Sunday, June 08, 2008

Rites of Manhood

Ladies do not get upset with me! I know it is equally daunting being a woman as it is being a man in today's age. Plus in retrospect, getting to manhood and womanhood is oft full of systematic ridicule, embarrassment and sometimes blinding fear. Remember nocturnal emissions? Periods? (or rather, having a "friend" over for the weekend?) Acid washed jeans??? Just kidding about the acid washed jeans but come on they were hideous. The only silver lining adults have is the fact that when we do look back we can most of the time laugh at ourselves and each other knowing we had all shared a common collection of experiences we lump together as "growing up."

But ladies you'll have to indulge me for a moment or two when I offer the notion that boys have it a little bit tougher. In this world, becoming a man can be terrifying when granted we have adopted some rather ridiculous standards of what being a man is and/or means. Seriously though, as screwed up as we are in modern society, some considered to be "old world" societies have us beat hands down! Below is a list of some mind-boggling rites of manhood practiced in our modern world. Forget about getting laid or riding a bike, folks!

#5. Vanuatu Land... Diving. (2 links) All you've got to lose here is the possible hip-socket or cervical vertebrae. We're often told women love a man in uniform. Women there must a man with a severe limp or who drools. Go figure.

#4. Australian Aboriginal Circumcision and Subincision. (2 links) And you thought that Adam Youch, Michael Diamond and Adam Horowitz must of had it rough, eh? Personally, I prefer that my shrimp are butterflied not my own tender loins.

#3. Hamar Cow Jumping. (2 links) Now I've heard of the cow that jumped over the moon, but never a boy who jumped over a cow being pulled head-to-tail by two eunuchs! Oh my, the things man will go through just to be able to kill and have sex.

#2. The Algonquin Drug Trip. (1 link) Hold on just a minute now. This is nothing like that Grateful Dead concert you attended in well... what year was that again? Here, boys looking to become men are brought to a sacred spot (often caged and bound), force-fed super strong hallucinogens and left to endure the utter nightmare that awaits them. Not quite your typical weekend in the 'burbs!

#1. The Matis Hunting Trials. (1 link) Talk about the gift that keeps on giving (no not Herpes). The whole point of a trial is to get through it not revisit it! I think if I were a Matis youth I'd become a vegetarian and then hope a great spirit dropped of some Tonka trucks on it's next visit!

To be honest though, I think they left one out here on this list. Probably somewhere between #4 and #2 they should have added a sixth terrifying rite of manhood: Middle School Gym Class! ;-)


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