The 40s hold a variety of gifts for the man who has matured enough to savor them. Like the man whose taste buds have developed enough to be able to appreciate the subtlety and fullness of a dark beer or a rich red wine over the shallow sweetness and empty fizz of soda pop which children prefer, the mature man now sips life rather than guzzling it. He finds and appreciates all the subtle nuances of each mouthful before moving to the next instead of seeing how many bottles he can consume.
He has reached the point in his career where he has "made it", whatever "it" is going to be for him. He is on the track to wherever he is going, having passed many forks in the road and closed off many possible futures. Gone are the days of suffering under the burden of hearing "you can be anything you want to be if you just apply yourself" and having to figure out what to do with all this potential that he isn't living up to.
"After they've tortured and scared you for 20-odd years,
then they expect you to pick a career,
when you can't really function, you're so full of fear."
-- John Lennon, "Working Class Hero"
There are a great many things he can simply no longer be unless he is already well along the track to being, no matter how diligently he applies himself: sports hero; president of some country; world renowned scientist, statesman, humanitarian. In short, he is what he is and is likely to remain so.
His second "coming of age" has erased age differences between himself and all men who are not younger than he. Certainly, he may still seek the counsel of an older "elder" but he has enough experience of his own that he can immediately tell wisdom from nonsense. Unlike the days when he didn't know shit from shinola and was so desperately looking for answers and uncertain of himself that he would substitute the judgement of anyone who seemed more certain for his own, more and more he keeps his own counsel.
Aware that the average male does not live much beyond his early 70s, he realizes that it is now definitely 3rd quarter. He has already spent more time than he has left. As any wise investor reviews his investments periodically and makes adjustments to those which are not performing up to his satisfaction, he looks back at the way he has spent his time and energy and the other resources they have brought him. He begins to cut his losing investments and free up those resources to shift them into investments which have been paying off better for him.
Society calls this a "mid-life crisis". And a crisis it is, but not for the man as society tells him. Rather for society itself. This man represents a serious threat to the social order and must be intimidated back into his old ways, lest others see how free he has become and begin to follow the same path.
If too many step off the "work! earn! spend! achieve! succeed! conform! consume!" treadmill which powers consuming society, it will slowly grind to a halt. The dedication and drive which come from his great heart and love of life are what society lives on, what it consumes in order to support its own cancerous existance. If too many become unwilling to continue to let consuming society loot them for all their best, the looters will eventually starve to death. So society spits on him and tells him that his best is actually his worst, but oh-by-the-way he has to produce even more of it to atone for his ability to produce it in the first place. "From each according to his ability, to each according to her need."
The competition has become not who can demonstrate the greatest ability, but rather who can claim the greatest need, or who can claim their need the loudest. Everywhere he turns, he hears people screaming how they have been victimized by not being given to, enough. He hears how they are "oppressed" by the man's ability to produce, to do, to act; by his very ability which feeds, and clothes, and shelters them and makes them mobile. And they demand restitution for this horrible wrong in the form of more giving and providing. Thus, the restitution of today becomes the oppression of tomorrow, which will require restitution the day after, becoming the oppression of the next day, and so on.
The magical status of victimhood and the fact that we simply can NEVER blame a victim, never examine the role the victim played in creating their claimed victim status, never once hold them accountable for their own actions, completely absolves them of any responsibility. If the man cannot produce faster than they can consume and destroy, then the failure and fault lies entirely within him, NOT in their actions.
The flexible, soft, and fragile young seedling man; terrified by the specter of the shame of failure; tortured by physical and emotional pounding; trained to deny his own needs and pain in order to be of service to and produce for others; trapped by his own values and sense of honor into fulfilling responsibilities and living up to commitments coerced out of him before he had any possibility of understanding what they meant; driven half crazy by impossible and constantly changing expectations; forced to purchase every bit of love and approval he has ever received with his performance; has now grown into a tree. He has solid roots. Breezes do not bend him, they only stir his leaves. Only by chopping him down and sawing him into lumber can he truly be harmed.
He looks at the fruit he has borne, the shelter he has provided to the small creatures who have nested in his branches, the way his roots have secured and held the soil and kept it from washing or blowing away, and realizes how little he owes the looters. He looks at the weeds which have been screaming that his roots have robbed them of the opportunity to seek nourishment and realizes that the truth of this accusation does not change the weeds into food crops and no longer feels any compassion for the weeds. He looks at the insects which have been boring into his trunk for years trying to weaken him and realizes that, though they have hurt him, they have not weakened him enough for his trunk to break. He looks at the squirrels who have died in his branches because they were too weak and sick to survive, or made a fatal error in judgement and fell to their deaths, and realizes that he neither killed them nor could have saved them. He realizes that all that has been expected and demanded of him he has done to the best of his ability, limited by his own nature and the richness of the soil in which hapstance placed him.
