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On Being a Man

When I was a "soon to be" father, one of my biggest fears was that I would do a prat fall down the stairs while holding the baby. I couldn't get the image out of my mind, and it seems all too plausible and a fated certainty.

Now that Kelvin is reaching the stage where he is clearly absorbing everything we do, it seems like I should be more terrified and obsessed over my own behavior than I am. Realizing this has turned into a self-fufilling prophecy where I am terrified that I am ill researched to behave infront of my own child.

The New Yorker this week had an article trying to figure out why so many young men in my generation choose to stay at home, seemingly, refusing to "grow up".

One of their hypothesis was that the rise of feminism and its subsequent scrubbing of dickish bully behavior from the workplace was a contributing factor. The idea being, that when the powerful jerks can be openly mean and demanding of others, it motivates the lowly "men" to want to succeed and be that dick.

On first glance it seems pretty fishy, if only because men blaming feminism for vague things is such an old saw... But after watching a couple episodes of Mad Men, it seems undeniable that the modern office place has definitely changed dramatically as an ecosystem.

So, I'm not willing to reject their hypothesis completely. In fact, by playing devil's advocate, and saying "Okay, what if that's true?" led me eventually to the question of "What does it mean to be a man?"

Obviously, watching my wife become pregnant and then a mother has made this question of more interest to me, since the identity of "mother" has several very clear and unchangeable markers to it.

But recursing to the question of "what does it mean to be a father", my immediate response given the last 10 months, is that modern society expects us to act as essentially "backup boobless mommies". Which is a bit like being a surgeon with no thumbs. Sure you can still help around the hospital, dabbing at foreheads with tenuously gripped cloths and helping to type up paperwork. But at the end of the day, you don't ever perform any surgery.


Sexy Schism

So, I post a lot about my confusion over the seeming 50/50 divide in this country. I understant that there will always people who vote differently than me, and that's fine, the thing that bothers me is my inability to *understand* why they voted that way.

In a country where one half honestly thinks the other half is not sane and vice-versa, it seems the ideal situation to brew an inherent lack of empathy for the other side that, well, terrifies me.

I've posted some hypothesis before, but the first issue of The New Yorker this month had an interesting article entitled Red Sex, Blue Sex which discuss some of the stark differences in sexual perceptions which seem to have a close correlation to both religious and political views.

And while this may not be the magic bullet, I find it plausible that the average abstinence-only educated teenager and a liberal teenager from another state might have fundamental issues relating to one another. Especially when, on average, the former becomes pregnant within a few months of becoming sexually active, and the latter considers teenage pregnancy both irresponsible and a life ruining event which they attempt to avoid until financially comfortable.

If anything, it at least helps to explains why abortion has become such a point of friction between the two sides, when, on it's face, it really doesn't seem like the sort of thing that should get so much mindshare. But if there really is a war of ideology over how much control a woman should have over becoming pregnant, and all the life (and perspective) altering results which stem from that decision, it all starts making more sense to me...


For all those who miss obsessively staring into my eyes as I stare into a computer screen, you'll be glad to know that I have replaced my busted webcam with a new one.

For those who didn't miss it, I will attempt to enjoy your shrug of disinterest.


I give you a celebratory video link.

Cassandra tells it all

So, every Obama supporter I talk to seems to believe that a fair election is no longer possible, and that's why they are worried about tonight.

4 years ago, when Bush got (oh my god I just threw-up in my mouth) re-elected, I blogged this: Greek Tragedy.

And I've begun to wonder if that title wasn't a bit on the nose, as it really seems that a lot of Democrats, myself included have developed an acute Cassandra complex these last 4 years.

I mean, I know 4 years ago when Bush got (aaaahh!) re-thingied, that I immediately knew the country was gunna continue in its shitter-bound arc . So after having to watch these past years, our prophesied doom slowly come to light in more scandals than my brain can hold at one time, would it be any wonder that we might not project ourselves as the poor little princess who was cursed to never be listened to?

My hope, if our guy get's elected, that we all throw that mantle away permanently, rather than embracing it , by, say, obsessive hand-wringing about when and where some theoretical nut with a gun will take their shot at our generation's Kennedy.

Because part of feeling like you're not being listened to is pretending you aren't at all responsible for the outcome.

And while the impotent democratic congress has really angered me these past years, regardless of presidential outcome, if those limp-dicked fuckers don't stand up and put up a proper fight these next few years I swear I'll change my voter registration from Democratic!

And since that last bit didn't sound grand enough maybe I'll take a dump on stage at my regional caucus (which I attended this year, and it's actually an interesting story), what does Robert's Rules of Order tell you to do in that event Mr Parliamentarian Officer? (Hopefuly a different Parliamentarian Officer than last year, because he stopped by my house door-knocking and seemed really nice.)