And there it is. On the cover of Foreign Affairs today. “Xi Jinping Says He Is Preparing China For War: The World Should Take Him Seriously” Some of us can take a few days off now. It’s out. Finally. I have to admit i feel a strange sense of vindication, seeing it start to come out in the mainstream. Didn’t think i would. Was praying i was wrong. As i preface every essay with, this is not something you want to be right about. But after being near certain about an impending World War III for over a year based on following a consistent steady onslaught of very specific events, and writing about it for over a year, only to start to see undeniable proof of it in the last three months, yet still not hearing a word about it from anyone else, i was beginning to think i and few others were the only ones who wouldn’t be surprised once the lights went out. My only concern now is will anyone in the U.S. start to wake up to it? Before it’s too late? Or will they keep their faces buried in TikTok and irrelevant domestic political drama? Will Americans finally start acknowledging the dangerous precipice the world is on — especially considering it’s the United States who has everything to lose? Or keep ignoring the bigger picture till the entire world is on fire…? I’m not sure. Post a song, 200 people will lovingly comment. Post a joke, 100 people will comment LOL. But post something about the disastrous geopolitical landscape we live in and the biggest transformation of power in four generations and it’s crickets. Americans have completely tuned out world affairs. Except on Twitter. They seem incapable of acknowledging it, let alone following it. Their biggest network news in the US doesn’t even cover it. They’ll spend ten minutes pretending what some congress person in Iowa said to an aid is news, but not say one thing about the hundreds of events that have led us up to this point of being so close to a full on global military conflict. It’s insanity. Textbook. I’m fully aware that here on FB I’m speaking to no one when discussing world affairs. Part of it is the platform itself. But where better to inform your closest friends and colleagues about the most important events transpiring in our lives? We all love our dogs and kids. But it’s our kids who are being and will be affected the most by the events of the last six months. Ours ask us about these events weekly. They notice. Their lives and careers are being affected. And this is only the beginning. As i say in every essay over the last three months. And sure enough the next day offers even more devastating news confirming this coming conflagration. Admittedly this cover story above is BIG. We finally have some confirmation that we weren’t just crying wolf. The question now is what are we going to do? Will Biden acknowledge it? Or keep playing dead? Since the United States is the only country in the world now NOT talking about this every day every hour, will they ever? Or will they literally wait till the very last minute and suddenly act like it’s new news to them? Well, regardless of what the United States government does or doesn’t do, WE already know. If you follow me, YOU already know. We’re there now. Every late night deep discussion we all participated in during the college years about the possibility of another world war or the United States no longer being the worlds superpower… We’re there now. It’s happening. I hope and pray this might help unite the two different and sharply divided contingents of the nation. For without that, we don’t stand a chance. But truth be told I don’t think we have a chance regardless. America is tired, drunk, broke, lazy, divided, spoiled, deeply in debt, sick to death of its own corruption, obsessed with the shallow or what might make them a celebrity for a night or two. There is no Great Generation in the younger ranks. They are woefully despondent, doped up on TV and antidepressants or high on their favorite strain of cannabis. They don’t know history. So they don’t realize that we’re now living in the most historically important era since the 1940s. It’s just not part of who they are. God this is depressing. Yet it’s true. It’s never served anyone to bury their head in the sand in order to avoid seeing the truth. Americans have had it good for so long that like an addict they have become so drenched in it that all they can think about is how much they don’t have. They spend their time killing each other in daily mass shootings and then arguing about what caused it rather than fixing the problem. It’s Rome. It’s Persia. It’s Egypt. It’s Great Britain. This is why the New Communist Alliance I speak of often has had no problem getting ahead of the US in this buildup to World War III. When you have ten nations all supremely focused on one goal, ridding the world of the United States as a superpower once and for all, and that same United States still focused on infighting about whether gay people or black people or women deserve equal rights, when the rest of the world already made up its mind about that decades ago, it is clear who the winner will be. It’s not that the New Communist Alliance countries are better or on the right side. They’re not. They’re ideologically deplorable in ideal and practice. Sickening dictatorships. The United States and it’s western allies are still way ahead of the game in their democratic and egalitarian ideals and systems. But that doesn’t negate their spoiled sense of entitlement or their ignorance of world affairs; nor their addiction to distraction and luxury.
We’ve seen this movie far too many times. The once reigning superpower never survives once they hit this point in the film. Except for a few notable exceptions. We could recall that when Rome fell it didn’t actually matter because the empire itself had already moved to Byzantium and continued to reign Supreme over most of the world for another thousand years. Despite the harm that did to hundreds of millions, it does offer hope for the United States having a chance here in this coming epic battle for world domination we are faced with now. Let us hope that the powers that be are on top of this, that they have a plan, that the younger generations are not half as inept as they seem when it comes to defending our homeland, that a treaty of some kind can be reached, even if it only buys us another few years to settle our affairs. I was never patriotic. I am now. God save the republic.
Professor Scott Galloway recently published an essay about how difficult it is for men in today’s world to make friends, with some accompanying tips. We’ve been hearing about this issue for several years now, in bits and pieces… it has remained just beneath the surface of society’s more popular and topical current affairs speak since the anomaly was first observed.
We can note that the topic and all of its ramifications have been largely ignored to date in societal public discourse to make room for other topics perceived more popular valuable or important.
There are obvious reasons for this of course. With the recent advent of movements such as MeToo, Black Lives Matters, LGBTQ equality, LatinX, Immigration and even the longstanding Women’s Reproductive Rights movement, men, especially white straight men, have not only been made to seem a secondary consideration in modern society compared to these more pressing issues, they’ve also taken on the role of being the original and primary problem and cause that created the need for these movements in the first place.
