Neutralizing the American male

I am so glad that my father passed away some thirty years ago because he would have certainly not survived in today’s conforming world. He was brash, often vulgar, and scathingly critical of fools. When my mother described someone “nice”, my father’s brisk reply would be, “He’s a fool”. My dad did not have much patience with weakness especially in men. He loved us kids and my mother immensely but as a typical man of his times, he was raised to walk a straight line and take care of a family without reservations. He was what we used to call “a real man”.

In my childhood, real men smelled of cigarettes, pipe tobacco, and Old Spice. They wore a suit and tie to work, and often a hat. They opened doors for ladies, led ladies to their seats, and stood up when a lady walked in. Our real men protected women and “brought home the bacon” often working at two jobs to support their families. They were proud, stoic, strong, and eventually taught their sons to be the same way. It was called raising your son “right”. Taking care of the “women folk” was not a myth. “Women and children first” was the cry of men in any disaster. Tell that to the #MeToo movement!

We are walking perilously on a precipice of brain degradation instigated by pinhead psychologists and social philosophers. Nothing is sacred to this generation of pseudo intellectual idiots, including religion, family, or discipline. They are bent on making us believe that what we had known as good or normal is now an abomination. There latest sordid attempt is to have us believe that behaving like a man within the masculinity of man’s gender is conducive to limiting “males’ psychological development”. In my father’s own words: what a bunch of fools.

A January 10, 2019, article by Fiza Pirani of The Atlanta-Journal-Constitution left me speechless (which is an anomaly in itself). It seems that the American Psychological Association (APA) released “guidelines” on how men can prevent “gender role conflict”. Whatever that means. According to a “study” by these intellectual idiots, the male gender goes into conflict at a very early age, because young boys are lead into a stereotypical life style that could promote sexual harassment, bullying, homophobia and other “disruptive” behaviors. Cannot make this crap up if I tried. Of course they do not mention the fact that some 70% of young boys especially in minority groups are raised without fathers, do not know their fathers, and are often raised by grandparents. I wonder if they studied this phenomenon?

In days of old when men were bold and women enjoyed their femininity; mothers (foolish that they were), raised boys in pants, allowed them to climb trees, often be obnoxious, and later slapped respect in them. This was obviously flawed upbringing because according to the APA, these actions exposed their male off springs to “rigid gender norms” that often led to depression in adulthood. They defined this drivel as “masculinity ideology”. I was depressed reading it. Thank God that all those soldiers who sacrificed their lives in both WW I and WWII were “gender conflicted” or we would be marching to the tune of Deutschland Uber Alles! I bet it was the “constellation of standards” that urged them to risk their lives for our freedom. But I digress.

Generations ago we taught our kids about life at an early age. The death of a pet, failing at an exam, or not making it on a school team; suck it up and move on. Better still, do better. You want to drive a fancy car like the rich dude down the street? Study hard and make good at your job. “Dreamers” were not illegal aliens jumping a fence at the Mexican border. They were hard working families who believed in the American dream. The dream that would come to reality with perseverance, and yes, often good luck. But we quit teaching kids discipline, fortitude, integrity, and fundamental survival. Instead from infancy we led them to believe that they were God’s gift to mankind without responsibility or accountability. That hard work was somehow beneath them. Henceforth we have a bunch of six-figure student-loan-debt- ridden graduate intellectuals busing tables at Starbucks. A generation of social activist morons. I digress again.

The “masculinity ideology” took a life of its own when Gillette (the razor company) unveiled a commercial with a “message”. Call me stupid, but having been married, and also raised in a family with three men, I can assure you that all these guys ever wanted in a razor was a sharp shave and the sincere hope that they would not cut their faces to shreds. But Gillette took marketing to another level. They wanted to teach the American males a lesson in liberating themselves from their “narrow roles” as men. This capitulation to the now banal #MeToo movement has reached epidemic proportions and in my humble opinion should be considered gender bigotry. Unfortunately, the #MeToo is another organization hijacked by radicals and morphed into #Insane.

Gillette wants their consumers to be “The Best a man can get”. Watching the commercial is as riveting as watching grass grow. Gillette is now the self proclaimed psychological social mentor of the American male, teaching him not to be inherently a Neanderthal. But isn’t that why we love men? Because they are Neanderthals. They eat junk, have stinky socks, snore, and are enamored of any sport that entails grunting, sweating, throwing a ball, and often swearing. I do not know any man who would sit for hours watching figure skating. Don’t we want men to be strong and tough? Don’t we want to feel protected by them? Don’t we want to be admired by them? Not according to the APA or Gillette. Men must become sensitive. They must be reined in. Good luck ladies! After watching the Gillette commercial, you can put your make up and hoochy mama dress away because no man in his right mind is coming within a foot of you. And if this male bashing escalates, you will soon be signing a pre-date agreement before you attempt your first “hi” let alone your first smooch!

