The Swords of Society

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

I've been teaching a couple of different essays about the rights of passage for men and the depictions of manliness in American society. These essays include Dubus's "Digging," Cisnero's "Only daughter" and Staple's, "A Brother's Death" and the conclusion that I've come to, which is especially relevant in Korea and the more affulent "upwardly mobile" demographic, is that civilization is emasculating men and inhibiting them from being what nature has conditioned them to be for millions of years. Of course, this is a good thing, but sometimes the only true catharsis can come from going a bit berserk sometimes.

Think about it. Lifting a 200 pound dumbell over your head isn't as rewarding as punching some jerk in his gut and likewise; there is no wake up than a full afront confrontation. I sometimes think this whole passive approach to asserting authority is entirely ineffective because the lines between the acceptable and expective are starting to blur.

The warriors in our society wear suits and their swords are lawyers. They practice warfare around roundtables in boardrooms; where in the past they would plan for an impending attack or they would accept concessions for losses. You can't practice war in a box.

I think this is why I really like the movie "Shaun of the Dead." Before the zombies attacked London, he was written off- he had a dead end job working as an assistant to the assistant manager(or something as equally innane), he wasn't married, and he was sharing a house instead of owning his own. When the zombies came, his innate sense of leadership was allowed to flourish and he in turn killed a whole lot of zombies and he saved the love of his life.

(Hmmm...I'm realizing Shaun of the Dead also has a thread of "elite-ism" because after the zombies decimate or turn the population, only those that were leaders or closet leaders live. Everyone else becomes the doorstops that the closet warriors once were.)

I guess what I'm saying is that we all need to do is to have a good old fashioned fight. No rings, no kicking, no head butting or anything dirty. We need some self reliance in ourselves. Let's go primal!

Maybe Tyler Durden did have a point.

Dan

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