Put in simpler terms, men are the problem. For everything and all that ails us as a collective society, men are the root cause. Say it out in a group or mention it on social media and you’ll see nodding approval as if it’s a given, or read angry tirades in agreement about how selfish greedy heartless self serving and evil men are; simply by the very nature that they were born men.
We also witness confirmation of this fact based on two more of the many overlooked side effects of this ongoing trend…. One of them being how younger generations of men, Gen Z and Millenials especially, have learned to present themselves out in the world as soft, harmless, and effeminate.
Gone are the days where a young man attempts to go out into the world and display his strength or resolve, toughness or courage, confidence, boldness or competitive ambition, or anything remotely once associated with masculinity. They have an intuitive knowing from growing up during the last 20 years that to express or display any traditional traits associated with being “manly” may lead to instant shunning by the world around them. And to anyone, young or old, man woman or somewhere in between, that’s a terrifying thought.
Now we witness younger generations of men deliberately dressing and acting to downplay their masculinity. As if they’re trying to hide the fact that they’re men. And forget about manliness. That’s become so taboo that it isn’t even a thought. Even masculinity feels dangerous to own or utter aloud.
We also see it in how men are portrayed in contemporary art and entertainment.
And indeed from a historical perspective this glaringly appears to be the case. We all know the history — although to be fair and historically accurate it has never truly been a purely “white men” problem. That’s a deeply short sighted viewpoint considering that human civilization, and it’s history, as we currently define it, started in the region of earth known as Mesopotamia — modern day Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey — approximately six to eight thousand years ago. And the various different tribal groups that occupied this area and fought each other for dominance over it were not what we call “white” or “Caucasian”. “White” came thousands of years later.
But yes, from the very beginning, MEN of various colors and races have ruled governed conquered and over-lorded since the advent of recorded history, always at the expense of women and any “minorities” in whatever geographical region or timeline we can look back on. It just wasn’t always “white” men. That’s a more recent trend in the larger scope of human history.
Now with that said, over the last 2300 years of that history, white men have been the primary victimizer of seemingly everybody else in the human population, a fact that has rendered men in today’s world toxic; any kind of concern or empathy toward men is now a thorny subject, problematic at best, or more accurately a stigma to be avoided at all costs in the grand scheme of righting the wrongs of the last 8,000 years.
Men, especially white straight men, in todays western societies are in a funky place. On the one hand they still run and control almost everything, from governments to big business, from the worlds largest churches and religions to banking and finance, art and entertainment, from the commodities that fuel the world to the secret societies that power the world.
Yet at the same time, they have become a hated and despised breed of human, the scapegoat for everything that is wrong with humanity and planet earth. And because of this fact the average white straight male walks around feeling horrible about himself. Just automatically. Not because they’ve done or not done anything. But just because. Most of the time it isn’t even conscious. Especially for those who’ve grown up in this environment over the last ten to fifteen years.
Even for those who are older and grew up in a different world entirely where white straight men could do no wrong. That narrative has changed so much, been flipped upside down and smashed on its head, that it would be impossible for any white straight male not to be aware of the heavy burden of animosity and discrimination that is being dumped on them on a constant basis. And accompanying it, as Galloway alludes to in his latest article, is a deep sense of shame, guilt, fear, isolation, loneliness, self loathing, drunkenness, drug abuse and higher suicide rates.
The tweet of the article did get a few of us talking about the subject. Albeit through more tweets and comments. Not an ideal place to converse or debate, but workable.
I replied, “Oddly this is not something we experience in the music industry; even from way back in the local days to now, it’s never been a thing. We do not find that we feel isolated or find it hard to make friends or difficult to reach out to each other. But I do notice it with guys outside of the various art and entertainment circles. Not sure what or why it is exactly…”
Dan Munro of Forbes magazine commented, “Ed FWIW: Music is often targeting a performance – and it’s often rehearsed and then performed w/ others (either in attendance or a live audience).By definition a “connected” activity.That connection is hard to establish/maintain – especially as we age. “Social” media isn’t it.”
“I was thinking a similar thing the last hour or so,” i said a bit later. “The way we artists and musicians started out in our early teens playing & hanging every day with ANY other guy or gal who cud play an instrument or sing or make a flyer or book shows or do promo, fix guitars, run audio or lighting or anything else that contributed to brining music to the masses….
It didn’t matter who what where or when we were coming from… we just became friends from wanting to play music together. From there we got to know each other. And no matter how different we may have been from one another on the surface, or socioeconomically, there was always this strong nearly sacred bond of music and music making that kept us friends… Never really thought about this before….” I said.
Dan: “Music is a very connected activity. Sports has some of that – and there are other hobbies/social activities that can create equally strong bonds …… BUT … “social” media has worked to divide and isolate us all. COVID didn’t help. So for “adult” men, friendship is harder.”
Now what Dan was saying made more sense to me. I’ve been hearing it more and more from guy friends I have who aren’t immersed in the arts or entertainment or activism worlds. And I said as much to Scott and Dan.
“I must admit I have heard this from a LOT of guy friends over the last 7 years or so… Definitely a trend. Various men complaining about loneliness isolation depression, almost always accompanied by “things not being what they used to be” where u cud just give a guy a call & go get a drink. There’s now a strange new trend hiding in men that compels them to feel more reluctant or resistant or afraid to open up and talk honestly with one another. But also with women… On the one hand, we live sleep and breathe to gain the attention and admiration of the femme; everything we do is in some small part at least based on our desire to attract women — and based on everything we know, they feel the same way. And yet we’re keenly aware of the pariah we’ve become in society at large just for being men in the first place.
