Macho Music for the Mensa Crowd

Music and men has always been an iffy combination. If it involves banging on things and making a lot of noise, well, that’s definitely male, on both counts, so being a drummer is okay. And if it involves plugging something in—that ultimate test which separates the men from, well, from the women—that’s good, so playing the guitar, lead or bass, is okay. Especially since holding your hand at cock level is involved.

But what if your tastes are a little more classical? What if you’re a little more intellectually-inclined? Fear no more! Electronic music is here!

To begin, like all good little boys, electronic composers are obsessed with how. Their program notes are paeans to process: “The harmonic matrix for this construction was established with a dominant to non-dominant ratio of 7:5 and intra-note relationships determined according to a chance-randomized method…”

And yet, it sounds like shit. Read the rest of this entry »

Gay Bashing

Gay bashing. Now there’s something I don’t understand. ‘Queers are disgusting, man. Men touching other men, that’s really sick.’ So, yeah, go beat ’em up. Get real close and touch ’em all over. And they say men are the logical ones.

But of course it’s not just the no-necks roaming the streets at night. It’s also the ones in the highrises during the day. Consider these words of a cable television program manager: “…men French kissing and …caressing …thighs…the scene [was] offensive…bad taste.” But men hitting each other, bruising and breaking bodies with fists, and men killing each other, spattering blood and guts with bullets and knives—this is, what, good taste? I’d rather see men kissing each other than killing each other any time. (But then I’d really rather see Boston Legal reruns.)

It’s weird, the relationship between sex and violence. I don’t understand it. Mitch, the bouncer, says “They’re either gonna fuck or fight.” He understands it. Okay, think like a man. (I can’t, it hurts.) (Yes you can, try harder.) Read the rest of this entry »

Freakonomics’ Big Revelation

So I just read Levitt and Dubner’s Freakonomics, in which they present the astounding connection between access to abortion and crime: twenty years after Roe v. Wade, the U.S. crime rate dropped.

Astounding indeed. That men are so surprised by that! I mean, just how clueless are you guys? —about the power, the influence, of parenting, about the effect of being forced to be pregnant, to be saddled with a squalling baby you do not want, on an income you do not have, because you’ve got a squalling baby you do not want… What did you guys think would happen in situations like that? The women would get “Mother of the Year” awards for raising psychologically healthy adults?

What I find surprising is that access to abortion isn’t related to infanticide. Pity. Given the Freakonomics boys.

Whose Violence?

I read the other day that “Violence in our society continues to be a problem.” One, duh. Two, no wonder. I mean, we haven’t even got it named right yet.

‘Violence in our society.’ It sounds so—inclusive. So gender-inclusive. But about 85% of all the violent crime is committed by men. The gangs are made up of men, the bar brawls are fought by men, the corner stores are held up by men, the rapists are men, the muggers are men, the drive-by shooters are men. This is sex-specific. The problem is male violence.

So it does no good to look at ‘society’, to look at our schools, our workplaces, our televisions. We need to look at our boys. We need to look at how we raise them—to become men. Because our girls don’t grow up to commit assault and homicide on a regular basis.

For starters, let’s admit that Read the rest of this entry »

I’m not a feminist. Feminism is so over. We live in a post-feminist world.

It used to be that men pressured women to have sexual intercourse with them. And despite the fact that it meant risking years of unhappiness for us (unwanted pregnancy, unwanted children), for ten seconds of bliss or relief for them, we’d do it. How stupid was that?

Of course, without the weight of the patriarchy, fewer of us wouldn’t’ve done it, but still. (And by ‘the weight of patriarchy,’ I include the social bit of being raised to yield to men and the economic bit of having to marry one in order to have children.)

But now? Nothing’s changed. Damn right you’re not feminists, as all you young things proclaim with revulsion. Because you’re still servicing men. Only now it’s with blow jobs. You’re still trading your pleasure for theirs. (Your clitoris isn’t in your throat.)

When a boy makes a girl come and keeps his own pants on, when a boy becomes popular (or a professional) because he knows what to do with his hands and his tongue, then you can say it’s so over.

Let’s Talk About Sex

Disc jockeys generally come in two sexes: male and female. So what, you may think; sex doesn’t matter. Oh but it does, so sad to say.

On any given night, one or two of several things might happen. And until recently, I never gave them much thought. But when all of these things happened during a single night, it suddenly seemed clear to me that all those hitherto separate things were, in fact, related. They were all related to my sex.

