Tag: manliness

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. How Lame Is Our Awesome God?

 

“When He rolls up His sleeves / He ain’t just puttin’ on the Ritz” must be one of the least promising ways to begin a worship song ever. Nobody rolling up their sleeves is “puttin’ on the Ritz.” The rolled-up sleeve-position used for manual labor is the opposite of the sleeve-position used for an old-fashioned fancy night out. And yet, that’s how Richard Mullins’s best-known song, Awesome God opens. Mullins himself considered Awesome God something of a failure, remarking, “the thing I like about Awesome God is that it’s one of the worst-written songs that I ever wrote; it’s just poorly crafted.” And yet it’s a song many of us remember fondly. Why?

To be fair, the lyrics get better from there: “There is THUNder in His footsteps / And lightnin’ in His fists.” Although not by much. Awesome God alternates patter in the verses with an expansive chorus, and the patter is hardly scintillating prose, much less verse. (“Eden” rhymes with “be believin’” — really?) The patter does, though, address themes often left out of “Jesus is my boyfriend”-style worship songs. God as Judge. Sin and its wages. God as God not just of happy, shiny, fluffy things, but also of the storm. And, when the song is sung at proper tempo (no slower than Mullins himself performed it), the rapid-fire, syncopated sixteenth-note patter creates an effect that surpasses its individual words. Especially when the worship leader delivers the patter in a half-snarled, half-whispered mutter, as if he’s letting you in on the secret of something dangerous — which he is: Aslan’s not safe, after all, just good. Notice I called the worship leader he. That’s important. Awesome God is made for a masculine musical delivery, and the difference between liking the song and hating it can simply be the difference between having learned it as masculine and driven, or crooning and wimpy.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF Middlebrow #7: Spielberg

 

The Middlebrow series of the ACF is back! James Lileks and I talk about Steven Spielberg, who’s bringing out a new movie which looks to be a big hit: Ready Player One. We’re qualifiedly in favor of one last burst of that old black magic Spielberg has treated us since the mid-70s! We talk Jaws and Close Encounters, Indiana Jones and Jurassic Park. (Second half of his career in a future podcast.) We talk about the return of fascination and childish wonder to the American audience, as well as the darkness in his movies; the bias in favor of children, especially endangered children, as well as the manly love of danger and disregard for civilization. Listen, comment, share, and review our podcast, folks!

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. What Makes a Man?

 

I’ve been thinking about this for the last few weeks. We seem to be facing a crisis of manliness in this country. We have lots of men with no chests. We have absent fathers. We vilify fathers and men in particular in our media. What makes a man? I have been blessed to have strong men in my life that have provided good examples of what it is to be a man.

A man keeps his word. When a man says that he will do something, he does it. My maternal grandpa was great at this. You knew that when he said that he’d do something that it would get done. This was in large part due to his work. He worked in a variety of fields throughout his life. He was a mechanic, owning his own shop. He ran a timber business for a number of years. He was a trucker for a few years. He did various other manual labor jobs in his life. In each one of those fields, his word was paramount. He cared about the quality of work he produced. He cared about his clients. If his clients couldn’t trust him when he said that these trees would be cleared in a set number of days then he’d lose business. If he didn’t care about keeping his word, he would have starved. If he didn’t care about keeping his word, he wouldn’t have been able to support his family.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Tales from the Tabloids: Daddy’s Last Love Letter

 

Michael William Sellers found out he had pancreatic cancer in 2012, two weeks after Christmas. At the time, doctors told him to expect to die in two weeks. He lived six more months, and before he died, he arranged with a florist to deliver flowers to his daughter, Bailey, who was 16 at the time, on her birthday until she turned 21.

This year, her daddy sent her a beautiful bunch of purple flowers with a card that reads, “This is my last love letter until we meet again. I do not want you to shed another tear for me my Baby Girl for I am in a better place. You are and will always be the most precious jewel I have been given. It is your 21st birthday and I want you to always respect your momma and stay true to yourself. Be happy and live life to the fullest. I will still be with you through every milestone, just look around and there I will be. I love you Boo Boo and Happy Birthday!! Daddy”

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Tales from the Tabloids: What If You Found Out You Weren’t Adopted?

 

When he was 33, Andrew Lovell, a British drummer in a ’90s band called M People, was thinking about marriage. He had been adopted as an infant in the 1960s by a white family, but his skin tone made it clear to him from his early days that his parentage was more African than the people he lived with. His adoption was rarely discussed.

Now a man, he wanted to know more about his birth family. The story he knew was that his parents adopted him five months after suffering a stillbirth. His parents finally sat him down and explained to him that his mother was his real mother. When he had been born, it was clear that his mom had had an affair and that he was not his father’s child.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF#3 Gran Torino

 

The movie podcast is back! @flaggtaylor and I are talking about the film Gran Torino, about Clint Eastwood’s last turn as actor-director, and his last great character, Walt Kowalski, an American with a legacy. We’ve got lots to say about who he is and how he deals with the world around him, what he says about America and what Americans are meant to learn from his story. It’s something we should have recorded during the election — it’s one of the few movies about making America great again that’s both serious, popular, and compelling.

This is the essay I mention in the podcast, over on National Review, about Clint Eastwood as a teacher Americans should learn from, about civic responsibility and manliness. And this is the book I mention on the podcast: Totalitarianism on Screen, about The Lives of Others, the great movie about East German communism. Flagg edited it and wrote it with our common friend Carl Eric Scott — who will also join me on the podcast as soon as I can get hold of him.

