“Yes these scars are from fighting; yes I’m okay with that; I am enlightened.” Somewhere wrapped up in the mythos and attitudes expressed in the movies”300” and “Fight Club” is the cure for the failure of modern manhood. There has been a failure in manhood over the past 50 years. Science tells us that men today literally are less manly than any generation that came before. We’re making less testosterone than our grandfathers at the same age. We have less practical skills such as basic car maintenance, wood cutting, and home building, fire starting and even opening a freaking jar lid. Men are becoming cologne doused pink shirt wearing parodies of our fathers and grandfathers. We look at the men portrayed in movies and we can’t help but feeling inadequate because on many levels we are. We’re less than we could be a worse we’re less than we really want to be and we’re growing tired of being told to accept it. The modern man’s identity crisis is not a rebellion against conformity but a last stand against being neutered and phased out entirely. Men, it’s time to make a stand.
If you pick up a magazine today chances are you’ll see ripped guys in designer clothes, advertising luxury cars, $5000 watches and $600 jeans. This new symbol of manhood and success is as hollow as the life it promises. For many men this material world just isn’t obtainable, yet we spend years stuck in jobs we hate saving and sacrificing to get to this modern goal. There is a misguided myth out there that if you want to succeed a man has to buckle down and slave away for years to get what you want. It’s the notion of quantity over quality. I’m no longer buying into it.
It’s bullshit pure and simple. To paraphrase, “modern advertising has us working jobs we hate to buy crap we don’t need to impress people we don’t like.” It has to stop. We’re killing ourselves and wasting away the best years of our lives to secure a goal and a future that is no longer relevant or sustainable. We go to college for years to land jobs so we can make money to impress women. At the same time the women are wishing they could find a real man, one more in line with their father’s traits then the watered down versions of grown boys she’s likely to meet at a local bar these days. There’s a growing trend these days in women’s tastes, substance over sustenance. Many women stand toe to toe with men in the workplace and can provide for themselves. Yet what they cannot provide is the strong masculine presence they grew up idealizing and dreaming about. The cowboys have rode away, the Firemen are overweight, and the Soldiers are stressed to the point of snapping and mentally shut down.
I’m done with trying to be what people tell me I should be. I’ve learned in life that you’ll never make most people happy because most people could really give a crap about what’s best for you. My clients don’t care that I’m over-worked under paid and stressed out. All they know is they paid for an hour of my time and expect to get the service they want. That’s just how it is. The rest is irrelevant. Well men we need to wake-up and read the writing on the wall. If we don’t make time now to take the life we want and make it happen we’re going to die bitter old fogies with limp dicks and anger issues. I’m tired of being a slave to other people’s ideas, goals, and plans. It’s time to evolve; we’re never going to be perfect so we need to stop trying. What we can be though are men, testosterone driven, beer drinking, rough playing, life living men.
I wonder what would happen if we dedicated the next year of our lives not to making money, buying, a car, or building that house, but to finding what made us happy and turning that into a career. What would happen if men stopped apologizing about liking boobies, and violent movies, and started growing beards? Where would we be if we started taking time to hang out with other men to beat our chests and yell at the moon for no particular reason? Somewhere in the drive to secure this modern American dream the word man has become an insult. I say we take back that title and make it our own again. When they stick my broken wore out body in the ground I want my epithet to read very simply “He was a man among men!”
I work out and lift heavy weights because I like to feel strong and want weaker men to know they best not screw with me because I can break them in two. I love motorcycles because they’re fast, excessive, and in this day and age totally risky. I drink beer and even crave a good cigar once in a while because I want to imagine even if only for a minute that I’m a refined aristocrat or a secret agent. I am drawn to surfing because it makes me feel like a bad-ass and a caveman. It puts me in touch with the earth that spawned me and reminds me of my place in the world. I am a modern savage; a searcher of souls and poet of the obscure. I’m a man willing to go to the edge and over it if that’s where the road takes me. Most importantly I’m ready to live my life the way I want and I don’t care if people have a problem with that. I am enlightened.