All us boomers remember Peter Pan. Walt Disney presented him to us, just as he did Davy Crockett. That’s why little boys of my generation wore coonskin caps in the 1950s. I remember playing Peter Pan with my dad, using WWII souvenirs: he was Captain Hook with a Japanese katana, and I got to be Peter Pan with a German parade dagger. (I had a very cool dad.)

In J. M. Barrie’s original book, Peter was a sprite, a little boy who would never grow up and who could fly with the aid of magical pixie dust, and the leader of the Lost Boys on the island of Neverland.  Naturally, adults couldn’t leave well enough alone.

In 1983, Dr. Dan Kiley wrote the book “The Peter Pan Syndrome: Men Who Have Never Grown Up.” As I recall, he described us –uh, I mean, victims of the syndrome.  See if this sounds familiar: They will be utterly useless for things like mowing the lawn or balancing checkbooks, but they will be good at the adventures they seek out. They will find a way to make a living doing things Hollywood makes adventure movies about: cop, soldier, cowboy, or things to do with aircraft, motorcycles, and/or firearms. They will be good at what they do. They will bond with other Lost Boys who may take them as their leaders. They will be constantly seeking out evil Captain Hooks with whom to do righteous battle.  And they will invariably find loving, practical, nurturing Wendys who take care of boring real-life things for them. 

I read it when it came out, and thought “Hey. Hey. HEY! I resemble those remarks!”

Kiley followed with the third of the books I’m talking about, “The Wendy Dilemma” in 1984, which I read as a more-than-tacit warning for nurturing, loving women to stay the hell away from men like us.  I am not a book-burner, but I could make an exception for this volume. People like me need our Wendys, dammit.

Now comes the fourth book, which triggered this discussion: 2021’s “Wendy, Darling” by A. C. Wise. She re-imagines poor Wendy as having come back from Neverland to London, telling her family about her adventures, and promptly being sent to a mental institution as a result. Now in her thirties, married and well-adjusted, she discovers that Peter Pan has returned and is kidnapping her little girl to Neverland to be the new Wendy for him and the Lost Boys. With the power of motherhood replacing fairy dust, she flies off and follows them to a much darker Neverland, filled with narcissistic toxic masculinity and brutality.  I saw it as “wokeness meets a timeless children’s classic.”  Admittedly, Ms. Wise makes some excellent points about oppression of women in the early twentieth century and about the nature and genesis of violence and bullying.  The author herself writes, “This book started as a joke. Well, not a joke exactly, more like a ‘ha, ha, what if I wrote…’”

I did find it kind of funny, if perhaps not in the way its author intended.

I would write more, but my own Wendy (different name though) is calling me, and if I am going to remain nurtured and cared for and ready when Adventure calls, I have to go now.


  1. Loved your last paragraph.

    I’ve never inquired as to a definition of “toxic masculinity”. I expect it’s highly flexible. I expect most of us would agree that, say, male behavior of the 14th or 15th century, likely to include (without class distinction), as above, early 20th century, to be unacceptable. After that, I expect it’s kind of murky.

    • I have come to the conclusion that “toxic masculinity” is whatever the wierd feminazis decide it is to suit their particular “bent-du-jour”.

    • My personal (cynical) working definition of “toxic masculinity” is, “Male behavior that in any way goes against what any Leftist female says”.

      Yes, extremely murky, highly subjective, and completely fungible. That’s the point. If there are solid definitions, a man could model his behavior and avoid trouble. Having no solid definitions and making “offensive behavior” a social “crime” means we’re all guilty according to someone — anything you do could offend someone — and can be punished for it at any time and for any reason.

      To borrow from author Larry Correia, “We exist wrong.” Existing wrong while male is the essence of “toxic masculinity”.

  2. There is nothing that the American Left cannot destroy and pervert. They have already destroyed American Sports, James Bond, the Boy Scouts of America and anything else that they touch. All masculinity is toxic to them. So is being born with a white skin.

