Marty Beckerman's hilarious guide for the modern man to booze, battle, and bull-fight his way to becoming more like Hemingway
More than fifty years have passed since the death of Ernest Hemingway, history's ultimate man, and young males today—obsessed with Facebook, Twitter, and Playstation—know nothing about his legendary brand of rugged, alcoholic masculinity. They cannot skin a fish, dominate a battlefield, or transform majestic creatures of the Southern Hemisphere into piano keyboards.
The Heming Way demonstrates how modern eunuchs—brainwashed by PETA and Alcoholics Anonymous—can learn from Papa's unparalleled example: drunken, unshaven, meat-devouring, wife-divorcing, and gloriously self-destructive.
How to kill enough animals to render a species endangered—just like Papa!
Getting your friends to think drinking a daiquiri is manly . . . just by drinking one nine yourself
Achieving sufficiently high testosterone levels to never have to worry about the chance of having a daughter instead of a son
And much more!
Profane, insightful, hilarious and loaded with more than 150 photos, facts and insights about Papa, The Heming Way is a difficult path, and not for the weak, but truth is manlier than fiction.
|Publisher:||St. Martin's Publishing Group|
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About the Author
MARTY BECKERMAN has written for The New York Times, Esquire (where he served as an editor), Playboy, Salon, Discover, Gawker, The Huffington Post, and the Daily Beast, among others. He lives in New York.
MARTY BECKERMAN has written for Esquire (where he served as an editor), Playboy, Salon, Discover, Gawker, The Huffington Post, and the Daily Beast, among others. He is the author of The Heming Way: How to Unleash the Booze-Inhaling, Animal-Slaughtering, War-Glorifying, Hairy-Chested Retro-Sexual Legend Within, Just Like Papa! He lives in New York.
Read an Excerpt
In His Time: The Importance of Being Ernest
[M]en have softened or gone to pieces nervously. ...
—"The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber"
It's Papa's religion and it is a frightfully old religion. ... I pray for beer, for meat and for a new wife....
— True at First Light
Men have a problem. We know in our hearts — in our DNA — that we are mindless, reckless, pleasure-seeking violent slobs. (This is not the problem.) But we are torn between masculinity and modernity. Our estrogen-fueled popular culture and so-called education system fill us with empathetic sensitivity instead of primordial brutality, thus denying the crucial essence of our existence. We feel guilty for simply being alive.
And we should feel guilty. Our technological brilliance makes us lazy and decadent. Mankind has accumulated more collective knowledge than ever before, but the individual man knows less. Our information comes from Wikipedia, not experience.
We can all search Google and update our worthless status messages on Facebook — we're too busy posting online about our lives to actually live them — but few of us can hook a fish, navigate by starlight, climb to the apex of a mountain, or transform majestic creatures of the Southern Hemisphere into piano keyboards with a double-barreled rifle, a hacksaw, and a little elbow grease. (Also: a little elephant grease.)
The real tragedy isn't that we're incapable of doing these wonderful things; it's that we see no reason to do them. We spend our days at yoga studios, vegan restaurants, Pilates classes, frozen yogurt parlors, gluten-free cupcake bakeries, alcoholism recovery groups, and other such abominations. The closest we come to genuine adventure — genuine danger — is watching IMAX 3D superhero movies and playing video games like children.
If you dropped us in the middle of the wilderness, we would die within an hour. We cannot hunt, build shelter, start a fire, nor utilize any other skills that have kept our species alive for millennia. If the electrical grid fails, and our cherished iPhones run out of batteries, the average man will have a lower chance of survival than the average Cub Scout.
Even combat, the manliest sport of all — except for bullfighting — will soon be a neutered, joystick-toggling simulation orchestrated halfway around the world from the physical battlefield. Just another video game, a perfect metaphor for our age.
But plunging a Nintendo controller into thin air is no substitute for plunging a bayonet deep into the heart of a Francoist insurgent. (This is easy to do because Francoist insurgents are, like, a hundred years old now.) A Global Positioning System is no substitute for uncharted exploration. Predictability is no substitute for possibility. And our era is the most predictable of all.
A better time once existed.
We can undo this calamity.
All we need is a teacher, a savior.
Not a messiah, but a mansiah.
All we need ... is Ernest Hemingway.
He called himself "a man without any ambition, except to be champion of the world." And goddamnit, he was champion of the world until the day he munched a bullet sandwich: a great writer, a great hunter, a great fisherman, a great womanizer, a great drunkard, and a great man. (But mostly, a great drunkard.)
Hemingway, or "Papa" as his friends called him — and anyone with a pair of testicles was his friend — never sat around the house watching Netflix to pass the time. He chased adventure in Spain or Cuba or Africa or the nearest boxing ring or squalid brothel.
The New York Times, in its obituary, predicted that "generations not yet born of young men" would study Hemingway's masculine philosophy. We must be that generation, lest the Y chromosome vanish, a biologically unfit victim of natural selection. We must answer the question that Hemingway posed to our forefathers: "Do we want big men — or do we want them cultured?"
