The Struggle is Real, The Effort Worthwhile

It’s summertime up here in the Northern Hemisphere. Despite the countless joys that arrive with the season, for many of my female friends it is a mixed blessing. Their eagerness to bring out those light, cute, and comfortable outfits ready-made for the warm weather, or to sun bathe in a swimsuit at the beach is tempered by the frequency they are subjected to creepy, unwanted advances from sexually aroused males. The worst of these are the drive-by catcalls from men who can’t help but enthusiastically let a woman know she is the apple of their eye, telling her as much by imploring her to sit on their face or shake her tits.   

This sort of male misbehaviour is rooted in the belief that women are always signalling the degree of sexual attention they want from men. By outwardly, enthusiastically showing their arousal, so it goes, these men are fulfilling their role, which is to flatter the woman for a job well-done. In the not-too-distant past, this “taunt and react” dynamic was touted as a normal, functional way of mediating sexual relations. In reality, it led to legions of women being sexually assaulted and raped by men socialized to believe their entitlement to sex was affirmed by the clothes a woman wore. 

In the eighties, when I came of age, there were cultural memes predicated on packs of guys “cruising” in cars with the top down on a Saturday night howling and jeering as they drove past a throng of gals. For their part, the women would bat their lashes in response to the ape-like affections of the men, which were sought after and desired. Thanks to popular culture, which depicted every encounter between men and women as a spar with a sexual sub-text, there are generations of men conditioned to believe the only reason women wear clothes, or do anything for that matter, is to attract the sexual attentions of a man. At the heart of these outmoded ideas is an obsession with what women wear. The old assumption is that women who wear provocative clothing are revealing something meaningful about their sexual inclinations. It is a sad, lingering relic of a bygone era.

I won’t deny it. Because I am a flesh and blood heterosexual man with a functioning set of eyes, when an attractive woman wearing clothing that flatters her impressive features passes my gaze, there is an instant, biologically-predetermined reaction. It hails from a relatively primitive part of our evolutionary brain – the limbic system. There’s an instinctive part of me that instantly craves to ogle, to leer, or to fuck, urges which I am aware conflict with the ardent feminist I aspire to be. 

That insight arises in the blink of an eye, rousing my pre-frontal cortex, which kicks in and subsumes the urge to beat my chest – or beat something else – beneath the thought, “Ahem, your leering and your thoughts are verging on the ungentlemanly. Cut it out.” Most days this tack works. When it doesn’t instantly kick in, and I catch myself leering maybe a little longer than I consider to be civilized, I say a metaphysical “Sorry ladies,” and implore myself to keep my head in the game. 

Thankfully, the pre-frontal cortex (PFC) is synthesizing these ethical intentions into a set of guidelines to help me conduct myself in a civilized way. The PFC is the part of our brains that distinguishes humans as the most intelligent beings on the planet, despite certain striking instances to the contrary. In the throes of a carnal response to the physical presence of an attractive woman, the PFC stirs me to behave as if I really believed a woman ought to be treated like a human being, rather than as a living, breathing wank machine. When my limbic system protests against the PFC’s civilizing dictates, the PFC overrules it. 

The important thing to note is the emotional interplay between the two parts of the brain arising from the same sexual impulse. This reality refutes those who posit that men’s sexual behaviour is pre-determined as residing in one part of the brain versus the other. That is false. There is a dynamic between the parts of the brain which males must gain mastery of if they intend to behave in sexually appropriate ways. The lynchpin here is to have the intention to behave appropriately in the first place. 

Assuming the good intention exists, the key to the PFC gaining primacy in this inner conflict is to ensure a conscious effort to impart the lessons about appropriate standards of behaviour towards women routinely occurs. The curriculum to which males appeal to shape their values in these matters is significantly influenced by the culture. Unfortunately, if the culture harbours unhealthy sexual norms, then society teaches, reinforces, and perpetuates sexually unhealthy behaviours among its men. Depending on the culture, the curriculum by which boys are taught to become men may be dreadfully flawed. If a culture lacks the ethical intention to treat women as equals, the motivation to evolve commensurate behaviours is not instilled in individual males.  

We may say we live in an “individualistic” society, but in truth, how men behave towards women is greatly influenced by the culture in which they live. Through sexist media and social structures our culture is constantly modelling for boys and young men a particularly sexist way of relating to girls and women. On the other hand, there is an expectation that men become individuals who behave differently than the culture that reared them in their private sexual interactions with women. It’s a sociological fact that the transmission of feminist cultural ideals must actually be observed in the culture if the aim is to ensure they are adopted and exemplified by a society’s males. A sexist culture creates sexist individuals. It’s an axiom we cannot ignore if we want men to do the right thing in their private encounters with women.  

In some cultures, awareness of the intense inner struggle between primal urges and moral conduct acts as a cautionary tale. A society’s males, seeking to conduct themselves with moral rectitude, become wary of the mere existence of these internal battles, which they sense can go either way. That fear fuels notions about how the struggle itself is the fault of women; it feeds the idea women must take ownership of the sexual animus they trigger in men. These ideas sustain cultural practices – usually in the form of religious codes – that dictate women dress and behave modestly. It’s a cultural sleight-of-hand that shifts the burden away from a society’s men so that women ultimately become responsible for moderating the degree of male sexual arousal in a society. 

This is a puerile resolution to the inner struggle of a society’s males, because it discourages each individual man from learning at an early age how to process and regulate their sexually-charged emotions. Our culture’s mixed signals about what constitutes sexually appropriate behaviour is a serious psycho-social issue that needs to be acknowledged and properly addressed. This will ensure there are fewer victims of sexual crimes by inculcating a culture of men with emotional intelligence, who are capable of exerting a degree self-control that discourages their sexual misconduct. 

In this respect, what does it say to young men that, despite the fact Americans were well aware that candidate Trump grabbed women’s pussies, he was elected US President? For all the young men grappling to control their sexual urges, are they learning from this that it’s as important to behave in sexually appropriate ways as it is to be rich and ambitious? To what ends are young men motivated to channel their cognitive energies: to that of learning how to respect women, or to that of amassing the wealth and power required to treat women however their carnal urges desire?  If we want to see appropriate sexual behaviours in men, we have to exemplify, reward, and teach the lessons consistent with that aim. 

As a man desperately trying to get beneath years of cultural conditioning where women were touted as objects of male gratification, I am aware the struggle to overcome sexual urges is very, very real. I engage in a lot of self reflection about this, certainly not because the predominant norms in my culture have compelled me to do so, but because I am aware that my responsibility to foster healthy sexual behaviours comes in the face of intense, biologically-determined cravings. Men have to acknowledge the presence of these primitive cravings, which exist in the same measure as they would have among our evolutionary forebears, despite how intellectually advanced our societies have otherwise become. It’s a strange paradox, and it requires we expend greater conscious efforts to the task of moderating these impulses so our behaviour is consistent with evolving norms about what it means to be civilized sexual beings. 

