My representation of what I see as manliness in today’s generation is retired professional basketball player Shaquille O’Neal. Shaq is one of my all-time favorite players. Ever sense I was a young child that was the man I wanted to be. A three-hundred and forty pound, 7 foot tall monster of a man who absolutely dominated the court in his prime. Who had a goal in mind and achieved it. Even though I don’t play basketball anymore and I’m not 7 feet tall, I’ve come pretty close. Shaquille O’Neal Is considered one of the best centers in the NBA of all time. He was a dominating force everyone on the court knew to stay away from. In the athletic aspect of Shaquille O’Neal is what I admire so much because it what I yearn to on the football field one day. From an athletic aspect it is what I see as manliness but Shaq has so much more to him, now that he is retired he went back to school to finish his degrees which another big part of being a man intelligence. Intelligence in a man is important especially in the US. Intelligence is seen as a way to get ahead here to earn a better living hence why so many people enter college. Shaq understood that just living as a wealthy retired basketball player wasn’t what was important. What was important was his education. He understood that the life after athletics was more important than anything else. This what I have a great understanding for that as well. Shaq is also a hard worker even though he’s made millions of dollars he continues to stay active in the working force. He is now and commentator on ESPN. In the article by Strauss and Howe they describe the hero as “generation as tend to feel more attached to their fathers than their mothers, as the masculine energies of war and civic involvement are revived during a Crisis, and gender roles begin to widen. The Crisis provides Hero men with the chance to perform distinctly masculine feats of courage and prove their manliness.” I believe in a way the people of this generation do this with heroes in our lives whether they are writers, actors, professional athletes or even like they said our mom and dads. We hold up templates of them and try to sketch our lives in order to resemble theirs as much as possible. Because we see it as if it works for them we can follow that path and make it work too. We all have our own faults. I’m positive all my templates have made mistakes as well. But its our job as the new generation to learn from them, and day we could become some young child’s template.
A man who represents this current generation of today in my eyes would be ex Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis. He is a man of character, loyalty, and most of all a family man. We all make mistakes and Ray made a critical mistake earlier in big career being caught up with the law. he was charged with murder but was found innocent of the murder and to be found it was someone else. This has not diminished the fact he is a man of this generation. Ray lewis played with great intensity and passion while on the football field but off the field he was a giant who was gentle and cared about his family and the community. Ray has been recognized by many sports analysts to be one of the greatest linebackers to ever step on the field. He has been crowned champion of the world in the great game of football.
All throughout his young child hood he was told he was too small, not strong enough, or eve not fast enough to be great at football. Now retired and soon to be in the Hall of Fame, Ray Lewis achieved greatness through hard work and dedication. Two values I have placed on the top of my values list. Hard work can get you anywhere and if you are dedicated and passionate about what you do then you will perform with quality. Add those two value together and in my eyes you have a man.
Ray lewis also does everything for the glory of God. He firmly believes as do I that his strength comes from the Lord. “I can accomplish all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Ray Lewis wear this bible verse on his eye black. It takes a strong man to stay firm in his walk with the Lord and this is another of the many reason why I admire Ray Lewis as a man of this generation. Always looking to the positive side and having a glass half full mentality with everything he lays his hands on.
Every generation thrives off of successes and failures of the generation before them. The way people behave and act is often because of the people who raise them (parents), and the way parents act is because of the one’s who had raised them (grandparents) and so on. The article “The Generations of Men: How the Cycles of History Shape Your Values, Your Idea of Manhood, and Your Future” by Brett and Kate McKay compares generations to seasons, because it is always a continued cycle. Prophets were sensitive, Nomads wanted equality between genders, Heroes wanted to prove manliness through courage, Artists wanted to be the care takers, Hero-G.I.s wanted to be the strong authoritarian, Prophet-Boomers were spiritual and emotional, Nomad-Gen X-ers were cynical about marriage and wanted to prove manliness through fighting, and last but not least Hero-Millennials just want to be responsible and do the right thing (McKay).