Correct answer: WE WANT BIG MEN WITH ZERO CULTURE.
However, our cultural gatekeepers — ambiguously gendered Ivy League professors, misanthropic animal rights activists, and the jealous has-beens of Alcoholics Anonymous — want small men. They sneer at Hemingway's marvelous accomplishments, and remove his brilliant novels from school curriculums, just as the Nazis burned any book they disliked. But Hemingway knew that "fascism is a lie," and "the best ammunition against lies is the truth."
Even if teachers dared to expose pupils to his works, nobody has the attention span anymore — thanks, Internet — required to slog through an epic tome about the Spanish Civil War, or even a breezy novella about a geriatric fisherman. We barely have the attention span for a minute-long YouTube clip of kitties playing with string.
Hemingway could tell us so much, if we only knew how to listen. Fifty years have passed since this giant walked the earth, but his wisdom is timeless and infinite. Therefore it is necessary to condense and streamline his judicious commandments, so we feeble infantilized eunuchs may realize our full potential — as drunken, unshaven, meat-devouring, wife-divorcing manimals — by reaching the zen-like nirvana of this Butch Buddha.
The Heming Way is a difficult path, brothers, and not for the weak. But it is the right path; it is the true path. And truth is manlier than fiction.
Death in the Afternoon ... Lunch Is Served
I do not believe the wizardry of the gypsies about the brotherhood with animals.
— For Whom the Bell Tolls
Wait till we eat them. ... You'll see why we hunt them.
— The Nick Adams Stories
A meal without meat is like sex without an orgasm. No wonder so many women are vegetarians!
But it's not just women. An increasing (and disturbing) number of men now sacrifice meat instead of sacrificing various creatures to get meat. Excess compassion overrides their logic centers and taste buds.
For example, acclaimed novelist Jonathan Safran Foer — a propagandist for the radical anti-protein agenda — wrote an insidious manifesto titled Eating Animals. The book, deceptively not a how-to manual, converted thousands of impressionable readers to his filthy vegan ideology.
Not so long ago, however, the most acclaimed novelist knew that animals "were made to shoot and some of us were made to shoot them," because a truly moveable feast is no longer moving.
Papa's Favorite Beasts To Vanquish
At age three Hemingway was a precocious killing machine. While his peers scribbled with crayons and drooled on themselves, he could load, cock, and shoot a musket. When the boy killed a porcupine, his father (who instructed that hunters must eat what they kill) actually forced him to devour the animal, which took hours to cook into a semiedible state.
Worse, young Ernest had to pay a hefty fine for blasting an endangered bird to bits. He learned an important lesson: you cannot take pleasure from hunting endangered species; the pleasure comes from MAKING them endangered.
The Morality of Meat
You might not like that your dinner used to trot and frolic, but you have no right to criticize hunters if you purchase meat from a supermarket. Papa scoffed at grocery stores; his grocery store was the great outdoors. He once killed four hundred rabbits in a single day, putting Elmer Fudd to shame.
"[E]veryone who has ever eaten meat must know that someone has killed it," Hemingway wrote. Those who shop to eat "should not condemn those who kill to eat."
The definition of hypocrisy is holding others to a higher standard than you hold yourself. Paying a butcher to do the unpleasant deed is like hiring a hitman. And the deed must be done.
A human cannot survive on tofu alone. In 2004 a Georgia couple inadvertently killed their baby after feeding it a diet of soy milk and apple juice. The vegan villains received a life sentence, but if Papa were the judge, they would have been executed like factory farm chickens.
Are you an ethical omnivore? No hormones or antibiotics to keep your family strong and healthy? Fair enough, hippies. What is more free range than the untamed jungle?
A believer in karma, Hemingway treated animals as he expected others to treat him: "I did nothing that had not been done to me. I had been shot. ..." Not eaten with lemon and capers, perhaps — or decapitated and nailed to a wall for interior design — but the Golden Rule is more of a Golden Suggestion.
The outdoorsman is not callous. He "loves the animals he hunts" far more than a vegetarian loves the animals (s)he doesn't hunt, because he must get inside their heads, literally and figuratively. Hemingway studied his prey's anatomy to minimize its suffering, and felt "ashamed" when he wounded instead of killed. His ability to calm gorillas and bears with his grunts and growls shocked professional animal handlers; he even hugged a bear once. No PETA member could possibly share such a tender cross-species bond, since Papa built this heartwarming rapport while also building his massive taxidermy collection.
Hemingway felt that animals had souls, and criticized the Vatican for denying it. (But he had better things to do than argue with priests: "Let's cut out the theological discussion. And get something to eat.")
No fan of religion? Science has proven what Hemingway always knew: hunting is the greatest expression of our collective spirit. In 2009 UCLA biologists discovered that our Homo sapien ancestors evolved from lower primates because they preferred meat to berries.
