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59 minutes | Jun 20, 2021
Father's Approval—Seizing The Torch When It's Not Passed
In this extended Father's Day episode, Asher doesn't laud fathers (since that's what everyone else is doing). Instead, he explores the mission of fatherhood to convey a child from uncertain youth to confident adulthood. And what can anyone do about it, if a father abdicates that responsibility?Welcome to another episode of man hearted. The show about being a man I'm Asher black, your host powered by spunk. And once again, we'll aim to get to the heart of manhood with father's day imminent at the time of this recording possibly passed. By the time you listened to it, it felt right to go ahead and talk about fathers, uh, for a father's day episode. So, uh, we're going to deal with that. And instead of being the usual thing, which you, uh, you know, it's funny, I think the two days that, um, a lot of men go to church is the, our Christmas and, uh, father's day, uh, there's, you know, usually a father's day sermon, et cetera. And of course they're glowing and they Lord fathers, and we're gonna hear all kinds of pains to fathers all throughout, uh, you know, whether it's on local news or, or wherever everybody's going to bring it up.And so we're going to distinctly not go that way. Uh, so instead, and talk about a little bit of the trouble, uh, with our fathers, uh, and, uh, see if, if you don't identify with some of this and some of this, I'm going to tell, I'm going to do a little storytelling. I'm going to tell you about my own experience. Um, and the reason I'm willing to do that at the risk of somebody saying, well, this show's too personal. It's about your experience. Is that, uh, almost every man I talked to every other man, let's just say at least half or more, um, have similar experiences and have shared this with me. And so, uh, this is not going to be a cry Fest or we're not going to be hugging and, and beating each other with rubber bats and letting out our primal scream in the wilderness or anything like that.Don't worry. Uh, but at the same time, I don't have time for it either. I hope you don't. Um, but at the same time, uh, I do think we gotta, we gotta deal with what's up, right. And make it okay. To sort of bring this out for a second and deal with it because father's day is it's like Christmas, right? It's a holiday where you fight with your relatives. Well, that's Thanksgiving. Okay. So thanks for leaving, but no, but father's day is, is a dual edged sword, right. Because you know, you have to deal with your dad, so, or you don't, or you've decided not to, in which case you're, you're at one end of the sword. So maybe you don't have the option. There's obviously many men that don't. Um, but the fact is you still carry your dad with you in, in memory one way or another, regardless of what they were like, uh, if you knew him at all.So I want to talk a little bit about, um, the trouble with fathers and it, it differs for everybody, right? Some people have the problem of paternal absence. Uh, he's not around, never was some people have the problem of paternal rejection. Your father doesn't respect. You doesn't treat you as though you're an equal or have reached the stage of manhood. Um, or there's the problem of fatherly advocation, where the father doesn't hold up his end of the bargain. And there is one, you know, and says the stuff like, well, I clothed you. I fed you. I put a roof over your head. Yeah. Okay. That's good. That's a baseline. But the state would have done that if you didn't. So, you know, the sisters of charity, the little sisters down the street would have done that, but there was a little bit more required. Right.So the thing is, we don't talk about this stuff as men very often. And I think it's because there's shame involved in having a frustrated relationship with your father. We don't tend to bring it up at least not without knowing somebody really well. And even then he might know a guy for years and, and not really go there. Right. Um, and I remember that when I first tried to articulate, uh, the confusion and, um, the feelings I was having about it, it kinda just came out as complaints and bitterness and despondency. And those are pretty unattractive features in most people, um, whether it's in business or personal life or, you know, at a cocktail party or whatever, God, I don't go to cocktail parties. Do you? I think I went to a couple of my youth and went, this is not for me. I don't even drink cocktails.Uh, well, I don't know margarita now. And then, uh, give me a scotch, give me Irish whiskey. So I, I learned to kind of keep this stuff and myself, and stay relatively silent about it. And part of that was reinforced, you know, a lot of manners sort of relieved by that. Um, because the, the meme that we're living up to is that we can take it. Right. So, um, that, you know, we're trying to basically underscore the idea that toughness and unwavering focus are, um, the quintessential, uh, male virtues. And the problem with that is, uh, you can give yourself a heart attack or a stroke or, or something like that, following that meme. So if you, if you really take a close look at the treadmill, some of us are either on, or have spent a number of years on, um, which looks very laudable in its, in his qualities, uh, an endless ambition to reach ever greater thresholds of achievement.Oftentimes that is coupled with ironically disappointment when we actually accomplish those things and what those things end up meaning to us personally. Uh, and, uh, in the wake of that, I can't help, but yeah, think that some of that, uh, involves thwarted attempts to gain the approval of our fathers. And, and so the treadmill is not one we created. We're still trying to essentially prove something to the old man. Uh, yeah. And these, these frustrated efforts, um, I'm often are to try to confirm this feeling of adulthood or manhood. And for many of us, those terms are synonymous. It's not a gender thing. It's about whatever it represents to have crossed a certain threshold and now sort of be an independent, uh, liberated adult and be free and be able to take care of yourself, whether you think of that as manhood or adulthood or synonymously as I do, um, those, those efforts to kind of get confirmation of that feeling or to confirm it, uh, are ironic because that's what paternal approval is supposed to confer on us in the first place.In other words, that is the main role of a father is one, get you there. And number two, recognize when you got there and acknowledge it, and you've, you've come into your own son. You've reached the place you are now, essentially the same as me. You are what I am. You're a man you've you've, you can take your place, uh, at the council of among men. And the, the funny thing is, is that lacking that if that wasn't done or that was withheld or on the contrary, um, in its place was sort of criticism contempt and, you know, uh, general doubt and lack of regard. Um, then sometimes at the root of our anguish over the things we achieve, um, it's actually, uh, that treadmill, which is an attempt to get to a place that we can't get to any other way. And the way we're doing is not working now.Uh, some of you might find this to be a bit touchy, feely, and a little, you know, warm and fuzzy. I don't think it's that warm, but I don't think it's that fuzzy. Uh, some, some are fuzzier than others, but, uh, I'm gonna leave it there for a second and just, uh, talk a little bit about my own experience and say, look, you know, I'm a lot like my dad, uh, I even looked like my dad. And, uh, sometimes when to get photos, you know, just a certain cut of the jib, I can kind of see what he looked like when he was younger and I'd see him work working or something like that. I'm like, oh yeah, that's what he looks like. This is what I look like. Um, and in a way that, you know, it's kind of gratifying and you would think it would be inspiring, you know, Hey, because that's w wasn't that our goal isn't that the goal of every boy to grow up in sort of be if your dad's halfway okay, to sort of be a cutoff of the old block.Right. And so seeing, uh, some version of himself and you should be inspiring. Uh, and so growing up, you know, straight up like most young men, my father was the definition of what a man is to me. He was a good looking man by my estimation. Uh, so I'm proud of that resemblance. Uh, but in the next moment, when I look in the mirror, I know it's not him. Or I look at that photograph. I know it's not him. And I remember, you know, I don't know if many of you remember that there's a song out there, cats in the cradle. It's basically about, you know, I don't have time for you, dad, just like, he didn't have time for me. And in the end he just wants the car keys. Right? Well, in a, in a more lighthearted way, many of us grew up and all we really wanted half the time was the car keys.We wanted two things, girls and car keys, that's it. You know, we knew what we wanted. It wasn't the, you, I don't know what you want. Well, I can tell you, I want the keys to some vehicle. And I would like access to where the girls are. If you have any advice on, on how to get them on top of finding them that's. But if not, we'll just use the car, drive down the main street and whistle and shout and play our music loud and hope they like it. And if any, what we hope is they will get in the car and we can then drive around what we do after that. We don't know. Uh, but you know, there's, we'll figure it out as we, no, but what I'm saying is, uh, in a similar way, um, you know, I grew up wanting to get the keys to sort of my own adulthood.And I don't find that to be an unusual situation. That's peculiar to me. Um, so I can name and I won't, uh, don't worry, but several what I would call manly men, tough guys, guys that fought in wars, got tattoos up their arms. You know, guys, you know, I wouldn't want to play a violent game of spoons with, if you haven't played violent games of spoons, you really should try it. It's fun. Um, but versus the version where I just take your spoons, you gotta play spoons standing up. Anyway, the point is, um, I've talked to these guys and, and very consistently I hear similar stories. You know, I asked a guy one time, he's a vet, right? He's standing outside of a, of a, uh, liquor store and he's asking for money. And what I like about it is the honesty. He says, Hey brother, can you give me a dollar?So I can get me a little taste, a little something to drink. And, uh, I said, I don't have it. Which is what if you live in New York, you're asked every year, five minutes. And so you've got to have a line. And so that's my line. And I got about five feet and I thought, wait a minute, did that guy just asked me for a drink in front of a liquor store? Yes. We've got to reward that. This is what I'm talking about. The guys that just like, excuse me, sir, could I talk to you for a minute? We don't have time. You know, play me a song, juggle, do something interesting. Put on a show, tell me a funny story or a joke like while I'm walking and I'll stop and pay and pay for the busking, or just be honest, I need a buck for a drink.I'm dying for a Sam Jones and for a pack of cigarettes, can you help me out? Give me a quarter or anything will work. No problem, man. Here you go. So I went back and I said, tell you what, I don't give anything for free free, but if you talk to me for a second answer, answer some questions. I'm curious about something. Uh, then I'll give you a couple bucks, no problem. And he said, yeah, what do you want to know? And I, I basically said, how did you get from there to here? So, you know, in other words, what, what brought you in front of this liquor store? And so he started telling me, and he was in the military and he was stationed in Germany during the Reagan era and all this, we were talking about the Berlin wall. It was a great conversation.And, um, you know, he mentioned, he said, look, you know, I got in the military, I did a lot of drugs. And I ended up with fights with my officers, as long as I was doing my job. It was great. But as soon as, as soon as I had downtime, as soon as I had free time to kind of not be focused on doing the actual work, I got into conflict with the authority figures around me. Right. And I said, oh, you know, well, you know, where did you do? You sounded like you had some built up bands. And he says, yeah, it kind of started with my father who used to tie us to chairs and beat my brothers and sisters with things. And then he would never be there and like that. And I'm like, and I know there's somebody out there going, oh, hall hall, Boohoo, south story.And you and that guy. Who's saying that. Um, cause that's the kind of thing my father would say to, you know, is like, oh, what are you crying now? Um, that's the, that's the line from every that wants to escape the man heartedness of doing your job. Being father is a job deal with it. It's like being a soldier or police officer or a medic being a father is a job. And you there, sir, the requirements like with any job to get it done. And if you don't do it, don't sit there and say that the guy that expects you to do it, the customer, the end user, the recipient, because you didn't put his car together correctly, Mr. Mechanic, or even so him up after you did the operation Boohoo, what are you going to cry now? Yeah. you tow.I do my job. Okay. So here's the thing. This guy said, you know this stuff with his father, um, you know, hung over his head for years and he's never, still quite reconciled with it. And he, he told me, of course, he took you, you, you know where I'm going to go. He's had kids and he hasn't had it great relationship with his kids and they see them as either absent or un-involved, he's had a hard time giving them what they need. And it's no wonder cause he didn't get what he needs. How would he know what the it looks like? Right. So that was an interesting story that just reconfirmed what these other guys that aren't standing outside, they're running businesses and stuff like that, that aren't standing outside a liquor store asking for a taste are also dealing with, uh, when they sort of let them cat out of the bag and say, yeah, I'm my own man never gave me the, uh, the time of day or never gave me any confirmation that anything I did was right.Et cetera. Um, in other words, another way of saying is my father didn't do his job. Your father didn't do his job. Let's acknowledge that. All right. So I want to talk about something that you see in all of these sites, manhood, uh, sort of groups and things like that. I'm not suggesting you go join a drumming circle, go into the wilderness, grow a beard, find your, your wooly man, quit showering and howl at the moon. I'm not, you don't have to go off and join a cult or a tribe. Um, but there is a point to some of the things some of those guys are talking about and one of them is called the Rite of passage. Many of you will have heard of this in every culture, in both genders, by the way women have it too. It's just different. Uh, for, in most cultures, there's a point at which regardless of the manner or method that culture use uses the older person, the elder says, um, uh, for instance, in some native American traditions come and sit at the council of chieftains and be one of us.You're one of us, uh, you've joined us now. You're not the chief. You're one of the chieftains. You're one of your words. One of the men whose counsel will be respected, whose voice will be heard among the other men, for some people it's their, the mitzvah or bat mitzvah, um, for the Cherokee, um, it was surviving a night alone in the wilderness blindfolded. You're right. You take it out in the wilderness. You left there with all the sounds. I don't, if any of you have ever been in the woods without a flashlight for a few hours and I don't mean, and you you've got your trusty knife and your, you know, your hunting rifle. I mean, you're out there alone with just no flashlight and nothing. Um, I've done it. It's an interesting thing. And you have to make some decisions about how you're going to deal with it.For me, uh, up in the mountains of South Carolina, with the rattlesnakes and the freaking Carolina Pumas, uh, I made the decision to be the scariest thing in the night. So it's the only way. It's the only way you can get from there to the nearest highway. If you're going to, you know, routinely, which is what I was doing. So the Cherokee, they put the kid out there, imagine a boy, you know, he's 11 or nine and they put him out there and he has to survive alone in the wilderness blindfolded. He doesn't just have to be okay out there. He also has to not get eaten. And there are things out there that will blindfold he's blindfolded and the daylight. He doesn't even get to take off his own blindfold. His father comes and removes the blindfold. And when that happens, you're an adult. And then you begin to partake in all the things that adults get.But more importantly, what's really transpired is not, you get some voting privileges or you get to now you get the tasty cuts of meat or some crap like that. You get to, you know, get married. The really cool thing, uh, is that you now get all the self-confidence and self regard that that brings and instills in you a sense of, yes I am. I'm one of these. I have achieved the thing I've reached the goal. It is complete. I am now this thing, it's a fundamental way in which something you do changes what and who you are. It's probably the only time in life that will occur. Some people go on and on about, well, when you have children, it change it, man. There is nothing to compare to the change from being a child to adulthood. Traditionally, it isn't having a kid it's stopping, being a kid that does it.So more correctly, you end up knowing exactly what you are and who you are. And then you start feeling the acceptance of people like your father, his peers, as your own peers, and your sense of self begins to evolve and change. It begins it's true. Maturation maturing like a wine or a good cigar or a twelve-year-old scotch. Uh, if you're like me, I don't drink the wine, but I draped this guy. Actually I had a 10 year old bottle of wine a few months ago. And that was awesome. So wine actually gets good after a while. It's true what they say? I think, nah, you know, I don't need the wine, but if you'll put it away for a few years, I'll come back. Maybe I'll drink it then. So for most of the people that I know, most of my colleagues, people in business and people I've worked with and know personally, the Rite of passage, wasn't something so fierce as well.You know, I tied it to a tree side and the tigers didn't eat yet. Instead it was a pat on the back and some moment in which their dad said something like, look, I respect what you've done. You've become like me in the essential ways, but you're still your own man. You make me proud. That's it. Boom, that's it. The words are going to differ forever, everybody. But the meaning they get transferred by that formula, um, is universal in every culture. And the meaning is the same. And by contrast those men who describe an absence and a loss in place of that passage, typically when you listen to them, they tend to characterize their relationship with their father. As essentially unchanged, since childhood, there was a point in which it just freeze framed like the end of a Western where, you know, he rides off into the wilderness and he's always going to be that guy come back,Shane Shane.And you know, for those of you who don't know what's going on in that movie are too young. Go watch the movie and then study the ending. Cause that freeze frame has a point to it. But anyway, the, that, that...
