Denis Leary on how to be macho.

CobraBoy (
Sun, 19 Jan 1997 23:11:05 -0800

>taken from
>Are You Man Enough?
>by Denis Leary
>Here's a cold hard fact that you must now chew and swallow: if you are
>reading this, you are not macho. Period. Case closed. Real men do not read
>anything other than Guns And Ammo, Sports Illustrated, or Shaved Beaver.
>Do not mention Fire In The Belly. Do not clutch your copy of Iron John. Sit
>your soft little ass down and listen up. Understanding macho means that you
>don't possess it. I have proven myself to be the pussy that I am by writing
>this piece. (I'm wearing a powder blue cotton print shirt and peach panties
>as I type) [sic] Ernest Hemingway, you say? Wrong. Ernest lived a very macho
>life and wrote some very macho stories. But Ernest threw it all away by
>blowing his head off with a shotgun. Very unmacho. Real men do not commit
>suicide. Real men know just how much life sucks. Real men grit their teeth
>and take it bill after bill, war after war, tumor after tumor. You don't
>greet Death, you punch him in the throat repeatedly as he drags you away. I
>think John Wayne said it best when he said, "Fuck Death and the lung cancer
>he rode in on."
>Macho is a very slippery thing. You don't read about it, you don't write
>about it, you don't even know the correct spelling of the word. In a vain
>attempt to keep some semblance of masculinity, I didn't research the roots
>of the word while writing this article, but I can only assume that "macho"
>comes from "machismo," which sounds a hell of a lot like machine. Being
>macho implies a tough, hard, blocklike approach full of pistons and rods and
>axles and other big steel-type stuff.
>It's hard to live by the old macho code these days. They've chipped away at
>it over the years, slowly but surely. Drinking has been reduced to a few
>beers or a couple of whiskeys, if that. Otherwise, your AA friends begin to
>stare across the table with that "I personally think you have a problem and
>that all alcohol should be banned so that I won't feel the urge to drink
>myself into a naked stupor but I'm not gonna say anything" look on their
>faces. No mess, no mauling, no mistress, no mas.
>Fom time to time, people try to use macho as an image builder. Bush tries to
>make himself seem like a card-carrying Mace Club member. He's not. The last
>macho pres. we had was FDR. FDR-a man stricken by polio, stuck in a
>wheelchair, fighting the Nazis all the while smoking 3 & 1/2 packs a day.
>"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself!" Yeah, and staircases, of
>course. And soccer and dancing.
>I think the death of macho is easily located on a very recent map. Sometime
>in the late '70s-right around the time the Village People released "Macho
>Man" and Barry Manilow sang "Copacabana" and Robby Benson was mewling his
>way into the hearts of teenage ultra-virgin, men made a serious mistake. We
>started TALKING to each other. We stopped punching each other and began
>discussing why we wanted to punch each other. I'll bet my right nut that if
>I had done some research, I would have found a dramatic decline in facial
>cuts and brain contusions starting in 1977. Now we're supposed to be
>sensitive. We are supposed to share our feelings and cry at funerals and
>care about our hair. We're, in short, supposed to be women. Hello, my name
>is Shirley. Touch me in the morning.
>I believe in equal rights. I believe that women should get equal pay for
>equal jobs. I believe women should have control of their bodies and be in
>positions of power. I believe we should have the same size shoulder pads in
>our suits. But I also believe that men should be men and women should be,
>well, women. Women should be soft and smart and mysterious. And men should
>have their own tools. I pine for the sheer stupidity of the old macho days,
>when men would brandish hammers and build huge, bulky cars that sucked up
>gas and tore open the ozone layer and crushed small animals beneath totally
>useless but totally cool-looking tail fins. When men were apes with good
>shoes and a dental plan. John Wayne, John Huston, Bill Holden, Bob Mitchum,
>Clark Gable, Babe Ruth, Lee Marvin, Sam Peckinpah. Men who drank and fought
>and puked and ate raw meat right off the bone and drank some more and fought
>some more and puked again and kept on drinking. Men who died of massive
>heart attacks or sudden brain seizures or who just plain fucking blew up.
>Men who had cancer six or seven times. Men made out of leather. <Picture>
>My dad was one of these men. My dad once cut off his thumb with a power saw,
>duct-taped it back on, and drove himself to the hospital smoking a Camel
>un-filtered on the way. My dad's theory was simple: no pain-no fucking pain.
>My dad smoked 5 packs a day, worked 3 jobs 7 days a week, ate beef for
>breakfast, lunch, and dinner. One night in 1985, he ate a big steak dinner
>with a side order of bacon and extra steak fries. He ordered some coffee,
>sat back, lit up a cigarette, and exploded.
>I don't wanna hear about Arnold Schwarzenegger. Even Arnold caved in. In
>Terminator 2, he was all of a sudden Mr. Caring Guy, protecting the kid and
