The following is a test. If you can watch this video and appreciate what the narrator is selling, It’s safe to say that you could give up on reading this site forever. If, however, you are overwhelmed by an urge to kick young cats while squeamishly listening to his pretentious narration on masculinity reclamations, then welcome. We have been waiting for you.
Here’s a simple guideline for life: If you’re in desperate need of reclaiming your masculinity, a three-day motorcycle trip isn’t going to do it.
Recently I watched a reality show on climbing Mt. Everest that really gave a firsthand look at what a jackass errand that is. Not that there is anything wrong with climbing, but by the simple fact that Everest is the tallest, it attracts the type who has to climb the tallest. Never mind that they couldn’t do it without the help of Sherpas to lay out their high-altitude camps and food. I was discussing this with a friend recently and he clued me into what was possibly an Yvon Chouinard quote, but I’m not positive. It was something like, “If you go up the mountain an asshole, you come down the mountain an asshole.”
I think that same quote could be twisted for our above friends. If you go on the masculinity-reclaiming mid-lifey moto ride an insecure ponce, you’re going to return as one too, even with the aid of some “curated conversation”. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no hater of fun and adventure, in fact I’m a huge fan. But as my friend Matt so perfectly summarizes, it’s not about the what, it’s about the how:
That video showcases the antithesis of everything that is manly. It’s super funny/ironic because it’s actually everything that has become wrong with masculinity. I’d be totally down with it if they just told it like it was: ’14 29-year-olds who work as freelance graphic designers and bar tenders decided to use this months rent on motorcycle rentals and new leather boots. We got drunk as shit, looked at some trees and gram’d every moment of it.’
To be honest, I feel like it’s mostly 14 dudes who got suckered into one ex-ad-agency worker’s demented idea for a new business, but when you’re getting tossed matching hipster coats at five A.M., you should at least suspect shit is going to get a little weird.
I’ll try not to bore with what could be a books worth of critique, because this video hits my buttons from almost every angle, but it should be pointed out that a girl-free weekend of motorcycle-kookary while sharing sexual exploits around a camp fire isn’t going to save anyone’s fading masculinity. A campfire – that I must add – was started with a blowtorch. I feel saddened that Yvon Chouinard may stumble across this video and subsequently disturb himself into an existential crisis over the future of our society. It’s the Robert Bly nightmare all over again, yet this time with a marketing budget.
Honestly, I don’t know exactly what masculinity is, but I also spend none of my time worrying about it. Of course, I’ve mid-lifed with the best of them, and even climbed some hills while doing it, but in the end I’ve always learned what we may be looking for isn’t up a hill, down a dirt road, or at the end of a marathon. If you think it is, not only are you going to be sorely disappointed, but you’re probably walking past true answers every day and you don’t even know it.