Doug Stanhope is one of my all-time favorite comedians. He is an artist, a true master of his craft. Of course I follow him on Twitter. A few weeks back, he tweeted about a marine who threw a fit of road rage. Here is the video. There were a lot of people criticizing the marine for going bezerk. There were many wishful thoughts for the marine’s death, some comments about his flag-draped coffin and etc. I thought those comments were a fine and comical way for people to lament about the sort of men we raise these days.
No offense to the good soldiers who signed up to protect the country and slaughter other people, but where else can murderous psychopaths go for work these days? With the faltering economy, it’s hard to make a living as a killer. Hard times are upon us and joining the military seems like a good choice for the aspiring killer. It’s a sound career move. He’s doing the right thing for his career and country, paying taxes, bills, and supporting his wife and kids. He shows up for work everyday, jazzed up on some ‘Merica…Fuck Yeah tunes, ready to do some killing, some maiming, and some torture. We spent thousands of dollars training him to be “all he could be” as a killer in the military. If he got a little confused about who he is supposed to kill, it’s something that society can overlook. Clearly, it’s easy to confuse a traffic accident with the enemy or a terrorist threat. It’s a mistake that any man could make. People should lay off the criticism of his actions. Minus his confusion, his actions were a perfectly acceptable way to resolve conflict. As such, he is good man, a protagonist, a hero in the American story.
As with any good story, a protagonist needs an antagonist. Enter the degenerate pacifist lovers of peace who sat in their seats recording the actions of this good man. Notice how the villain sits in his car. He remains calm, only to enrage our heroic marine even further, deliberately pointing out to the marine that his silly monkey-taunts were not effective. This only magnifies the marine’s experience of impotence. Heroes who experience this lack of power must act out with ever more aggression. Violence is the hero’s only power and this power is an expression of the hero’s lack of power. America’s hero is impotent. He has no power, only violence. He is just a pawn. His life is practically meaningless. The totality of his identity is his impotent power–his violence.
Feminists will typically point to our hero’s behavior as a shining example of male privilege, domination, and power–the patriarchy in all its glory. Feminists may point to our hero’s behavior as proof that men are vile monkeys who will abuse each other and women to compete in some patriarchal hierarchy of dominance. Feminists and his critics will say that our hero’s behavior is evidence of his power, when in fact, our hero’s behavior is evidence of his weakness.
If this society gave a damn about men, we would give men options other than violence. We wouldn’t sell them false ideas of heroics. If this society gave a damn about men, we wouldn’t create murderous psychopaths and call them heroes. We wouldn’t call the peaceful guy who sat calmly in the car a faggot or a coward. If this society gave a damn about men, we wouldn’t teach men that their value is derived from their ability to slaughter other people. If this society gave a damn about men, we wouldn’t teach men to be some sort of heroic pawns, willing to sacrifice their lives in a blaze of violent glory for pride, for money, for woman, for some corporate entity–America. If this society gave a damn about men, compassion for men wouldn’t be a revolutionary action. If this society gave a damn about men, Doug Stanhope and others would have no reason to lament about the sort of men we raise these days.