Secret Stash #11
June 17, 2019 | Las Vegas, Nevada
originally distributed by email – adapted for this web page
Secret Stash Feature for June 2019
Nothing but the Dead and Dying: Male Death Fetishization
Over on the storytelling page at my main website, US MACHO ZONE, there’s a new category added this month. Author 8hangman5 suggested the new storytelling theme and provided the first story. I hope you will check it out:
However, I by this point in time I had not yet built an entire story upon this theme as did 8hangman5. I invite all of you to send me original short stories using this or any of the other themes for posting on my website.
Over the past 12 years I’ve been writing stories and creating images about masculine men in the final moments before, during, or after death. The term for this is male death fetishization, defined as excessive or irrational commitment to thinking about the deaths of men. Not to be confused with necrophilia—sexual attraction to corpses.
My curiosity about men’s deaths dates back to my childhood. I was not yet 10 when I first saw the 1955 movie Oklahoma, based on the Rodgers and Hammerstein Broadway musical. What I remember to this day (other than the unforgettable sexiness of men dancing in cowboy costumes) was learning about the concept of death from the song “Poor Jud is Dead.”
I was taught in Roman Catholic elementary school about centuries-old religious dogmas concerning death and the afterlife. This is typical of organized religion and it serves to frighten children. I found those teachings to be academic rather than personally relevant to me and to my life. Once I reached adulthood, I abandoned a child’s way of thinking and stopped believing in God or Heaven or Hell. The experience of watching a song about death performed on the big screen in full color by masculine-looking cowboys—. Well, I learned more about death from a movie musical compared to almost everything else on the subject I learned from prune-faced nuns dressed in severe black-and-white.
At the age of 19 I got personally connected to death when I unvieled a shocking family secret. Since my childhood I had been repeatedly deceived by my parents who told me my grandparents died in a car-over-a-cliff auto accident. A visit I made to old newspaper archives revealed the awful truth how my grandfather blasted my grandmother to death with a shotgun before turning the weapon on himself. That sudden murder/suicide of a young (under age 40) couple in my tiny home town had a powerful ripple effect down the generations in my family.
At first I grew worried that my DNA contained my grandfather’s propensity towards aggression and homicide. But we are more than merely the product of our genes. In my case, I grew up to be a storyteller and artist who depicts the deaths of men directly and bluntly. I suppose this was inspired by my grandfather’s behaviors. Yet I believe outcomes are far more important than origins, so I offer you this month’s Secret Stash Email feature to take a closer look.
Recently, in my novel Baja Clavius: Moon Men Deep Inside I created a universe in which time travel brings about a literal resurrection of men from the dead. Imagine what deep psychological damage a man might suffer if he routinely is brought back to life and can remember all his deaths. Would experiencing resurrections motivate men to form a new religion? Baja Clavius: Moon Men Deep Inside examines these subjects unflinchingly and vividly unmasks the men who live forever young. I show you how they live, how they die, and what happens when they’re repeatedly resurrected.
A Reality Television Show Called The Death Game
The Death Game: Alaska versus Hawaii (2018) presents a fictitious reality television show I created. In the near future there’s a wildly popular game show on international television in which a contestant wins by killing his opponent. This is part of my ongoing series of illustrated short stories available exclusively on Gumroad: https://gumroad.com/machodesouza.
Curiosity about men’s deaths when I was young propelled me in adulthood to an artistic outlet to express myself through storytelling and creating digital images.
The men who like my stories and my digital art tell me what I produce is unlike anything else they’ve experienced elsewhere. They keep coming back for more.
So I continue to depict men in peril. Doing so pushes buttons and boundaries for many who follow me. My characters find themselves in situations where there’s an imbalance or disharmony, often in the extreme.
I discover compelling stories when I look at the tension between self-preservation and civility. My characters endure humiliating defeat, loss of freedom, loss of dignity, loss of manhood, or loss of life. Nothing lasts indefinitely and I show how their struggle in search of escape from mortal danger offers an appealing restoration of balance and harmony no matter the cost.
“Nothing but the dead and dying” from My Little Town written by Paul Simon. Lyrics © 1975 Universal Music Publishing Group.
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