Category Archives: Culture

Addressing the Man-O-Sphere: The Last Word

readers respond

In my quick reaction post to questions about the Man-O-Sphere (MoS), I did not spare readers my feelings about the it (okay, I did. I kept it clean.) But I did promise that after I got that rant out of my system, I would address the MoS phenomenon and so, here goes.

First off, let me say that I understand the appeal of the MoS. To borrow terminology from Newtonian physics, it is an equal and opposite reaction to feminism in our society. However, an equal, opposite reaction is not necessarily a good thing. Everyone has seen images of the little device called a Newton’s Cradle, which has 5-6 balls suspended in a frame. When one or two are pulled away from the others on one side and allowed to drop back, the force is transferred through the stationary balls to the other side, and they, in turn, are knocked from their place, and so it goes, back and forth.

I see feminism as one side of the cradle and MoS as the other side. I get the reaction to feminism, but that doesn’t mean that an equal and opposite reaction is corrective. In fact, I believe that it is just as toxic as the feminism that it reacts to.

Trashing The Low-Hanging Fruit First

I’m assured by those with greater familiarity with the MoS that the Pick-Up Artists (PUA) and the Men Going Their Own Way (MGTOW) troglodytes represent a small percentage of the MoS. Well, good. Fine. I’m pretty sure that the all men are rapists and all sex is rape advocates represent a small percentage of of feminism, as well, but that doesn’t stop them from being part of their larger whole, does it?

I’m going to assume that we can all agree that the activities and ideas that these sods promote are loathsome and repugnant. (If we can’t agree with that, then fare thee well; this page isn’t for you.)

Red Pill? Blue Pill?

Every movement, every faction that comes into being has its own lingo. In today’s uber-liberal mentality, what with its intersectionality, gender fluidity, and what-have-you, the term du jour is “woke”. As in “I used to be unaware of my cis privilege, but now I’m woke.

If you do any reading around the MoS, you quickly learn that the equivalent term is Blue Pill/Red Pill**. Using terminology taken from the movie The Matrix, the MoS says that men who are still compliant with the culture’s subjugation of men are asleep, taking the Blue Pill of acceptance. On the other hand, those taking the Red Pill are shocked into wakefulness and can see that society has modified the structures of gender roles for the benefit of women to the detriment of men, are given information to fight the System.

As I’ve stated above, I do believe that feminism has been an evil that has done great damage to society as a whole and to individuals by the countless millions. And no, I do not wish to debate this belief. After all, abortion, divorce rates, the current Church of the Castrati that passes for Christianity today, all speak of feminism’s havoc.

A Tale of Two Toxic Journeys

Three years ago, Chris Taylor of Forgiven Wife, published a post that rubbed some of the Femi-sphere the wrong way, and for some time, she was savaged by non-Christian retromingents who accused of her of being a rape-enabler, among other things. Given my cootish tendencies, you can guess that I did not take kindly to their game of Whack-The-Piñata, and played merry hob with their fun (not my most christian moment, I must admit.) However, I did use that moment as an opportunity to springboard into the section of the internet that found her post so objectionable. And let me tell you that it was a toxic brew of anti-Christian hatred, misandry, and paganistic license.

Over the past couple of years, after seeing the MoS referenced by a blogger I highly esteem, I decided to do some exploring and read around the MoS in order to see for myself what was out there. Just as I was sickened by the witchy/bitchy portion of the web that took umbrage with Chris’s christian stance on marriage and sex, I was sickened by the complete misogyny of the MoS.

I have been told that, “yes, CSL, the PUAs and the MGTOW are an aberration, that they are not true representatives of the MoS, but  there are also good Christian MoS sites.” I am going to have to let these people down easily, but I have not been impressed by the readings I have come across. I will say that I read posts by Christian men containing less-than-christian sentiments.

I had the same reaction to the MoS websites that I did to the feminist/queer/pagan websites. I came away from them nearly despairing at the hated, anger, and bile that make up the toxic melange of both worlds.

