Saturday, October 19, 2013

Dude, Grow Up! - The Infantalization of the American Male

Help Control the Dude Population, Have Your Frat Boys Spayed or Neutered

A Grumpy Old Man Post ©

“Lather was thirty years old today.
They took away all of his toys.
His mother sent newspaper clippings to him,
About his old friends who'd stopped being boys.” – Grace Slick

“I won't grow up,
I don't want to wear a tie.
And a serious expression
In the middle of July….
Never gonna be a man, I won't!
Like to see somebody try and make me…
I'll never grow up, never grow up, never grow up
Not me, Not I” – Carolyn Leigh

I’m hesitant to Benedict Arnold my own species, my own genus, my own gender but… let’s face the ugly and honest truth, modern American men do not grow up.  A mature male “stars and striper” is a rarer phenomenon than a college graduate at a Tea Party rally, a clever line in a Chuck Lorre sitcom, a Palin purchasing contraceptives, or an organic fruit bowl at a Monsanto reception.  For some difficult to determine, but definitively post-World War II period, we XYs have heeded the lyrics of Mr. Zimmerman, and we may stay forever young. The Toms, Dicks, Harrys, Ethans and Aidans of the lower 48, plus Alaska and Hawaii, will ever reside in Neverland.

It’s the End of the World as We Know it

The responsible, self-reliant, independent American adult male has gone the way of the travel agent, Intellivision, Daniel J. Travanti, the compassionate Republican, the intelligent Republican, the charitable Republican and an audience for NBC – something now long extinct. Rather, we have devolved into a nation of beer-guzzling, pot-smoking, video game-playing, eternal frat boys in search of their man caves.

Modern Man Casual Wear
And what in Great Caesar’s Ghost (thank you, Perry White) is a man cave anyway, from whence does that terminology arise? If I see another 45 year old, father of two Sales Rep. on House Hunters rebuff possible and promising abodes protesting, bemoaning and almost tearfully decrying the lack of wall acreage to hang his 60 inch 3D LED TV or the insufficient space for the foosball table and kegerator he shares with his bros on the weekend; while his wife, by law, but his mother-figure, in practice, silently contemplates the potential damage of divorce on the future of their offspring,  I’m likely to go all Elvis on my own Samsung 1080i.

Instead of the fictional phraseology, “man cave” from here forward we shall refer to the babyish barricade in more valid verbiage – as a fort, a boy fort, your “He-Man Woman Haters Club.” Spare the basement or the extra room in the split level from your Delta House doings and instead build a tree house. Build a tree house in your backyard, adorn the exterior with a “no girls allowed” sign, and make sure, as is prerequisite, that the “s” is printed backwards. Now, feel free to flee family and commitment for your devoted and most faithful and fidelis paramours, your man/boyhood companions in childishness.

Friends, I know of what I speak for I am nycityman, and like the abject wretches already alluded too, also, a modern American male, remaining immature and juvenile far past the suitable expiration date. But, unlike so many others, I have the advantage of years and life experience, and so the ability to acknowledge and accept the frequent faults innate to arrested adolescence, feel appropriately remorseful and attempt to adjust conduct accordingly. Thus, for example, the boorish and interminably, irritating annoyance “dude” will never be present in any sentence, exclamation or utterance in any era in which I am still of sound mind, without threat of life, limb or property. I am not a dude. You are not a dude. This is not a ranch, and we are hardly cowpoke.

Modern Man Office Wear
Like Dr. Frankenstein, Let’s Make You a Man

If, as they say, it is indeed accurate that clothes make the man, then let us commence our metamorphosis with an examination and replacement of present infantile apparel, which begs the query – just when did mankind as a classification, and as a social animal, deteriorate to the degree that shorts and flip flops could be considered respectable and accepted adult male attire, fitting for any time of year, for any occasion or for any destination – be it church, work, weddings, theatre, dinner or dates?

Please purchase the following three necessary articles of clothing - some real shirts, some real shoes, and some real pants. Perplexed, dude? I will clarify. Shirts for grown-ups generally have buttons, collars and long sleeves, and should not and will not include weak witticisms, such as, “I’m with stupid,” “free mustache rides,” nor the logo featuring the prime product produced by your favorite brewery.

Shoes should be manufactured from leather, not plastic or rubber, and contain within, the entire foot. Do not arrive at my office or to the adjoining table at my favored brasserie in footwear designed for running along the beach in the opening credits of Baywatch.

Lastly, but no less essential, by “pants” we are looking for legs that will extend beyond the knee, and reach completely down to brush the top of your newly acquired, and always polished, Florsheims.

Modern Man Formal Wear

Should we American men continue upon our current course, rejecting maturity, and refusing behavioral responsibility, dependability or conscientiousness what is the hope for the successful future of our country and society? If we remain continually a Republic of children endlessly entranced by Grand Theft Auto we will lose out in this global economy and competitive world to men from other nations whose cultures demand, despite the pain and difficulty sometimes involved, that they genuinely reflect their correct chronology. With a land full of mostly Adam Sandler-esque man/boys who, no matter the age or generation, always feel, if push comes to shove and the need arises, they can still move back home with Mommy and Daddy, even if the folks are now requiring the use of Hoverounds and Acorn Stair Lifts (actually, mores the better as those needed medical appliances can now serve as new playthings for the re-nested) the recently exhibited Tea Party political behaviors and strategies of holding one’s breath, stamping one’s feet and weeping in spoiled frustration will become de rigueur deportment, and an expected element in this realm of supposed Exceptionalism.

American Man Then
American Man Now

You read the lyrics at the outset, now enjoy the songs, as we close with Jefferson Airplane performing “Lather,” and from the musical Peter Pan, “I Won’t Grow Up.”

Any comments, questions, criticisms, compliments, candid confessions, cash contributions? Contact me at butchersaprons@mail.com.

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