Real Man Candidate #3: The “Jackass”

Johnny Knoxville first splashed onto the scene in the MTV show Jackass. The title pretty much sums up the show.

This show is by dudes and for dudes. I can’t think of a single girl who likes it, so I’m making Johnny Knoxville my Real Man Candidate #3.

If you’ve witnessed the whole YouTube culture of guys almost getting killed because they were doing something stupid on videotape, this is where it all started.

For example, This guy broke his neck jumping off a roof onto a trampoline.

[Disclaimer: This video is painful just to watch. If you get queezy, just skip it. I’m not condoning this, but you just need to see the idiocy for yourself to appreciate it.]

The problem is misplaced courage. Courage is indeed masculine, but when teenage boys with too much time on their hands get their hands on a skateboard, camcorder, and a Jackass DVD, you’re guaranteed a trip to the emergency room.


Specimen: Johnny Knoxville

His case:

1. He videotaped himself doing insanely stupid and painful things to try to make money.

2. It worked.

3. MTV posted this disclaimer before every episode:

The following show features stunts performed either by professionals or under the supervision of professionals. According, MTV and the producers must insist that no one attempt to recreate or re-enact any stunt or activity performed on this show.

4. It didn’t work. Countless news reports shortly followed where teen morons imitated jackass stunts and added their names to the endless roster of Darwin Award recipients.

5. He always wears these.


Summary: In a country filled with boys who don’t know what real men look like, many find Knoxville strangely appealing. God created men to be courageous and confident. Fallen men can often distort biblical courage and confidence until it descends into sheer stupidity. Like this stupid motorcycle stunt.
Jackass is now past its prime and Ultimate Fighting has taken its place. For some reason, men enjoy watching other people suffer intensely. The same primal instinct that incited Romans to send slaves to the Coliseum lives on today in the spirit of Jackass.

Men, we can do better. I’m continuing to read the biography of Jim Elliot and I can’t help but contrast his courage with Knoxville’s. Elliot was somewhat reckless in his youth like Knoxville; but his recklessness was Christ centered.

Here’s another sample from Jim Elliot:

When are we going to rise like men and face the world squarely? This driveling nonsense which condones inactivity because of the apostasy of the day needs a little fire to show up the downright ungodliness it hides… It makes me boil when I think of the power we profess and the utter impotency of our action.

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