As men, we must decide which part of our brain we want to heed: the advanced part that sets us apart as human beings, or the a-moral, pre-evolutionary part we share with reptiles and other less intelligent animals. I choose to be a civilized human being. I have to make a conscious effort to establish in my PFC a benchmark of what it means to be respectful to a woman and act accordingly, despite the primitive urges that arise in her presence; despite the culture which continues to normalize a decidedly misogynist benchmark. The responsibility for regulating these urges when it matters is mine alone, and I wouldn’t put that on a woman. 

It would help if our culture didn’t keep telling young boys and men that women are sex objects and reinforcing unhealthy ideas about women that impede their learning of functional sexual behaviours. We are subjected to an unceasing barrage of images and ideas from mainstream culture that piques and reinforces our consumerist desires by sexualizing and objectifying women. This conflicts with, and undermines, efforts to instil norms of self-control in men. Regulating sexually-charged emotions is a cognitive process that must be learned like any other higher-order human function, because the desired behaviours hail from the pre-frontal cortex. When we expect these behaviours to kick in they are fending off the strong, anti-social impulses of the limbic system. Unfortunately, this part of our brain is constantly being titillated by a sexualized, stimulus-addicted culture, which makes it a formidable force to reckon with. 

That isn’t to make excuses for men, it is to say that it takes effort on our part to do what is right in respect of women. It is also to say that culture has a role to play in normalizing healthy attitudes and behaviours about how men relate to women at the office, at home, and in our bedrooms. The biggest first step however, is for men to recognize the struggle to control impulses within ourselves is real, it is natural, and women are not to blame for its existence. The responsibility for doing what it takes to resolve conflicting feelings and emotions is on us as individuals. 

It means that we cannot sit and wait for the mainstream culture to reflect modern values about gender, because we are ourselves arbiters and transmitters of those values. Young men look to how I and my peers conduct ourselves for their signals about what is and isn’t acceptable. I take that role very seriously and I urge my mid-life male peers to do the same. Our role as cultural agents compels us to pro-actively stir a cognitive shift when we recognize some of our attitudes and behaviours are rooted in sexist dogmas of our upbringing. We are key influencers in the culture to which the next generations of men will appeal for norms about how to behave with respect to women. I will cringe if, in thirty years’ time, a figure like Donald Trump is emblematic of my generation of men and is still winning society’s greatest rewards despite his retrograde, morally decrepit views about women. 

A concerted effort to avoid the ill-effects of misogyny from poisoning the behaviour of men will always be necessary. Nature has seen to that. The reasons to expend those energies – to secure a future where women are treated as equals instead of as objects or as victims – have never been more compelling, and makes the effort absolutely worthwhile. 

There is Some Sh*t I Will Not Eat

Bigots for Bucks

A morning radio host where I live was recently suspended after posting videos caricaturing people who live in a particular neighbourhood in the city. It is a lower middle class area besieged by vice and poverty-related crime and also home to a sizeable share of the city’s Aboriginals. Meanwhile, the radio host is a white middle-aged guy who grew up in an upper middle-class white neighborhood. The optics of a white guy mining laughs at the expense of the city’s poor and disenfranchised were tragic, especially since our city was, just a year ago, rated by a Canadian national news magazine as “The Most Racist City in Canada.”

I am aware how difficult it is for regular, middle-class white men to have “political correctness,” lorded over their heads since the nineties. It’s as if society is suggesting they are all bigots, forcing the whole to make amends for the excesses of the few. As a man, I feel the instant sense of similar recoiling when confronted with the idea that I am part of the “rape culture.” But then I resist the urge to soothe a bruised ego by man-splaining to generations of suppressed female voices why their “so-called grievances” are way off base – because I said so. Instead, I try to remain open to the possibility of a worldview different than that historically fashioned by generations of self-aggrandizing dicks.

The idea of “political correctness” is to encourage us to make a mental leap out of our situated selves, and examine our words and actions as if from the perspective of the “other” person BEFORE we unleash them. If the radio host in my town had paused for one second to ask himself “would I think this was funny if I were an Aboriginal?” my sense is he would never have posted the video.

A moment of “political correctness” would have prevented him inflicting a significant insult on countless Aboriginal Canadians in my town, many of whom are rightly sitting on the fence about the merits of joining white society. It would also have prevented many from believing him to be an unabashed racist. That is the point of political correctness; not to tar white men as bigots, but to compel us all to look before we leap, because our tolerance for insensitivity has worn thin. It is a word of caution that a nasty fate awaits he who is unable to restrain his mouth from uttering whatever bigoted detritus was  deposited in the recesses of his mind by the infinite possible sources in our culture.

This is one simple example of the reason why a strong social ethic that frowns on bigotry is still necessary. I’m no fan of “political correctness” because it has been appropriated by the very douchebags it was meant to counter, and they have masterfully turned it into a slur to rival the daily barrage of racist, misogynist, xenophobic slurs they unleash from their intellectual anuses. It’s a sensible idea made senseless by the those who extol their claim to “freedom” with bigoted, craven bombast like a noxious-smelling badge of honour.

The counterpoint to the idea that “freedom” bestows unbounded rights to slander and incite hatred of the marginalized, is the notion that the establishment of social norms against blatant insensitivity is necessary to protect the powerless from wanton bullying. It prevents oppressive biases in the dominant collective mind from being matter-of-factly vomited out of our mouths and victimizing innocent, disenfranchised bystanders. It is to ensure our societies are inclusive and don’t condone behaviours that alienate and exclude large swaths of its people. Insensitive, hurtful speech is a passive aggressive way to discourage the disenfranchised from opting-in to society. Mean-spirited words matter; in powerful, irresponsible hands they propagate the systematic, violent demise of those they target.

Anyone who is on the receiving end of bigoted knee-slapping has asked themselves this question at various points in their lives “is my desire to participate in society really worth the mental anguish to endure this?” In a pluralistic society that recognizes the rights and equality of all, nobody should have to face this kind of bar to their success. Since laws against bigotry are out of line, the only tool left is that of a strong ethic of social resistance to deeds that are divisive and damaging to social harmony.

I find it revealing when someone blasts “political correctness” as a bane that forces their mouth shut all the time. It says something damning about the content of a mind if every thought it produces is so offensive it shouldn’t be uttered. Here’s a test; if a part of you has to ask “is this offensive?” it probably is. This should be a source of relief; it means the part of your brain other animals lack functioned exactly as nature intended. It will continue to do so if you regularly consult it and pay it heed. The energy needed to resist the social ethic discouraging jokes that directly or indirectly denigrate women, minorities, Muslims, or foreigners, is much better spent examining why it is your mind is teeming with misogyny, racism, religious intolerance, and xenophobia in the first place.

