28 November 2006

The Death of Old Media: Part #274 (On being a man)

PRESIDENT BUSH GETS A HALF-BILLION DOLLAR MEMORIAL from unnamed donors (aka a presidential library), and the best sinecure that the TribuneCo can offer gray eminence Charles M. Madigan is the occasional Op-Ed peramble and under the nom de blague Charlie Madigan, the sporadic "Rambling Gleaner" blog? Tuesday's paper is graced with Mr. Madigan's pre-yellowed thumbsucker-cum-jawdropper "Tips on being a man." "A friend asked me what to tell a teenager about how to be a man. This is a very hard question," Madigan begins, before mangling his generational indicators by cool-checking his iPod, then marveling that the Beach Boys' "When I Grow Up (to be a man)" soon "surfaced." "That was one fine tune with great lyrics," he opines finely of the 1964 song. "Will I dig the same things that turned me on as a kid?" Of course you will. That is one of life's biggest discoveries... It's why I still have a Lionel train... The question should probably be, "How should I be an adult?" But I think I am trapped in a sexist universe that is still boy-girl defined. I still believe that men and women are different, certainly physically and maybe emotionally too." Sociological prowess established, Madigan moves from feats of ledgerdemain to higher prestidigitation: "Late one night, a set of guidelines emerged... [T]hey reflect the way I want to be in my life, an ideal, if I could only get there." Let the gumming being! "1. Don't be afraid. Life is full of heartbreak and delight. We were born to survive... 2. In the dance of life, women also get to lead... 3. Only you can say who you are... 4. Take grief only from people who love you... 6. It's better to be sorry than to have regrets... 7. You can cry and be as sad as you need to be... 9. Look into the eyes of the people you are talking with... Pretty easy stuff until you start thinking about the points... [W]ho is actually harmed when a man fights tears? Let it go. You wouldn't fight an impulse to laugh so, really, what's the difference? ... For those who wish to respond, I warn you that No. 4, suggested by a priest in a conversation with one of my college-bound sons, is just my most favorite of all." Ah, I suppose anything that keeps Kathleen Parker off the page in the Windy City is a fine placeholder. [Also posted at Sharkforum.]