• The Ben Kenobi Fallacy ...




    A few days ago someone asked me why most of my friends are all women. I explained to that person that historically – all my friends have always been women. Why? Mostly for the obvious reasons of distrust that I have of men, which is an artifact of my youth -- and being a certifiable bastard, and not in the sarcastic sense but in the literal sense, it has made me someone very leary of the plans that most men set into motion. This distrust has served me well. This world is a dangerous place and my concern is more than justified. I have the scars to prove it. More on that in a moment.

    Most of my relationships with men that I’ve had as an adult, have been fatherly and have been on the grounds of general compassion and understanding. I’ve never been a mentor as that may have a condescending connotation, but I have tried to reach out and lend an ear or just be a friend. Sometimes it’s harder to be something consistent and simple for a person than it is to be something multi-facted and undefined. It’s harder to be honest when it’s the latter.

    I have no male friends that I go cruising bars with, nor would I want any. I don’t exchange vulgar stories with ‘my bros’ and I’m not a ‘bros before hos’ kind of human being either. I find that whole sentiment somewhat offensive. I don’t slip down to hooters to watch football on the big screen on Monday nights and leer at the girls. I just don’t find those things very ‘manly’, I actually find them more ‘cowardly.’ Strangely, a lot of women in the world like their men like this. Why, you say. That kind of ‘boy-man’ is much easier to control, or so I’ve been told by scores of my female friends, ha. Independence in a person is seen these days as a very dangerous thing … just like thinking. Someone might just tell me to lighten up. Cool. People tell me a lot of things. Don’t they?

    But guess what?

    As you read that, you probably had a moment of revulsion considering that information, but the truth is that the majority of men are like that. Whether they actively engage in this kind of thing or not, this is the genetic make-up of the male-psyche. They will and they will seek it out. I’m not going to groan along about it, just go read some Dr. Phil, he’ll set you straight and tell you how that population behaves regularly. Men like me, yes me, are considered outliers. It’s fine. I don’t mind being out on the perimeter. On the fence line. It’s like poetry or something, it has to be. I’m a forward observer in life and struggling to make it back to you with something meaningful, something useful. That’s my whole mission, my reason.

    But men are odd animals, needing more than just an unusual dose of euthanization, they buck the things that they believe they most seek. Take role models for example.

    The greatest role model for the typical male archetype is Obi-Wan Kenobi. Too many men are fixated, fascinated, preoccupied with Star Wars. It’s the truth. Sorry, just saying what everyone else is thinking. Ben Kenobi is the ultimate father figure of all time and has been, even in his younger on-screen incarnation. He’s the dominant male, the leader of the pack. Too many boys don’t have fathers who end up searching for one their whole life, only to be let down badly. The one lesson I came away with was anything I needed to search was actually already within myself. The appearance of Kenobi in Luke’s life, once he’s become of age, is like something out of a Joseph Campbell dissertation. There really is no mystery even though we could sell you a real nice one, with wheels and lots of chrome. There is no Millennium Falcon, boys. Get over it. But isn’t this problem most men are sold on idea about something ‘else’ and when that something is, to quote the once would-be secretary of state Benjamin Barber:

    “What happened? I thought we lived in a safe playground of a world where my career was the only thing I had to think about. And suddenly there’s a larger, desperate, dangerous world. Explain it to me. What’s it about? This isn’t the world you promised me. This isn’t the world you told me about.”

    … most men fold like a deck of cards, give up and go home. Hence my belief that most men outside of their skill set are ineffectual. This is why the bulk of them are fixated on televised contact sports, violent action movies that involve a lot of human dissembling, neutralization and displays of dominance – because they’re none of these things and escapism is their only real vice that society says that they can have. Laughs quietly to myself.

    In my life, most of my relationships with others, women included, has been that of ‘confidant’. Sounds like an odd word choice, but it fits. Most people that are close to me have shared with me some of there closest personal secrets. I’ve been privy to conversations that effect the very depth of these people, things that have changed them forever, and I have just listened and took it in and kept it. I gave back and tried to walk with them as far as I could and hopefully, that was my purpose. The things I’ve been told through other methods like body language, voice inflection, day-to-day activities, phone calls are probably the most telling. The majority of people cannot hide themselves and who they are -- and definitely not their secrets, although they would probably like to think so. It’s like that guy Jane from The Mentalist. He seems to just instinctively know what everyone is up to. Wouldn’t that be nice? Someone would probably shoot him and drop him in a shallow pit.

    So … I’ve had some fantastic and very true personal relationships with people over the years that have been very meaningful. Lately, I’ve been in the desert of these relationships, both figuratively and literally, but that’s a lesson unto itself as I’m being forced to reacquaint myself with me. At 38, I can’t think of anyone else I’d rather be best friends with other than myself. I can deal. Hopefully you can, too. Without or without, you as the song goes.

