I am not an unkind man.
One of my mid-year resolutions is to be less cynical in mindset. So far, it’s working. This being said, the world is full of evil and ugliness sometimes, and to me, it’s best to keep a healthy, realistic viewpoint on the world.
Today while heading downtown, in downtown and leaving downtown, I came to the realization that only after reading Michel Houellebecq (great French author, highly cynical, very interesting) can provide.
Get too close and you’ll see how men really behave in their natural state of being. It’s disgusting sometimes.
First off, I’m at the GO station this morning. I walk towards my usual spot and a guy is crouching on the ground. He’s reading a magazine. I casually check to see which magazine it is – it’s Hunter Magazine. As in shooting animals hunting. The headline reads: Big Bad Beast.
I don’t know what’s more pathetic an activity than hunting in this day in age. There’s really only three groups of people in this country that can get away with hunting: people who can’t eat or live without hunting, a.k.a. the Inuit, rural farmers that sometimes have to shoot pests and, it’s very un-PC I know, wildlife officials that may have to curb some species populations when they get way too out of control. Otherwise, there’s nothing good in killing an animal for sport to make yourself feel like a real man. Who knows, maybe the guy was one of the above. But if he wasn’t, it’s disgusting.
Next, I’m at a Starbucks waiting for a friend from my Journal days when a family comes in. I’m sitting in one of the comfy chairs, reading and minding my own business when dad comes over with two loud kids, one in a stroller and another out and about. His wife, I guess, goes up and gets all the food and drinks while he sits with his kids (I guess someone has to take care of the brood). My friend comes in, sits down and the kids start acting out, as in running around the table in front of us and hitting me and my friend as he runs around, no one says anything or tries to stop the kid from acting out. I look over in that special way I do to the father, who’s glaring at me. I glare back. I suppose most males in the animal kingdom enjoy marking their territory, but this is ridiculous.
Last, I’m on the GO Train back when a guy behind who has a voice as if evolution stopped for him at the Homo Erectus stage talks loudly on his cell phone. “You threw up! You threw up everywhere!” or this shocker, “I’ll come over and beat you if you don’t get up” or “go watch your f*cking movies and drink your martinis” or “get some skin cancer this weekend.”
This guy is so loud people are looking at him. He looks like a moose, sounds like a moose and talks like a drunken sailor. I turn around and look at him. Sheepishly, he lowers his voice and then shuts up the rest of the way. The women around us look at him with a collective sense of indignation.
Moral of this story? Men can be really ugly sometimes, ladies. Sure you probably already know that on some level. But really, look close enough and you’ll have as much of a hard time looking past the flaws as I did today.
Rule of thumb: being a man means a lot more than guns, grunts and gruffness.
BABY BOOMERS, HUZZAH! The Globe and Mail ran a series of stories in the Globe Focus section this past weekend on the Baby Boom generation (i.e. those born after V-J Day, circa August 1945 to roughly 1964, although there’s debate whether the late Boomers are both Boomers and Generation-Xers) finally turning 60.
Good on the Globe for writing the articles. Interesting question poised by the Globe: are Boomers are the most optimistic generation in history or the most deluded?
I’d say both, actually.
Boomers have reasons to be optimistic: they’re the most privileged generation in history with every opportunity given to them due to the Post-War Boom and robust economic growth throughout the 1950’s and 60’s. They’ve got houses, by and large, that have insane property values now, which will mean they’ll retire comfortably.
Now, of course, it’s delusional to think Boomers are a “Great Generation” in a comparative sense of the term. After all, the generation before the Boomers, the grandparents of today, dealt with two massive, earth-shaking wars, the Holocaust, the worst economic downturn in 200 years and a pre-welfare, pre-medicare society that simply didn’t care if you lived or died – you’re on your own. That generation is a Great Generation because they overcame it all.
Boomers didn’t do that. They reaped the aftermath, a world that was distinctly more comfortable, compassionate. Boomers have called themselves the Greater Generation, but it’s just not true. This being said, Boomers did do more for social justice than the previous generation did.
I guess any idea of a generation nowadays is becoming a bit irrelevant, considering the time period we’re in now of rampant individualism and a lack of common, shared values. But it’s still an interesting concept.
MALE HILARITY: Interesting idea from Michel Houellebecq’s new book The Possibility of an Island. Why are women so interested in men being funny? Is it because much humour (at least, actually funny humour) is predicated on cruelty on some level? Does cruelty denote masculinity? Or does it reflect a real insecurity in women that for a man to truly be funny, a.k.a. Dave Chappelle, that jokes must be at the expense of weaker individuals or easy targets?