Skip to main content

Men, the Appendix, and My Little Pony

There is a section in Antiartists where one of the characters claims that men are not needed any more, that it used to be that men were needed to club mastodons or fight off marauders, but that those days are past.  He says that a man is like the appendix of women: useless, and if it goes bad it might just kill you.

The book, I think, is mostly about our sense of identity, and how that identity is tangled up in what we believe the world around us expects.  That identity is tied up in our jobs, and our sexuality, our families and our religions.  It often seems that our identity is defined for us, that there is no escaping expectations, no escaping the pressures and forces of our environments.  There are stories, of course, of those that break free from that, that go their own way, that express their identity as they see fit regardless of the consequences, and that is great for them, but I suspect most of us never really get to find out who we think we are outside of those forces and pressures.

I recently, and involuntarily, saw an advertisement for a My Little Pony-themed fleshlight; a men's sex toy based on a child's cartoon.  I am not even positive that it was real or some kind of Photoshop mock up, and was sufficiently creeped out to not investigate further, but it seemed only too plausible.  I could only think about what pathetic, weak creatures men can be, and how this can be expressed in the ugliest ways.  Companies do not make products that there is no market for.  The manufacturers of this product must believe that there is a segment of men whose fantasy is to violate a tiny, make-believe purple horse.  I couldn't help but think of the consumers of this product hating themselves for wanting it, hating themselves for buying it, hating themselves for using it.

I thought, what if there was a product that addressed the needs of men in a way that wasn't appealing to and encouraging the basest, most vile aspect of being male?  What would that look like?
 ----------

CyberDomestics, Incorporated has brought to market an anthropomorphic robot said to finally satisfy the fantasies of men, the hidden and taboo things that they are afraid to speak about even with those that they are most intimate with.

The doll is fully articulated, fully poseable and available in virtually any color, shape or size.

It speaks to men, purrs phrases that every man has longed to hear, but have been afraid to request from their partners.

It says, "You are doing a good job."
It says, "I trust you."
It says, "You are doing the right thing."
It says, "I believe in you."
It says, "You are making the right decisions."
It says, "You are valuable."
It says, "I appreciate the sacrifices that you make."

Current demand has exceeded production capabilities, and orders are backlogged for several years.  Do not delay, order today! 

---------

I have two sons of my own.  What can I say to them about what it means to be a man?  What do I have to offer them except my own fumbling failing mistake-ridden example of manhood?  I do not really know what it means to be a man, and I am supposed to guide these small people in some meaningful way?  I remember leaving the hospital when my first son was born, as they handed me the tiny life that I was now responsible for.  I thought, are you people crazy?  I don't know anything!  I still don't.  But all we can do is to try our best to instill the values that we were taught, or have developed through experience, in the next generation.  My sons are already far more decent and caring people than I will ever be, so there's that.  I wish I could take credit for that, but they seem to have arrived with pre-loaded software. 

If you ever meet a parent that claims to have gotten everything right, they are either a liar or an asshole, or most likely, both.

It takes some genuine and sometimes painful introspection to try and untangle who you are from who you think you should be and from who you believe others think you to be, and from what your actions say about your own self worth. 

Boys: Just try not to hurt yourself or other people as you figure this stuff out, OK?

I don't know anything.

Still writing,

RP

PS: If you are new to the blog, it is mostly about my as yet unpublished book and various trials and failures that happens when you try to get a book published.  I write on this thing only when I think I have something relevant to say which seems to be a couple of times a month.  If you comment on here, I will respond to your comments here.  If you want to get in touch via other methods, I am on Twitter @RDPullins, and I am on Google+, though I use that primarily to exchange pictures with my family.  You can also send me an email at dissent dot within at gmail dot com.  Thanks to my best pal Eric, for the Lolligagger Bump.  Cheers!  RP 


Comments

  1. Who you are, is who you are and isn't that the most wonderful thing. You are the only you there is and so right there it makes you special and important. Learn these things early in life so it's not wasted by your doubts and fears.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Geez... If I didn't have any doubts or fears, what would I write about? I think the important thing is to acknowledge that we are all scared and confused.

