly necessary strictures that the lamer side of biology and collective culture and whoever else is set up to dictate sexual, romantic relationships, and without the near-eternal nature of literal families, friendship is expansive and truly wild. It’s the only type of relationship that can run steadily for months or years or ever-afters, without sliding down an emotional valley or being punctured by another person’s need or someone else’s betrayal. Of all the ways for two people to be together, and be in some kind of love, it’s the way that is most defined by genuine, wanted, cohesive closeness—the kind that can only be created by making a choice that isn’t required by law or money or blood or boners, and least of all by obligation. The stuff of great friendships applies to shy kindergarteners sharing a snack as much as it does to Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks watching movies together after dinner.
Sparkology Is For Yuppies Who Can’t Get Laid
Most entrepreneurs start dating websites to make money, but Alex Furmansky created his because he wants to end hookup culture. After attending the University of Pennsylvania’s business school and working at a series of technology and finance companies, Alex founded Sparkology, a dating website for “young urban professionals” that requires members to either receive invites from current members or to have a degree from an elite university. Since Sparkology’s launch in February 2012, over 7,000 people have joined and two Sparkology couples have gotten engaged. I didn’t know what a young urban professional is or why they’d have trouble meeting other young urban professionals for sex or love, so I asked Alex what the fuck was going on.
VICE: What inspired you to start Sparkology?
Alex Furmansky: When I was living in Florida, several friends of mine were girls in their mid-20s and early 30s, and objectively they were gorgeous, intelligent, really nice people. They just couldn’t date good men. I know so many good guys, but they just go to bars and stand there looking at girls across the room.
How does Sparkology help those good guys learn to approach women?
We had an event just for our men. One of our concierges came in and gave a short speech about how to date like a gentleman online. We have three concierges. One helps you write a profile, and we have Allegra, who plans and books your entire evening. Often the guys are busy and don’t have time to read the foodie blogs. Then we have Portland Thomas, our photographer. His name’s really Waspy. When I heard his name, I was like, “He’s hired!”
What does going to a good school and having a high income have to do with your being an ideal dating partner?
It’s not about that. It’s the kind of person you’re with and whether you can communicate and whether you can have a conversation.
What’s a young urban professional? I feel like that could mean many things.
It’s someone who takes his or her career seriously. For you and I, it’s pretty obvious. I think you and I are in this bubble, and if you step out of the bubble, the vast majority of guys don’t take their careers seriously.
I take my career seriously, but my career has led me to review interactive-video sex toys. Do I still count as a young urban professional?
We’re not the banker crowd. We have a bunch of teachers, for example. We have a guy who’s helping start a new kind of elementary school in the Bronx. We have authors.
Read more from our Grievous Sins issue:
New Roma Ghettos
Meet the Last Lykovs
Let’s Get Physical
Cruising New York Magazine’sWedding Convention
With spring right around the corner and Facebook getting lit up with little, pink marriage equality icons—it’s clear that ~true love~ is in the air. So when I found out that this “boring” and “irrelevant” little rag called New York was throwing a big, fancy wedding convention, where hundreds of gay and straight couples stroll around planning their rosy, monogamous futures together—I decided to seize the opportunity. I attended the event last Thursday at the Metropolitan Pavilion to find out two specific things:
A) Why do people want to get married so fucking bad anyway?
And (more importantly),
B) How easy would it be to tempt someone to break those stupid vows?
After Gay Marriage, Why Not Polygamy?
Illustration by Alex Cook
Gay marriage is going to be legal.
After this week’s oral arguments before the Supreme Court on California’s Proposition 8 and the federal Defense of Marriage Act, it’s unlikely that the robed elders who run our society will declare that gays have the same rights to marry that straights do all over the US, but they will probably strike down the blatantly bigoted DOMA. But no matter what the court says, the public’s broad support of letting two people who love each other being able to marry each other and get the rights that come with marriage—no matter what equipment they’ve got down there—means that sooner or later, and probably sooner, two men or two women will be able to legally wed each other. It’s taken too long, sure, but that day isn’t too far off. But if two men or two women can get married, what’s stopping two men and two women from getting hitched?
The idea that after gay marriage is legalized, polygamy will be next—and then bestiality and legal unions between lawn mowers and volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica and so on—is one of the main arguments that social conservatives trot out to “defend traditional marriage.” (It’s right up there with “think of the children!” and “the Bible says…”) Stanley Kurtz made that argument nearly ten years ago in The Weekly Standard, and it got brought up again in several briefs filed this week with the Supreme Court by anti-gay marriage advocates. It goes like this: if the purpose of marriage isn’t to produce children and traditional one-mom, one-dad homes, if it’s just a legal arrangement between folks who really like each other, what basis can there be to deny triads and quads who want legal recognition of multiple-partner marriages?
