Wednesday, November 25, 2009

If You Were Ozzie, Would You Do Her?


I had this dream a few nights ago. I don’t remember the dream, but I woke up thinking about pipes and I’ve been thinking about them since. If I reach that age someday where cancer no longer holds any terrors for me I may take up smoking a pipe.

Pipes are Sherlock Holmes and Father Christmas, leprechauns and mad sea captains. Pipes are Ahab pacing the midnight deck on a leg made of whale ivory; snarling at his first mate through clenched teeth “Blasphemy! Speak not to me of blasphemy man – I’d strike the sun if it insulted me!”

Pipes invoke childhood memories of my dad in a row boat, silently chewing the stem of a meerschaum with that far away look, watching his line in the water. And then there’s the evenings. That’s when you want a pipe. As a boomer baby of the ‘50s and ‘60s I grew up with that television image of The Father, who returns in the evening to his fiefdom. The Father sits in his easy chair like an oil sheik, with his slippers and his newspaper and his pipe. The Father’s wearing a suit and tie which he will still be wearing when he eats his dinner at the dining room table where his little son Buzz is doing his school work. At his feet lies a fawning spaniel. Hovering above him is a certain woman. This woman, a mythical species such as the unicorn, is the woman who has brought him his pipe and newspaper (the dog brought the slippers). She waits for his command, a glance, a smile of approval, there in her pleated skirt and pearl necklace which she wears when she cleans the house, part harem slave, part Wilma Flintstone. Serving his wishes gives her existence meaning, and anytime they can ditch the kid, serving his desires as well.

As a good liberal, I am morally obligated to despise this woman’s benighted state of mind, labor mightily for her extirpation from male oppression and cheer for her subsequent enlightenment. But in my darkest heart of hearts, I find this woman intensely erotic.

Once in awhile when I catch a rerun of the Twilight Zone or Alfred Hitchcock, I see one of these fine harem housewives in their dresses and pearls, attending the male while The Very Bad Thing looms in their immediate future. Late at night, bumping into Harriet Nelson on the glass teat, there are these moments when I understand something of what BDSM is all about. That unstained dress, those kissable fellatio lips, that hair longing to be tousled by roaming hairy hands, those virginal pearls, arrayed in shining Christian wisdom with her hands clasped above her roguish, conspicuously cone shaped Black Lace Embroidered Playtex Living Bra Size C Cup 36 those . . .those . . .my god man, those tits - as wide eyed she says “But Ozzie!”

Hear me, pity me, do not judge me, oh Friends of the Inner Sanctum – but jeezus-that hot bitch gives me the fan-tods.

“If you were Ozzie, would you do her?”

The answer is only expressible as a sinner’s despairing wail. A rutting cave man grunt. No modern, enlightened concupiscence, patiently courted with dinner and flowers and mutual respect for her individuality and intelligence, no, but pity me! - instead alpha-male chimpanzee dick-brained bug-eyed grabasstic urgency that gives no shit for any law of God or man. Do her? Do her you may ask? Before the kids could even leave the room, honey. Before she could gasp ‘"But Ozzie - !" I’d have this submissive, fecund hipped female with her midwestern honest calves, mighty thighs, righteous rump and twin peaked button up Southern Baptist Sunday School Teacher blouse, heaved over my shoulder, hauled off and flung down hard on her little twin bed (chastely separated from Ozzie’s by a good ten feet of invisible Berlin Wall) yank that perfectly pleated rayon skirt over her head and charge in howling where screenwriters fear to tread.

"But Ozzie! Ozzie?? . . OH! AH!! . . oh . . . oh ozzie . . . "

I ask myself, where does this come from? This odd fetish with the idealized 50s woman? Is it some Freudian thing, something to do with my mom?

Here’s what I know so far:

I am a mammal.

The natural world is ordered is such a way that as a general thing male mammals are the Fuckers and female mammals are the Fuckees. The Fuckers compete for the choicest Fuckees available. The females of the herd may or may not have anything to say about it. In that last point flows all the beautiful and truly horrible variations lust and love gives rise to here on God’s foot stool, all of which at one time or another have been on display in romantic fiction.