He realizes that if another tree next to him grew in soil so poor that his roots could not gain solid hold, or the insects had eaten away the trunk or the roots, and than tree had fallen over and crushed someone's house, or car, or even killed someone, that there was absolutely nothing he could have done to prevent it. He no longer feels guilt about that which he did not cause and could not have prevented. He thinks about all those who have shamed him over the fact that he only produced one kind of fruit, no matter how abundant, and tried to shame him for the fact that he did not produce apples, and peaches, and pears, and berries, and corn, and cauliflower, and T-bone steaks, and diamond rings, and new cars, and expensive tennis shoes; and he feels no shame because no tree on earth produces all those things. Only trees in the fantasies of people who have lost touch with reality. He looks at the people who have sawed off his branches and been angry that they were not as strong as oak, at the same time they were not as soft and light as balsa, at the same time they were not as beautiful as walnut; because nothing can be simultaneously both what it is and its opposite.
He looks at all the creatures which have been fed and sheltered and provided useful things by him while providing no nourishment to him except for their shit which fell on the ground above his roots, and realizes that he owes them NOTHING!
So he turns his attention back to his roots which do provide him with nourishment, and to the sun which powers everything that lives with its energy, and his purpose for living, which is to gather that energy and use it and convert it into solid form through a transformation process that is as close to real magic as any human will ever see; and becomes deaf to their lamentations.
Men in their 40s who manage to escape the trap of arrested adolescence, which society desperately tries to keep them in, look for something entirely different in a woman than they did when they were 13 or 17 or even 25. He is too deeply rooted to be transplanted, trying to do so would kill him. As a seedling or even a sapling, he could be uprooted and moved and still able to grow new roots. No more. Besides, it would take a monstrous crane to rip him out of the ground and the process would probably break him into pieces. He no longer tolerates the process of chopping off pieces of himself to make him look "prettier". He has assumed his mature form and this is the way he looks. His job is NOT to look pretty, his job is take nourishment from his roots and energy from the sun and bind that energy into something which would not exist if he had not lived, through a magical process that only he can do. Anyone who tries to chop off a piece of him now and hide the destructive nature of the chopping under the polite euphemism of "pruning" is seen as the liar she is.
If a year comes when the soil has grown too poor, too exhausted for him to have the nourishment to bear fruit, and she comes out to scream at him that she isn't getting her needs met and is hungry, he doesn't reach down within his own cells for the raw material to create fruit to feed her, eating up his own guts and destroying himself for her, he lets her go hungry and is deaf to her victim's lamentations.
If she poisons the soil he grows in, and therefor him, by dumping the most toxic vicious poisonous substances she can find on his roots, he stops growing and fruiting and puts out minimum leaves, just enough to keep himself alive and hopes that he can wait her out and that she will stop poisoning him before she kills him. If they are lucky and he has chosen well, she will wake up to her insanity and pour clean fresh water on his roots to wash away the poisons. If she doesn't, he and his love and wish to provide for her will eventually die, and she will be left to find a young sapling to try to shape. Or perhaps another tree of the same age, but without such deep roots so it has never grown into an adult tree, but has remained stunted. If she has learned from her mistakes, she can help the young tree or the stunted adult grow into a mature and productive tree. Sadly for both her and the trees, that is not very likely.
Women today had better wake up to just how little they have to offer a man these days. There is an endless supply of arrested adolescents, because they are the ones obsessed with the objects which are sold for the money which buys the stuff that is stored in the house that Jack built. Society cannot allow boys to grow into men, because men will not feel so inadequate that they have to "prove" they love her by buying her completely useless chunks of transparent carbon. Men don't drive their ego around on 4 wheels and are not impressed by women who are impressed by men who do. Men detest the look, smell, and most of all the taste of that shit that women keep 60 different varieties to paint on their faces to make them attractive to arrested adolescents.
Men eventually outgrow their need to buy love, because they realize that all the love they've bought doesn't taste like love. It tastes like shit. And one day they get sick of eating shit.