On this subject, one of my favourite bloggers suggested there are a few social issues that are out of bounds for humourous treatment – rape, drug addiction, and mental illness among them. On the surface it’s hard to disagree, but my sense is there are no absolutes in this either. There is always context and intention – who is making the joke, how, and to whom. My feeling is, if you were never on the inside, don’t make the joke.

It’s why there are some jokes that, if I were a white guy, I simply wouldn’t make. True, it is your right to make the joke. The so-called dictates of “political correctness” are not trying to deprive you of those rights. But they will compel I or others to call you out as a bigot if you say something that is blatantly racist, intolerant, misogynist, or xenophobic. If you seek to poison mine and others existence with bigoted speech you should no longer expect to enjoy a consequence-free existence as you would have in another century.

I try not to make light of pain and suffering I haven’t personally experienced – it looks too much as though I’m laughing at another’s pain, which is deplorable. If I am lucky to garner a laugh at a serious social issue I see to it that it is at my expense alone. When I am lampooning any of the afflictions that dog me I try not to implicate all who share in the struggle. I talk about my issues in relation to me, and don’t presume anyone else experiences the issue similarly. I don’t know that I have always been successful in getting this right but I really try to think before I speak and hope the good part of my brain catches up when the bad parts of my mouth do the hundred-metre dash, as they are inclined from time to time.

It’s a delicate balance, but I believe it’s a risk worth taking. There are too many issues that need to be out in the open and one way to do so while reaching the widest segment of society is through humour. Avoiding conversations about the harsh truths of existence allows voices of ignorance to construct the narrative, with the risk of re-victimizing those who have drawn the short straw. I think there is merit in sharing our experiences, to reveal the truth of the human condition as, among other things, a constant engagement with calamity and despair. It’s a bummer, but it also puts the onus more squarely on ourselves to add joy wherever we can. If we can demonstrate we’ve lived through the downer moments, and do so in a lighthearted way, it elevates the hope in others that it is possible to find joy somewhere in our pain.

Blogs that explore personal subjects have been instrumental to increased self-compassion, even if the humorous approach does at times touch a raw nerve. Laughter is a non-threatening means by which people can be made to understand the pain around them, which they may inflame by their ignorance or insensitivity. The process of self-awareness is more likely to begin after a laugh than it is at the end of a righteous-indignant finger pointed. Throwing a pie in the face of your persecutor is a moral victory in some senses, it is a way to fight back without degenerating into violence.

Humour can be an effective tool to close a mind and to open it, which is why it is a double-edged sword in irresponsible hands. When we hold up the mirror to our worst selves it is the humour that will ensure we do not look away in shame. But it can also cause harm if the blade isn’t wielded skilfully when the treading needs to be more delicate. Sadly, some people just can’t help slicing and dicing everyone else around them for their own gain.

It seems we’re living in a time where society’s top notches are looking to protect their interests by recklessly sowing seeds of bigotry, giving life to poison trees that flourish in minds struggling with the perils of existence. It is important as decent human beings to resist the desperate cravings that sometimes propel us to swallow the easy meal served up as a balm to our insecurities. The indulgence in bigotry, misogyny, and xenophobia is the worst of all the forbidden fruit we may choose to eat. For the fleeting pleasure of an outlet for your angst you will be reeling with ideas that rob you of your soul; that render you incapable of seeing yourself in your fellow humans; that subordinate the harm you inflict beneath the need for a laugh to quiet your tears.

Call it “political correctness” call it “decency.” Whatever you do, set your mind free from the self-serving bigotry that divides us all to line the pockets of the few. When they tell you “political correctness” is the thing that keeps you down, tell them “there is some shit I will not eat.”


So Sick of the Sausage Factory

One big, happy family

One big, happy family

Woe is humanity, suffering the legions of uber-douche bags crushing their spirits. I refer to this potent variety of toxic sludge as a Dick, because that is the source of their inspiration. It’s also one thing I can say about them that makes me laugh. What isn’t funny is the reckless abandon with which they swing their entitled skin-flute machetes, cutting down whomever stands in the way of their quest for Mommy’s love – I mean, power. They lie, cheat, and steal through life, leaving a trail of innocent victims buried under a heap of man-splaining, belittling, hectoring excrement.

It seems futile to waste a shred of energy imploring the Dicks out there to reflect on just how miserable they make the lives of those they touch. I doubt they care, but venting about the pandemic of Dicks plaguing our societies can be both empowering and enlightening. As part of my evolving spiritual journey toward what I hope will be the Dick-less corridors of Nirvana, there are bound to be moments where I am forced to cross the raging rivers of my own bile.

The act of reflecting back on these moments, of having to stay mentally afloat among the torrent of indignant rage to coherently share my thoughts, lends an air of detachment to the sordid splendour of their existence. It makes me feel more like an observer than a victim. Plus, the more I own up to how easily provoked I am by their bullshit, the more I learn about the easily unhinged parts of my mind. It encourages a redoubling of efforts to pro-actively cultivate emotional intelligence.

I see putative, self-styled “Christians” on American television man-splaining to the Pope why he’s a wrong-headed ‘liberal’ for castigating the greed that destroyed America’s soul and poisoned its religion. I see political hacks with educational degrees in History or Phys Ed laughing-off the world’s leading scientists about climate change, imploring us to laugh with them as the polar ice cap melts and more dry land is submerged every day. I see the country-clubber with the charmed life, champagne dribbling from the corner of his self-satisfied grin, earn his keep moonlighting as a thespian. He grabs his balls, dusts off his best redneck accent, and masterfully delivers his line to fellow citizens “Y’all ain’t a-gettin’ the guns God gave me!”

I can’t un-see or un-hear the reams of spirit-crushing nonsense so many grown adults seem to believe, and it really pisses me off. I want to grab my pitchfork and storm the palaces nearby to reclaim the public proceeds and tax loopholes that are rightfully ours. I want to liberate the exploited immigrant slaves from their domestic bondage in plutocrat’s homes, and the exploited white slaves from their below-subsistence jobs at the plutocrat-owned discount outlet stores. I want to punch in the face the next smug, strident Dick who denies any role for white, male privilege in securing his fortunes. I fantasize about a crowd of Dicks outside a Church blowing their dog-whistles loudly at Jesus and his guests for consecrating the nuptials between Adam and Steve, only to learn they’re surrounded by packs of hungry, rabid dogs summoned from miles around. One can dare to dream.

And then it’s the next morning. I do my thing – yoga and meditate – to rid my soul of the wayward heaps of manure that landed there as the zealots aimlessly tossed it about. Instead of indignant fury, my mind is like, ‘Namaste Dick, you misguided asshole, Namaste.’ I still care about the poor and oppressed, and I wish Dick would cut it out. Except it’s not worth being so angry about it that my day, and that of anyone who encounters me, is ruined. There are other ways, besides punching-out well-deserving, smug Dicks, to get relief.

