The animal: a taboo male fantasy
In the poem “Big Night On The Town,” Charles Bukowski writes, “drunk on the dark streets of some city, / it’s night, you’re lost, where’s your / room? / you enter a bar to find yourself, / order scotch and water. / damned bar’s sloppy wet, it soaks / part of one of your shirt / sleeves.”
As with many of Bukowski’s poems, “Big Night On The Town” focuses on the adventures (or misadventures) of a man standing at the edge of the abyss and staring into the void. A large part of Bukowski’s appeal is that he speaks for the everyman, the one caught in a shit storm without an umbrella; the one egged on by persistent biology, forced to take a knife to the wild heart to let some of the testosterone out. Whether it’s a bottle of booze or a floozy, the testosterone must come out, one way or another.
And so he goes out into the world, the modern American male, having his nightly adventures. While the people Bukowski writes about are on their last leg, his themes are universal or, as one critic put it, “detailed depiction of a certain taboo male fantasy: the uninhibited bachelor, slobby, anti-social, and utterly free.” That is a fantasy for some men – that sense of freedom. Although Bukowski (and his characters) may seem animalistic at times, he yearns for something more or else he wouldn’t be so concerned that the bar “soaks part of one of your shirt sleeves.” In other words, testosterone with a brain.
You see, men are animals. We must embrace that, but at the same time, know that we have beating hearts and pondering minds. Complicated animals, indeed. We forget that we’re animals. We forget we have hearts. We forget we have minds of our own. Why do we forget these simple facts? This is why we wander with souls dazed on nightly adventures.
Sex sells. Is the media changing our reality?
It’s about time we declare war on the media, not the entire media, just large segments of it. Why? Well, how many times are men vilified in the media? Not necessarily vilified, but demeaned and dumbed down? It seems like every second of every day there’s an article about our biological inefficiencies. Case in point: an article recently published in the Dailymail.co.uk entitled, “Men mostly have sex, food and sleep on the brain, says survey.”
Really? That is indeed news hot off the press! But seriously, what an insulting statement. Of course, men think about sex, food and sleep. We’re still animals. Women too. It’s natural to think about those things. It’s called survival. Eat to stay breathing, sleep to stay rested and screw to stay sane, to keep the gene pool full of DNA. Without sex, the gene pool would be as empty as a Rust Belt swimming pool in December, dangerously sad and depressingly dead. Of course, we dwell on sex. We have to. We can’t quite shed our Neanderthal skin. It’s in the blood, in the genome. It’s all about procreation, baby!
The article goes on to state, “Men actually daydream about sex about 34.2 times a day, which works out as every 28 minutes – but that’s still almost twice as often as women, who think about it every 51 minutes.” Um…your point? It’s common knowledge that men think about sex more than women are. My issue with these kinds of articles is that they paint men in an unflattering light, in a beastly light. While I admit that we’re animals, we’re not WHOLLY animalistic. This is an important distinction.
Sex doesn’t consume us. If it did, we’d be walking around with boners all the time, Kennedy Space Centers in our pants, our rockets angled toward the coitus cosmos. On second thought, that sounds rather nice, don’t you think? No, no, no! We are philosophers, poets, musicians and theologians; we shape the world with our minds and hearts, not our dicks.
Of course, we think about sex. Do we really need constant articles that point it out? Aren’t there better things to discuss than the beastly demeaning of men?
1.) Be an animal – keep that inner animal hungry. Turn off the TV
2.) Have a brain – use it. You get way more dates with a sense of humor and a positive attitude.
3.) Embrace your heart – yes, that sincere part. Let your heart radiate your love.
The testosterone will never go away. We live with it on a day-to-day basis, so we have to be animals. But, but, but…there’s a brain behind our eyes. We need to use it. Our bodies are filled with that coagulating red ooze. The heart must be in control. Suffice to say, the heart’s a balancing act. The media doesn’t get it, but Bukowski did. His words still do.
Post by Geoff LaPlace