562. Return (IX)
Hollywood likes to feature scenes in films where a man on his death bed says to his son: “I’m sorry I wasn’t a better father, I wasn’t there more—didn’t speak to you more.” The scene has a little variation, perhaps it happens after a major accident the man has survived—and yet it is constant in its content, and I have seen it replicated almost verbatim in many films.
Totally unreal: men do not relate to men in that way; the entire conceit is sentimental and deluded. Think about what a successful father is: a man who provides for his family and is a model of self-reliant action in the face of adversity. Where in this does an extensive chat or “being there” feature? These Hollywood scenes describe a mother. I will apply the appropriate caveat that men rib each other and that men can form close fraternal bonds—my suggestion is not that it is pure ice between men, except it is more frosty than not; and what bonds there are often occur over obscene or “cruel” humour or shared rituals. In no sense do men feel they need to “speak more”: men are about actions, not words—nor do they need to “be there” to provide reassurance or comforting warmth, the warmth that comes from the womb.
What does a man want to be? He wants to have the highest capacity for autonomous action possible—and this is synonymous with effectiveness and power, the latter being broadly understood as power of action. Notions such as “being there” or “just having a chat” do not really feature in this view: women want support, women want to be dependent on other people—ultimately, they depend on their father or their husband.
Men who want to be overly familiar or “offer support” usually have some sinister agenda that aims to control and manipulate you—or else they are in some way deranged. I always feel maximal suspicion when a man is “nice” to me; it means he wants something from me or thinks he can use me in some way. It makes me feel a little rise in my throat as if I am about to vomit. Ug, what is this niceness? What is his game? “Mate, mate”…“Don’t ‘mate’ me.” Impudence.
So why does Hollywood insert this little formula everywhere? The formula even appears in Clint Eastwood’s war film Flags of Our Fathers (2006)—and Eastwood is meant to be a masculine paradigm and a rare right-wing nutcase in Hollywood. The formula appears because we are a profoundly feminised society; so even if fathers never act this way we must at least express the sentiment that fathers want to be more like mothers, feel the need to make this “confession” on their deathbed; in a way the little expression inverts and replaces extreme unction: “Forgive me son, for I have acted like a man. I have failed to have long chats on the phone with you, I have failed to ‘be there’. May the grace of the divine feminine fall upon me in this last moment and make me more womanly.”
Yes, you have failed to have a natter on the phone—and you should feel bad about that. What were you doing, working to pay the mortgage or something inessential like that? What a bastard. The Hollywood scene reflects the West’s wider feminisation, to be feminine is high status—and there are men prepared to chop their dicks off to attain that status. Recently a Conservative MP announced he is transgender, perhaps the Conservatives intend to “own” Labour as they did with Thatcher: first woman PM, first transsexual PM. Practical, objective, and empirical action from the Conservatives: the real feminists, the real trannies—the left talks, we act. The transsexual issue goes much deeper than actual transsexuals; we arrived here after decades of feminisation, so that even masculine paragons, such as Eastwood, work within a feminised context—the final step is to become a woman.