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Member Post

 

A few weeks ago we discussed the existential threat to masculinity that is the “Gamma Male.” Today we receive news of yet another creature with male-like characteristics. Enter: The “Mu Male.” (Not be confused with this.) For reasons which will soon be clear, the name fits. Beyond those, this guy at least attempted something dangerous (if […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

Ol’ man McVey & ol’ man Arahant put me on to a head-scratcher in a separate literary discussion. We were thinking about the Kirk-Spock type of relationship. One of’em’s intelligent but lacks daring, the other one seems more than capable of making terrible decisions. There’s a lot to think about there, from American love of nature […]

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Member Post

 

In October of 2014, an Islamist terrorist killed Corporal Nathan Cirillo, a soldier guarding the War Memorial near Ottawa’s Parliament Hill. The terrorist then ran into the Parliament building to cause more mayhem, but the Sergeant-at-Arms, Kevin Vickers, shot the terrorist dead. Mr. Vickers is now ambassador to Ireland for Canada, and as such was at a […]

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Member Post

 

Ricochet’s Own Titus Techera intrigued me months ago into reading Harvey Mansfield’s Manliness and has posted about him from time to time. Yesterday, Bill Kristol published this latest video of himself talking to Professor Mansfield about the book. How is manliness expressed throughout history? What do we understand by the word manliness and is it possible […]

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. The Crazy-Brave and the Phony-Tough

 
640px-UStanks_baghdad_2003-2
US Army M1A1 Abrams under the “Hands of Victory” during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Not Pictured: Donald J. Trump.

When I was a teenager in the late 1980s, my father handed me an old article from the Sept. 10, 1972 issue of Newsweek titled “Watergate: The Crazy-Brave and the Phony-Tough” by Stewart Alsop. My father was a banker. He was also a Marine Corps pilot who flew A-4s and F-5s, transitioned to the artillery, ran a USMCR battalion, and retired as a full Colonel.

My father’s particular pet peeve was tough talkers, especially in the corporate world. Every time a regional vice president would boast about the company being “in a war,” having a good “street fight,” or “taking it to them,” my dad would roll his eyes. “Guys,” he would say, “we’re talking about how we will adapt our sales pitch if the Fed cuts another ¼ point. Relax.” One day, after being told that the upcoming board meeting could be “bloody,” he wore his helmet and flak jacket over his Brooks Brothers shirt and tie. For some reason, nobody mentioned the upcoming “battle.”

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Member Post

 

I don’t often feel inadequate. When I do, it’s probably because I’m reading about John Urschel. In 2015, Urschel played in the NFL playoffs for the Ravens while simultaneously working on a paper on graph eigenfunctions…The paper, entitled, “A Cascadic Multigrid Algorithm for Computing the Fielder Vector of Graph Laplacians,” is available online… More

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

The conversation you will find below started in Mr. Aaron Miller’s fun discussion of games & therefore I felt it should be taken out, because it’s ugly stuff. The book is, I believe, a must-read for people interested in American war & modern warfare. I expect more than a few people here on Ricochet have read […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

This is the Star wars cantina song–maybe some of my fellow Ricochetti are legally prevented from enjoying this fun song by the, one hopes, inimitable Mr. Richard Cheese. Some other version on youtube may be legal or legal-ish… More

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Manliness: An Unsung Trait of the Train Heroes

 
French Train Heroes
Frederic Legrand – COMEO / Shutterstock.com

When a heavily armed man emerged from the bathroom of a European train and began what was clearly intended as a massacre of innocent, unsuspecting civilians, six men ranging in age from 22 to 62 sprang into action. A banker and a middle-aged academic, both French, were first on the scene. The sound of gunfire awakened three young American tourists: Alek Skarlatos, Spencer Stone, and Anthony Sadler. In a moment evocative of the Flight 93 passengers’ shining courage on 9/11, Skarlatos saw Ayoub El-Khazzani struggling with one of his guns and leapt up, saying simply “Let’s go” to his friends.

The three Americans, two Frenchmen, and one Briton who took on the terrorist were unarmed — though, thank God, in the case of two (the third was fit too), their military training prepared them for violence. That’s right. For the world to be safe for most people, good people must learn the arts of war to prevent bad people from ruling through terror. It’s true of individuals, and it’s true of nations.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

Has everyone already read this? Mr. Mark Judge is trying to say a few things about a problem one does not much read about: Men committing suicide. This is called male suicide & I think I alone am bothered by that. I think the piece is a failure on every level. It’s hard even to understand how […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. The Speech of Political Manliness

 

Leadership is deeds, not speeches (except, one supposes, speeches that take on the force of deeds). The media and Washington-the-place are the problem. The surplus of spirit in the people is the solution. The president should serve something greater than himself — like Washington-the-man going back to his farm, a very Cincinnatus, relinquishing power after fully discharging his duties. Mr. Perry obviously believes he would not shrink in the comparison — he could withstand the gaze of millions, like the poet says.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

The closest I get to voting in American elections is the Ricochet poll–at least until I figure out everything about the advantages of life as an illegal immigrant, which I am told is necessary if I ever want someone to do my biopic… I always vote for Mr. Perry first, hoping against hope that he […]

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