Archive for August, 2011

Jefferson Keane, the pit bull, and the Unman: the lost masculinity

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

Guys always trying to find new ways to be “manly” and “macho” and “alpha.” All these male potions and user guides, personality primers, blah blah blah. They tire me. What does it say about our society that there is such profit to be made in the simple enterprise of teaching men to be men. There is obviously a void, and voids in our capitalist madhouse open their maw in hungry anticipation of dollars and cents. I see these wannabe he-men all the time and I’m sure most of them can probably kick my ass. But does this make them manly? Not really. They are still sorry excuses for men. Overly concerned with appearance and fashion and style and possessions, they lead the quiet desperation of the 21st Century Unman. They’ve lost their way and potions promising manhood fly off the shelves. Shysters get rich and faux-players go broke gooing up their hair while vainly hoping to stumble upon a lost masculine spark.

The solution is so simple and utterly cheap that its magnificence falls on deaf ears because the yearning male masses are hypnotized into looking for the “big cure” that will transform them into manly men. They want flashy and gimmicky, not realizing that the true path to gender fulfillment for the male lies in simplicity and serenity.

These boys need to calm the hell down.
They need to chill. Take it easy. Slow down. Quit rushing around, quit becoming mired in their external environment like cagey animals.

They are everywhere. Men, antsy, fidgety, restless and hyper-reactive, are jittery balls of undisciplined turmoil. Men walk too fast, they swivel their heads quickly on their pencil necks at the slightest sounds or images, they shake their legs, they do not focus on what’s in front of them. Instead of allowing serenity to issue from inner masculine strength, they are rattled little boys overly immersed in their environment. They need to leave that to the women. Women love to rubberneck and see who’s wearing what or who’s talking to who and an endless array of externalities seize their attention. Women rush, they are impatient…this is fine for them. They are women.

Men need to stop acting like this.
I’d like to take this moment to deconstruct a healthy dose of masculinity in order to assemble a rudimentary understanding of what propels the masculine manner. Men need to take control of their environment. Take control. It is foolish to think anyone is capable of controlling their environment, but with training and discipline, men can learn to control their reactions to their environment. Men do not do this! They are too busy looking at who is walking by or who is talking and what they are talking about. Men are too consumed with an external world that does not concern them. They are jumpy and hair trigger and nervous.

Two things happened along in my life that guided me toward this realization. One was this pit bull that a tire shop nearby kept as a guard dog. Every time I passed in the morning on the bus, the dog was laying there in the sun, exuding tons of canine alpha splendor. This was a fearless dog that would fight or defend itself against anything and die in the act without betraying fear. But what struck me every time I passed was its sense of impassivity. The dog would just lay there, still as a rock, unflinching, non-reactive, motionless. The world around buzzed and roared, people walked by, helicopters hovered, the world was filled with commotion; but the pit bull, unfazed and not distracted, sat in its own silent world, utterly aware of its environment but liberated from acknowledging it.

The other thing (kinda hokey) was a character on the HBO series, Oz. He was the prisoner, Jefferson Keane.

Prison is an alpha farm and amidst the mayhem and rape and brutal anarchy, Keane alone represented the domineering alpha figure. Serene of expression and deliberate of movement, he is what I envision a man should strive to be. Granted, he was a murderer, but that’s besides the point. The dude was immensely tough, but he was calm and he never rushed nor allowed the raucous environment to control him. See, the strong man appears to move seamlessly through his world like syrup gliding patiently along a solid surface. The world may be falling to pieces, but it does not impede his mental nor spiritual momentum.

One very important trait the pit bull and Keane both displayed is the placid, neutral facial and bodily expressions. Too many men wear their troubled mind on their shoulder. You can tell what they are thinking by the distorted and twisted expression clouding their face. This bespeaks of weakness and lack of control over one’s mood. A man in control is a man who does not let his inner torments derange his expression. Men must work toward neutralizing their expression through all contexts. I’ve personally worked on this for so long that I think I’ve come close to “perfecting” it. No matter what is going through my head, I refuse to allow it to manifest in my outward physical presentation. Keane was excellent at at this. There are lots of tough guys out there willing to fight at the slightest provocation. They walk around as if to dare the world to piss them off and they seem perpetually wrapped up in their environment. They are looking at everything and everyone with the vigilance of a frightened Chihuahua. They are tough but weak men.

