Friday, April 28, 2006


Fred takes up manhood and the urge to go and do.
I have no fantasies about shooting anyone. I have seen enough of that for one lifetime. I don’t hunt, having no desire to kill anything I don’t have to kill. I don’t need to pose with a rifle. Having carried one in the Marine Corps, I do not regard them as exotic. But when you are far from anywhere, you provide your own security. I am comfortable with the idea. So are a lot of men. In today’s suburban, mall-ridden world security is what answers 911.

Women are realists pretending to be romantics, and men, romantics pretending to be realists. Yes. The male desire is to explore, to fly higher and higher, to invent and dare and go and see. The Apollo landings were not inspired by a desire to know the nature of lunar rocks. A man does not get on a rice-burning crotch-rocket on a desert road in Arizona and scream through the hot vastness, wap-wap-wap through the gears, 95, 105, 120…125 (go baby, get it on, do it for me), because it is particularly practical. It is the sheer glory of the thing, the speed and power, controlled but on the edge.

And now he wakes at five-thirty for the two-hour commute from Fredericksburg to Washington in crawling traffic, then to his cubicle at Agriculture where he tracks soybean yields in North Carolina. For his entire life.

It is not what men are wired to do. We just do not domesticate well. While male behavior is perhaps no more inherently absurd than female, it has little application to the suburbs and bureaucratic salt mines.

Exactly so. Why a space elevator? It might mean cheap access to space and an endless frontier. At any road working for Liftport beats the snot out of sitting back and just waiting for someone to come along and make things better.
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