I get all weird about my music, and save certain pieces of music for certain times of the year when they are not necessarily meant to be seasonal. Such is the case with Stravinsky’s The Fairy’s Kiss (stop laughing). I like to play it first snowfall. (I absolutely love the wild string climax of the Danse suisse.)
Bizarrely, I got my chance this year on October 29, the day before the day for pre-Halloween hijinks. It started in the morning, when I wanted to do errands, and it didn’t stop until sometime Sunday. Consequently no errands got done, we were all snowed in, and once my neighbors and I were all nice and snuggly, the heavy snow knocked out power.
This happens a lot throughout the year where I live, so I’m used to it. Now that the juice was dried up in my neighborhood once more, I found myself griping about exactly how long it ought to take, here in the 21st century, to get the damn power back on.
On the other hand, Saturday night was absolutely gorgeous, and, of course, the snow was still falling. Everything was white, so much so that the ground illuminated the snowy sky, and since no one had any electricity, everything outside was eerily silent. Perfect walking conditions with Stravinsky as a companion. That’s when I discovered that plenty of people on the other side of the hill had power, so why on earth was it taking so long for our side?
This dragged into Sunday, after a cold night in bed with a ski cap on my head, where a trip to a local hardware store revealed that they were completely out of propane tanks, and various other people who hadn’t bothered to check the weather (honestly, it’s too early for this) were contemplating various portable heaters. A store full of grasshoppers.
Boredom gave me the excuse to drive around a bit more on Monday as I decided not to go into work, imagining the rush hour traffic in the middle of all of this. That’s when I saw that my neighbors may have had power, but two days after losing electricity, plenty of other isolated spots would probably go for a few more days at least. Trees with their autumn colors still attached are much heavier after a foot of snow. Trunks and boughs had fallen onto billboards and guardrails, and massive power lines were down, strewn about all over. Somebody needed to do something about it, for sure.
You can guess the rest, can’t you? I feel like getting all sarcastic and feigning rapture of seeing so many women who have overcome The Patriarchy up there in the cherry pickers, sawing away at hefty tree limbs with their hardhats, each of them steeped in the pedagogy of feminism. But what’s the point? Besides, it would detract from one of the main purposes of this article: to reveal yet two more of my premises.
I try to keep my premises few and simple: coercion is death; desire is the mother of necessity; blah, blah blah. Well, the Hanna Rosin crowd isn’t going to like this one, so no more cracks about the agony of cracked nails when gainfully employed in a cherry picker, inches away from being electrocuted to death. Here’re two premises to try and choke down:
There will be no freedom without men. There will be no freedom without a circle of men. In order for freedom to truly thrive, that circle must be voluntary.
“Blue collar” men are the backbone of civilization.
Notice that both premises don’t mention women. This, believe it or not, is not a dig, and since I no longer believe in superior vs. inferior, it is not an implication of female inferiority or servitude.
That first premise also does not mean that there are not fantastic women out there who stand, in their own unique and feminine ways, for freedom, one of four principles that I believe are requisite for life (another premise not yet hammered out). Therefore, you can certainly find, without very much effort, women who know what freedom is about, and who can inspire you.
Furthermore, I put “blue collar” in quotes for the latter premise because I have come to believe that the designations of “white collar” and “blue collar” are ways of separating men into unnecessary categories. It is also my belief that these terms are a direct result of the building of empire, which I despise. I do not, however, despise what either category of male does. I’m just glad they do. You can find “white collar” men who change the oil, and you can find “blue collar” men with strong business sense, after running their own businesses for years at a time.
So it’s been a weekend of traffic cones, cops redirecting, power lines snaking around, hard-hatted (and probably hard-headed) men in reflective vests pulling tree limbs out of the way, and dolts like me sitting with blankets wrapped around our bodies, staring out into the white abyss. No shower for two and a half days (I couldn’t even get to my gym to use theirs, and I don’t think they had power, either); no Fake TV; no bright light when the sun went down; charging my Stravinsky-laden iPod in the car (where it’s warm!); layers of clothing; no light by which to read; no cooking; no refrigeration; no…
You get the idea. Ms. Rosin undoubtedly doesn’t, even when she acknowledges that “[t]he worst-hit industries were overwhelmingly male and deeply identified with macho: construction, manufacturing, high finance [High finance is ‘macho’?].” Therefore, let me try to explain.