And it's treason to animals. The wilderness requires culling to keep its delicate balance in sync. As Honorary Game Warden of Kenya, Hemingway learned that "control of marauding animals, predators and vermin ... was necessary and someone must do it," or else creatures "increased until they became such a problem ... that they had to be slaughtered" in enormous numbers.
You kill some of them so you don't have to kill all of them. Much like Wall Street, the animal kingdom cannot regulate itself. (Your post-crash stock portfolio makes a case for regulating both in the same manner.)
The Basics of Bloodletting
We cannot experience "the elation, the best elation of all, of certain action to come" from Twitter, Yelp, Foursquare, or any other Web site. (Excluding PornoTube.) If you relish your place at the top of the food chain, learn how to stay there.
Find Your Gun
You don't bring a knife to a gunfight, and you don't bring a toy gun to a wildlife fight, because "to shoot at a grizzly with a .22 caliber pistol would simply be one way of committing suicide."
Hemingway trusted the outdoors supply company Abercrombie & Fitch, the only store where he felt comfortable shopping, to furnish and modify his shotguns. (Today the teenaged Aryan salesclerks will happily grant a similar request from you. As soon as they've called the police.)
Firepower is more important than appearance. You are buying a tool, not a showpiece. "A gun is to shoot," Hemingway wrote, "not to be preserved in a case. ..."
Find Your Hunting Ground
Civilization is just a place to buy more ammunition. "I like to shoot a rifle and I like to kill and Africa is where you do that," Papa said. "I do not give a shit for anything except to get out to Africa again."
If you lack the budget for exotic travel, your nearest petting zoo works in a pinch.
Cripple Your Emotions
As a toddler you cried when Bambi's mother got hers in Walt Disney's classic snuff flick, but now you're a man who understands: Bambi's mother was goddamn delicious. (Gamey, but moist.)
Your conscience must not ruin your concentration, even if "you can tell that the buck is thinking, 'What the hell did I do to deserve this?'" Answer: you were born, stupid buck. KABLAM! KABLAM!
Line Up Your Shot
Effort is futile without aptitude. Your mommy coddled you when you failed — you tried your best, honey, and that's what matters — but in the hinterland you're dead unless you know what you're doing. "If you wound the lion ... you will be mauled," Papa explained. "The only way the danger can be removed or mitigated is by your ability to shoot. ..."
Hunting is like sex: make sure you're aiming at the correct entry point, and resist the temptation to discharge prematurely. And then, to check whether your conquest is unconscious, "with extreme caution, tap him on the rump with the butt end of your spear." Yes, uh, just like sex.
For target practice, Hemingway shot cigarettes out of his friends' hands and mouths. He had excellent aim compared to novelist William S. Burroughs, who accidentally killed his wife attempting a similar trick. (A gentleman doesn't shoot his wife; he divorces her, and then another, and then another.)
Cook Your Snack
Hemingway loved his dinner bloody. He ate a lion raw, which disgusted the African natives in his hunting party — they were too civilized — and gave him dysentery for weeks. ("Eating's one thing," Papa mused between assplosions, "crapping's another.")
We could discuss cooking techniques all day — use fresh herbs instead of dried, baste frequently, blah blah blah — but the most crucial factor is simplicity: in his novels and in his kitchen, Hemingway ascribed to a less is more approach. His recipe for "filet of lion" simply instructs, "First obtain your lion." (Just add salt, pepper, fire, and magic!)
You don't want to overcomplicate a meal with fancy ingredients such as fruits and vegetables, which distract from the juicy carcass dissolving in your mouth.
Wait, you say. Aren't women supposed to cook for us?
Yes, of course. Nevertheless, you shouldn't go hunting with them. "[A]nyone can kill a lion," Papa wrote, but "the finest ... lion ever shot by a woman had maybe forty shots fired into him." If she won't deign to lower a toilet seat with her index finger, how can she accurately pull a trigger with it?
Members of the fairer sex possess many talents — such as washing our laundry, scratching our backs, and unhooking their bras after we've failed miserably — but they lack depth perception and emotional disengagement, prerequisites for eradicating woodland critters.
They pose more of a danger to you than the animals. In one of Papa's short stories, a domineering woman kills her husband — perhaps accidentally, perhaps intentionally, although the latter connotes ability to aim — which is exactly why "[w]omen are a nuisance on safari." As if they're not a nuisance everywhere else.
(You're hunting pigs; you might as well be one.)
Excerpted from "The Heming Way"
Copyright © 2012 Marty Beckerman.
Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
In His Time: The Importance of Being Ernest,
Death in the Afternoon ... Lunch Is Served,
Plundering the Big Two-Hearted River,
For Whom the Beer Flows,
The Short Happy Life of Frantic Male Soldiers,
My Olé Man,
Men Without Women (... But with Men?),
A Farewell to Smooth Arms, Backs, Taints, Etc.,
The Love of the Lost Buffoon,
The Old Man and the See You in Hell,
Conclusion: Masculinity ... To Have or Have Not?,
About the Author,