Saturday, July 23, 2011

Music Month Continues: Sometimes There's A Man . . .

The Almighty Yojo has whipped up another collage of sound for your listening enjoyment, and if you're not careful, you might learn something (that's actually not true). This song was inspired by a man named Percy Harrison Fawcett-- and when I use the word "man" in reference to him, I am referring to his character, not his gender. Do not be fooled by his rather soft-sounding name (we might say the same about G:TB contributor Whitney . . . but we might not). Percy had some serious testosterone coursing through his body; just take a look at his mustache.

I learned about Fawcett's adventures while reading a book called The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon Forest. I highly recommend the book, but it will make you feel like a pansy (except for Iron-man Danimal). Fawcett spent a large portion of his life traipsing into uncharted reaches of the Amazon, confronting hostile cannibals while searching for lost cities and treasure. Most of the men who accompanied him died, and he eventually vanished in somewhere in the jungle, never to be heard from again.

This raises the question: what does it mean to be a man? While most of us aren't as profoundly macho as Percy Fawcett, there does seem to be a vein of bravado that runs through all of us men; though each man's particular expression of machismo occupies a different spot on the masculinity continuum-- whether it be the epic adventures of Christopher McCandless (Into the Wild) or the mundane daring of Tony Hawks (Round Ireland with a Fridge) or even the quest for "More Power!" of Tim "The Toolman" Taylor.

But there does seem to be a common thread among these various endeavors: women generally don't do shit like this.

There are exceptions, of course-- the book The Wilder Shores of love: The Exotic True-Life Stories of Isabel Burton, Aimee Dubucq de Rivery, Jane Digby, and Isabell Eberhardt recounts the lives of four rather macho and adventurous women-- but I think in this case the exception proves the rule: it's hard to find women this cavalier.

The manly streak that unites us doesn't seem to be particularly advantageous to our survival; in fact, the war, violence, fighting, stunts, piracy, gambling, crime, gluttony, substance abuse, hazing, and generally retarded behavior that men participate in every day is certainly detrimental to living a long and stable life on planet earth . . . but maybe machismo, like the peacock's tail, helps with sexual selection . . . in other words, if these behaviors don't kill us, they might impress some woman-- she might consider such excessively stupid behavior as a sign of virility and thus allow us access to what Laertes refers to as his sister Ophelia's "chaste treasure."

But I doubt it. The truth is this: there's something wrong with men, and this song celebrates it.

Sometimes There's A Man by The Density

Thanks to all my colleagues for contributing words of wisdom-- especially Stacy, who had a lot to say on this subject, perhaps because she dates the manliest of men: Ed.

Thanks also to Al Pacino, Mr. T, The Dude, Mickey Rourke, Sylvester Stallone, Sterling Hayden, Kevin Costner, Cheech Marin, Will Ferrell, Mark McKinney, and Kevin Spacey.

Sometimes There's A Man

What does it mean to be a man? Does anybody know?
Do you have to walk in the jungle all alone?

Do you have to frequent prostitutes? Drink cheap beer until you puke?
Baby . . . I think so . . .

What does it mean to be a man? Does anybody know?
Do you have to heft a rock to throw?
Do you have to bet it all on the river card? Get in a bar fight to prove you’re hard?
Do you need hair up and down your back? Grow a beard like a lumberjack?
Do you have to build a shed behind your house? Repeatedly cheat on your spouse?
Do you have to mastermind a genocide? Kill a bunch of people in the country side?
Do you have prove yourself on the football field? Travel to the Yukon to club a seal?
Buy a gold-plated Rolex watch? Grab your balls and adjust your crotch?
Do you have to buy a gun and hunt big game? Get real drunk and feel ashamed?
Swear you’ll never do it again . . . get up the next day and repeat the same.
Do you have to build an atomic bomb? Seek revenge like in Wrath of Khan?
Do you need to disarm an IED? Urinate behind a tree?
Baby . . . I think so.

Where did it go? Where has it gone?
You're feeling so low. Your essence is gone.

What does it mean to be a man? Does anybody know?

Do you have to kill the whole pigeon flock? Merge the company, buy the stock?
Kill the guards with a stolen Glock? Learn to lay a piece by Bach?
Escape from chains by picking a lock? Put your wedding ring in hock?
Laugh real hard at Red Foxx and his dummy son Lamont . . .
Baby . . . I think so . . .