And with gay men…, forget about it, most white straight men have no idea how to relate to or communicate with gay men. They/we can feel the judgement and criticism aimed our way from a hundred yards away. When encountering gay men, we as straight men, just by the fact itself, are made aware that there exists a general idea that we are rude crude sloppy ill mannered clumsy poorly dressed have no taste or fashion sense, and there’s a secret inside joke we’re just not getting. So we tend to shy away from interacting with gay men. No one wants to be reminded of how lame they are. And for whatever reason, amongst gay men, straight men are lame. And there’s no attempt on their part to cover up that stereotype when in their company.
To get back on point, regarding the crisis white straight men are facing now, I also believe this strange new phenomenon of men feeling more isolated and depressed partially stems from the advent of email & texting taking over picking up a phone and calling. It’s so easy to feign “oh yeah man I didn’t see your text/email till later”. That’s common now, to not be able to pick up a phone and reach someone in the moment. The voicemail is what you get. And let’s face it, even the voicemail, both having a greeting or leaving a voicemail message for another person seem to be disappearing, along with hundreds of other things as we transition into this new world of high tech, virtual connection and physical IRL isolation.
On Twitter i told the other guys involved in the conversation that was brewing that “One thing i don’t mind admitting is that the last 5 years have been BRUTAL for us men. Whether we’re personally guilty of anything or not. We walk around 24/7 in a cloud of shame & guilt knowing & observing how society feels about us. The MeToo, Woke and Cancel Culture movements seemed to kick that feeling into overdrive in society at large. No matter how we look at it, men are the problem. Men… are the enemy.”
Regardless of whether we were and are supporters of the MeToo cause or 100% against it — i was heavy into it ideologically and physically, felt it had been a long time coming and in terms of activism was as involved as i could be, attending marches and demonstrations, protesting in the streets, signing petitions, etc. — it was clear that it was happening and the way western society viewed and treated “men” was forever to change. And not in a good way. At least not at first.
Historically justified…? Definitely. We men of today are now paying the price for thousands of years of brutality and abuse of just about everyone in human history by men who came before us. And we get that. But it still doesn’t make it easy on us here now in modern times.
And that’s “men” in general. Made much worse if you possess none of the … hhhmm… let’s say “protective softeners” society has deemed appropriate to dole out to men to judge criticize or treat them less harshly, like being black brown red yellow or LGBTQ etc. Men of this kind may tend to find it a little easier to navigate through society without as much animosity and vitriol aimed at them constantly. White men, especially white straight men, do not. (Consider the entire premise for the existence of AppleTV’s stellar Morning Show.)
I dont feel “bad” about being a straight white man myself… but I do feel a strong apologetic sense of guilt by association for being born that way, especially over the last few years with everything the cartoonish Donald Trump brought to the forefront of collective consciousness here in the United States.
The sudden appearance of this strange deranged white straight man and everything that was revealed about his personal beliefs and habits, so arrogant, ignorant, self centered, deluded, prejudiced, homophobic, xenophobic, sexist, white-centrist, religiously extreme, egomaniacal and just plain dumb…he really shone a light on a serious problem we had and still have here in the U.S. with white straight men. Especially coming out of the more refined intelligent respectful civil and gentile 8 years of the Obama administration.
The Obama years lulled us to sleep to a certain degree, because he epitomized the transcendent man in so many ways, as close as we’d ever gotten in politics and governance at least; and for one brief 8 year period we were all encouraged to believe that Obama was going to be the norm from now on when it came to “men” in western society, he permitted us to forget just how monstrous men in general can be and often are in nearly all human societies.
Donald Trump on the other hand, and this shockingly large parade of millions of other American men just like him who were suddenly unleashed upon society with all their arrogant ignorance, mean spiritedness and phobic tendencies, awakened a reminder in society that these types of people, these white straight men of the past with all their prejudices and ignoble tendencies hadn’t transcended or become enlightened. They had just been in hiding for the better part of 8 years; they did in fact still exist; they were even more angry and filled with even more hatred for anyone who was different than them. And they were everywhere.
The problem we as a society had and still have with white straight men (although here i will admit i am not sold on the idea that being white or straight inherently have much to do with the problems men inflict on societies) was made much clearer to us all in light of the surprisingly large following Donald Trump turned out to have.
It was indeed, as anyone will admit, a shocking revelation. He was by all accounts a loud boisterous duplicitous corrupt morally bankrupt insecure destructive and sad clown of a man, uneducated and ignorant, selfishly unconcerned with anything but himself, and at worst, just another horrible human being in the shape of a white straight male in desperate need of serious mental and emotional help. Imagine a woman running for president casually saying in a campaign interview “men love it when you grab their dicks”. The guy was a disturbing sociopathic hot mess.
But none of that seemed to matter to tens of millions of “regular Americans”, men and women, the large majority being white, straight and christian. Mass guilt by association suddenly crash landed down on all of us who were white straight men. Not to mention all the other creeps who were quickly ushered through our collective hall of current events and then expediently “cancelled” over the next 5 years for various sexual crimes, harassment or misconduct. The closet door flung open and out stumbled the likes of Jeffery Epstein, Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Brian Warner AKA Marilyn Manson, Armie Hammer, Alec Baldwin, Charlie Rose, Danny Masterson, Louise C.K., the list at this point is too large to keep track of…. No matter where we turned, men were being revealed to be not just the villains of human history, but also real world entitled assholes in the here now.