34 minutes | Jun 18, 2021
Why John Wick is a Wuss and Rambo Isn't
Who's a tough guy?—John Wick, Rambo, or Walt Kowalski (Gran Torino)? Asher makes the argument that the John Wick TYPE, while a fantasy meme for self-appointed warriors in general, is actually a wussified representation of their delicate disposition. These cultural icons are fundamentally different beings with a distinct ethos, and John Wick represents the sociopathic prig among us who is just as likely to participate in a mass shooting or overreact to a mask mandate. Asher also conflates Gran Torino w. El Camino (faux pas!).Welcome to another episode of man hearted. The show about being a man I'm Asher black, your hosts powered by spunk. And once again, we'll aim to get to the heart of manhood today. I want to explain why I think John wick is a wuss. Now I know many of you probably like that sort of film and like John wick in particular, and you know, it's fine if you do,That's independent liking the film, liking That genre is independent of whether in fact, John wick is a wuss. And while that may seem a fairly esoteric pursuit to solve that puzzle, I think importantly, we can learn a thing or two for what that was Snus means for the rest of us. Now, first I want to say, don't get me wrong. I like Kiana reefs. And I'm for those who are detractors of counter Reeves and say that he doesn't act, he has no acting skills, I don't buy it. I think he's awesome. I think he's done a lot of great films. I even, I even liked to walk in the clouds film and that a lot of people famously desk and on top of that, you know Kiana was just a decent person. And that counts for a lot, I think in a sometimes jaded industry and jaded world, but his character, John, where can, if you're not familiar with these, this film, basically there's a retired Hitman, a retired Hitman named John wick.And some stuff gets done to him and he ends up going on a vengeful rampage. So it's about revenge and he just Moes down person after person. I don't have a final body count, but I'm guessing it's gotta be 300 people, at least that get killed in this film. And not, not because they keep doing stuff to him so much. It's just, it's this initial thing. Right. And you know, there's famous lines from the film that people who love it love and it's become a whole franchise, but it's things like, you know when they, when they, you know, you're talking about when you want to get the boogeyman, when you want to scare the boogeyman, who do you call? He called John wick. Right? Well, here's the thing, John, what happens to John wick? John? There's a quote from the film. I lost everything.That dog was a final gift from my dying wife. Okay. So what do they do? These guys break into his house. Okay. So there's point number one, I get it. That's annoying. I I've had my house broken into, I don't enjoy it. He was beaten up. That's no fun. That happened to me in junior high school. I didn't like it. But all of those people are, if they're not alive, I didn't do it to them. I it's not that I haven't thought about it. Go back and find them now. But what I know is they're probably half of them are probably dead from diabetes and you know, running some car lot and they're overweight and they've got everything from broken marriages to erectile dysfunction. I don't need to make their lives worse. Life has a way of paying you off anyway. So those people are alive, even though they broke in my house, they beat me up, et cetera. Then what did they do? They stole his car. I've had my car stolen.I had a soup dot Cadillac. He used to drag race around the city for gas money. And I love that car.And and I put a lot of effort in that car. I had a stereo in there with Jensen quadratic seals and a souped up 120 watt power booster. And I used to drive it around doing Uriah Heep and Ronnie James Dio and stuff like that in the middle of the night, four in the morning, I'm rattling. People's windows and no anybody back then, I didn't own any windows. So I didn't know anybody that kind of helped me understand that. Yeah, that gets annoying when you get older. ButBasically I have had my stuff broken into, I haveMy car stolen. I've had I've been beat up, but what did they do? They killed his dog. And that's really the centerpiece right. Killed his puppy.So they killed the puppy and he says that dog finalGift from my dying wife. And it's true. His wife died and left the puppy. But, and, and God, you know,No somebody was standing in front of me and they took out my dog. I'd take them out.I understand the reaction dogs or people. I get it. We've written about dogs here on the show. And, and I don't disagree with that. We'll do an episode on dogs at, at some point. But if you go to the man hearted website, man, hearted.com, you'll see an article about the relationship of men and dogs. I understand the bond. And and some of you don't even look at them as people I do. But you know, in terms of famous overreactions,I think murdering several hundred people because a guy killed your dog and he has friendsAnd they'd like to protect him is not how I would go about solving and the problem. And I want to first, there's lots of way, you know, you could say, well, he was protected and they had friends. They had a fortress man. You know, how hard is it to catch some guy like that? If he's the kind of guy that steals and murders your dog in and catch him outside of a Kentucky fried chicken anyway, is not a person that's doing the right stuff in general, you can get them alone. ButOn top of this, my point is, this is a little bit of an extreme emotional overreaction. I mean, it makes me think of John wick is a little bit precious, a little bit. He's a, he's a guy in need of a S a safe space. He kinda melts down really easily. And he lets his hyperactivity and his AGD and his emotional needs overcome him. And you know, it's not my fault, daddy. I, I know I killed several hundred people, but they did kill my puppy. Look, I get it that killed your puppy. But just go after the one guy let's set aside, the just,You know, is a puppy. Is life worth, worth more than a human beings and vice versa. Yeah. I'm not going to have that argument. You come out to my dog, I'm gonna come after you, but I'm notGoing to come after everyone you've ever known and are friends with. Right. SoWhen we're talking about famous overreactions, first, I find this to be just a bit whisky. So back to the topic, you know, if you have that of a meltdown because whatever the inconvenience or the trauma,You're a wuss, I've had stuff done to me that can't evenCompare. Okay. I mean,You know, I'm not going to go into it, but let's just say, I didn't exactlyGrow up. So can my hands, and I've, I've read liquid to quote Kramer on Seinfeld. It was a rough life and I'm still here and I haven't overreacted.So in the news recently, and the only reasonThis guy, hasn't got a Lily livered wuss award in L w a is we were already given it to somebody else. And frankly, there'sJust so many of these guys, this is a thing. This is why we're doing the show. ThisGuy, Victor Lee Tucker, Jr. He just got through a couple of days ago. He just shot a store clerk and unarmed store clerk because she asked him to pull up his mask. So she asked him to pull up his masky argues a bat. He goes out to his car, he gets his gun. He comes in, pulls it out and shoots her.This poor lady. That's just feeding their kids, go into work, got a frankly, a job that is soulless. And doesn'tHand her a lot of joy perhaps has to deal with like thisAnd this guy, because somebody said, pull up your mask. I'm like, yeah, no. And he goes and gets his gun. And he, you know, and he goes, and then on top of that, he's shootingThe off-duty police officer. That's a security guard that starts trying to defend theLine. And it, you know what I mean? This is just this kind of thing is happening again. And again, remember the McCluskey, these, these idiots and they are idiots and McCloskey is if you're listening, Sumi, you're morons. These idiots going around on the alt-right nut job, militia Boogaloo,Moron circuit,Because a bunch of people walked down their street, clapping and protesting, and they came out with a pistol, which they did and an assault rifle, which you don't even know how to hold correctly. Did you not take courses? Did your gun club not even tell you that there's a way to hold that thing. And first you look kind of whisky doing it in a pink shirt and a pair of khakiPleaded slacks, my friend, butYou're out there. Get, get, take a class, take a gun safety class.I grew up with guns. I've owned more guns than you probably owned. And I got to tell you, you guys are safe. [inaudible]You don't go get an assault rifle because some people walk down your street, singing and clapping. What were you going to do to Martin? Luther king is probably some relative of yours that did him in. So I, I just find this kindOf meltdown, this overreaction, this John wick reaction, we, as we might call it to be pretty freaking wissy. So let's back up and talk about a couple of examples outside of the news and outside of current events.So first classic overreaction, the Trojan war. Why did the Greeks invade the city ofTroy over Helen of Troy? You,She ran off with one of the Trojans and it's in a civilization gears up and goes to battle massive loss of life. These guys recoverFrom this and it's all becauseMy girlfriend went with that guy break up with her. That's the end of it. Gangas Kahn, another classic overreaction. So he sends a messenger. Gangas sends out a messageTo a particular city state or someplace to propose a peaceful trade agreement. And they kill the messenger. Not good form. I grant you and there is a, an appropriate and measuredResponse, right? But Gangas killsIt. Yeah. Every single man, woman, and child, and burns their city to the ground.Again, do you think this guy's tantrums, these little fits of petty toddler rage?You know, I think what we ought to do is when we see these Victor Lee Tuckers and these Martin McCloskey is, and Patty McCloskey is out there. We had to start in John Wayne.We ought to just say, Hey, Gangas, don't, don't be such a Gangas. Right. All right. How about some examples from literature overreactions? Because a lot of people think this is being tough. This is a messageThat they've bought that being tough is about not being able to control your emotions. What about Roman? You and Juliet? Right?First they decide to do a suicide pact seriously, because you can't go. YouCan't do wait. So you're I get the love was, you know, one of a kind and you felt it strongly, butThere's a reason why these were kids driven by their hormones and emotions. This is whyThe story wouldn't work. If they were 45 year old adult that's right. But on top of that, Julie,One of them wakes up and finds the other one. Thanks. Thanks to that person. Dead kills himself. Then that person wakes up and finds it, kills them, kills herself. It's it's too much. There's you're, you're immediateFirst reaction in those moments probably is not the right one king Lear asked his daughters, you know, what do you think of me? And one of allOf them start praising him and filling his ears with empty garbage. And one of them finally says, you know, it's marketing language. And one of them says I got, because he has the keys to that kingdom. It's their inheritance that, or one of them says, I got no words.I truly love you. But I, I would be at a loss to try to explain the love I have for my father in a one-off fortune, cookie size Quip that fits on a match cover.What happens? He disowns, her kicks her out of the house. Disinherits her. And it begins the wholeProcess that ends up with, you know, king Lear being blinded in the whole thing. Classic over reactions.The myth is that this unrestricted male anger is appropriate. It's not what, how do you get away with anything you say I was angry, right? I'm sorry that I punched you in the face, sweetheart, but I was angry. I'm sorry. I got an assault rifle and went and shot somebody that asked me to pull up my mask. But I was angry. You know, this is, this makes manhood outTo be a thing where loud loss of emotional control or lack of emotional balance, the inability to measure your response accordingly isThis standard and it's not, and we all lose our cool. I get mad. I got mad earlier. This is outside my house. There's this truck parked. I can't even record this show because this person is trying to get elected for mayor.I'm not going to vote for her because she's annoying, butShe parks outside and starts getting on a loudspeaker.We hear it once, twice, threeTimes a lady and it keeps going on. This is annoying. I had to think about it. I, what I want to do is go over there and throw bricks. WhatI'm going to do is go over there and ask her how long this is going to go on and tell her I'm trying to record.So it's a difference in, I may yell at the wall. I may stomp around, but I'm not, not going to doWhat you know, the, the McCloskey and the Tucker's of the world and the John wicks do. And the difference between them and those of us who feel those feelings. And don't go all the way is that we feel the feelings. We're not saying don't have them. We're saying that manhood is essentially power under control. It's what you do with it. Not that you don't have the impulse of the temptation to do more, right? So this mythology, I think, is killing us as a culture and frankly, it's misrepresenting men. And so when you hear all this backlash about toxic manhood, and I'm not going into the political correctness of it, it's notA political show, but I'm going to say that one of the reasons for this, we bring this on ourselves. Generations of fat, old white guys go, and I'm mad and I'm going to throw a tantrum and it involves getting a gun or beatings. Seriously, don't be a John wick. So in the, in the interest of mentioning a couple other films and I'll go somewhere niceWith this, don't worry. We try to end our show. And it ups upstroke of the guitar, if you will. But I love this film lay on. And I've mentioned it before. Lay on the professional, you've got to watch the European version. Don't watch this trim down. American one just called the professional. It's got to have the word lay on the title. The, the arch villain Leon's nemesis is norm Stansfield, this dirty DEA agent and classic overreaction. You know, he needs to take out Leon, he's going to get rid of him. And he's like he's like, bring me, everyone. And the other police officer says, what do you, what do you mean? Everyone is like, yeah. EveryOne. Yeah. That's an overreaction kill bill. What's the movie about everybody gets murdered. The two people murder everybody in the roomAnd everybody that walks into the room. It's just a show where if you, if, if you're not me, you're dead, right. It's an overreaction. But one of the famous ones I think we can all agree on is the shine box scene in Goodfellas.So what does Joe Peshy do? The guy's like you know, teasing him about beingA little short guy and being a little piddly guys, go get your shine box. And the guy says, I apologize. I don't, I'm not really, I'm not trying to disrespect you. And he says, now go get your shineBox. And that's it. Joe Pesci has had enough. IfHe's been bullied, he's been picked on and he grabs a pen, right. And he starts stabbing a guy with the free companion. And for those that haven't watched the movie, that's not a spoiler, man. That's like in synopsis. So, but go watch the movie. You'll see the rest of what happens. But here's the point is when we act like that guy, that gangster in the movie, we are just as tiny and piddly and pathetic and small and derangedAs that guy, that guy's not a hero. He's not a manly man. The difference isJohn wick gets the outfit, right? The all black thing and grows his hair out and you know, is hunched over with his brooding male, you know, I'm, I'm a poet and a, and a quasi rock star kind of thing. Right. And, but, you know, I'm, I'm the lead singer of joy division. But I okay, fine. Inner Paul.So that is is a artificial scenario.When you look at the people that actually act like this, they never look like John wick. They always look like either a skinny of a Joe Peshy. Like the little kid, Kyle Rittenhouse that shot up that protest shot a bunch of unarmed people because they were marching went even farther than the military. They always look like the McCloskey. They never look like John wickMitts because emotionallyThey're Joe Pesci in this scene and I don't get me wrong. I love Joe Pesci. I think it's a great film. It's epic. I'm not going to tease Joe Peshy about it. Cause I think he's a stellar actor. But my point is his character is an insecure, high, strong, high maintenance.You could call him a wuss. You know, we, we tend to think, oh, he's not a wuss. He was violent. He killed people. That's the point is your toughness defined on how many bodies you stack up? Anybody can kill somebody, man. I can, I can drop something in your coffee and kill you at a cafe. Does that make me that just makes me a coward? It doesn't make me a strong guy. So the point is Peshy is not a strong guy. And so it remember when it was the other way around, we have this wholeCulture. Now this scenario where the guy that slays enough people, and I think it comes from video games, right? I'm a bad-ass because I killed more, you know, aliens or whatever. Then you do. This is I just have horror video games. I know a lot of you disagree with me and whatever, and you'll put words in my mouth and say, I think this or that, and I don't really care. We can take that on if you want in the, in the comment section, but I'll put it this way. I think videos warp our sense of what reality is and what manhood is. And what's valuable as well as burning an incredibleAmount of time. That's just lost a civilization.Doesn't get used to create good stuff. I think it's just a, there's every justification. Oh, it increases neurons. So does reading a book. But remember when it wasn't this way, remember Rambo first blood, remember the first round Rambo,He goes into town. He's just walking through, he's walking over the bridge,The Sheriff's car slows down and the sheriff said, you know, where are you going? And you know, I'm talking to you, boy, it makes him get in the car, turn. It turns him around and takes. It takes him all the way through town to the bridge. It says, keep walking and Rambo doesn't want to do it.And then when Rambo decides now, you know, I need a place to stop. I need to go get a shower and getSomething to eat. You know, some, some something in my belly,The, the whole Sheriff's department gets called out. AndOf course, hence the subtitle movie, first blood, they start trying to kill him. And it's ridiculous right? As an overreaction. So in that film, the difference in culture that's being transmitted is the toughGuy is the guy that says, look, I'm just trying to go to the diner.He's capable of a lot. He's power under control. I'm just trying to get something to eat, get a warm place to lay my head. I don't mean to cause any trouble. I'm not breaking any rules. That's the tough guy, the sheriff and the Sheriff's deputy, the slobs with the guns are the overreacting whispers that can't...
