We’ve all heard about the alibi buddy. He’s that gay guy whose best friends with the man telling you he’s against gay rights. He’s also the black guy who hangs out with the fellow bashing African-Americans. He’s the Muslim who totally agrees with all of someone’s generalizations about Muslims, Arabs, and even Sikhs, cause that’s close enough, right? And of course he’s the Mexican drinking buddy to the guy telling you all about those damned immigrants, …er illegal immigrants, just the illegal ones, I mean. Cause we all know that people who bash immigrants are very precise about their concerns, and they never-ever cap on legal immigrants in any way! (Alibi buddy would probably tell us that if he were here.)
Does anybody else have any questions about this buddy, the one we never seem to meet? For that, matter, does anyone have questions for him? Who is he? Where does he live? Or does he really exist when the conversation is over? He might just be a kind of Berkleyian presence, only there when you’re in the room. I can’t be the only person to question if his reality outlives the moment. You gotta wonder if his friend even remembers him when the conversation is over and he doesn’t need an alibi anymore.
But it’s worse than that, I reckon, cause the alibi buddy ain’t there when you’re in the room either. So, this alibi guy is really weird, you know. He is and he ain’t, but he’s both of these (and neither) only when you’re in the room talking to the guy who has something bad to say about some group which totally includes the alibi buddy.
Which is confusing, I know.
Is or ain’t though, I’m convinced the alibi buddy is a singularity. I know, I know, the empirical evidence doesn’t say one way or another. It could be that all these people are talking about a whole bunch of different guys. It could even be that each community has its own ur-alibi, so to speak, a kind of minority spirit-keeper. There could be just that one guy who is friends with all the people capping on African-Americans, another one for Asians, and of course one sinister bastard for all the left-handed people. I mean it could well be that each disenfranchised group has its own alibi spirit who exists for the sole purpose of licensing friends to talk bad about them. On the face of it, this is at least possible.
…as is the existence of vast hoards of minorities living somewhere else, all of whom sent their trusted friends to say bad things about them.
…in good faith.
Still, the alibi buddy is just too perfect isn’t he? Always friends with someone who needs him, but never really there to answer any serious questions. Can that kind of perfection really be divisible. I think not. So, I really do think there is just one alibi-buddy for all the trash-talking not-really-bigots out there. You know it makes sense. There is just one alibi-buddy, one gay-Jewish-Afro-Asiatic Mexi-black man with a lisp. The alibi-buddy is is no Doubt a number of other things besides that, but really, he can only not be in the room for just so many reasons. So, we can probably rule out a few things. Alibi buddy isn’t white; I think we can all agree on that. He also isn’t straight. I would say that he isn’t a guy, but I can’t help thinking a woman would have the good sense to show up to set us straight.
The alibi buddy never does that, does he? No.
There is just one alibi buddy for all the people talking about him, and he is never really here to tell us how he feels about the issues. Evidently, he has a number of friends and they are all strikingly adversarial to the poor alibi buddy and his kin, but apparently he loves them anyway. Alibi buddy must be a very patient guy.
I say that, but I don’t really know for certain, which is frustrating, because I really would like to ask him something. I’d like to ask him if he knows how his friends are talking about him? Does he know that his friend wants to make sure he can’t get married? Does he know his other friend wants him to go home (and I don’t mean Ohio)? That his drinking buddy thinks he’s unqualified and terrible at his job? I mean seriously, if his friends are any measure of alibi-buddy’s life, that poor guy doesn’t need anymore enemies!
Now I ask you; is this anyway to treat a singular entity capable of such miraculous patience? His friends always seem to want us to care about what alibi buddy thinks, …of them anyway. Just once, I wish someone would think of him and his feelings. As much as I’d like to know what he really has to say about all this, the question has always really been just what do his friends say about him.
…and the answer to that question is never all that pretty.