An exploration of masculinity: seven kinds of men

Patrick Freyne: What I learned from the role models making the headlines

There has been a lot of talk recently about masculinity and male role models so I have decided to use recent news headlines to examine all seven kinds of man.

Ed Sheeran

Ed Sheeran’s head looks like it is engulfed in flames, but this is an illusion caused by his orange hair. Tragically, if his head ever does catch fire, this confusing follicular illusion will cost the paramedics life-saving minutes and his imploring button eyes and melodic croons of pain will haunt their dreams.

Best not think about it. For now, Ed Sheeran is the type of man who croons sweet songs to a lady lover until she shouts "Jesus Ed, I'm trying to sleep."

Ed is deeply sensitive to a fair maiden’s wants and desires, unless her wants and desires involve not hearing folk-funk music. Then he sings, “Sorry lady, but I have to sing for I was cursed by an evil gnome” (The melody goes up at “evil gnome” and he puts his finger in his ear as he sings it).


Ed’s songs include: “We found love right where we are (in an alley out by the bins)” and “I don’t mind your fat forehead or wrinkly eyeballs because I’m lovely” and, my favourite, “Lady in Red”. He’s touring the country this week, God love him.

Conor McGregor

Conor McGregor has the head of a 19th century prospector, the torso of an equilateral triangle and the clothes of his hero, Little Lord Fauntleroy. He is the most famous violent clown person since Pennywise from It.

He is the second type of man, the type of man who stands up for what he believes in even if what he believes in is deeply stupid. McGregor has long dreamt of hunting and killing the most dangerous prey of all: bus. When I saw footage of McGregor yelling and throwing things at the bus I thought: At last! Someone with a private plane is assaulting a bus.

Previously red-faced loons just stood on the footpath angrily screaming at public transport but now, thanks to McGregor, all over the city young men are beating up buses and everyone is late for work.

What next for him? A fight with a bigger bus? A heated war of words with Sooty and Sweep? An argument with three babies in a robotic man suit? A quarrel with the sun? Whatever it is, it needs to be really stupid and I’m certain he is equal to the task.

Bertie Ahern

The former taoiseach is some scamp. Recently he walked out of an interview when the interviewer introduced the subject of the Mahon Tribunal. “Hyuk, Hyuk, Hyuk!” he chuckled, and then there was the sound of footsteps, a car screeching away, more footsteps, a plane taking off and then the sound of a seat reclining and a drink being poured.

Bertie is the third type of man. He’s the type of man who is hard to pin down. He has darting eyes, a cheeky pout and scuttling wayward pegs that take him out of range of danger when necessary.

Why, just a moment ago I heard a commotion in my hen house and had to let off a round of pellets with my grandpa's shotgun. "You can't catch me!" yelled Bertie, spitting a mouthful of feathers before clambering up a nearby pine. He's up there now guffawing like Woody Woodpecker as he uses my broadband to stream Mrs Brown's Boys. What a rascal. He'd make a great president all the same.

The cast of ‘The Fast and the Furious’ films

Fans of auto-erotic carsploitation romp The Fast and the Furious will be pleased to hear that Netflix is adapting the franchise into an animated show. Its lumpy stars wear vests and have cool names with random nouns and adjectives in them, like The Rock, Vin Diesel, Ludacris and Tits Hardbastard (he plays 'Kevin').

They are, as the title indicates, the type of man who is in a rush and filled with rage (the two manliest virtues after confusion and feeling a bit tired). Consequently, the films are filled with explosions, car crashes and gunfire.

Yes, in many fields such outcomes are seen as “failure”, but that’s loser talk. Just writing this article has led to me having a fist fight with a colleague, doing a head over heels into a meeting room while firing finger-guns and my desk spontaneously going on fire. Incidentally, the actor who plays “Patrick Freyne” is named Donk Fisticuffs.

The singing priest on ‘Britain’s Got Talent’

On Britain's Got Talent Simon Cowell, who resembles a bewigged thumb with a face drawn on it, doles out validation and censure to cursed Britons in lieu of a functioning social contract.

This week he turns his shrewd, marker-drawn eyes towards the Irish church in the shape of Fr Ray Kelly. He is the sixth type of man – a singing priest. Once, yodelling clergy were 10-a-penny. Nowadays, Britain's Got Talent is more popular than mass and Kelly has been sent by the pope to propose a merger. He sings Everybody Hurts by REM.

Simon and his lieutenants, Ratbat, Shockwave and Starscream (my broadband is down so I’m temporarily using the names of Transformers, but I’ll surely remember to replace them), are moved to recall their lost humanity and tears leak from their eyes.

Simon rises unsteadily to his feet – he hasn’t used his legs in decades – and he leads a round of applause. “I wish to buy your church,” he says, flinging a pouch of gold Brexit dollars on the table. And that’s that. Communions are going to be amazing this year.

Daddy Pig

Daddy Pig, the father of that tiresome crank Peppa, is widely believed to be a fool and evidence of “sexism against men” due to his inability to manage basic parenting tasks and a propensity to refer to his wife as “Mammy Pig” (a Freudian nightmare however you slice it).

But the naysayers forget that Daddy Pig is not a man at all. He is a pig. So the sight of the porcine patriarch walking precariously on his hind legs, using the language of man despite his problematically shaped pig-jaw and wearing people clothes because he has tragically learned the concept of shame, is really evidence of masculine ingenuity.

Daddy Pig’s grotesque charade should fill us all with swelling testosto-pride. Well done Daddy Pig. I salute your disturbing stab at humanity.

Royal Baby

Nobody knows from whence the Royal Baby came but he’s here now and there’s nothing we can do about it. Look at him, with his sceptre and crown, still covered in yoke and bits of shell, wielding the power of life and death over his subjects and drawing life force from a ley line. Soon night will fall and he will feed.

Prince George looks pleased, wearing a three-piece suit and reading aloud from the Necronomicon. Prince William hasn't stopped screaming yet, but he will tire soon. Kate Middleton is glowing, of course; something to do with the radiation signature, says Alan Titchmarsh.

I’m not sure about the name, to be honest with you. “The Old One” is hardly a suitable name for a child. Then again, as he said himself, his true name is unpronounceable to our human tongues. Anyway, he’s the seventh kind of man and probably the last. I’m going to stop now or he’ll hear me thinking about him. It’s such a strange political system they have over there. I’m glad I live in a republic.