Keane moved slowly and fluidly, much like the pit bull. A man never rushes for anyone or for anything. Well, there are situations where he must, but they are far and few between. The man walks deliberately, moves deliberately, and he does not fashion his entire existence around the pretensions of others. He thrives in his own immutable world and anything that happens outside his sphere is not his concern. However, he is aware. He is poised and vigilant. But he does not need to act like a hyperactive clown to present it. He is poised, and he is poised. Once a man refines and internalizes this behavioral thought pattern his masculinity will follow. As soon as he takes control of his actions and rebuts the demands of his capricious environment, he will discover he is an island of unfamiliar manliness in this hyper-feminized rushed society of inflated self-importance.

The world revolves around the Man. He revolves around nothing and is not ashamed of this.

Spellbound by the holy ass

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

On the train this morning a girl totally caught me checking her ass out. It was weird because it wasn’t like I was really looking at her ass in a scrutinizing or conscious manner. Sometimes you sit and daze. That’s all. You don’t really see, but you see. Get it? I was listening to my earphones, to music, and the train car sped through LA’s guts toward Hollywood. This girl, a lady actually, got on. She’s a regular. She’s attractive, about 33-35 years old, Hispanic. She’s very slender and shapely with a distinctive face and eyes. She’s pretty hot, but whatever. I’m 46 years old. Hot is nice but I like to think I’m beyond cheap wonderment. I see attractive women all the time, they are a dime a dozen in this neck of the woods. Hot women know it, and they don’t need their fragile egos reaffirmed more than they are. There is daddy and an urban plethora of weak men to take care of that need. I literally take the opposite tack and ignore them. This girl I saw on the train likes to sit in the rearmost seat and slink down in the seat and close her eyes behind thick dark sunglasses. Today was the first time I saw her eyes and her thick, long eyelashes were a treat. This was the first time I saw her out of her normal seating element.

When she boarded the train I didn’t recognize her and honestly, I didn’t really note her entrance. I was sitting against the window, listening to God-knows-what and my eyes were lured by the image of her curvy ass and I just stared, half-attentively. I guess she realized she didn’t like where she was headed, and the bitch spun quicker than Lynda Carter. And when she turned, the first pair of eyes she encountered were mine which were affixed intently on her booty. Realizing I had been caught doing something I didn’t realize I was doing, I averted her stare. Like a big pussy. I averted it. My eyes darted toward the windows and acted as if I was staring outside the train though I had been caught red handed with my eyes in the cookie jar, so to speak. She sat down and I never looked at her again. Other than the time she moved to another seat on my side of the train. I wonder if she was flattered? She caught a guy checking her out, and even though it was only me, I would think that still counts for something to a girl’s indeterminate mind.

Although, come to think of it, I’ve caught utter skanks watching me and I felt repulsed and less than flattered. The thinking in your little reptile brain at the time is something like, “Ugh, that’s all that will look at me?” And I’m a guy. I can only imagine what women think when gross men leer. I bet many of the hottest women are one step away from carrying a cash register around with them in order to start charging men who dare behold their beauty for more than 2 seconds. There are women who believe they are a gift to mankind. This is why I hate it when something like this happens. That woman will go home tonight batting around the fact that some strange guy checked her out today. She will feel good about it.
And I?
I get nothing. An empty feeling of lust. And of utter wimpiness because I didn’t have the balls to hold her stare. What the hell.

Women can absolutely not relate to the male condition, not in its 21st century tidy incarnation. Societal mores have slid so drastically down the precipice in the favor of women that men’s nature has been defanged. Twenty-first century man is a caricature and the only way to reclaim any sense of masculinity in the face of wanton femininity, the kind which drives culture, is to be a classless lout with zero social grace and a wilted spine (and all the trademark over-compensatory traits to match).

In theory, man can, and has proven, he can be strong but simultaneously sympathetic and gentle.
In theory. If women would back off and be women. But as long as women think they can be men, there is no room for men to be men.

Instead, men sit on public transport vehicles and timidly check out asses and jump when they are caught.

One of my Mean Fasting Moods strikes

Monday, August 29th, 2011

And this is what I wrote in the morning:

Hi, I’m in one of my really “mean fasting moods.”

I was!

I fast once a week. Most of the time, it goes relatively uneventfully. I have a very small cup of black coffee in the morning, skip breakfast, skip lunch, maybe a half cup of green tea, come home, eat dinner, which is about 24 hours after my previous feeding. At this stage of hunger, even the plainest and most unmemorable morsel sends my stomach into ecstatic fits. I’m thinking of trying a 2-day fast. I know I can do it!

