MY life has been spent in highly masculine jobs. A risk taker I was often in situations of some danger. There were many foolish escapades far too reckless to shame myself by telling here.
The lighter ones include bare knuckle fights in a Beirut brothel, paddling a war canoe off the night time African coast, falling madly in love in an Argentine cantina, and having my life spared by Afrikaner thugs in Durban.
I always got on well with the tough guys of this world; I had no choice for I lived, fought and worked with them.
They were men who knew war; were educated through the School of Hard Knocks or were successful despite prison bar shadows on their characters. I have hardly lived the life of a saint.
It puzzled me why contrarily I was always attracted to interests considered wimpish. I spend happy hours reading and writing poetry, I prefer classical music, love the gentle melodies of forgotten ages.
Fascinated by real art I am absorbed in European cultures, which include their literature, history, poetry and dance forms. I am often more comfortable in the company of ladies than with blokes.
I can’t be doing with prissy footballers or celebrities, who have their memoirs written before they get the key to the front door.
My latest theory as to why I am happy in the company of women is they don’t run a mile when you talk poetry or the arts. The ladies are enthralled by the colourful lives of great composers. Ask a bloke wrapped up in a Premier Division match what his take is on Massenet’s Meditation and I score an own goal; it is time for a quick exit.
In truth the great men of the arts were the essence of roguish masculinity. Poets like Wilfred Owen and Pat McGill fought in the trenches of the Great War.
Johannes Brahms played piano in Hamburg’s brothels and Richard Wagner was a serial bankrupt. Furthermore he shamelessly chased skirt and notoriously bedded the wife of a man who gave him sanctuary.
Beethoven enjoyed the attentions of more ladies than you could swing a conductor’s baton at. Puccini was every husband’s nightmare. Mozart’s language would make a trooper blush. Robert Service, the iconic poet and the legendary writer essayist Jack London relished lives in the Yukon that were tough beyond imagination.
Charles Dickens was a tough Liverpool cop. Mark Twain was a Mississippi River pilot. Vivaldi had ulterior motives for teaching at a young ladies school. The painters we know of as the Impressionists were the best male company you could wish for.
Iconic orchestral conductor Herbert von Karajan spoke several languages fluently; drove fast cars in the company of F1 champions, ocean raced with the best and flew his own aeroplanes.
Dare I say it: real men don’t do football or deodorants; they do not ogle bare-chested vapid schoolgirls or swivel their hips to melodic banality.
I prefer being a wimp.
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