    My greatest concern is that they are destroying our Constitutional Republic and our Justice system. They do not limit themselves to just spreading their cultural rot everywhere then go. They are the “Johnny Appleseed’s” of Marxist ideology. That travel here and yon planning their seeds of Marxist rot in every corner of our land.

    Speaking of the justice system, I note that the Kim Potter trial has just gone to the jury. See this link:

    While I have no idea as to how the jury will decide, I would like to make this observation. To my mind, this case is very similar to the Alec Baldwin shooting on the Rust movie set. I grant that the details are different but, in broad strokes, both cases involved the negligent handling of a firearm which resulted in death.

    For that reason, I would argue that the outcomes ought to be similar if (and it is a BIG IF) we still have equal justice under the law in this country.

    Now some would argue for a different standard for Alec Baldwin and Kim Potter. They would argue that Baldwin is only an ignorant actor whereas Potter is a trained police officer. She ought to be held to a higher standard. I reject this view. Baldwin is an experienced actor. He has starred in many movies involving firearms. The Rust Movie was not “his first rodeo” (forgive the pun!). In addition, he has made gun control a personal issue and is a self-proclaimed “expert” on “gun-safety issues”. Both the police and movie sets have procedures to avoid this kind of negligent discharge. So, I do not grant any slack to either Potter or Baldwin.

    To my mind, what the law does to one, it should do to the other. If Kim Potter is found guilty of manslaughter and if Baldwin is eventually put on trial for the Rust shooting and is also found guilty, then I will proclaim equal justice under the law.

    If Kim Potter is found non-guilty of criminal liability. If she (or her city) suffers civil liability only and if Baldwin is put on trial and is treated the same, then again, I will call it equal justice.

    However, if Kim Potter is found guilty and sentenced to prison while Alec Baldwin invokes his “left-wing” privilege and skates away with no trial and no punishment beyond an out-of-court settlement, then I will “throw a flag on that play” and proclaim (once again) that we no longer have equal justice under the law here in America!

    • I would suggest you more closely examine some of the finer points of detail that have come to light about both of these shootings. Baldwin is now reported to have been in a fit of rage at the way the now departed director of that scene was dealing with him. It was alledgely during that fit of rage the revolver he held, and DID NOT SAFE, discharged.

      Potter, it seems, had not had the new model taser for very long, and had only had minimal training with it. Its colour was very different, and far more easily confused with her firearm. Furhter, the situation in which this happened was a VERY dangroud, highly charged, and dynamic situation with at least one of her fellow officers caught in a VERY dangrous situation and at the mercy of the angry, aggressive and strong “contact” who was desparately trying to avoid arrest, no thought to the safety of anyone but himself.

      I refuse to consider these two incidents as being even remotely equal, except in outcome. Each one resulted in one dead person. In one case, the victim most certainly should not have suffered that fate. In the other, the deceased was activly pressing toward that end by his violent and dangerous actioins putting the LEO’s at extreme risk.

      And I’ll stand by this analisis whatever the jury in either case might decide.

    • One broad difference between the Kim Potter and Alec Baldwin situations: According to Andrew Branca, Kim Potter would likely have been justified if she had intentionally used her firearm; i.e. if she had intentionally shot him instead of unintentionally shooting him. She’s basically on trial not because her actions were unjustified, but because she took a different action than she announced.

      Unfortunately, that technically meets the definition of unintentional homicide or involuntary manslaughter, and on top of that she’s a white cop who shot a black suspect, so I expect she’ll get thrown under the bus quicker than you can say, “Taser! Taser! Taser!”

      Contrast with Alec Baldwin, who pointed a firearm at a human being and pulled the trigger, for no logical or justifiable reason, resulting in one death and one injury. “It wasn’t supposed to be loaded.” Rule #1, man….

      On that note, I keep hearing about how the rules for “prop” firearm use on Hollywood sets are different than the real world and that actors can’t learn or follow the “real gun” rules, because that’s just too much to expect. With all due respect to the people who say that — some of whom claim to have worked on-set in Hollywood — I think it’s horse-s#!+.