The benefits of intermittent fasting seem pretty conclusive (in my mind), but of course everything can be brought to question by the proper learned expert. Once you involve intelligent people of science, you can find a nutritionist who would point out that fasting is either harmful or has no effect on your physiology. I don’t know, I’m no scientist, but I tend to believe that intermittent fasting has some beneficial long term effects. I’ve always believed if we can live in a state that is synchronous with how we lived through hundreds of thousands of years of evolution, the healthier and sturdier we will be. By mimicking the “hardships” and lifestyles of our primitive ancestors, the likelier we are to avoid the pitfalls of 21st century physiological implosion.

If nothing else, assume this is all junk science, there are still a couple of inarguable benefits of fasting. First, fasting is a holy, ascetic art. I feel it elevates my mood and state of mind. Excessive eating is burdensome to the body and soul. With a full stomach, our body but marshal most of its forces toward the digestive system in order to process the undigested food waiting to disperse its nutritional energies throughout our body. Digestion, though it’s mainly invisible to us, aside from the occasionally embarrassing intestinal gurgle, is intensive work for our internal organs. During these “fed” periods, the body is unable to commit much of its resources towards other bodily functions, such as creative or intellecutal pursuits. Actually, I usually post on this blog immediately after dinner, which just reaffirms my point since we cannot call this any of the previously mentioned “pursuits.” Secondly, fasting saves money. You’re essentially shopping for 6 days of food, not 7. That’s the hidden benefit monks don’t boast of.

My fasting days are generally calm. Once in a while, however…I fall into a funk, a real emotional stupor and everything absolutely bothers the hell out of me. I’m not a great lover of people in general (in case you couldn’t tell), but during my Mean Fasting Moods, I actively dislike people and in some respects, I tend to be provocative or antagonistic. Meaning I act like a bitch. It’s terrible. I never feel like this except during certain fasting mornings. I’m not sure what precipitates these moods. Most of the time I don’t experience this. If anything, fasting days usually mellow me out and leave me a bit drained due to lack of nourishment. But mornings like this I’m ready for a fight or a revolution. These are the mornings when I would be most apt to simply get up and leave this civilized charade behind and venture out on my own, alone, me and the clothes I’m wearing. I have no patience or tolerance and I can’t help but see through the artificial veneer of civility and materialism which defines our modern age. I see through it and it looks so phony. I want to smother it. I hate it. My mean fasting moods turn me into a an aggressive outcast.

I feel crowded and as if the mass of humanity is encroaching upon my personal space and I wish I could shake everyone off. It’s a spiritually claustrophobic sensation. There is nowhere for me to go and I can’t breathe and a sea of moronic expressions, deer in the headlights, surround me uttering equally moronic trivialities which make my ears bleed. If everyone could leave me alone and just be quiet. I was busy but bored. I didn’t want to deal with anything. I would have loved to walk out of that corporate cesspool. I went to a website where I’ve been trying to come up with a clever bumper sticker for my car and I fiddled around with one, letting my mood dictate its design. I came up with this.

That was a damned catchy line.
I liked that I chose not to capitalize any of the words. All lower case speaks to an apathetic ennui that can’t be bothered to observe convention. The very sentiment flaunts my disgust with rules to begin with. Capitalization is fruitless. It’s make believe. It accomplishes nothing other that to fulfill our own petty hierarchical expectations of how this world should hum.

I might order one for my car.

Wednesday’s child and men of a dark visage

Sunday, August 28th, 2011

I don’t think it’s ever been stated during the television series. In fact, the impeccably written scripts and storyline leave many questions deliciously unanswered and mysteries unscaled about him; he shadows darkly, transparently aloof from our eyes and comprehension. If you were to ask me, I would guess that Don Draper was born on a Wednesday.

Wednesday’s child is full of woe

Draper is like a slightly discolored onion you didn’t know was sitting at the bottom of your fridge. The surface skin has streaks of black and they hint at an underlying discoloration that intensifies as the skin is peeled further. It is decayed through. Draper is modern man, absconded of peace by a sinister past which is not fit to see the light of day.

I was born on Wednesday. I always hated the nursery rhyme because my day got the shaft. Every other day met with a favorable, or at least neutral, fortune. Not Wednesday’s child. The bleak warning was clear. Wednesday’s child, full of woe. As if living up to the expectations of this creepy nursery rhyme, darkness lurked at my tail from the moment I was young. And still, it does.

A man born into woe is already born 3 steps behind everybody. He enters this existence indebted to unproven auspicious fortune. No matter how he flails and persists, he rarely advances. Sure, the day may come when he fools himself and others that he “has it all” but he ain’t got shit. Wednesday’s child is living a foolhardy dream. He’s bartering about a nonsensical belief in exchange for a slim promise of happiness, one that he can never catch, one that offers the substance to alter his life for the better, if only it would stop for him.

