(litho by Coop)
With the explosion of male-thug icon as the symbol of the modern look, one might think its necessary to watch the NFL and listen to gangster rap in order to be hard and masculine. That notion would be quite mistaken though. There is actually stuff way manlier and way more intellectual than modern masculinity if we look to the classics. And the truth is that real men read classics.
Mark Twain once said that, “a classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read.” However, here are some classics that are written in a balls out style that is captivating, and which are still relevant (after many years):
Lysistrata by Aristophanes
Basically the women in ancient Greece decide to hold out the pussy from these ancient Greek warriors. This is because their dudes are always out on foreign conquest for glory and treasure, while their babes are stuck at home cooking, cleaning, doing laundry and so-forth. This is a most un-righteous situation. While the younger women hold out the P , the older women take control of the Treasury, and the guys wind up double- screwed because they get diseases from not having clean laundry.
It gets funny as the men retaliate by letting the garbage pile up and by making the women do the heavy stuff (like fetching water from the well). Also the women are doing lots of teasing and stuff of the men (sexually) but then holding out. There’s lots of crude ancient raunchy sex jokes through-out this ancient Greek play. Plus its not overly long. This book exemplifies the underpinnings of the feminist movement, but does so in a way that is subversive and funny. ‘Know thy enemy’ is an axiom that most men would do well to remember. And it is also advantageous to be somewhat intellectual while in pursuit of the female species, since it is a quality which adds mystique, and that women find appealing.
The Snows of Kilimanjaro by Ernest Hemingway
This is another book I read recently, which is a collection of short stories. I was really taken back by how much testosterone is in it . The short story the book is named after is really raw and brutal. Its tough and mean, like the state of nature. The main character’s truck breaks down. Then he faces a blizzard and a leg infection. Then finally, hyenas come for him.
The other stories in that collection are equally relevant to men in their own respective ways. ‘Fathers and Sons’ is a touching short piece about a father and son confronting the reality of their own mortality. ‘The Killers’, about an existential hit-man who is supposed to kill a boxer. As a footnote one version of that (which was filmed) added in a crime boss character, and Ronald Reagan was cast. ‘Fifty Grand’, about a boxer making a big, shady bet on himself on his last fight before retirement. He gets double-crossed, yet prevails. These stories are all written with a poetic iconic Americana-laced grit and simplicity to them -which is absent from much of today’s authors. Men would do well to become more familiar with the classics, in order to help restore balance in the battle of the sexes.
Its time to burn all the Twilight books in a large pyre, and hoist up more robust and manly books like Hemingway back to their proper place in the social order. – Steve C.