While I was googling for that one, I found this interesting article also by Anthony Esolen called A Requiem for Friendship. ...Why Boys Will Not Be Boys. Basically it's about the loss of the concept of true friendship and the presently fashionable lit-ana tendency to recast legendary friendships in terms of homosexuality. Using Frodo and Sam's friendship as an example of the modern tendency to cast deep friendships as perverse and odd, the article goes on to make points about the value of language to express concepts and how the language of friendship and the concept of it have become attenuated these days, to our loss:
It is one thing to say that it has made friendships among boys more distant and difficult, and to suppose that that is a bad thing for the emotional lives of those boys. It is quite another—and it takes someone willing to see through our jaded dalliance with androgyny—to see that the loss of such friendships stunts the boys intellectually and goes a long way towards depriving everybody of the benefits that such intellectual development used to provide....
Our boys are failing in school. Has it occurred to no one that we have checked them at every turn, perversely insisting that they must not form brotherhoods, that they must not identify their manhood with practical and intellectual skills that transform the world, and that they must not ever have the opportunity, apart from girls, to attach themselves in friendship to men who could teach them?
For good reason boys used to build tree houses and hang signs barring girls. They know, if only instinctively, that the fire of the friendship cannot subsist otherwise. If the company of girls is made possible, then the company of girls becomes a necessity, if only to avoid having to explain to others and to oneself why one would ever prefer the company of one’s own sex. Thus what is perfectly natural and healthy, indeed very much needed, is cast as irrational and bigoted, or dubious and weak; and thus some boys will cobble together their own brotherhoods that eschew tenderness altogether—criminal brotherhoods that land them in prison. This is all right by us, it seems.