postheadericon KUIRE KO KURA: Man Cave 2011

Man caves are increasingly common these days, indicating how far we have progressed from the Neolithic era, yes? But I have a different take on the 2011 man cave for the men in Nepal. Take for example my own man cave located in scenic Dhobighat...

Here you won’t find a 100” LG LCD nor a full-quad foosball table or the world’s most powerful subwoofer. There is no display of trophies or animal heads hanging on the walls. There are not even other men in the cave... no, my man cave is more like the one once inhabited by Padmasambhava... but with an iMac.

Cave dwellers know that looking to the light is what you do, and cave life was arranged so there was always a sentry facing out. However, in today’s modern man cave, we face in. We cavemen do face the light; only that light is shining inward from the back. In my case, the lights on the router is the only light I care about, as this box beams in everything the modern caveman needs to live, sans food and water.

Movies, games, music and all forms of entertainment are fed from the cloud, only this cloud is inside the cave and not outside floating in the skies; what we have today is a digital stratosphere that drops down all the caveman’s needs with just a few clicks on the cave keyboard or cave tablet.

The modern cave man needs not to venture out of the cave at all, and in many parts of the world, this is increasingly the case. The hunting gathering club-stomping and animal killing man of the past has been replaced by a much more timid kind of fellow, who provides for family from his PayPal account and by shopping ON Amazon, not IN the Amazon.

But being a caveman in Nepal, my own man cave is small and energy efficient (meaning enery-less). I am frugally utilitarian in my modernity – out of shear necessity! Wikipedia describes a man cave as a “sanctuary” or “man space,” usually constructed in a basement or garageand where guys can “do what they please.” Well, my man cave is nothing like that. It’s just a room where I work, and does not exclude anyone by gender; in fact, my wife decorated my cave from the local furniture shops down on Kumaripati.

So my man cave looks nothing like the grandfather of the modern man cave - Jerry Seinfeld’s apartment – and everything here is rated “G”, unlike one of my favorite TV depictions of the modern man cave: the “Sopranos” Bada Bing Room, where those TV elders gathered in nefarious manliness. Like I said, there are NO other men in my cave, unless you count my male dog...whose species have served the cave since man really began.

Basically I have an office man cave: with couch, TV, various gadgets, etc. but mostly centered around products built by the quintessential cavemen of our times: Steve Jobs. Well, actually Wozniak is the real cave man, and it was he who started the whole resurgence in man caves in the first place. He also looks more the part...

Since the days of Woz, programmers have long been known for their Neanderthal lithic accommodations at home. Places where one can spend 23 hours straight working out an algorithm or designing a database. But our stones and bones of the modern age are OSX desktops and LINUX servers with ever glowing screens and SSH in a terminal window. We bash –i commands instead of mammoths and cavewomen. All the more barbaric if that man cave is located in your mother’s basement.

But with the economy the way it is, it makes sense not to have a separate office where you can’t work in your tidy-whiteys or have your own personal wolf sleeping under your cave chair. My man cave is neo traditional, in the sense that women are most welcome – especially didi when she is coming to visit with a fresh cup of coffee. However, I do worry about the inside-inwardness of it all.

Take for example the other week, when I was holed up for over 40 hours or so (non-stop) trying to figure out how to get an e-commerce website built for (ironically) women’s fashion products. And with all this electricity we are getting these days, I feel just like what the man who first discovered fire must have felt like, as he grunted, “If I could just keep this going, I could...”

Conquer the world. That’s what real men did back then. Nowadays not so much. In the 1950’s, my father conquered the backyard instead. That was his man cave...a cave with a lawn out front. I even had an uncle who built a 40-foot yacht in his backyard cave. Unfortunately, that ship never made it to sea, as it was more like a ship in the bottle and was too large to move out once completed.

This is where the 2011 man cave seems to be headed...caves carved from electronic shops and gadget stores...with cavemen that look to iTunes clouds, and not the heavenly stars above. After all, NASA is on YouTube and the entire universe is online.

1 comments:

  1. saroj says:

    I think this is one of your best articles (of those I have had the privilege to read) so far.

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Jiggy Gaton
lives in Kathmandu and is an aging technologist - has been since the days of Woodstock - so in the words of Roland The Gunslinger "he is from a world now gone by." However, Jigs is extremely up-to-date on all things tech and is also available for hire.
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