I remember, quite distinctly, lying on the gravel coated roof of my elementary school and quaffing wine straight from the bottle. I must have been about fifteen years old, caught in that strange threshold between carefree boyhood and careful manhood. Young and filled with hopes, dreams and aspirations for the not too distant future. Somehow, I knew that I would set my mark upon the world in flaming letters a hundred feet tall. This knowledge was shared amongst our little group of friends, drinking and laughing merrily atop the roof: we would all put our marks upon this world of ours, in one way or another. We would prove ourselves worthy, talented, independent, strong and radiant; shining with some inner glow surpassing the warm glow of wine.
I remember it was early autumn. Not too cold, yet chilly. Another threshold. The changing of the seasons, the changing of the guards, the changing of our world. I remember vibrant stars in the sky, a glorious full moon. Dark streets illuminated only slightly by the cozy glow emanating from windows of warm homes, fortifying themselves against the onset of winter. A chilling wind blew over us. We warmed ourselves besides the glowing embers of booze and excited tales of the future. A future which both frightened and excited us; that strange confusion that shows itself so vibrantly and clearly in an adolescent mind still caught between maturity and immaturity. This was a time of contradictory feelings and imminent explosions of emotion. I can’t remember any particular conversations. Nothing clear. Disjointed words and sentences fill the inner chambers of my skull. I can only remember the clear theme on display: our circle was slowly breaking up, as we all set forth on our own paths towards whichever future was destined for us in further years of schooling.
We spoke about longing and we spoke about love and we spoke about remembrance and remembering. We spoke about never forgetting each other or, more importantly, ourselves, in the strange fog rising from our not-too-distant future. A future shared, yet separate. We spoke about dreams and we spoke about hopes, about where our different muses would lead us on our paths towards salvation and ascension. Our little group fulfilled the roles of the outcasts; the rebels and the ragamuffins, the vandals and the barbarians, wreaking havoc on our small town over the past three years or so. And we knew – we all knew – that our phase of outward rebellion would change course and steer towards something other than numb rebellion as our minds and bodies changed course and steered towards something other and more substantial, something strange and unknown. This phase was blowing off steam. We knew. There was a sense of honour amongst us vandals, us visigoths and rogues, no matter how much alcohol we consumed, illegally acquired from liquor cabinets of knowing or unknowing parents. There was a strange knowledge that we were not bad people. That we were, all things considered, good people.
Of course, we conceded, our rebellion would stretch all the way towards our burgeoning adulthood, and beyond, into the stars and into the vast expanse of unknown deserts which the grim finale of adulthood contained. We would still be outcasts. We would still be rebels, rogues and vandals. We would lend our rebellious nature towards the constructive rather than the destructive, if only we could find the chance to do so. It was not there and then, however. It was so many years into the future that the mere notion that it would all slip away from our clammy hands in the blink of an eye seemed preposterous to us, ridiculous, unbelievable and fantastic. At this point in time, we were rebels without a cause, an archetype of troubled youths rebelling against the whatevers and what-woulds and what-shoulds. Against rules and regulations. Against the knowledge that our lives were predetermined by our parents, by our teachers, by our fevered madmen that dared label themselves politicians and dared to think that they had any right to rule over us. It is easy, sitting on the cold rabble-roof of a dilapidated school building, getting drunk and drowning in hopes and dreams, to fall prey to an underlying sensation of euphoria; a bodily euphoria that starts somewhere below the bellybutton and slowly works its way up toward the vocal-chords so that it eventually becomes a roar of joy and laughter and love as clear and clean as the first breath of crisp autumn air.
And we roared and laughed and bellowed to our hearts content that night, knowing that soon – very soon – we would become us. We would come into ourselves, into our own, that our lives were only just beginning, and whatever would happen could not happen soon enough. Oh yes! Oh, how great and grand and glorious. The future seemed fantabulous, supercalifragilistic, iridescent and as brilliant as the glazed-over eyes of an alcoholic reaching a odd moment of sobriety.
The night slipped away, and we slipped away alongside it, moving towards our homes and our beds, drunk and strange and incapable of logical thought and reason, overcome with celebratory impulses, shook to the core with the sensation of living, of life, exploding with the divine revelation of life. As we parted, we laughed. As we laughed, we parted.
And I came home. And I reached my bed. And I wept. And the weeping turned to unconsolable crying. My mouth, where a few specks of vomit still lingered on my tongue and in the corners, quivered and shook and I could not understand a thing of it. Now, my soul has always been tainted in no small way by the melancholy, and in hindsight there is no wonder why this long night would call me out to weep in such a overwhelming manner.
It was the breaking of my innocence, my descent into hell, which I celebrated that night. The crossing of the river Styx. The burden of adulthood lay heavy on my shoulders, and I was on my path towards the grand unknown. From relative order to complete chaos. It scared me. It shook me to my very core. It scares me still as I write these words in that peculiar woosy trancelike state I wind up in whenever I attempt to put my fingers to words and my words to finger coherent thoughts and meaning.