It was hard to depict who represents manliness in this generation when most men in this generation are still so young and aren’t fully developed into their true potential. But, if I had to choose the man in the block with a question mark it would be my boyfriend Brandon. The McKay’s state that Millennial men “…embody confidence and ambition, tempered with niceness, humility, and a good work ethic.” He takes care of his sister who is 16 years old, he thrives in school and does his work to his full potential, he is nice to everyone even when they don’t deserve it, he works 6 hours every day even when he is sick and never complains, he drives up to Ann Arbor almost twice a week to visit me, he is always concerned with what I want to do and always makes sure I’m feeling okay, he respects my parents and is always polite and most importantly he loves me for me. Sometimes I take my frustration or stress of other things out on him and cause fights but he always wants to work it out and he has never given up on me.
Millennial men, just like their grandfathers, “desire to return to a simple, straightforward, non-angsty approach to being a man…they want to be responsible, do the right thing, be competent, and get the job done. They want to live their live right and they want practical advice on how to do it” (McKay). Brandon has all of these traits, he is responsible, he gets the job done, he is always wanting to do the right thing, and he doesn’t need anything else besides the people he loves in order to be happy. To me, a man isn’t a man because of his abilities, his physical strength, or his talents. A man is a man based on his ambition and sincereness, someone who is honest and genuine. Someone who is confident but doesn’t feel the need to impress anyone else because he already knows he is good enough. True men aren’t worried about being too sensitive or too manly, they just do what makes them happy without caring about what anyone else thinks of them.
Although he barely made it into this generation, I would say that my best friend belongs in that box with the big question. In my opinion, he is the “Man of the Years”. My best friend is a man who knows what it is like to struggle and to have to work to get back on his feet. That was when he experienced his “High”. According to the McKay article, a High is “a time with strong civic values: institutions are strong and individualism is weak. Ideals that were valued during a crisis are institutionalized”. I am sure that my best friend has had a few low points in his life because a man of his background always has things that he must overcome. However, the lowest “Crisis” point he had ,in my opinion, was when he found out his grandmother had lung cancer. His grandmother acted as his mentor, his best friend, his mother, and many more. She meant the world to him but he knew that she would not be around for much longer. Since a “High” is a time after a crisis, his “High” came here. Knowing that the loss of his best friend was inevitable, he changed a multitude of things from how he got his money to who he hung out with. Once he lost his grandmother, those changes were set in stone.
My best friend is a representation of my generation because he has experienced adversities that many people though he had no chance of getting through. Seeing as though my generation has been labeled the “screwed” generation, we know struggle and adversities , as a generation, all too well. We caught the backlash of other people’s decisions. Some say we have no chance of becoming successful. Many are afraid that we are the generation that now controls the future. But we are not letting those critics deter us. And my best friend did not allow those critics to deter him either. We, as a generation, are undergoing our Crisis now as we have been for a while. Will we ever come out of our Crisis stage? Absolutely. But it will not be a simple task. We must work to get out of our Crisis so that we can reach our High and make the many generations who look down on us “eat their words”. That is our goal and we will achieve it. No ifs, ands, or buts about it.
– Nya M.
I believe my boyfriend, Jake, represents manliness for this generation. In the article, it says that we are in a crisis turning and the generation archetype is the hero. The crisis turning “can take numerous forms; economic distress caused by defaulting on national debt, hyper inflation, or widespread unemployment, social distress caused by class or race warfare, ecological distress caused by natural or man-made disasters…” which creates heroes (McKay). The hero is “confident, ambitious, and optimistic about life” so manliness has changed from previous generations to fit that (McKay). When I read the article and really found out what a hero man is, I had to sit and think about whom I thought represented a hero man.
The face I would pick for the block would be my boyfriend, Jake. He represents everything about our generation. Jake has “hero generation qualities: they’re very friendly, sensible, nice, and even-keeled, get along well with younger peers and older adults, are very peer and team-oriented, and prefer practical solutions over polarizing ideologies” and Jake has all of these qualities (McKay). The reason I know Jake is because I have been dating him for almost two years and I have seen him be a Millennial hero.