It’s disarming waking up one day to recognize that you yourself demographically fit smack dab in the middle of that illustrious group of douchebags. At least on the surface. You may not even get it at first — it took me a few years to have the revelation personally that I was in any way similar to or associated with by extension any of these creepy men. But what happens is you start to notice that words of hatred and disgust are being used all around you in the press and in the streets about “white straight men”, and you simply can’t help it… one day it suddenly dawns on you that you are actually one of them.
Many of us, most of us, are not in fact anything like Donald Trump, Bernie Maddoff or Harvey Weinstein or any of the men listed above. But i will say that simply because we are and were raised to be “men” we do tend to come with our own set of serious issues and tendencies to be selfish, self centered, arrogant, close minded, competitive, abusive, entitled, prideful, etc. etc. Even though, yes, many of us eagerly and passionately have been actively supporting “woke” causes since that trend started.
From economic equality to women’s health rights, MeToo & BLM, immigration and prison reform, LGBTQ issues, reparations, many of us straight white men heavily support these issues, speaking for myself and my band and friends group, we’re in the streets for those… … and plenty of other white straight males are too. Actively fighting from boardroom to recording studio to farm and ranch to the dinner table to right in the streets for a whole host of causes whose time is right now as the world is waking up. But the stigma of the damage done by our group collectively is hard to shake off. It’s just there. In the air. On us. On top of us. And we really can’t deny it. All we can do is just promise to do better than those that came before us.
(As a side note, though i agree with some/most of the tenets of the “woke” ideology and movement, I personally don’t like the term “Woke” itself, for the most obvious and surface reason, in that it obviously originated from and perpetuates having a lack of education and the use of bad grammar because of that, when it’s clear that what is meant by it is “to be awake”, “to be awakened” or “to be enlightened” (Think The Matrix movies, or Buddhism or the New Age movement or Activism in general…).
Some of us have been working on this (r)evolutionary cause for decades in our own lives, influenced by others who came along decades before us; all of us promoting and working hard to foster equality and enlightenment and WAKING up in order to make the world a better place. So suddenly co-opting this already very large, long standing cultural movement and attaching a label to it that, deliberately or not, denotes a lack of education and poor grammar leaves a bad taste in one’s mouth.
But hey that’s just me. I believe the various aspects of the movement itself would be more embraced, more supported, less maligned, and further served if we were not all being forced to deliberately use bad grammar when referring to “waking up” or “being awake”.
Admittedly by this point in the day, still ostensibly engaged in conversation with Scott and Dan about the curse and crisis of the modern white straight male, I was also deep down the rabbit hole of the issues involved… lost in my own rambling thoughts about a variety of side and sub-topics…
Dan Munro commented… “… major cultural/economic shifts have contributed to this stigma you reference Ed.”
Women as primary breadwinner on the rise
Economic collapses of 2008 – and then COVID
Here in US – aging population where family (and activities) are more consuming
Erosion of “middle-class” lifestyle, etc…
Even though there’s a current backlash against how overboard the man bashing has been and the constant virtue signaling by the media through a very loud culture of “cancelling” anything that is remotely male white or straight, there is clearly cause for it. And yet now it’s hard not to notice how far the pendulum has swung in the opposite direction, at least when perusing modern entertainment to digest, with such a high degree of black brown native Asian female gay or trans content being injected into tv or film….
For the record, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this, because it’s no different than what we just experienced for the last 100 years with almost everything being casted as and aimed at a white straight christian centered audience. This is just the extreme we seem to always swing to as the pendulum of change slowly winds down and rebalances after major cultural shifts.
(The only real issue one can take with this trend, and it’s definitely a viable stand to take, is toward this new tendency of deliberately altering the world’s most famous and beloved historical events or period piece stories and creating falsehoods about human history by changing historically white or male figures into black or female. For the record, and I believe this to be important, these opportunistic Hollywood “woke promoters” altering everything in the name of being more inclusive but in reality doing so just to enlarge their audience and make more money are creating an entire generation ignorant of actual history.)
(This is tragically — and one might say hilariously — ironic since it’s history itself which we say we have a problem with and use as the primary motivator behind the whole movement. But by inserting a black, latino, Indian, Middle Eastern, Asian, gay or transgender person into new remakes of classic Jane Austen, Charles Dickens or Shakespearean period pieces, we completely defeat and deflate the purpose of having a solid understanding and knowledge of the actual human history we’re trying to understand in order to motivate and instigate changes for the better in the modern age. Again it’s just that pendulum of change swinging too far to the extreme, in this case wildly so and to the detriment of the cause itself.)
So with all of this male bashing and the inherent guilt and shame that comes with it if you fit that mold, one must admit that we still have it made. White straight men are still primarily the super heroes and the action adventure stars of Hollywood blockbusters, global politics, corporate boardrooms, and nation governance all over the earth.
We can’t take the burden of self effacing shame and guilt that’s been foisted upon us by woke society and start complaining that suddenly our lives are over and all opportunity is lost forever. It’s simply not true. We white straight males of the modern world still quite possibly have more opportunity in more categories and areas of life to this day than any other group in the world.
