Friday, August 30, 2013

Ask-A-Dude: Tears of a Clown Edition!

Hello, everyone! Welcome back to another edition of Ask-a-Dude!

Remember, you can ask your own questions using the submission form on the right!

Today's question is:

Q: Do real men ever cry?

A: No. Never.

However, they have been known to sweat from the eyes, shed some of the excess body oil that greases the ocular muscle and, in extreme survival situations, release a drinkable Gatorade-like substance from special eyebrow pores.

So, on occasion, it's possible you saw a man who LOOKED like he was crying, but was, in fact, merely helping his best friend replenish vital electrolytes lost after a fierce game of darts.

But no. Never cry.

Guys don't get crying. It's strange, to leak from the face. And we never saw any man we respected do it in public with the notable exception of Bruce Willis in Die Hard. In the classic scene from the first Die Hard, which came out a million years ago and was actually really, really good, unlike the current AARP commercial set in Russia, John McClane doesn't think he's going to make it out of the Nakatomi Building alive. Quick side note, the Nakatomi Building is referred to as the Die Hard Building by Angelenos. In the scene, John bids a teary farewell to his man-crush, Sgt. Al Powell, the Twinky-loving cop who's afraid to draw his weapon after an accidental shooting years before. . .

My god, just writing about this made me get dust in both my eyes simultaneously.

Anywho, McClane tells Powell to find his wife, ("Don't ask me how, by then you'll know how!") and tell her he loves her. For those of you who weren't born long enough ago to remember Bruce Willis before Cop Out, here's the scene I'm talking about.

Oh, wait, no it isn't, BECAUSE I COULDN'T $%#@ING FIND A CLIP OF THE SCENE! It's one of the most famous macho man crying scenes in all of American cinema and it's like it never existed!

Which actually makes total sense. There's probably not a huge demand for the scene. It's not like guys are logging onto YouTube and typing "Die Hard crying scene" all that often. It's like farting in an elevator. We all know it happened but we're all going to pretend it didn't, and we're certainly not going to go looking for it.

The Guy Mafia apparently scrubbed the scene from the collective consciousness. Never underestimate the length guys will go to to convince you they don't cry.

I bring up the scene because Bruce Willis actually had an argument with the director about keeping it in the film. The director, the awesome John McTiernan (who just sounds like the kind of badass who would direct a movie called Die Hard), didn't think crying was appropriate for the mega-action blockbuster. But Willis felt the film worked on a deeper level because John McClane was an everyman. And everymen aren't bulletproof. The more you fear for the man's safety, the more you care about him, the more the movie works. And what better way to get the predominantly male audience to care about the lone cop in the building than to show the guy busting up about not getting to say goodbye to his wife?

Willis won, the scene stayed in, and the rest is AARP history.

The scene works because the audience connects with the emotion of the moment. And while the movie was popular with both genders, guys made up most of the ticket sales which means they understood the scene as well. It's not like they were totally into the movie and then collectively all went out and got popcorn during that scene. No, guys were on board.

Okay, so maybe we DO get crying, we just don't like to do it publicly. We assume everyone's going to judge us. It's the same logic that makes a guy reluctant to wear a tux. God almighty, there is no act that more quickly brings out the three year old in a grown man than trying to get him into formal wear. A cumberbund? WTF?! I mean look at it, it makes you look like a human bendy-straw!

C'mon, guys. Everyone else at the party is going to be wearing one. And if you're nice about it and don't whine too much, you can even wear Iron Man cufflinks to spice things up.

Guys make too much of crying because most of the crying we see is coming from women, since the rest of us are too scared of being judged. And we're scared for a reason. From the looks of it, that crying shit is painful.

Side note: Kim Kardashian seems over-represented (by several orders of magnitude) in the search results for "ugly cry face." Also, The Claire Danes Cry Face Project is both my new obsession and the name of my One Direction cover band.

Guys, let's put crying in perspective:


Everyone does it, there doesn't have to be a reason for it, it doesn't make you weaker, it's not a big deal and no one in your circle of friends is going to judge you for it.

If we understood that crying is not a big deal, doesn't represent some kind of eternal shame, we might be willing to do it publicly more often, thereby showing other guys it's okay and unleashing a veritable flood of motor-oil flavored eye sweat.

And we NEED that to happen because, ladies, here's the dirty little secret: guys cry ALL THE TIME. Every single guy will deny this but every one of them will secretly remember that time he snuck into Dirty Dancing because the title is Dirty Dancing and cried when that douche dad tried to put baby in a corner. You'll get me into a cumberbund before I'll admit to you how much I weep in private, but I do.

Brothers, wouldn't it be liberating to not have to hide your ugly cry face? Your team made fewer score points in the ball-based competitive tournament? Let it all out, here's a tissue. Missed the bus? Don't hold back, hun, next one's along in five minutes.

And judging by these covertly obtained samples, women have NOTHING over men in the ugly cry face department.
Side note: white people seem to have the ugliest of ugly cry faces.

In answer to your question, we do cry. And if we could just get over the self-consciousness of it all, we would cry more openly. It would become a thing, like, "Hey man, saw you crying the other day about that thing with the Camaro. That was a good cry, yo. Sweet nose-bubbles." Like, we'd make it competitive and come up with ways of scoring it.

And then, if you lost at crying, then there'd be something to cry about.

Copil can be found on Twitter (@Copil), crying like Bruce Willis.


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