Monday, October 25, 2004

I read two short books this weekend, the first of which was Goat by Brad Land. This one moves quickly and the story is pretty brutal. It begins with the author's abduction and beating and doesn't get much cheerier. After going back to university, he decides to pledge the fraternity his younger brother is in to try and regain the bond he feels they've lost because of his experience, and the humiliation and physical stress he endures during the hazing takes a toll on him and his brother and has tragic consequences for a friend.

The university I went to hadn't had fraternities or sororities for over 20 years, so that whole subculture is pretty alien to me. I can't imagine putting yourself through that kind of torture just to be a part of a group. I guess I'm just not a joiner by nature, but still. I know there are some that aren't bad, and I'm sure it's another instance where the only coverage we see is of the extreme cases, but just the fact that this kind of ritual abuse occurs and is perpetuated by all involved is crazy.

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