The original premise behind A Year of Guys was that it would contain a year’s worth of reflections about my life, and my life experiences of 2014, through the lens of men and one baby boy. The men are John MacMurray, J. S. Bach, Spencer Huffman, Manny Machado, and Roger Federer. The baby boy is my grandson Silas, now nine months old.
I was interested to see whether I, as the author, could sustain an exclusively male perspective for an entire year. Well, I couldn’t. The date passed with little fanfare, but I did mark it: I invoked a female perspective, that of St. Brigid, on January 25 or 7% of the way through the whole whole year.
In retrospect, 7% seems about right for one exclusive perspective. If you were to graph my blog posts on A Year of Guys on a scale ranging from exclusively male to exclusively female content, it would no doubt resemble a curve with the exclusively male or female commentaries occupying perhaps 7% of the total, 43% of remainder employing some blend of perspectives, with the intermediate plot points indicating the inevitable male tilt. What do you think?
I’ve been thinking about “degrees of maleness” because I’ve been reading a book by Nassim Nicholas Taleb called Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder, and it’s perspective strikes me as oppressively male. It’s interesting, provocative, and quotable but it’s the equivalent of having a conversation with a very smart, voluble man who is relentlessly poking his finger in your chest, which I find wearying. (The book jacket claims that the book is “erudite, witty, and iconoclastic”.)
So I’m trying to understand where I stand on the “male scale,” and here’s what I come up with. Using my “guys” (plus Nassim Nicholas Taleb, myself, and a few others) to create a male scale, I come up with the following highly-opinionated (not to say erudite, witty, iconoclastic and, it should be noted, über-male) ranking of men. It’s book-ended by Donald Trump and Nassim Taleb on the “high” end and A. A. Milne (the author of Winnie-the-Pooh) on the “low” end. What do you think?
P.S. Given a choice between reading something written by A. A. Milne or Donald Trump, give me A. A. Milne any day!