Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Calling All Neanderthals

On my Facebook "Newsfeed," I saw that a student of mine signed up to be a part of "National Man Day," which is just one of those silly things that someone, somewhere started for humor and entertainment. I decided to click on it and see what this was all about. This is what I read:

This day is the day for all men to stand up and say, "Yes, I am a Man." And "Yes, I will step up and do manly things and whatever I want to do on this glorious day!"

Come, make history! Be a part of National Man day. Take the world by the throat and tell them it's ok to watch Rocky movies all day. Tell them it's fine if you sit in your favorite chair and scratch yourself. Tell them it's normal to go shoot stuff or blow something up. Why? Because YOU ARE A MAN!!!

You aren't some nancy that likes to frolic in the fields, unless it's a field of mines and you have an AK47 and a hand full of grenades... Then you really are a man!

Yes on this day, men across the nation will be saying, "Screw you salad bar, with your salad and light dressings!" Men will step up and say, "I'll take that 20 oz steak, and yes, I'll eat it all. Because I'm a man!"

I'm not asking you to throw some sissy party, or to go buy a new power tie because you're a man. All I'm asking you to do is step up live this day like a man would. Blow something up, shoot some animal, punch your buddy in the face for no reason, be a good father, play football and literally knock someone's head off... Do something manly. Be a man like God intended you to be...

Take this day and celebrate your manhood!

Why do the vast majority of American men buy into the stereotype that has been created as to what a man is supposed to be like? If you ask me, that description is a description of a troglodyte.

I really hate the world we live in sometimes.


Scott Lyons said...

The same reason, I suppose, that many women (and men) buy into the stereotype that they need to look like nubile 20 year olds their entire life.

Though I must say, much of this Manly talk, Dan, is simply play. There are men out like Tim Taylor, of course, but we're not all Neanderthals. And even those of us who are, certainly are not Neanderthals all the time.

Silly, small things like this are no reason to hate the world. It's simply a waste of your energy - instead, you could be making chocolates and sending them to dear old friends who live in the South.

Dan said...

Thanks for the comments Scott. I thought about the past couple of posts I've written, and I suppose it's pretty clear that I'm in a mid-winter funk. The "Man Day" thing struck a chord that resonated far deeper than the existence of such silliness warrants--the proverbial tip of the iceberg. Sometimes I've felt like my view of the world would be more in line with a 19th century view, where art, culture, and being well-read and literate were esteemed as the most noble goals. Have you ever felt sometimes that in trying to figure out where you fit into this world, that there doesn't seem to be a slot for you?

The temple of sports holds no appeal to me whatsoever, nor does going around "knocking someone's block off," and all the other nonsense in that group. Being a "man's man," and all the bravado bullshit that exists when men get together, being "men," is repugnant to me, and makes me uncomfortable.

But what is a real man? A man who's humble before God, who knows his weaknesses and shortcomings, who knows his absolute need for God, and one who is willing to lay down his life for his friends. Why aren't kind, gentle, intelligent and tender men held up in high esteem in this country? Why is it so often the ill-mannered, jock-with-an-attitude man who has never left adolescence the kind of man that people are drawn to?

It's all mixed together--Meg and her rejection of me, wondering still why, when all I ever heard was how amazing I was, and how I was the model of the perfect mate in her mind. I thought I had escaped from those thoughts, but Meg continues to hound me, and in the past few days, I've felt the loss of her, and her rejection of me in ways so excruciating that I could hardly get out of bed today. This woman telling me on eHarmony, that though she is clearly drawn to me as a man of convictions, who is obviously a "great guy," that she simply feels no chemistry towards me. This has happened to me countless times in my life, and it's been really painful. Memories of college come to mind--I made one of two lists that the women students compiled. They had two: one, which listed all of the guys in the school of music that they thought would be the most fun to date, and the second, the list of the guys who would be great to be married to. I've always been on that latter list, but I've always wished to be on the first, to be desirable for reasons more than my mere character, or for an objective recognition that I'm a "good man." It seems in the dating world, no matter how old or mature women get, they still need that spark that comes from a certain attractiveness that I don't seem to understand, or seem to possess. This has been my experience with women, more often than not. It's not based on some sort of misconception. I've lived long enough, and had enough exposure to women that it's simply what has happened to me most of the time. It's not enough, apparently, to be a good man, and that's much of the reason I think this world is so freaking topsy-turvy. I wish there was a fast forward button sometimes.

Dan said...

And ironically, the women who have historically expressed an interest in me are the ones who I'm kind to, who are the sort who don't fit the mold for which a typical woman is supposed to meet. I have had so many women over my life express their interest in me, primarily because I was kind to them that it's made me shy away from being overly communicative with them. They take my friendliness as interest, when it's just me being a "good guy." Many men have never given them the time of day, so when I come along and joke and laugh with them, and show an interest in who they are as a person, that's when they become attracted to me. It seems with the women who have plenty of male admirers, I am rarely anything more than the "good guy."


Dan said...

I've decided I'm going to have a Reese's Blizzard tonight. That always makes the world seem to be a much better place!

Dan said...

And one final moment of looking back on a checkered past with women--high school, senior year. Asking Mel to the banquet? She told me that someone else was probably going to ask her, and if I would be willing to wait until he did. She ended up going with him. My first girlfriend, in college? Dumped me for another girl, her best friend. And more recently, asking out a woman in my office. She said no, then posted in a public forum on myspace the following words: can you believe he asked me out?

It's all going in my book, and I suppose it will help make my point in very strong ways, so I suppose in some ways, I should be grateful that I have never had luck with women. It will help the hopeful readers of my book identify more strongly with my story. But it's old, so old for me.