“Manhood” Isn’t the Right Term, But It’s the First Term That Comes to Mind

“Here I am,” declares Victor Mancini, the protagonist and narrator of Chuck Palahniuk’s novel, Choke, “The backbone of early Colonial America” (25). Victor portrays life as it surely must have been for the hardened men struggling to survive in America during the year 1734. It was a time when men were, as Robert Bly puts it, “Saturnian, old-man minded farmer[s], proud of his introversion, […] willing to sit through three services in an unheated church” (1). But something is amiss. The blacksmith is “ripped out of his mind on ecstasy” and the smell of marijuana is “coming off [the milkmaid] in a fog” (Palahniuk 26). Add to the drug culture that permeates this colony a debauched sexual atmosphere, where the milkmaid is famous for her “great hand jobs” and the king’s constable will let the curious “sniff his fingers”, and it is clear that these are not the stoic, Saturnian men that Bly reminisces for (Palahniuk 26). Continue reading

Pornographic Prom


The snow has melted, the temperature is climbing, and Thunder Bay’s long winter is finally coming to an end. If you’re finishing your last year of High School this year that means that prom is right around the corner and, as we all know, prom is a very important event.

But it’s worth asking why prom is so important. Or, in other words, what does it commemorate? The obvious answer would be that it’s a celebration that symbolizes the transition out of the public school system. But, if prom is just that, a transition, why is it so tied up with sex?

Perhaps we have Hollywood to thank for this. What do American Pie, She’s All That, Footloose, Back to the Future, and Pretty in Pink all have in common other than a prom? Well, they all insinuate straight teenage sex surrounding the event.

We could say that these are simply fabricated stories made to pull at the heartstrings but if they didn’t hold some form of cultural weight then why would Mike Stone, of Oakdale, Minnesota, turn to Twitter.com to find a date after, as ABC’s Eyewitness News reports, “He asked more than two dozen girls and they all turned him down.” More tellingly, why would Stone turn to adult film actresses?

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