Bl is onto something when he insists that it is necessary for arnman, at some stage in his life, to make contact with the “WildrnMan” within him if he is to discoser and cultivate the fiercenessrn(not aggressiveness) of spirit without which he can never trulyrnbe a man at all. Unfortunately, there is scarcely any opportunityrnin modern life to confront the Wild Man, and parents,rnteachers, career counselors, employment officers, social workers,rncops, the BATF, the FBI, and politicians representing therntwo major parties offer pointed strictures against Wild Man behavior.rnWhat we need, says Bly, echoing Edward Abbey (whorndidn’t need a men’s movement), is more wilderness.rnI .ast fall the Casper Star-Tribune printed some remarks by anrnemployment specialist who had traveled from I^enver tornChevenne to give helpful advice to the voung of the CowboyrnState. Forget mining, forget ranching, forget timbering, forgetrnroughnecking, the gentleman said or implied. There’s a wholernnew exciting world out there, but you gotta be smart and resilientrnin order to survive in it; gotta get that algebra and calculusrndown; gotta master those computers; gotta learn aboutrnthe psychology of interpersonal relations, personnel management,rnthe Role of the Corporation in Modern Society, andrnMaking the World Safe for Corporations! Do that, and you gotrnit made! A great career is in store for you in—the 1-800 numherrnPut aside for the time being such “practical” (though thernword isn’t of course a neologism, it is used like one throughoutrnthe American educational system) questions as whether anybodrnwithout half a million dollars can set up as a rancher theserndavs or whether two decades from now coal mining will ha ernMemo to a Men’s Movement Recruitrnby Katheiine McAlpinernIts escapades make womenrngiggle among our chums—rn”Lester? Imagine him inrnwar paint and whacking drums!”—rnthen laugh ourselves half sickrnat the peculiar notionrnthat you have to hold a stickrnto talk about emotions.rnSure, sometimes feminismrnhas gone too far. But still, you’rernonly extending the schismrnby acting even sillier.rnSo put the brecch-clout awayrnand leave those Levis on.rnYou’re sweet, but I may sayrnyou ain’t no Iron )ohn.rnbecome so thoroughly automated that onK robots will need apply.rnThe issue is, young people who een a generation or twornago could look forward to active and spacious lives drivingrncattle and doctoring calves, breaking horses, supplying mountainrnsheep camps, tripping drill pipe, hauling logs out of thernmountains with a team and sled, ds namiting rock formations,rnshooting grizzly bears and wolves, cutting wood, irrigatingrncrops, putting up hay, tracking rustlers and arresting them, reforestingrnmountain slopes—all these tasks performed with thernwind, soft or biting, in their faces, the warm sun on theirrnhands and shoulders, and God’s good earth under their feet (orrntheir horses’ hooves) where for the men and women of thernAmerican West it was and still is meant to be—are nowrnsolemnly advised to spend their adult lies planted on theirrnbutts in a climatically controlled office on the 20-somcthingrnfloor of a high-rise building in a futuristic Cheyenne or Casper,rndressed in the regulation yuppv uniform and plugged into anrnelectronic maze connecting them unmercifully for eight hoursrna day (45 minutes off for lunch) with America’s 250 millionpersonrnconsumariat. Is the availability of technological andrnother baubles worth requiring human beings to immolaterntheir essential humanity in the production and delivery ofrnsuch trifles? What sort of society expects—in fact requires—rnits oung to seek fulfillment and happiness in devoting theirrnworking lives to 1-800? The answer is a craz’ society; a sick andrndegenerate and dcspiritualized society. A society that has lostrnall contact with and awareness of the reality of human existencernand of the world itself—its meaning, its richness, its purpose.rnA society that deserves to perish, and indeed has little hope ofrnescaping death.rnWhat Robert Bly and the men’s movement perceive to bernlacking in American and indeed contemporary men everywherernis best described as vitality, a quality that is beingrnsqueezed from the human psyche—but especially perhapsrnfrom the male human psyche—by the wine-press of Americanism,rnotherwise known as Modernism. Bly’s mistake, andrnthat of his followers, is to treat the crisis as essentially a psychologicalrnone, to be solved first by coming to terms with therninadequacies of one’s father (when were fathers ever adequate?)rnand then by making an accommodation of sorts withrnthe tyranny of technocratic societ- in alliance with the corporaternstate. But the solution is not Jungian psychology fortifiedrnh drumming in the woods: it is revolution, never a job for soft,rnoversensitized, solipsistie men. And what kind of revolutionrnmight that be? Probably not—not necessarily anyway—onernwith guns and prisons and guillotines; more likely a passive rebellionrnsuch as the one Wendell Berry in his new book Sex,rnEconomy, Freedom & Community: Eight Essays (available fromrnPantheon and a small work of genius, by the way) advocates: arngradual withdrawal of our attentions and activities from the imperialrnperiphery established by corporate industrialism to thernlocus of our lives, the placed communities in which we live; thernrefusal to tolerate longer the public concept of existence andrnthe determination to embrace the communitarian one for thernpurpose of recreating community, without which sanity, independence,rnfreedom, and, therefore, happiness are impossible.rnWe will breed real men again when we will breed realrnwomen to match them, and we will have both when wc shallrnhave got rid of the obfuscatory infrastructure of an increasinglyrnobscene syphilization whose unspoken intent is to castraternand humiliate every man, wild or soft, who dares to stand in itsrnway. crn14/CHRONICLESrnrnrn