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News Link • Anthropology

James Howard Kunstler: Man Down

A casual Martian observer hanging around any convenience store in the "fly-over" zones of this nation must be impressed with the striking way that American men present themselves to the world. Forgive me for revisiting an oft-dredged-up theme - male costuming and adornment in our time - but I wouldn't keep bringing it up if I didn't think it was significant. On the whole, American men present themselves as savages. I think they do it because they feel very insecure about themselves - similar to the insecurity that prompts a politician to wear a flag lapel pin. Should there be any doubt that an elected official cares about his country? Or maybe we should ask: what kind of country produces such craven, weak, pandering elected officials? What kind of culture produces men who get themselves up like chain-saw murderers? The same country that furnishes an endless diet of super-hero movies to pubescent males who are not expected to develop normal adult coping powers. The same country that supplies gruesome, sado-masochistic video games to occupy the idle hours of young men - and then lets them take those "skills" to some tilt-up bunker in Nevada where they sit in air-conditioned comfort and direct drone aircraft ten thousand miles away to incinerate suspected "enemies" in mud villages. (Sometimes "mistakes are made" and they blow up a wedding party...

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