    We should be really afraid of those that claim certainty. That is where we get a lack of empathy and the seeds of fascism and fundamentalism. In parenting or politics or writing, or anything else, if you meet someone who claims to know The Truth, just back away slowly and don't make eye contact.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I believe the most challenging thing for genuinely introspective people to find is the conviction to act on their own mind lest they be seduced by the conviction of others. It seems to me that instilling that kind of confidence would be tough for the parents of a non-asshole child. I wish someone would have explained to me that no one really knows anything; some people just think they do.

    Those who believe they “know” and subscribe to the idea of “a truth” are unburdened by the self doubt and anxiety that plagues mindful folk. Cock-sure idiots speak and act with boundless confidence. That can be seductive, especially for kids who are looking to believe in something.

    I suppose all of that applies to adults as well.

    ReplyDelete
  4. As for "the truth?" Here's what it might look like if we were actually exposed to it:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vo1IwmaUz90

    ReplyDelete
  5. As a parent, and this happened especially when the boys were babies, it seems that I have run into a lot of people that will happily and unselfconsciously give unsolicited advice and pointers about how to raise them, and what to teach them, without a moments thought that their own kids are complete assholes. I always have thought what the hell do you think that you are doing right? You and your kids are both thoughtless morons, why in the world would you think I would consider your opinion valuable?

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

The Dance of the Sand Hill Crane

 It is Saturday morning in Feburary and here in Michigan it is clear and cold.  The sun has risen a while ago but there are still streaks of red in the sky, lighting up the clouds, high and wispy.  I am standing by my car after completing some chore, cleaning something or retrieving something and I am slow breathing, trying to calm my heart. It has been a difficult week. My son has a fight tonight, full contact MMA, his first, and I am full of conflict and anxiety about it. Not because I don't believe he will do well, because I know he is as prepared as anyone can be for such a thing, but because I am a father and I feel like I should be protecting him from the violence of the world. Even though he turns nineteen in a few weeks and is stronger both physically and mentally than I could ever hope to be, he is still my boy, and I am scared for him. My other son is fifteen and this week was embroiled in some stupid conflict at school, a misunderstanding that had led to meetings with th

One of the Best of Us

In the stifling heat my breath comes fast and heavy. What the fuck am I even doing here? What the fuck am I trying to accomplish? I'm sitting on the mat, maybe dying, a forty something dad playacting at being a fighter. This is my mid-life crisis, this is so, so stupid. This has to be the end for me, assuming I can get my heartbeat under control, assuming I don't just peg out here on the mat.  I can't do this anymore. "It's okay man, it's okay, you just need to breathe through it. You're fine, you're okay." The voice of my training partner, gentle and kind. My partner, the maniac that drove me to such a state, that I think I might die, he sits next to me and shows me how to breathe, how to calm my body. He teaches and guides me through it, and in a few minutes I actually am okay, the panic settles down, and maybe this isn't my last class after all. "You're alright?  Okay. Now lets get back to work."  And back to work we go. There

Fighting for Clarity

There's this to be said about fighting: while you're doing it, you don't have room in your head for anything else, not your busted ass car or your worries about your family, not the leak under your bathroom sink, or how you're going to pay your bills.  There's only breathe one two, step out of range, shift off the center line, move breathe one three two slip the jab level change three to the body check the low kick counter one two...  it is a better escape than most, and I've tried most of them, believe me. I don't know what the fuck I'm doing here. I get humbled and beat up at every session, I don't understand why I even go. I'm feeling defeated; everything is so fucking hard for me, and I don't know why I'm doing it. I should just quit, right? Fuck you.  I'll show you motherfuckers what I am capable of. I'll show you-  And then I go and I try and my knees give and I get pummeled and twisted and what the fuck man how humble do I