Jake represents the hero man in our crisis turn in many ways. For example, Jake is never rude and if he thinks someone needs help, he always helps as much as he can. This fits the description of a hero Millennial man. Jake is great with younger kids, because sometimes he is a big kid himself, and is great and respectful to adults and elders. In McKay’s article, it says the hero man gets along with other generations, which Jake does.
Jake is always thinking about others before himself. For example, at Wendy’s he saw a little girl trying to buy a little bit of food, but she only had three dollars. He went up and used his last ten dollars to get the little girl a nice full meal. This shows that Jake cares for his community like a hero man. Jake also respects girls. Jake would not let any guy make a remark about me and if they did he would defend me. The Hero man has traditional views on men and women. Jake has these views for men and women. In my opinion, I would pick Jake because he is the man in my life that best represents our Millennial hero generation.
Writing 100- Blog 5
1 August 2014
Independent Individualist’s Needed
“Most people lack [the capacity for] reverence and “taking things seriously” . They do not hold anything to be very serious or profound. Anything strong and intense, passionate, and absolute, anything that can’t be taken with a snickering little “sense of humor”- is too big, too hard, too uncomfortable for them. They are too small and weak to feel with all their soul-and they disapprove of such feelings. They are too small and profane for themselves to know what sacredness is-and they disapprove of anything being too scared” (Rand, Ayn).
The Hero generation were young adults during a Crisis like the Great Depression and WWII. They led with a practical, civic-oriented, can-do-spirit, and did big things like going to the moon. The Hero generations main societal contributions are comity, technology, and affluence. Millennials are also confident and ambitious goal setters, and remain optimistic despite the downbeat economy. (The Generation of Men). But if the description above from Ayn Rand sounds familiar it’s because we are in an age where nothing is revered. A society is civilized by the kinds of people that comprise it. American Society of the fifties was dominated by young and middle-aged people who were the most civilized of the entire 20th century (Characteristics of Civilized People).
“ Phrases like “Please”, “thank you”, and “excuse me” made up the vocabulary of the 1950’s. Children were taught manners, always addressing an adult by their first name, saying “Yes Ma’am” or “No Sir”. Those who have not lived in a courteous age seem to have the impression it was stiff and formal and in some way restricting, but in fact, it was the opposite. Common courtesy made social relationships much easier because people knew the appropriate way to interact and deal with one another and the words appropriate to polite conversation came to the lips of the well-mannered and all the ease and naturalness with which the vilest profanities fill the mouths of today’s ill-mannered louts” (Characteristics of Civilized People).
Hero generations tend to feel more attached to their fathers than their mothers, as they masculine energies of was and civic involvement are revived during a Crisis (What the Strauss-Howe Generational Theory..). “If there was one characteristic that distinguished people of the fifties from people of today, it would be their independence. Self-reliance, and competence were virtues individuals pursued in their own lives and admired in others. It came from their sense of individualism that not only recognized a person’s life is their own to be lived as they chose, but that the individual was responsible for that life, both to support and bear the consequences of how it was lived” (Characteristics of Civilized People).
“Men of the 50’s knew their own sense of integrity and self-worth. They did not want what they had not earned. They did not seek the approval or praise of theres, but knew whatever recognition others gave them, it was for their virtues and that they had earned it” (Independent Individualists). Today we are in need of a society that are able to stand on their own two feet. America is in need of courtesy, decency, reverence, independence, respect, and self-respect. We need the men of the 50’s, the independent individualists.