Men are in one way or another afraid of women. We are afraid of the power women have to bust our balls. They are the Goddesses of pleasure who guard the gates of transcendent ecstasy. They have to power to swell our vanity, or humiliate and betray. When you’re young and unsure, they have the power to affirm or destroy the way you see yourself and part of a man’s journey to owning his maleness is his struggle to free himself of that power. Somehow. This gives rise to a distinct and subtle power war between the sexes.

There has been an ongoing struggle between the men and women to keep each other under control in the way that passion is given or withheld. The males want to know at all times that they are the sole fathers of their children, and have loved, married, bribed, sold, served, wooed, whipped and mutilated the custodians of their DNA , put the fear of God in them and in some places made them go through life with a bag over their heads to keep other males away. Women have loved, wept over, seduced, nurtured, nursed, abused, berated, avenged, castrated and cuckolded the males in their life in return. Above all they have tried by any means sweet and bitter to keep the good men close to the nest. It’s the most ancient and universal of all bargains, going back to the dawn of our species, and not just our species but many others as well. The Fucker brings home the fresh meat, and lays his life on the line to protect the Fuckee and her offspring from all dangers. In return, the Fuckee, possibly several Fuckees, attends his wounds obtained in her service, flatters his ego, gasps with admiration at his gruff tales of derring-do and bestows on him a world of wet sticky pleasures.

“. . . oh . . . harriet. . that feels so damn . . .“

That’s when the deal is working. Whether it works or not depends on what defines a manly man and what defines a womanly woman.

When I lived in the Caribbean, my impression was that in that part of the world Manliness was defined for men by other men. As it turns out this was disastrous. A Macho Man, was that man who had a small but dependable harem of Fuckees, do-able on demand. This has resulted in a large population of fatherless boys and tough angry women. Macho Men spent money on personal adornment and status symbols. They hung out with other men as a rule. Hanging around with a woman was regarded as a sign of being pussy whipped. It was the men they were trying to impress. In the orient it was similar. Men did not generally look to women for emotional intimacy and companionship. Women you fuck. Wives you fuck to have children, preferably sons. Mistresses you fuck for fun. Men are who you share your feelings with, usually when drunk. Marriage was often about practical matters such as property, family and the ability to bring home the meat.

Although the cultural landscape has diversified a great deal as I’ve gotten older, in the more WASPy America of the 50s and 60s, the standard of Manliness was clearly defined for men by women. Think about it. This makes a huge difference. An American ’s Man - from my parents generation - was that stoic, confident, hard working Joe, who held down his job at the factory, carried his lunch to work and played by the rules. After work he might toss down a brew in the bar with the boys to blow off steam and cuss and brag a bit. He fished with the boys. He hunted with the boys. But afterwards he went home. You could count on it. He brought his paycheck home too and spent that check on his family. He might even just turn it over to his wife out of hand. The ideal man attended dinner, counseled his children, ruled the roost, and in return demanded respect. Though on a small scale, it was leadership and it was the kind of manly leadership that enabled women to feel like women. Men like women who make them feel like men. Women like men who make them feel like women. That’s the magic, the rest is in the details. Times have changed, in some ways for the better especially for women. But also a lot of the magic has been lost.

I feel sorry in some ways for boys today while at the same time envying them. They live in the age of Crazy Pussy. Easy sex is all around a young man like low hanging fruit. But I remember that first time for me after a long journey of courtship and friendship, in the dark with my girl, that moment when I suddenly realized It Was Going to Happen. Watching her climb to the back seat. She kept asking - do you think we should? I don't know, do you think we should? She pulled her t-shirt over her head and there was that intense moment of unbearable physical intimacy, of nudity, that moment of revelation. Watching her undress. Seeing her recline and wait to see what I would do. The thrill of seeing a girl’s bared chest for the very first time - how utterly alien and mysterious. Of feeling so ridiculous, so terrified and exhilarated by the mystery of what was being revealed to me and what was demanded of me in return. How bizarre and inexpressibly holy that moment was. It was the feeling of being in the presence of a natural event, sacred, huge and powerful; looking out your window and seeing a tornado funnel coming towards you on the horizon. The girl in the dark. Laying down. Looking at me from the shadows and waiting to see what would happen next. I've tried and failed so many times to capture that feeling I had in that delirious moment and put it in a story. The truly sacred things can't be written. They elude you no matter how hard you try to put them into words. I don’t think young men get to have that feeling anymore when it’s all so loveless and easy.