That said, these days the stables are piling up with turd faster than my trusty spirit-shovel can keep up. Lately, Dick has been hard to shake. The pig-barn of election Politics is to blame. In my country, the Dick Head – the Prime Minister – decided to have a three-month election campaign – unheard of in Canadian politics. Add to that the US Presidential nominations, which are shoved down Canadian throats via US cable feeds, and it’s like a tornado picked up my house and dropped it into the middle of a continental sausage factory.

Dicks are flung in my face from all directions, pandering, sloganeering, fear-mongering, scapegoating. Senseless political munchkins are throat-singing their sexist, racist, greedy, jingoistic overtures to their intellectually-stunted political bases over, and over, and over again. “We represent the dick-head guild, the dick-head guild, the dick head guild … ” Where are my red shoes to take me home, Dorothy?

There aren’t just Dicks stumping on television, there’s the run-of-the-mill Dick at the office; the one I’ve lamented in a previous post. He crawls his way to the top shelf on the backs of others, and is the variety of Dick most of us experience in our daily lives. My dear friend, a female co-worker in another city, works in a Division with a legendary misogynist I once worked with. He inspired my rant about the office Dick. With exasperation, she shows me the e-mails he writes to her or others. I remember the tenor of this Dick’s e-mails very well. When I overheard him speak to a woman or read one of his smug Neanderthal messages to them I wanted to accidentally shove him down the stairwell. She asks me if she is over-reacting in shoving her feisty Irish fist up the Dick’s ass. I suspect it’s why he keeps on – he enjoys it. I recommend she aim her pointy boots at his undescended testicle instead.

The Dick at the office is no different than the political Dicks scape-goating the large swaths of society they want to sweep under the rug to serve their selfish aims. The common thread is the entitlement to forcefully steamroll you or I to get what he wants. His beliefs, wants, and needs, no matter how crass or insanely stupid, are yelled in your face. He is entitled to behave like a scumbag and the rest of us are supposed to just take it without kicking up a fuss or punching him in the face. He defends his ethically barren actions with fact-free rationalizations that satisfy his infinitesimal intellect.

Why is he like this? Because Dick was churned out of the sausage factory. He has been gnawing on a meal of nutrient-deprived, idiotic gristle his entire life to keep himself fed. He likes his sausage. Nay, he believes in his sausage.

Like many women out there, I am so sick of the sausage factory. It’s fucking exhausting. I am so done with the slander and lies men wantonly use to justify their degenerate ideas. I am sick of watching men telling women what to believe, where to work, what to wear, and who to fuck. I am livid with men who want to kick the poor and disenfranchised while they’re already down just so they can keep the pocket-change to buy another mansion. I am weary of the deluge of verbal diarrhea from the mouths of chest-beating men whose incessant primal screams are meant not to persuade, but to crush the will of others into ideological submission.

It’s time to get with the new millennium, my fellow sausages.

Yes, I too have a sausage. I was programmed to be a Dick like the others, and I was once pretty good at it. But I realized how damaging that was for my kids and every one else. It hasn’t been easy opting out of the club while keeping my meat intact. I was manufactured on the same assembly line stuffing formless young men with affinities for greed, power, corruption, and cruelty. At the end of the line, we are twisted and churned out as individual sausages, but remain linked together as men; a single chain by which to shackle and subjugate humanity.

I can’t deny it, the first thought that crossed my mind was to ass-kick the guy for making my female friend’s life miserable. It’s not what she wanted or asked for, but it’s what would make me feel good. It’s kind of typical of the way a Dick thinks. ‘There, there, my lady-friend, Dick knows best’, right? So much to be done, Edmund.

I can’t deny it, sometimes when my eyes meet with those of a really attractive woman and there’s a momentary spark, the sausage wants to – well, you know what it wants to do. I was trained to think it is perfectly acceptable to whet my sexual appetites with an objectified woman; to use them for my gratification. Sample any mainstream cultural product from the late seventies and eighties and you will see it isn’t nature that made men this way. We were taught to be this way.

As a young man, I grew up learning the Dicks get the pretty, vapid, one-dimensional girl, as they were all touted to be. Movies and television taught the young me that emotionally-detached, ruthless, shrewd, charming, power-hungry, zealous men get the prize. Pouty-lipped women swoon for the corrupt-hero, fighter-pilot, or conniving-huckster. They wait in the wings as the Dick they love desecrates the world, and eagerly give their bodies to satisfy his carnal desires without demanding genuine respect in return for their affections. For a teen-aged boy with his brain pickled in testosterone, deeply dysfunctional mental ruts are easily formed when such gendered caricatures bombard his grey matter from every direction.

If I continue to harbour the idea that my sausage is a weapon to conquer the world; that a woman is just a sexy bun, I would be a typical Dick, wouldn’t I? If I said to myself “boys will be boys” – conveniently, after I’ve been a total asshole – it would mean the sausage reigns, just as intended when I was churned out of the factory. I need to work harder, figuratively speaking, to sever my link to the shackles that confine our collective imagination of what it is to be a man. We all do, if we want a planet for our children to enjoy happy, peaceful lives.

Edmund K Saunders, Dick-free sausage. I like the sound of that. If only I could hear myself say it over the roar of irate men, feverishly man-splaining to keep their ill-gotten entitlements.

My Hugh Jackman Man-Crush

So, this is my competition. I'm so f*cked.

So this is the sort of beady-eyed putz women find attractive, eh? He ain’t much.

I’ve got a man-crush on Hugh Jackman. I have palpable feelings of affection for the guy, a kind of celebrity-worship I loathe when I see it reflected in shallow media like People, TMZ, and Us. I shouldn’t have such feelings either way for someone I’ve never met, especially an entertainer who leads a life infinitely more charmed and luxuriant than mine.

But I don’t care. I loves me my Hugh Jackman.

As an entertainer in a highly image-conscious industry, he’s masterfully projected both ends of the masculine-feminine spectrum in his choices as a performer. At the same time he’s maintained his status as a hunky male sex symbol without propagating the macho clichés that poison the minds of young boys with falsehoods about what it is to be a man.

When I see Hugh Jackman on a talk show or awards-show I can feel myself rooting for him, brimming with enjoyment. The torrents of envy and ill-will that erupt out of my ego when George Clooney or Matt Damon flash their powdered-up dimples, proselytizing left-wing politics on Letterman before retiring back to their opulent lives, is nowhere to be found when I see Hugh Jackman talking about cooking on The View or Singing in the Rain at the Oscars. It’s not his pecs or broad shoulders – which I grudgingly admit are pretty special – but the female energy he radiates that is attractive to others.