      If a software engineer with a CCW license can follow all four rules and still code, then an experienced actor can follow all four rules and still remember his lines. Hell, a fair number of CCW-licensed software engineers I know are geeky enough to do their thing, carry their guns safely, and also remember the actor’s lines, all at the same time! Is Hollywood that different? Or is their argument that professional celebrities lack the necessary intellect to walk and chew gum at the same time?

      I predict that (wealthy, Leftist, politically- and socially-connected celebrity) Baldwin will be given leniency, while (middle-class, non-celebrity, white police officer) Potter will not. I predict Potter will have the proverbial book thrown at her, while Baldwin will have to pay a fine that for us would be financially devastating, but for him and his status is couch change. But then, I’m cynical enough to believe that we no longer enjoy equal justice under the law, and haven’t for quite some time.

      I pray I’m wrong on that.

    • While I understand the various points, made above, in mitigation of Kim Potter’s actions, I don’t see that it makes a difference in the big picture. Would she have been justified in shooting an unarmed black man in today’s climate? Even if he is resisting arrest? I doubt it. And whether it was to old model taser or a new one, a taser is not a Glock. Firing a Glock while under the impression that it is only a taser is still a major screw-up.

      Anyway you cut it, she was negligent in her actions. Whether this rises to the criminal level, or merely the civil liability level, is the question that the jury is wrestling with right now. When you boil both the Potter case and the Baldwin case down to their essence, in each one a person was shot and killed due to the negligent handling of a firearm.

      I will grant one difference. Kim Potter has shown real remorse for what she did. That is very clear from her actions and from her testimony on the stand. In that sense, she has taken responsibility.

      Baldwin, on the other hand, has done nothing but dodge responsibility for the shooting from Day One. Even to the point where he says that his demon gun “went off” all by itself without any human input or control! So, in my book, that makes Kim Potter a decent human being and it makes Alec Baldwin a human POS.

      While the above has no effect on guilt or innocence, I can see it having an effect on sentencing if Potter and/or Baldwin are ultimately found guilty of a criminal offense. Baldwin ought to get the stiffer sentence due to his clear lack of remorse for his actions.

      • TN_MAN: Agreed. Both shootings result from negligence with a firearm. I’m merely pointing out the tragic irony that, under the circumstances, had Kim Potter intended to use her Glock instead of her Taser, it likely would have been deemed justified.

        But she intended to use her Taser, and instead drew her Glock. That makes it an unintentional homicide. Another point attorney Andrew Branca points out frequently, is that a shooting in defense of self or others is an inherently intentional act — you can’t claim “accident” and “defense of self or others” in the same event; they are mutually exclusive.

        As much as I sympathize with Kim Potter, and as much as I’d like to see jury nullification kick in, based on the legal definitions I believe she’ll be found guilty. However, as you said, she is clearly feeling remorse and personal responsibility to a degree of which I suspect Alec Baldwin is not even capable, which should affect sentencing if nothing else.


        Related: For the record, I’m having trouble with the “new model of Taser” argument, for one glaring reason: The Glock is carried on the strong-side hip, and the Taser — regardless of model — is carried either cross-draw on the weak-side hip or in a chest rig, depending on the department. In either case, the Taser is nowhere near the strong-side hip.

        Under adrenaline-induced tunnel vision, one might be forgiven for mistaking one model of weapon for another — especially when their controls are essentially the same — but it’s much harder to mistake where you grabbed it from. Which is precisely WHY they’re carried so differently; to prevent these kinds of mistakes.

  3. Wendys as portrayed by Karen’s? Wonderful.

    I also like that last paragraph. Seldom is it a one way street!

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Mas, EP and everyone.

  4. Sounds like she ripped off the plot of a Pan movie a decade ago, there were a couple in that vein of Pan coming back for Wendys children

  5. Well written, Mas. You have a gift. Your wide-ranging literary references make your already-interesting, usual subject matter (gun ritin’) all the more interesting.
    By the way, I still have my coonskin cap in the old mementos box. Its right next to the Junior Sheriff’s Deputy badge and Cub Scout patches. My kids will have to throw them out.
    Merry Christmas to you and Wendy, er, Gail…and the rest of the Live Oak Crew.