17 minutes | Jun 6, 2021
That Thing You Always Meant To Do But Never Did—Manning Up to Boyish Dreams
A lot of us would like to go back and do things differently (learn guitar, study karate, skipper a boat) except, to start over we'd have to go back. Or do we? Asher cast shade on bucket lists, giving up, and getting old (in the sense of setting aside childhood dreams). He makes the case for telling "Dad" to go to Hell (if need be), relabelling 50 (if that's us) the new 16, and getting off our ass to do something cool. Screw the midlife crisis. There's a midlife awakening!Today I would like to talk about recovering those dreams that we had when we were young and doing them. Now it's not dwelling on the past with some kind of nostalgia. How many movies are out there where it's Scooby doo remade, the Brady bunch remade something else from our childhood remade. So, you know, for the older set to remember how it was and the younger set to maybe get introduced, to invest in these things, God, they're terrible. But my point is, I'm not lingering on the idea of stallion. I'm talking about, you know, being man hearted and doing something about it. So I'm going to get into more of that in a moment, but first I want to reiterate a couple of things. So our excellence and manhood award for the month goes to Anderson Cooper. I'm sorry, not Anderson Cooper. Anderson Cooper was last month, but this month is Brian [inaudible].And if you've been following the episodes, you know why capital officer Brian sickening stood against a bunch of cowardly bullies who attacked our democracy, attacked our Capitol, attacked the American form of government and did it all in the name of their whiny, axed, all in the name of being disappointed with their lot in life and needing something to blame. And it's not like they did it with a better idea. Somebody that actually has something to bring. These are guys that took a dump on the Capitol carpet. Their only idea was to tear down and deface and accordingly, they bashed this guy in the head with a fire extinguisher, maced him with bear mace and pummeled him savagely. And on the other hand, Brian [inaudible] was a man. That's the difference, Brian, sick Nick, as opposed to the capital insurrectionists was an actual man. And so he gets the excellence in manhood award.I just want to continue to remember officer [inaudible] who died this year in 2021. And of course, if you're interested in the Lily livered Wolf's award, the L L w a you know who I gave it to last time, but I don't want to wait for the next one because the list is too long. You know, we're going to have to go through this a lot more frequently. So you know, I've been itching to do this for a long time, so I'm not holding back. The L L w a this time is going to early. We're going to issue a special edition of the L L w a. It's going to Kyle Rittenhouse. Yes, the little punk kid that shot up a protest of unarmed people. He got an assault weapon to go after people that didn't have any weapon. He shot up people that the big scary people, what they were doing was marching.He shot unarmed people, which is the mark of every cowardly was out there. And this is a guy that instead of facing up to it, like a man said, well, you know, the underground, the alt-right the Patriot movement. These guys will protect me, man. He's in such need of protection, I guess, but he's done nothing, but defy refuse to man up and be accountable for his actions and keeps looking for somebody else to protect him. Because, oh, in his mind, he's a freedom fighter. But in my mind, he's a wuss deserves to get his kicked. I hope he does. You know, if the kid wasn't that much younger than me, I I'd love a cage match myself. God, when an annoying was all right. So that gets the awards out of the way. Let's go back to this thing we're talking about, by the way, for those of you right in who think this was political, I don't give a what your politics are being a man.Isn't about choosing a side. I'm sorry, but you know, there's men on both sides and there's, Willis's on both sides. And a was as a, was a punk as a punk and a man as a man. So come on, don't try to defend something on the basis of politics. Don't do that thing. That was his do, which is, oh, you picked on somebody from my side and now that you're a bad man, you're a bad person. Stop it. All right. So let's go back to toy talking about recovering the broken dreams of your youth. So I'm having a conversation the other day with a guy in Meyer. He's a former Marine, currently a, a chef with his own restaurant. So he's a business owner to Gaia tattoos up and down, both his arms. And I got to tell ya, he makes the best freaking pancakes of all time.I've just never had better. I don't think anybody's mom makes it better. He deserves mom's status. He needs a mom award because of the qualities, pancakes. And anyway, the point is I started talking to him about music. We're talking about music and how it used to be in the old days or something like that. And he mentioned having a guitar or something that he's always meant to pick up, et cetera. And he's talking about his father and, you know, stamping out some of the things he wanted to do. And I asked him, so did your dad kind of do the, you know, and don't play guitar. They put aside fanciful dreams and get a job kind of thing. It's like, oh yeah, every day, I couldn't do anything like that. You know, my dad would, it would've killed it. And I said, me too, man.And you know, one of the things I told him, which I'll tell you my audiences, I beat cancer. So, you know, at, at 50 I got cancer and we we had to cut it out of me. And I remember, you know, most of the people I told it to were like, oh, I'm so sorry. So sorry. I'm like, God it. Yeah. What are you my funeral? You know, are you, you're doing my eulogy already? You know, I feel like, God, yeah, thanks for the greeting card. No, I don't need you to say I'm so sorry. I heard stuff like go watch a bunch of TV and tune it out. Like, no, I need to gear up for the fight. And I need you, you people to say things like, go kick its, Asher, go murder that cancer, cut it out, beat it to death, throw it to the side of the road and then spin on it, give it the finger, curse its mother, and then burn it, set it on fire, get rid of the cancer.So I did, I found, you know, these doctors that I'm interviewing doctors, you got to do that. You've got to pick your surgeon. They had doctors that quote in the textbook and you know, we don't really know. And most likely we can't, we don't know if we can save you and you're going to have to do all this stuff. And I'm like, oh God, I found a warrior, a man hearted woman, a surgeon that said, I got a vision for winning. Well, you and I are going to win. When you're going to have to drive, you're going to be the general. I'm going to be the Colonel, but we're going to attack this thing. And I'm like, oh God, yes, where's my we're doing it. Where's my tank. Let's go after this. You know? And so we took, we took a knife to that sucker and we cut it out.We murdered it. And I'm cancer free to this day. And what that did to me attacking it like a Viking, attacking it like Wharf on star Trek. This is a good day to die, attacking it like a warrior is it made me take a look and go, wow, I beat that. And you know, maybe it'll it'll come back. There'll be something else. One of these days it'll be a different cancer as some other thing, but I'm going to, I'm not going to go down on the first, the first time I'm going to take it out. I have fight it. So setting that aside, you're not really too old for anything. Are you? I mean, say you're 50, you got another 50 years. Maybe what if it's only 35? How long did it take Eddie van Halen learn to play guitar? What 12, 13 years before he was up on the stage, became the Eddie that we knew from the time somebody handed him his first year rig.And so man, if I want to learn to drive boats, if I wanna study karate boxing, ballroom, dancing, golf, I don't know why anybody would no offense to you golfers, but you know, whatever, whatever blows your hair back. If I want to learn to race cars like Steve McQueen, you know, I can pick it up now and do it. And so what I wanted to do a number of other things, I'm doing all kinds of things. You wouldn't believe my list and it's good. It's not some bucket list up. Here's a bunch of stuff I want to do once before I die, screw that. I want to be the person I am while I'm alive, not do before I die. That sounds like a bunch of people that have given up. So the stuff I'm doing is great. I'm doing all kinds of things.But one of the things I'm doing is I bought a electric guitar. I remember my dad telling me he didn't say it quite this way. You know, but basically real men don't play guitars. They get jobs. They give up their dreams. You never know. And being a rock star, you know, don't, don't think that way just focus. And I know what he meant. There's no doubt because he said that same and about, just about everything else. I did books. I read college courses. I took you name it. If it didn't come out on a pay stub, it wasn't valid. And so I look at all that and I think, yeah, you. I'm going to do it now. And it's amazing how many men I've talked to they're in the same boat. I thought I was alone for years. I I'm telling this very story to another guy.Who's a musician. He was in a hair band in the eighties and nineties. We're talking the whole long blonde Motley crew, you know, Robert plant, you know, look in everything, plan, the heavy stuff. You know, I tell him this story. And he says, yeah, he says, I wasn't, weren't allowed to touch the guitar or do anything like that or anything. Cool. I used to have short hair, like a crew cut. Like my father had a crew cut until I was about 13. And then my father died. And my mother said, look, he's grieving. Let him do what he's going to do. This is how he expressed himself. When I grew my hair out and I picked up a guitar and I never looked back, the guy still got a house full of equipment and still really digs. It keeps encouraging me like, yeah, we got to jam together.Rock. You have to rock. I'm a novice. I don't give a. I don't care. If this takes 10, 12, 13 years, I'm not looking to get up on stage and go play coffee shops and play some edge. She ran music or some, some Taylor swift, you know, do some minor chords and try to look so that. I know who I am. I want to play in the middle of a mountain canyon where nobody's around or in the forest or an empty auditorium that I rented with my own money. But I want to play for me. I want my sound, my music. And I know what that sound is. And I am learning how to get it. So all of this tells me I'm not alone. There's forget the music part of it. We're we've done some episodes about music and I'm not trying to go on and on about that.It's just an example. What about the other stuff? You know, I always wanted to be on boats. I begged and begged the whole time I was growing up. You had to get me on a boat, let me on a boat. Let me drive a boat. I'll rent. Let me rent a boat. How can I go work on a boat? How do I get on a boat? Never happened. My family was a bunch of land lovers. The ocean didn't interest them the way it did me and I, when I say boat, I mean boats with waves and sharks and stuff. And so I just started doing it. I took courses. I learned how to captain a rig. I rent them and I take them out. We travel. We, we go to places that have a port and yeah, I get out there and get lost.I get dicey situations where I'm between rocks and wildlife. And I'm worried about hurting the sea lions. And I'm not quite sure where I am because every freaking doc looks the same and I'm dodging, you know, all the hidden rocks that aren't on the charts and stuff like this. But you know, I wouldn't trade the adventure. It's good. And I meet all of these other men that have this pent up inside of them. I was running to ride a motorcycle. I want it. I've been thinking about getting one, but somebody will say, I have a midlife crisis. Those people. Those people that are telling you Midland them. The people that give you a, you know, this is the thing that me off about John Oliver or Saturday night live. They go on and on what happens? You get a certain age, you cross the 50 mark, right?The Five-O and they start giving you a like you're, what's wrong. Why don't you die already? And they make Viagra jokes and diaper jokes. Unless this doesn't even apply. Most of us will go the rest of our life. Not needing a diaper or Viagra. I don't, but you know what? All of it is an attack on manhood. And when a man comes out and says, you know, I'm 50 years old, I'm thinking about taking up the violin or I bought a Harley or whatever. Everybody goes, oh, midlife crisis. What are men supposed to do? They're supposed to be Mr. Cleaver ward Cleaver. They're supposed to sit down on their sofa, get fat, eat, mom's cooking and not raise a ruckus and give little lessons to Timmy and Johnny and chip and Bobby. Again, they're supposed to live their lives for other people.Selflessly go into a job. They hate coming home and doing nothing, but you know, no babysitting and being available for conversations about they don't care about. And the truth is locked up in 90% of those men is something they wanted to do. And no one has told them it's okay. Find that thing. If you're 50, you got 50 years left or act like you do. Who cares if it's 20 or 30 or 40? If, if you're 60 same deal. Okay. So you got 40. I'm just using a hundred. As a round number. People are living to be a hundred, 107, do the right stuff, take care of your body, go to the gym, hike, find stuff. That's your thing to keep you fit. So you can do more of this stuff if you want. And then freaking do that thing. You ever seen that movie with Richard Gere, it's a remake of a Japanese movie.Both of them are good. It's called, shall we dance? I love that movie. And it's not about because old guy, you know, figures out his life. It's about pursuing your aspirations and your dreams because they ignite a passion and a fire in you that makes life worth getting out of bed for. Nobody wants to be. If all you're getting is a paycheck and you go home and watch a little TV show, oh, let me watch a rerun of king of the hill. It's great show. But, and then you go to bed, that's it. That's your day. There's nothing else. And then those days turn into weeks and those weeks turned into months and he looked at the end of the year and you go 20, 21 went by, what the do I have to show for taxes, taxes, more bills. And probably something that showed up on a medical scan somewhere, right?That. You're going to die. We're all gonna die sooner or later, you're going to lose the last battle and death's going to get you. But in the meantime, until it has until it's one until your is actually kicked and you've left everything out there on the field, I encourage you to dig down deep. Find that thing that is yours. And you know, this show is not about giving advice. I hate those websites where talking about manhood is a coaching session. We're going to teach you to be men. Nobody needs to teach you how to be a man. It's deep down inside of you. You just got to locate your manhood, find your balls and lift, right? That's it. But in this case, this is not about advice on how to be a man. This is a thought about the way in which we successfully conduct a life of any kind.You know, dogs need to hunt. Ducks need to fly. Octopuses, need to eat and migrate. And mate, what you and I need to do is find the thing that drives us. The thing that ignites our passion, the thing that fills our lives with joy and makes it more than just getting out of bed in the morning. And no matter what age we are, no matter what our parents said, we need to do that day. Disregard all the voices around you that say you're too old. Don't let those be your voice. If you're singing that chorus. If you joined in that refrain, if you picked up on that melody, throw it out, turn it off, do something different. Break the rules. Be a bad-ass pop your own collar by the motorcycle. Get your rig. Take the dancing lessons like Richard Gere. I love that movie and go love the life that you have because if it's half over, that means there's half still left Jesus.You're 16. Again, if you're 50, just think I'm 16. Now I can do whatever the I want dad or mom or whoever. It's disdainful spouse, judgemental, society joke, making little kids, whatever it is pick up from now because fifties, the new 16 do what you need to do. That makes you feel like a whole person. In other words, be a man. This has been another episode of the men hearted podcast. The show about being a man I'm Aster black, your host. I encourage you to visit man hearted.com. Check out the blog, check out the store, check out the other things that are there. And by the way, buy something. If you buy something, it helps keep more of these shows coming. If you like what I just said, if you think it's valuable, if you're looking forward to have somebody say that stuff to you again and again and more than just, you know, if you have to buy a hat, a t-shirt a walking stick, a wallet, whatever you gotta do about buy something offThe website, it'll help drive the podcast. Appreciate it.These notes are delightfully (and intentionally) unedited.