Experts in a variety of different academic and social science arenas, especially in the fields of healthcare, mental health and medicine have been reporting for years now that a tragic crisis of loneliness depression isolation despair alcoholism drug abuse and suicide is brewing and growing ever larger amongst this particular group: men, especially of the white and straight variety. The modern man has absolutely no idea what to do with himself, barely understands what just transpired over the last seven years, doesn’t understand why they themselves are being personally pointed out, blamed, judged, and criticized so harshly, and shunned so vehemently by society at large and in their own communities.
Part of the problem stems from the fact that because white straight men have been in control for so long in human history, and literally monopolized nearly every archetype, icon and reference point of global human society for millennia, when the woke backlash arrived, it was traveling at such an incredible speed, was filled with so much anger, hatred and resentment that it didn’t care who got in the way or got trampled by it. We never even bothered to check who may or may not have been a viable target versus just collateral damage.
See below for some examples of the phenomenon though…
Women cook. But men are called Chef. Women are great musicians and fill a variety of first chairs zzall over the world. But men comprise the majority of the world’s most famous composers and conductors. Women sew. But it’s men’s names that adorn the labels of the world’s most sought after luxury fashion brands and designers. And when a gentleman needs the best tailor, he goes to a man. Women teach. And some of them do write. But it’s men who are the great literary giants they write and teach about. A higher percentage of women on earth in modern times get educated and earn their Ph.Ds, to study the greatest minds of philosophy, history, psychology, ontology, cosmology and physics, the vast majority of which are…. men.
What film aficionado doesn’t enjoy a good debate about who the greatest filmmakers of all time are? All of them men (Katherine Bigelow comes to mind, sure, but she’s not being mentioned in the same breath as Scorsese Spielberg Baumbach The Andersons or Coppola et al.) The same goes for “the greatest bands or musical artists of all time” lists that people love to create and then argue about. They usually start with The Beatles or Dylan or Elvis or Led Zeppelin or the Stones. All men of course. (One has to consistently remind people of Joni Mitchell or Kate Bush in order that they might find room in their list to insert them; where they clearly belong. Presidents, Prime Ministers, Popes, Emperors, Supreme Leaders, all men. (Except the few exceptions, which is why there’s always such a big brouhaha made over these occasional exceptions.) The greatest mind of science? Einstein. The greatest inventor of all time? Edison; or maybe Steve Jobs now. The greatest industrialists and financiers? Henry Ford. Rockefeller. JP Morgan. Et al. And we’re just touching the tip of the iceberg here.
On a grander scale, all the various “messiahs” humanity has invented and worshipped over the last 6,000 years, whose “returns” are eagerly anticipated to bring about centuries of peace on earth or redeem our sin-damaged souls in one way or another… all men. So too all the various prophets of old and new who advise and warn us of these coming messiahs. Even His Manliness The Damai Llama, a living here-now messiah of the Tibetan Buddhist faith, is of course… a man.
The great kings, emperors, rulers, leaders, conquerors, explorers and adventurers throughout (human) time… all men. (Sure, feel free to throw one of the few queen’s names in the list if you’d like, if for no other reason than to further cement the point being made due to how few there are.)
Then there’s the more mundane, long-lasting cultural and commercial icons who are so deeply embedded in our psyche, our holidays, our traditions, our cultures, their names uttered so frequently and nonchalantly that we don’t even consider gender when mentioning them… And yet what do we find..? Santa Clause, and yes even his reign deer, the Grinch, snowmen, the abominable snowman, Bigfoot, Peter Pan, Paul Bunyan, Daniel Boone, the Founding Fathers, Davy Crockett, the Easter Bunny, Captain Crunch, Captain Morgan, Captain Kangeroo, Captain Ahab, Captain America, Captain Kirk, Julius Caesar, Achilles, Apollo, Hercules, Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, Ghengis Khan, Alexander the Great, Xerxes, King Cyrus, Adam, Noah, Abraham, Israel, Jacob, Moses, Father Time, Voltaire, Stalin, Lenin, Trotsky, Chairman Mao, Prince Valiant, Prince Charming, Sherlock Holmes, King Arthur, Van Gogh, Picasso, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Beethoven and Mozart, Wagner, Liszt, Chopin, Jack the Ripper, Jack Nicholson, Jack Nicholas, Jackie Robinson, Jack Frost, Jack of all trades, Jack and the Beanstalk, the giant he encounters, the Jolly Green Giant, the Boy Who Cried Wolf, the Man from UNCLE, Mr. Clean, pirates, cowboys, rockstars, DJs, MCs, boy bands, boy toys, boy wonder, Man of the Hour, International Man of Mystery, Man Child, Man about town, Ladies Man, Manwich… God, etc….
This list literally can go on for hours if one took the time… I’m just doing it off the top of my head for fun. Imagine taking a few minutes to google it. (!!!) What we’d discover is an entire species’ culture historically dominated by male archetypes from the very beginning of their ascent out of the mud till this very day.
It’s no wonder there’s been a collective backlash against men in modern times. The inequality and disparity between men and women has been with us since the very beginning. And people in general, of all ages races and genders have suddenly decided that it’s not okay. Which admittedly, it’s not. Because of this fact, and the blame and finger pointing aimed at men now, they are turning, deliberately or not, to despair confusion drink drugs self isolation poor work performance unhealthy eating and living habits suicide or angrily lashing out with senseless mass killings.
As I stated earlier, I’ve not found it happening to me personally. Nor to many of my friends in the arts entertainment or activism fields, but I do hear about it on a daily basis from male friends in every other field of life. There’s the general confusion about why THEY are being blamed personally, the anger and bitterness, the rage, the loneliness, the depression. It’s all very real.