Ms. Rosin and I only get power when a man who figured it out gets the power to us. Without it, our modern lives die quite quickly. A power outage like this last one is annoying, but only less than disturbing because both Ms. Rosin and I know that it’s going to come back on any minute now, even when one power line after another has been severed by a snow-heavy limb. Not only do these guys know how to deliver electricity to your door, they also know how to keep it suspended on those poles for years at a time without being severed, so that electricity is literally commanded at painted, feminine fingertips with the flick of a switch. When that fails, they put it up again and cross their unpainted fingers that the lines will stay in place this time.
As I type this, it’s still going on. It’s dark out now, and most of the snow is gone, but it’s still wet and cold outside. Traffic is speeding past most of these men, with mere common courtesy preventing collisions. They are no doubt earning overtime, but it’s overtime with the threat of electrocution, and with poorer souls than I still wrapped in blankets. It’s a complicated system of cooperation as well, and needs to be taken quite seriously by all the men involved. Furthermore, it’s happening only two months after a nasty hurricane and subsequent rainfall caused flooding in many of the same areas, requiring much the same effort from the same guys. Everything those wires are touching is still wet, including the men, whose end Ms. Rosin and her disciples seem not to fear all that much.
Well, I am now witness to what will happen when the two above premises are not taken into account, and it ain’t pretty. If these men end, so does the civilization upon which I have come to rely, and of which I have grown quite fond. Most of them don’t like The Fairy’s Kiss. It has less to do with the embarrassing title than it does with a lack of patience for a less popular musical genre. When you grow fonder of the more sophisticated stuff of society, I suppose it’s easier to look down on those who don’t – that is, when you still suffer from believing in superior vs. inferior.
Feminists and misandrists, indeed all those who hate, believe in inferior. When they’re made to feel inferior, they get mad. When superior rears its glorious head, they prance around and smirk. Since superior vs. inferior cannot be proven, the anger and resultant schadenfreude are ultimately meaningless. Fixing downed power lines is not. If I could do it, I’d be down there right now instead of typing. Instead, I just get out of the way, which is, I’m sure, what the men who fix it prefer.
Modern civilization’s foundations were laid long before second or third wave feminism came along, when roles for men and women were more rigid and, for the most part, openly accepted. I’m not in favor of rigid sex roles, or rigid roles of any kind, but most of that civilization required a great deal more muscle, which men seem to have in far greater quantities than women. Therefore, it naturally follows that everyone in society would be more willing to leave it to men to get the heavy work done, and there always seems to be a lot of heavy work to do in order to maintain it. When the empire chose to go to war in the 40s, they made a big deal about how women could do the work of men in the factories, and they were right. When the machines you’re operating can lift that much more than the world’s strongest man possibly could, hell, you could put me in the driver’s seat.
So, ladies, why aren’t you up in the cherry pickers? Why aren’t you out there right now with hard hats and reflective vests? I’m not calling you lazy. Hell, no. I know plenty of hard-working women, but they do have a tendency to gravitate to different work, something Rosin also admits.
That’s fine, but please understand where the foundational work of maintaining civilization lies. It does not lie in a snooty university position. I know the difference. I spent years studying snooty classical music, and I still listen to it as if I’m studying it (which informally I am). Unlike Ms. Rosin, however, I recognize that my ability to enjoy what I learn is based on the man who prints music but can’t read it; the guy who puts the piano together and bangs out the bell of the trumpet with a specially designed hammer, but can’t play a note; the man who works in the recording studio but doesn’t know the difference between a concerto and a symphony; the man who drives the delivery truck but bores easily when Bach is played; the man who designs the music download but prefers grunge; the man who sets up my Internet connection but wouldn’t know Ravel from a hole in the ground; the guy who stands in a cherry picker seconds away at all times from his potential demise, but gets ants in his pants when I go on too long about obscure composers from places in Europe he’s never even heard of; and all the rest.
