Threat to society
ARGH! ARGH! ARGH! Neo-macho man
When I was in high school, being "macho" was as important as having a driver's license and a date for Friday night.
Machismo meant you spent your afternoons and Friday nights tackling other guys and then taking showers with them.
I preferred my "contact sports" with the opposite gender.
As editor of the high school paper, I had a staff of fifteen good-looking, good-smelling girls who answered to me,
but I still was not deemed macho. Playing football was macho, reporting on the game wasn't.
But, according to a new survey by the Amalgamated Research of Guys' Habits (ARGH), I was simply thirty years ahead
of my time. The head-busting, beer-guzzling, gas-passing, skirt-chasing machismo is so last century. ARGH's
research shows that "neo-macho" men have a more accurate perspective of what real power and machismo is all about.
According to ARGH, working with a 220-volt, 30-amp, three-horse clothes drier is much more macho than ripping studs
with a wimpy 110-volt, 15-amp, one-and-a-half-horse circular saw. And the three-horse, 50-pounds-per-square-inch of
sucking power of an upright vacuum is much manlier than a sissy little shop vac. (My Kirby can suck the hair off a
cat!) Plus, my Black and Decker steam iron with heavy-duty power cord and infinite heat settings could solder an
entire circuit board with one swipe compared to my itsy-bitsy Radio Shack soldering iron. ARGH! ARGH!
Sexism and leaking head gaskets
ARGH claims that if men are really secure in their own masculine self-identity, they'll also have no trouble
respecting women as intellectual equals. So, whatever you do, guys, don't call women
"broads" or "babes." Chicks hate that!
And according to ARGH, guys getting in touch with their feelings is a major turn-on for women. So much for the
"big boys don't cry" machismo. (Of course, even neo-macho men don't actually cry--their head gaskets simply leak.)
Getting in touch with one's spiritual dimension, according to ARGH, is also very neo-macho.
Jesus, after all, was a neo-macho man over 2,000 years ago. He was a carpenter who knew
all the great fishing holes, yet hung around the town well talking with women about their concerns. He could bounce
little kids on his knee, and bounce the Pharisee out of the temple on their self-righteous rears. And while He
taught love for His enemies, the Book of the Revelation teaches that next time He comes back it's with more power.
Performance enhancing drugs
And according the ARGH, forget powered protein and steroids. The neo-macho man is popping Prozac.
A real study by Michael Addis of Clark University reveals that symptoms of depression
in men are very different than the female varieties. Depressed men don't sit in the dark writing really bad poetry.
They sit in front of the tube in a persistent vegetative state with little initiative or motivation to do more
than click the remote and reach for more pork rinds.
According to actual medical studies, serotonin provides the spark between nerve endings, and depressed people
have less of this chemical than non-depressed people. So taking Prozac, and the other "serotonin reuptake
inhibitors," is like pouring a can of STP Engine Cleaner into your system. Your spark plugs are clean and shiny,
and your pistons are pumping with more power. ARGH! ARGH!
(My lawyer wants me to warn you that Prozac is a powerful prescription drug, self-medicating is illegal in all
fifty states, and you should see your family doctor if you feel you're depressed.)
Money, sex, and power
Finally, the rules of money, sex, and power have all changed in the neo-macho cosmos.
Suddenly, computer geek Bill Gates is one of the richest men on earth and 18-year-olds are making their own millions
with their stock portfolios from upstart Web sites. When the heads of software companies are a thousand times
richer than professional football players, the times they are a changin'.
So, thirty years (and forty pounds) later, I may finally go to my high school reunion without feeling intimidated
by the ex-football players. While they're hobbling around on their torn cartilage and artificial knees, I'll be
able to write on my "HELLO I'M" card: JIM WATKINS: WORD JOCK.
© 2000 James N. Watkins
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