I do not believe this was or is our end-goal when we started these various movements to make the world a better place. No one stood up and declared “let’s decimate devastate and destroy all white straight men everywhere!” But that’s precisely what we’re doing, deliberately or not.
I do believe we need to stop, take stock of the damage we are doing to this particular group and begin to assess how we can assist white straight men through this challenging time of major cultural transition.
Besides it just being the right thing to do from a compassionate point of view — and if we are not coming to these movements and promoting these causes and great cultural transformations from a place of compassion, then what ARE we doing? — we already know what happens to any group in a society who reaches their boiling point when feeling too harshly criticized or ostracized or left out from society.
January 6th was just one example. And if that event didn’t scare the living hell out of you, then you’re one of those so deeply entrenched in the white straight christian male group that you’re just not seeing that particular historical moment for the terrifying event it was.
But again, that’s just one example of what can happen in a country or community or society when one specific group of people begin to feel that kind of desperation. The weak will fall to the wayside quickly through various forms of self destruction; the stronger ones will unite in their pain and begin to angrily lash out as we witnessed on January 6th or on any number of occasions throughout human history (think French Revolution, etc.) As a society built upon both compassion for all human beings and self preservation as a species we must do our best to avoid these outcomes.
Side note: was speaking to a younger female about this, a Gen Z, for the last few weeks about this subject. Our main topics have been about how incredibly challenging it’s going to be for humanity as a whole to change all of the nomenclature we take for granted as a society that uses gender related terminology to express a variety of different points…
“Get some balls”. “Now that guy’s got some big balls!” “Talk about cojones!” “Man up.”. “Every man for himself”. “Man of the hour”. “Man of the people”. “Man on the street”. “Man of few words”. “Are we not men?” “Get out there and be a man”. “Who’s the man?”. “A yes man”. “Con man”. “He man”. “Hitman”. “Gentleman”. “Ladies man”. “Leading man”. “Main man”. “Medicine man”. “Craftsman”. “Cleaning lady”. “Milkman”. “Law man”. “Lawn man”. “Sheriff”. “Pool man”. “No man is an island”. “Manmade”. “One man band”. “Man-of-war”. “Come on in guys”. “Men are from mars.” “One small step for man…”. “Take it like a man”. “Damn that’s gay”. “Dude you’re so gay.” “Don’t be such a homo”. “Don’t be such a pussy”. “Don’t be such a girl”. “Come on guys, let’s do it!” “The boys are back!” “When mankind first emerged…” “The first man to walk on the moon”. “Are you a lady now? You want me to get you a tampon?” “Dude”. “Bro”. “Man…”. “Guy”. “Chief”. The list goes on and on….
Interestingly she shared with me that she doesn’t mind being called “dude”. But she corrects people if they call her “man” or “guy/guys”, even if it’s one of her friends. Frankly I found that to be odd. Personally I see “man”, “dude” and “guys” to be genetically neutral gender-free terms that can apply safely and equally to men or women or anyone in between. But that could just be my generation, or gender, speaking.
Hence the need and importance of multi-generational dialogue about these issues.
Had texted her earlier in the week to say,
“Of course NOW because we’ve had the discussion. I’m seeing real life examples of how this male gender thing and the inherent challenges we still face in our societal nomenclature plays out on a daily hourly basis all over the place….”
— “I hired you because you had the most balls / bollocks of all the recruits”…. is nonchalantly said to a girl.
— Then there’s the classic double standard: “the more girls a guy gets with, the more of a stud he is, the cooler, more handsome, more attractive, more desirable he is; the more guys a girl sleeps with, the more of an immoral slut of questionable values she is and the less appealing and desirable she is as a potential wife/life partner”.
— the World Cup is possibly the biggest event in the world. But what it really is is the Men’s World Cup. We just take that fact for granted. Just like the short-sightedly named World Series, or the Super Bowl. Huge events. All men. Now the “women’s World Cup” is called the “women’s World Cup” and it’s in the sport “Women’s Soccer”, not football, immediately denigrating the event, or at least relegating it to a much lower status on the importance scale of global sporting events. And it’s pretty much ignored except by females or those who are super into “women’s soccer”. Men play football. Women play soccer. Weird. And women “soccer players”, as opposed to “footballers” i.e. men, don’t even get paid enough to play the sport, let alone make a good living from it, so they are forced to have to get “donations”…. often from male Footballers, who bring in tens of millions of dollars per year in salaries and bonuses. It’s an astounding example of just one of the many disparities that exist between men and women.
[It may be helpful to explore the inherently historical contexts and reasons for these gender-based stereotypes, if even just to touch on them briefly; there are obviously deep seated Darwinian or evolutionary reasons why this particular double standard has had such a stronghold on human society. A human male who is strong and tough, and handsome and attractive, to both men and women, and desired by many females portends a certain unspeakable but solidly entrenched strength, charm, physical and mental health, affability, ease and ability to get along and move around in a societal group and thus tends to equate to more security for the family, i.e. more guaranteed survival for himself and “his group”. A woman who is chaste and “virtuous”and committed to one man and her family and doesn’t spend time focusing on her looks or being attractive or taking action to be attractive to or be with a lot of male humans is reliable and trustworthy, and more importantly has allegedly spent that time building up the necessary skill sets to better take care of the home, the children, the community, the family…. i.e. she’s more reliable to guarantee the survival of the family either alone or partnered with a man. (Again, historically speaking… anthropologically speaking…) At the same time the male human is out hunting gathering bringing home food or (some form of) “money”, or some other “important commodity”. This renders the female a more reliable and desirable life mate for the guaranteed survival of the standard prototypical human family. These ideas, these deeply rooted subconscious concepts didn’t come out of nowhere, nor did they originate from some form of unfair gender bias; they naturally evolved from early humans observing what worked and didn’t work for the earliest human civilizations or tribal groups as they made their way through thousands of years of fighting for our very survival as a species.]
