Manism

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“That’s the problem with classrooms, you can’t tell if they’re on the fucking internet.”

There’s nothing to explain except for the luciferous stare that emanates from every male eye as they take the fast train to self-destruction. There’s a big lump in every man’s throat when they walk into an empty house, and there’s a later experiment that gets tested. It’s primary hypothesis is that there are only so many women in the world that want men as their partners. What are the rest of the men supposed to do ?

Herein lies the rub. These men are subjected to find love in the oddest of places : a pub bathroom, a hardware store, or a prison cell. Men like each other’s company, but it remains to be seen how far they’ll go to obtain the coveted physical intimacy that they lack now that women are on the up-and-up in Western societies.

“It’s so fucking good. Style, everything. It’s fucking crazy !”

It’s bizarre and demoralizing to assume that the men who are left to fend for themselves on this earth are merely byproducts of feminism. They are the lost and forgotten few, and they’re no less human than the women who champion their own cause. Surely, not all of them are chauvinistic pigs.

 

“Manism” as defined by the urban dictionary : The law giving men the right to act as they please.

 

This is the epitome of chauvinism : Believing that the group one belongs to, be it of sex, creed, or color, is automatically superior to another’s.

Can feminism be chauvinistic ?

 

There’s Betty Friedan, the second-wave feminist that loved to hate on men. And there’s raunch culture that Betty Friedan could’ve never imagined. Girls Gone Wild, CAKE, Playboy… Did you know that  Christie Hefner ( Hugh Hefner’s daughter ) is the former CEO of Playboy ?

 

Enough about chauvinism. Let’s spell it out loud and clear : feminism is no more righteous than the Bush administration if the core tenets of it are to hate the other sex and not view them as Human.

National Marooned Without A Compass Day

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Alexander Selkirk might have a few words of advice on finding a sense of direction. We know that the sun rises in the east, and that moss grows on the north side of trees and rocks. Tides come and go. Wilderness camp taught us which way the wind blows.

In honor of National Marooned Without a Compass Day (November 6), we ponder the classic question: What would you do if you were stranded on a desert island ?

Would you stay and build an empire, or would you try to get back home at all costs ?

Certainly, a good book would be comforting (Robinson Crusoe is a personal favorite). Perhaps some music to listen to beneath the stars: Sinatra swooning from the gramophone, the waves crashing near your hut. Being deserted isn’t so disastrous after all. As light filters in from the slats in the roof of your straw abode, count the tallies next to your pine needle pillow. Just 49 days ago, you took everything for granted.

Do you dream of distant lands with “wild caught” shrimp dinners and tropical drinks with woody notes? Or do you savor the rare solitude, because your company, your family, and your crew can’t survive without your solid leadership? You are a rock, you are an island.

Beyond the obvious hardships of being stranded, there is a curious joy in discovering the unknown. We are reduced to our hunter-gatherer instincts, foraging for food like our bodies were built to do.  We remember minute details of our former lives, like the initials carved into the doorframe on move-out day, or the smell of mom’s oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. These are the things we miss, but they’re also the things we learn to live without. For what is life but an extended memory test?

The Cracks in the Earth

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Obsession is the non-comittal spine that takes steady, springing steps into the world of mystery. It plunges. It’s what makes people unexpectedly sign themselves up for a state of mind that erases all logic, harkening back to the dark ages. Cat, dog, sister, brother, lover, friend. The choices may vary, but the end result is the same : intense immersion of one’s inner world with that of another’s. 

On the edge of human consciousness, there lies a discursive utterance that illuminates the cracks in the Earth. It shines a light on the things we love, the things we hate, and all the mistakes that led us a step in the wrong direction, rupturing reality with our hard soles.

Walk across the street and find a woman hopelessly in love with her cat. When she concerns herself with it’s needs and wants, the flame of her desire burns brighter than ever. On the other side of the pond, a painter preoccupies himself with the exact shade of ashen blonde to stroke on the canvas portrait of his latest flame. She is distant and cold, he is sizzling like a steak on a stovetop. All truths will eventually reach their final destination.

Obsession is a motivator, an impetus for change. Nothing is as powerful as all-consuming contemplation. The crystallized notion of your beloved is as real as the fire in your bones. You would do anything–anything–to experience character and body, shape and structure. This is the time when exercise sounds reasonable, eating sounds absurd, and sleep is silly. Because what could be better than a fantastical world where the hunt and the chase are endlessly synonymous ?

Pourquoi écrire / Why Write

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“Je crois qu’on écrit pour créer un monde dans lequel on peut vivre… Voila je pense la raison de tout oeuvre d’art… Nous écrivons pour transcender notre vie. Nous écrivons pour agrandir le monde que nous trouvons étouffante. Si vous ne respirez pas en écrivant, si vous ne chantez pas en écrivant, alors n’écrit pas.” – Anonyme

“I think we write to create a world in which we can live… I think that’s the reason for all works of art… We write to transcend our life. We write to expand a world in which we feel stifled. If you don’t breath when you write, if you don’t sing when you write, then don’t write.” – Anonymous

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Listening to France Inter today, I heard this quote from an unknown writer. The show focussed on Anais Nin’s work, reading excerpts from different poets and writers.

WordPress is your escape from a world of people that don’t write. They don’t notice the same things you do, and they aren’t impassioned by the written word. Your blog and your writing are a way to relate to others, to help you formulate your thoughts better. Without them, you wouldn’t be able to speak as well. Your craft helps you develop opinions, think things through, and make connections between seemingly unrelated ideas.

If you’re a writer, you’re constantly looking for that missing something. No piece is ever perfect. You draft, rewrite, and finally publish it, exposing something you’re scared will never be good enough. Without that hint of fear, though, no one would ever progress. The greater the fear, the greater the gain.

Tonight, this morning, this afternoon, do something that scares you. It could be going out alone, cooking a new dish, or calling someone you aren’t very close with. The more you push yourself out of your comfort zone, the further your comfort zone will be.

 

Second Time Around: Harry Potter Fever

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Harry Potter (character)

Harry Potter (character) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The words “Harry Potter” inspire a morbid cliche in myriad people’s minds: a boy with an eggplant cape, ugly glasses, and a broom who is persecuted for being “different”. This series struck a chord with me long before Harry, Ron and Hermione ever became part of pop culture. Oddballs, eccentrics, and outsiders are among the most likely to identify with Harry’s harrowing tale. I was all three of those growing up.

I started reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone when I was 8 years old. I proceeded to read it 8 times and would fall asleep with the illustrated characters’ faces by my side. The fantasy world Rowling allowed me to escape in was my favorite because it was a progression from the one I was in. The human chess games, the boarding school setting, and the intricate plot line about “The Boy Who Lived” had me hooked from the start. Each time I reread the books, I notice a new theme, underlying motif, and latent character development. Reading these books is akin to taking loo powder and disappearing through a fireplace.

The rest of the series was far more intense than the opener. I read the 2nd book 5 times, the 3rd book 4 times, the 4th book 4 times, the 5th book 5 times, the 6th book 3 times, and the 7th book twice. I had a themed blanket and pillow, and I even waited at midnight one night to get the 5th book as soon as it came out.

For a children’s series that’s known outrageous success via movie sales, book sales, and other merchandise, Harry Potter has more substance to it than any other series I know, except perhaps the LOTR books. College courses like “Psychology of Harry Potter” and “Religious Symbols in Harry Potter” are cropping up all over the place, proving that children’s literature is more than just a rite of passage.

With an entire shelf devoted to Rowling, my Harry Potter Fever, though greatly diminished since my adolescent days, lives on.