Pffft. Look how small his nipples are. Is it me, or is his belly button a little higher than normal? Hey Dumbo, what’s with the  big ears! Ha, ha, ha.

All things considered, I should be welling-up with green-eyed, bilious hatred for the dapper Aussie. First of all, he’s white; a stroke of genetic good fortune to spare him a lifetime of racially-motivated indignities throwing a wet blanket over his natural gifts. He’s genuinely charming, has a toothy smile, non-patchy facial growth, and a full head of thick wavy hair. He has a pince-nez, genuine swagger, and an income to free him from financial worries. It’s hard to like a guy with all that going for him; to look at the picture to the right and not feel woefully insignificant by comparison. His fame, notoriety and all-around affability would be far more tolerable if he were chubby and homely.

I was born a black man in a white family, and grew up in a bland prairie town where I looked like nobody else around me. I have a receding hair-line, a naturally slow metabolism, and a space between my teeth you could pass a roll of dimes through. I am barely treading water financially, am divorced, earn a decidedly middle-class salary, and I drive a Hyundai.

I am an emotional eater prone to vicious mood-swings that undermine my heroic efforts to stay lean and looking good. I’ve managed to attain only a four-pack of abs because I can’t stop stuffing my face with chocolate and pizza when I’m in the grip of a moody funk. My self-loathing inspired junk food binges have left me with a muffin-top over my lower two abs that will never recede. In fact, after tapping out this paragraph I will run to the kitchen for a bag of chocolate cookies to dip in my bucket of tears.

Other than the fact we both have a penis, an Adam’s apple, and widespread bodily hair we have nothing in common. Check that; given Hugh’s unmitigated success, it’s obvious we both really, really like Hugh. We should probably become BFFs.

But I don’t hate Hugh, even if it’s obvious he doesn’t reach for a tub of Ben and Jerry’s every time he faces a setback. I am crushing out on Hugh in spite of his apparent perfection. I get a massive male-ego boner because his success did not grow from the same pile of self-aggrandizing excrement that blossoms most male ambition in our culture.

The more Hugh shimmies on stage singing show tunes made famous by Liza Minelli the less self-conscious I become about being hapless with hand tools, not caring about sports, not having money to dress fashionably, or feeling bad about shooting deer and other helpless, cute and furry wild creatures to hang their sad, dead busts over the mantle in my man-cave. Thanks to Hugh, I don’t feel the need for a man-cave, necessarily. I don’t feel the need to demonstrate the scale of my manhood by subjugating everyone and everything in my existence to whatever it is my ego desires in the moment.

If Hugh Jackman hit on me at a party and intimated we take things upstairs, after the blushing subsided I’d give it some serious thought. It’d be hard to shake the idea that a tumble in the sheets with such a well-rounded and successful man might be the wrecking ball of confidence to obliterate the Hoover Dam of neurosis that’s come between the world and I my entire life. In the end, I’d reluctantly have to say ‘no thanks, mate’. I don’t roll that way, but the offer would give me cause to seriously assess the merits of my chosen sexual orientation.

Hugh Jackman is genuine and unrestrained in refreshing contrast to most other heterosexual male sex-symbols. It’s disarming for both sexes, and endears him to his audiences. Watch Hugh Jackman’s opening of the 2009 Oscars and try to dislike him. It was splendid in its simplicity, allowing the talent and spirit inside the performer to glimmer. He nailed the number without degenerating into glibness and cliche. There were no traces of the stiffness, cheek, or embarrassment that most male egos would unleash to sabotage the performance and excoriate the man for presuming to do “girly” things like singing, dancing, and self-deprecating humour.

He relishes opportunities to sing, dance, and carry a tune on stage. The more a really masculine-looking man like Hugh Jackman does it, the more other broad-shouldered Liza Minellis out there will do the same. Just like that, the emotional breadth of man widens. A man becomes more than a wife-beating, knuckle-dragging, money-grubbing, ball-grabbing ape; more than a pouting cacaphony of unresolved emotions posing as a grown adult. Instead, a man learns to be comfortable with his vulnerability, to say ‘I don’t know’ without shame, to cry without embarrassment. A man learns to own and exude his sensitivity as a human being; to express feelings other than hostility, rage, and resentment for not getting what he’s conditioned to believe he’s entitled to.

It seems revolutionary; an emotionally intelligent, well-rounded man who isn’t a flake. ‘Impossible,’ you say? Ladies and gentlemen, I introduce Hugh Jackman. He is everything the Marlboro man, Dirty Harry, every Tom Cruise movie-character in the 80’s, Gordon Gecko and other idealized males in the North American pscyhe are not. He is not the living incarnation of a chastened penis in constant search of validation.

It’s no surprise Jackman is Australian. He didn’t have the posturing-male nonsense shoved down his throat as a boy, so he’s oblivious to the macho stereotypes he mocks by his essence. He is clearly a talented man, but he’s no artistic genius. What is appealing is the fact he’s just doing something really, really unique in projecting himself as a man, which is why people respond so positively to it.

Jackman’s feat goes a long way to driving a wooden stake into the heart of the domineering alpha-male persona to which our culture teaches boys to aspire; that so many women have been conditioned to prefer in a prospective mate. Jackman’s popularity raises the hope that sensitive, expressive, emotionally robust, and artistic are attributes that will someday rival ambitious, wealthy, charming, and aggressive as attributes men are encouraged to cultivate and women are inclined to seek out. I love Hugh for the fact his choices as an artist advance our idea of what it is to be male beyond the evolutionary rut it’s obviously still stuck in; for being living proof men no longer need to act like baboons to be successful winners in life.

Jackman as Wolverine

Wolverine. He’s supposed to be a sorry figure. Funny that. Pity is not what comes to mind when I see Hugh and his pipes here. Insignificant. Envious. Smited by God. Hungry for chocolate cake and other binge-favourites.

Hugh Jackman’s artsy-Adonis image is the foil to the concept of man as primordial conqueror, an ideal that has created scores of tragic male figures whose lives were wasted desecrating history with countless atrocities. It is refreshing and even subversive the way he so effortlessly refrains from suppressing his feminine side in such mass-market venues. It’s one that exists in every man, but is the cause of so much unresolved conflict in our minds; one that too often manifests itself in destructive fashion.

Much of the pathos at the heart of the brutality men have exclusively been responsible for – bellicosity, zealotry, misogyny, genocide, xenophobia – stems from the suppression of such a fundamental essence of our being. It’s a denial that fuels a callous disrespect for the sanctity of life – human, animal, and ecological. The more men embrace their feminine spirit the way Hugh Jackman has, the more well-balanced and less prone to senseless acts of violence men will be.

