Inquiry: Estrangement XIX – Macho ~ The Self-Inflicted Wasteland

Source: Walid Ahmad. Photographer. Pexels

by LJ Frank

This series on estrangement seeks to understand some of the differing faces of estrangement and the crossroads it approaches for good or ill.

Is it easier playing at what one perceives as being a man or woman than being one? Is the human(e) of man and woman naturally seeded in the heart? Is love, humane and humble the closest we’ll get to the language we invent about a caring “Creator”? Is caring the natural ingredient of stardust?

Each moment I am alive there are the elements of time, memory and existence itself.…and with existence an awareness unfolds. And isn’t awareness what is meant by an earthly Nirvana? In turn that Nirvana implies a sense of enlightenment and optimistically growth, salted with humbleness and love. Awareness is a guide.

The antithesis of enlightenment is distress and the process of tearing down to rebuild oneself up – to dominate and manipulate and perhaps under the thought process of defending and protecting – that too is posturing and vanity. 

The word macho from which machismo is derived is a word that appears to have been rooted in Portuguese and Spanish cultures, but other cultures have similar words to describe manliness and femininity. Who creates these definitions? Who makes the determination? Based on what? Who decides? For what purpose? Is it all smoke and mirrors? 

The provenance of manliness is buried in the development of language and culture. Genders fall prey to such meaninglessness. The words like macho and manliness can become dangerous when applied to an act. Invariably they are intellectually insulting and emotionally abusive. They are a desert wilderness of the heart.

The Chaldean priest Berossus (C 290 BCE) wrote of man behaving like animals hundreds of thousands of years ago. What was the most primitive of men’s beliefs about himself and others? Most of Berossus’ writings were lost or destroyed as were tens of thousands of others at the Library of Alexandria, perhaps over a period of several centuries, by accident or purpose (?) Over the centuries entire libraries have been lost. What has humanity lost?

Invasive peoples have a tendency to destroy or excise and edit records of others when those records and words are not in agreement with their culture, beliefs and persuasions. 

History is an interpretation of information studied and examined and revised…knowledge is not as sacred…as much as man’s beliefs about himself and others. Though language is foundational to a culture – belief and opinion appear to outweigh the idea of “nothing but the truth…” 

As an example, the word and language of Macho is, etymologically one could say, the fingerprints of fear and insecurity, diminutive in the context of nature…seeking control of that which ultimately is without control…and to abuse nature, whether human or earth, can have tragic results. Fear and insecurity are seeded in both man and woman. Macho alienates. It causes estrangement. It destroys rather than nourishes. It is not courageous…it is cowardice.

Today, macho/machismo has a characteristic whereby people are treated like possessions and a form of property. E.g., master and servant. People and relationships are viewed as “personal property investments” …without a will of their own.

Macho characteristics are found in all businesses, sports, among celebrities, politicians, political and gang leaders. Macho devours the humane. Why? I think it is fear and loathing under the guise of power and control.   

No matter where I have visited, studied and worked, I have found macho and manliness as an intellectual and an emotional wasteland – an estrangement that is self-inflicted.