Friday, June 15, 2007

The Real Man

In many cases this post could be considered an adjunct to the 'Lowering The Bar" post below. It's something that is easy to see but hard to describe. I call it chest puffery. Glenn Greenwald calls it maybe a bit more accurately:


Glen Reynolds ....-- has fretted: "Are we turning into a nation of wimps?" It is the identity of the "we" in that sentence where all the meaning lies. Perhaps if "we" torture enough bound and gagged prisoners and bomb enough countries, "we" can rid ourselves of that worry.

Republicans have long tried to exploit masculinity images and depict Democrats and liberals as effeminate and therefore weak. That is not new. But what is new is how explicit and upfront and unabashed this all is now. And what is most striking about it is that -- literally in almost every case -- the most vocal crusaders for Hard-Core Traditional Masculinity, the Virtues of Machismo, are the ones who so plainly lack those qualities on every level.

There are few things more disorienting than listening to Rush Limbaugh declare himself the icon of machismo and masculinity and mock others as "wimps." And if you look at those who have this obsession -- the Chris Matthews and Glenn Reynolds and Jonah Goldbergs and Victor Davis Hansons -- what one finds in almost every case is that those who want to convert our political process and especially our national policies into a means of proving one's "traditional masculine virtues" -- the physically courageous warriors unbound by effete conventions -- themselves could not be further removed from those attributes, and have lives which are entirely devoid of such "virtues."

.....In the 1990s, this mentality manifested as the relatively innocuous trend whereby middle-aged men left their wives at home to go dress up in military costumes and march around on the weekend play-acting as "militia" comrades or, relatedly, as not merely advocates of gun rights, but as worshippers of guns themselves. But now -- really, ever since the 9/11 attacks so frightened so many of them and made them feel, to use Rush's formulation, as though they were besieged by "The Emasculating of America" -- this mentality has come to dominate our political culture, as those who so plainly perceive themselves (understandably) to be lacking the traditional masculine virtues degrade and exploit our political system in order to satisfy those cravings.

And Digby/Walcott noted:

The curious thing is that so many of the rightward bloggers and Fox Newswers who are hailing the Brits for their quiet stoicism and pluck don't seem to realize they're issuing an implicit rebuke to themselves and their fellow Americans.

They're saying, in effect, "You've got to admire the Brits for showing calm and quiet perseverance after these explosions--they don't get all hysterical, over dramatic, and over reactive the way we Americans do." They don't seem to realize the example shown by Londoners might be a lesson to them, a model they might follow instead of playing laptop Pattons at full volume every time they feel a rousing post coming on, supporting the president and the entire power structure of the government is their only way of proving to themselves that they are warriors.

They are damaged by their own contradictory past and as a result they cannot see their way through the haze of emotional turmoil to seek out and find real solutions to the problem of terrorism. They lash out with trash talk and threats and constant references to their own resolve because they are afraid. They've always been afraid.

Click the links for some delicious insight.

They have decided they know what a 'real' man is. And by golly they know what a coward is too. That would be you darned "cut and runners". They boldly proclaim 'If you knew just how dangerous it is you would most certainly agree with me'. Directly implying that they have the 'seasoned' view and those that disagree are just naive. It is an overbearing, overpowering need to exhibit their machismo, be it man or woman. It is an essence that goes right to the core of who they are.
What does it mean to be 'a man". Does it necessarily imply a warrior? Who was the greatest man that lived? Most in Christianity would say Jesus. The radical right is always happy to point to Mohammad as a warrior prophet. They love telling you how bad and evil he is while exhibiting the same character flaws themselves.
There is no core to the confused mind they inhabit. There is little in the way of a manly sense of personal responsibility although they utter the words incessantly.
Resilience, integrity, and ingenuity would seem to be far more manly values than those they are expressing. Now if they would just shut up and listen for a minute....

9 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are few things more disorienting than listening to Rush Limbaugh declare himself the icon of machismo and masculinity and mock others as "wimps."
Rush Limbaugh? Macho? I laughed so hard I almost fell out of my chair.
Chris Matthews is way too bombastic for my taste. He's not a very good interviewer, in my opinion.

What does it mean to be 'a man". Does it necessarily imply a warrior? Who was the greatest man that lived? Most in Christianity would say Jesus. The radical right is always happy to point to Mohammad as a warrior prophet. They love telling you how bad and evil he is while exhibiting the same character flaws themselves.

