Men's Dual Imperative


January 18, 1995

Men are condemned to a dual imperative: they seek eggs answering the universe's call. They must also follow their muse to seek the bliss promised by the intellect. The search for eggs is fraught with dispiriting results. It is not surprising, when biological conditions allow it, men turn to other satisfactions: art, music, literature, fantasy. Some fortunate men choose alternatives at an early age; some are content only with arousal, stopping there. Those who demand completion, do so at their peril. They enter the theater of romantic love becoming the players in a complex and mysterious drama. Many spend their lives in this opera of life. Whatever our choice, each time we encounter a potential love object, two pathways present themselves.

It is this duality exalted by the Leadbellys, the B.B. Kings, the blues singers of the early 20th century. They are the American equivalents of 11th century French troubadours, all men. The troubadours sang their tributes to the king's lady; the 'blues' singers moan prayers to their gods in hope of salvation, praying to be removed from the cauldron of biological necessity, asking their universe to strike the longing and desire for women from their souls.

The message is clear: Never commit! Always carry cab fare.