The value of ‘going out’ is the brag factor.
Yeah, sure, there are a tonne of other reasons. Don’t get me wrong – I enjoy getting battered as much as the next guy. But why are people drawn to it, and why do they talk about it so much the next day? Let’s be honest, stories of the night before are all variations on the same theme, usually involving copious alcohol and/ or drugs, the occasional flit with violence and/ or sex, followed by nausea and/ or vomiting etc. etc. I’ll concede, occasionally they branch out, but I’m talking about the general trend.
As far as I can tell, the reason is pretty simple. Tragically so:
People go out to have something to say the next day.
We strive to create the illusion of an occupied, exciting lifestyle. After going out people want to be able to boast of the adventures they had the prior night, even if, at the time, they weren’t particularly enjoying them. It’s a sort of competition we all have with our friends. The conversation goes something like this:
THEM: What did you do last night?
ME: [well I can’t say nothing – that just doesn’t cut it] I went out.
THEM: [Yes! Something to discuss – even better – something we’ve got in common!!] Where did you go?
ME: A load of places…can’t really remember [that’s the important bit.] Got wasted, drank tonnes – [I may even list the drinks] – how about you? [I offer up the challenge…] Good night?
THEM: Oh man…don’t get me started… [He proceeds to tell a story more or less the same as mine, subbing in and out different but equally uninteresting specific events]
Ok. So I’m a tad cynical. But really, why do people share gruesome stories of the night before? I don’t know the answer, but I think it’s the same reason people watch big brother, or read gossip magazines. They fear estrangement. They don’t want to feel they are missing out.
The irony is…they always are.
So what’s the point of my little tale? Just that when I consider that these same people are the public we rely on to elect a great and just government, why am I surprised when it never happens?