A Real Man
What are some of the qualities of a real man?
This is a vast question, one that the Globe and Mail is trying to answer by asking some writers their thoughts on the matter. I am flattered to say that I was one of the writers they asked, and this was my response:
A real man must have a healthy respect for nature.
A real man knows that humidity is a festering curse, so if the Humidex rises much above 30, he will stay inside with the AC cranked. He does this because he is smart and powerful and worldly. The real man never retreats, he merely lies in wait until favourable conditions arise.
A real man is also wary around birds.
He believes flight to be cheating and does not trust cheaters.
If any cheater birds come around a real man’s family, that bird would be a fool. A real man will wave his arms about and shriek, he will do whatever it takes to keep that bird from attacking his family.
Even if his family can be ungrateful and mocking.
That sort of stuff just rolls off a real man’s back.
A real man knows how to build a scarecrow to keep birds off the property he rents, too. If the real man lacks money because of his integrity, because he’s unwilling to be a sheep and get a “job” working for some soulless corporation or media conglomerate, then he will scavenge goods to create his scarecrow, and his scarecrow would be just as good, and a lot more scary, than any fancy, professionally manufactured scarecrow.
A real man is not scared to use coupons.
He is industrious.
And his fearfulness makes him fearless.
And if he cries easily, like when Jon Snow had to kill his red-headed, Wildling girlfriend on GOT, or when a sweet, little gymnast just nails the program she’s worked so hard on, it is only because he feels things so strongly.
A real man feels it in the gut.
He feels it in the gut hard.
You must understand that.
When at a party and spotting a turntable, the real man knows that it is his duty to assume all DJ responsibilities. He doesn’t shirk from this the way a not-real man might, but he owns the goddamn responsibility. He was born to educate the world by playing the barely recognizable esoterica from his youth. He was born to explain things to people.
And so, the real man won’t be bothered by all the pretty women rolling their eyes and leaving the dance floor. He won’t care that they call him DJ BuzzKill and make fun of his leather bomber jacket. In such a situation, the real man would be crying because the complicated beauty of his music had touched him in a holy way, that is all.
The real man used to be really good at sports.