I thought carefully about this blog's by-line -- Pulp as a Way of Life -- because I wanted it to encompass the broad impact our obsessions have on our chosen lifestyle. In the last six months, I have encountered several young men who appear to be floundering in their lives. I decided that these fellows were in need of a more experienced person's perspective -- and perhaps a little bitter medicine. The following, which some may label "dubious advice", was inspired by the greatest living pulp horror writer, a man who has fathered many with priceless volumes of twenty-six shrewdly arranged letters of the English alphabet.
There are very few honest men left. I mean truly honest men. Guys who tell it like it is, not how it's meant to be. Guys who've survived the torrent of shit life can pour on us and lived to tell about it...sans the spin.
Unfortunately, a lot of wisdom is withheld because it's considered unpopular. It doesn't gel with the prevailing zeitgeist. It offends large groups of weaklings whose beliefs can be toppled by the wind of a stray fart. It insults somebody's religion or the crooked tenants of their dysfunctional upbringing. Maybe it flies in the face of what their Dear Old Dad told them.
And there's the rub. Perhaps some kind soul, an honest man, should have shared a fact or two with Dear Old Dad before he surrendered the one life he had in trade for a prize that rhymes with wussy.
And we all know what that is.
Guy N. Smith is one of the few honest public men still traipsing the literary waters of our toxic terran terrain. He writes fiction, but his fiction, like all good fiction, is a frame of his own choosing for the facts. Look inside the frame and you'll find yourself gaping at an honest man's take on the big, bad, glorious world, a take you'd do well to heed. Unless it's too late for you, of course.
Ghostwriter Publications is going full bore with the bloke who is definitely my kind of Guy. They're unleashing an orgy of new, old, and tales twice told by Shropshire's finest poet of pulp in the form of chapbooks, CD-ROMS, downloadable content, and illustrated hardcovers of the author's most revered and rarest works.
Which brings me to The Doll, a 25-page chapbook that should be placed in every ten year old boy's lunchbox. It just might save his life.
I was not even ten when I first experienced a Punch and Judy puppet show. Its brutality fascinated and terrified me. It was unlike other creative works aimed at children of my era. And it was live! Aside from a performance of Swan Lake that we'd been dragged to by the school, Punch and Judy was my introduction to heightened reality, live brutality, a protesting wife, a crying infant, and a large club for pummeling heads.
In Mr. Smith's take on the legendary tale, the puppets are made of flesh and blood. They bleed. All over the place they bleed. It's classic Smith horror, but like all Smith horror, there's something else going on underneath. Between the toes.
What Smith attacks in The Doll is women who trap men with pregnancy. You know the kind I'm talking about. They're everywhere. They're a plague, in fact, and they're infesting every corner of the globe.
After the chapbook's "hero" does a bloody, Punch-like number on his own infant, and becomes a grotesque doppelganger of the doll, he rails to his wife about the disgusting act of fraud she has perpetrated on him. A fraud that is being visited on young men throughout the world.
I see this vile act happening all around me. Once freedom-loving men are being tricked into fatherhood, tricked into making a woman's dream come true. Fuck your dreams, pal, they don't matter. Now that you're a daddy-to-be, a reluctant one at that, I've got you just where I want you.
I'll pause here to add some balance. Smith doesn't add balance, and that's his right (it's a story, anyway, not a sermon), but I'm going to balance this rant with the sad truth.
The most important, serious thing you will ever do is raise a child. It's easy to fuck, we all know that, but it is just as easy to fuck up the consequence of your fucking. Your child depends on you. Your child needs you. Your child will mimic you. Your child will accept your love. Your child will listen to every word of praise, abuse, and enlightenment you utter.
The flip side of a child's devotion and trust is your devotion to it. Your must give that child 100%. If you give less, the child will know it, and that knowledge will begin to fuck with that child's head. Before you know it, you will have a screwed-up human in your midst, and that screwed-up human will be your fault.
The world is filled with screwed-up humans whose parents (one or both) failed them. Most murderers, rapists, and violent criminals are the spawns of people who fucked (oh, yeah!), but didn't give a fuck about the result of their fucking. They fucked with adult genitals, but they thought with the brains of infants. You could say that they were infants spawning more infants. No wonder things didn't work out.
The opposite of these infant-minded adults are adults who think before they fuck. These people deserve a medal. They comprehend the incredible responsibility a child represents and they behave accordingly. They plan their lives in anticipation of the moment of conception, and they carry the burden of upbringing on shoulders primed for the weight of parenthood.
What I am about to write is not aimed at these people. These people will not be offended by what I'm about to say because they are not to blame for the flood of human tragedy that strangles our society. These people got together and decided they wanted children. It was a joint decision. A joint decision made in advance of a joint responsibility.
