Club Mentality
August 6, 2003 10:02 PM   Subscribe

Does Belonging To A Club Make Sense In The 21st Century? Why, then, are they proliferating? And with free membership, already! Will the clubbish mentality, like the poor, always be with us? Is it still birds of a feather or just "anything goes"; an excuse; a lame post-modern irony taken far too far? Is "exclusive" still acceptable? Does it, in fact, still exist? Come to think of it, is MetaFilter a club of sorts?
posted by MiguelCardoso (34 comments total)
Of course.
posted by timeistight at 10:24 PM on August 6, 2003

Because every person's two greatest fears are the fear of solitude, and the fear of death. Can't do anything about the latter, but you can damn well do something about the former. Humans, like wolves, are packing animals, and like wolves, it is for our our protection. In our case, psychological protection. We are a belonging kind, and rare indeed is the lone wolf.
posted by UncleFes at 10:40 PM on August 6, 2003

posted by quonsar at 11:32 PM on August 6, 2003

If metafilter's a club, then a ton of us (like myself) are the shady people with black hoodies lurking in the shadows in the back of the clubhouse.
posted by iamck at 11:45 PM on August 6, 2003

*clubs quonsar*
posted by dg at 11:59 PM on August 6, 2003

So Migs, does this mean my membership in your fan club isn't any good?
posted by Salmonberry at 12:06 AM on August 7, 2003

I'm not sure I'd want to belong to any MetaFilter that would have me as a member.
posted by filmgoerjuan at 12:21 AM on August 7, 2003

huh? wuzzuh? someone say 'member'?
posted by quonsar at 12:34 AM on August 7, 2003

No, MetaFilter is not a 'club'; it's more like the intraweb version of the State of California, with Matt as the Governor, quonsar distributing recall petitions and Miguel announcing his candidacy in the Blogstop thread.
posted by wendell at 12:58 AM on August 7, 2003

posted by Slithy_Tove at 1:02 AM on August 7, 2003

Do private members' clubs in California and New York City allow smoking? This is all I need to ask.
posted by riviera at 1:24 AM on August 7, 2003

No. And the clubs in Portland require you to keep your dog on a leash at all times.
posted by iamck at 1:37 AM on August 7, 2003

If we are a wolf pack, does that mean I can piss all over the furniture?
posted by Dagobert at 2:33 AM on August 7, 2003

*tries to think of a joke*

*comes up with terrible skit ending with the words "Lone Wolf & Club"*

*shoots self*
posted by soundofsuburbia at 4:10 AM on August 7, 2003

"A pack of cards has 13 clubs; deal me in!" Wendell rejoined.
posted by wendell at 4:17 AM on August 7, 2003

rare is the lone wolf.

posted by stbalbach at 5:58 AM on August 7, 2003

Tennis, anyone?
posted by tommasz at 6:20 AM on August 7, 2003

Define club as an exclusive organization of like-minded people, and you're sweeping up everything from neighborhood play groups to the Trilateral Commission. Further add the requirement of lots and lots of money to join, and I would say, no, they're not on the decline, because the rich will always be with us, and will always want to keep out the rest of us.

Many people like to be around their own kind. Not new, not really interesting. Miguel, you should step in and moderate a little here, because I think you might have something interesting to say but you haven't really said it yet. And this thread is going jersey fast.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 6:33 AM on August 7, 2003

I'm also waiting for WolfDaddy to pipe up and assume his Alpha Male mantle.
posted by Dagobert at 6:49 AM on August 7, 2003

Ugly rumor meme: Miguel subscribes to New York magazine.
posted by Vidiot at 6:59 AM on August 7, 2003

Here in Utah all the bars are private clubs. We are sooo ahead of the times.
posted by trbrts at 7:36 AM on August 7, 2003

Because every person's two greatest fears are the fear of solitude

posted by clavdivs at 7:56 AM on August 7, 2003

with Matt as the Governor

At $3500, what's that, .0000003457 cents per MeFite or something for the entrance fee? Lord knows we got enough people to sign the paperwork.

