Manhood

Manhood

13 May 2011

Does anyone use the term 'snag' anymore? (ie. Sensitive New Age Guy). I think this cartoon was probably more linguistically relevant a couple decades ago. Putting that aside for the moment, they say that writers (and cartoonists) should write what they know, and I think I recognise the two guys in this cartoon.

About 15 years ago I was the guy on the left. These days I like to think I'm the guy on the right (minus the skin-head haircut and the anger management issues.) Truthfully, I'm probably somewhere in between.

Still, if the 36 year old me met the 21 year old me, I think I would want to punch him in the face too and say "Harden the f*** up!" (a la Chopper Read, as interpreted by comedian Heath Franklin.)

Now I've just realised that I released my inner snag by using the words "a 'la". Oh well.

Tomorrow night I'm off to see another comedian, Wil Anderson, in his new show, 'Man vs. Wil'. Sounds like it will be relevant to my current train of thought.

From what I've heard of his material to date, he sounds like the kind of bloke you can respect; one with heart and backbone - a phrase I first heard in Steve Biddulph's excellent book, The New Manhood.

In that book, he outlines The Five Truths of Manhood, which he borrowed from another writer, Richard Rohr. I repeat them here, for your own thought provocation.
 

THE FIVE TRUTHS OF MANHOOD

1. You are going to die

2. Life is hard

3. You are not that important

4. Your life is not about you

5. You are not in control of the outcome.

 

Wow. That's a punch in the face to most modern views of manhood. But as Biddulph says, "When we fail to accept these truths, we become a culture of perpetual childhood." Read the book yourself to get the full explanation, but I think those are wise words.

Maybe that's what this cartoon is all about. That is, recognising that it's good to keep an inner balance between the bastard and the wimp, the bloke and the metrosexual, the tough guy and the snag, the heart and the backbone.

All I know is, we need more blokes with both.