January 2, 2017 Matthew

A Peek into Male Desperation

A brutally honest post from the Reddit board which really nails it on the head. One of the by-products of internet anonymity is that people can find a place to let their deepest despair and pains out into the open. Like a last ditch effort for an individual to hopefully find some shred of consolation. Family and community were supposed to be the places of refuge and consolation but because those have failed so much for so many people, the internet has become a sort of last resort. Men often struggle to give voice to their inner most turmoils but this one is very well articulated and, I think, indicative of the current emotional state of a very large portion of men across the country:

To reboot the old adage of Henry David Thoreau:

“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation. From the desperate city you go into the desperate country, and have to console yourself with the bravery of minks and muskrats. A stereotyped but unconscious despair is concealed even under what are called the games and amusements of mankind. There is no play in them, for this comes after work. But it is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things.”

Thoreau’s quote is a good two hundred years old now. Since then I think we have plunged even deeper into desperation and despair. So much so, that it is not hiding so much underneath a facade of “resignation” anymore. We’ve reached the tipping point. Men are coming out of the woodwork, and boy are they pissed.

This desperation is fueled more by the absence of God in one’s life than anything else. Religious men will feel it. Even Christian men feel it. God’s presence is hard to recognize. It’s not what we expect or expected. It seems to elude us if we pursue it. And when one of the central teachings of the Judeo-Christian faith is perseverance through the wilderness, it doesn’t really make us feel that much better. Getting through such a wilderness is a purely miraculous feat for no one on earth can tell you how long it will be and it could very well be forty years as it was for the “apple of God’s eye” Israel. If God is not there to counter the very real problem of the “poor powerless piece of shit that nobody gives a fuck about” then we really are up the creek without a paddle and a man has no choice in our society but find revenge or jump off a bridge.

And that’s why we are here.

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