Firehammer, Reginald. “Characteristics of Civilized People”. Independent Individualists. http://usabig.com/iindv/articles_stand/revo_west/revolution3.php
McKay, Brett and Kate. “The Generations of Men: How the Cycles of History Shape Your Values, Your Idea of Manhood, and Your Future”. 12 July 2012. Web. 29 July 2014. http://www.artofmanliness.com/2012/07/12/the-generations-of-men-how-the-cycles-of-history-have-shaped-your-values-your-place-in-the-world-and-your-idea-of-manhood/
McKay, Brett and Kate. “What the Strauss-Howe Generational Theory Tells Us About Manhood in America”. 12 July 2012. Web. 29 July 2014. http://www.artofmanliness.com/2012/07/12/the-generations-of-men-how-the-cycles-of-history-have-shaped-your-values-your-place-in-the-world-and-your-idea-of-manhood/
Rand, Ayn. “The Hollywood Year”. Journals- Part 1: Early Projects. February 1928. Web. 28 July 2014. http://usabig.com/iindv/articles_stand/revo_west/revolution7_1.php
In one of our readings, “The Generations of Men: How the Cycles of History Shape Your Values, Your Idea of Manhood, and Your Future”, Brett and Kate McKay talk about the four cycles a generation goes through also known as the Strauss-Howe Generation Theory. The theory states “that the generations of history change in a regular cycle, just like the seasons of the year. These cycles are: Prophet, Nomad, Hero and Artist. Every 20 years generations move up the age ladder and the culture changes (McKays).
There are some generations they are either raised in a nurturing family and there are some that were not (McKays). According to the McKays, “there are three types of groups in a generation: those who set the tone for the generation, those who follow the tone-setters lead, and those who rebel against the generational mood altogether.” When it comes down to manliness in America, some men get ideas about manhood from their grandfather’s generation. The Millennial man wants to live a simple life. This mean that they are responsible, want to do the right thing, and get the job done (McKays).
People who were born between the years 1984-2004 are considered the new hero generation. Some have questioned what man represents manliness for my generation. Who will step up and set an example for what a man in America should be like? There is one person that comes to mind that has a hero trait for this generation. I have known this guy since 9th grade. His name is Stevin Coleman. Throughout our years at Davis Aerospace he has always displayed heroic characteristics. He was always in content. Never heard any negative thoughts about him. He was always taking care of business and never messed with anyone else’s. I see him as a leader. When he was in the Air Force J.R.O.T.C., he was the Commander of all of the student cadets. If someone were to slip up, he would have a talk with that person. When American enters the fourth turning, they’ll enter with a unique opportunity to achieve greatness as a people (Strauss and Howe). That uniqueness can help change America. I see that uniqueness in my friend Stevin Coleman. If there were more men like him, there would a lot more focused and determined men.
- McKay, B., & McKay, K. (2012, July 12). The Generations of Men: How the Cycles of History Shape Your Values, Your Idea of Manhood, and Your Future. The Art of Manliness. Retrieved July 30, 2014, from http://www.artofmanliness.com/2012/07/12/the-generations-of-men-how-the-cycles-of-history-have-shaped-your-values-your-place-in-the-world-and-your-idea-of-manhood/
- Strauss, W., & Howe, N. (1997). The fourth turning: an American prophecy. New York: Broadway Books.
My Superman is optimistic, ambitious and confident; he is a Hero- Millennial. “As generation type is born, matures, comes to influence in the culture, and then declines and dies, it plays a role in propelling society through a cycle of growth maturation, entropy, destruction, and then regrowth.” (McKays, 2012)
My Superman looked up to his grandfather. His grandfather was one of the few people that knew one day he would be successful. My Superman’s grandfather was apart of the nomad generation; the generation that was left behind as children to find their own norms. (McKays, 2012) My Superman’s grandfather had to grow up the fast way; He made many mistakes so he did not want his grandchildren to go through some of the same things he had to go through as a child so he did everything he could so they would not become that way. He instilled the importance of finishing things that they started. He showed them to the importance of getting an education so they will be successful in their life. Unfortunately, my Superman’s grandfather recently passed away.