On the night in question, I had agreed to fill in for a friend, to do his regular gig at a basement bar. When I arrived early for a show-and-tell with his system, I was immediately struck by – size. Mike and I started out as deejays at the same time: we went through training together, we apprenticed with the same outfit, and then we each bought out our identical systems and started our own businesses. I have pretty much kept the same system – a couple cassette players, a search deck, a mixer, an amp, and a pair of 12″ X 16″ speakers on tripods, with a microprocessor. Mike, I now saw, had added. And he’d added big: he now had two pairs of speakers, each 3′ by 2′, a second amp of course, and a couple CD players.

What is it with men? Read the rest of this entry »

Figure Skating: A Very Gendered Thing

Many call figure skating a sissy sport, a feminine thing. To the contrary, and to my unrelenting irritation, it is a very gender-inclusive sport, a sport of both sexes, a sport where men must be men and women must be, well, girls.

Consider the costumes. The men usually wear ordinary long pants and a more or less ordinary shirt. The women, on the other hand, with such consistency I suspect an actual rule, show their legs–their whole legs–and almost as much of their upper body as they can get away with. And they always wear that cutesy short little girl skirt. What is it with that? Or they wear a negligée. (Ah. It’s the standard bipolar turn-on for sick men: sexy – child.) (Why is child sexy to men? Because child guarantees power over. And that’s what sex is to men–power, not pleasure. Or rather, the power is the pleasure. Probably because they don’t recognize the responsibility of power.) (So even in a sport without frequent legs-wide-apart positions, the woman’s costume would be questionable. But I believe it’s actually a rule–the female skaters must show leg. Like most rules women are expected to follow, this one surely was made by men, for men. As if women exist for men’s viewing pleasure.) Read the rest of this entry »

Canterbury’s Law, The Good Wife, etc, etc, etc…

When the pilot episode of Canterbury’s Law aired, I was really annoyed. The main character was an intelligent, powerful woman (a lawyer). Good. Who is shown obsessing over her appearance, albeit grudgingly, wondering whether the color of her suit brings out her eyes. Within the first hour, we also see her going to her husband for comfort and mourning a lost child.

The main character, a man, in Law and Order? I didn’t see the pilot episode, but I’ll bet it didn’t open with him fretting over his tie, and I’ll bet he’s never shown seeking, let alone getting, comfort from his wife, and being a father is not a defining aspect of his character. He’s just a damned good lawyer. Why can’t women just be damned good lawyers?

(Because the men who write the scripts and/or the directors who direct them and/or the producers who fund them are insecure – they can’t be men unless women are women. And being a woman means being a(n aspiring) beauty queen, a wife, and a mother.

Case in point. The Good Wife, The Trophy Wife, The First Wives Club… Why in the 21st century are women still so frequently identified as wives? That is, identified in relation to men?

We don’t see a similar proliferation of tv shows and movies with “husband” in the title. The word is emasculating. It would be especially so if it were in the context of “The Perfect Husband” or “Julia’s Husband” or some such.

Why don’t people see that “wife” is just as bad, just as subordinating?

(They do. That’s why the male writers, directors, and producers use it so often.)

In Praise of AIDS

These days I’m kinda rootin’ for AIDS, you know?

First, I mean, if we need a ‘die off’, if we need a major decrease in the human population, in order for the planet (the human species included) to survive, well then AIDS gets my vote.

War would do it. But, whether biochemical or nuclear, it would also destroy a lot of the environment. Which kind of defeats the purpose. Furthermore, a lot of innocent people tend to die in wars.

And that’s the problem with major environmental catastrophe, another contender. Sure, a lot more earthquakes or droughts would do it–droughts are especially effective because they can cause mega-famines–but again, lots of innocent people would die.

There are other diseases which, in epidemic proportions, would do the trick. Read the rest of this entry »

Men’s Precision Teams

Have you ever wondered why there are no men’s precision teams?

Sure, precision skating requires attention to detail and a highly developed spatial sense. But both are surely male capabilities; in fact, aren’t they male superiorities? Isn’t that why (so we’re told) men dominate science and engineering?

And of course, the sport requires skating skill. But countless men–Alexei Yagudin, Elvis Stojko, Kurt Browning, Brian Boitano, to name a few–have proven this to be Y-chromosome-compatible.

Perhaps it’s the degree of cooperation required that’s simply beyond men. Yes, men are capable of cooperation–that’s what team sports are all about. But in hockey, football, basketball, and the like, there’s always room to be a star; there’s always room for grandstanding, for upstaging. In a precision skating team, there’s no room for even the teeniest of egos. (Synchronized swimming–there’s another sport men simply couldn’t handle. There’d be way too many deaths by drowning.)

And yes, men are capable of the timing that cooperation entails. Read the rest of this entry »