If only men could find a way to tap into their feminine side to settle their differences. Imagine two men jockeying for the affections of a woman, or in a stalemate over who gets the last buffalo wing, or trying to claim a useless tract of desert as their holy land. As the intensity of the dispute reaches a climax, instead of escalating to lethal violence what if the custom was to break out into “Anything you can do I can do better” and let the chips fall where they may? Hugh Jackman and Neil Patrick Harris did just that at the 2011 Tony Awards and it was decisive in dousing their little quibble.

Real men dance ... with each other ... while singing musicals! Bro's before ho's. Word.

Real men dance … with each other … while singing musical numbers! Bro’s before ho’s, y’all.

If men could dance away their disagreements there’d be no need for guns, scud missiles, IEDs, and suicide bombs to get innocent folks killed. If men could tap-dance to the beat of their inner angst there’d be no more acid tossed at girls for seeking an education, no more children killed in indiscriminate gunplay, no more teenaged boys plucked from school and handed AK-47s to deliver their fathers’ mortal enemies to their deaths. The human race is spared the affliction of male-inspired misery and everybody wins because they’re alive and entertained.

Hugh Jackman’s female effervescence in the face of the temptation to be a womanizer undermines the idea that a man’s barrel chest and broad shoulders are crowbars to pry a woman’s panties from her hips. His comportment demonstrates that the penis isn’t a brick-bat to knock the shit out of would-be adversaries or an instrument to hoodwink women into sexual submission. For some men, a penis is just a crippling fact of nature, but it doesn’t have to command gratification of its every whim. It doesn’t have to penetrate and colonize every object its hard-on desires.

It’s essential for men to keep the whimsical aims of our insatiable peckers contained safely in the dungeons of our inner-life without giving it the keys to the castle gates. Without denying its energy and spirit, we must learn to take it for healthy jaunts in the community, keeping it close at hand with an emotionally intelligent leash. The approach is more harmonious with modern Civilization than the alternative: all the mindless, pathological sabre-rattling that has terrorized the earth for millennia. Unfortunately, too many men remain lax keeping their plundering dragon walking in step, and the result is a sad, heart-hardening legacy in the spirits of humanity.

But hope is not lost. Don’t believe me? Look at Hugh kicking like a Rockette. I rest my case. We’re not all douchebags beyond redemption. There are some men who genuinely desire to energize the feminine spirit in their hearts for its life-affirming qualities. Whether we men like it or not, we cannot reach our full potential as human beings without embracing the feminine, either by cultivating it in ourselves or opening our hearts to it in healthy, close, mutually respectful relationships with women.

The new man of the 21st century

Real men wear gold tights and leopard-pattern silk shirts!

Hugh Jackman is the object of my bro-mantic fantasies because he’s channeled his energies into expressing the female as a prominent feature of his male persona; in stark contrast to the denial of this in the idealized hyper-masculine idea prevalent in our culture.  Thanks to you Hugh Jackman, for projecting the kind of man I actually want to emulate; one who is real and whole. I am right behind you as you champion the cause – figuratively speaking, of course.

Now, about that buffed chest, over-sized pipes, and ripped body. I think we need to talk about your little “awesome body” problem over some cookies and ice cream.

Rush Limbaugh: The Wrong Henchman for the Right

Rush Limbaugh, about to unleash a shit-storm from his ugliest orifice, again.

There is no such thing as a good-natured discussion between people with diametrically opposing political views. It may start out civilized, a couple of pointed jabs at the other’s stupidity, but it rarely ends up that way. When the gloves are off politically, people come wearing brass knuckles and usually start with a sucker punch to the nads. It’s a schoolyard tussle where someone’s guaranteed to end up angry or offended. Often it seems the battle is begun for the sheer delight of shit-disturbing, a tack taken by many conservative types who dish on politics.

Watching these jerks kick the politically weak and socially vulnerable is something that those feeling a little down on own their luck can themselves can take comfort in, at least when they aren’t the targets of such direct attack. It’s an unfortunate byproduct of a socially atomized culture that’s lost the strong bonds of community. It’s a situation that makes it easy for dubious hucksters looking to hijack and manipulate the political message as they do the bidding of their political masters.

The role of obnoxious provocateur to high-minded liberals is the schtick of people like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, or Anne Coulter and they knock that shit out of the park most of the time. As a detested liberal, I find the provocation intellectually stimulating. The unbridled sanctimony is like the thrill of skydiving or cliff jumping. After talking myself off the righteous ledge I come to the sane assessment that these people probably believe about a quarter of the bullshit that flies from their mouth and the other three quarters is what they serve up to pay the rent. It’s their tactics that are often below the belt. It seems foolish to take any of it seriously.

Recently though, Rush really went on a bender at the conservative trough. He drank keg-loads of the Kool-Aid and got all dizzy from the gun-play and gay-bashing. When it came time for him to speak on his radio show last week he was still slurring his speech, bouncing off the walls with Social Darwinist euphoria. He hadn’t taken his meds to settle the tempest in his oral sphincter before he stepped up to his mike to pinch his loaf. When he opened his mouth/anus out came massive case of the runs. Again. The rest of us were left reeling from the mess of verbal diarrhea he’d unleashed. And it stinks real bad. Like a pig barn in the Alabama heat bad. And, against my better judgement, I can’t resist throwing a little turd of my own in response.

Last week, a witness named Sandra Fluke testified before a House Committee to advocate for a motion to have health care plans pay for the cost of medical contraception for its female plan subscribers. It seems some religious-based institutions such as Georgetown University, which Ms Fluke attends, have health plans that won’t pay for contraception, ostensibly on the basis that their use is exclusively in the furtherance of birth control. I hate to throw a scientific wet blanket on yet another line of reasoning that suggests sex among consenting adults is “bad,” but conditions like polycystic ovaries, endometriosis, and acute PMS are are also controlled by prescribed medical contraceptives. So it’s not all about the big bad ‘S’-word. But I digress.

In response to Ms Fluke’s testimony, Rush Limbaugh likened the effort to the advocacy of public funding of prostitution:

What does it say about the college coed Susan [sic] Fluke, who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex? What does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex.

She’s having so much sex she can’t afford the contraception. She wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex. What does that make us? We’re the pimps.

The johns, that’s right. We would be the johns — no! We’re not the johns. Well — yeah, that’s right. Pimp’s not the right word.

OK, so, she’s not a slut. She’s round-heeled. I take it back.

In her testimony Fluke recounted the story of a student, who happened to be gay, who needed birth control to manage ovarian cysts but who could not afford the medication and could not convince her institution’s health plan that she required it. Ms Fluke is obviously Liberal. And Intelligent. And a friend to Gays. The trifecta of blasphemy for far-right conservative dipshits like Limbaugh.  According to Limbaugh, she’s also a slut who wants health plans to pay for her prostituting ways. Given he’s the cocksucker in this little debacle I’d say the pot’s calling the kettle black.

Sandra Fluke testifying before the House.