  6. Mas,

    Your writing just keeps getting better and better! The whole piece was fantastic, but I’ll just mention a few things which jumped out at me.

    My favorite artists are Walt Disney, Norman Rockwell and Thomas Kinkade. I can’t imagine being better dressed than wearing buckskins like Jay Silverheels, and wearing a coonskin cap. I got that reference to The Three Stooges, “I resemble that remark.” The name “Wendy” was extremely rare before Peter Pan came out.

    Merry Christmas, everyone! {As long as we have electricity and food, we are still living in relatively good times.}

  7. Just watched some bites of the old “Patriot” today with Mel Gibson. Hadn’t realized before that, at least in the movie, a whole village of non-combatant patriot-collaborators was burned alive inside a church by a ruthless British Army officer. Brought home the realization that every community today needs to prepare to possibly vacate in order to avoid some kind of annihilation, to reach whatever refuge they can find. Some foreign military willing or even eager to risk decimation may ride in with or after the seemingly endless viral immigration tidal wave. Let us organize now harmoniously in cohesive groups, and prepare to maneuver, fight, and survive. Rescue-by-Wendy and fake science are not practical help.

    • The Brits took some exception to that scene because it never happened in reality. Tarleton’s Quarter was a real thing though involving a post-surrender massacre.

      Germans and French have burned churches full of people though. Wouldn’t be surprised if Russians had too though I know of no specific incidents.

      • Richard,

        The Old Testament has some effective tactics in it. In the following account, it looks like the prophets of Baal were dispatched by sword, not fire. But, the idea of trapping people inside a building is clearly described.

        II Kings 10:18–28

  8. This is off-topic but this news story caught my eye:

    From this we see illustrated, once again (as if we needed another example), that BIG GOVERNMENT means BIG INCOMPETENCE and BIG CORRUPTION.

    I recently re-watched the classic movie “Ben-Hur”. I am reminded of the following quote delivered by the Pontius Pilate character in this movie:

    “Where there is greatness, great government or power, even great feeling or compassion, error also is great.”

    Yet, the Leftists among us continually work to grow government bigger and bigger and bigger each year. I guess that the rampant incompetence and corruption that we see in the U.S.A is still not enough for them. They want MORE!

    This illustrates the hatred of the Left for America and the American People like nothing else. It is the American Taxpayer that foots the bill for every stolen and misappropriated dollar!

    Behold, this is the gift that the Left has given to the American People this Holiday Season! Merry Christmas Suckers!

  9. This is off-subject, but I don’t know how else to contact you with the following info Mas.

    From an article in The Hollywood Report about the arrest of the criminal that murdered philanthropist Jacqueline Avant in her home:

    “Aariel Maynor, 29, of Los Angeles is charged with one count each of murder, attempted murder and felon with a firearm — Maynor allegedly used an assault long barrel pistol during the crimes — as well as two counts of residential burglary with person present.”

    An “assault long barrel pistol”??????? This new descriptor just made me throw up in my mouth a little. It was probably an AR15 platform pistol, but really??? Ugh.

    On the bright side, Maynor was arrested after he accidentally shot himself (“assaulted himself”??) with his own “assault long barrel pistol”.

    Merry Christmas Mas, and everybody else as well!

    Link to the article:

    • RE: “assault long barrel pistol”

      It could be an AR-platform pistol. Or, given it’s California, and given most newspapers’ “layers of editorial oversight”, it could be what most of us consider a normal pistol, with a 4.5-5″ (or longer) barrel and an “assault magazine” that holds more than 10 rounds. I can think of several models that fit that description.

  10. Well that was one thing I never expected to see in Mas blog. But interesting. Hmmm . . . I guess sometimes children’s tales work better if you don’t think to hard about them.

    It’s been said that a lot has been read into the fact that in the stage play Wendy’s father and Capt. Hook are both played by the same actor. Except that it makes economic sense to have one actor do two (very differently costumed) roles rather than have two actors, both of whom will spend a lot of the play not doing anything.

    Anyway, wishing you all a Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year!

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