Across cultures and across time, men have had the need to prove their manhood. The most powerful of rituals have traditionally been kept for boys crossing this threshold and finally leaving their childhood behind. However, even grown men will need to periodically show that they still have what it takes to be considered a virile member of the tribe. A middle-aged man in the midst of a midlife crisis, for example, will probably feel this primal urge stronger than most.
In times past, the single-handed slaying of a lion, or even a wild boar, might have exhibited this. Perhaps the butchering of an enemy from a neighbouring clan would also have displayed the requisite potency.
These days however, contemporary Western culture doesn’t allow for the brutal killing of wild animals or neighbours in an everyday environment; and there are few modern equivalents. So I couldn’t help but feel a primal surge of triumph when I successfully managed to rig up the DVD Recorder I bought earlier today, so that it interacts perfectly with both the television and the VCR.
And the speed with which my 10-year-old son was able to conquer the timer function shows that his journey to manhood is progressing well.