Saturday, December 29, 2018

Manhood (Part One)

If you're new here, this is a weekly column consisting of letters written to my (eventual) grandchildren (who exist) and my great-grandchildren (who don't yet, aka the Stickies) to haunt them after they become grups and/or I'm dead.


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                                                 Glossary  

                                  Who The Hell Is This Guy?

Irregularly Appearing Imaginary Guest Stars 
Marie-Louise -- My beautiful muse  
Iggy -- My designated Sticky
Dana -- My designated gentlereader

"Manhood coerced into sensitivity is no manhood at all." -Camille Paglia


Dear (eventual) Grandstickies & Great-Grandstickies,

This letter is addressed to a specific individual (who shall remain nameless) who knows who they are and why I'm writing this. For the duration of this letter, they will be called Anonmy (short for anonymous) 'cause it's vaguely humorous (humy?) and I'm all about finding the humy in a given situation.


Dear Anomy,

Believe it or not, I get it. All male H. sapiens between (roughly speaking) the ages of 16 and 25 have to deal with what you're dealing with. Always have, always will. The age of the onset and the end of this particular stage varies. For some, it starts earlier, as in your case. For some, it ends later but not, I predict, in your case.

I refer to the transition from boy to man. The age range I've chosen isn't based on a particular study I'm going to link to...

Big But
Studies do report that males, roughly betwixt the ages of 16 and 25 commit the most homicides. The whys and wherefores depend on who you ask.

Settled science (and Simon) says that the average H. sapiens brain isn't fully developed till about the age of 25, particularly the area of the brain responsible for inhibiting impulses and making smart decisions.

Interestingly, car insurance companies seem to have figured this out before science officially did.

As hard as it probably is for you to fathom, I was once 16 to 25. Been there, done that. For some, it never really seems to end. Fortunately, for most of those sorts, the problem slowly fades to grey if they manage to stay alive and out of jail, and they mellow out considerably with age.

Finally, these are the peak years of your callowyute stage. While that's perfectly normal, until you advance to early gruphood you're as incapable of fully grasping your situation as a 6-year-old is as incapable of grasping what it will be like to be 16.

For the record, there are some wildly misinformed, narrow-minded souls loose in the world that maintain to this day that my callowyute period lasted into my early thirties. In my defense... nevermind, it's extremely complicated.


As I said, I went through it, but under much different circumstances than the ones you are experiencing. Although the American culture had begun fragmenting it was still early days. I was raised by parents that had survived WW2 and the Great Depression, an experience that left them humbled and grateful. They managed to impart a little of this to me when I was a callowyute; I've (ever so slowly) learned, and verified, the lessons life taught them since.

They could only dream about the lifestyle that you and I take for granted. They would be absolutely delighted, were they still around, that their sacrifices helped to make the life you and I live possible.

When I was coming up, America was still very much a Judeo-Christian nation that (mostly/more or less) believed in (some version of) God and a set of personal Rules&Regs that are more or less summarized by the Ten Commandments.

This way of being, seeing and living was pounded into me (occasionally literally) by Sister Mary McGillicuddy, Father Bing Crosby, and their crew, in the course of my eight years of Catholic Grade schooling at Our Lady of Sorrows elementary school. Although I was incapable of appreciating the firm foundation I stood on as a kid, I do now.


You, on the other hand, are a product of postmodern America and America's postmodern, politically correct public education system.

Teachers unions. Gummit Rules&Regs that just keep on coming. A hooge horde of professional bureaucrats to enforce said Rules&Regs. Platoons of pussified parents (and their lawyers) perpetually protecting Paul, Polly, and Per (short for Person) from potential triggering by everdamnthing. More lawyers. And saints preserve us, anti-vaxxers.

You, on the other hand, are the product of glowing screens that don't play the Star Spangled Banner when it's time for all good people to go to bed, tell you good night, and sign off till morning. Of course, it's too early to accurately predict the long-term effects, if any, of 24x7 electronic media access. We were told we were doomed 'cause of all the TV we watched. I had several moms besides the real one. Donna Reed, Ozzie's wife (not the one you're thinking of), Mrs. Cleaver, and Josie Carey (among others, look 'em up if you're interested).

I used to think that your generation's version of rock-n'-roll (call it what you want, "...it's still rock-n'-roll to me") was probably going to cause brain damage. But Rock was to Swing as Rap is to Rock. That is to say, the current version of the same concept. If your parent's music doesn't suck, at least till you're old enough to appreciate its few redeeming qualities, you may, not necessarily but you may, have "issues" (GRIN).

On the other hand... Oh, crap, wait a sec'. One, two, three, four... Yup, I'm already over the word limit. I'll have to continue this next week. Poppa loves you.

(To be continued...)

Have an OK day. 
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©2018 Mark Mehlmauer

[I haven't got around to figuring out the official way to do this yet... but as of 12.15.18 I'm offering up my humble scribbles under a Creative Commons License. That is to say, Anyone may republish my columns anywhere -- as long as they don't alter them and as long as they credit me (Mark Mehlmauer) as the author, and, link to my website, The Flyoverland Crank.















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