If I was wiser back then, I would have seen the cause of my melancholic nature and called it out for what it was. The crushing burden of the school lay upon me, even as I lay upon its roof and fractured bowels. Ten soon-to-be-done-with years locked in the halls of elementary school was weighing down on me, and the remnants of my distant future crossed over with my very close past that night, as I lay in bed, all alone, knowing that our little group of friends would split up and be tossed to the four winds faster than I could snap my fingers and call my own name out of the desert-mirage I saw closing in on me in my minds eye.
If I was wiser back then, I would have called the root cause of my now-aching body, tormented and torn by years of repression and denial, by years of hatred slung my way by pedagogy ruined by ideology and brainwashed indoctrination by name. I would have noticed the fork in the road, as it were, which stunted my development and stunted my rational responses and stunted my mind and kept it nailed to the molten core of the earth. And now I remember, reclaiming for the moment the form of my fifteen year old self, the awkward and sweaty clumsy confusion of puberty and late-night onset panic and anxiety. This night would come back to haunt me later in life. A grim spectre of confusion and profound introspection. The long, dark teatime of the soul.
It was not the breaking of our fellowship, nor the apocalyptic visions of impending adulthood which bothered me. Realization dawned some fifteen years later. We had been taught to believe lies and slander, spun truths and covert statistics. There, in our seats in hallowed classrooms in front of an altar of passive information, we had been told that boys were to blame. Our teachers – one in particular – told us, time and again, with no trepidation and no shame, that the girls were better than the boys in every aspect. Overt, unhidden, unashamed. Horrid school day after horrid school day, piss poor school year after piss poor school year. We, as boys, were told to believe in our own inferiority. The girls were more mature, more clever, smarter and better than us. And at the onset of puberty, as sexual education rolled in through the revolving doors of our indoctrination chambers, we were led to feel ashamed about our blossoming masculine sexuality, so simplistic and primitive as opposed to the feminine sexuality, of course. The feminine sexuality reached all the way to the heavens above, so complex and multifaceted that no man could understand, comprehend or fulfill it. Ours was the savage sexuality of mere beasts; a primal force to be contained lest we loose all control and started raping willy-nilly. Our sexuality mirrored chaos. The sexuality of the girls mirrored order. Brilliant and divine, so complex as to be sanctified as opposed to ours, which was so simplistic as to be vilified. Boys and men could not be counted on to curtail their urges, we were told. All our thoughts were only ever focused on sex. Odd, then, that we ever got anything else done. To grind us down into the dust, turn us into singleminded simpletons, this point was driven home with nails plunged deep into our cerebral cortex. It was shame. Pure and simple. A blackboard castration of blood and chalk. A full bodily sensation of shame and regret for every single hard-on ever brought to fruition.
I can count single instances of exposed bigotry. And I need more than two hands to do so. Every opportunity to bring the point of the boys and their lack of maturity home was used efficiently and eloquently by teachers hiding behind the experience offered pedagogues and adults alike: more experienced and knowledgeable than us, and therefore correct in every aspect of life. Shaming of masculinity hid behind every corner, and came roaring to the front. Our schooldays were an era of mockery and absurdity, a grand culling of inquisitive and energetic young boys and men. An entire gender dragged kicking and screaming from classrooms to courtrooms of public opinion; a generation of boys made to be ashamed of their gender. If I look at it closely through closed eyes, I can see the wave rushing towards me at great speed. A wave that gains size, gains momentum and comes crushing in at the shores of my neural pathways with severe destruction.
Masculinity has become original sin. A scapegoat on which to lay all the burdens, all the errors of the world. If we look back through the tides of history, it is clear that the burden of the evils of mankind have taken different forms and shapes. From the physical to the metaphysical, from Satan to the jews. We had torture and death of heretics and witches, jews and homosexuals, satanists and gypsies. All groups, all identities, made to carry the evils of the world. From one moral panic to the next, from one hated identity to the next. Leaving the spiritual realm as a society, we are forced to blame the material realm. And so the blame falls on men. And so the group which we are socially allowed and expected to vilify and destroy changes shape and changes form as the tides turn, a tale as old as time. Our society needs its blood sacrifices, so that it can refrain from looking at its rotten core.
We had the satanic panic of the 80`s and 90`s, and now we have the male panic of the here-and-now, decades of indoctrination and tall tales, of skewed statistics and outright lies, to teach everyone to hate men and blame masculinity and shoot us down in the streets with learned words, learned sentences repeated ad infinitum. No matter how much it is debunked, no matter what proof and evidence and facts we provide, it is ignored and – yet again – vilified. And in the meantime, the suicides of men go up, up, up, addiction to drugs and booze, homelessness and loss of jobs and lack of education and lack of direction in life for men go up, up, up. We are told that it is only men at the top, so the men must be well off. Well, my friend, there are mostly men at the bottom as well. What does that tell us about how society views men? Expendable, disposable, forgotten and turned away. Men drop out of schools and out of work and out of society and out of life itself at rates which would be seen as alarming were it women. And no one cares. It is so strange, watching this madness unfold. It is weird beyond human comprehension to see men die, literally and figuratively by the thousands, by the tens-of-thousands, and still hear society at large tell us that it is only women who suffer.