At first, my Superman did not know how to handle that he would no longer be able to see his grandfather. He was use to going to his grandfather for any and everything. At one point of time, my Superman completely shut down; he did not know who he was without his grandfather. He did not want to do anything with his life anymore; he did not even want to go to college. One day, my Superman realized that his grandfather prepared him to stand up and become the man that his grandfather knew he could be. He took back control over his life and decided that he wanted to make his grandfather proud. He applied to several colleges. He continued to do all the things he loved before his grandfather died. My superman did not let the situation break him. He will be intending Eastern Michigan University in the fall and desires to pursue a career in aeronautical engineering. My Superman made mistakes but he learned from his mistakes. Robert Lewis is my Superman because of the obstacles that he went through; like many of us (millennials) have been through things and have a hard time copping, but because of our strength we manage to overcome these things.
To me, the face in the block with the big question mark represents someone who is known and has a positive influence. After many candidates, I decided on a male who succeeded despite his background. That man is the great, Michael Oher. A little background of him is that at a young age he didn’t have a father, his mother was a drug addict, he was homeless, and he was uneducated. He met the Tuohy’s who were a wealthy white family and eventually who took him in. Long story short, he was a 6 foot 4, 300+ lb., African-American male living in Memphis Tennessee, and he stuck out like a sore thumb at an all white school. After the influence and support of the Tuohy’s he started playing football, got to be really good, and is now currently playing in the NFL for the Baltimore Ravens. He overcame so much in his life and is making a positive impact on the world.
He is a good representation of American in this day and age. Overtime, our society has changed, and I believe he represents the millennial generation in such a significant way. The article entitled, “The Generations of Men: How the Cycles of History Shape Your Values, Your Idea of Manhood, and Your Future,” stated that, “The Millennial generation has weaknesses as every generation does, but they already display some classic Hero generation qualities: they’re very friendly, sensible, nice, and even-keeled, get along well with younger peers and older adults, are very peer and team-oriented, and prefer practical solutions over polarizing ideologies.” (Mckays, 2012) Michael Oher was known as a “gentle giant,” always caring for others more than himself. In addition, he was very team-oriented in his football team and family. He protected them with his life, and would do anything for them. A reading by Strauss and Howe expressed that the millennials, “…will have a much tighter personal, social, and economic interdependence with their parents than prior generations had.” (Strauss and Howe, 2006) He developed a close relationship between himself and the Tuohy’s.
He can be considered “manly” because he has the personality that most males have. He has proven his determination and dedication in football, as well as in his academics. Also, he is a supporter of his family, which many males are known for being. Michael Oher is such a positive and influential male in our generation.
July 25, 2014
The American Dream is not what it used to be in the early twentieth century. It could be arguably seen as a dream deferred as what was written in Raisin in the Sun; the American Dream is no longer tangible for struggling Americans. Whether the struggle is financial or material, the work ethic that was then and now has completely changed, therefore lead us to our a mini revolution in the twenty-first century labeled as Occupy Wall Street.
My struggle in understanding this revolution is not behind the meaning but the way the protesters went about it. This is an age where ambition and power control everything; and if you don’t have either you are S. O. O. L. The drive for survival as an American seems far less stressed than in the 1900s. There was a purpose and resilience that was manifested into their DNA. Those that struggle today, protesters on the Wall Street are certainly making a name for themselves, but it seems to be one that mocks their very own reason of assembly.
Pacing the streets, scavenging for affirmation and even support from that of the 1% portrays an entitlement mentality that in my opinion doesn’t look very good on them. I understand their purpose in protesting and projecting their voice for it to be heard by all. Consequently, it makes them look even worse. Protesting for days: missing more opportunities that they could’ve taken, depriving their families of an income, and making themselves more vulnerable to the harsh reality of working is an essential to living.
Yes, Wall Street is home to many wealthy people, but why are they so concerned with what they do with their money? Wall Street helps provide economic circulation throughout the country and the world. If they are in such a rut, why tear others down? Go improve your own standings before you criticize others for how they live. If you want so badly to change something, use your assets and build a community around the resources available with others in the same situation.