Saturday, October 11, 2014

Yet Another Meditation on Manliness

My band, which will ultimately be called The Vexations, Caviar on a Ritz, Please Stop You’re Too Big for Me Why Are You Stopping?, or Joey Stalin & His Totalitariennes, has had a world of trouble finding a lead guitarist. The most recent may have been the most talented of the three who’ve lasted longer than one rehearsal, but then proved lackadaisical and unreliable. When I posted on Facebook about how much I’d enjoyed our first rehearsal without him (specifically, without his showing up late, taking forever to get his amp plugged into the wall and his guitar plugged into his amp, and taking his guitar back off every 10 minutes to go enjoy a cigarette or get himself another cold beer), he responded furiously, even though I hadn’t referred to him by name. His view was that my having aired our dirty laundry in such a way was the action of a little girl.

Don’t I just love when misshapen dwarves who’ve boozed and exercise-aversed themselves into physically evoking Jabba the Hutt play the masculinity card? Don’t I just love misogyny — characterizing allegedly offensive behavior as girlish — in general? Little girls: the most evil, contemptible people on earth! You know what they eventually become if given half the chance, don’t you? Women!

If it’s unmanly to express disgust at another’s lack of consideration or other malfeasance, I’m nonetheless OK with being unmanly. I don’t sky-drive or bungee-jump either, or get into fistfights in bars. I don’t change my own oil or enjoy talking about cars (I much prefer talking about where one can go in one). I was neither a Cub Scout nor a Boy Scout, did not serve my country in Vietnam or elsewhere (except by voting against Republicans and scrupulously recycling), and am hopeless at knots, both tying them and untying them.

You are well aware of the Internet having been the greatest thing to happen to obnoxiousness since farting. Even the most imbecilic can get on line almost effortlessly and assert with complete impunity that this thing or that thing…sucks. But there’s no obnoxiousness like that with which sports fans denigrate each other, and there’s very commonly a taint of implied misogyny to the denigration. If, for instance, a Dodgers fan asserts that a particular umpire seemed to be a lot more inclined to calling a strike a pitch thrown by a Cardinals pitcher, many Cardinals fans will pause from rubbing ointment into their abraded knuckles (they scrape 'em while walking, you see) and accuse the Dodgers fan of…crying. And you know who in the world is most prone to crying, do you not? Little girls, by virtue of the fact that little boys are taught to try to suppress their own emotions.

Nothing, of course, is more manly than high blood pressure, ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, or one of the other physiological manifestations of suppressed emotion!

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