Some days ago I visited a nearby forest. It was almost dark and when I approached the trees, I heard animals move hastily. I was afraid. As I entered the woods, I was immediately immersed in a feeling I recall from my Ayahuasca ceremony, as I had been running from the others.
Trying to make out shapes in the noisy dusk, I became very alarmed and realized I had no weapon. I intuitively looked around and saw a dry branch that I decided to break away from the tree.
As I went about doing it, this sheep voice entered my mind again.
But that is just a piece of wood. You are naive. You must ask a professional hunter. You are not even a real warrior.
That was when I realized how profoundly I lacked.
I asked god for love and trust in my reason and my wish was fulfilled. For the first time since I can remember, I trusted my intuition. God’s respect for me accomplished it.
I broke off the branch. It was hard and stiff. I decided it was a good weapon and moved on without further doubt.
My father’s disrespect
I moved on through the woods. It was a mythical feeling. I was certain I could die and yet I trusted myself. It was anI had chosen for myself. One of many to come.
Yet no challenge came. And no tribe would be waiting outside to welcome me among its men.
Sorrow and rage clouded my senses. I uttered. And another one. Bring it on! Bring it on, forest! I am ready to kill or die!
I did not feel like a civilized human. I felt like a raw, wild animal. A betrayed and exiled animal, burning with merciless existential rage, completely immersed with its surroundings.
And finally I dared to be respected me enough to give me a chance to prove myself. My father, who had betrayed me of my chance to earn a place among men.. My father, who had not even
I knew I would have made a great warrior. I am tall.
I would have made him proud. I would have submitted to his teaching and discipline, oh, there is nothing on earth I would have loved to do more than that.
But my father deemed me with that fucked up bitch. His blood. His own kin. When I was ready to lower my head before him, he turned his back, metaphorically speaking. My family seems keen on insulting me!, unworthy of a chance to be a good son. He left me alone
I cried and sobbed. I was reminded of the boy from Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, who was likewise denied respect by his tribe.
I screamed and beat up the trees in my vicinity in rage. I hoped for an animal to attack me. I wanted to massacre something, wanted to savagely drink the blood of a life I would take with honor, in a battle of life and death. I had never felt anything like that before.
And then I spat at God’s feet, because there was nobody else to listen. Spat at his feet with contempt and rage for. It was half spit, half scream.
God tolerated it. He tolerates everything.
How am I supposed to respect men after the most important man in my life offered nothing but disrespect to me? Rejected me? I want to fight him for the insult. I want to humiliate him, just like he humiliated me.
And then I recalled that movie, Big Game.
Hollywood’s toxic masculinity
In the movie, a boy is to earn the tribe’s respect by going on a successful hunt.
He fails the initial test, drawing a bow. He is dismayed, but his father begs the other members of the tribe to let his son do the rite anyway. That is his first betrayal, taking a burden that belongs to his son.
But the much greater betrayal becomes apparent when junior reaches the hunting ground his father marked on a map.
He finds a freezer with a dead deer’s head.
How much more clearly can you state this: You are a useless man. You will never be a hunter. You annoy me and I do not even trust you to fail with dignity. I am giving you the best I think you capable of. A life as a fraud.
The son is, of course, shocked by this finding. His father urged him into a test he was not prepared for, then offered him a life as the shadow of a man.
But then along comes the nigger president of the United States. The kid saves his life and as the president congratulates the boy, his father finally feels pride. The burden of being the father of a failure falls off of him. They reconcile.
This is wrong on so many levels.
Firstly, the father greatly insulted his trusting son. He did it for his own approval in the clan, his son a mere status symbol to him.
Secondly, the happy ending of the movie consists of the son finally earning the approval of the man who betrayed him. The son sucks up to the person who insulted him, glad to be finally acknowledged. Abuse, as good as it gets.
Thirdly, he gains his father’s approval through the approval of the official monkey, the president. That makes it even the more worthless. A father’s approval, earned by impressing him with a meaningless status symbol. How can he even still respect his father after that lack of individual judgment and integrity?
It actually reminds me of my mother, who always sided against me, with the authorities.
What a gutless fuck.
The son is not supposed to be codependently glad to finally have earned his father’s approval. He is supposed to burn with rage and crumble under the insult, crumble under his loneliness and communicated worthlessness, crumble under his father’s promise to become a man, a false promise. And the only conlusion for the little boy can be: Becoming a man means to stop believing in manhood. Growing up means to let the world – reality – crush your soul and give up all hope for genuine happiness. Growing up means to stop believing in the fairy tale of manhood, expose it as a childish whim and become disillusioned.
Big Game is a movie that praises authoritarianism and lack ofand respect. It is an insult to masculinity and in no way a movie to be positively watched by a man. It devalues the most basic male virtues that make a man’s life worth living. Self-responsibility, individual judgment and thought, confidence and integrity.
If the setting of the movie was not a male initiation rite, it may as well have nothing to do with masculinity at all. It may be a gossipy chick flick.
For a second there, I thought the movie’s message was:
Every real man is a fraud. Growing up means to give in to manipulation, accept the pain of living a lie, give up one’s dreams and ideals for there seems to be no place for them in the real world. But worry not, for you still can reap the benefits of your pretense! You can still get drunk on theof ignorant fools!
This concept is exemplified in a scene where the president reveals to the boy how he wet his trousers before a press conference and skillfully hid it. You see, boy, it is not really about who you are. It is about who others believe you to be.
So the pretender becomes the new role model for the little hunter.
How fitting in today’s gutless political climate! How fitting for the pitiful and pussified world that teaches: It is all about the appearance. It is all about putting on an act for others!
I wonder which movie is really crueller. 1984 or Big Game. Both set out to crush your soul. Both succeed remarkably. But I think 1984 is milder, in that it is more honest. It does not pretend to want to and enrich your life. 1984 convinces you that love is not worth pursuing. Big Game convinces you that does not exist.
Shame on the makers of Big Game.