Dear Dirty America


Neither Of You Are Real Men: The Proof Is In the Sperm Counts

March 18
19:00 2013
Los Angeles

photo by David Jones

For one second downtown Los Angeles transformed into a jungle and I saw reality, primitive human reality, bursting and nearly breaking past the tightened seams of civilized American society.

I’d turned left from 6th street onto Spring. My mouth was watering for the morning’s first cup at the Coffee Bar. If the day went well, maybe I’d look for Johnny and buy him a slice of pizza.

Life was fine, the universe was in order, until I saw, in the lane of cars slowly moving away from me in the heavy downtown traffic, a thin spray of liquid spurting into the air.

Bulky metal beasts, I thought, quietly rolling through the hard roadways of this glass and steel jungle. The spray went up again and spread finely against the morning sunshine. Windshield wiper fluid. The owner of the small red car kept the wipers going and gave the glass another blast. A beautiful sight, reminiscent of a small elephant blowing water onto its forehead and back with its trunk. The mist blew and sprinkled the shiny metal tops of the other beasts.

A low, constant hum vibrated as the long line of cars crept forward. Brakes squeaked. Engines accelerated. Brakes squealed again. Inch by inch the herd moved. The mist went up, farther away from me the next time. Instead of elephants, I imagined whales blowing their great puffs of water high into the air.

A horn honked. A Nissan truck stopped behind the red car. A short, dark-haired man, who resembled Mario from the old Nintendo game, stepped out. He started shouting and pointing at the driver using his windshield wiper fluid. “Stop spraying that shit on my vehicle,” he said.

I’d stopped in the middle of the sidewalk. An old lady with a tattered blue and yellow striped scarf tied around her head pulled a short metal cart behind her. Her legs were bowed. Her shoulders rocked left and right as she walked away from me. I’d seen her many times downtown — she was an ominous sign from the gods. Something bad was about to happen.

The Nissan man kept shouting. He edged closer to the rear bumper of the car. The red door flew open. I hurried to cross the street. Before me a scene was unfolding, and Dear Dirty America needed to record it. This is a journalistic opportunity, I’d thought, and they only come once a week or so.

I’ve written articles on what makes a real man, and neither of you fit the bill…

By the time I crossed Spring and ran to the altercation, the two men had stepped near the sidewalk. When the light turned green, they did not reenter their vehicles. Horns erupted behind the cars. I acted like the blasting noises didn’t bother me. Like I was used to chaos and cacophonies and angry faces. Like I’d grown up my whole life surrounded by downtown city violence and desperation.

An Ancient Roman statue of Hercules —
a real man

The driver of the red car was a long-legged man who’d somehow folded his appendages into that mini, gas-saving vehicle. The man from the Nissan hadn’t shaved for a few days. He was short and Hispanic. He yelled at the tall man. He jabbed his finger one inch from the man’s chest. I thought about offering simple advice about switching vehicles to better fit each man’s body type.

But then I heard what they were arguing about. “I’m more of a man than you are, punk,” the Nissan man said. He didn’t qualify his statement with any intriguing details. The tall man brushed his sandy hair off his forehead and said that actually he, in fact, was the real man, and that the Nissan man was a pussy, a coward, and a little shit for making a scene out of nothing.

“A pussy?” the Nissan guy repeated. He spread his arms wide. No pussy here, he seemed to be indicating. “You’re not a real man,” he said.

“I’m more man than you can understand,” the tall one said.

After two more rounds of these useless verbal volleys, I stepped up. Neither of you are men, I said. In fact, you’re both pussies, probably.

The Nissan man’s unshaven cheeks turned. He looked me up and down with the same face a man has when he stares straight into the sun. The tall man gave a similar look, but with a sly smile at the corner of his mouth. He wanted to whip me good.

“You don’t think I’m a man?” the Nissan guy asked.

I have little doubt your sex is male, I said, but I have concerns about how manly you think you are. I pointed at the tall guy and said, You too, slim. I’m an expert. I’ve written articles on what makes a real man, and neither of you fit the bill.

Both men glanced at each other. I was risking becoming their newest target — a mutual point where they could cut loose their frustrations and pummel me to death. Maybe they’d even become friends afterward and periodically meet for beer for the rest of their lives.

You only live once? Bullshit, says every reincarnationist I know…

I had a vision of my cracked skull bleeding next to that faded green bike lane on Spring Street. The picture would be leaked by the LAPD. To friends. To other cops. Bragging rights for the officer who has the goriest picture at the end of the day.

People who didn’t know me would laugh at my corpse. Frat boys would dig up the photo from cheap-thrill websites that specialize in horrifying pictures and videos, and dare each other to view the carnage while drinking from cheap cans of beer.

As I would be bleeding out onto the green bike strip, my essence would float upward and I’d view my dead, crumpled body, still familiar to my soul, and blocking traffic. In my next lifetime, as I understand the process, I’d be a shithead working in a bulletproof, missile-proof bank in a Philip K Dick-styled, decaying Los Angeles. Los Angeles, in the year 2048, would be the fourth largest city in what we’ll be calling the North American Union. Dick Cheney would be on his 17th heart transplant, and be claiming to ignorant, befuddled masses that he’s only 79-years old and going strong. To his credit, his Project for a New American Century had shaped up well.

After work, when I zipped home in my flying car, I’d find an intense meditation online that reactivated old scenes recorded in the Collective Soul, and I’d re-view that last day I had in 2013. All the memories would come rushing back — the long blonde hair, the addiction to that writing high, and my jumbled understanding of history, politics, and general well-being.