Guy N. Smith is hard on the woman who tricks the man into having a baby (and rightly so!), but he's not hard enough on the man. No, he doesn't factor in the reality that it takes two, but it only takes one man to prevent one of the greatest frauds (God excepted!) ever foisted on MANkind from happening over and over again.
I see men who trade their future for regular pussy. Which they don't end up getting regularly, anyway, but that's one of the many ironies of life, is it not? When I say they "trade" their future, I'm talking about the guy who has opted not to have a baby with his gal, but he hasn't broken the news to her; he's too weak, too lazy, too pathetic, and too self-centered to express his viewpoint. He avoids the issue before he gets hitched, or he lies about it when questioned after he's staggered down the aisle. He dreads the day when children will become a pressing issue and he sinks into a warm, domestic sludge that he hopes to drown in before his card is revealed.
Most women want babies. No matter what they say in their 20's, they will want babies eventually. I say "most" because there are rare exceptions. For women, it's biology. When the clock starts ticking, and the eggs start running low, the female brain phones the body and plans are made to bring about a pregnancy. This desire is not rational. This desire is not realistic or pragmatic. It has the power of addiction and the strength of an Olympic weight lifter. There is no stopping it. There is no reasoning with it. It is a savage, incredible force of nature. It is not wrong. It is not evil. It simply is what it is. When the desire to procreate comes calling, you'd better be prepared to deal with it, buddy.
As outlined earlier, I'm not addressing couples with a mutual, loving interest in raising children. I'm addressing the man who isn't interested. There are a lot of men like that. There are a lot of men who'd rather take a pass on this particular life-changing event. They're not wrong to feel that way. It's just the way they are. Deal with it, ladies.
Unfortunately, a lot of guys live in webs of lies. They're too weak to tell their girlfriends or fiances that they don't want kids. They fear their position will end the relationship and cut off the vagina supply. They lack the social skills to find another vagina. They prefer the one they've got because it requires less effort than romancing a new one. In a real sense, they're trading their dreams for the dreams of another, and they're deceiving someone they really don't love. If they loved her, deception wouldn't come so readily.
The dream of most childless women is to have a child and raise that child. The dreams of men are diverse. Most men do not lie awake at night with tears in their eyes dreaming of HAVING BABIES. Their brains are not wired like that.
It's not a smart man who finds himself "trapped" by a woman. It is an indifferent man. It is a man who lacks proactive skills. It is a man who turns sideways when individual responsibility becomes necessary. It is a man in the process of raising the lily white flag of surrender.
The simple condom can save your life. It is called Birth Control because it gives you control over birth. If you don't want children, no matter what your age, you should wear one of these future-savers. They're cheap. They're lubed. And they could save you from a life you never wanted in the first space. Not to mention 932 child support payments.
No matter what anybody tells you, it is the woman who decides if she's going to keep "your baby". Technically, you get no say. The baby is growing in her body, not yours. It may be the result of your seed shaking hands with her egg, but she's the final arbiter of its conception and growth inside her. A sensible man, knowing that he has no power after conception, will exercise power before conception. A stupid man will fuck, spurt, roll over, and pray.
Take yourself out of the equation, and do your unborn child a favor. If you meet a girl who makes it clear that she wants children, and you don't, you owe it to her and your unborn child to be honest about your intentions. If you're not honest, and you have a baby just because you feared that your vagina supply would be cut off, you are screwing up her life -- most importantly, you are screwing up the life of a child.
You will be contributing to the mass of screwed-up humans who are currently filling prisons, detention centers, government hand-out offices, psychiatric institutions, and cemeteries.
You may also find yourself staring down the barrel of a gun one day, a barrel held by one of the screwed-up humans someone like you has created.
A woman who knows that her man does not want children, but forges ahead, anyway, is equally culpable for this genetic collateral damage.
Guys, you have your lives ahead of you. You have an infinite number of options. You have an infinite number of destinations you can point your nose towards. There is no one way to live your life. You must find what works for you. Life is precious. Don't flush its amazing resources down the crapper.
If you are with a woman who gives you the baby ultimatum, and you don't want one, get the fuck out of her sight.
If you do want one, embrace the responsibility and enjoy fatherhood. Contribute to a life that has been placed in your hands. Shape a beautiful human and let them know they're loved. Then remind them of their choices.
I felt compelled to write this rave after reading The Doll because I see -- all around me -- young guys jettisoning their future in order to make some manipulative woman happy. Perhaps these fellas had weak fathers. Or perhaps they had no father figure at all. How else can you explain their pathetic surrender to a life they never wanted, a life of pretense, a life of denial?
Young or old, give 100% effort to your decisions, and don't be afraid to make decisions that won't please others. Brutal truth is like a punch to the face. It smarts for a while, but you get over it. It even gets respect.
A creeping life of lies, denial, and efforts to please others is a life sentence in hell for you and everybody you're trying to fool.
You won't fool yourself, though. You'll just sink into the sludge of your wretched misery, and you'll call it "home".