Actually, yeah—why are polyamorous marriages between consenting adults illegal?
Becca and Tanya, nanny and music distributor
Becca: I’m into it. Meat all the way.
Um, what do you mean by that?
Becca: Bacon on tits. Then you cook it and eat it. The grease mixes with the sweat, and the fat and meat marble together, and it becomes arousing.
Tanya: I confirm this. There’s nothing else to say.
Christian Patterson and the Trail of Dead
In 1958, in a shitty neighborhood of Lincoln, Nebraska, Charlie Starkweather, a disgruntled teenage tough who was mad at the world, and his 14-year-old girlfriend Caril Ann Fugate, murdered Caril’s disapproving family and hit the road on a murderous two-month odyssey. They killed seven more people along the way (it is unclear just how complicit Caril was in the killings, as she claimed she had been kidnapped by Charlie), before they were captured in Wyoming. The story shocked the nation and became the stuff of myth and legend. The references to it in popular culture are far reaching. One of the most well-known examples is Terrence Malick’s Badlands.
It was via Badlands that photographer Christian Patterson discovered the case. Struck by the story, Christian subsequently made a photo series, entitled Redheaded Peckerwood, which was hailed by many as a shining example of the potential that photography books held. The series and the book are conceptual, highly ambitious, visually striking, and thematically absorbing. It loosely follows the storyline of the spree, using the story as a springboard to creative inspiration, blending fact and fiction, art and artifact, and the boundaries between conceptual and documentary photography. The book’s third edition will be released by MACK this month, so we sat down with Christian to discuss his work and the story.
Interiew + More Photos
Karl Welzein is the President and CEO of Bad Boy City, USA. Follow him @DadBoner.
’Sup. Karl “K-Money” (for mad swag) Welzein here. Comin’ atcha hot ’n ready from Grand Blanc, MI. I’m pretty much the man, and that’s a natural fact, you guys.
February 14th is a stressful time of year for guys in the USA. That’s why I keep it single and ready to mingle until the 15th. It just makes good financial sense. I ain’t one to blow bread on babes just ’cause a calendar says it’s ’Tines Day. I mean, don’t get me wrong. I’m a big spender. Everyone knows that in my area. Ol’ Karl likes to really spread it around. Gotta respect the ladies, you guys. Whether I’m at Olive Garden with a smokin’ babe who’s got bangin’ chest beefers, or just keepin’ it chillin’ at ’Bee’s with a dynamite gal who’s got a caboose piled high with all the toppings, it’s always my treat. I’ve got class. That’s just how I operate.
A couple nights ago, I kinda felt like shovin’ a gun barrel in my mouth and endin’ it all. No real reason, just the winter blahs I guess. Everyone feels like endin’ it all sometimes. It’s just part of life and shouldn’t be too concerning. Most times, you just need a good Chili’s cheer-me-up. Remember, no need to eat a gun barrel over the winter blahs when it’s sunny and 70 at Chili’s, you guys.
A few nights ago, me and my roommate Dave were rockin’ it at Chili’s with the heat of a thousand suns. Just poundin’ top-shelf margs, bad-boy style. Well, I was. Dave got distracted with some nighttime babe. The big difference between nighttime babes and daytime babes mostly comes down to sunlight bein’ a revealing factor. Dave’s supposed to go out for coffee with her this week. So stupid. Coffee’s a daytime situaish. I think he’s just gonna get roped into some V-Day crap, but he won’t listen. Idiot. Dave’s just blinded by his backed-up guy poison. Gotta be extra careful around ’Tines. There’s alotta lonely ugg-a-mugs out there lookin’ for a free hot meal.
HERE’S K-MONEY’S TIPS ON HOW NOT TO GET BURNED BY SOME LONELY UGG-A-MUG BABE JUST LOOKIN’ FOR A FREE HOT MEAL ON V-DAY:
1. Make sure the babe isn’t some street animal. My wallet ain’t a soup kitchen, you guys.
2. Never go out for coffee. It’s just a waste of time where you sit there listenin’ to boring crap about someone’s “life.” Plus, no carnal passions EVER came out of “gettin’ coffee.” Real adults get bombed together at nighttime. It’s more polite as well ’cause the lighting is more conducive to the appearance of the bod and the grill area of both daytime AND nighttime babes.