02020-09-21 | Uncategorized | 6 comments

I have been wondering about an aspect of manhood that I observe in worldwide culture and, if I am honest, also in myself.

Men seem to have this tendency to fight up to a point and then they say fuck it and storm off. Or they threaten to burn it all down. Maybe this is a result of thousands of years of fighting and wars. I think at times everyone was walking around with PTSD because they were force-drafted into battles and most men had seen and smelled the horror of a battle’s aftermath.

The modern version of this is, of course, to vote for a populist “politician” who promises to destroy the establishment – a worldwide phenomenon supported by the rise of Facebook and social media. Let’s end it all, because to slowly, slowly fix and repair and rebuild is not something that most men do well.

You may have heard of the term Truemmerfrauen, literally Rubble Women or Ruin Women, a German word for the women who cleared the ruins after WW2. They say it’s because there weren’t a lot of men to do the job as they died during the war or were injured or in POW camps… but I don’t think that’s the whole truth. To sift through rubble, to slowly mend something… most men don’t do that well.

I am trying to become better at mending and building. Doing things that take time and that unfold slowly, helps… like baking bread for example. But the urge to say fuck it always lurks somewhere underneath in the dark recesses.


  1. Will

    The issue is a results oriented society vs. a process oriented society. Most, if not all, industrialized societies are very goal driven. Graduate from school, get a job, get married, finish the project, retire, die etc. If we looked at life as one continuous stream of process and discovery there would be very little room for entrenched us vs. them, right vs. wrong etc.

    Most solely agrarian societies (if any still truly exist) viewed life more as a process or better defined as cyclical. Plant in the spring, tend in the summer, harvest in the fall, hunker down in winter. The process was the goal and they understood good times (bumper crop) and bad times (droughts) are just part of the cyclical nature of the earth (world).

    If we could take a long view of society and see it as a continuous stream of process and discovery together rather than jumping from milestone to milestone zig-zagging all around we would be better off.

    • ottmar

      I agree. This way of results-oriented industrialized societies is killing us and destroying the environment we need. Ergo it needs to be amended, changed, improved.

      • y

        I often think we look for answers /solutions/change to these complex problems in our world in the wrong places …And maybe even with the wrong people ie experts, etc.

        It might be a very insightful exercise to get input (even possible solutions) from musicians, artists, spiritual types…

        There are some models that have been created to help people let go of the rational mind / linear thinking. (music helps me)

        Do a deep dive into the unknown with creative types – would be interesting!

  2. Amna Mohamed

    Here ah is.
    Some of the men I know, heard of, read about , worked with are…
    Long on talk
    Short on action

    Long on lethargy
    Short on industry

    Long on anger
    Short on patience

    Like to create problems
    Leave others to clear away same

    Like to delegate
    Lazy as the day is long

    Expect the woman to do all what he doesn’t want to do, incapable of doing, or just
    just doesnt care.

    Now women, either through nature or nurture care about putting back together the broken pieces- mending, bonding, nurturing, caring,

    It’s what some women suffer after they come in contact with men of the above sort.

    Who makes the wars?
    He who makes the war , must fight it.

    • ottmar

      I love this. It’s a poem.

  3. y

    fyi – “Historian Margaret MacMillan explores our complex relationship with the men and women who go to war.”

    “Historian Margaret MacMillan asks if war an essential part of being human.”

    excellent talks by her


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