Friday, April 17, 2015

Want to know why men fight—and why we like to watch?

Jon Gottschall is a man you want at every academic dinner party. He seems to have read everything, takes interest in the work of others, and can converse for hours about anything. In another world, he might have been a great professor. Instead, he was given God’s work: helping freshmen improve their written compositions.

image001 He does all the right things to rise above this. He publishes, presents at conferences, networks, and even makes friends with Deans. In fact, his last book went beyond the expectations set for academics: it sold well.

This left him looking in the mirror, daily, at a failed professor. He hadn’t yet earned the academy’s golden ticket: a tenure-track job.

Therefore, Jon decided to become an MMA fighter.

A black eye and swollen lip would surely get him noticed at the monthly faculty meeting! His attempt at becoming a fighter was thwarted, first by films like Here Comes the Boom , which seemed to usurp his idea of the teacher turned brawler, and second by his innate drive towards scientific analysis.

Thus was born his newest book, The Professor in the Cage. It starts off as a memoir of another “failed” professor in American higher education, and ends up an insightful look into humanity’s long term fascination with watching two men beat the snot out of each other.

It is less a story about war, bullying, and duels, and more a story about what is innate in the male version of our species, from an evolutionary perspective. Some have already said that it can be seen as a “guide to men.”

Men—intellectual men—who read this can nod along with the pages in subconscious agreement. They may try to explain “smear the queer” to their equally intellectual wife, and to themselves, while gaining a disdainful glance. Read the rest

An interesting read via Boing Boing

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