Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Real Guys Like Sport

When I was ten my view of the grown up male world was formed by film and TV and a sense of drama and adventure that was no where in reality. This lead to playing out narratives with friends and loads of Toy Guns some of which I still own at the ripe age of fifty. We would play Army Man and The Man From Uncle. Open channel D. This fantasy life never really ended. It may have been partly replaced by a desire to play loud music and to be an artist. It also dawned on me I was meant to be chasing girls and smoking pot. The art and music things don’t change much and I keep those activities going to whatever avail – but for some reason this all lets me down within my relationships with other guys who certainly aren’t slaves to their art, only their jobs and their middle class life styles. I can’t fault them for that but I want to know where has their sense of wonder gone. I know sport supplies it to a great degree. It is the one area where they can remain boyish and exceptional. I don’t mind except when quizzed on Basketball scores or when sitting with die-hard Coach Potatoe spouting statistics. Then it is merely dull.

My history with sport has been appalling. I am a skinny intellectual guy yet part of me aspires to be the popular alpha-male type. In England this classifies me as a New Man. The term was used for many years until it was replaced by the New Bloke which I certainly was not. I think it refers to the foul mouthed Oasis guys or hunky David Beckham types. In any case, England is loaded with New Men, even if they have been eclipsed by Blokishness. Bring back the New Man I say and import them to the USA. Of course, we may have to allow for a hybrid mix of Grumpy Old-New Men as all the punk rockers approach fifty.

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