20 minutes | Jun 6, 2021
Rock Music as Masculine Energy—Sex, Art, and American Feminism
Asher introduces the rock music writings of non-traditional feminist Camille Paglia (in extenso). Quoted with interspersed commentary by Asher, Paglia's paean to RAWK comes through, effectively "mansplained" by Asher (because just reading books on the air is not fair use). Asher underscores Paglia's observation that one cannot simultaneously laud masculine energy and denigrate the experience out of which it arises. Paglia calls rock musicians "America's most wasted natural resource."This is Asher black, your host, and this is the podcast about being a man. I want to pick up whereThe last two episodes left off, which is about music and about rock music in particular and take this in a bit of a different direction. Now I'm a huge fan of a particular feminist, not the only one, by the way, I've read some Gloria Steinem and stuff like that, but there's a particular one that I did just because her way of cutting through and talking is I think it's very man hearted. And, you know, granted, she is an outcast by what I would call mainstream feminism, but she is ardent and is, you know, has much more extreme views than I do that are quite feminist, but she's a lightening rod very much like iron Rand another person I'm fond of or Hannah, aren't a person. I, I like a lot is a lightning rod. These days. One has trouble disagreeing with somebody's views without sort of nuking their whole village in sort of cancel culture on both the left and the right, what you end up with is if you don't agree with me, I have to completely block you out and reject your entire being.And I've never found that useful. I think that's a fad. I think it's anti-intellectualism, I think it is part of the decline of, of Western culture. And so I reject it because you know, when we're talking about rock and roll, man where do you think that stuff comes from Western culture? I'm into it. You can derive what you want. I'm sure somebody in the comments sections will say, oh, you know, let me tell you everything that's wrong. Western culture never denied it. I was there for Vietnam where you, but I will tell you that you can't say everything is wrong with it without finding the good. If you can't find the good, then I call into question your perspective in the first place. So what I want to talk about with regard to Camille Paglia is a particular book that she's written. Now, she's known for this massive tome, which is kind of a literary philosophical work called sexual persona.And that's not the one, I mean, this one's called sex art and American culture. And it's about that. It's about sex, art, American culture. I dig it. So you'll find articles in there about prince Madonna, rock and roll, the rolling stones, you know, it's quite awesome. And Puglia, by the way, writes for Playboy. I mean, in that sense, she's kind of in the vein of an iron Rand who wrote quite pithy articles for the New York times among other places and would, would have rather controversial interviews it campuses. And in this particular book, much like Iran's book on romanticism and aesthetics, Paglia is talking about rock and roll and sex and almost in the same breath. And so I want to read a few excerpts from the book and make a few points based on it. So, whereas my view, and this is a quote, whereas my views on sex are coming from the fact that I'm a football fan and I'm a rock fan and football are revealing something true and permanent and eternal about male, energy and sexuality.They are revealing the fact that women, in fact, like the idea of flaunting, strutting, wild, masculine energy, the people who criticized me, these establishment feminists, these white upper-middle-class feminists in New York, especially who think of themselves as so illiterate, the kind of music they like is like Suzanne Vega, you know, women's music and the, the ho the, the host at spin. This is from spin magazine. The host says yuck. I found that hilarious, that word, that one word yuck. So sums that all up. Now don't get me wrong. I dig Susan Vega. I listened to that angsty women's college music. I like some of it, anything that Tom strata something I don't like a lot of the clones that play in coffee shops, but I, I like some of that stuff. Lilith fair, man. So you can call me what you want and you know, they'll call me a Westman for one thing it's not safe, but for now the thing I dig the clash, man, what do you mean?I'm a west. I did Glen Zeppelin, you know, eat it. So another quote though I dig this she's talking about, and this could be taken out of context. It could be taken to mean, you know, everything that men do that now gets called toxic masculinity is sort of, okay. Don't think that's what she's saying at all. If one reads it, but here's another quote from this book now back to my little survey here. So by the time the women's movement broke forth in 1969, it was practically impossible for me to be reconciled with my quote sisters unquote. And there were like screaming fights. The big one was about she, the word, like all the time. And there were like screaming fights. The big one was about the rolling stones. This was where I realized this was 1969. Boy. I was bounced fast right out of the movement.And I had this huge argument because I said, you cannot apply a political agenda to art when it comes to art and we have to make other distinction. And I like this. She is acknowledging something, which is you can't jump up and down scream and laud masculine heroes in every category vote for a president. You regard as strong because of its strength. Go out there. You know, when Aerosmith comes on stage, get to the concert, jump up and down and be happy. You can't do that stuff. And then turn around and say that masculine energy is inherently toxic. That masculine sexuality is abusive. And all of that, she points out in her book that this is all sort of a temporary moment in human culture, that this is all being said. It's a very white moment. It's a white academic liberal educated female moment in which a particular culture has been created, where, you know a man can't look you up and down and whistle and say, sister, you look fine without somebody having you arrested by the campus police.And she points out that look, Latin women in general, don't have a problem with this African women. Don't have a problem with this French women. Don't have a problem with this Russian women. Don't have a problem with this. Most of the world, doesn't, it's only sort of, you know, Northeast Eastern universities and their Southern clones that get this sort of vibe. Now you may disagree. I want you to keep in mind, this is Camille Paglia is writing. And if you disagree with Camille Paglia, feel free to argue with Camille Paglia, but I dig what she's saying. And so she goes on a bit more. She has a whole chapter called rock is art. And she says, rock is eating its young rock musicians are America's most wasted, natural resource, popular music and film are the two great art forms of the 20th century. In the past 25 years, cinema has gained academic prestige film courses in our standard part of the college curriculum and grants are routinely available to non-commercial directors, but rock music has yet to win the respect.It deserves as the authentic voice of our time, where rock goes, democracy follows the dark poetry and surging DNA and rhythms of rock have transformed the consciousness and permanently altered the sensoriums of two generations of Americans born after world war II, rock music should not be left to the Darwinian laws of the marketplace. This natively American art form deserves national support foundations, corporations, and federal and state agencies. That award grants in the arts should take rock musicians as seriously as composers and sculptors. And she goes on to say that, you know, what colleges and universities and so on should do. But the point is interesting because she picks up where that leaves off and talks about these romantic archetypes, that rock as sort of the last bastion of romanticism in our time where it might've been the poetry of Lord Byron or Milton back in the day.And she says these archetypes of energy, passion, rebellion, and demon ism are still evident in the brawling, boozing, bad boys of rock storming from city to city on their lusty groupie dogs trail. And she goes on to talk about where the power comes from and, and it's freak, streamers and malcontents who drew their lyricism and emotional power from the gritty world, traditions of white folk music and African-American blues. And I just think God preach it, sister. Yeah. Yes. It's so weak now. And in a culture where she talks about this, she talks about, you know, you can't go to rock concert and cheer a guy for shaking his leather pants and his naked torso in front of you screaming about how [inaudible]Do you likeIt. You can't, you can't share that on on Saturday night and then go into college the next day and wonder why the nerds who are so polite and seem to ask you for permission to look at you, why those guys aren't very interesting and why you're sort of bored with them. They spend all their time hanging out with their bros, playing video games you know, pick one. She, sexuality is a Y nailed for us. It's not meant to be bottled up and sold as a product it's when it's free and it's loose and it is fully expressed. It has an edge to it. It's a little bit dangerous go down this path of, well, what about rape, et cetera. And if you're interested in what she says about that read book, sex art in American, by Camille Paglia, it's classics, where at the time what I find interesting is that this is somebody who doesn't take any crap, even if the, the standard academic feminine, this consider her an outcast as a feminist wouldn't get away with anything that demeaned women, but her view about what is demeaning to women does not include things like women responding to a man's sexuality or men shaking their things, so to speak.So she talks about the rock music. Since the sixties has been sort of the dominant form of, of music but the, the moment we sort of switched from singles to albums and albums to these massive stadium concerts, you know, the Beatles couldn't hear themselves sing over the shrieking of the women. And so you've got these bigger and bigger sound systems. These giant Marshall stacks, all of this expensive stuff sort of led the music labels to take over and start dictating what rock music could be. And I can't help, but think referencing two episodes ago that this is one of the forces in the decline of rock music, the, the decline of music in general, that has roots of substance and integrity. If you both deny the sexuality the raw masculine sexuality of it and like it or not, you know, Joan, Jett and Blondie, and those women were anomalies.Not because they weren't cool, not because they weren't great. You know, heart is great in its own, right. You know, really brings the rock, but it's noticeable. Precisely the exception proves the rule. It's noticeable precisely because largely it's a male driven art form. It is about the peacock male strutting his stuff. And what I find interesting is you water that down and tell men that's not safe. That's edgy, that's toxic. That's dangerous. Go back in your hole. You're all a bunch of dice clays. I like dice clay, but whatever, you know, you're all a bunch of bill burrs, sorry, bill. I adore you too, man. And then you follow that up with record companies doing sort of research and deciding what the data says. Rocks should be in using their cloud because they're buying all the equipment and funding all of that stadium stuff, and you get something less than you had before.Something that may be does lack the integrity, the substance and the rates. So read a little bit more from Camille Paglia, just cause I think it's worth quoting her as a fan of football and rock music. I see in the simple swaggering masculinity of the jock and in the noisy posturing of the heavy metal guitarist, certain fundamental unchanging truths about sex masculinity is aggressive, unstable combustible. It is also the most creative cultural force in history. Women must reorient themselves toward the elemental powers of sex, which can strengthen or destroy. So pair that with the following quote, if you live in rock and roll, as I do, you see the reality of sex of male lust and women being aroused by male lust, it attracts women. It doesn't repel them. And again, you take that stuff out of context, you decide like people do. If you, you don't say exactly the thing they want to hear, the comment gets bent and reapplied without context, and it can seem to mean something.It doesn't, but I encourage you to take a look at what she's written in her book, read some of her articles, read the Playboy article for goodness sake, or just listen to some of her interviews. It's hard to listen to her. Her speech style is a bit off putting at times cause it's it's well, you watch it and you'd tell me, but man, this stuff is emphasizing a key point, which is that what is inherently masculine includes the sexuality, the aggressiveness the creativeness, the power that you see when the rolling stones take the stage, those things there's nothing inherently wrong with and you can't just amputate one of those portions of manhood and throw it out and just have a cleaner, nicer male who doesn't start wars. You're going to have something that isn't masculine at all. And secondly, for all that, it gets criticized for hurting the culture.It also adds a lot to the culture and one could argue that the most significant thing it's added to the culture in our time. If we want to just talk about culture, if we want to, you know, not think about politics and not think about, you know, business and other things it would be rock music. If you really want to know where man heartedness lives put on a rolling stone album, put on a led Zeppelin album, if you really want to get a sense of what it is to be man hearted, you need look no farther than the progressive rock or the kind of music that I was listening to you back in the eighties. You really want to know what being man hearted sounds like flip on Billy idol or Eddie money. These days, those lyrics would get those guys, you know, hashtag they'd have their own hashtag.There'd be boy cots in the street. And I miss that stuff. I really do want to mention a particular service called Ezra that's E Z R a a as red.com. Ezra is a way to scan for things that might be wrong with you before they would even be found by your average physical doctor's visit, et cetera. So cancer is a big one. What you can do is you can have your entire body scan, head to toe, just like you're on the star ship enterprise and they will locate, pinpoint and give you the next step for anything that might be wrong. It's kind of interesting. There's so many things that happen to Americans that they don't find until it's just too late and an early warning system, a well-priced investment in finding out what is wrong with you. If anything's wrong with you is something we just haven't really thought of.Yet people get their DNA and find out their ancestry. They find out what they're likely to get, but they don't actually get that their body scan to figure out what they might need to focus. So for instance, they're really good at detecting things like prostate cancer, without you having to go have the finger placed in the, you know, usual position, you just get a scan, they scan your brain, they scan your lungs, they scan your throat, the scanning of thyroid. They scan all places where the, these things tend to pop up. If you've ever been just feeling weird or, you know, you've had these chronic aches or you've got a weird bulge, or you just want to be satisfied that once a year you've got sort of space, age technology, looking through your body and telling you what might be there. We're talking way better than an x-ray.You really need to check out as a.com. I have been somebody that has used this service. I detected cancer with it. It saved my life. I had the cancer cut out. I kicked its. I threw it away. I'm cancer-free and I walked away from it. And I'm here today. And that's because I use that service. Similarly, my next scan more recently picked up something on my thyroid. Wow, you got a nodule it's larger than normal. Go get it checked. I went and had it checked further. Follow-Up turns out it's benign. I'm good. We watch it now every year. But you know, right now it's just a little bit enlarged and it's basically, we think it's going to be fine. Having information like that before you feel a bulge in your neck and panic, or before somebody else gets a hold of you and starts diagnosing you, that stuff is priceless.I don't miss a year where I don't get a scan by Ezra with their full body scan. So I strongly recommend you check it out for anybody really, but especially if you're a man and really don't want the finger inserted in the usual spot for a prostate check, you can, you can just start using Ezra man. Thanks. That's it. I hope you check it out as read.com. So it's time to give out another excellence in manhood award. The E I M a and that award has got to go to officer Brian, sick, Nick of the Capitol police. This is the man that was beaten with a fire extinguisher, sprayed in the face with bear mace and otherwise pummeled in defense of the Capitol. This is a guy standing there defending the core institution of our democracy, defending the nature of the American form of government, defending freedom.There's no amount of salary or pay that you can get for that, that a makes it worthwhile. It's gotta be worthwhile for other reasons. And B can compensate for the risk you take in a situation like that. And he was beaten by cowards. He fought cowards, he stood up against cowards and he stood bravely for the rest of us. We'd be remiss if we didn't honor Brian signific with an EIMA. So he gets the excellence and manhood award and we'll be remembering him all month long. Well, it is time to hand out another Lily livered whistle award. The L L w a. You probably remember it from our first episode and this one is going to attorney Linwood. Yeah, the Q Anon conspiracy theorist, except that I don't actually think he is. He's just a Q Anon conspiracy coattail writer, but you remember him you know, the Trump attorney and the guy that is associated with the Kyle Rittenhouse crap.He was in Oklahoma recently. And basically started going down the path of associating the Q Anon conspiracy with a fundamentalist belief in Jesus and himself as a persecuted hero to quote would they've accused me of being a Q Anon conspiracy theorist. Why? Because they're telling you I'm a bad messenger. They're trying to attack me because they can't attack you because he is the truth. This is about the children for God's sake. That was in fitness the other day. I just got to say, God, what a wine, but on top of that, it's like men that go around with some other man's name prominently displayed on their clothing, you know, just giant letters putting out, you know, what brand they're associated with. I asked them some kid one time, why do you do that? Why do you wear these names on your clothes?And he was like, well, because, you know, then I acquire the traits associated with the brand and like, oh God, you know, I just want to put my name on my clothes. I'll be my own man. Thanks. But here's a guy doing it with a whole conspiracy movement that I w I doubt he actually believes at all, you know, this whole state tannic, conspiracy, gait, you know, child, blood drinking crap with supposedly Hillary Clinton at the center, you know, I mean, obviously debunked and full of crap and...
31 minutes | Jun 6, 2021
Will There Ever Be Another Bowie?—Dire Straits? Deep Purple?