Jesus may have been the first peacenik and all the ultra-conservative uptight so called Christians out there ought to think about how Jesus is always depicted with His long hair, beard, and sandals and greeting people with "PEACE!" He wasn't a wimp or He never would've been able to drive the money changers out of
The Temple. However, He wasn't a macho man Rambo or Dirty Harry either. Jesus was definitely in touch with His feminine side. He honored women unlike the Church founded on His teachings that has oppressed women for thousands of years. Not to mention, murdering any who dared to honor Goddess, lying about Mary Magdalene being a prostitute when she was really one of Jesus' most important and most beloved disciples, and pretty much rewriting The Bible to exclude most of the women who were important and tracing Jesus' lineage from Joseph who isn't suposed to be His father instead of from Mary who was also descended from King David, etc. Not to mention, the idea that men are born of women in sin because of Eve's sin. Like as if Adam had no free will re: eating the apple and besides that this is a fairy tale. Even if it isn't, it took the wily serpent to trick Eve, but it only took Eve to convince Adam. How dumb was he? Or maybe Adam, like most men, just couldn't stand the idea that a woman would have more knowledge or power than he did. And what about Lilith, his first wife? She didn't eat the apple, so she should still be in Eden, except that MEN decided to call her a witch and claim that she left Paradise. Yeah, sure. This is why, although, I still believe in the teachings of Jesus, Himself, I am sick of patriarchal religions and organized religions in general.
Anti-Islamic people are no different than Anti-Semitics and it's this that is causing so many to cheer on the war effort. I believe that most people are good regardless of their religions and they have a moral center which does not permit them to commit terrorist acts. What I have read in REAL research books (encyclopedias, etc.) as opposed to right wing hate literature is that the basic tenents of Islam are akin to Judaism and Christianity. Mohammad considered the latter to be morally based religions. Warrior prophet?His problem was with pagans who worshiped stars, stones, etc. You know, the Arabs whose culture influenced Islam when they finally converted. Islam, Christianity, and Judaism all have been perverted from the original message of their prophets due to the fact that greedy power hungry MEN rose to power. A Fundamentalist is a fundamentalist no matter who the religion was founded on-they're all intolerant and wacko. Most people are only looking to survive. This whole thing is just to convince the sheeple to allow Cheney, etc. to dominate the Middle East and steal its resources. You know, rather than sharing and helping each other and being friends and allies.
Goddess save us from the macho men!

Libby

9:54 PM, June 15, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is a man in today's America? Scroll down to Pedro Guzman.

Larry in New Mexico

2:49 AM, June 19, 2007  
Blogger Kim said...

Oh, so that's why Cheney won't return to America...

7:00 AM, June 20, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry if I offended anyone with my rant. Suffice it to say I don't like macho men and for that matter, I don't like macho women much, either. LOL
Do you suppose that the Feds want to close G-Bay so we'll forget about the torture of POWs (NOT enemy combatants) that took place there? I'm thinking they want to move the prison to Afghanistan because they figure they can get away with a lot more torture in a country that doesn't care any more about the Geneva Convention than Cheney does.
Also, Bush saying "All life is precious" after vetoing the stem cell bill-yeah as long as we're talking about frozen embryos and not dropping bombs on little kids, women, and old folks in Iraq. Yeah, life is precious unless preserving life would prevent Cheney, the evil one, and his good buds from lining their pockets. Bush is such a hypocrite. Listening to him and knowing what he is kinda makes the puke come up in my throat a little. LOL

Libby

1:16 AM, June 22, 2007  
Blogger Ron said...

A Fundamentalist is a fundamentalist no matter who the religion was founded on-they're all intolerant and wacko.

A fundamental understanding that everyone needs to have.

8:00 PM, June 22, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ron, I know you have a new post up, but this for Monday's edition seems to fit your post here. There is more to the story and regardless of how it turns out he certainly has a well deserved reputation. And as a go to guy for the media and New Mexico House Minority Speaker he is an image of and for the New Mexico Republican Party.

Larry in New Mexico

7:54 PM, June 25, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ron, for some reason this won't link, just go to any New Mexico media website and look for the latest on Rep. Foley.

Larry in New Mexico

7:56 PM, June 25, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This guy has some serious issues he needs to deal with. Personal Responsibility

Larry in New Mexico

2:12 AM, June 27, 2007  
Blogger Ron said...

Dan spat tobbaco at an officer!? I hadn't read this part! Hopefully this will have as much bearing on peoples votes as his smears against his opponets. He certainly has a tendency to be a hothead. That is well documented. Not someone the people need representing them.

3:00 PM, July 07, 2007  

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