Hi everyone! My name is Rusty Coonfield and here is my BLOG. That's short for "weblog" to you. Kind of like an online journal which may or may not include subjects like: how to use a Macintosh computer, cool and useful websites, new technologies, photos of outdoor pursuits and my family and friends. Please add you comments and have fun! -Rusty

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Guy Day - Video Games, Computers, Meat

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Today was a guy day. My neighbor Scott called me up and this morning and woke me up so we could go to Fresno together and do some shopping for Christmas but also to get some time in doing what guys do. What do guys do you ask. (especially if you are a girl) Well, pretty much the same things that girls do except different.

Historic Pic

"Ask me if I'm a truck" was once a test to find out if you were a girl or a guy. (at least amongst my twisted friends). If you snickered or found humor in this conversational game then you were a guy and if you were completely confounded and found no humor in it at all most likely you were a girl. Of course back then there weren't such thing as metrosexuals either. This may be a little vague but you may start to see my point.

So what do guys talk about then? Simple: video games, computers, meat, and occasionally girls. "Wow" you are thinking (especially if you are a girl) but really it's true. These things if not literally what guys talk about at least can serve as symbolic representations of  the basic genres of male conversation.

If not video games being spoken about literally (which is often the case with modern males) the conversation might be about sports or politics. Usually some sort of current event that a guy may participate in alone but (as in the case of network games, politics, or softball) could be a team effort as well. Guys want you on their  team if they like you and if you are against them then you are the necessary counterpart to their machinations. Shirts vs skins, republicans vs democrats, yankees/socks, Darth Vader vs. Luke Skywalker. Really what this is all about is competition and the the same innate urge to team up if necessary and win the day as pre-historic man once did when competing for food, shelter and a mate. Video games are merely a new millennium way for guys to act on the urge to compete and win.

Computers, hotrods, golf clubs, tools. Get it? Tools. Computers are the latest in a long line of tools that men use to effect their daily victories over things like wood, metal, dirt, golf balls, and campaigns against stupid bills in congress being pushed by the RIAA. Many eons ago men found that objects he could find or build were instrumental in turning the tide in his daily battles and todays tools need to be as complex as the battles they are meant to win. Tools have always been on the fringe of man's understanding and it is helpful to discuss how you have found to use them with others and for them to learn from you. It is a far more complex matter than "stick to hit ball in to hole", "4 wheels and motor carries me to work", or "lighted box shows stuff". Men have the desire to see beyond the obvious so he can use his tool more efficiently. You girls can understand that right? I mean think about it. Who was the first guy to call home on the cell phone and say "honey I'm at the store - what can I get you?" It didn't take long for that tip to make it around to all the guys and weren't you happy ladies?
Which brings me to the next most symbolic and important thing that men talk about - meat. Oh meat, I think men have created odes to meat. This one really is timeless and has no modern version. Sure you can get a hamburger but it is still just basically meat. Can you imagine the victory that had to take place for pre-historic man to have meat to eat? He had to have the courage, make the weapon, find the beast AND slay it. Not to mention drag it home to his family over god knows how many miles. Meat was the taste of victory. How long did it take for man to domesticate animals and make it easy to get meat? I dunno right off hand either but a long time I believe. The man that craved meat and "brought home the bacon" to his family was more likely to promulgate his lineage (get laid) and thus his genes were passed on selectively and so many years later by the information age men desire meat but don't even know why. They just know they like meat that tastes good and is cheap. Todays men don't have to go hunt their meat but a good Oregon, organic, grass fed New York cut steak goes for about $19 bucks a pound! (and their is no equal) Hunt, kill and drag - nothin! Today's man must work in monotonous jobs, fight traffic, and suffer the guilt produced be vegetarians to be able to afford to eat meat. And ladies if that ain't sacrifice then I don't know what is.

And last but certainly not least is you ladies. I said "occasionally" you come up in the conversation of men but of course therein lies at least one conditionality. Being a single guy makes a lot of difference of course. Women are on the forefront of a bachelor's mind and other male bachelors will often share tactics, conquest and war stories These things are after all the instinctual emphasis that a man places on aspects of his life especially if that man is under 25. A young single man may use his computer to fantasize about the dates he's not getting (porn) or maybe to find a real woman to meet. He eats hamburgers regularly because he has no other instinct to forage and generally they are cheap. And often he is very full of angst because the whole world doesn't really seem to make a lot of sense. So he continues on in a somewhat comical way with his simple blind ambitions not knowing why.

But a man changes when he does find a woman to be with... Suddenly there are NO conversations amongst guys about women! Got forbid a man be slapped down by the hand of jealous woman! Just kidding! Actually, suddenly it all makes a sort of sense to a guy (the world) and conversations about computers lead to creating a home environment that is simple and streamlined and conversations about video games include the challenges of parents to make sure children are not poorly influenced by the content. Men will still lust over meat in conversation and that will never change but their discussions may include subtle hints to each other about the dangers of excessive meat consumption. And then one notices that ever subtly that all these discussions are peppered with references to the women in our lives. The women that define our immediate families. How pervasive and steady the references are and many men will never even recognize it - it is so innate. We men have been socialized through countless millennia to "bring home the bacon" to our women the best way we can. Only today this basic prime-evil act of providing for the family is a little less direct. Today's man knows not what drives him but only what he feels the best thing to do is. Bringing home the less violent video game, the organic steak, the bigger computer hard drive to save more pictures on and more importantly obtaining a feeling of repleteness as a man to bring home as well -  these are what discussions between modern men invoke. Video games, computers, and meat are just the current vehicles for men to act on their most basic instincts. And women are the glue that holds a man's life together and gives his pre-historic impulses ultimate meaning, focus and direction. We men need to bond with each other regularly if not to merely celebrate the greatness of all that we have achieved with a trip to the local Best Buy and a bite to eat at Carl's Junior but to step up the competition of how how well we can provide for our families and give them everything that they deserve.