The world’s gone wrong – No 2

cavemenA chat with a health and fitness expert in my office this morning led me to discover that REAL MEN are now going Palaeolithic.

Men who wish to look like MEN and feel like MEN have now turned their back on the 21st century and are only eating the kinds of food cavemen would have recognised.

For a moment I am interested. After all we all know our food is way too messed around with nowadays to be good for us. I’m all for a bit of organic but it seems this trend has gone further.

Men, I am told, are also turning their back on the gym and instead are doing real work.

“Like hitting things with a hammer.” The guy says.

“Great,” I say. “So are they building things?”

I get a look of incomprehension.

“No,” he says. “They just hit tyres with a hammer. It’s the exercise that’s the important thing.”

Here is postmodernism gone mad. We don’t create, we don’t do work which involves sweat and has a purpose. We just go through the motions to look like the kind of man that might have a manly job. Maybe this is what passes for normality these days. Maybe if I didn’t work in a world where people got their muscles from chopping down trees and scything their way along rivers then I wouldn’t think this was odd.

Something is missing in this equation and I can’t quite put my finger on what. It has something to do with value. It has something to do with purpose and worth. It is, as Jean Baudrillard said, a simulacrum, something where the image bears no relation to reality.

So the Palaeolithic men look like cave men, they can bash hammers against tyres and get the physique of a  cavemen but I wouldn’t fancy their chances against a sabre toothed tiger.


4 thoughts on “The world’s gone wrong – No 2

  1. Doesn’t this sort of thing happen when “men” have enough money and home comforts so that they dont need to worry about basics – they can then do crazy, worthless things like hitting tyres for exercise. I remember when I lived in California many years ago being told that society there was able to indulge in various crazy fads because they were so well looked after otherwise. I want to work Ed Balls and Strictly in to this conversation but cant quite see how! Perhaps it’s the value point?

    • I’d be interested to hear your Ed Balls, Strictly, value philosophy but sometimes it’s hard to put our finger on just what it is that’s bugging us. I think the whole extreme exercise thing has something to do with not feeling in control of our lives or in feeling a valueless cog in the machine. Therefore the only thing we have control over is our bodies so we invest extraordinary amounts of time trying to perfect them. I don’t know but I do think the effort some people put into perfecting muscles they don’t actually need says something wider about society.

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