Like I said, Limbaugh and his ilk are lightning rods who go for the scorched earth approach to political discourse over these kinds of issues. Piss off the indignant Liberals with totally mindless, grossly offensive baiting, and suss out the elitism in their high-minded righteous indignation for the masses to behold. They pander to the inner reptile among the most suggestible, infantile of their constituents – few in number, but vociferous in their reactionism – scaring them so bad they’ll want lots of guns to fend off gays, Mexicans, Muslims, and Liberals.

Hey, I’m a black man, I well aware of how well this stuff works. I’ve had white folks hiding their watermelons, clinging to their wallets, and locking up their sexually curious white daughters when I was around. You can instill strong myths and legends by repeating the same lies about any evil bogeymen you can create, so that eventually the people will beg you to do whatever you tell them you need to do to keep them free from harm. It works by flooding our evolutionary sub-conscious with images and ideas that instill fear and insecurity in the part of our brain that traces its roots back to the days when we had gills and dorsal fins; the part that we shouldn’t be voting with, or doing any of our thinking with, for that matter. Unless we are being pursued as dinner by a whale-shark or pack of hyenas or something. Then it makes sense. Other than that, when you’re in a civil society, you’d best not be letting the fish part of your brain guide your behaviour. But this is what these pundits seem to want. They want you to harness your inner fish. And they’ll say absolutely anything imaginable to scare you senseless until you do.

This bogeyman wedge method has been an amazing and effective political strategy for those who have been able to turn their noses far enough upwind to wield it. In the US, the far right pundits and their fellow millionaires have convinced millions of disenfranchised Americans who have no business supporting the platforms of people who’d just as soon send they and their kind up the river for a buck. Insofar as they follow Limbaugh, or the Tea Partiers or Gingrich, their political preferences are counter to their actual interests in almost every way. It’s totally absurd.

Many real conservative thinkers rightly abhor these pundits, but are caught in a jam: they bring in votes from people who, if they weren’t so dang enamored by the dog-and-pony shows that Limbaugh and company put on, would never, in a million years vote for people who share no common cause with them. It’s a crap shoot, because Limbaugh, Beck, and Coulter sometimes go too far in their desire to entertain, to provoke. Their inner fish comes out for all to behold and leaves many shaking their heads, usually in disgust. People otherwise rallied by tough-guy, ‘what-me-worry’ tenor of the rants start to wonder about how principled these pundits really are. They may start to catch on to the idea that maybe, just maybe Rush and his crass minions are totally full of shit.

Why aren’t Americans pissed off about people like Limbaugh trying to suck every ounce of greatness from their country for a few bucks and some entertainment value? Why aren’t real conservatives lining up to shit-kick these rubes for co-opting their brand and turning it into a Jerry Springer version of genuine conservatism? Instead of presenting a viable alternative to liberalism they single out marginalized groups – gays, women, immigrants, or whoever – and trivialize the role of American democracy in addressing legitimate issues by cracking mean-spirited jokes at their expense. For them it’s an entertaining way to make a buck. For everyone else, not so much.

Rush Limbaugh’s response to Sandra Fluke’s testimony on this particular issue was beyond the pale. In this instance, Limbaugh really threw off his fat-suit and showed up in his brown-shirted wife beaters to spew his verbal diarrhea. It’s shocking how disproportionately offensive his remarks were; how utterly misogynistic in nature.

He skipped the stock rants about how everyone shouldn’t be expected to pay for the livelihood of others as all Stalinists would have it, blah, blah, blah. Instead, he whipped out his limp-dick, raised up his back hand and politically raped Sandra Fluke. The nature of his reaction to her testimony; it’s suspicious, isn’t it? Slut? Prostitute? Pimps? It was a warning to others like her. With his vitriol he was trying to beat her back to the kitchen or the brothel, where women belong, right?

And here’s the thing: it may be easy to get large swaths on board your crazy train when you’re singling out Mexicans or homosexuals as victims for your latest tirade. Sad, but all too often, true. However, most folks have a woman in their family – their wife, daughter, sister. Most women, even if they love Rush Limbaugh, or are leery of gays, don’t want a jerk like Rush Limbaugh calling them a slut based on the decisions they make over their health needs. Most men don’t want dicks like Rush Limbaugh to be judge and jury when it comes to the rights their wives, sisters, or daughters enjoy in America, even if they agree that everyone ought to have a gun in their glovebox. There’s a line, isn’t there?

Here’s another smelly nub squeezed out of Limbaugh’s anus/mouth:

If we are going to pay for your contraceptives, and thus pay for you to have sex, we want something for it. We want you post the videos online so we can all watch,” he said on Thursday.

Rush didn’t see a third year law student advocating for women’s health rights. He didn’t even see a despised liberal. He saw some chick who deigned to assert her democratic rights in Congress. Maybe you agree, maybe you disagree with her position. That’s not the point. You don’t try and bitch-slap someone from taking part in the democratic process by singling her out as a woman for a woefully sexist attack. It’s revealing about how Rush Limbaugh views the place of women in a democracy. This isn’t defensible from any standpoint: conservative, liberal, or whatever. Check that. It’s defensible if you’re a fascist-minded, misogynist. My bad.

Here’s the insidious thing about this whole incident: the next time a woman, a private citizen, is invited to testify at a House Committee to express a ‘liberal’ view on a women’s issue will she have to brace for this sort of personal attack in response? Would a dude be subjected to this kind of criticism for democratically expressing his views?

What Rush has done has put the fascist chill into democracy by publicly bashing a citizen for having the gall to participate in the democratic process. And he’s done so by purporting to play for the conservative team. I don’t know, I think conservatives could do without this guy in their lineup. I know they can. And they should.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn: Living Libido Loco

DSK, looking like shit. I wonder what that left hand is up to in his pocket. Just sayin’

If recent media are to be believed, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and his pleasure-seeking libido – let’s call him Charlie – have been traveling the world in search of warm, female orifices to satiate the irrepressible urges of Dominique’s dick. Sadly, the aimless, constant schtupping has totally fucked DSK’s career. In a flash, he went from heading the IMF and being touted as a viable prospect for the French Presidency, to having his unkempt, humiliated ass hauled in to be booked for sexual assault.

He traded his reputation, a life in the making, for a quick bang with a chamber maid who alleges the sex was ‘sadistic and violent.’ If it had just been ‘okay’ sex, if Charlie hadn’t gone all frat-house gang bang when opportunity knocked, DSK probably could have weaseled his way out of the situation with a little hush money, and the world would have been none the wiser. He’d have to keep Charlie locked up for bad behaviour for a time but the crisis would have been mostly averted.

