Poem: Manly

I have no idea what it means

To really be a man

But if I can come up with some half-good

Answers for all my questions

I’d be halfway to the moon by now

And I guess I ain’t going soon

Because I don’t know anything

 

When I was ten I knew

What being a man was all about

You wore cowboy hats and drove a motorcycle

Or rode a horse in foreboding sunglasses

Or tats of naked women straddling eagles

Or snakes or dragons

And did whatever it takes to keep hold of your dignity

That sort of manliness is something I lack

I certainly don’t look like a buff, bearded lumberjack

 

But these days that idea of masculinity

Holds all the necessity of a bullet in my head

Which mind you, I don’t think I need

So I plead with you, know

That it’s not always men who go into fights

Who are manly

But instead the ones who spend their nights

At home with their families

Working two jobs just to have enough to send his little girl

To college one day

That place he never got to go

Because he’d throw a punch

Every single time his honor was questioned

But now he forgets about that

And instead says “I love you”

Every single chance he can

Because he knows now what it means

To be a man

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What is considered UNmanly?

We all know what might be considered manly (Chuck Norris, Daniel Day Lewis, and films about war), but what exactly does it mean to be UNMANLY? Because I am so oft labeled thus, I’d like to explore exactly what that term constitutes.

I could... probably achieve that.

Does it mean that I don’t “lift weights,” but instead attend Pilates classes? (Ok, fine, it’s Yoga…. Ok, FINE! Yoga on Wii Fit… Just leave me alone OKAY! I admit, it’s actually table tennis on Wii Fit, so just stop judging me, please!)

Maybe being unmanly means eating healthy cereal like Special K or some other granola-based barf disaster. Granted, painting my toenails and joining a ballet company… but wait, have you guys SEEN male ballerinas? They’re more fit than Rugby players. So maybe ballet IS manly? Because think about it, you spend all day with beautiful women in tights. Yet society seems to point to other adjectives when describing a male ballet dancer. It doesn’t make much sense.

Okay, maybe plucking your eyebrows still lies in the UNMANLY camp of activities, but other things that used to be considered effeminate have become more… well, manly.

What’s the big deal with being manly, anyways? I mean, so I don’t smoke cigars and wrestle bears, but why should I? I’m sure given the right occasion, I might put a grizzly in a choke-hold, but unless it’s attacking me, why would I ever attempt to do that? The quest to be manly evolved from when men went to war. I mean, all men went to war. There was no military to speak of, so when America needed to fight a war, it enlisted every man. Farmers and merchants and blacksmiths and horse riders. They took boys as young as 14, handed them a gun, and pushed them onto the battlefield.

Think on a Civil War battlefield where these men are strewn across the grass. Every grass blade sports flecks of blood, the corpses piled over each other. You can see by the position of the bodies that the battle lasted long. Three hours. But the boys kept running out, fighting. They kept fighting. And it was not as if either armies harbored disdain for each other– only months before, they had been countrymen. Yet now confronted with what they were told was the enemy, they fought. They killed.

They shot and stabbed each other and kept trying to do so simply because if not, these boys would look unmanly in front of their friends. To not fight was the coward’s way. It was each boy’s duty to fight and if he fled, he could never overcome that act of unmanliness, that betrayal of honor.

It was pointless. Wars fought for the same reason men today still choose to pile more weights onto a barbell if they’re lifting in front of their friends. There is a certain spark in some people that will encourage them to lay down their lives for a war. Others do so because they cannot do otherwise and continue to live with masculinity intact.

 

How Hollywood Killed Cool

Hollywood killed cool. Things that used to be cool are now considered “cliche” or even by some playground bullies “gay.” What used to be very manly is now considered a joke. So, this blog is a memorial to what used to be cool, what used to make people wonder and now makes people gag.

Cowboys: Take the prime example of this: cowboys. Cowboys used to be awesome, riding along out in the Wild West, gun-slinging, and fighting bad guys. But then movies like The Wild Wild West came out starring Will Smith, turning cowboys into a huge joke. And after Brokeback Mountain, being a cowboy has become synonymous with having sex with the same sex. Sure, maybe it was more realistic to look at how lonely it could be out there on a ranch with loads of guys, but what about The Lone Ranger? What about The Man Without a Name? We should think back to the days when Clint Eastwood ruled the West, not Jake Gyllenhaal.