I am sure that there are men who deserve to be castrated without anesthesia. But when a razor company feels compelled to send a social “message” to sell its product, we are on the brink of ludicrous and inane. When we give credulity to “masculinity ideology”, we are a step away from insanity. At this point I desperately need some “real man” time. I have the perfect solution. A single malt, a Cuban cigar, and Paul Newman. What a perfect “masculinity ideology” combination.

Pirani, F. January 10, 2019. ‘Traditional masculinity’ deemed harmful, could lead to sexual harassment, medical group says. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The dieting boondoggle

I confess that I have joined the diet elite. Forget Weight Watchers, Atkins, or any other flavor of the year conspiracy that convinces us that we are fat and socially unacceptable. The all new rave is now Keto. You are either socially in or out. The new kid on the block. Keto is based on the premise that if we starve our bodies from carbs, we will burn fat. That is the short version. Whatever.

The diet is allegedly used medically to control epilepsy in children. But like anything else in a vibrant market economy, and a society hung up on itself, keto found itself in mainstream social media as the latest miracle since the parting of the sea. It is well marketed and the hook and net is thrown wide into the troubled waters of incredulity and diet hopelessness with agility and finesse. You are reeled in gently. I decided to bite. I took on the bait. I entered my personal data online, and lo and behold “Sarah” sent me my daily requirements of caloric, fat, and carb intake. I was thrilled. Then came the life sustaining diagram of the absolutely no-way foods, in-small- quantity foods, and all-you-can-eat without regret foods. I quickly learned that one should not eat anything grown under the ground, drink alcohol with color, imbibe on bread, rice, grains, bright colored fruits and vegetables; you get the picture. It is going to be exciting.

Going through the grocery store is now an adventure. Short of asking a vegetable if it was grown underground, I look at everything as a measurement of sugar content lest I go over my 30 grams a day allotment. I am from the Mediterranean, and not cooking with onions or garlic (underground) is blasphemous and tasteless. But I pulled myself together and looked into the small Ketogenic fine print mantra to discover that one small white onion is within my limit of underground food. Alleluia! I wistfully look at the sweet potatoes and turn my head in stoic disciplined memories of butter and Gruyere cheese pleasantly oozing out of one of them baked to perfection. Heaven waits for me just for this sacrifice.

Penance in aid of ketogenic happiness and well being is forgoing bread, which living in Germany is equivalent to not breathing. Just when I thought I had mastered the art of omission I receive a “hi and hello” from keto “Sarah” who wants desperately to give me a meal plan. I figured why not? I have come this far why not take on the whole enchilada. I want to be fully immersed and fulfilled. And as fast as I can spell keto, the diet boondoggle raised its pointed head. The meal plan costs $240, but I have a good deal at $221. How generous of “Sarah”. I decided to un-friended both keto and “Sarah”. I do not need a meal plan to tell me that I cannot cook with anything “below ground” or that has sugar in it.

The diet conspiracy raised its ugly had in the 1980’s when we were brainwashed into thinking that unless we are shaped like embryos we are unattractive and fat. Models started to appear on fashion runways looking like zombies, and equally unattractive. I am not advocating obesity, but body structure accounts for body shape. God created man in His own image or so we were taught. So who am I to tell the Almighty that He might need a make over because society thinks He might be fat. Let’s face it, there are folk who even starved would be considered over weight by today’s standards. The medical community is as much to blame. We went through a roller coaster of misinformation about fat, eggs, cholesterol, and now carbs. We were going to die if we ate eggs, now we are going to die if we eat bread. I have news for you, we are all going to die one time or another. At this rate we should be chewing on water to be on the safe side. It is inane to think that a diet is sustainable unless one is bent on spending the rest of their lives without good food. And please refrain from telling me how making a keto “friendly” bread out of eight eggs and cream cheese is appetizing. Unless medically bound to give up certain foods because of diabetes, epilepsy, allergies, or heart condition; self inflicted diets generally never work.

Eventually, everyone falls off a diet because temptation is too strong, or just because eating a high quantity of one thing over another will eventually play havoc with our insides. Our bodies are complex enough as they are without our tweaking. All these diets are promoted as “scientifically proven” until they are debunked. As we grow older and get on in inevitable years, our bodies take on a life of their own. That is a fact. All the sand starts shifting in our hour-glass figures, some of us more than others, and it usually goes south. Women have a problem with gravity from their breasts down. It is uncanny how from one day to the next a gravitational pull takes our bosoms and mates them with our waists. We can diet till the cows come home because those babies will not budge. We eventually buy larger bras and pull ourselves like cranes building a skyscraper.