“The point is,” i commented to the guys in our ongoing discussion on Twitter, “we have a lot of work to do. 1. Just to reach gender equality. And 2, we have a lot of sorting out still to do of how to change all the verbiage that are norms in all the earth societies. And 3, we have to course-correct back to the middle from the extreme male hatred that has destroyed three generations of men in western society so they stop walking around feeling like villains just due to their association with history and older men in general.”
Obviously I digressed a bit here toward the end. But we’ll keep exploring. More later. Lots more. We’re still in the beginning of trying to integrate these various issues as a society. Regarding gender, I must admit I am exhausted by being a white straight male and the constant barrage of negativity that is thrown our way. Don’t get me wrong. I get that we still have it made compared to our female and black and brown and LGBTQ brothers and sisters…. It’s true.
But that heavy burly bear of shame and burden that now sits on our backs 24/7 placed there a few years ago by society and seems to apply to all of us no matter how young or old we are, no matter what generation we’re from, and no matter what we’ve ever done or not done acts as a constant reminder that there is something inherently wrong with us just because we were born white straight and male. It’s bothersome. It’s constant. It’s mentally and emotionally disturbing. It hurts.
A friend just sent us a note that 3 people in his backyard of Birmingham, Alabama were killed a few days back, one of them he knew going back a long time. Like many, his desperate plea is for prayers. Comforting maybe for the survivors, in the moment and on the surface, but clearly not a solution. Because the problem is only getting worse, despite all the best intentions of countless prayers. His message steeled my resolve even more. Thank you sharing this my fiend. It is with continued shock, grief and sorrow that we are once again reminded just how bad this crisis has become and just how important our mission is to stop it. This past year I have been slowly learning, realizing, that it doesn’t matter if we knew them or not, nor “how many”, nor if they were children or adults.
The tragedy is that we are forced to consider, and then attempt to qualify these different aspects of mass shootings on a near daily basis now. Which ones to highlight and report on. Which ones to make a big national deal out of… Child versus adult. How many. Did we know them. Where were they. As if one is better or worse than the other in some way…. When it is all terribly tragic, and worse perhaps, almost entirely preventable. The fact that if we blink, or take a day off, yet another, or five more, or ten more, transpire somewhere else in our nation that week. It is an endless parade of human loss and families destroyed now in America’s most personal and devastating war. I am so very sorry that this hit so close to home for you brother. Long bear hug, E
One of the most disturbing images that has burned itself into my memory is that of a weasly little man called Ted Cruz a few weeks back. One of the biggest impediments to stopping gun violence in America, he decides to show his face down in Uvalde, Texas… turn it into a political campaign event for himself.
A mass of reporters from other countries had flown in to the States to cover the story. One of them had the courage to ask Cruz, who is a senator of what’s turned into a mess of a country and therefore has some power to actually improve things for the shocked and devastated Americans, what he’s going to do about this latest mass shooting.
Cruz blusters around the issue claiming they need to “research it more”. The reporters all laugh. Because the answer was ridiculous. The idea that the United States needs to “research more” to stop mass murders instead of pass laws to stop them is a foolish one, either a silly attempt at deception of only the most intellectually compromised citizens, or the ramblings of a true idiot with limited mental capacity.
Cruz then goes on to mention “American Exceptionalism”, to which the whole gaggle of reporters start laughing. “How can you possibly justify American exceptionalism when your government permits these mass murders and won’t do anything to prevent them?” they ask. “I’m sorry you think American exceptionalism is funny” Cruz replies. As if he’s just delivered a winning jab at some junior high school political debate.
At this very moment all eyes and cameras abandoned the man, recognizing that he didn’t have anything substantive to add to the story nor the larger discussion about gun violence or mass shootings in America.
One can imagine foreign journalists and reporters discussing having to fly to America yet again to cover one of their incessant mass shootings. How they must be both shocked and entertained at the stupidity of the people. The conversations they must have amongst each other… “what did the Americans say this time? Will they finally start passing laws to prevent gun violence there?” “No, on the contrary. They want to pray more and increase guns in all their schools.”
See the New York Times article about New York congressman Chris Jacobs below.
