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Ask  Glassbrain  ±Good  Men  Project  Magazine,  July  6,  2010  ©  Perry  Glasser     Page  0  
Ask  Glassbrain  -­  July  6,  2010  

What  are  the  best  lies  to  get  laid?  
Five  senior  students  and  I  schmooze  at  a  metal  mesh  table  behind  a  black  wrought-­‐iron  
fence   on   a   sidewalk   restaurant   patio.   /ƚ͛Ɛ ĂďŽƵƚĨŽƵƌ Ž͛ĐůŽĐŬ͕ ƚŚĞ ƐƵŶ ŝƐ ƐŚŝŶŝŶŐ͕ our   last   class  
ended   hours   ago,   ĂŶĚ ǁĞ͛ǀĞ ƌĞƚŝƌĞĚ ƚŽ ƚŚŝƐ ůŽĐĂů ǁĂƚĞƌŝŶŐ ŚŽůĞ ĨŽƌ ƉůĞĂƐĂŶƚ company,   not   to  
mention   the   product   from   this   microbrewery.   They   are   filled   with   chatter,   a   mix   of  
bewilderment  and  anticipation.  tŚĂƚ͛ƐŶĞdžƚ͍    
Graduation  looms.  
Jobs  are  scarce.  Their  plans  are  vague.  They  ask  about  graduate  school.  They  ask  about  
resumes.  These  are  bright  20-­‐somethings,  the  products  of  a  state  
college  where  mostly  working  class  kids  have  studied  to  purchase  
a   punched   ticket   to   board   the   Middle   Class   ExpressͶtheir  
diploma.   No   one   plans   a   future   at   the   family   firm.   They   have   no  
connections  to  Wall  Street.  TheLJ͛ǀĞĂůƌĞĂĚLJďŽƌƌŽǁĞĚƚŽƚŚĞŵĂdž͕
the  difference  between  a  job  and  a  career͘/ƚ͛ƐǁŚĂƚ/ĚŽ.    
Cilla,  the  only  woman  with  us  on  the  patio,  worked  her  way  
through  school  in  a  mere  five  years  by   serving  pizza.  If  there  had  
been   Ă ŵĂũŽƌ ŝŶ ĞdžŽƚŝĐ ƚŽƉƉŝŶŐƐ͕ ƐŚĞ͛Ě ŚĂǀĞ ďĞĞŶ magna   cum  
laude.  Post-­‐graduation,  she  has  landed  a  summer  food  service  gig  
at   a   nearby   yacht   club.   EŽ ŽŶĞ ƐĂLJƐ ͞ǁĂŝƚƌĞƐƐ͟ ĂŶLJ ŵŽƌĞͶtoo  
sexist.  No  one  says  sexist,  either.  Say:  too  gender-­‐specific.  Are  you  
with  me?  Try  to  keep  up.  
Cilla  figures  her  upscale  customers  will  be  generous  tippers.  She  knows  her  good  figure,  
broad   smile,   and   blonde   hair   that   cascades   past   her   shoulders   will   pry   open   wallets.   Twenty-­‐
two,   an   accomplished   actress,   varsity   volleyball   player,   and   a   realist,   when   I   ask   she   projects  
that   she   will   earn   a   few   thousand   dollars   by   Labor   Day.   If   nothing   more   ĚĞǀĞůŽƉƐ͕ ƐŚĞ͛ůů
abandon  Martinis  to  return  to  pepperoni  while  plotting  her  next  move.  
The  guys  at  the  table  are  smitten,  of  courseͶwho  would  not  be?Ͷand  that  applies  to  
the  professor  nearly  triple  her  age.  My  affection  is  less  about  lust  than  admiration,  ďƵƚƚŚĂƚ͛Ɛ
not  likely  the  condition  of  the  younger  men.  These  are  nice,  good,  respectful,  guys;  they  have  
known   each   other   and   Cilla   for   months   at   least,   years   more   likely͘ dŚĞLJ͛ǀĞ ŶĂǀŝŐĂƚĞĚ college  
together;  the  finish  line  is  in  sight.    

