Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Sound Bites

Shopping trips to distant Costco entertain because I listen to the radio. Thus I learned of the decline, and better yet the end, of men—by which respective authors meant the human male. Women are better educated, more ambitious, have more get up and go, earn more too, and the males, stripped of the role of family provider, evidently throw in the dishtowel, embrace drugs, ennui, porn, and depression.

The contributors (a panel, of course) consisted of two men, a female, and the host—all young and from the chattering class. The host contributed an observation of his own soon after I tuned in. He said that superior male strength no long mattered even in defense. The push of a button sufficed to annihilate the enemy. Then, later, a propos of long term projections, the tutorial female voice pronounced ex cathedra that this trend would inevitably continue. Her tone evoked the phrase “manifest destiny” in me; and I recalled Red hopes of witnessing the dawn of a classless society.

Pops of pop sociology. I wondered what the rangers in Afghanistan might have to say about the need of male strength and endurance as they clambered mountains riding donkeys carrying horrendous packs. I wondered about the lady’s time scale; what would be the status of women in, say, 2075 after the oil has run out? I wondered about the sample, if any, on which the findings of decline and end had been so firmly founded. I wondered how many families, and for how long, could afford the mountainous costs of educating offspring at universities...

A day or so later came news that women still make less money than men in the same jobs—and hence are less likely to be laid off. Poverty numbers flickered on my screen suggesting that the poorest of the poor are single women with children. I learned that the most certain predictor of future earnings was to be raised in a family featuring two parents at home. Pop. Pop. A bite here, a bite there. Snacking on the news. The problem goes deeper than male frustration at the leaven that causes women to rise. So many other things in that batter, I thought, later, and then back in the car again: on blog posts time is elastic, you see. Then, almost arrived at Kroger from Costco, I learned from the panel that marriage is disappearing altogether—except among the rich, where divorce is now evidently in sharp decline.


  1. Spiders will still need killing, plus it's still occasionally handy to have somebody around who can reach the top shelf without a step stool.

    My role is secure.

  2. I take out the garbage and reset the computer when chaos strikes...

  3. Will you two please.... stop... beating... your chests!


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