Asher invites guest and colleague Steve Pruneau to answer the question, "Will there ever be another David Bowie?" (or The Clash, Blondie, The Police, etc). Steve agrees to search for "good" 21st century version of classic rock music, and Asher bets hard against him. Inevitably "Free Bird" comes up, but also Mumford and Sons and Townes Van Zandt.Today we're going to be joined by my colleagueFor know who many of you have heard before. So let's get on with the show. Steve we're back with you again, this guy — I've invited you here because few people know that you're a musician I know from, from college anyway, and you've got the soul of the musician. The artist is in you and you and I are collaborators that talk about music a lot as a meme and use certain examples. So for instance, David Bowie, and some of the, the creative Verve that that guy put out, I liken him to Freddie mercury. It's now a thing to look at Freddie mercury and queen with all the documentaries that have come out. But I, if you look at Queen's versatility, if you look at the body of work, they put out, these are people that are superhuman compared to us laurels in terms of the volume of stuff you and I put out from our desk on a daily basis, the average person out there probably puts out, you look at something like what Freddie mercury has done. And it's whether you like his music or not. It's nothing short of. It's like talking about Mozart. Is there not going to be another David Bowie?There's not going to be another David Bowie. So you can start the morning process. Now,Steve, you didn't know, you could have, let me down easy. You could've barricadedTo say I had a sort of feel that, you know, anyway, we justGot done talking, right previously about you know, when you feel strongly about something you just going to comeOut with. That's my point. I'm teasing. Yeah, go ahead. When you give it to me, rip the bandaid off, do it. Don't I love the nurses, the big Husky Germanic nurses, that when I say they're going to give me a shot, that's one of these things. That's the size of a, of a tube of toothpaste that I say, is this going to hurt me? Oh yeah. Like, thank you. That's ma'am that's all I wanted was honesty at it. Somebody give it to me stab. They just stab you. Yeah. Most of our men squeal a little bit. Anyway. Yes. You look like a man who respects the truth. You ask them to come on, let's go. No more David Bowie. So please continue.I gotta revise your intro. I need to add the word amateur musician, and let's emphasize amateur big time, but certainly everything else is true that music is a big part of my life. And I look to it for inspiration and, and so forth. And I look like I look to music and performers and, and the history of bands, you know, to kind of figure out well, how did you all chart your course? How did you figure out what worked and how did you shake off what the industry said you should do? Or the producer or the record label said you should do and so forth. So that's the creative process. And all of that is, is a big part of my interest because it helps with other parts of my life and business and, and the things that I build and work on.I've heard, I've heard people, even when I was a kid, the complaint from people who are a generation or two older than me, when I was in my teens, say, music's not like it used to be, you know, they don't have the classics anymore. And they were referring to what they call the oldest standards from the thirties and forties as though there was a lack of talent. And so I part ways on this question of, oh, you know, we don't have the same talent nowadays and we for sure don't have the same. John rhe music continues to evolve. It, it doesn't stay the same. Didn't even stay the same. You know, in the 16 hundreds, people kept getting inspiration from each other and then it would bounce back and forth. And the political and social times were different, which is what artists and musicians react to. So these cultural currents keep moving on. I would suggest it is, it is not that the talent is gone is it's that artists are reacting and building upon they're reacting to the current cultural times and they're building on what went before them. So you know, I think we'll see iterations from time to time built on the classic rock masters. If we don't already call them that we will, but I don't think we're going to see exactly the same thing. It'll be some current musicians take on itAre some criticisms of contemporary music. Meaning since the grunge era in the 1990s, one is made by some of those very musicians that participated in that movement, which is, Hey, look, music is part of a tradition. And the moment you say, I'm just going to invent something from scratch. And I don't have any influences. We just write our own stuff. We don't have any influences is the moment you're a one hit wonder, but the musicians that play radically different music than the people they cite as influences, but then turn around. You got like the lead singer of Nirvana saying, well, I was inspired by Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash and you too. And I'm like, well, you don't sound anything like those. He would say, that's the point, right? That issue of, can you just be a punk? And I don't mean punk in terms of punk music, can you just be a punk and pick a big Dar and play what you want?You can, if you're if you, if you're Mozart, if you're any van Halen. Yes. But for every one of those, there's a thousand people that it's a dead end B and they don't improve the art form. I think because they neglect being rooted in something that's traditional. I saw a movie the other day. It's a biopic that features a time when Malcolm X, Sam Cooke and Muhammad Ali met in hotel room for an evening shortly before Malcolm X was killed. And yeah, it's very much like a music driven play that I love. I saw it in Chicago. I think it hit Broadway. It's called million dollar quartet. And it's also a true story about a recording session of an impromptu jam session involving Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash on December 4th, 1956, they all pulled over and walked into the same studio to kind of have a conversation with their, you know, out of a taxi music producer at the time.This was before any of them were famous. And the recording session that came out of that is, is that, that this is a play of that meeting. Well, this show Malcolm X is berating. Sam cook about Bob Dylan and, and saying, look, Bob, Dylan's reaching more people because he's willing to address what our brothers are going through out there. And you're still singing love songs. And the other point he made is look at these other white guys that have stolen our songs. And one might make the point. As many people have that everything builds on everything. And ultimately you could say it's cultural appropriation, or you could say that the only way to play good songs is to acknowledge the debt. We have to a slave music blues, the music of the deep south and where jazz and all of that came from where rock and roll was really born.Of course, these guys are gonna play it at music. And then it's a question about, you know, who's going to do what with it. So it was a fascinating, fascinating conversation about being rooted in tradition. But the other part is, do you think at times things do get lost. So you look at the difference between classical composers and Schoenberg. Schoenberg is deadly wake music, and what we've lost is melody. And I have a colleague who says the melody of the classical composers now exists only in the form of being carried by popular music. It's rock and roll that carries that it's led Zepplin. It's black Sabbath that carry the melodies from those days and modern classical composers have lost the ability to do it. So I wonder if, if we aren't at risk of some things getting permanently lost.Yeah. There's some things get permanently lost just because the culture of one generation is not the culture of the previous one. I think it's like saying, you know, I would really like for the world to experience another David Bowie you know, we don't want to be into artificial cloning and short of, and even if, and it's it, you know, it's been suggested even if you did you get the biological clone, not the, the emotional and intellectual clone and maybe I'm being overly harsh, but I, I don't think it happens. I don't think you get one music of one generation reproduced in another, but you get some really cool updates to it. You know, one of the things that the loss of power of record labels has produced and the presence of YouTube has produced are there, there are a couple of there's actually three cover bands that I've been following, but I don't want this hair over the last couple of years with YouTube discovering cover bands and all my gosh, I never thought I would say, you know, these guys are doing covers as good as an in some cases, I like it better than the original.And you know, my first reaction is, oh man, I can't believe you're taking this on. And then I listened to it like, oh, wow, that's really good. And I keep listening to it. So first of all, these guys, this Russian band, right? They love Chicago. I'm not exactly rock and roll. So I digressed from the point of rock and roll, but I want to come back to this point of, I think we will see music again, that's repeated. So this guy's called landed and friends, you know, you think have really, but they nail it a hundred percent awesome. Reproduction of original Chicago tunes, another group from Australia highly street country club. Their thing is the eighties. And they take on just about everything from the eighties and, and you know, a lot of stuff. Yeah. Okay. Yeah, you can do that. And then they take on some pretty challenging stuff and I'm thinking, whoa, and it's nice.It's updated a little bit. And then this last group I discovered more recently scary pockets, which incidentally is the keyboard. The keyboard player is one of the founders from patriarch, which is kind of crazy in itself. Anyway, they did a cover of Fleetwood Mac dreams. And it was funk defied. That's kind of their thing. They'll funk, defy tunes. And now that, oh, you can, you know, really how good can this be? And then I listened to it. I'm like, Ooh, I like that a lot. So I don't see an example at the moment a 21st century version of classic rock, but I'll make you a prediction that we're probably going to sit. I think somebody is going to grab a hold of, of some classic rock influences and they're going to put whatever their take is on it. And I don't know when it's gonna pop out, but the barriers have come down. I wouldn't be surprised if we see it sometime the next few years.I don't like rap music. I don't like it, but I think that the police song sand, the remix with puff daddy is hot as hell. I love it. I just said like, yes, yes. I don't even like the rap section of the music, but I liked the vibe that, that injected into the song. I think it added to it. It's a riff on Roxanne by the police. And I, I was just like, yeah, man, keep it going. Yeah, Eddie Murphy did it in 48 hours and I liked his version better than stings. Now I'll probably get shot, but IMean, let me remind you that Getty Lee did a rap on, oh, rush. OhGod. Save me. Well, anyway the other thing that get me killed probably is for anybody that hasn't seen the movie, there's a movie called Elizabeth town and there's a band in this movie. The fictional name of the band is ruckus, but the actual band is my morning's jacket. And they do a cover of Freebird that sets the building on fire. I mean, literally the building catches fire and they keep playing. And yeah, I actually think it's better than the standard radio version by Leonard Skinner. And that will get you killed, but I, in the, in the wrong part of the south, but I do, they thought they were hot as hell on those guitar licks. It was fantastic. The other thing I want to say besides covers is regardless of the kind of music he liked, there are some interesting innovations in 21st century music.So in the area of rock music, I really kind of dig Mumford and sons. There's very few bands. I've listened to that come out in the last few years, but Mumford and sons is something else and their story and their style. They just got a lot to bring in the area of Americana music. You know, I'm a guy that listens to Townes van Zandt and I did Ray LaMontagne. Some people call that country. I think there's a distinction. You know, that's like not everything Waylon Jennings did was country, man. I'm not knocking country. I like Johnny Cash. I just don't like top 40 country. But Ray LaMontagne is, is epic. And somebody could say, well, he's not so much country as a singer songwriter. And there's a lot of shade being thrown on singer songwriters from sort of the punk crowd. But among that crowd, for instance, in country, there's a guy named Slade Cleves and he, he does this song breakfast in hell and, and just a young guy, you know born in, in DC, grew up in Maine lives in Austin, Texas, and belted out with his guitar.And I just think he's, he's fantastic. I predict guys like that. I'll go far. Although in the singer song, you know, singer songwriters grow on trees, you look, go outside, look up in a tree. If you're in Los Angeles, you probably see a singer songwriter busking up there. It's just, it's literally that common. And unfortunately it all gets diluted. But I do think some of these guys are really standouts. So I'm validating. I th I think you're right there is I'm sad for prog rock because I think relative to what it is really, you're only going to give us a 15 year span. We deserve more, but maybe people will read it, discover it in the way that people are rediscovering, you know, film the war and the comic book, right? The comic book was out comic book companies went under by the dozens when I was growing up in the, in the eighties and now they couldn't be stronger. You'reMaking me, I didn't complete thought. I was to elaborate on the point of covers, but for me, that, that creative process of redoing previous works is the often not always, but often the precursor of the foundation of new work. So I meant to finish that with saying, this is a signal to me that we're going to see a lot more interesting stuff. I just haven't yet seen it on the rock side. It might be out there. I just haven't seen it yet, but yeah, that's why I'm so enthusiastic that, you know, you see people reproducing the originals and okay. I think something's going to grow outWell, thanks for acknowledging that because people do do the song and dance. When you say I'm not seeing anything out of the younger set that grabs me in the way pink Floyd and led Zeppelin or rush grabbed me. What's up. I hear two answers, which I don't accept. Oh, you're old. It's like, no, man, I'm listening. I'm still listening. I'm open-minded, I'm the youngest 50 year old. He got, but the other is well, that stuff we now know better. You know, I agree with what the punks said, you know Joe Strummer, the clash if it wasn't him, it was guys like him and Eddie pop that said, look, we've got enough songs about love. We got enough songs about boy meets girl. And they go to the sock hop, let's start doing some songs about Margaret Thatcher. I dig that. I really do.I'm not talking about the content because ProgRock had all of that for instance, and I'm not holding progress as the only solution. I'm just saying we had an interesting 15 year run there that where music felt like it had unlimited possibility so much so, and I think this is the negative side of it. Every band did at least two songs about rock and roll. Bob Seger, rush limelight, living in the limelight. It's about you being up on stage. It became such a cliche, led Zeppelin. Every band has done a song about being a band member. And you're like, ah, that's like the book from the writer. Who's a college professor about the struggles of a college professor. Who's a writer and it's like, stop it. So I I'm hoping that you're right. I haven't seen it. I'm interested though. Have you seen anything produced recently that gets you hot? You know, that makes you a little wet.Whoa, that's kind of a personal question, I think. So like the graphic nature of it. So I, I'm going to tell you, you were talking about social commentary. So this is where I'm going to counter you on rap a little bit. So yes, the majority of soul R and B is about boy meets girl or girl meets girl, whatever it happens to be, but rap has carried with it an enormous amount of social commentary and protest against the current situation, whatever the current situation is being described. And not specifically, I'm not about any particular social topic, but it has been an art form to express that it's also a lot about blaming and money and women and men and stuff like that. But I'm just trying to say it it's occurring in another genre. I don't think we're seeing it really in, in rock much.But I, yeah, I see stuff that really gets me excited. This is a little bit further back. I'm not seeing things in, in rock. It, like I said, maybe out there, but the guy I have watched in previous years is mark Ronson as the producer for Amy Winehouse. He put together the uptown special album with Bruno Mars. And man, I got to find out what he's working on. Cause he, he produces some, some crazy stuff. There was a group, this is also a little bit further back. There is a group from Paris, I think, or at least France called caravan palace. And they do electro swing and they just made that their thing they're, they're getting older now. So I don't know how much more material they're going to produce or maybe it's going to change, but just those takes on, on previous music and it is original. Very impressive. But yeah, I will concede I'm not seeing anything in, in the rock genre. That is that original, the way these other genres are original. So yeah, maybe, maybe some, maybe we'll see it. IGot a point I've heard some hip hop that I grudgingly reluctantly think this is not my form of music, but right on man and a lot more sort of remixes, right. That DJ's put together. And I've had some respect for the synergy between melodic music and some of the, the force of delivery. I've heard some of it and thought, yeah, right on. Obviously I NWA and spend some, some groups that have done some interesting things that I, man, I, I probably couldn't listen to a whole album and enjoy myself, but there's been one or two songs that have hit the nail on the head of many. All right. Yeah. If I remember Jerry Maguire flipping channels in that movie, until he finally lands on the Tom petty song, you know, free fall in and then he's like, he stays and I hate that song.I like Tom petty before 1984 refugee the old days, but he hits that song and I'm like, okay. Yeah, that's what happened to Tom? No offense, Tom, if you're listening, but that's how I feel about some rap music. All right. If it's playing at the moment and it, and it strikes a nerve, I'll stay with it, but don't ask me to it. Yeah. I think you're right. Well, I'm hoping I got my fingers crossed for the younger generation. You know, I still stick with the principle of physics out of nothing, nothing comes. And so I worry about people talking a little too musically. Illiterately about, you know, inventing something out of whole cloth, out of nothing, without honoring the tradition, we have to reject the traditions and you know, Pam email@example.com. She wrote an article about the New York resurgence in rock music. And her point was at some point they ran out of things to break, you know, the rule was break the rules but...
25 minutes | Jun 6, 2021
WTF Happened to Music (with balls)? "We NEED to Rock."