The Man-O-Sphere Is A Natural Reaction

…, right? Of course it is! In a comment to my earlier MoS post, Paul Byerly, of Generous Husband, noted the following about denizens of the MoS :

… some of the guys have legitimate complaints, while others were horrible husbands who are alone because their wife got tired of it. The second group joins in because it feels better than admitting they were wrong, and it’s easier to gripe about how horrible ALL WOMEN are than doing something to become the kind of man a good woman wants to be with.

While some of the men of the MoS are truly dirtbags (my stated opinion, not Paul’s), Paul B. notes that some of the MoS populace do have legitimate complaints, so naturally they give vent to their complaints.

But that’s the problem with the MoS; it’s a natural reaction, which, for Christians, makes it an ungodly reaction.

Just as women kvetch about being victimized by men, apparently so have the guys of MoS turned to belly-aching about being victims of women. It’s all so natural, so predictable. But here’s the thing—yes, it’s natural, but returning evil for evil and spite for spite is also corrosive and toxic. Paul Byerly said it best when he commented, The Manosphere is a classic example of two wrongs not making a right. The solution to a house fire is NOT to throw on gasoline.”

No Blue Pill, No Red Pill…

Until the early 20th century, the primary treatment for syphilis was mercury, in the form of calomel, ointments, steam baths, pills, and other concoctions. Side effects of mercury treatments could include tooth loss; mouth, throat, and skin ulcerations; neurological damage; and death.
~ “Contagion: Historical Views of Diseases and Epidemics”,

In my mind, taking the red pill of the Man-O-Sphere to counteract the ills of toxic feminism is just as toxic as taking mercury to kill syphilis.

And although I realize that I am being both as cheesy and trite as I can possibly be, I have to urge with all of my being that neither blue or red pills are of any consequence to the Christian man, whether he is single or married. The only that that should matter to him is the teachings of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Christian man should be Christian in conduct and in response.

Nuff said,
CSL

** The Blue Pill/Red Pill meme is so ubiquitous, even outside of the MoS, that it has its own entry on Wikipedia.

Disclaimer: I am not a counselor, doctor, or pastor. For that matter, Wife says I don’t play well with others. My advice and comments come from my concern for hurting Christian husbands and wives. Someone once said to me, “Church shouldn’t hurt”, and I believe the same thing goes for marriage. I’m going to call ‘em as I see ‘em, but please, don’t take my word as gospel. Yes, read what I say, pray about what I say, but do your own “due diligence.”

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Addressing the “Man-O-Sphere”

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In my last post, I made a passing reference to a portion of the Internet called the “Man-O-Sphere” (herein shortened to MoS). I believe my exact statement was, “… idiotic Man-O-Sphere.” One of my readers asked me for more on my antipathy toward the MoS, so this is something I’ve dashed off. I freely admit this is not an attempt at a point-by-point refutation of MoS; I also admit that it is also heavily weighted by my emotional response to what I’ve seen and read by MoS writers, and not a dispassionate rebuttal. Suffice to say that I believe the MoS to be an equal and opposite evil to feminism. Continue reading

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Bad Teaching: Women Rule, Men Drool, part 3

 

bad teachingThis is the last of a three-part series; here are the links to part 1 and part 2.

 

In my first post in this series, I presented the possibility (probability?) of a wide-spread acceptance in the Christian church of the idea that women are more godly, holy and spiritual than men, and included quotes from others who said that they have bumped up against the idea. I posited that this assumption might be a reason for the disconnect between men and the Church, and presented findings from a Pew Research study showing that, of all the world’s religions, Christianity is the only one with a greater female membership.

My second post explored material that showed that the presumption of a female-superiority teaching is actually quite possible and that there is a very good likelihood that this teaching is at the root of much of the dysfunction that troubles today’s church. Continue reading

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Bad Teaching: Women Rule, Men Drool, part 2

bad teaching

This is the second of a three-part series: here are the links to part 1 and part 3.

