14 °CBroken clouds
Jamie Ross: Milkchampporting
|Columnists||Wed, 12 Dec 2012||Tweet|
by Jamie Ross
There are many downsides to being a young man.
For example, I can’t let myself go until I trick a woman into marrying me and I have to make at least a cursory effort to keep up with fashion as if what colour of rag we hide our tits with matters when, in a hundred years, we’ll all be rotting in the soil of a planet which will be so hot that our grandchildren will be fried alive.
None of this compares to the single worst thing about being a man under thirty though: the prerequisite that I must be a ‘lad’ who enjoys ‘banter’. You know banter, it’s what people who aren’t funny do instead of a joke. You’ll have seen it take many forms on campus: someone wearing a t-shirt with a slogan which says something outrageous about sex; someone chanting about the volume of alcohol they can hold, like there is something aspirational about having the same skill-set as a big pan; someone goading someone else for the sports team they like, as if either of them are even remotely involved in the fortunes of the team outwith eating peanuts and farting in the presence of a television screen displaying their games.
The most recent incarnation of ‘banter’, however, is milking, porting and champagning – the act of pouring the prefix of each of those words onto your head, filming it and uploading the evidence to Facebook to prove to everyone what a super fun person you are to be around. If you ask a single one of these creatures why they are doing this – as a journalist I should do this but then I would have to speak to them, I’m sure Lord Leveson will understand – I am beyond certain that they will justify it as ‘banter’.
Banter. Banter banter banter. Say it over and over in your head. Then imagine it being sung to the tune of I Whip My Hair Back and Forth by a choir of everyone who has ever wronged you. Annoying, isn’t it? That is how I feel about banter.
By way of example, let’s consider the step-by-step process of milking. Firstly, you have to purposefully leave your flat, walk to a shop and buy some milk. Secondly, you travel to as public a place as possible and open the milk. Thirdly, you have to recruit someone to film you and then pour the milk over your head. Fourthly, you have to walk home in wet clothes, through wintry air, smelling of milk. Fifthly, you have to wash your clothes and your head. And for what? Ten ‘likes’ on Facebook? The approval of the kind of terrible person who finds the simple physics of a liquid being poured onto an object funny? In the time that it took you to do this you could have started a novel, you witless shitprawn.
But, in a way, I don’t blame them (I do blame them in all other ways). The problem is that websites like Unilad and every program on BBC3 have tricked young men into thinking that there is something funny about being an incorrigible wanker. If you don’t spend your time playing FIFA, propagating a moustache or sewing up your sides which split upon hearing a rape joke, it is somehow abnormal.
Inevitably one banter merchant will find his way here, clicking over from the Talksport Forum by mistake, and, if he can type with his withered Xbox claw of a hand, call me a killjoy. A man who doesn’t know how to have fun. For those people I have a story.
When I was freshly 18, I went to a nightclub which contained a paddling pool full of women. Drunk, I decided to enter the pool fully-clothed and speak to the women. Almost immediately, a bouncer ran over, wrapped his arms around my neck and fished me out of the water like a turd in a birthing pool. I was thrown out and had to walk a mile home in sodden clothes. Now I’m 23, I think of this as the most shameful episode of my life but, at the time, I was treated as a hero.
What I’m saying is, I understand. I was once like you; young, optimistic, foolish. As a man literally months older than you I am here to pass on my wisdom. Don’t be fooled into thinking that banter is the only way. Think long and hard, and consider how you would truly enjoy expressing yourself.
If, at the end of that, you still think ‘banter’, I am sorry to inform you that you are a fundamentally worthless person.