From a private discussion on this set of subjects:
E.W.- It's not just poor men though, it's MEN. We are raised in a culture that trains men not to ask for help. That accepts anger as the only feeling men are allowed to acknowledge. Even right from birth both men and women show male babies less emotional variety in their facial expressions than they show female babies.
Though I think part of the answer is that men who are doing the work of changing their settings need to lead groups to help other men do the same. We can self-organize more than we do. I think we really do need politically aware therapy groups.
S.G.- I mean, it's obvious that there's a serious problem just looking at Trump– a man who took Gordon Gecko as a role model, Vince McMahon kind of coked out mania as a lifestyle, these men are celebrated and rewarded with celebrity for this shit, if we're talking about the culture as a whole
S.G.- To be very ugly and coarse: there needs to be a middle ground ideal between Super Alpha and Beta Fag. And I think you know what I mean by that, the stereotypes that we use in place of Archetypes
S.G.- I mean, is this all part of the bizarre polarization cancer we've got going? It seems to me, I remember reading yoga books, for MEN from the 50s, where they talk about men not being overmuscled goons, ideally
E.W.- I think we need to create new sorts of heroes in our media. But actually in many ways they are OLDER sorts of heros. Like Atticus Finch.
E.W.- I'd like to do a show about a conflict resolution / crisis negotiator. The hero resolves conflicts not kills people. People dying is when he feels like he's lost.
E.W.- And yes it would be a male lead because I want to portray him as a masculine role model. I'd give him a female boss though.
S.G.- I mean, can we really just blame this on Mass Media? Is this actually a function of TV?
I wouldn't think so, considering the Superman ideas of Naziism. I mean, it worries the SHIT out of me to see grown men, men older than me, wearing superman caps and so forth.
There's a certain kind of, OH GOD NO, when kids don't grow out of comics in a meaningful way.
Like, of course we can appreciate things that are traditionally thought of as belonging to children, but honestly, why the HELL are steroid freaks in tights, Aryan Supermen, the movies we are watching?
It's like we took Arnold and Sylvester and Dolph and Van Damme, and said: no, this isn't ENOUGH of a cartoon
S.G.- Honestly, that was the saving grace of shit like MacGuyver and Batman and so forth: you know, he was manly enough to kick ass, but wise enough to not want to, to not be a brute
E.W.- No we can't blame it but that's certainly not been HELPING.
E.W.- If we want to fix these sorts of things we need to confront the issue on as many layers as we can. Shit's a system, the parts all interact. Slight changes on enough of the parts and large clusters can shift. But… at a fundamental level a whole lot of people currently at large need therapy, and a bunch of parents need training, and schools need re-programming.
E.W.- And media needs to be created that exemplifies the values behind the necessary shifts toward health and kindness.
S.G.- Isn't that kind of bad as strategy though?
Like, look at media in the 90s versus 80s, it's a massive reaction to overbearing preachiness.
Captain Planet, Heart to Hearts with Uncle Jessie..
S.G.- Shouldn't the object be to break that stupid cultural issue: your heroes should come from your real life, anywhere you can get them.
"Off to the movies we shall go, where we learn everything that we know"?
S.G.- The morals should come from the society, not be imparted to the society using entertainment
E.W.- Humans always use story to explore and define their morality. Why do you think we keep mything and religioning? It's really hard to fight something that's ten thousand years old, better to try and turn it in the directions you want.
I think we can show alternates without making preachy pablum.
I don't think we can ignore any layer. Just the personal therapeutic side is going to be the most vital.
Continued next post