Musings of a Neckbeard
I had this profound feeling earlier (which unusually did NOT manifest itself in my loins) that I should tackle my proliferate unread email concern. Perhaps spurred on by a sudden sense of self preservation… I’ve let my inbox grow wild and unkempt and now strange faceless creatures inhabit its deeper shadows. I’m scared to go crawling around in there alone. Unless accompanied by an adult (preferably wielding a baseball bat with nails driven into it). But now I’ve decided to blog instead (albeit outside on the deck). Which to all concerned is a much safer undertaking. And potentially one that requires less grownup supervision.
The sum total of my achievements today was going phonograph shopping. I was hoping to get there before it became uncomfortably dense with skinny jeans and ironic t-shirts. Alas, it was not to be and soon the claustrophobia of too many immaculate beards packed into too small a space overwhelmed me and I abandoned my hallowed attempt at LP consumerism.
The fact that I am now growing a beard (and was wearing an ironic t-shirt) is completely discounted by my mind. Besides I am in the early (itchy) neckbeard throes of facial hair while everyone else is already a hardened veteran of some months/years with an entrenched high end grooming regime. Also, mine is a protest beard. Ha ha. Which makes me laugh, because I never really took umbrage when Gillette felt the need to moralize to me through their commercials. But decided to stop shaving from that point on anyway…. because well… I am enigmatic.
However. I have since decided there may be something to this toxic masculinity thing. (I’ve always just explained it away, that some percentage of people are just bound to be assholes and this is then distilled into some sort of phenomenon)
I’ve changed my gym routine recently, hitting the gym early before work. Which means I’ve been showering at gym… and using the steam-room (which has stoked to my already high levels of misanthropy into a previously unknown stratum… seriously guys are disgusting)
In any event. Having been privy to shower room banter and hijinks once more… I have come to the following… eh… observations.
- Black penises are definitely bigger than white penises. (the fact that I put this as my number one should likely underscore that while I claim some moral and ethical high ground most of that is just posturing)
- While a top tier gym… I feel the average IQ of a locker room (to paraphrase Terry Pratchett), is the IQ of the dumbest person divided by the number of people in the locker room. Its a pretty low figure. Keats and The Republic are definitely not on the cards.
- Misogyny still, despite what people claim, feels quite rife. Which I find strange, since most of these guys are married (and presumably like their wives) and some of them have likely sired girl children.
I’ve been thinking about this quite a lot. Gyms are weird places where men from various strata are thrust together into an environment and this seems to be an easy commonality that they resort to get by in a social context. The more I thought about this the more I’ve decided that this is some sort of self-esteem thing. Stripped bare and exposed… a lot of these guys are not the shining embodiment of Adonis. (some of them definitely are… but that’s also part of the problem) so I think there might be some insecurity thing going on here.
My only other experience of locker room culture has been post boxing (which I did for 15 years). But after five rounds of sparring… there was never… and I mean never, any desire to impress your fellows with witty repartee. You just wanted to get clean and leave (and my my case lie on the sofa and feel sorry for myself). You wouldn’t necessarily expect that with the (assumed) barbarism that is involved in blood sport. I’m also only speaking from my unique experience, this might be the exception to the rule. Anyways, it got me thinking… and this is still very raw… maybe its a lack of masculinity that makes some of these guys act out the way they do. There is some biological thing that goes on in the male of the species which is evident across most of the animal kingdom. We deny our animal instincts through our reasoning… but that stuff finds a way to bubble through… stuff that is not stated by golf and a spinning class.
Anyways, I’m wandering off piste. And I am not necessarily cerebral enough (an argument could be made that this state of being will never happen) to consider this for much longer.
Also I’m hungry.