We have become unable to care about men dying from drugs, homeless on the streets. Because some women struggle with the air conditioning in their cushy office jobs. Should we dare to talk about mens issues, we have to consider women as well. Should we talk about women’s issues, it is only women. Nuance and cooperation is dead. Welcome to the age of one sidedness.
«Racist, sexist, anti-gay, MRA, go away!», they chant as a liturgy. Showing, no, proving to us that they know nothing about men and mens issues. Nothing at all. Instead of listening and trying to understand, they shout us down and claim that we are the bigoted and hateful ones. They fill the world full of lies, and they don’t fucking care. They spew nothing but what they have been indoctrinated to believe. Men are the scum of the earth, a crust of undesirable fatty tissue to be removed and forgotten, pushed away into dark corners, into oblivion. It is inconceivable to listen to the plight of boys and men. Or, for that matter, to let others listen to it. Frightened, the feminist hordes protest and disrupt every meeting, every conference where men dare say that not all is milk and honey in the land of men. Unless, of course, the conferences and meetings are viewed through the feminist lens. And they have the media and the establishment on their side. Simultaneously claiming, despite all evidence to the contrary, that they do not. Who is the real underdog, I wonder? Is it the ones that are allowed to speak everywhere, the one who dominates the discourse? Or is it the ones who are shouted down and denied a change to speak at every turn? I think we all know the answer to that one.
It is confusing. And downright frightening. It ain’t easy, being a man. It never has been. The newspapers publish article after article blaming, hating, demonizing men. As do the televisions. And we lap it up, licking the jackboot-stillettos of the tyrants. Just as we did in forgotten classrooms years back. Decades, even. No matter what we do, it is wrong. Or twisted and turned to become wrong and bad, vicious and mean. «Why can’t we hate men?» Signed, sealed, then published. This overt hatred would not be accepted were it any other group in society. Such is the ways of the world, the whims of the universe. Day in, day out. An underlying current of hatred, so commonplace that we no longer see it, that we barely register it at all. We do not perceive it as lies, but as truth. The indoctrination is complete, all the way from blue-eyed and naive schoolchildren to the very tops of our societies. Our heads have been filled with lies and with hatred, with contempt and hysteria. Every man is a potential rapist and an abuser of women. Twisting and turning, denial and wilfull blindness. Changing of words to fit an agenda. Changing of laws to fit an agenda. Men can not be raped by women, because the laws are written in just such a way. Sexism can only be experienced by women, because the dictionary is written that way. We ought to be scared shitless by this. Yet we walk and accept, with bowed heads, this new-speak rising from the grim spectre of feminism. We ought to reclaim our places of education, purge them of ideological indoctrination and bring them back to truth and reason. Let the feminists, with their agenda, say their 50 hail Dworkins and grab their pussyfixes. Boys need to be told that they are good. Boys deserve to be told that they, too, matter. That their lives and their experiences and their wellbeing is just as important as that of girls.
The mind boggles at the clear doublethink; simultaneously oppressed, and in domination of the media and of the discourse. But all is possible in the new-speak world. Double-plus-good, comrade. double-plus-plus-good good-think. I know, I know. Invoking the holy name of Orwell is used to death and beyond, but there is reason to do so. And will be for a good and long while, if we don`t change. And as all good change does, it begins from within. From the first ravages of the first weeping in bed at the age of fifteen, drunk and bewildered, to the later stages of grief after reaching adulthood with fear and anxieties. Change starts with oneself. And it takes an eternity to reach the turning point, the point where the kettle boils over and all the steam that was confined suddenly fills the room and changes ones perspective of the room. And as perspectives change from within, so does perspectives from without. The more we talk, the more we are heard. A slow change building up like an avalanche, to come, at last, crushing down and into the consciousness of society at large. We need to become fearless.
Seventeen years ago, I spent a night getting drunk on the roof of my old school. And the anxiety that gripped me that night is the same anxieties which grips me now, with a body twisted and malformed from crippling pain. It is the same path we have walked down, as a society, for decades and decades. A society in which men are viewed as unclean, filthy and dangerous. A world in which men are told, from an early age, to hate themselves and make amends for the sins of being men. By virtue of nothing but the random chance of our birth, we are the bad guys. I see myself, sitting on that same roof with that same bottle of wine years later, reaching yet another threshold, another change in my behaviours. Feeling that strange sensation of euphoria building up again, thinking, feeling and remembering rebellion.
Moiret Allegiere is a concerned man who has had enough, and finally started expressing his views on mens issues and the state of the world. His blog can be found here.
Moiret Allegiere (Born 1986) hails from Norway. A self-described scribbler of lines, juggler of words and weird pseudo-hermit, he became so concerned with the state of the world that he left his long and deliberate hibernation to wreak bloody havoc on the world of fine art and literature.