Asher wants to know why there's no good contemporary rock music, why there's not a current Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Rush, or Pink Floyd. Comments on Classic Rock, Prog Rock, and music with balls. Asher argues something has changed, and it's not just the 'natural evolution' that always happens, but a dilution from which you can't get back to awesome.This time we're going to be talking about music. Music in general. Well, sure.But with some emphasis on rock music and I should probably acknowledge my tastes. You might say my bias. So I like music up until about 1984. That's the easiest way of saying it. If I had to cut off some period of music and just throw it out and do with the rest, I think you wouldn't hurt me too much. If you made 1985 the year we threw it all away that he arguably it was, there was some good stuff produced after that. I'm not saying nothing good came after 84. You know, the Joshua tree album by YouTube is pretty good. I did Mumford and sons more recent group, and there's a variety in, Americani got Ray LaMontagne and in every genre, there's some interesting music. Okay. But it's just so much less. I mean, you know, when I was growing up the music from the sixties and the seventies it filled the radio except for the top 40 stations.We have these top 40 stations, but me and my friends didn't listen to that. And we listened to cream on the radio and Steppenwolf and deep purple and all that stuff, maybe less Steppenwolf, but we listened to the kind of stuff that, you know, in my view is the root of so much contemporary rock music up until 84. And, you know, it was the generation right before mine that essentially invented punk. But it was still going strong. When I was in high school, heavy metal, my generation is the one that sort of made it mainstream. And then of course, you know, the new wave came in and there was some good eighties music. I didn't care for it then, but you know, I've come around. I liked it. It reminds me of the time and sandwiched in between punk and heavy metal is something we didn't have a name for.Most of us kids just call it rock and roll. And our parents called it hard rock, which they contrasted with soft rock, which I think must must've come out of disco, but it was sort of like the air supply, easy listening version of rock and roll. You know, it didn't have a lot of balls so to speak. And so that includes people like back in the day, Jackson brown, Tom petty, Billy idol, Eddie money, good old working class, beer swilling, hard hat wearing kind of rock and roll bolt-on neck, fender, guitar, Marshall stack, vamps, you know, that sort of thing. And you know, that stuff even changed once Jackson brown did the lawyers in love album and you know, it kinda went downhill. It's not like Boulevard back in the old days, Tom petty you know, I don't really dig all that free falling stuff reef, no, it's gotta be back in the days of needing to, I need to know.And refugee and American girl you know, she was an American girl, all that stuff that it's the guitar licks and the attitude you know, and Billy idol did white wedding. It had that sinful collar turned up a scandal built into it and everything sorta got cleaned up after that. Granted there was Madonna prince and all that sort of thing, Michael Jackson, but that's high points going out in my opinion. So I dig Americana, you know, Townes van Zandt, not Taylor swift, not top 40 country, not Travis Tritt, yes. To Johnny Cash and all of that. Sure. Willie Nelson, I did heavy metal not all the fattest derivatives. I don't need goth metal and death metal and you know, all of that stuff, but share ACDC black Sabbath led Zepplin. I think of that as progressive rock, but, you know, yeah. Good stuff. Punk really liked it.You know, I listened to the dead Kennedys back in the day. I'm into the clash. It was back then. And you know, there's been more than one sort of punk wave. And I like some of the music come out of the resurgence and the post punk stuff, you know, but after the Ramones and the strokes I still think that some things sort of went downhill. Again, these are opinions, but what are you going to do? That's what we got. Right. So, you know, you might call it what I like classic rock, although that sort of has a vibe now that means, you know, you play free Freebird and stairway to heaven a lot. And that's not exactly what I mean, my, my tastes were much more eclectic. So Joe Strummer and punk did a lot more than just punk.And although you could call it all punk, all these guys are a little bit punk and stray cats in rockabilly, you know, Brian sets here that was some, some hot stuff. And I'll even say and this is just getting into the topic, but again, acknowledging my attitude and bias and where it comes from. So you can do what you want with it. You know, I remember 82, 83, the us festival that's us as in us, it was sort of billed as the new Woodstock and Steve Wasniak was behind it. He was the partner for, for Steve jobs, obviously apple, and Wazniak wanted to do something really cool, rock and roll and bring about a festival and more, I think what the possibilities were of bringing people together around rock and roll. You got to remember, this is a time when the Berlin wall was still up, the cold war was in full swing.Reaganomics was crushing. It wasn't supposed to be, everybody was cheering it on from a sort of moral majority standpoint, but that deregulated trickle down economics crap, put a lot of people out of work, closed down the savings and loans and banks and, and really made things a living hell for a lot of people. And so why the NIAC put this festival together, not him alone, but, but he was a key player. I remember listening to that thing. I wanted to go the father wouldn't let me go, like, look, he's like, you don't have any money. You don't have a hotel room, a hotel room. I'll stay in a tent. I don't care. Ah, yeah, no, I wasn't gonna get out of the house, but man, I wanted to hitchhike there. So I was stuck listening to the thing on a radio.I should've just gone, but I remember, you know, everybody played there. I mean, everybody stray cats played there, the clash played there. God Fleetwood Mac played there, you know, Judas priest played there. There was a heavy metal sort of day and a punk day and all this. But I remember more than anything bono from U2 back then it was the war album, which I still think, I know there's all these diehard U2 fans that have different opinions. And I look at some of those albums as kind of arty, but the war album to me was actually really cool. You know, I, I put it next to the clash, although, you know, some punkers are going to shoot me for that. And I remember Bano climbing the scaffolding, his roadies are pulling it, his legs and he's climbing the scaffolding where the, the lighting and the speakers and everything, or you're not supposed to be up there.And he's climbing up with a giant white flag and swinging it back and forth over the crowd. And he's singing. I think it was like a song from that album, which is a great song. And and I remember just, I couldn't sit down. I mean, just being on my feet the whole time cheering it, yelling down in the basement where I lived and I, that was a different era. And I miss that. I don't get any of that vibe anymore. Something's happened with, with rock music and a lot of people would disagree with me. They'll say, oh, everything changes, everything evolves, music follows the culture. And I find that to be a little bit of a cliche and not to address the underlying question of whether the substance has been diminished and whether the passion has been diminished. And whether, you know, back in my day, people would have said, everybody's sold out and commercialism has taken hold.I think it's actually deeper and darker than that, but just saying everything changes, therefore, what, what's your point? It sort of shies away from the point. You can argue about the rise of fashion and oh, you know, different movements happen and things come and go. Yeah. And it's kind of a non-sequitur right. What's your point. We should ignore fascism then say that, you know so I feel that music isn't the same. And one of the biggest things that bothers me is sort of the fakeness that I see in music. And I'm going to sort of make that the topic today is sort of the artificiality and where we've gone with rock music. And I'm not gonna talk about how, you know, boy bands get built and people sell out to a kind of reality TV programming template and, and build these things based on data research and schlep them out as an off the shelf product, because there's already people talking about that.And if you like that kind of stuff, you're not going to hear me anyway. You're just gonna want to know what the latest boy is wearing that on that Korean K-pop album. And that's fine. Go listen to that stuff. But when I was a kid growing up, MTV came out, it was new. And you know, it went through a lot of different iterations, but the first version of MTV, what was revolutionary about it was you could watch music videos for the first time. It wasn't just the radio. It was visual, right. It was a cable TV thing. And what's funny about it is I watched it. If I had to, I watched it, there was nothing on, cause it was better than 90% of what was on TV. What are you going to watch? Another episode, a night writer, BJ and the bear you're gonna, well, that was a great jiggle show.So if you're into Charlie's angels and jiggle shows like that. Yeah, it was pretty good. You know, looking at Kate Jackson and Jacqueline Smith and Farrah faucet and then on BJ and the bear, you know, screw the monkey out. We were all looking at the girls, but if that wasn't on, you'd have MTV on. But the thing that felt like our music when I was a kid was called night flight and night flight was back to back all night long. The thing would kick on about 11 o'clock at night run till about four in the morning. So, you know, the deal was, stay up what? You're not in the music. All right. Go to bed then Mrs. Cleaver, you look very nice today, Joan. Okay. Wally tomorrow, it's eight o'clock it's after dinner. It's time for bed. So you stay up and you watch night flight and a night flight was heavy metal and progressive rock.It was cream, it was deep purple. It was all this stuff I'm telling you about. Interspersed with, you know, shows from the black and white era like space cadet. It was really kind of cool. It was if think Nick at night, but roll it back to the early eighties. And it would just go on and on epic performance after epic performance punctuated with this fun stuff. And if you were, you know, if you were stoner at the time and you get high while you're watching it, or just get your hands on a little bit of whiskey, you had a great time. It was a, it was a party on TV. And you'd call your friends who were watching, Hey, turn on night flight, man, what do you mean? Turn it on. No, it was in the other room though. What's happening? What's happening deep purple is doing this thing, man.You got to see it. It was great. So we associated that with substance. And I remember that the same thing was true on the radio. You know, we had high school for a lot of people, certainly for me, it was broken up into the groups. Have you ever seen the movie valley girl? You know what I mean? You had the Jackson stoners, the preppies, the hoods, actually we didn't call them stoners. That was, I think that happened down in the south or later we, you know, we were called hoods my people and it nerds and geeks, they were sort of getting invented. And you know, you had the academicians, you had the jacks, but at my school it had a lot of money. It was very much like the preppy school and valley girl and everybody listened to 40 oh Mickey. She's a fun, she's a fun.Blow my mind. God, that stuff made me want to say, or, you know, Rick Springfield yet. I want Jessie's girl. I, it, it was hard, hard. And you know, we'd skip school and go shove some led Zeppelin into the tape deck. Because everywhere you went, you had led Zepplin cassettes or, or rush or whatever. And we'd, you know, escape from all that crap. And I remember at night we had this station that would just say to hell with the FCC to hell, with the record companies and you weren't supposed to play more than three songs on the side of an album. You couldn't really play a whole side and you also swear. And they would say things like, it. We're going to play one side of led Zeppelin four and they get done with it, you know what, this.I mean, you're really not supposed to play a full album, so we're gonna play the other side. And then I go, you know what? Let's, we're changing our program tonight. Let's just do all the led Zeppelin albums. Let's back all the way up to led Zeppelin, which for some of you is not called one. That was great. And I had a call in show and we were on it all the time. My friends and I would call in and do little skits. I would impersonate Ozzy Osborne talking to Timothy Leary and drinking purple Kool-Aid while Jim Jones was still fresh. We'd have a great time. People at high school the next day would shout out. I heard you on the radio last night and it was fun. It was a vibe, it was an atmosphere. It was a community of people engaging in rock and roll as though music was an ongoing cultural conversation, not just an art form that was schlepped out as a product.We didn't wait for the next CD to drop or the next album to drop you engaged in music as a language with each other. And what I would say, typified that music, that myself and started the other underground types and the heads liked on the POCs liked is it was music with roots music, with substance and music with integrity, those three elements, roots, substance integrity, roots, meaning it goes back to something arguably goes back to slave music and gospel through the blue jazz and the blues. It pulls in portions of Appalachian folk music. And it becomes, ultimately it brings in, you know, British rock and roll and becomes ultimately some form of what we hear today. That stuff, the fact that it's rooted in something, put it into kind of an active evolution that we were all watching carefully and participating in it.Wasn't a product slept out of a data research plant in Hollywood and then substance man, you know, for all the crap that progressive rock tags by people calling it prog rock and saying it's pretentious, what's it pretending to that it's longer than three minutes and has more than three chords in it. So, yeah, I mean, it was an attempt to make operatic music was attempt with people to say, look, you know, let's look at what Mozart and Beethoven dead, and many people fail to meet. And there were imitators and there were posers, but there were also, there was some great compositions that were kind of groundbreaking and they're shaking. Go watch a YouTube video about Robert plant talking about how stairway to heaven was written, a watch that video, what they were trying to do. It it's legitimate stuff. And just so you know, the whole composition was written before a single lyric was written.They were musicians first. So substance and then integrity. And you know, you could call that the internal integrity of the music, or just the integrity of not being full of and talking about things you don't know about. And I remember when Brian Adams did that song, the summer of 69 and somebody pointed out that guy was like four in 69. He wasn't driving around any Camaro, you know, and playing his guitar or doing anything a backseat. So I'm not picking on Bryan Adams, but I'm just saying while it's subjective, I think those things typify a kind of music that has gone south, so to speak, it's gone away largely it's watered down anyway. I can give you an example. Fender guitars has come out with this thing called the road warranty series road, Warren, as in Warren by being on the road, you know what I have a problem with, it's basically fender guitars that cost 200 or 300 extra dollars to get them in the road worn version.You get the same version. It's not road worn for $300 less, but the roadway version already has the Nicks and scratches and dents in it as though you've been traveling on the road. You know, so anybody, I think anybody with any substance, anybody with any integrity, anybody that respects roots is going to look at that and roll their eyes and say, yep, sooner or later, they had to make a product for posers. I mean, seriously, it's like guys that dragged their jeans behind their truck to give them the beat up look so that they come off as blue collar or wear Carhartt clothing, brand new Carhartt clothing, or they try to beat it up as though they worked for a living and they've never poured any concrete or, or done anything that constitutes manual labor. And they're wearing work clothes. It's a little lame.And what I'm saying is it's a substitute for the roots. It's a lack of substance and it's kind of a lack of integrity. So you see this in popular music with minor chords. You know, I had a friend who, a blues musician and he said, you know what, if you really want to, when I was single, he's like, if you really want to meet girls, just go pick up an old guitar, teach yourself a few minor chords and go belt them out in a coffee shop. You'll have a date. You'll seem soulful. Even if you don't have that life experience. I thought that was hilarious. I haven't forgot that as you're sitting in Sam Ash, and you're watching, you can sit there for an hour and five different would be singer songwriters will walk in and try to buy the rig. They're going to use in coffee shops and they'll sit there and belt out a sweet melody matched with some, some minor chords.They got the Amex. You know, they're not living the hard life, but they're, they're trying to be soulful. Or this thing where grown men who are, you know, could be manly. Men are artificially making their voice. Hi, this is a thing, Google it. There's, it's become a thing now in popular music for young men to go up an octave in their voice to get really high pitched. I don't know what it is. I mean, is it hashtag me too? You know, what's the deal. You don't believe me. Go listen to ed Sheeran. Speaking of which the tiny guitar thing is kind of a fad. Everybody, you know what the I asked a selling item is they can't keep them in stock. It's the potluck, a guitar. You go buy a parlay guitar. The whole thing is it, you know, it looks like you're, you're on a campfire.Something like that. The parlor guitar was designed for Victorian ladies. It was a ladies car, sorry. It was designed to be played in the freaking parlor. You know, your living room when you had other refined ladies over for tea and you know, people are, are treated like it's soulful at me. Who do you think you are you Bob Dylan? So this fact of just this faddish cliche substitute for actually doing the work is contrasted by if you look into the, the Beatles recent documentary talks about the fact that they did the work. I think it's called hard day's night because they did the hard work. They did countless, countless nightclubs, the slog of playing in dive after dive in order to get the synchronicity that left then play together and to really refine their craft before they ever became the Beatles that we know.And that work can't be replaced by buying yourself you know, $200, partly guitar raising your voice and octave and belting out a few minor chords in a coffee shop and calling yourself a singer songwriter and writing about experiences. You haven't had the hardness of the road. So yeah, I get everything changes, but I think music follows the culture. And if one asks the...