Ask  Glassbrain  ±Good  Men  Project  Magazine,  July  6,  2010  ©  Perry  Glasser     Page  1  
Ask  Glassbrain  -­  July  6,  2010  

Cilla   lives   nearby,   so   when   she   needs   to   walk   her   dog,   she   adjusts   her   big   amber  
sunglasses,  finishes  her  one  beer,  thanks  me  for  a  nice  semester,  and  leaves  us.  Few  students  
live  on  campus.  Local  landlords  make  out  like  bandits  by  renting  units  for  three  times  what  they  
are  worth  to  kids  who  divide  the  rent  in  ratio  to  useable  floor  space.  Cilla͛Ɛroommate  is  male,  
but  these  days  that  is  not  enough  to  presume  romance,  though  it  seems  to  be  the  case.  
Once  Cilla  is  gone,  I  feel  like  an  anthropologist  who  has  parachuted  into  a  remote  places  
where  the  tribe  squats  in  mud-­‐huts.  Stir  the  fire  pit.  /ƚ͛ƐƚŝŵĞƚŽƚĂůŬ͘The  prof  will  become  the  
student.  My  lesson  in  guy-­‐speak  starts.    
We   seek   your   wisdom,   Glassbrain,   one   of   the   guys   begins.   They   lean   in,   smiling.   The  
nickname  is  one  I  hear  all  the  tiŵĞ͖ŝƚ͛ƐŚŽǁ/ƐŝŐŶŵLJĞŵĂŝůƐ͘  tŚĂƚ͛ƐĂŐŽŽĚƉŝĐŬ-­‐up  line?  
͞Say  your  name  and  ask  ĨŽƌŚĞƌƐ͕͟/ƐĂLJ͘  
They  laugh,  knowing  I  must  have  deliberately  misunderstood.  But  the  semester  is  over.  
They  are  not  allowing  me  to  get  away  this  easily.   To  get  her  to  go  home  with  you,  I  mean,  he  
says.  The  others  nod.  There  are  smiles  all  around.  One  of  the  guys  gestures  for  a  second  round.  
͞Just  be  yourself͕͟/ƐĂLJ͘  
They  hoot  derision.  This,  they  see,  is  hopeless.  The  semester  may  be  over,  but  I  insist  on  
spouting  the  party  line.  I  am  Mr.  Rogers  at  the  entrance  to  the  Roman  orgy.  These  guys  have  
been  students  for  a  looooong  time.  They  are  done  with  that  stuff.  /ƚ͛ƐƚŝŵĞĨŽƌƚŚĞƌĞĂůĚĞĂů͘  
 /ĚŽŶ͛ƚǁĂŶƚƚŽget  married;  I  want  to  get  laid!  Laughter  is  general.  
͞Oh,  you  want  to  know  what  lies  to  tell!͟  
They  nod.  Glassbrain  is  finally  on  the  correct  page.  They  lean  closer,  and  looking  at  their  
beer-­‐brightened  eyes  I  wonder  just  when  and  how  their  education  went  sour.    
Nearly  two  generations  after  technology  separated  sex  and  pregnancy,  not  to  mention  a  
social  movement  that  elevated  gender  equality  to  a  matter  of  law,  after  the  marches,  Supreme  
Court  Justices,  national  female  political  candidates  from  the  left  and  right,  my  guysͶthe  pride  
of   the   college   who   will   be   laden   with   academic   bling   when   they   walk   across   the   platform   to  
accept   their   diplomasͶ   ask   me   for   the   mysteries   known   to   Frank   Sinatra   and   the   Rat   Pack.  
WeƌĞŶ͛ƚǁĞsupposed  to  be  past  that?  But  here  we  are  again;  good  Cilla  has  left  us,  and  
my  guys  transform  ŝŶƚŽƚƌŽŐůŽĚLJƚĞƐ͘'ŝǀĞ͚ĞŵĂĐůƵďĂŶĚĂĐĂǀĞ͕ƚŚĞLJďĞĚƌĂŐŐŝŶŐǁŽŵĞŶŽĨĨďLJ
the  hair.  
What  the  hell  is  going  on  here?    

Ask  Glassbrain  ±Good  Men  Project  Magazine,  July  6,  2010  ©  Perry  Glasser     Page  2  
Ask  Glassbrain  -­  July  6,  2010  