11 comments:

  1. Wow, Garce. You took the gender role discussion I tapped on the shoulder and dug relentlessly into the viscera.

    I particularly liked the way you broke out the variations and details of male self-identity within different cultures and time periods.

    Very enjoyable post--thank you!

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  2. Hi Devon!

    Yeah, I was thinking that when I read your post yesterday. Her mom! She's Harriet Nelson! There really ARE women like that. The imagination boils . . .

    Garce

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  4. This is one of the hottest things you have posted ever. It makes my twin peaks tingle. I'm of the straddle generation, remembering at 19 how I was ashamed of wanting a big strong man to take care of me and have his way with me. And yet all the cries towards independence and being your "own woman."

    I don't think we can deny our viscera, our biology.
    I do believe that with a little creativity, a willing partner and soul you can have it both ways.

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  5. Garce,

    As always a thought-provoking and insightful post. However, because I'm going to speak on the same topic tomorrow, I'll keep my comments limited to your opening remarks.

    I bought a pipe last month, for a class I was teaching about writing mystery stories. (It goes with the deerstalker). There are few feelings of contented manliness that come close to clutching a pipe in your palm and pointing with it as you make a comment.

    Go out and get the pipe now. Even if you don't bother lighting it, it really is a wonderful device to have in your hand ;-)

    Best,

    Ash

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  6. yes, indeed , get the pipe!

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  7. Garce, you always have a different and entertaining way of looking at things.

    I hit the '50s in my adolescence, and I still think of it as a period of unspeakable boredom and sameness. The moving force of daily life was a powerful compulsion to conform, to follow the rules, to look and act like everyone else. A good American (or in my case, Canadian) understood that to stand out from the crowd was somehow perverse and suspicious. What if you were a Communist? (The word had the same force that 'liberal' has today.) The 1950s were their own caricature.

    I once thought the elaborate rituals to deny sex to the young just added to the thrill. In fact, the first gestures at sex were magic. But as I watch my grandchildren enter the courtship dance, and watch their flirtations, I can't believe it's any less magic today.

    And no, I wouldn't do Harriet Nelson. She represented everything I thought wrong about life, even as a teenager confused about sex, adulthood, and my future.

    In fact, I don't think I ever sat through an entire episode of Ozzie and Harriet.

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  8. Jicky!

    Things are complicated for both men and women. I think this is a time when we are redefining our roles and things just haven;t settled. That's why there is probably such a surge of fanticism and religious conservatism in some parts of the world. I'm glad my post reached you. More later.

    Garce

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  9. Hi Ashley!

    Aren't pipes great? Even the smoke smells sweet. I've tried holding a bubble pipe and pointing with it but it doesn't carry the same authority as a real pipe.

    Garce

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  10. Hi Gaius!

    I was too young to remember the '50s with much clarity. I think seeing the Beatles on Ed Sullivan and discovering "Boris Karloff's Thriller" series is when TV began to get my attention. People are sentimental about the 50s because they don;t remember it that well, and it was a time of stifling conformity just as you say.

    Garce

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  11. Omigod, Garce,

    There is so much in this post, I don't know where to start. I think I'll just focus on the end. You've caught that mystery and awe of the first time in your blog post. I don't see why you couldn't do the same in a story, and I'd love to see you do it.

    I'd hate to think that those crucial moments had lost their revelatory power. And I'm not 100% sure that that the impact was due to repression. I had a far more permissive upbringing than most women of my generation, yet you've described my excitement as well.

    Perhaps sex is such an enduring mystery that even the young people in our sex-saturated culture might still feel the same fearful thrill. Certainly, I'd like to believe that.

    Warmly,
    Lisabet

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