Man space (our need for a Fortress of Solitude)

I believe man’s need for a man space began thousands of years ago, somewhere in southern France when early man realized that his paintings needed protection from the elements. He painted images of the animals he killed (and knowing him I’m sure he elaborated the number a little), and the first time he visited his buddy’s cave and saw how well detailed his buddy’s animal paintings were he went back to his cave and elaborated some more.

Building a man cave has become the definition and measurement of manliness. Everyone (and not just men) need his or her Fortress of Solitude, an escape from the doldrums of reality. There are those people who define themselves by widely accepted societal perceptions, sort of like how a commercial for a pickup truck makes you believe that owning their truck is the only way to convey to the rest of society that you’re worthy of manhood. (Side note – does anyone else truly believe that Denis Leary, an incredibly talented comedian born of Irish immigrants living near Boston, and spokesperson for Ford, has never owned a truck?)

The examples in this talk by Sam Martin show originality in how men convey their passions, and thus define their manliness in their own words. Being a man means not being afraid to define your own self in your own terms, and to not be defined by popular caricatures that offer the perception of true manliness. (I’m staring right at you Home Improvement television show.)

I think everyone should, at a minimum, write down their requirements for their Fortress of Solitude (or Bat Cave for all of you that prefer the Dark Knight over The Man of Steel).


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