>hoping the earth wouldn't end. Bullshit. There was even a sequence at the
>end of the movie where a huge truck full of flammable liquid tears down a
>highway for about 3 minutes and then doesn't blow up. A sign of the times if
>ever there was one. Every real man knows the 1 golden rule of macho movie
>making: if you see a truck on screen, blow it up. In Thelma & Louise, the
>women saw a truck. What did they do? Susan Sarandon pulled out her gun and
>blew the truck way the fuck up. Another sign of the times. Arnold's tromping
>around praying for the earth to save itself and Ms. Davis and Ms. Sarandon
>are drinking and shooting and screwing their way all over the macho west.
>Citizen Kane? A masterpiece. But every real man knows it would have been
>better if a huge Mack truck with the word ROSEBUD emblazoned on the trailer
>drove through the front gate of the mansion and then KAA-POWWWWW!
>Another movie matter I'd like to get off my girly little chest: asses. Part
>of this new male code has men baring their butts on screen the way women
>used to do. Mel Gibson, Kevin Costner, Michael Douglas, and of course,
>Arnold. Hey if I wanted to see Kevin Costner's ass, I would've married him.
>You never saw Bob Mitchum's ass. I am in a macho movie called GUNMEN, and I
>can guarantee you that you never see my ass on any screen but if you do, it
>will not be shaved. It will be hairy and hoary and very, very white.
>Our macho movie idols have changed forever. No wonder they end up baring it
>all. Listen to the names--Mel, Kevin, Michael, Arnold. In the old days movie
>stars had real names: John, Bill, Duke, Buck, Chuck, Rip. Kevin sounds like
>your skinny Irish cousin with the big Coke bottle glasses and a heat rash;
>Mel, the guy in charge of aisle five at Woolworth's. ("Excuse me Mel, where
>are the light bulbs?")
>It's getting very bad, boys. We don't blow up trucks anymore. Hell, we don't
>even drive trucks anymore. We drive simple little Japanese cars with air
>bags. In the old days we used to rip out the seat belts and fly through the
>windshield ready for action. "Thrown from the car." Remember that phrase in
>accident reports? Always the sign of a very macho driver.
>We seem a little more sorry, a little more plump, a lot more ladylike around
>the edges. If you really want to reclaim your macho self, if you really want
>to be a macho, macho man, stop reading this article.
>If you are still reading, you probably need a little more help. Forget
>Robert Bly or "Fire In Your Prostate." Don't go on a Male-Bonding
>Self-Discovery Weekend, which is just another term for Circle Jerk as far as
>I'm concerned. Here, instead, is a guide:
>BALLS, A.K.A. COJONES: You should have several. Preferably brass or steel.
>Extra large.
>CRYING: Never. Ever. Over anything. Not death in the family, not a bullet in
>the chest. You may tear up ever so slightly in one eye only when watching a
>favorite sports legend retire. You may tear up in both eyes only when
>kicked, accidentally or on purpose, in the COJONES.
>SPORTS: Once all men within reach are dressed in a team uniform, it is
>perfectly acceptable to kiss and hug and grab each other's ass. This is
>probably because all men are latent homosexuals and prefer male company to
>female company. But if some guy points out this fact to you, punch him
>directly in the throat. (Optional retorts: "Prefer this!" or "Fuck You!" or
>" Shut the fuck up!"
>HEALTH: Never go to the hospital or visit a doctor. If you have a stroke,
>keep drinking and act like you prefer to use only one side of your body. If
>you cut off a limb while using a power tool--so what? That's why there's
>duct tape and staple guns. If someone tries to drive you to the hospital
>after a heart attack or maiming, punch him in the throat. (Optional retorts:
>"Drive This!" or "Fuck you!" or "Shut the fuck up!")
>DIET: meat, cigarettes, meat, booze, meat, and coffee. In case of aneurysm
>or alcohol-induced coma, see "HEALTH."
>FIGHTING: At all times, over anything. Never hit a woman. Or a child. Or a
>bus. Never hit a priest until he takes off his collar. (If it's the pope,
>wait until he removes the large hat.) Clergy will often provoke a punch in
>the throat with their "violence doesn't prove anything" pontifications.
>(Optional retorts: "Prove this!" or "Fuck you Father!" or "Shut the fuck up,
>DRINKING: No falling down. No puking--unless to empty the stomach in order
>to continue drinking. No slurring of words. Tell a few war stories: "See
>that scar? I was in 'Nam and I ate a grenade and it blew up in my colon." If
>your aim is off due to alcohol, it's acceptable to punch someone in the head
>or solar plexus.
>SEX: You're probably too drunk or just plain stupid to have sex but pretend
>you get a lot, i.e. "You should've seen me last night, blah, blah, blah,
>Absorb this info and you should be on your way. If you have any further
>questions, call 1-800-COJONES. Remember: We're men. Big, boxy, sweaty,
>ignorant men. We have penises. Well, we used to have penises. Either way, I
>think Billy Martin, the late Yankees manager, said it best when he said,
>"Hey, I can drive."


Better to fuck up, than to sell out...

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