Ask Dick: How Many Roads Must a Man Walk Down?

I am asked the following question a lot, so I might as well answer it once and for all. This version comes to me from Justin.


Try as I may, I cannot filter through bullshit to figure out what it means to be a man. As a young scholar with an addictive personality, I humbly seek your guidance in my quest for mandom. Can you give me an outline of what a man is and what his responsibilities to the world are?

Good question, Justin. Firstly, you have to figure out what it really is that you’re looking for. You’re not looking for an outline of mandom. You’re looking for a road map to manhood. That’s much manlier.

The Road Map to Manhood

There’s as much bullshit out there about what it is to be a man as there is bullshit out there about what it is to be smart. Are you book smart or are you street smart? If you have to ask, you’re neither, so shut the fuck up.

Being a man is doing the right thing no matter what the cost.


If there’s one thing I know about history, it’s that it should be called penistory because of the overwhelming influence men have had over women in shaping it. If I know two things, it’s that what’s right today could be wrong tomorrow. There is no “right thing”. Someone is always going to get shit on, and if you’re realizing that, that someone will probably be you.

Smoking was once an infusion of class and wealth. But today, smoking will get you thrown up on in some parts of California — even though it’s still a huge sign of class and coolness. Smacking women for their non-stop fuckups also used to be standard fare. Now, however, it is frowned upon.

Being a man is fighting for what you believe in.

I don’t think I could invent a concept more womanly than that. Fighting for what she “believes” is how women start 100% of domestic abuse.

Belief is a silly thing for school children and drunks. Men have powers of self-determination that women can’t even comprehend. Men are actually so powerful, that a man believing in something makes it true. If you fight for that, you’re not fighting for what you believe in, you’re fighting for the truth.

That might make you a third Superman, but it doesn’t make you a man.

Being a man means accepting responsibility.

“Accepting” responsibility is like “admitting” you’re a drunk. You were always a fucking drunk. Admitting it or not is irrelevant.

Responsibility is owing your bookie fifty grand that you don’t have. It’s something you can’t avoid. If you don’t want to “accept” that, then you’re going to have to “accept” that your legs will be run over by a 1988 white Cadillac Brahm with rouge trim.

Some bookies also drive cars that pimps would drive. Not all of them, but some do.

Being a man

Being a means one simple thing: thinking in reality.

Women think purely in terms of fantasy. No matter how cut and dry and fucking obvious something is, women will sit and think their pretty little heads off until nothing makes sense anymore, and the only available option is to let life wash over them like a tidal wave of fuckups.

Women are magicians of Wrong. No matter how clearly you lay the path for them, they will pull a disaster rabbit out of their hat faster than you an say “Abragofuckyourself”.

The real answer to your question, Justin, is: who the fuck cares what it means to be a man. You are one. Roll your sleeves up and get to work.

That’s Man Zen.