In my last post I presented the idea that, contrary to the teachings of the Bible, today’s church had somehow gotten hold of the idea that women were superior to men and without sin. I admit that it is a novel idea to articulate, but since it seems that this is held as truth by more than a few Christians (however tacitly), this seems like a good time to bring the teaching out into the light of day and examine it.

I cited several writers who have suggested that they have come across the concept in their interactions but didn’t give any particulars or examples, other than to comment that they have observed evidence that it is held by some Christians. While it might be difficult to find a teacher or preacher who openly avows support for such a belief, I did cite a study by the Pew Research group that might demonstrate the results of such a teaching being promulgated. In that first post, I included the Pew Research chart that showed that in all branches of Christianity (save the Orthodox branch) women outnumber men as adherents. The chart further showed that every other major religion has more male adherents than women, leaving Christianity as… Continue reading

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Bad Teaching: Women Rule, Men Drool, part 1

bad teaching

This is the first of a three-part series: here are the links to part 2 and part 3.

We have a problem in the church. It appears that nearly one-half of the church is made up of carnal, fleshly-minded people whose only thoughts are with satisfying their appetites, and have no desire nor ability to truly seek after God. They hide behind a facade of Christianity but, in fact, are incapable of self-control and are unable to submit to the direction of the Holy Spirit and pursue spiritual goals.

I can only be speaking, of course, about husbands, for it is well-known that wives are more spiritual, more holy and more godly than any ordinary man could possibly be. I know, I know; in the past, I’ve said that there are two sinners in every marriage, but today, I repent of such drollery. I have seen the error of my ways. Continue reading

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Monday Matinee: Pocketful of Miracles (1961)

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Alternate title for this post would be The Christmas Movie That Wasn’t.

One of my favorite holiday movies is Frank Capra’s last film, Pocketful of Miracles. Starring Glenn Ford and Betty Davis, this film is a wonderfully corny, heart-warming film, and measures up to the Capra-Corn that for which Capra films are known. It is a worthy companion to his It’s A Wonderful Life.

Why is this film so great? First off, it’s a Damon Runyon mashup of the Cinderella story, with the twist that the Cinderalla of the film is an old street woman, played to perfection by Bette Davis. Throw in a twist where the hero of the piece is a bootlegger and club owner, played with marvelous desperation by Glenn Ford. Runyon, Davis, Ford, holidays; a guaranteed winner.

Throw in the fact that it seems like MGM emptied its lot to provide the cast for this film. I’ve written a few posts about those character actors that make you jump and shout, “Oh! I recognize him/her from ……..!” This film is loaded with those actors. Here’s a list of who’s who in the movie:

Jack Elam – wall-eyed actor known for Support Your Local Sherrif/Gunfighter
Arthur O’Connell – Anatomy of a Murder; Bus Stop
Peter Falk – Columbo
Thomas Mitchell – Uncle Billy, in It’s A Wonderful Life
Edward Everett Horton – too numerous to try to pull up, but my favorites are his supporing roles in Astaire/Rogers pics.
Mickey Shaughnessy – Elvis’s mentor in Jailhouse Rock
Sheldon Leonard – Nick the bartender, It’s A Wonderful Life
Jerome Cowan – the prosecuting attorney in Miracle on 34th St.
Ellen Corby – Shane, Sabrina, The Waltons
Grace Lee Whitney – Yeoman Rand in the original Star Trek

And then, to top it off, just as Pocketful of Miracles was Capra’s last film, it was the first film for a young ingenue, looking to break into the movies, and making her first appearance on the silver screen: Ann-Margaret.

Often when so many big names are included in a project, something goes wrong. But in Pocketful of Miracles, that doesn’t happen. With so many great names associated with the film (Runyon, Capra, Davis, Ford, Ann-Margaret), it is fitting capstone to Capra’s career.

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Proud, I tell you, proud!