You haven’t died yet…they’re still watching you

It was still 2013, and the “men” were watching me. I had zoned out. I’d be willing to bet you’re both shadows of your grandfathers, I said. I’m only breaking into your conversation because I hate to see humans fighting. We should have stopped that shit when our ancestors finally stood upright after they’d left the forests to dominate the plains.

Staring into the sun, by
anthony kelly

The Nissan man clenched his fists and took a step closer to me. Horns honked. Cars in the lanes beside the truck and red car inched forward. Five or six folks stood off to the side watching us. They’d abandoned their cars after being unable to merge left into the moving lanes. Plus, they thought, they’d be able to see aggression and possibly some blood.

“What the fuck are you saying?” the tall guy said. “You want to find out how much of a man I am?”

I’ll solve this, I said. Do you both watch television? Neither man answered. The Nissan man scowled. I imagine, if you’re like ninety percent of American males, when you get home from work, you’ll sit in a chair, or on a couch, and watch TV until it’s time to go to bed.

“What does that have to do with being a man?” the Nissan man asked. The tall guy wanted to say, Yeah. I could see it in his eyes. But he kept quiet.

Studies have shown, I had to shout over the rising pitch of car horns, that by watching 20 hours of TV a week, your sperm count is embarrassingly low. On average, those men’s sperm counts were halved. According to studies, we’re slowly neutering ourselves, I told them, which is why I don’t watch TV and try not to live a sedentary lifestyle. Your diets probably aren’t great, either, I said.

I thought the tall guy was going to swing at me. The Nissan man looked ready to lower his head and ram it into my guts.

Aaron Dykes from InfoInvasion covered this in a video. He broke it down, along with other dangers of watching television. The point is, something very bad is happening to the human race. It might be the massive intake of prescription pills in this country, which are then shat into the water system so the rest of us ingest trace amounts of the same chemicals.

Or maybe it’s our genetically-modified food. It’s our inactive lifestyles. It’s that drug called the television, where we zone out for hours on end and let the screen flick into our brains whatever our programmers want us to see and feel.

We’ve got young people signing up to go to war against an invisible enemy. We’ve got more soldiers dead from suicide last year than actual combat. We’ve got budget cuts that have gone into affect that will hurt the middle class, the poor, the elderly, and the sick, and those spending cuts are the same amount of money we gave to bailout Wall Street in 2012.

We’ve got unmanned aircraft being flown around the world, manipulated by young men stationed in underground bunkers across the heartland of America, pressing buttons to fire missiles on unsuspecting peoples in very poor nations, I said. And then, I shouted, they circle the drone around again and make another pass to shoot down anybody trying to give aid to the ones who’ve suffered in the first strike.

We kill like we’re playing video games. We watch war and death like we’re watching movies. We listen to music that’s sponsored and selected for us by a handful of corporate powers. We’ve very possibly lost any chance to completely take back our collective mind and society. And yet, I said, you fucks are arguing about who’s more of a man.

How many times has a hipster with a dog saved your life?

Just as the Nissan man and the tall sandy-haired guy closed in on me for a beating, a young dude with a short, goofy haircut, dark, bulky sunglasses, and tattoos on his exposed upper arms walked around the corner. He held a thick chain-linked leash in his hand. On the other end was a dog that both looked and grunted like a miniature pig.

More hippies, as they say,
and fewer hipsters;
photo by Louiemantia

“Jeeeeesus,” the Nissan man said. “What in the hell is that thing?”

It’s a hipster, I said, except the way I said it sounded more like ‘hopster’. But the Nissan man pointed at the dog.

We three stopped to watch. The hipster did not answer or even acknowledge the Nissan man’s question. The small group of bystanders started returning to their cars.

The dog, still grunting, lifted one pudgy, wrinkly leg and squeezed out a thick line of urine onto the sidewalk. The dog’s owner watched. Toward the street, the urine flowed. A small, yellow rushing river.

Your dog doesn’t drink enough water, I said, judging by the color of its pee.

The hipster pushed up his glasses with one hand. He sniffed in hard, like he was clearing a blocked nasal passage, and then he kept going. The snorting beast followed, doing everything it could to move its chunky legs fast enough to keep up.

Right on the sidewalk, I said to the Nissan guy. Now that’s a real pussy, to let his dog degrade our society like that. As if nobody else lives and works and walks and eats lunch around here.

The Nissan man nodded. His face reddened. I wondered, suddenly, if he was a man who suffered from anger issues. A man who would blow up at any little injustice, or what he perceived to be an injustice.

The sandy-haired guy had already driven off. Horns honked. Cars were still blocked behind the bulky truck. The Nissan man stared after the hipster.

Just waltzes through this city and lets his pig-dog piss any old place. No respect, I said.

The Nissan man stepped over the line of urine and walked toward the dude and his dog. “Hey, you,” he hollered. “Yeah, you!” His stocky frame bowed forward as he marched after the dog owner.

I took my exit. I did not wait to see what happened. I cannot be on duty all day long. The hipster was on his own. Breaking up fights and preaching to small groups of men is not my specialty. It’s a little enjoyment I get from time-to-time, but once a day is enough.


The secret to being a ‘real man’

Kim Kardashian’s allotment in life suggests staggeringly pristine & servile past lives

Did you hear it on NPR? Young professionals share what they know

When is the best time to pray? A former priest weighs in

“Like” Dear Dirty America on Facebook

Related Articles

1 Comment

Write a Comment

Leave a Reply

Brave Media


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Dear Dirty America Copyright

© Dear Dirty America, 2011-2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Dear Dirty America with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.