24 minutes | Jun 6, 2021
Where Plain Speech Went (to die)—Has it Died?
Asher invites guest and colleague Steve Pruneau to comment on the "Talk Like a Man" episode. Asher shames modern movie dialogue and the cultural fad of avoiding words that contain commitments. In a world of indirect utterances, there are no tough guys, only understatements. Comments on Aaron Sorkin, Jerry Brown, Ed Rendell, and others.The podcast, the show about being a man, I'm your host, Asher black. And we're going to be joined by a colleague of mine. Steve porno (Pruneau). Steve has worked with me on a variety of projects and I with him and we've known each other for quite some years and have learned to disagree with style and verb. Sometimes it's heated, sometimes it's not, and we just shake our heads and walk off. I don't know what we're going to end up with in, in this particular episode, but we want to pick up where we left off, which was me ranting about the changing speech patterns in a monologue about the decline of the culture. And if I know Steve at all, he will have a completely different perspective on this and I will find great points in it. And probably still largely I think what I think at the end, I don't know. So we're about to find out. So what's your take on the language having evolved? Has it evolved to be less effective or less clear, or if, you know, to use our adjective less man hearted, our movies representative of that change in the culture, or are they anomalous and not reflective of the culture?I think the reflective of the culture. Look, if you understand yourself and what you're about, you're going to hedge your language a lot less in moments where there's an issue that's important to you, but that's the thing is if you know what you're about, you're going to be a lot less concerned. So, you know, if you're in a company and you're not worried about your job, you're going to say a lot more of what you think and believe, or if you're in a group of people and you just committed. Look when you're centered about who you are and what's important to you, you're going to care less about other people. Now, I think you're actually making a distinction between normal courtesy and actually having some hesitancy about causing offense. And there's a big freaking difference. And I, I agree with the basic premise that look, you know, if you know what you want, it's going to come tumbling out like Boger or Rhett Butler.This point that when you speak, if you qualify every phrase as buffer, if you prevent educate, if you're circuitous, a couple of things happen, one, you risk not having your point get across to you. Rob the language of it's rhythm, it's directness, it's ability for the tone and the language itself to carry your point and three, you create a communication pattern with people in general and foment this in society that is circuitous indirect, cautious walks on eggshells does not say what it means and buffers to the point of, of not being understood. So when I hear it guys say, look, you know, I want to tell you something and I kinda sorta want to just tell you, this is where I'm coming from. You know, I feel this. I'm not saying it's true. And if you have a different point of view, that's okay. My God, I remember Tony soprano, his right-hand guy has conciliary. It started off, you know, like, Hey Tony, some of the guys and I've been talking and you know, you know, we, we love you, right? And he's like, skip the preamble and got to the point. What do you want? The guy says, yeah, we think you're wrong. Do you think this is an issue? Or is it a manufactured issue? There are so many manufactured issues these days, which bathroom should there be a third bathroom, but what do you think?I don't think it's an issue with language. I think it's an issue with hesitancy and confidence. I, I see this with directors and writers and artists. And you use this example, actually I think with artists, which is, if you look into the audience, you know, you're a little bit unsure. You're going to get shaped by the audience and you're not going to produce your art. There was a story I was, I heard actually it was about Firefly and the guy who wrote the Firefly series. And this point that he said that the pilot and the security officer had to be married. That was part of his story. And it's a white man and a black woman and the security officers, the woman. And he said the, the, the studio didn't really want that in the story. And he told a story that he said, even as, you know, he didn't have quite as many credentials at that time.And you know, this is a big chance for the studio to take up the story and the series. And he said, he dug it. And he went all in and said, if you want to make this happen, this is the story full stop. And they went with it. They, as, as we all know, you know, Firefly made it through at least one season. But it's that conviction. I saw an interview with the actress, from a girl with the dragon tattoo. And there was a scene that she said she flat out dug in. She would not do it. And she had already signed on, she had already, they'd already been shooting and she had it out with the director and she would not budge. And during the interview were saying, what, weren't you a little bit concerned? You know, that it might fall apart.She said, yes, but I was that committed. And so I think what's being talked about here is there's an element of conviction that I think you're describing, but then there is an element of delivery. So I might be committed to something, but I might deliver it for that other person in a way that I hope gives them some level of regard or respect. So I think when you talk about this issue of language, I think for me, it's primarily about the strength of your own internal conviction, whether it's about your principles or your art or the thing you want to get, the thing you want to build. So that is not a function of how we communicate as a society. I don't think there's some speech pattern. That's pervading a society that is causing everyone to do it. I think it's a lack of conviction. That's getting revealed through this way of talking. And I think people talk that way because, and they can be influenced there. There is that. Okay.I think that's right. I think it's insightful what you're committed to determines how you talk. And so the question becomes, if you hear people consistently buffering, prevaricating being circuitous, avoiding the point, maybe they're not that committed. The old proverb is out of the heart. The mouth speaks, right? So, or out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. So the idea is maybe we have these speech patterns because we have these thought patterns and the thought patterns generate the speech pattern and, and the, the real quest to being a little bit like bogey, if that's a goal and his direct forum or or Rhett Butler or Don Draper, maybe the quest is to be more committed or maybe more importantly, to be more aware of what we are committed to. And when a particular discussion is about a commitment versus something flexible, you know, where's your line, what's your boundary?What is your goal? What do you want more of? What do you want less of? What do you approve of and disapprove of, you know, et cetera, I can't help, but notice that this pattern of speech though, in facts, areas of life, where it's not so much about commitment, it just becomes the normal pattern. Now we just use the same Patois for everything. So there's a, an action movie coming out with the guy that was in breaking bad. I forget the guy's name, Cranston Bryan Cranston. It's an actually moving, coming out and he's on the subway. And you know, it's the typical action movie. Seeing these guys are overconfident. He's going to show him what for secret train, black ops specialist, former security, you know, the usual meme I get so tired of it. How many people does black ops have? Gosh, that's half the country now I'm gonna, his line is I'm going to mess you up.And I'm thinking, gosh, that is a far cry from dirty Harry, go ahead, make my day. Or do ya punk? You know that, I don't think those lines hold a candle to the kind of stuff I'm talking about with bogey and Don Draper wrapped Butler, but they're still better than I'm going to mess you up. And I think of bogey in I think it was in the Maltese Falcon. He slaps this guy and he says, when you're slapped, you'll take it. And you'll like it. And, and I think, okay, there it is. He's letting the guy know, you know, I'm not giving you the option. I'm enforcing this point of view way better than I'll go. I can't imagine bogey. I'm going to mess you up. So I do think this lack of knowing what we're committed to being certain of it and committed, meaning it's not an option. We're not asking the crowd if it's okay, that that affects our speech, as you said. But I also think that then our speech affects the rest of our speech.You know, one thing that's different now versus say 50 or 60 years ago is now everyone can publish. They can hit print on whatever medium you want. They can record audio podcasts and they can shoot video. And where 50, 60 years ago, the content that got into print or onto film was highly curated, right? Managed speech and presentation of self was, was managed. And now it's highly improvisational. And so I speculate that the there's probably not a substantially more propor, larger proportion of people who are less sure of themselves. It's just that now that everybody can publish, we're hearing that part of society where 50, 60 years ago, we were only hearing the curated content of the nightly news, film, television, and printed newspaper. Now I think we're saying, we're seeing, oh, look at, look at this speech pattern. But to your point, it's sort sorta reverberates now into our culture and where it, some people perhaps are saying, well, maybe that's how my characters are going to speak in my film now because it's, it's bouncing through. I find a director, I'm a writer. I'm borrowing that from the world. I know where if that's director or writer where we're doing it 50 or 60 years ago, they would be borrowing from film at that time where now we're borrowing from Tik TOK, you too, you know, you name whatever live stream. So I think it's a little bit of a reverb.It seems to be a sticky reverb. When I listened to Mindy, Kayling Aziz Ansari, I'm committed to never speaking that way. I can't, I can't watch shows where people talk that way and it's crept in, you know, I know 40 and 50 year old people who have started to use the word, like it creeps into my sentences. I militantly push it out because I want to, I want specificity. I'm committed, not just to certain values and to a way of living and so on, but I'm also committed to my thoughts being actually precise. And when I hear somebody say so the other day I was like sitting there and this guy like bumped into me. And then I was like it's partly this thing where everybody's acting out now. And as you say, anybody can make media. So the selfie is the cultural norm now.And, and people perform, they act out things and it's almost like we're all at an improv stage. So we don't so much tell somebody as what we did as say, I was like this and demonstrate what we did through a mix of tone and maybe body posture. And so on. We sort of, my newly acted out one can say, I'm just closed minded. I don't like it. But I think there was more substance watching somebody like Bogart communicate. I look at this sort of, are we committed to precision in our thinking? If so, are we committed to separating the way we feel from what we think? Can we have a sentence where instead of saying, I kind of sort of feel, I think X, or is that too divisive? Some of the feedback that's happened in the culture is I've heard people say, well, that's too arrogant.You're sure you're right. When you say, I think X you're expressing an opinion, and that opinion could be divisive. Even if it's not inherently divisive. It's because it's an opinion. It's softer to say. I feel such-and-such. I shrink from that because I think what I'm really hearing is don't express commitment. Don't fully commit. Don't say, I think back away say I feel because if the other person doesn't like it, the verdict from the crowd is going to now feed back and reshape my commitment. Oh, I didn't mean to say, I think that I, you feel differently. Oh, okay. Well, I only feel it. I'm not committed to this view that I missed. And I still think that we all miss culturally, the kind of guy that could walk into a room order, a scotch turn around and say, where have you been all my life, sweetheart, play it again, Sam. And his is committed to what he thinks. So I miss it. I, if worst case scenario, I'm not making an ideological play, I'm simply saying I still have the freedom to do that as a man, but I miss living among other men who feel that freedom sound like that. Talk like that. Having a beer with guys like that, smoking a cigar like that, it feels like I've been robbed of some of that culture.I agree. I do want to be around more of that. I offer, as you might expect a more optimistic view. I think that's still there. It's just getting drowned out by the volume that I was talking about, you know, in this massive world of, of media available to us, I think it's getting, getting drown out. So where in the past, the same ratio of concise lucid thought is now getting washed over by a tsunami of anybody being able to publish anything. A few of my points of hope are, first of all, Aaron Sorkin writing any of the series that he did, but especially for me newsroom, there are some epic speeches in there that are dense lyrical, holy smokes, you know, he's, and he's our, he lives contemporary to us. So that is a single data point. I got to bring politics in it, into this, not from a perspective of political debates, but you know, currently Senator Sasse from Nebraska, man, that is a guy of conviction.And he, he does not ask for permission about his perspectives. I mean, he plants that flag. Same thing for Jerry Brown. A lot of people misunderstand Jerry from, you know, the old days, but holy smokes Jerry Brown was committed to the policies in California and they weren't quite as left to his people might think. And that, that surprised a lot of people, but there was no doubt about where he stood. So anyway, that language is there, but I, I certainly on board with trying to bring more of it too, just so that we ourselves experience more of it.This makes me happy. You cited Aaron Sorkin. That makes my day, I've watched that series newsroom five times or something like that. Of course, he's responsible for west wing, which if I started now binge watching, I would be on something like my 18th time going through the series. It is precisely that it's partly the culture, the bond between people that I think is a man hearted bond. It's a bond of commitment. It's a bond of mutual honor and courage. It's a bond of knowing the direction we have chosen to go to and sticking with that commitment. I consider those to be man hearted values. I think the women in that show are some of the most man hearted men I've ever Ainslie Hayes. You know, when she defends she's a right-wing Republican died in the wall, you know, country, girl. And when she gets all in the face of those guys, calling the, the liberals in the white house trash and says, those are honorable people and you will not speak that way.And I am their lawyer. I just, oh, oh sweetheart. That was awesome. I that's a man hearted woman loved it. Everything Aaron Serkan puts out to me is, is a lot like that. And I guess that's what I'm saying is in our next episode, we're going to talk about rock music and music in general, we won't just limit to rock, but we can talk about music, probably rock music, because it's the biggest thing has happened in our lifetimes, right? I like living in a world where rock some of the lines that I hear from the stage in a rock and roll song. Some of the lines kicked out by Aerosmith and the rolling stones, the reason they affect us so much. And our lightening rod for criticism is because they're direct unqualified. They're committed. They're all in. I want to touch your, you know, whatever.But the point is, he knows what he thinks. He knows what he wants. He's not holding back. He committed, he expressed it into the microphone and put a guitar cord with it. And I think we all admire that where we see it. So I think you've actually hit the nail on the head. You've made the show, Steve, because you've, you've actually pointed out the crux of the man hearted element we're talking about, which is when you're committed to something that makes you a man hearted, I would modify that and say, when you're committed to, and you know what you're committed to and you don't budge offOf it. Yeah. When you know what that is.Yep. You've always said that since I've known you, that knowing what you're committed to is key to having the life you want. You have to have a direction, you have to know what you want. More of. You have to know what to go toward. And we literally define that as the choice then to go toward it. Therefore, you know what you're committed to that is the commitment. And in the years I've known you, that shapes the worldview that I, I would regard as the man hearted worldview that comes off of you. You ooze, man, this my friend,Are you okay with that?Yeah. I'm glad you're checking in because I don't know.You know, I was the one I was on a platform in Portland, Oregon, and I love Portland. You can, people throw crap at it all the time. People's Republican Portland. Yeah. They know what they're committed to be a man and accept it. And you're committed to something else. Be that they'll be like, well, I can't live because they're committed to this thing over here. Stop it. Half of the way we criticize other people is because they're committed to something different. What I want to criticize is the uncommitted. But anyway, I'm on the platform and on the train platform in Portland, and it's my favorite train platform. It's near the super eight hotel. And I love it because it's got a coffee shop on the platform. It's serving hot coffee and it's real coffee put out by an Oregon roaster and some of the best coffee in the city.So I'm there in the platform. And I bumped into somebody, but I remember that he and I are chatting about something. And I said, I don't like some kind of food. It just doesn't sit right with me. I don't understand why they make it that way. And a couple of people backed away from us on the platform. And one of them said, I can't be around this, the violence that's coming off of these opinions, the violence. I think I said, I don't understand why, or I think it was Ethiopian. I understand why you have to eat it with your fingers. Do you have the option to eat it with a fork? How has that violent? You know, and that's what I'm saying is they're committed, I guess, to not having commitment. What I don't know is what else they're committed to. I know what I'm committed to forks.There's this idea of the guitar hero, you know, dire straits talked about it on, I want my MTV, you know, get your money for nothing, get your chicks for free. And they're making fun of in general, they're sort of smearing the folks who just wanted to be a guitar hero to live that lifestyle. And, and I, I think there's a distinction between that and people who are committed and love the thing that they're doing via that Don Henley song life's been good so far. No,That's Joe Walsh. Don Henley is has got a song it's similar to money from pink Floyd, but it's I'll find it. Yeah. Hey, I want to recommend that you visit your local R E I store that's R E I REI is all about outdoor...
