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I Am Iron Man

2008-05-07 14:09:16.335202+00 by Dan Lyke 4 comments

My dad sent 75 Skills Every Man Should Master via email, rather than posting it here, but it made me think enough that I put it here.

Last Friday, Charlene was down in Fresno, so I went out with the hiking gang to see Iron Man[Wiki]. Given the previews, I wasn't looking for too much, something engaging enough that when, inevitably, despite the potential licensing issues, they cranked up the "naaa naaa na naa naa, nana nana naa naa [beat] naa naa" I felt compelled to holler "whooo!" and throw up the horns.

What I found was something that's making me look at images of masculinity and success a little bit, and made me interested in how popular culture is playing those notions. Especially when combined with the discussion on the train, and the way those young women identified with their own tribe, it's got me asking some questions that I thought I'd answered.

More on those as the blog continues.

[ related topics: Sociology Machinery Community ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2008-05-07 16:46:56.922697+00 by: ebradway

I caught Iron Man yesterday. I was impressed by the play of the male figures - but like many comics - the female characters weren't much more than props. In fact, I think the robots in the workshop got more character development in the script.

Asha gave me a book for an anniversary present, David Deida's The Way Of The Superior Man. It's something I've been yearning for - basically a self-help guide for the Post-Feminist Male. That is, Feminism has done a great job of leveling the playing-field but it's also driven out much of what makes a man. This has negative effects on sexuality, drive, and emotional expression.

On the Skills for Men, I still need to work on:

  1. Buy a suit

haven't done this in decades - and Iron Man made me think it wouldn't hurt to have a good suit in the closet.

  1. Throw a punch

Again, haven't done this in ages. Sometimes I wish my brothers and I actually fought when we were kids...

  1. Tie a bow tie

I know at least three different neck-tie variations - and that's more than enough

  1. Hit a jump shot in pool.

I think this ranks up there with bow ties...

  1. Make three different bets at a craps table.

Along with jump shots... I don't play craps in Vegas...

#43 is funny because I've done all of these without "turning off the damned main" and replacing a thermostat doesn't even involve the main or enough amperage to matter. I've now lost respect for the list.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-05-08 13:41:51.070877+00 by: Dan Lyke [edit history]

My issues started with the observation that the female characters weren't much more than props (though the product placement crap did get annoying really fast), but I think that's a symptom of a very "Maxim" view of the world.

On the list, I got a "Manhattan never actually done any real work" sense from the author (re: #43), but... "10. Buy a suit", doubt I'll buy another one in my life, though I may buy a tux. But the one that brought me up short is:

  1. Show respect without being a suck-up. Respect the following, in this order: age, experience, record, reputation. Don't mention any of it.

Back when living long involved some skill, age may have gotten something from me, but though I'll honor experience, age is right off my list.

#Comment Re: Respect for age made: 2008-05-08 14:04:56.703171+00 by: andylyke [edit history]

I agree that age isn't an automatic ticket to respectability! If one needed to cite specific examples, the names Cheney, Rumsfeld and Ashcroft might spring quickly to mind.

It seems to me that with age comes either:

  1. deeper reflection and more open mind, accompanied by lighter outlook and good humor or
  2. ossification of outlook and opinion accompanied by bitterness and cynicism.

when I get old, I hope to achieve a). Only time will tell

#Comment Re: made: 2008-05-16 15:53:56.868252+00 by: ebradway

Andy: all signs point to 'a'. The fact that you can state two sides to aging means you have a more open mind with a lighter outlook!

But respect is a curious thing. It's not the same as submission. It's possible to respect age and not submit to it. And something my mother always liked to say about being open minded: "An open mind looses the perspective of the closed mind - and there may be value there" or, put more simply, "don't be so open minded that your brain falls out".