Hell, Matt For Governor! Kick Gary Coleman's ass, he could.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:02 AM on August 7, 2003

Look people, the fact of the matter is unless you have at least 5 extracurriculars on your application colleges won't even look at you no matter how high your SAT score is. Do you remember Stacy? Well, she had like a 3.8 GPA but she was turned down because she was too busy studying instead of joining the Key Club. I never liked that bitch anyway, she glared at me at the National Junior Scholar's induction and totally hit on Billy right behind my back knowing I had a major crush on him. Now she's going to community college, while I am a SHOE-IN for State with my President of the Fashion Club and Secretary of the Junior Flutist Society positions. Did you know I arranged last year's car wash fundraiser? I SO put that on my application, colleges go nuts over that stuff, and I've already been invited to all the best pre-rush parties. College is going to be a breeze!

Vote for me for Treasurer of the Metafilter SGA!
posted by Stan Chin at 8:07 AM on August 7, 2003

Also, I miss dueling.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 8:09 AM on August 7, 2003

rapiers or pistols?
posted by UncleFes at 8:31 AM on August 7, 2003

Uglier rumor meme: Miguel writes for New York magazine under the pseudonym "Iva Bigun."
posted by UncleFes at 8:34 AM on August 7, 2003

Rapiers, but only because my servant is old and feeble and has difficulty carrying the heavier pistol case.

Perhaps I should have him put down.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 8:34 AM on August 7, 2003

Clubs have an interesting history as places to avoid government. Today, as an example, you are finding drinking, smoking, and sex clubs, current victims of government disdain. Other random notes:

"Fraternal Organizations" were encouraged during WWI as a patriotic move--an unfortunate side effect of which was the rise of the second Ku Klux Klan.

Clubs are a bastion of liberty only as long as they refrain from business, unless that is their main function. Lawsuits against "exclusivity", especially barring women and minorities, are more successful if "networking" is taking place. The Augusta Golf Club is very careful to prohibit business discussions, so they can keep women out.

A recent backdoor attempt at government interference in clubs came through Joe Biden's bizarre RAVE act. When NORML tried to sponsor a music rally at a Fraternal Order of the Eagle Lodge, the DEA threatened them with a $250,000 fine if "anyone" smoked marijuana.

In China, the government has recently tried to crack down on non-government sanctioned clubs, everything from chess to foreign language clubs. It took a long time from when then finally saw the "Falun Gong exercise club" as a threat, to get to here, though. Unfortunately for their little exercise in totalitarianism, the only thing which defines a club is having a "treasurer." If you don't have one of those, you can still do what you want, as long as you don't call it a "club", or be too public or political about it.
posted by kablam at 8:42 AM on August 7, 2003

Is MeFi a club? Definitely not. 17,000+ is a mob.

I'm indifferent to the concept of clubs, fraternities etc because they seem a bit too encroaching and tend to bring your own standards down to those of the lowest common denominator. I do like the idea of closely knit communities and Hakim Bey's Temporary Autonomous Zones, but ultimately the individual exists apart from the crowd.

"Il ne peut y avoir de progres (vrai, c'est-a-dire moral) que dans l'individu et par l'individu lui-meme.
Mais le monde est fait de gens qui ne peuvent penser qu'en commun, en bandes. Ainsi les Societes belges.
Il y a aussi des gens qui ne peuvent s'amuser qu'en troupe. Le vrai heros s'amuse tout seul."

posted by 111 at 10:49 AM on August 7, 2003

"Humans, like wolves, are packing animals..."

And I would say that the specifics of what you pack might determine just what club you're in....
posted by jaded at 11:17 AM on August 7, 2003

Humans, like wolves, are packing animals... a belonging kind...

No thanks.

"I would never belong to a club that would have me as a member."
-Groucho Marx
posted by Shane at 12:45 PM on August 7, 2003

I would never register with a website that wants me in its demographic database.
-Cyber Marx
posted by wendell at 8:59 PM on August 7, 2003

A lame post - modern irony - taken far too far?
posted by SimStupid at 12:32 AM on August 8, 2003

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