Most guys I know enjoy going to see action movies. I think there is a reason for this. I think the reason is that in almost every action movie there is a guy who is or becomes “The Man”. This guy is the hero, the star, the one to whom all things fall. He rescues, he redeems, he shows little to no weakness, he rescues all, he destroys the bad guys, and he alone (except for the funny, but useless sidekick) will be “The Man”.
I am not “The Man”. I am a man, though given my propensity for watching “chick flicks” and crying, barely a man based on the unofficial man scale. this scale is largely based on a comparison to action movie heroes and other examples of “The Man”. It is also imaginary, I made it up.
Why do guys like “The Man”? why do we continue to go to these movies, even though the plot will be remarkably similar to the last one we saw? Mostly because in our every day lives we are not at all similar to “The Man”. WE seem to want to be, and if given the chance to rise to a position of power, we take it. We want to be the one who is authoritative, who knows everyone, who, is funny and brave and takes control in any and all situations.
My brother doesn’t like to be in charge, he has turned down promotions, left jobs that had him in charge. i do the opposite, I try to rise, I strive for authority. I think of the two of us, he is more “The Man” than I am. He knows who he is, he doesn’t long to be different, he doesn’t push to be what he is not. I do. I wish we could re frame “The Man” to be a guy who totally gets who he is, and what he can do and cannot do. One who does the very best he can with what he has in his toolkit. Maybe that would make for a bad movie. I think it would make for a better life though.
I want to be “The Man”, but I really want to want to be a guy who is okay with who he is and does the best with that.