Gladiators

Posted: February 13, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Something that every boy thinks about at some point is what it takes to be a man. Lots of cultures have some sort of stepping stone. The Jews have the Bar Mitzvahs. That’s where you gather up everyone you know, they give you presents, then you spit in Yiddish onto an old book of advice thousands of years old. You can’t not spit speaking Yiddish. I think spitting on itself means “good morning, well wishes” in Yiddish. There are some tribes in the world where it takes getting circumcised to become a man. Others where you have to kill a lion. What if while attacking the lion he claws off your foreskin then you kill him? Does that make you double man? As uncivilized as this seems, there needs to be some sort of passage to adulthood for everyone. Something that proves to us that we are now men.

First in order to know what it takes to be a man, you must know what a man is. A man is a male with a bigger penis then a 10-year-old. Yep, that’s it.

Now that you know what a man is we can go onto how to make a man. In Western cultures there are a few options when you officially cross-over to being a man. The most obvious is the first time a boy has sex. That makes you a man, right? Getting a girl to drink beer and pass out? That’s so easy! Girls love beer and other alcoholic beverages. The moment a girl becomes an alcoholic is when they realize their life might be worthless if they don’t give birth. And giving birth is a horrendously disturbing moment. Something THAT big has to come out of something this big? Ummm, no. Another passage to manhood could be when a boy turns 18. All he has to do is survive puberty. That doesn’t seem fair. There are plenty of wimps who do that. It’s like graduating high school. Anybody can do that. Show up and you’ll graduate. Show up and don’t be drunk I should say. Principals are kind of dicks about that. The only other thing I can think of that we see as making an adult is when we vote. I don’t think that’s right at all. Making a decision makes you a wrong decision makes you a man? All 18 year olds do anyway is vote for the Democrats. I think it’s funny when Republicans win. Have you been to a mall? It’s filled with 18 year olds. How do the Democrats not completely overrun this country? Old people can’t control their bladders but they can get in their cars, run over a pedestrian, and cast their ballot for an old white Republican. Voting is easy. If you’re under 50, vote Democratic. Over 50, vote Republican. Then we’ll get a tie and the candidates can possibly battle it out, like gladiators.

I had a girl once say to me that she wished more men were like real men. I took off the sundress I was wearing and sat down next to her to hear more. She explained that to her a real man was a guy who would sacrifice himself for her. A man who feared nothing. A man with honor. She said her ideal man was Maximus from the movie Gladiator. Huh? A fictional character who can’t protect his family and ends up getting killed by Joaquin Phoenix? That’s not a man. Joaquin Phoenix stinks. He stabbed stupid Maximus, who by the way wasn’t very loyal to his dead wife since he started falling for that other lady, and killed him. How does a man with a name that starts with a “J” yet is pronounced like a “W” kill you? I heard that Joaquin doesn’t even kill spiders when he finds them yet dumb Russell Crowe manages to go through all the shit he did to get stabbed by Joaquin, who if you remember wasn’t even very well-trained. Maximus was a well-trained soldier and Joaquin was a gay prince or whatever his title was. Russell Crowe should have let himself die right away and he would have saved a lot of aggravation for everybody. Oh, you might say he saved the dumb kid from his evil uncle but remember, that kid now has to live with seeing his uncle stabbed to death in front of him. That is damaging. Maximus was not a real man. He was a slave named after the butt muscle.

I’ve told you what a man isn’t and I’m still no real closer to finding out what really does make a man. Is it the power in his hand? Or his quest for glory? It’s not really something we need to think about all that much. One day you probably wake up and just are a man. But why the rush to being known as a man? Men pay taxes. They work 40+ hours a week. They drink because they can’t stand their wives. They have to shave every morning. They tuck their shirts in. Men hold doors open for women. Men also don’t care about the feelings of others. This being a man thing sounds so complicated. Best course of action, be mature. Worst course of action, get killed by the brother in Signs.

“Do you like movies with gladiators?” – an airplane pilot asked me this once

Comments
  1. Cafe23 says:

    Hahahaha –> “I took off the sundress I was wearing and sat down next to her to hear more.”

    Hilarious. Okay, firstly Gladiator is top three movies of all time on my list. LOVE The Gladiator =P

    Secondly, this is a really interesting question. What does make a man a man? In my opinion, as a woman, what makes a man a man is when he can make his own decisions despite all of the peer pressure (which apparently doesn’t end when you’re in high school). And it is when he does understand what it means to take care of a woman, because quite frankly that seems to be a serious challenge for many guys. I honestly don’t even mean to be stereotypical about it.

    I’m sure there’s a lot more that goes into being a man but to me those two things are up there from my biased female point of view 😉

    • mooselicker says:

      Can’t say I disagree. Mostly I guess it’s being able to take care of yourself and those around you? Or at least the woman you’re with and the children she forces upon you into your life.

      Gladiators aren’t men though. We know that. If they had any skill they wouldn’t have been captured.

      • Cafe23 says:

        Yes, I agree with the first thing you said lol.

        Haha, I never thought about gladiators that way. C’mon, Maximus was totally defenseless though when he got captured!

  2. Addie says:

    I always wondered if the translation from Hebrew to English was, “You will have bad luck for life if you spit on this book.”

  3. http://allpoetry.com/poem/8445295-If….-by-Rudyard_Kipling

    This is what popped into my head at the mere mention of becoming a man. It gives you all the answers in one simple poem. So, according to the poem, I must not know any men. haha!

    See if you pass the test.

    • mooselicker says:

      I’m almost afraid to look. Is there anything about being very frightful? If so, I’m a manly man. I will look later when less bosses are spying on me at work.

      I never knew Jungle Book dude was a poet.

  4. Lily says:

    Hahah Signs. For some reason that movie scared me. And then I saw the Alien at the end and I realized it was super lame. I can’t believe you didn’t mention Joaquin’s hair lip. I’m forever fascinated by it.
    Well according to the Disney movie, Mulan, the song “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” states that you have to be “as swift as a coursing river, with all the force of a great typhoon, with all the strength of a raging fire, mysterious as the dark side of the moon.” I mean, they’re words to live by really.

    • mooselicker says:

      Isn’t the moon itself mysterious enough? Chinese people seem too strict on what makes a man.

      I’m not exactly sure what a hair-lip is. I thought Joaquin was always just blowing kisses to fans.

  5. I think being able to stay awake through Gladiator is a rite of passage. And Don Draper is apparently a man, but I’d say he’s a jerk. A jerk with a little…je ne sais quoi. I just want him to get his sh-t together and love like he’s meant to! Maybe being a man is being withholding. Those men are dumb.

    • mooselicker says:

      Maybe being a man is as simple as smoking at work? I’ve never seen Mad Men but that’s apparently the biggest controversy with it. That men on a TV show do what men in real life used to 50 years ago…

  6. People slagging off Maximus and Don Draper? It makes me want to cry.

    A real man is when you can go on a scout camp and not care about washing for a few days. The more things you set on fire, the more of a man you are.

    • mooselicker says:

      And being able to admit that you go to a scout camp makes you all the man too. It shows you’re comfortable with your sexuality. You can sword fight all night but it doesn’t mean you’re not a man since it is scout camp afterall.

  7. Addie says:

    Penis envy has nowt to do with glass ceilings (well, if they are in the bathroom, maybe)–it’s about the manly ability to wee anywhere. ANYwhere.

  8. Pete Howorth says:

    Maximus is definitely a man, being a man isn’t staying faithful to one woman, being a man is getting rid of a tattoo by digging a blade in your arm.

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