    My time with people has mostly been fatherly, like I said, this is because this is what I most seek for myself. I give without a thought of a return [don’t we all?] and often know that this life is one sided, because it is. If anyone tells you any differently they’re lying or trying to sell you something. Everybody is in it for themselves, some people are just more comfortable spending their lives hiding out with someone in the safety of a building because they’re not just afraid of the world, have been conditioned to be afraid of the world, but think that the time they have is unlimited. These folks walk their own paths and as lonely as mine is, theirs is probably moreso, but of a different nature.

    The biggest stumbling block I’ve had is with personalities. The problem is that most men are so self-consumed and wrapped up in whatever insanity it is that drives them, that they cannot see the forest through the trees and as brilliant as they think they are, these people are often the most ineffectual. These are the people after a lifetime are usually left empty-handed. It is what it is. Dear reader, you would naturally assume that this personality would also seek a mentor, someone greater than themselves, a voice of reason, a guide through life. But no. They cannot. They will not, These are the men that have been brought up in a world of fathers and dependency and much more, but cannot distinguish ever being led to a greater level for the betterment of themselves, those around them. They know everything already and their cup is full. I can’t put it more simply than that.

    I’ve let a lot of, in fact the majority of, my male friends go. Had to. Most of them were either getting older and still chasing the dragon, so to speak. Wrapped up in drugs is a way that they were the only ones who couldn’t see the detriment of it, even after they’ve gotten married and had children. Sad, but a lot of my male friends fall into this, and none of them are getting any younger. Some of them decide to engage in nefarious behaviour. I make no judgments about this one, but I can’t bail you out of jail and I can’t come down and pick you up from county when they release you either. Some of them were so untrustworthy as they bordered on being sycophantic and sociopathic. Only a great fool would keep a person like this as a close friend. Sure they have their uses, but most of them will never benefit you. Maybe benefit me, but definitely not you. Some of them are so directionless and wandering that whether married or single they really have no clue as to what they’re doing or where they’re going. Some of them are so engulfed by their deteriorated state of mental health that you’re not the person they need.

    Wow. Lemme tone that down. Sounds too heady even for me. And probably boring, too. Haha.

    Ben Kenobi though, for the sake of this intimate moment, is alive and well, just for the record. He exists in all of us. Self-sacrifice might be what you think the direction is as that’s what the surface tells you, but self-sacrifice and the guidance of another simultaneously is what the real mission is. If you cannot mentor someone in this life, if you cannot be a friend to someone, if you cannot work to make others happy and bring joy to the faces of those around you, then you’re probably worth a lot less than you think you’re worth and not doing what you should. No one is going to force you to do anything. No one is going to remind you or even wake you up in the morning and tell you all this stuff. In this life, we get no second chances at being 18, 21 27, 35, 38, 40, 54, whatever. You get one day through this life and it’s the same thing each time. These days repeat themselves over and over. You should be aware of this already. Maybe it’s just too much to accept right now. It’s okay. It’ll come later, when you’re sleeping. You’ll wake up around four in the morning, won’t be able to go back to bed and you’ll think of me.

    Which days will you make different?

    Which days will you make better?

    Which days will you do something for someone other than yourself?

    Which days will you push on the walls around you and expand the recesses of your life?

    Which days will you make your own and which days will you just let go?

    But you don’t have to do any of this. Nothing is being asked of you that you’re not asking of yourself already.


    ...



    I'd probably want to hang out with this chick, anyway. The kid is just way too annoying.



    4 comments:

    1. Very interesting. You don't find men usually taking about men this way. I like your perspective being one of those made from a different mold. :)

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    2. Thanks, Megan. I just edited this heavily.

      "Revolutionaries wait ... for my head on a silver plate." ;)

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    3. Ughhh ... too many typos ... must go and edit this ... groan.

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    4. Awww. I wish I met someone like you back when I lived in the States, all in CA too, though I've only visited socal - briefly - twice (once only for fishing Balboa, lol). Oh well, I just imagine I would've had a blast hanging out. I certainly would've appreciated the nsa companionship, the intellectual and philosophical stimulation, the forward approach, heck, maybe even the quirks (no pun intended) :)
      I can strongly relate to a lot of your sentiments, for personal reasons which I cannot disclose here, though some parts are just way beyond me, perhaps due to stark cultural differences (in my early upbringing), but it's always something I appreciated. Diversity is a wonderful thing, eh?
      Coincidentally, I'm also more of the "motherly" / care-taker type, or at least so I've been told. Quite geeky in many interests, but definitely not into the Star wars / Star Trek arena. :)
      And hey, I'm not trying to sell you anything, okay? I promise! haha.. Just thought your copious, yet succinct, brainstorm post deserved at least some praise.

      Funny though how I found your post while google'in something totally irrelevant; Benjamin Barber's (author of McWorld vs. Jihad) quote: "What happened? I thought we lived in a safe playground of a world where my career was the only... " on CSPAN-2 book discussion from 9/24/01 :)

      Cheers from E-g-y-p-t
      J_a_s

      N.B. dashes added to subvert clever keyword searches, I have a psychopathic ex- "friend" too, though a very malicious and persistent stalker at that *sigh*

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