I have to admit I've been struggling with the idea of continuing this discussion. When I started this post with Part 1 I'd intended to talk about a number of articles that had popped up about male culture and violence over the past six months. Here's one from last summer that asks the question outright: Why is gender always in question when females commit crimes but never in question when males do? It also brings up several other really good points. Does American culture promote "characteristics such as dominance, power, and control as means of establishing or maintaining manhood."? Must male power equate to causing fear in others? At the time, I thought those were good questions, but then they got swept under the rug as they always do. I was glad to see a number of other articles crop up again this month. But again, the subject seems to have been shoved aside. Honestly, I think it's an important discussion that needs to happen. I have my doubts about it going very far, sadly. Still, I want to know. Is the real problem related to how we think about masculinity? Or is it something else? No, I don't think violent video games are the problem. I don't even think that violent films are the issue. I believe the problem has to do with how masculinity is portrayed as this idealistic person who always wins and is always in charge.
In a seemingly unrelated note... Alan Bellingham asked me what I thought about Lance Armstrong admitting to doping--you know, since I'm an Austinite and all. I had to admit that I a) wasn't even remotely shocked and b) don't give a damn. Because I don't admire the man and never did. Frankly, this need to make athletes into anything more than people who are talented at physical competition has always confused me. Here's why. It takes a great deal of discipline to be a professional athlete, but it also takes just as much to achieve a lot of other things in life. For example becoming an astronaut, a martial artist, a ballet dancer, a doctor, a professional artist--even a professional writer. Let's have a look at that word: discipline. It's related to another word disciple--which according to my online dictionary means "a follower or student of a teacher, leader, or philosophy." What are athletes motivated by? Winning. So what? How does that make the world a better place? So, again, am I surprised by Lance's fall from grace? Hell no. It was inevitable. He only ever stood for one thing: winning at all cost.
Does the second paragraph relate to the first paragraph? Well, I think it does. Maybe it's time to spotlight other aspects of being a man. Men aren't one-dimensional creatures any more than women are.
 I won't link to them because they touch on a topic I promised Charlie I wouldn't blog about again. And for the record, if we start swaying that direction I won't wait for mediation out of respect for Charlie. So, do not mention the gun debate. I'll have the moderators delete your post.
 A friend of mine's theory is that the violence is about the far right losing their damned minds. They're terrified that they are now living in a fascist state and acting accordingly. That's a very good point. Ever heard of the self-fulfilling prophecy?
 For those who don't know, Lance came from Austin, TX.
 Also, my impression of him has always been that he's extremely aggressive and that he doesn't treat women very well. Mind you, I don't keep up with celebrities. I'm of the belief that a persons personal business is their personal business. It isn't mine. I don't care how famous they are.
 While I'm not a big sports fan, I do understand that people enjoy watching sports. There's nothing wrong with that. However, I do have a problem with sports when it becomes all-consuming to the point that it's more important to win than to have integrity or value human life.