I  sip  my  drink  and  think  how  The  Campus  (a  universal  place  with  indefinite  geography)  is  
arrogant  about  being  the  center  of  thought  leadership.  When  it  comes  to  gender  relationships,  
The  Campus  is  the  bleeding  edge.  Usually  the  issues  only  make  headlines  on  a  slow  news  day  in  
Silly   Season,   but,   yes,   Millicent,   at   one   time   you   really   could   enroll   in   Madonna   Studies   at  
Harvard   and   write   your   term   paper   on   the   Material   Girl.   More   importantly,   dorms   at   most  
schools  long  ago  went  coed  in  some  way  or  other.  There  are  departments  of  Women  Studies  
and   departments   of   Gender   Studies   everywhere,   high   schools   offer   Herstory,   and   in   the   past  
few  decades,  even  in  traditional  arenas  such  as  English,  the  curriculum  has  been  altered  to  de-­‐
emphasize   DEWMs   (Dead   European   White   Males)   while   elevating   all   sorts   of   other  
perspectives,  such  as   Queer  Theory.  Silly  or  not,  some  progressive  schools  still  try  to  legislate  
raging   hormones,   down   to   and   including   scripting   permissible   conversation   or   outlawing  
͞ogling,͟  and  more  than  a  few  scholars  have  railed  indignantly  at  lookism,  the  idea  that  people  
who  enjoy  beauty  are  engaged  in  some  sort  of  discrimination.  If  that  attitude  catches  on,  not  
only  will  it  ĐƵƚŝŶƚŽŝůůĂ͛Ɛincome,  but  it  will  make  Michelangelo,  Leonardo  da  Vinci,  and  every  
ancient   Greek   sculptor   a   drooling   bunch  of   male   Chauvinist   dipstick   porkers.   tĞ͛ůů ĞŵƉƚLJ ƚŚĞ
museums  and  burn  that  shit.  
So  I  have  to  wonder:  Have  my  guys  been  indoctrinated  or  educated?  Are  they  victims  or  
If   they   were   educated,   we   would   not   be   having   this  
conversation,   so   they   must   be   indoctrinated.   Indoctrinated,  
they   parrot   the   positions   their   teachers   demandͶthey   just  
have   never   had   to   believe   them.   Give   lip   service   to   an   idea  
and   garner   an   A,   but   they   never   really   want   or   need   to  
believe   a   damn   thing.   On   Campus,   the   idea   is   the   diploma,  
not  the  idea.  You  say  what  you  gotta  say,  do  what  you  gotta  
do,  play  the  game  and  move  on.  
Who   can   blame   them?   Instead   of   teaching   students,  
their  professors  teach  a  subject.  You  can  lecture  to  an  empty  
room,   right?   The   profs   with   a   late-­‐blooming   post   Baby  
Boomer  social  conscience  who  in  their  youth  hid  in  the  library  
until   the   protest   subsided   delude   themselves   into   thinking  
they   are   now   forging   social   change,   conducting   a   risk-­‐free  
revolution  with  chalk  and  whiteboards.  They  conduct  the  vicious  academic  infighting  that  yields  
up   jobs,   tenure,   enhanced   reputations,   and   The   Holy   Grail   of   Academe,   a   lucrative   endowed  
chair,   meaning   a   position   that   pays   a   large   salary   for   who   you   are,   rather   than   what   you   do.  
Teaching  is  for  peons;  thinking  Big  Thoughts  is  where  the  real  money  is.    
But   they   leave   my   guys   at   risk.   My   young   men   are   collateral   damage,   the   victims   of  

Ask  Glassbrain  ±Good  Men  Project  Magazine,  July  6,  2010  ©  Perry  Glasser     Page  3  
Ask  Glassbrain  -­  July  6,  2010  

friendly  fire  in  the  identity  wars.  

My  guys  may  never  learn  how  to  make  the  leap  from  being  boys  to  being  men.  Where  
are  the  programs  that  will  create  decent  male  adults?  tĞ͛ǀĞŐŽƚĐŽŶƐĐŝŽƵƐŶĞƐƐƌĂŝƐŝŶŐŐƌŽƵƉƐ
for   women,   assertiveness   training,   and   support   groups   galore:   but   we   are   failing   guys.   These  
five  are  not  fifteen-­‐year-­‐olds;  they  just  sound  like  they  are,  and  I  fear  they  will  sound  like  this  
until   they   are   35,   and   even   then   may   be   peering   into   a   mirror   and   wondering   why   at   their  
innermost  core  they  feel  isolated,  inarticulate,  unfulfilled,  and  inadequate.  They  are  at  risk  for  
becoming  lousy  fathers  who  raise  brutish  sons,  daughters  starved  for  affection,  and   the  lousy  
husbands   to   wives   who   hunger   for   intimacy.   They   risk   becoming   the   guys   who   remove   a  
wedding  ring  when  on  a  business  trip,  they  guys  who  desert  their  kids,  the  guys  who  sink  into  
ever  more  sullen  silence.  
So   I   tell   my   guys   ǁŚĂƚ ƚŚĞLJ ůĞĂƐƚ ǁĂŶƚ ƚŽ ŚĞĂƌ͘ ͞dŚĞƌĞ͛Ɛ ŶŽ ĂƉŚƌŽĚŝƐŝĂĐ ďĞƚƚĞƌ ƚŚĂŶ
They  laugh  again.  That  Glassbrain,  always  with  the  jokes.  

Ask  Glassbrain  ±Good  Men  Project  Magazine,  July  6,  2010  ©  Perry  Glasser     Page  4