Friday, February 17, 2006

Masculinity Is A Bitch

1. Pentagram "Forever My Queen"
2. Ruby Andrews "I Want To Be Whatever It Takes To Please You"
3. Bassholes "Puddin' Tane"
4. Sister Ray "You Can't Push Me Away"
The whole “Metro-sexual” craze has totally hit the street with a steel toed boot and a buzz cut. Every second or third guy you see, has a ribbed turtle neck on, quite a bit of gel up in their frosted doo, and some leather shoes that come with the trusty Pilgrim Buckle. I work with a girl that is a Cosmetologist by day, that was telling me about her brothers friends who come to her on the low-low for some shaped up brows and Mani-Pedis. That shit was real far out to me. They were scared to be seen doing it, but the finished product of themselves wasn’t embarrassing? Hmmm. This type of shit would have probably gotten you laughed at then a motherfucker 10 years ago.

Every guy has some color or product in their hair. Dudes straightening their every day before they will leave the house. Making sure their bangs are sitting just right over their favorite eyebrow. Every guy has some rings or other jewelry hanging from their silky and buttered hands and necks, too much cologne; maybe some jeans they picked up in the Junior Miss Dept hugging in tightly, and walletless because now they have a purse. Guys want to work in clothing stores, or some other labor less, lower body type of position. They want to be thought of as sensitive, concerned, self aware, and super clean wine drinkers (even though a large percentage of these shit-holes are just ‘bout it for the pussy).

Guys are so soft handed now it’s crazy. And unfortunately this extends beyond your flat ironed, mall employed guys. I can’t even count the number of times I’ve been around a motherfucker who refused to perform a task because they didn’t want to get dirty. What type of shit is that? All ages, most classes, it doesn’t matter. Don’t you remember when you were a young boy (or girl) and every man around you could fix almost anything, or at least they would give that shit a whole hearted shot? Men had fucked up hands, facial scars, tough jobs, not much time to relax, not a whole lot to say, and when they did speak it was really insightful or fucking hilarious. Although I was always in admiration, and constantly inspired by it, I had my own personal issues that pretty much have crippled me from allowing myself to do anything truly constructive for a larger portion of my life. This also includes caring about or realizing anything outside of my own mind.

Even though when I was 14 I thought that these guys were dumb, they were still my Heros. Which, intellectually, they really were dumb. But so fucking what? They have all of us beat on everything else. It’s actually, their wisdom, hard work, and commitment that has spoiled and afforded us the leisure of “Intellect”.

Take care of yourself and handle your business. Take care of your woman’s every need. Not just her bar tab, or telling her which blouse to wear. Be her handy man. Feed and teach your kids. Do right. Work hard. Build a home. Fuck $50 hair cuts, $100 blue jeans, clean finger nails, waxed eye brows, matching socks, showers everyday, breathy lead singers, talking your self out of a fist fights, diaries, not liking heavy metal, scarves with t-shirts, pouty facial expressions, "sex lines", what you eat, and what you listen to. Shut up, and be a goddamn man.

I would like to thank the following for being around when I was growing up. Helping me to not be a total pussy my entire life:
Papa Robinson
Gary Burgess
Tommy Looper
Big Dave
Mr. Turner
Seagrams Ed
Mr. Revis
Mr. Leroy Looper (Helmet Head)

There are too many more. These are just the ones on the tip of my mind. Please leave a comment with a couple of your Male influences in the comments section.


Blogger Hep Cee said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:20 PM  
Blogger Hep Cee said...

I just met a guy who drives a van for the same messenger company I bike for. An old-school Chicago guy, he liked to talk and eventually the subject turned to one of the neighborhoods I grew up in and, sonofabitch, he knew my grandfather and used to drink at one of his bars. He was beside himself with nostalgia and he kept telling me what a great guy my gramps was.
And it's true: my Papou is one badass dude. The man who gave me my first beer (at age nine) owned two taverns in Chicago, the first one on Lake and Pulaski which, if you know the city, is the epicenter of the West Side.
I guess he owned it before it got totally fucked up, but I know for a fact he owned it during the MLK riots.
Apparently he was pretty fair and decent to the black folk, because they torched and looted most of the other surrounding businesses, but not his bar. Well, that and the fact that they thought he was mafia because he and his brother had "Coclanis Syndicate" painted on their trucks. I guess the looters didn't know that Coclanis was a Greek name. Ok, he also sat in the bar with a shotgun during the riots. Regardless, all those reasons are pretty damn awesome.
He isn't a perfect man by any means. He was a pretty big drunk, my mom telling me how when people would be going to church on Sunday morning he'd be getting out of a taxi, still loaded, or - even better - he'd have not quite made it up the front steps without passing out. Also, I guess he really gave my uncle shit for having long hair, just like he would later get in my ass about my hair/earrings/nose ring, etc.
But that's what dudes like him are supposed to do. He never hit my mom or her siblings, just talked a lot of shit, just like he still does. He is one cynical bastard and god do I love him for it. I guess when your mom dies and you have to quit school at age nine to start working during the Depression you have a right to talk some shit.
The world didn't really give him a fair shake, but he didn't fucking cry about it like I would. He worked, he fought, he took care of his family and he made sure we had a chance to be something other than blue collar nobodies getting fucked by the man.
Thank you, Papou. I know it wasn't easy. I know you wanted to do more with your life. So thank you for making those things possible for me.
Being a man really isn't about being able to fix anything in particular, it's about being able to fix anything. Finding solutions. Being dependable. A good friend, a good father, a good husband.
A great Papou.
And even if I'm confused and indecisive when it comes to some things, I can see through the bullshit in this world and I know what is really important. And most of that comes from what he has taught me, not with words all the time, but by example.
Which is how real men teach.
With their lives.

8:31 PM  
Blogger Hep Cee said...

Ok, sorry to obsess, but here are ten more completely incredible things about my Papou:

1. Once when drunk on Thanksgiving he invited in the cab driver for dinner, making him the first black guy my great grandmother,straight from Greece, had ever been around.
2. When about ten years old, stole a goat out of someone's back yard to win a show and tell competition. And there is an awesome picture of him and the goat.
3. Named his farm in Wisconsin the "Lazy C Farm"
4. Once told me what this country needs is a revolution.
5. Used to drive a milk truck and would help out poor relatives with "free" milk.
6. His taverns were named "The Miami" and then "Miami North"
7. Used to hang out at the stables that used to exist in Chicago, dreaming of someday owning horses of his own. Then one day he did.
8. Gives my dad shit for being French, asking him what the French ever made beside Renaults (pronouncing it "wren-alts". Classic.)
9. Ok, this may seem harsh, but he was once part of a group that burned down an at-the-time-unoccupied house of a group of Gypsies who were stealing from every business in the neighborhood. Not very cool, but pretty incredible.
10. Did I mention he gave me an Old Style beer when I was nine?

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