A few rabid fans asked me if I could include the best lyric that didn't make the cut, and I'm happy to oblige them:

Do you have to write a thick book like Norman Mailer?
Or step into a pitch just like Don Baylor?

P.S. I am hoping that Zman writes a sequel to this post, where he actually creates a "masculinity continuum" graphic.

If you tackle this, Zman, I would like to request plot points for the following: 1) ledge diving 2) completing the Iron Man triathlon 3) Tabasco shots 4) streaking 5) tearing down a fence 6) ripping out a stump 7) eating "the grande" at La Tolteca.


rob said...

there's a city of z in the amazon? i need to find that place; i'd be welcomed as a king.

zman said...

King Figliano the First?

Whitney said...

Don Draper should make that list.

As should the Village People.

Dave said...

the village people will occupy an answer plot oint on zman's masculinity continuum chart.

zman said...

The continuum continues to expand.

Whitney said...

Amy Winehouse, dead. Maybe rehab was something to consider.

Almighty Yojo said...

perhaps i meant: the village people will occupy an interesting plot point on zman's masculinity continuum graph-- tey were far more daring than the relatively strait laced don draper (although he does like his trips down to the village . . . and when i say down to the village, the village people interpret that far differently than don draper).

Danimal said...

Was going to put her on my death list I'm '12. Idiot.

Danimal said...

In 2012.

rob said...

wait, almighty yojo and dave are the same person? the hell?

zman said...

The continuum includes both actions and people. Can a continuum have two axes?

Mark said...

This is all very confusing. In related news, I went to a surprise 30th bday party for one of my friends who's a pro surfer. I got drunk with a bunch of his colleagues I "kind of" know. I may have filled the awkward silences with gulps of beer too often.

Whatever, I was just taking advantage of my pregnant designated driver for the first time. Totally acceptable.

Whitney said...

I know G:TB is the last place in the 'sphere you want to see commentary on current events, but here's a quick take: if you have a cause, and many of you do, the absolute quickest way to have the world dismiss your entire viewpoint as fringe bullshit "fuck those idiots" is to go shoot up a bunch of children. Good luck with your mission, Christians from Norwegia. I only hope fundamental Christians warrant the same profiling that the Muslims get.

rob said...

hear, hear

and speaking of bullshit, our house of representatives is at present a shining example of egregious dereliction of duty. a pox on the raging incompetents that have carried us this close to financial chaos in the name of political point-scoring.

Mark said...

I couldn't agree more with both points.

I'm also half drunk and kind of excited about this Judah-Khan match on HBO.

zman said...

Was that a nut shot?

rob said...

if you're talking about tour de france spandex scrotum shots, the answer is yes

zman said...

Amir khan sounds like spud from trainspotting.

Igor said...

The front page of the local sports section had this from venerable columnist Bob Molinaro:

Not so fast: Kevin Kolb and the Philadelphia Eagles seem to be in agreement that the backup quarterback must be traded (most likely to Arizona). But if I were the Eagles, I wouldn't do it. Not with Michael Vick one scramble away from injury.

I believe Kolb counts $6.7 million against the Eagles' cap this year, and they actually owe him even more than that. Though the Eagles have more cap room than some, that's an enormous consideration. To pretend they're trading Kolb because he wants out or simply because he is expendable is misleading and ignorant. Just stupid.

TR said...

All this Robbie Alomar chatter and not one spitting comment to be found on the reputable web sites. Sham on you, journalists.

And Pat Gillick? Really?

TR said...

I will probably never effort up the "Fred McGriff deserves to be in the HoF" post at some point, but it's a crime. Dude batted .284 with 493 HRs, 1550 RBIs and 1349 runs. 100 RBIs eight times, 30 HRs nine times. Tremendous consistency in the pre-roids era.

Mark said...

And he made Tom Emanski loads of money.

rob said...

tr would have received more points for that comment had he worked 'dog' in along with 'crime'. so close.

Dave said...

i am betting lecompt plays "rehab" tonight at the springfield.

Whitney said...

Dammit, Rob. Beat me to it.

Whitney said...

TR, the spitting incident was mentioned in what I read. In fact, it was somewhat blamed for Alomar not getting inducted last year. What those writers failed to recognize was that it was his stint as a Met, the way he fell off the table and into a garbage chute and on into a sewer, and the coverage he received on a G:TB sister blog that kept him out.