The greatest gift that nature gives men in their 40s and beyond is that they are no longer ruled by their testicles and their testosterone. They no longer have mother nature shouting in their ears "Slacker! Get busy! I didn't give you life to sit around making money, I gave it to you so that you would carry it on. Now get with it and do your part to carry on the species!" They no longer have to live on a diet of shit that they try to see as "love" because that's what people tell them it is. They no longer have to view the fact that what they are being fed tastes like shit as their own failure to not make it taste like love, instead of realizing that it really is shit. They no longer have to be genetic groupies. They do, however, need to stop thinking of themselves as broken vibrators.
The sad truth is that young men in their 20s and 30s can do this too. All they need is an older man who knows it to show them the way. The way is not easy, and it will be very lonely. But no more lonely than the way they are doing it now. Perhaps it is necessary to wander those 40 years in the wilderness to realize how little women are willing to give today compared to how much they expect to receive. Perhaps it is necessary to sleep with several horrible women to realize that sex can be so demeaning and downright unpleasant that living without sex is far better. Perhaps it is necessary to spend a significant period of time alone to realize that you are far less miserable alone than with someone whose major joy in life seems to be how much poison she can pour on your roots and how many creative ways she can find to deflate your ego, which she knows exactly how big it "should" be.
A firm erection on a delicate fellow REALLY IS the adventurous juncture of ego and courage. Courage men have in abundant supply. Men are generators of life and love, and nothing takes more courage than that. Women are out to murder men's egos, and men's desire for those women dies with them.
I part on these admonishments.
Begin to apply the "one strike, you're out" rule. The first time a woman tears you or any man down in your presence, walk away and don't look back. You are not the terrible creature they are trying to convince you that you are. You are a source and generator of life. Do not demean that gift anymore by being party to its slander. Start by learning to think of yourself as a divine being, a representative of the creative force on earth. Learn to recognize the divine creative force in women, as well as the hag and THE BITCH. Let the bitches fall on each other and consume themselves, do not let them feed on your body, mind, soul, emotions, and the fruits thereof. Feed only those who feed you. Leave the arrested adolescents and looters to perish from their destruction of each other. If you were conditioned before you could walk, talk, or control your bowels to think of yourself as an object, find a way to let go of that. If you think of other people as objects, find a way to let go of that too. You are the steward of life, it is your responsibility to protect it for all the children. Don't fuck it up.
Get over your silly selves. Grow up. No man alive owes you a goddamn thing for something that some man did to some woman hundreds of years ago. Only insects demand that there is no individuality, only the hive. You are not the designated recipient of restitution for every wrong done every woman by a man for the entire history of the human race. No man who has not harmed you directly has harmed you at all. If he is guilty of anything by living in a culture where someone has been harmed, you are no less guilty. Look to the example of Dr. Martin Luther King, who spoke for a people with far worse grievances than women's. By following a path of non-violence and refusing to indulge infantile tantrums of revenge and hatred, Dr. King showed us how to put the animosities behind us. He brought us much farther than all the burning and shouting ever will. Your panties are not gold lined, and what's in them is getting less valuable every day because you wrap it in the toxic waste of your own self-pitying bullshit. Men cannot shove power down your throats, we can hand it to you and pour it on your heads and you still will not have it until you believe that you have it. The secret of power is that it belongs to and automatically happens to anyone who is willing to pick it up and use it. No one can ever GIVE you equality. As long as you are waiting for someone to "hand it over" you will sit mired in your helpless victim bullshit, for it is the very waiting and dependence on someone to hand it over that makes you powerless. The power is right in front of you, pick it up and shut the fuck up. This part of the audience to your histrionic melodrama of victimhood is bored with this plot and wants to see something new. If the only power you have is the power to destroy, and you are so helpless that you cannot do even that unless you exploit the emotional bond of a man trying to love by by being a vicious bitch, then you are a cancer in the midst of life and do not deserve to live. You are a looter and a thief, and no longer will be allowed into my emotional world to steal and destroy.
Read "Atlas Shrugged" and see how nothing today is really any different than it was 40 years ago when a brilliant and insightful woman chronicled the inevitable results of a society addicted to destructive consumption. Decide whether you are a creator or a looter, and whether you can commit to the Pledge:
"I swear, by my life and my love for it, that I will never live my life for the sake of another, nor ask another to live for mine."
If you can, then: Harm none, do what thou wilt, shall be the whole of the law.
This is John Galt speaking, I WILL end this if I can.
- Zed -