It should come as no surprise that I love our English language. I play with words like some play video games. So when Chris Taylor, of Forgiven Wife, sent me a link to an article that mentioned me by name, I was extremely pleased. The article? Sesquipedalian. Yessir, that’s me, alright. It makes a boy proud to be a man! 🙂

I nearly idolize people who can use our language in original ways. There are rafts of poets that people like and hold up as great craftsmen, but I’m a little different. My favorite poet was the great cartoonist, Walt Kelly. He’s best known, justly so, for his Pogo characters, but he loved to play with English. My favorite poem is Kelly’s Lines Upon a Lunar Tune Arune.

The Moon is a Madness,
A Madness of mine.
I made her of mustard
And mulberry wine.

I garbed her in silver
And strawberry cheese
And halved her in quarters.
(Her quarters do please.)

I crowned her and gowned her
In Love all ashine,
So boot her and shoot her,
This Madness of mine.

*le sigh*

CSL

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Monday Matinee: Destry Rides Again (1939)

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Getting back to the Class of ‘39, I now come to a film that is one of my favorites, Jimmy Stewart’s Destry Rides Again. Ten films were nominated for Best Picture, and I’ve already discussed most of those. What many people don’t realize is that Jimmy Stewart almost had his own Best Picture race, all on his lonesome. Continue reading

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Netflix Gold: Desk Set, 1957

netflix

Normally, when I write about a find on Netflix, it is something obscure, like a small BBC production, or someone’s art film. Today, I’ve got something really great to rave about, and it kind of crosses the line into my Matinee Monday posts. Usually, Netflix, when they are able to get good movies (yeah, yeah, that is optimistic, I know), they aren’t “classics”. For example, I’m an MGM musical fan, and you can count the number of really great musicals on Netflix on the fingers of one hand. Continue reading

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Matinee Monday: The Wizard of Oz, 1939

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I’ve taken a short break from most of my writing for the blog, and that included writing about my favorite topic, old movies. After lazing about for a couple of week, I seem to be building up another head of steam and am thinking of topics for future posts, and so I’ll begin with an installment of Matinee Monday.

I’ve been writing about the films of 1939, beginning with the ten movies that were nominated for Best Picture. One that I haven’t mentioned, and is the elephant in the room, is the monster hit, The Wizard of Oz. While Gone With The Wind was chosen as Best Picture that year (and won just about every other award), I think it’s safe to say that The Wizard of Oz is much more popular, and certainly much more a part of our culture than GWTW could ever be.

Back in February, when in the early stages of doing these movie posts, I wrote about the song that was made famous by The Wizard of Oz, “Somewhere Over The Rainbow.” To write about the movie and settle on any one aspect of the film would be impossible. The Wizard of Oz is probably the most widely loved of all films, reaching as it does to all ages, whether it be through appeal to childish fantasy, to mature audiences by dealing with the idea of lost dreams, and even the true meaning of life.

I can’t think of a film that is more analyzed, frame by frame, and has every aspect of its production written about, commented on, etc. After all, the fact that Buddy Ebsen (Jed, of The Beverly Hillbillies) was originally cast as The Tin Man and nearly died because the aluminum powder from his make-up got into his lungs is widely known and written about. The Munchkins? How about numerous documentaries and books about the little people who portrayed the Munchins? (There was even a feature movie made about the events entitled Under The Rainbow, if I’m not mistaken.)

Garland not the first choice? Frank Morgan buying an old frock coat in a thrift store to be part of the Wizard’s costume, and finding L. Frank Baum’s name in it? “The Jitterbug” and extended jazz dance scene by Ray Bolger left on the cutting room floor? Memorabilia selling at record prices? Where do you begin? Of all the Oscar-nominated films of 1939, not one comes close to inspiring love, affection and nostalgia as The Wizard of Oz. I could write five posts about it, and not cover it sufficiently.

I guess that when many of us try to think of something that appeals to us, we have to agree with Dorothy’s assessment of the Cowardly Lion, at the end, when she says she’s going to miss the way he cried for help when he was frightened. I think that beside the fact that the initials were the same (CL), the reason I chose Cowardly Lion as my Twitter avatar is because his use of language during his “Courage” speech just makes me smile:

CSL

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