THIS is what the WAR IN AMERICA on mass shootings and gun violence looks like. A Republican congressman from New York, saddened and shocked by the mass shooting and murder of 10 residents of his district in Buffalo felt that he “had no choice but to speak up and try to do something to stop this madness”. He received so much pushback, anger, hate mail, threats, and pulled support from the enemy, the NRA and the Republican corporation (yes, thinly disguised as a political party), that a week later he pulled out of the race completely. One man, who dared to be honest, be courageous, show that he has a heart and a conscience in that vicious Republican machine, and he’s gone. no longer will he do anything good or bad as a civil servant for the American people. He was shut up and put down like a dog in less than a week by the enemy. And he was on THIER side. So when people on the other side question you about America being at war, have faith, be brave, stand tall, know the facts are on your side. On OUR side. They’ll laugh. They’ll attempt to minimize the TWENTY (20) mass shootings we’ve had just this week in the United States. They’ll blame it on everything but free and easy legal access to guns. But you know better. This weekend we will create a quick and easy list to Share of the bills already proposed in congress and the Senate to become laws that would put an end to this madness overnight. And none of them involve “banning guns”. That is, again, just a talking point the enemy uses to confuse people so they’ll say things like “gosh I wish there was something we could do” or better yet hoping people will do nothing because they’re just too damn confused. Take heart. There is nothing difficult or confusing about this issue. It’s a simple fix. 💪
Annnnnnd… there’s another one. This is the 18th mass shooting since Uvalde, TX. 18 MASS SHOOTINGS IN A WEEK IN THE UNITED STATES. I said it a few days ago and I’ll keep saying it: AMERICA IS AT WAR. After last week’s Transcendence Diaries post about this subject a few people timidly emailed me to ask “what do you mean “at war”?” “Timidly” because most, if not all, Americans have been brainwashed and indoctrinated since birth to be scared sh*itless to talk about guns or gun laws. It’s a more delicate and tense subject than religion sex or politics. And that’s just how the enemy wants it to be. They want everybody to be scared to death of talking about guns. So nobody speaks up about. It’s not that people don’t care. They care. At least half the people care a lot. Polls show it’s a lot more. But it’s only half or less of the American population who have the courage to speak up about it. I witnessed it profoundly last week. Everybody who agreed or had an opinion about the issue and the essay and social media posts private messaged me or emailed me. Nobody wanted to comment or speak about their shock or horror or sadness publicly. And we are talking about WEEKLY MASS MURDER here. An entire population of 370 million people socially terrified to voice their concern their sadness or their shock about mass shootings in their own country or the mass proliferation of guns in their country or the barbaric and primitive near complete lack of laws governing guns. That’s a shocking reality. But it’s been beaten into the psyche of Americans for centuries. “Guns are a constitutional right and mass shootings are an inconvenient byproduct of that right. Deal with it. And if you find that odd or disturbing or surreal, well you must not be a patriotic American.” Even if you served in the military to defend your country you are still “unpatriotic” if you support gun safety legislation”. So we will keep saying it over and over and over. If AMERICA IS AT WAR, who’s fighting who? Who are WE? And who are WE at war with? WE are the American people. Any American citizen who finds our history our reputation and our present reality regarding guns and mass shootings barbaric, abominable, deeply disturbing, completely unnecessary and wants to change it. WHO are we at war with? WE ARE AT WAR with anyone who continues to stand in the way of the country’s desire and commitment to evolve and progress on this issue, and stop the weekly sometimes daily mass shootings in our streets. We are at war with the NRA. We are at war with the senators and congress people who are on the payroll of the NRA (nearly all of the Republican Party) and deliberately pass laws to make guns easier to get and own, OR overtly and proudly prevent laws from passing to control gun violence in America. The enemy uses every trick and strategy in the book to defeat us. They’re doing it now. As they always have. They deliberately mess with your mind. Do not let them. They are COUNTING ON your fear of speaking up. They are counting on appealing to your patriotism or “respect for those who have different viewpoints”. They want you to believe that “mass murders are just a different viewpoint”, that it’s THEIR RIGHT to defend guns and mass shootings. They’ll tell you that guns are their right. It’s in the constitution. Just like slavery. Just like “negroes are only 3/5ths human”. Just like “the right to steal the land of and kill so called “Indians” (this is the ignorance we are battling). Just like women not having the right to vote. Considering it’s despicable record on human rights, “American constitution” is the poorest excuse the enemy has to defend guns and mass killings, except the fact that they’re literally trying to defend GUNS AND MASS SHOOTINGS. The enemy will tell you that “guns aren’t the cause. Evil is”. No one of a rational reasonable even semi-intelligent mind need respond to that level of idiocy. The enemy will tell you that mental health is the cause of mass shootings and they want to improve it. But they don’t. They consistently defund it. The enemy will tell you that we need to create schools more like prisons in the United States, with steel doors and armed guards (with more guns) at all the entrances, but NOT do anything about the guns. The enemy is NOT our friend. They may be in our family. They may be part of our friends’ group. They may be our neighbor or go to our church. They may be “nice people”. But if they’re defending the mass proliferation of guns without laws or licenses or permits or background checks to buy or own them, they are NOT our friends. They are the enemy. If they are voting for or donating money to senators or congress people who deliberately prevent gun laws to protect us, they are NOT our friends. Be sad. This IS sad. It’s heartbreaking. But GET MAD. Do not be afraid. Do not be intimidated. Do not get sucked into “respectful debates about guns or gun laws” with these insane people. Those days are over. If you are tired if you are sick if you are repulsed and disturbed and shaken to your core by the constant parade of mass shootings in the United States and believe we needed to do something about it decades ago, GET MAD, STAY MAD, TAKE ACTION. EVERY DAY. We need to stop this madness. The reason we are at war is because the majority of us already know this. Do not be mislead. The enemy will continue to tell you you’re crazy for wanting gun laws until you’re kneeling in a street clutching your own murdered child. THAT is who they are. They’ll tell you they’re “sorry” and offer you “their prayers” but advise you that “we can’t take away their rights to freely buy and own as many guns as they want to and they don’t want to be boggled down by laws”. Do not listen to them. Do not debate with them. Do not believe you have some obligation to respect them. You ARE sane. The idea that you’re not just because you want to increase laws on gun control is extreme gaslighting. Don’t fall for it. America is at war. This is Week Two. TAKE MORE ACTION. We will win this war the same way we won emancipation of black people, or women’s right to vote, or civil rights, or hate crime laws, or equal rights for LGBTQ or Black Lives Matter . We WILL win this one too ✊🏽.