It’s called division of labor, which is based on division of interest. A lot of these guys (outside and working right now as I type) are fascinated by car engines. I’m not. Based on what little I know, it seems that cars have about as many different parts as the human body, and just as incomprehensible to me. Whenever I go to the doctor or the mechanic with a complaint, I’m always hearing about a part I never even knew about. (PCM board? …How much?!) The empire has regulated health care to the extent that the position of medical doctor is near to God (so the ladies should go for it!), while mechanics, less regulated, get to work in the dirt polishing their people skills with angry and ungrateful customers like Ms. Rosin who don’t understand why the doohickey isn’t working properly, for a whole lot less money (so the ladies can… do whatever).
The end of these men is the end of us. It’s the end of everything that makes life enjoyable. You have no idea how many basic, ordinary, pleasant, everyday activities are tied directly to your ability to use and abuse electrical power, until, like this last weekend, it’s too late. Please tell me, Ms. Rosin, or any one of your millions of admirers, what is your plan if these guys ever shrug? Who will mix and pour the concrete? Who will erect the steel columns? Who will put up the drywall? Who will run the wiring? Who’s going to do the plumbing? Who’s going to install the heating vents, the boiler, and the furnace? Who’s going to hang up the wires on the poles? Who’s going to put the poles in the ground first? (Always remember those last two in the correct order, guys.)
Here’s something even worse to contemplate, in a day and age where, if I’m the kind of guy a local government doesn’t like, I can be accused falsely of rape even if I’m using an ATM at the time alleged: who is going to continue to denigrate the sex shared by each of these misunderstood creatures? Millions of people countrywide honored firemen after September 11, 2001, and millions still do, but only because so many of them were killed in the process of trying to do what was expected of them. Where are the millions or even the thousands in my area honoring the men who are, as I continue to type, trying to reconnect those same souls to their precious, modern lives? Or will we only honor one of them if he makes that fatal mistake?
We can only hope that the collective ability of one group of men to conceive, design, create, and connect us all through the Internet will soon spell the end of the rhetoric currently espoused and enjoyed by misandric feminists like Ms. Rosin. They don’t see their hatred, I’m sure. Rosin herself would probably protest that she “loves” her husband very much, so how could she be considered a misandrist?
To be fair, I think she sort of gets it with some of the data gathering, but then it’s all about Gr-r-r-l Power! in the very next sentence. It has to do with the smugness she embodies, of having won some sort of friendly competition with men. One snowstorm can remind you of something far more serious and sinister. I think it’s tied to a specific part of misandry having to do with men’s supposed disposability, like negro slaves, and she probably doesn’t even know it, because feminism has spent a great deal of time proclaiming the reverse.
Men are expected to cease and desist all sexual seduction, but are made to tolerate female interviewers in their locker rooms. Men are expected to never be violent in their personal lives, even in self defense, but they are made to exact violent vengeance over those outside the community who are undesirable. Men are expected, as boys, to sit and be lectured to all day by females like Ms. Rosin, but when they grow up, it is suddenly demanded that they “man up,” take charge, lead, inspire, and produce, as long as they leave room for women who are “oppressed” to do the same, and only when those “oppressed” women feel like it.
Finally, and perhaps most sickening, according to Ms. Rosin, men are expected to laugh along with her as she talks about their collective end, all the while she insists that they set up the microphones and all the audio-visual for her tightly wound performance, and distribute her writings and speakings far and wide via the technology that men largely create and maintain. Much of her blather is available only because we have power lines, and we only have them because men who are ignored and dismissed as dim know how to negotiate tree limbs with cherry pickers. There is not a single thing emanating from feminism to compare with that achievement: a sprawling, worldwide network that is maintained on an ongoing basis by men who are apparently designed merely to be ridiculed and diminished, or, at best, recipients of a passing remark of concern, as if the problem will be fixed just as soon as the lights are turned back on. It won’t.
I’ll remind the reader once more that the work is going on outside, just a mile or so from where I live, as I type. Somewhere in this world, on the evening of Rosin’s lecture at TED, the same thing was happening somewhere else, to the delight and earnest hope of countless men, women, boys, and girls, huddled around candles and waiting. Thank the high heavens for men in cherry pickers, men who ought never to see an end in sight.