08 March, 2011

tears of a clown

last night i watched a fantasic movie about bill withers, "still bill". besides his music being deep as all get out and more than standing the test of time, it was amazing to watch a man who is truly in touch with the humanity around him and his own feelings. and he is totally able to show it. or, really, he is unable to hide it, stuff it, or mask it like so much of "masculinity" demands.

the movie reminded me too of one of my favorite sports clips where then USC head-coach pete carroll (who got out before the shit hit the fan) brings in bill to speak to his team about the power of asking for help. i've probably seen the clip 10 times, and i cry every time.

on sunday miami heat coach erik spoelstra tweeted that some of his players were "crying in the locker room" after a season-series sweep of losses at the hands of the chicago bulls. it launched a monday morning debate about weakness, leadership, privacy in the locker room, and a coach's responsibility to protect his players.

so what if a basketball player was expressing himself after a loss, one that obviously mattered to him? why should emotional displays be limited to women? tears come from frustration, exhaustion, grief, anger, or joy. or any combination. or sometimes we dont even know why we're crying. those are my favorite tears.

when kevin garnett pounds his chest, screams to high heaven, then proceeds to dismantle his opponent, his intensity and display are lionized. tears are of the same coin, and whether it's bill withers or the miami heat, they show a whole, human man moving through the world. how exhausting must it be to maintain a masculine front, with so much going on inside?

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