More recently it’s surfaced that DSK also attended sex parties and has been under investigation for pimping out women for orgies operating in various cities. In a nutshell, this man’s career was ruined not because of incompetence, corruption, or criminality, but because he could not keep his dick-head alter-ego Charlie from storming the bridge, hog-tying the Captain and crew and taking the ship’s payload of nukes for his own gain. He’s like Gary Busey in Under Siege, except there is no redeeming figure like the cook/special forces veteran, played by Steven Segal, to save the SS Dominique Strauss-Kahn from sinking under the weight of Charlie’s craven, libidinous plans.

But Strauss-Kahn isn’t the only man whose carnal urges have undermined his reputation, is he? There are countless cases of accomplished, intelligent, powerful men who’ve lost everything, or come perilously close to it, because they simply could not tame their mustang-like skin flutes. Thomas Jefferson, John F Kennedy, John Profumo, Clarence Thomas, Bill Clinton, Silvio Berlusconi, Eliot Spitzer, and dozens more whose gonads were like grenades with hair-pin triggers, constantly going off in the midst of reputable, accomplished lives.

Charlie, dishonorably doing his thing, as usual.

It’s mind-boggling, not because of the abject immorality – I am no prude – but for the profound lack of judgement that compelled these men to such salacious acts of their undoing. Obviously, in DSK’s case, as in the case of the others, Charlie is like a squirrel on speed.

Charlie is itching for a bang when you’re out of town on a high-stakes business trip and have some time to kill, or when you’re working late at the office and spy an attractive female colleague for whom a quick fuck makes for a lengthy, messy aftermath. He wants to abandon all reason when a large-breasted, big-haired intern half his age casts a furtive glance, or when an underaged model shows up to the Christmas party. He cares little for your political aspirations, and convinces you to ignore the edict of your intellect telling you to burn the Little Black Book of fuck-buddies for-hire to avert temptation. Charlie is bored to tears with attractive, intelligent, self-respecting women who are turned off by ceaseless questions about whether they will do anal.

Charlie’s notions of what is sexually arousing and what counts as an appropriate way to satisfy those cravings were frozen in time, and failed to keep pace with other facets of normal human intellectual development. He’s kept your dick hardening in the presence of women who may be attractive to the thirteen year-old boy that lingers inside, but have nothing in common with the adult man you have mostly become.  Education and cultural refinement don’t seem to have done much to dull the impact of Charlie’s influences on your sexual preferences and attitudes. His hormonal edicts guiding your conduct are uttered with nary a concern for the disaster a teenaged sex-drive has in the life of an adult with serious responsibilities.

Charlie is an oblivious yahoo from the Beverly Hillbillies. He struck psychological black gold in the stunted brains of certain males, laying claim to a large penthouse loft in the posh, upscale part of town called the Pre-frontal Cortex; a neighbourhood where intellect,

Just like in DSK’s case, Charlie’s cousin Jethro at the wheel of the Clampett’s jalopy.

judgement, and sound decision-makers usually reside. From time to time the residents grow weary of the moonshine hangovers, backfiring jalopies, and blunderbusses going off at all hours, so they retreat to the Hamptons in the sub-conscious. With his more socialized living companions on vacay, there is nothing to keep his misanthropic excesses in check, leaving Charlie free to muss with a life.

I’m not one to judge a man for having a rabid, over-zealous sex drive. I was fourteen once. I remember when Charlie mostly ran things. There is nothing as terrorizing as the teenage male desire to stick his constantly throbbing shaft in anything moist and inviting. In the early days of boyhood, Charlie often wins the debate. With age, constructive ways to keep his urges under wraps are fashioned, at least by most men.

For Strauss-Kahn, Clinton, and JFK it seems Charlie was too much of a force to be reckoned with. Their brains never got a handle on the poor chap, so he was free to roam aimlessly in their lives, his dick bobbing in the air, fishing for a screw, reeling in whatever nibble he got. The revelations of JFK’s sexual escapades are stunning given his other commendable traits. In retrospect, it is daunting to think the Cuban Missile Crisis was in the hands of a guy so beholden to his pecker. That said, it’s heartening to know the West’s top warrior could relieve the tension of a Cold War standoff like no other: with a booty call to Marilyn Munroe. She may have single-handedly brought the world back from the brink of nuclear annihilation – one JFK hand-job at a time.

I am not casting aspersions against these men because of their sex drive. What raises eyebrows is the degree their libido was able to trump their judgement. For me, it casts these men as tragic figures, worthy of some compassion, even if it appears on the surface they acted like garden variety, pathological womanizers. No matter how bright, enlightened, and accomplished they were, they were still too often possessed by Charlie’s elephantine sexual appetites.

Charlie can’t get back to work, once this image is burnt in his mind.

If you are unsympathetic, take a look at the inner dialogue in the mind of a man like Dominique Strauss-Kahn in the presence of an attractive twenty two year old woman. On the one hand he’s got his intellect making some fairly astute observations to turn his mind back to the problems at hand: staving off global economic collapse. The intellect tries to guide his thoughts toward his loftier responsibilities. On the other, he’s got Charlie imploring him that every minute not spent fucking is a minute not spent living.

It’s a no-brainer who wins, right? You’d think so, given the arguments:

THE INTELLECT: True, this woman is extremely sexually attractive. On the other hand, Greece is on the brink of having to bust open Aunt Voula’s piggy bank and sell off Uncle Kosta’s sheep to survive. Remember, it is you and I that got you here. Charlie almost ruined everything. Also, most people find it highly suspect if the Head of the IMF can’t keep his dick in his pants while the work of stabilizing the world’s money supply goes undone. I understand you have needs, but let’s address that later. In the meantime, go for a run, write a sonnet, have a fine meal at a Michelin restaurant. Remember, Charlie made peeing burn like sulfuric acid was seeping from your pecker the last time he got his way.

CHARLIE: Fucking Intellect, pfft. How many times has that loser got you laid? You are devaluing those perky tits just thinking about currency devaluation. All this talk of austerity programs is gonna waste a good hard-on. Let’s grab that pussy while the grabbing’s good!

The intellect makes a far more compelling argument doesn’t he? Which makes it a tragedy how often Charlie wins this debate. Clearly, it’s not a meeting of the minds, yet Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s intellect continuously loses the battle of wits with the stubborn, stunted rival between his legs. The moral here is not that it is fair to condemn the man who possesses a healthy sex drive; it’s a sign of youthful virility. But a healthy sex drive calls for a healthy concept of how to achieve sexual gratification.

When confronted with the arguments of Charlie vs the intellect, the man who chooses the former when doing so loses everything in reputation and career is clearly in the grip of a libido gone totally loco. The moral is, if you find yourself getting into trouble, get some counseling and medication to raise Charlie up properly. Help get him back on the path to a sexually healthy adulthood. The grown-up Charlie doesn’t need to stop craving the wondrous experience of sex. He is encouraged to do so frequently, but in ways that are exotic and foreign to his pubescent, teen-aged self.