Astronauts: NASA just stopped sending bottle rockets with people inside into space. Why? Because no one wants to be an astronaut after hearing the truth. The problem with Hollywood is that it destroys the veneer of glamour in the lives of the glamorous, like cowboys and movie stars.

Knights: They were chivalrous and cool guys, saving damsels and slaying dragons. I blame this downgrade from cool completely on Mark Twain and Monty Python. King Arthur is now a joke- I mean, there’s a Sonic video game based off of him and his knights.

Movie Stars/Celebrity: There’s no telling how many films are produced boo-hooing the pitfalls of fame. Look, if you’re multi-billionaire and you’re lonely, you’ve got serious problems. It used to be, if you were cool and famous… you were cool and famous. Now Hollywood must catalog the problems of celebrities as if we care. Oh, should I feel sorry for you because you wreck cars and do heroin? No, not really, when you’re only job is to get naked for cameras. Really, famous people have it really hard, don’t they? If there’s one thing I don’t want to be ruined, it’s that the American Dream is to get rich and alienate yourself from everybody with your riches.

CIA/assassins: Being in the CIA is cool, no matter what. I do not want any more films depicting the hardships of broken-up assassins. Or of the family problems of super spies. What I want to see if James Bond kick Russian butt. I want being an assassin to be cool, not something morally conflicting.

Drug Dealers: I’m talking to you, Darenn Aronosky. With movies like Reqieum For a Dream, we found out that dealing drugs can send you to jail. And you’ll feel bad for it. What would Scarface say?

What else has Hollywood ruined? What used to be romanticized has become miniaturized. People who used to seem like heroes are now just normal people. We’ve ruined the hope to be hopelessly cool in the future. Even if we become cowboys.

Synopsis for Every Alien Movie Ever Made

My dad loves Sci-fi. I mean, he loves Star Trek and 3-hour films about the dangers of mountain Yetti. Once, we watched some made-for-Tv movie about giant tarantulas who took over a city: result became plastic spiders dangling on strings above Playmobile houses. Needless to say, these sorts of knock-off movies are lacking in budget and creativity, but they’re not the only ones spitting out clone movies. Cowboys and Aliens opens this weekend and to celebrate its uniqueness and apparent coolness, I’d like to look back at the basic synopsis for every single alien movie ever made.

Synopsis for Every single Alien Movie Ever Made

Enter B-list actor, sleeping calmly in bed. He wakes up and looks forlornly out his front door at his super hot neighbor whom he never told he loved. If only the world were about to end, he would… wait! ALIENS! There are alien spaceships in the sky! No, seriously, why is everyone just standing around looking up? At this point, find some disused war bunker and collect as many Ravioli cans as possible.

At first, spaceships sort of chill out in the sky, giving the government plenty of opportunity to blow them up. Of course, no one wants to kill lovely aliens, so instead they try to make contact. And that’s when smaller spaceships branch out and destroy buildings. But mind you, only in New York or Chicago or London. If you don’t live in a metropolis, you will not face any sort of alien attack and can instead watch harried news reports on television. Despite the world being taken over by aliens, announcers will continue to announce things until they are killed on live television. Or until broadcasts go down.

A select few brave people will band together to fight back. When finally the aliens emerge, they’ll either look like creepy, slimy bugs or just look like rock stars from the Eighties. The aliens will fight against the humans, and the humans will use big guns. The aliens will not return to their impenetrable spaceships to finish off the humans. Instead, they’ll engage in unfair combat and lose because of some abstract notion called “the human spirit.” Either that, or Mel Gibson will throw dirty tap water in the alien’s faces.

Then, the human race will try to reform and will not learn ANYTHING from almost being killed off by aliens. instead, they’ll continue to lie and exploit each other!

Also, B-list actor will score with his neighbor, just because, when going extinct, the best thing the human race can think to do is hook up.

Cowboys and Aliens is in theatre this weekend.