48 Boys Toys: On Warhorses

Montaigne’s long discussion of warhorses in this essay bores me to tears. Perhaps if I cared about horses in general, I could deal with the subject properly, but I do not. Another possibility would be to discuss cars, the modern equivalent. Alas, I’d need to outsource this essay to my three year old son Finn to cover that subject adequately; Finn knows the difference between a Camry LE and Camry XLE. I do not and neither do I care.

I’m somewhat immune to the typical male attraction to tools and toys. I don’t own a set of golf clubs or power tools … or any tools for that matter. I buy Apple computers so that I don’t have to peak under the hood and hold endless discussions about which processor and graphics card I have and how much RAM is in my system.

I don’t own a riding mower or power boat. An afternoon on a boat in a lake is the closest definition to hell that I can imagine. Neither do I have snobby, effete male collection urges — such as a wine collection, an expensive espresso machine or a closet full of Italian shoes. I don’t even have some kind of huge TV centered, surround sound augmented man cave.

As mentioned in a previous essay, the lack of these traits hardly makes me anti-consumer or a wise saver, I have my own spending weaknesses, like most Americans. But most of my interests don’t create the kind of automatic male bonding associated with things like, well, warhorses in Montaigne’s day.

The closest thing I have to a communal hobby is membership in an online simulation baseball league, but even its appeal has begun to wane for me. Instead, I’m left here tapping out essays over my lunch breaks inspired by a 16th century Frenchman who, by my last Google Analytics count, are read by about 30 people a day.

For whatever reason, in defiance of all stereotypes and perhaps most psychological definitions of normal functioning, this is what I want to do. I cannot explain what causal chain of events created a 45 year old speechwriter with a BA in journalism who prefers to spend his spare moments thinking and writing about philosophy and bygone culture.

So, my apologies for not having anything interesting to write about warhorses. I’ll try to do better tomorrow.

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