It’s dreadful the language you get on Facebook these days. People calling each other the worst names while insisting on having a drink and smoking the largest joints you’ve ever seen, getting nearly gored by bulls and almost b****red in dank cottage bedrooms. And yet this is what keeps me sane, for it all happens on one group. The Withnail and I Appreciation Society.
I blogged about this a week or two back when I first joined. Back then I merely found it a source of idle amusement; but it has rapidly grown into one of the major sources of sanity in my life. When I begin to ask myself why I still bother with Facebook; when my heart splinters with despair at the political wrangling; when the simplest of local discussions seems to degenerate into fury – then I turn to the W&I group and find a balm for my soul. There’s something very sustaining about the freedom to insult people: when I was younger most of my friends called each other terrible names and it was all understood to be in jest, a kind of shorthand, a way of saying we liked each other. This is quite male, I think, but some women like it too: it’s comforting and reassuring. It’s like knowing you can’t cross a line; that you are accepted and included, without judgement.
The W&I group is entirely in the spirit of the film; it’s a happy-go-lucky, serendipitous bunch of people who take their amusement where they find it, demand to have some booze, scour cafes for the finest wines known to humanity and find hares for their pot in the humps of local types. Of course, none of this will mean anything to you if you haven’t seen the film. So what are you waiting for?