He is the man with an unforgivably dark soul which acts as a cumbersome magnet which draws in all ill fate and misfortune. This is terrifyingly apparent when his life wears the superficial crown of happiness because it is fulfills society’s enviable definition but deep in the trenches of his dusky soul Hell streams deeply and the demons of his existence play in the fiery pools of blackness. Ultimately, Wednesday’s child turns good fortune into a sinking bastion of despair.

Men of a dark visage wander the Earth but you don’t notice because they have been given a pair of glittery white wings to wear during their worldly descent. The wings glitter and dazzle and lull our attention away from the pit of misfortune which burns like an ember in his troubled eyes. Wednesday’s child knows the wings will never be his. They are rented and he must turn them back in eventually. For this reason, he never becomes attached to them or pretends to own them, for to do so would drive his preordained despair deeper into ravages of inhuman suffering.

I am Wednesday’s child. My wings are not as brilliant or magnificent as Draper’s, but they nevertheless emit a foolish sense of unlikely satisfaction but the darkness torments me and bloodies my aspirations into a pummeled heap of discarded expectations. Look in my eyes and you will see Wednesday’s deathly birthright etched into the glazed surface of my corneas.

Peer closer, and the vision of a life deprived will suck promise from the boiling marrow in your bones.

Wednesday’s child is full of woe and this is the way it must be.

You can only watch helplessly as Wednesday’s child flounders beneath life’s monstrous heel while perhaps making light entertainment of the spectacle. Misfortune is his closest ally and dearest enemy.

There is no use seeking out any purpose in his downfall.
There can never be enough arms to catch him.

Kimchi pizza love you long time

Saturday, August 27th, 2011

While I was clipping coupons this morning, I found this large advertisement sponsored by a very popular “breakfast food” manufacturer. The ad, for a generally very wholesome “American” food item, then adds an extra twist which hybridizes it with a popular Asian snack with the intent to appeal at a somewhat niche-y market.

Whereas cole slaw on hot dogs is not exactly unknown, this little permutation on an already lesser known accompaniment seems unusual. This culinary hybridization is the spawn of those foodie-oriented food trucks that have conquered the guttural appeal of late night taco trucks and sanitized and gentrified their overpriced paper-plated appeal to a wide range of people, many who probaly would never have given the roach coach a second look years ago.

The well-known Kogi Truck is one such food truck that has melded ethnic cuisine to insane new levels. Their website lists the day’s offerings for the week and tonight’s special is “Beetleblood Taco,” described as “blood sausage taco w/ kimchi and lime.” Korean food has proven adventurous and fearless in its conquest of foreign cuisines which it hungrily absorbs into some bizarro-morph conglomerations of global ingredients.

Actually, my lone regret from the Outlands Music Festival a couple of weeks ago was that I never got around to trying anything from the “Kalbi Taco” stand. Kalbi tacos are another iteration of Korean and Mexican cuisine which have become popular. Kalbi, the sweetly marinated Korean beef, is wrapped in a corn tortilla with accompanying Korean side items. Trucks selling this melange are all over LA but I’ve yet to eat one. I would like to try one of those kimchi quesadillas also. I’m very ambivalent about kimchi! I love it in delightfully small amounts. It is pungent, spicy, and overnight it ferments in your alimentary canal exuding its deathly fumes, and in the morning every bodily pore emits a vaporous plume of god-awful kimchi aerosol. It’s awful, especially if you aren’t the one who had kimchi the night before. I’ve noticed that if you eat kimchi, the other person, or persons, who also ate it is do not stink as badly as if you did not eat kimchi. There is a sort of shared funkiness about eating kimchi in groups. In excessive amounts, kimchi easily becomes overwhelming. I doubt I can finish an entire kimchi quesadilla, but I’d love to give one a spin.

Reminds me that I heard in LA’s Koreatown you used to be able to buy a kimchi pizza. I imagine you still can today, but this is revolting. I can’t envision any situation where kimchi’s partnership with cheese can go well, now, tonight, or tomorrow.

And why is it Korean food is so exploitable at the international dinner table? Korean food seems to dabble seamlessly in all manners of foreign cuisine, although the Asian slaw dog sounds like it may lean toward the Japanese, not sure. Sometimes this cross-cultural intermingling of recipes seems to foretell a “Blade Runner” society of mish-mashed global ethnicities all overlapping to create hybrid offshoots with no semblance to anything seen before. An Anthropology professor once told our class that in the distant future, humans would all be brown.

And eating Sukiyaki menudo, no doubt.