[Exene Says . . .] Man vs. Dude--Which Side Are You On?

[Editor's Note: Exene Cervenka is a writer, visual artist and punk rock pioneer. The OC transplant is the lead singer for X, the Knitters and Original Sinners. Her new column, Exene Says..., is her space to basically just write what's on her mind, everything from crazy life stories to political theories and observations about what's going on in this fucked up world of ours. To contact her, send all messages to askexene@ocweekly.com.]


He has defeated ruthless tyrants and devastated armies. He has escaped from POW camps; handled every lethal weapon that can be slung over one's back; piloted drones; outmaneuvered every killing machine on legs, wheels and tracks; and bombed cities. Now if he just had the fortitude to turn off the computer, instead of pretending to be a hero, he could be a hero.

As long as he stays lost in fantasy (TV sports packages, pornography, celebrity, consumerism, bravado, cars, guitars, violence, prejudice), he will be oblivious to the tyrannical system closing in all around him. He's the kind of guy the globalists want in the world: oblivious, selfish, cynical, hedonistic--a real man's man.

But that's not what they call one another. They call one another "dude" because dudes are perpetually young, adolescent, and dudes have an inner-juvenile delinquent who must be appeased because they believe all their desires are valid and must be fulfilled.

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My question is: Are you a dude, or are you a man? A man can defend himself and stand up for those who can't. A man doesn't prey on women and children. A man works. A man doesn't use women and laugh at them for not realizing he's using them. A man doesn't sit passively by while his country, culture and economy are destroyed by a handful of sociopaths. A man stands up to bullies but doesn't bully anyone. A man isn't violent and hateful. A man only fights when he must.

A dude fights all the time. He fights with his job, his boss, his girlfriend, his wife, his ex-wife, his kids, his parents, his ex-girlfriend, strangers, family--he loves to fight. It's not necessarily a fierce, pitched battle; it's more of an ongoing drama about injustices done to him that he recounts to other dudes--that's his battle. That's the myth of the dude. Dudes can hustle what they need by using people and by working and quitting and working again or selling various illegal substances; they can usually get by on fast food and beer and girlfriend/wife support until hostilities break out.

Dudes think they are smart, and they think they have the game all figured out. They don't have a clue that they are the game. Are you a man, or are you a dude? This has been a message from the wake-up-before-it's-too-late emergency broadcasting system.

Exene Cervenka is a writer, visual artist and punk-rock pioneer. The OC transplant is the lead singer for X, the Knitters and Original Sinners.

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