"Stay down. You're beat." and Cool Hand Luke says "You're gonna hafta kill me". ~ Paul Newman.
It has got to be one of the greatest movie scenes of all time -
Paul Newman playing Luke is mercilessly pummeled by Dragline, punched in the face and falling. Yet climbing to his feet again and again until his opponent realizes he is never going to stay down.
There comes a point in most mens lives when we don't get punched in the face any more, words and lawyers have made the chances of it happening less and less frequent and indeed some men have never experienced the shock and awe of a sudden smash across the bridge of their nose that releases a torrent of the red stuff. Or an upper cut to the jaw that removes a molar. I remember the last punch in the face I got - a Samoan didn't like my grin as I entered a bar in Fayetteville, North Carolina. He punched me in the face and tore my arm out of the socket dislocating my shoulder, all because I didn't know the difference between confidence and arrogance. We became good friends that Samoan and I. He taught me some stuff including the difference between confidence and arrogance. I really needed that punch.
The beatings that humble men these days are more gradual and less physical. They are broken dreams and compromises made that silently lead them to lives of quiet desperation. Lives that could do, and be, so much more become reduced to daily tasks in need of a desperate wake up call. And so, as friends, we try to wake these men up with words, motivation and appeals to their interests. We try to convince and communicate - Why? Well progress, education, civility and lawyers have taken us out of our caves. It's the way we wake men up today. Ladies do it all so much better -they talk, listen to each other, and seem to understand the dynamics. They are much more empathetic. Women understand how to use honey and incentives.
But us men, the good ones who excuse away our lives or do less than we can - and the bad ones who through selfish arrogance hurt innocents. - I'm sorry guys - you know what we all sometimes need?
A punch in the face.
A punch in the face.