33 minutes | Jun 6, 2021
Please Talk Like a Man—Bogey, Don Draper, and Rhett Butler
Tired of circuitous speech, vocal fry, upspeak, endless qualifiers, and the word "like" in every sentence? Asher goes through examples of categorical speech from Mad Men, Humphrey Bogart movies, and Gone With the Wind. He calls for us to embrace rather than fear ManHearted communication. Asher argues current, fashionable speech patterns and fad-banter lacks heart, soul, and brains.Personally, I've always chafed at walking around on eggshells versus using plain blunt speech, which is itself a speech pattern. And we've taught a generation of adults that ingratiating apologetic, cautious circuitous in making a point language is more adult. So imagine if Rhett Butler had said possibly Scarlet, and I'm not saying this is like the only way to like look at it, but I don't so much care as maybe you would like hear that question at the end. Or what if bogey said, I feel like maybe I shouldn't have a hundred percent change from scotch to like martinis, and I'm not saying there's anything wrong with martinis, but I'm not going to talk like that. I hope you're not going to talk like that. And I think something fundamental is missing when we force ourselves into that external shell, that if we're truly adults, instead of using plain direct blunt speech, we have to be so circuitous that we can't be understood.One of my favorite films is lay on the professional. And by the way, if you have not seen the international version, which is called lay on the professional, if the only one you've seen as the American bowel, the rise cut down safe, nice version called the professional. You haven't seen the movie. Everyone else in the world is seeing one with three scenes that haven't been cut out for our safety and protection, which are kind of stupid. And it's a different topic, but I encourage you to watch the uncut version for a variety of reasons. We can talk about if we ever address the topic of film, which I'm sure we will lay on the professional. You know, it's got Natalie Portman and John Reno and Gary Oldman as the dirty DEA agent the mega villain, et cetera. And I just love this, you know, he's, he's just gotten through eliminating an entire family along with his crew of agents in a busy apartment building.And so they hear sirens and everybody says, ah, let's leave. And he says to one of his guys, you stay here. So the police are coming out. Yeah, you stay here. What should I tell him? He says, tell them I was doing my job. I love it. It's that simple. There's not that he didn't say like, just kind of convey that like we were, you know, in the process of trying to be pre none of that crap, he said the words, and you could say this is because it's movies, but I think that movies reflect the intention of a culture and the model that we're holding up for the kinds of people that we want to be. And I've seen a distinct evolution in movies and in popular media, in song, in film, in literature and in every other venue in political speech on Twitter and Twitter demands that you now it's 320 characters, but it used to be 140 demands that you be terrorist.And we still see people mostly not saying it anything because they may Andrew to get to the point. I love it. When the police do confront Gary Oldman, his character says, I have time for this Mickey mouse. So I want to do a quick tour of some of the lines that we've come to know and love if you're my age or even 10, 15 years younger than me, or you're really young and just have a fancy for the kinds of film and TV that I like. So in other words, if you like things like Humphrey Bogart, you know, Maltese, Falcon, and you, you see in those some signs of what we might call or universally understand to be manhood. If you like that kind of stuff like me, then you're going to recognize some of these lines. Let's start with Rhett Butler. Because I actually think that a Rhett Butler does not get as much play as the classic tough guy, classic male icon as he should.And it's all because what, you know, it's a deep Southern campy romance, a Gothic romance, et cetera. And I think there's a lot to look at when it comes to Rhett Butler. So obviously we all know the line, frankly, my dear, I don't give a classic, epic, clear. There's nothing to trim in that statement. And I'm not arguing for brevity. I think a lot of people that like to quote Shakespeare brevity is the soul of wit forget that it was a moron in Shakespeare's play. That said that the guy, not only was it brief, he went on and on and on. It was comedy. His point was that he was Witless. So I don't give a lot of credence to it. I think if you have something to say, use the words necessary to convey the substance of your point. But frankly, my dear, I don't give a, it's a lean phrase.There's nothing to remove. I don't give a it's like, off. It's just that you can't say that in gone with the wind, right? You should be kissed. And often by someone who knows how love that, if you've ever just wanted to look into a woman's eyes and tell you exactly what you felt, this is a, a more artful way of saying it. But you don't have to artful to be plainspoken and direct. How about this? God helped a man who really ever loves you you'll break his heart by darling. I've said that. Sure. Some of you have with enough courage do without a reputation. That's my favorite line. Let's switch to Bogart his line. The problem with the world is everyone is a few drinks behind, you know, what people would reject about that phrase today. They would reject the idea that it's categorical, it's unqualified.It expresses an opinion without buffering it with, I kind of sort of feel or putting the word like in so that somebody understands. You're just portraying your own personalized take on things. The problem with the world is like, I don't know, everyone is sort of like, you know, like a few drinks like behind. You have to ask it as a question too, because you're not allowed to be sure of yourself. Imagine Bogart, not sure for himself, but he says, I always cry at weddings, especially my own. That kind of stuff is seen as toxic now. And I'm thinking the guy knows what he thinks. He knows what he wants. He knows what he's going to do. He knows how he sees you. He has an understanding of himself and how he sees the world. You can't berate generation of men for a lack of self knowledge and then criticized the behavior that is indicative of that self knowledge.When he says, I should have never switched from scotch to Martinez. It's a given that it's an opinion. He doesn't say in my opinion, I kind of, sort of, it doesn't have to say it's an opinion. He can just say the thing itself and skip the line I gave up drinking. It was the worst afternoon. My life, same expression. You're not a star until they can spell your name and Karachi. He doesn't qualify that with, oh, I, I'm not saying anything in particular about Karachi. And I hope this isn't racist. He doesn't sit around hoping it isn't racist. He says what he thinks and lets the chips fall where they may acting is like sex. You either do it and don't talk about it or you talk about it and don't do it. That's why I'm always suspicious of people who talk too much about either.This is a guy who's saying, look, I size up the world and filter pretty quickly. Here's my filter. He didn't ask you if you liked it. He didn't put a question mark on the end to see if you found it was acceptable or to ensure that you're on the same page. Paris is for lovers. Maybe that's why I only stayed 35 minutes. Very similar for the wedding line. Remember in Casa Blanca where I think the guy's name is [inaudible] or something like that. And he says, you despise me don't you and Rick, which is Bogart says, if I gave you any thought, I probably would. He does a buffer. He does a qualify. He doesn't worry that someone might be listening. He doesn't say, well, I'm not saying you're bad. The person who [inaudible]. And I think you get my point. So a few other lines from bogey, just because you can never get enough bogey.And if you can, you haven't seen enough of his movies. It's such a lot of guns around town and so few brains. So he just called somebody more on without having to apologize. I stick my neck out for nobody. Great philosophy of life summed up in one sentence. If you can't sell me your philosophy of life up in a sentence, you haven't thought about it enough. If you can. I don't care what I don't care. If you say, hell is other people. From my point of view, you have a point of view and you're sticking with it. I admire that more than a guy that means Andrews for half an hour. And I still don't know what he said. Here's looking at you kid. When's the last time you heard a man stand up and give a toast that made any sense and was catchy memorable.That kind of thing. I, it comes out of a pattern of speech that you have to develop before you stand up with a drink in your hand, if you're not that kind of guy your toast is going to be lame. So a couple of other observations let's get into Don Draper with a guy. I like Don Draper. The philosophy is sort of on steroids. He says how he sees the world without saying that you have to see the world the same way, but it's clear when you listen to Draper mad men. If you have a watch mad men that he doesn't care. If you agree, if you see the world differently, he still thinks he's right. I've heard that before. You know, what's offensive about the way you talk is that you think you're right. Well, if I thought I was wrong, I would change my mind.If I thought I wasn't right. I wouldn't say it in the first place. If I walk around and it'd be Willard fog where everything I think is hypothetical. I don't know anything for sure. I live in a world of neolistic uncertainty and moral relativism and all I can say as well, I don't really know, but I kind of a hundred. I'm not a hundred percent sure, but I kind of sorta thing. If I have to do that with everything, it begs the question of why have a tongue? Just if I tongue offend the, cut it out, just get rid of it and stop talking. God, we can't listen to you. So here's Don Draper and his best success comes from standing out. Not fitting in. That's not a question. There's never a question in Don Draper's tone. You're born alone. You die alone. This world just drops a bunch of rules on top of you to make you forget those facts.Again, just a categorical statement. Well, I hate to break it to you, but there's no big lie. There's no system. The universe is indifferent. You get the impression. This is a guy that will look at a little girl with a lollipop who says, you know, everything will work out in the end. Magic saves the day and love conquers. All right? He's like, I hate to break it to your kid. He says things like you can't tell people what they want. It has to be what you want. That's not a strategy. That's two strategies connected by the word. And he's critical without wasting your time. If he thinks what you're saying is. He just says that he then moves on. I have a life and it only goes in one direction forward. There's his statement of focus. There's his philosophical statement. Everything comes out of that.If you listen to that one statement and then listen to all the other statements, they could be sub bullets in an outline. You tell them the next thing will be better because it always is. You tell them I don't have time for this Mickey mouse. Tell them I was doing my job. People tell you who they are, but we ignore it because we want them to be who we want them to be. It's not just a way of speaking. Is it? You begin to wonder if maybe the way of speaking comes from a way of thinking, maybe clarity of thought terseness of thought. Maybe thoughts without having the burden of multiple calls back to your cerebrum to qualify. Make sure no one's offended. Make sure you've included every possibility. So they're immune from deconstruction. Make sure that all the different possible mental audiences you have as they heard it, they're going to be okay with it.Make sure even then you kind of subjectify it because you're convinced that you can't know anything for certain, maybe thinking like that produces the kind of speech patterns I'm criticizing. And maybe thinking with clarity like Don Draper produces the kind of speech pattern we're hearing change is neither good or bad. It's simply is this is a guy that looks at a thing as though that thing is the thing he sees. We're really here right now. This is really a we're having this conversation. The table is real in front of me. You're actually sitting in your chair and your car wherever you are. Don Draper says, people want to be told what to do so badly that they'll listen to anyone and you get that. He's not just holding to his position, but he understands Jane's that there's a, a way of looking at life that is opposite.His, that is out there that he rejects to accept a premise is to reject a new. And, and he essentially says that subjectivism that system of believers things, because you want to, that's the thing I reject. I want to switch gears a minute because many of you are probably going to write in to the comment section on the website and which is man hearted.com and suggest some other quotes. And I want to give you a little bit of perspective because I know what I'm going to hear. Some of these feel free to white, write what you want, but I'm going to probably hear the lane, tough guy quotes. Oh, go ahead. Make my day dirty Harry, I'll be back Arnold Schwartzenegger Yippiekiyay. At some point, those words work in a backdrop of explosions. They only work in a scene where the guy's about to leap off of a precipice or fire a machine gun.Those words require bullets. The other guys were our bullets. And that I think is a fundamental difference. I'm going to shift to some examples of the way people speak from political culture, because I find that kind of interesting. And we all know that speech writers hand them speeches and they read prepared comments and so on. And they're better that way. Even Donald Trump can sound semi-literate if somebody hands him a speech and a teleprompter and waves, cotton candy behind the teleprompter so that he has something, you know, or there. Geez. So he has something to look at. I'm going to pick on, okay. Casio, Cortez AOC for a second. Don't worry. I'll hit Ted Cruz right after that. But for now, this is not about which side of the political aisle you're on. I don't really care but much like Donald Draper. People want to be told what to do so badly.They'll listen to anyone. What I'm saying is listen to how this sounds versus the stuff we just heard. So Casio, Cortez, thank you. Madam speaker. I'd also like to thank many of my colleagues. Blah-Blah-Blah about two days ago, I was walking up the steps of the Capitol representative. Yo-Yo suddenly turned a corner and he was accompanied by representative Roger Williams and accosted me on the steps right here in front of our nation's Capitol. I was minding my own business, walking up the steps and representative Johann, put his finger in my face. He called me disgusting. He called me crazy. He called me out of my mind and he called me dangerous. Then he took a few more steps. And after I had recognized his comments as rude, he walked away and said, I'm rude. You're calling me rude. I took a few steps ahead and I walked inside and cast my vote because my constituents send me here each and every day to fight for them and to make sure they're able to keep a roof over their head and they'll be able to feed their families and that they're able to carry their lives with dignity.I walked back out there really she's going back for a second dip. I walked back out and there were reporters in the front of the Capitol. And in front of reporters, representative, yo-yo called me and I quote a. These were the words that representative Johann levied against a Congresswoman the Congressman that not only represents and it goes on and on because all of us have to deal with this in some form, some way some shape. And he really had to say it three times. You choose any two words that anyway some shape at some point in our lives, I want to be clear that representative yo, whose comments were not deeply hurtful or piercing to me because I had worked a working class job. I've waited tables in restaurants. I've written the sub. Really she's going to cite the subway. I've written the subway.I've walked streets in New York city and this kind of language is not new. So it's the language you don't like. Which one? The word or the word. Cause either one of those, we're going to say on this show frequently, that's it by saying this kind of language is not new to me. You are offended by it. You don't even have the Coneys to say the truth, which is I was bothered by that because that'll make you look weak. And you know, I've encountered words uttered by Mr C. She's still going on about the words. I've encountered words uttered by Mr. Yoyo and men uttering the same words. Here we go. Triple dip on the words as Mr. Yoyo, while I was being harassed in restaurants, I have tossed men out of bars that have used language. Here we go forth. DEP like Mr.Yohan, I have encountered this type of harassment, riding the subway way in New York. This is not new. And that is the problem, blah, blah, blah. And on it goes not only a far cry from Yippiekiyay, which she should have just said in the guy's face, when he called her a bet, she should have looked at him and said yet PKA. That would have been epic. That would have been a soundbite, right? But instead, listen, Don Draper, I have a life and it only goes in one direction forward. Why can't you talk in one direction forward? Don't quadruple dip on the same point again. And again, God, it's annoying. We have to learn how to be. Plain-Spoken say what we mean, say what we think without qualifying. You know, that thing, you make a statement like in some way in some, at some point in some form, all of which means the same thing.You're saying it because you don't want to commit to any one phrase and you want to make sure you cover all the bases rather than just take a breath, choose your words, pick what you want to say. And if you mean, you, I'm going to be the worst of your nightmares. Say that. And don't back off. Don't say I kind of sort of feel don't qualify. Don't say what I mean by that is your worst nightmare as a. And what I mean by that is I'm going to you out until it's a nightmare. Just pick one. All right. Let's pick on Ted Cruz. It, isn't hard to pick on Ted Cruz. I mean, AOC can take it right? You can beat up AOC and Twitter all day long. She just comes back for more. I feel sorry for Ted. I mean, cause it's so embarrassing after the whole thing, the ASCA with going to Cancun to watch him hang his head and blame his daughters and then blame his wife and then relay a message back to us that my wife's not very happy about you reporting.I mean, you know, this is a guy that gets sent to the store for milk at 11 o'clock at night, because we want to make sure we have some for our frosted flakes. He's bullied, he's cowed. He can't say no. And of course, who's he going to blame? You know, the wife sent me, it's not fault for Ted. So he's at the C pack conference. And you know, this is right after the point where people are going freedom, freedom. You know, if you're a Scotsman and you're not offended that they ripped off William Wallace and made it chincy here, then you should be William would would have stuck a sword right through that guy. Ted has going on, listen to William Wallace. And let me tell you, the media here looks the men and women gathered here at the young people gathered here as dangerous radicals, the rebel Alliance and Vader and the...
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