sometimes i enjoy infomercials more than actual television programs (but probably not this week, what with the season finales of 24 and lost!). case in point: spray-on hair. the only potential issue i could see might be inclement weather (cut to a soaked, bald man with goopy “hair” dripping off his face). a brief aside: i love these “before/after” photos. it usually appears to be two different people. so, unless the product claims to turn the user into an entirely different person, these photos seem less than authentic. but back to commercials…

i have noticed quite a few “be a man”-type adverts lately. one posits that men’s lack of manliness starts in the shower. specifically, from using effete soap products as daily cleansers. the answer, supported by a marching band of g-men, is to take back the shower! and use soap that comes from an oil can! the problem, according to burger king, goes much further than just the cleaning habits of men. oh no, the problem extends even to our eating habits. our food! we scoff at salads. we laugh at low-carb menus. we harumph at health food (okay, that one was a stretch). but seriously, a man’s gotta eat a texas double whopper! strangely, bk chose to use a musical-type format to convey this message of manliness. i’m not convinced that this method is consistent with their message of manliness. let’s rally, and choreograph! raaaawr! even wines have gotten into the manly act. i mean, really, what man hasn’t gone to a ballgame and thought to himself, “i wish i had a nice merlot to pair with this chili dog”? just in case their “no more wimpy wines” tagline was too subtle, this winery’s logo used to feature wild stallions. the subtext being, i suppose, that drinking their wines would unleash the inner beast, causing men to run through fields, untamed, unbridled.

what does it mean to be a man? obviously, it goes much deeper than soap or ground beef, or any marketing campaign. several titles at the local christian bookstore wrestle with this question. risk, by kenny luck, tells us “Jesus challenges God’s man to throw predictability, control, safety, and comfort out the window and go to the next level in their faith.” (in a bit of publishing serendipity, kenny’s surname seems to imply the very title of his book)… wild at heart, by john eldredge, offers insight and inspiration. and, though it is not strictly a book for men, erwin mcmanus calls believers to break free from the chains of domesticated, civilized faith in the barbarian way.

strength and servanthood. honor and humility. love, grace, sacrifice… still trying to figure it out…

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