But I will persevere with my low carb new life. I have put on a few pounds and keto is my light at the end of the proverbial weight loss tunnel. I am heroically marching on and restraining my wine intake which is as painful as pulling my nails. I love dry red wine. But as I longingly look at the bottles of Baron Rothchild’s Bordeaux, I tell myself that it is all for a good cause. I am preventing my upper body from migrating south. And then just as my will power was slowly ebbing into grabbing a wine goblet, a keto silver lining opened up that saved my very soul. I found out that clear alcohol is permissible in small doses. Thank you God and pass on the whisky!

My favorite TV show

I have a very short attention span. I get bored very easily when watching anything or reading anything. Once favorite TV shows have run their course in my mind, I find them repetitive and currently with an annoying partisan social message that I do not need or want. Consequently I have dropped most from my nightly ritual. Then enters The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. This show is not for the timid and it raises the roof on any conventionality or political correctness. Thank God.

Set in the 1950’s, the show is about New York City’s affluent Jewish community. Miriam “Midge” Maisel is a typical 1950’s woman. Never leaves her home without makeup, hat, gloves, high heels, and nails. She marries Joel Maisel whose father is in the clothing business. They have two kids and live upstairs from her parents’ upper West side apartment. Her father, Abe Weissman, is a mathematics professor at Columbia University. This is the time when Columbia University was thoroughbred and students wore suits and dresses and were not radical pinheads. But I digress.

The show is staunchly Jewish carrying all the stereo typical Jewish traits of drama, money, and self-afflicting jokes. Which brings us back to Midge. Midge’s husband Joel wanted to pursue stand up comedy. In the evening the young couple led a double life. They went to the pseudo night club Gaslight and Joel did his routine which Midge inadvertently wrote. But that is as far as Joel went.

Without divulging the entire story and ruining the series, needless to say, it was Midge who became the stand up comic and performed as Mrs. Maisel. When her husband left her on Yom Kippur, she went to the Gaslight, got drunk, and blew the roof off with a comic routine which was taped illegally and sold on long playing records.

The show is not just fabulous for the clothing, the nostalgia, and the cutting-edge humor; it opens up a window into what being a professional woman was like in the 1950’s. The writers who are of course Jewish, brought out the nuances of women 60 years ago. In one episode, Midge’s mother who was also an art student at Columbia, convinced the women students into transferring to the university’s business school to find men. But as frivolous as that seemed, her message was more scathing. She was questioning women receiving graduate degrees if the only thing they wanted to do was to get married. She was also questioning their aspirations. One of them aspired to be a teacher “maybe at the university” . Really, replied the mother. “Have you ever seen any women professors?” Or something to that effect.

What the show does is bring forward the strength and tenacity of the 1950 woman. Women used their gender to manipulate their lives and shape themselves into whatever they wanted to be. They also rebelled. In today’s hard core militant female world, the 1950 woman would seem to be a weak frivolous thing. But she wasn’t. From the backrooms, kitchens, parlors, and secretarial typing pads, women ruled discreetly and with purpose. They used their gender wisely.

The show is a combination of profanity, comedy, stereo typing, and rawness that is refreshing and entertaining. There is nothing political about it. The Jewish community lived and lives in a world of its own. They fight among each other. They gossip endlessly. And they are always conscious of the fact that as Jews they are on the outside looking in on a society of goy (gentiles) who are uptight and set in their strange ways. They flourish in a city that accepts them for what they are and what they produce. They are a migrant mix of eastern European and new generations of Jewish Americans living the American dream. In one episode the wives were talking about their husbands wanting to die in Israel. “Why would anyone want to be buried in the desert?” To Joel’s father who was the biggest pain in the ass, Midge’s mother asked: “I hear you want to be buried in Israel. So when is that going to happen?” Nobody writes like that anymore.

The Wonderful Mrs. Maisel is void of gun violence or digitally enhanced anything. It is a story about an America that with all its post war trauma was much simpler. Less hung up on itself. Less hung up on individual needs. More together. More familiar. More lovable. Gentler and with more absorbed diversity than the irritating diverse activism of today. Nobody had to tell them to like each other. Most of them didn’t. But they were still united in a perception that hard work and hope can give you a better life in America. Midge Maisel is my heroine; elegance wrapped in tenacity and hutzpah!