What’ll It Be?

There is a way to manipulate people. There is a way to control people. There is a way to get mass numbers of people to do what you want; to pay any price to you and while they do it thank you with a smile. This force not only can be so powerful as to make millions move in unison as a wave crashing on the shore, but also turns them into mouthpieces for your cause. They become evangelist for spreading this force to all they come in contact with. And to those who resist this force? Well, they are hated, threatened, condemned, verbally and physically attacked; sometimes there is even rejoicing when the blood of these dissenters is spilled.

This force is FEAR. It’s powerful; and it is the enemy of Freedom. The enemy of Truth. The enemy of Love. The enemy of Masculinity.

The Enemy of Freedom

Americans say they love freedom. Our founders were devoted to it. Slaves were emancipated on it. We led the way in becoming the greatest nation in the world!  It’s been said ad nauseum “Freedom isn’t free!” and America’s history books (before they were re-written) were dripping with the blood and sacrifices of those who purchased it. But to us, we were handed Freedom, freely. It costs us nothing to have it. But it will cost us something to keep it. Freedom has many enemies, and enemies attack.  The one that is currently firing an onslaught is one of the most crippling of all enemies – FEAR. Fear doesn’t fight like the Red Coats in the 1700’s. Warfare has evolved. It doesn’t stand in the open, boldly declaring itself to be Freedom’s enemy. No. Its camouflage is one of promises of safety, or feigned concern that it is only looking out for your wellbeing, and can do so better than you. It affirms your victimhood; it sympathizes with the discomforts you experience. It creeps in closely as a friend or brother, slipping his arm around you in comradery as it looks for the chance to slit your throat. You see, Freedom’s enemies know that freedom has a cost. The lives of those who have it, must defend and protect it. And if they can drain your life, they empty you of your freedom purchasing currency. Fear is the way to slip you counterfeit bills and having you thank them after the transaction is complete. Fear will promise you peace and safety if you only give it what it asks of you; but it’s just veiled extortion. History has proven, time and again, Fear is nothing but a raging best. You can feed it to keep it at bay, but once you have nothing further to satiate its hunger, you become the meal. By that time, you’ve long since been its slave.

The Enemy of Truth

I stated that those who are controlled by fear become proponents of their master. Truth is one of the things they hate most. Truth mandates that those held sway by fear, face the fact that they have paid a high price to be enslaved. It forces them to realize that they traded their heritage for a bowl of beans. They HATE this! They are controlled by fear and this realization only frightens them further. They have nothing left to give, they have no will to fight. After all, their lack of spunk is what made Fear’s initial offer so enticing. The freedoms they relinquished at the prospect of safety, a life of ease, or freedom from the responsibility to support one’s self with one’s own efforts have paved the way for them to continue to traverse this road. Truth tells them there is a way back, but it requires sacrifice. Truth tells them they have chosen poorly, but there is redemption – at a cost. But these “fearmongrels” want nothing of it. Held by the sway of fear, they now mistaken freedom as fear and viciously attack. The sight of freedom causes them pain, and having literally given their lives to avoid pain, they revile anything and anyone who has the scent of true Freedom.

The Enemy of Love

Just as imagining themselves to be free until face to face with true Freedom; so they feign themselves to be loving. This love, however, quickly dissolves when they are in the presence of anything that is unlike them. “Xenophobic” has become an aspersion that many of these “fearmongrels” have attempted to reign down on others who refuse fear as a master. But once more, those enslaved to Fear are merely projecting their self-loathing onto others. It is they who have contracted xenophobia as they are the ones who have an intense fear or hatred of anything strange or foreign. They refuse to tolerate any idea that is other than they hold or believe. They cry for the removal of not only opposing ideas, but also those who hold them, from society. They are the enemies of love. They no longer know love as they now mistaken true love for hate and believe their own hatred to be love. They insanely fight and insanely cry for those who are still walking around as free men/women to bow and accept their ruler or die. Having no more freedom of their own, they desire to eradicate the freedom of others. It’s repulsive to them.  

The Enemy of Masculinity

A man is grounded in truth. A man doesn’t live in day dreams and wishful fields of daffodils and poppies as an attempt to escape reality. A man recognizes things for what they are, as they are, and orders his life accordingly. A man acts in love. Not some flimsy, “lemme kiss your booboos” love. A man loves truth, honor, justice (virtue) and fights all that would threaten the things and people he loves. FEAR is the summation of this threat. Fear would have you kneel instead of stand. Fear will tell you, if you choose to stand it could cost you your job, your friends, your possessions, your family, your life. Fear would castrate you while promising you a form of masculinity that is less offensive and more socially “safe”.  I reality though, if you even acquiesce to this demand, Fear will take your balls and place it in the trophy case alongside your Freedom.

I have made my determination, but what about you? What’ll it be?

Beards, Balls, and Bourbon

 There’s not much more that says one is a man more than two-thirds of the given title. When I hit peuberty I knew that having balls made me male, but having hair on said body part as well as the peach fuzz that started growing around my upper lip made me A MAN! If by “man”, one means, a full grown male then sure, that fits the bill; but not all fully grown males are real men. Just as most wives and they’ll tell you their husbands are just overgrown boys. So what does a MAN look like? 

  What if he likes his whiskey neat, his beard full, and his coffee black? There is something to be said about the difference between a man who orders a bourbon neat vs one who orders a strawberry daiquiri. Why? Why is it we say, “You don’t have the balls to …” when we are insinuating one isn’t man enough to carry out a said thing? Some may say it’s the “evil patriarchy” but they only say that because it’s easier to demonize a real man than to actually grow a pair yourself. 

  It’s true, beards, bourbon, and balls all have their place in masculinity for what they are and represent – Strength. Not the “Hulk Smash!” strength. I’m talking about a toughness, a resilience that can handle the un-pulled punches of life. The kind of endurance that, while a man may take a knee to catch his breath, enables him to stand back up tall ready to continue the fight. A man who isn’t looking for a fight, but he’s prepared to engage and win if/when the fight comes to him. 

     Whether you have a beard and enjoy a drink every now and then or not; you can (and should) cultivate and exude the strength those things tend to signify. 

     Be a man.