What is Blue Knuckle Gear about?
Blue Knuckle is gear for men and only men, but not just any man. There are some men that fuckup. Let’s call these, “All men,” for arguments sake. Some men think with their wallet, others with their dick, some are ego driven, while others are vice ridden. Some men lack compassion, while other men are cowards. Some men don’t listen, while other men won’t shut the fuck up. There is no perfect man, nor will there ever be. But there are men who seek progress rather than perfection, and they strive to improve themselves from within. These are the men that recognize that in order to succeed they must battle their character flaws and contend with life’s afflictions, on the daily.
But men forget. And this is precisely why Blue Knuckle exists. We make gear for men to wear, to remind them of the bullshit that they need to put a handle on in order to become better men. Our gear itself won’t make you cool, just like nice hair and a nice car don’t make you cool. Although nice hair and a nice whip may help, a man that is cool is a solid man, that follows a code. A man that is cool is someone who hustles and grinds and sacrifices for the people he cares about, not some douchebag that only looks out for number one. A man that is cool has a big heart, but he’s definitely not a pushover, because he knows when to be compassionate and when to be assertive. He’ll stand and fight for his community and the things that he values and believes in, versus being the chump that’ll sway and switch sides just to reap popularity. He protects those that can’t fend for themselves, and he serves those that need a hand; and he doesn’t do these things because he’s getting paid or because it makes him look good, he does it because it’s the right fucken thing to do, period. Blue Knuckle is the effect that takes place after a man has been white knuckling it for too long and he can no longer stand being the man that he no longer wants to be.
The Blue Knuckle Man is the man that grips his fists tight under serious trial and adversity and holds on to the core values that make us human, and keep us human. The Blue Knuckle man will grip on to these values for dear life even after his fists have turned blue, because he strives to be unshakable, untouchable, and unwilling to give up on that which is most important; each other.
Here are some names of very cool men from movies or history that are examples of Blue Knuckle men:
- The Fonze (Happy Days)
- Ferris Bueller (Ferris Buellers Day off)
- Han Solo (Star Wars)
- Tony Stark (Iron Man)
- James Bond (007 movies)
- Rocky Balboa (Rocky)
- Superman (Superman)
- George Bailey (It’s a Wonderful Life)
- Hawkeye (The Last of the Mohicans)
- Eliot Ness (The Untouchables)
- Robin Hood (The Adventures of Robin Hood)
- William Wallace (Braveheart)
- Joe Miller and Andrew Beckett (Philadelphia)
- Trip (Glory)
- Bob Marley
- Abraham Lincoln
- Albert Einstein
- Mohammad Ali
- Frederick Douglas
- Galileo Galilei
- Nelson Mandela
- Marcus Aurelius
- Leonardo da Vinci
Why the gear? Because something has been missing…
It took about 6 million years for humans to evolve into modern day Homo sapiens. Homo sapiens have been around for over 200,000 years, and civilization, for about the last 6,000 years, which for the most part progressed at a snails pace. Then things really sped up by about the 1700’s after the onset of the industrial revolution, when machines allowed us to make things faster and travel faster and further. Ever since then, we’ve been moving at an accelerated rate, and we’ve seen things as tiny as an atom, been able to see distant galaxies, have been to the moon, built machines that think, and created mass global economies.
All man-made things around us have evolved at a rate faster than ourselves; especially in the last 100 years. Yet, we are still the same Homo sapiens with the same body types and hard-wired brains that have existed over the past 200,000 years. We may appear as though we’ve evolved when we wear our westernized suits, drive our engineered self-propelled vehicles and use high-powered computational devices. But deep down inside every single one of us, we are still very primitive beings. I know this, not only because science says it, but also because I feel it at my very core. Let me tell you how I know.
Several years ago, I was getting ready for work. I was fully dressed, but I was missing 1 thing, my right hand bracelet. I have this sterling silver bracelet made by the Native American tribe the Hopi. It means something to me because one of my grandmothers is part of that tribe. But that’s not the only reason I wear it. In fact, back then I didn’t really understand why I wore it. But I did, and I had to have it on me every day before I left the house. It was pretty much a ritual.
That day I looked everywhere for it. I even had my wife help me look for it. I never went in to work that day. I was pretty pissed off. Not so much that I had lost it, but that I truly felt that I was missing something that had become a part of me. That day I swore to make my own bracelets and for the past three years, I did just that, and that’s how Blue Knuckle was born.
Incidentally, during those last three years I also began to understand something about myself. I work at a well-known Silicon Valley Company, yet I don’t necessarily look like I do. I don’t wear a tie or a mock turtleneck, nor slacks or dress shoes. Although early on in my career I did wear the slacks and button up shirts, because back then I felt I needed to assimilate and adapt to my environment. Yet, today I have tattoos, I wear biker boots and I wear a lot of heavy, edgy jewelry. I look this way because it’s who I’ve become. It didn’t happen overnight due to some mid life crisis. It was gradual and today I know that there is some underlying genetic and inherited primitive behavior to this.
The tattoos that I have each tell stories of various events in my life that I’ve overcome; battles that have helped define me. I wear thick heavy bracelets on each wrist that somehow make me feel like my wrists are protected. However, they also help remind me of the mental state I must reside in in order to accomplish whatever challenge I’ll be facing that day. I wear large rings that have several meanings, one is obviously my wedding band, but the others hold other meanings. The ring that I wear on my right pointer finger helps tell my team members at work the mentality that I am exuding that day. Whether it is that of a thinker, the playful guy, or the leader; specific people I work with know what to expect from me that day, through that ring. I eventually came to understand that all of these things are indicative of male tribal attire.
As a modern-day society, we have, to some extent, removed humankind from the tribe, but we are far from removing the tribe mentality from humanity. The tribal mentality still exists all around us. Sports teams, governments, gangs, support groups, all of these are tribes of some sort, and if we spend time immersed in these, we will assimilate. So what the hell did I assimilate into? From an outsider’s perspective, it easily looks as if I went from an assimilated individual to someone that has come to exclude himself from his peers. But that’s not the case. I believe that I have assimilated, but to something that is not so evident, yet resides within all men alive today.
There exist elements that our modern-day society has in fact done away with, especially within western civilization, because we came to believe that they were unnecessary. For some of these elements it is true, we don’t need swords at our sides or horses to travel on. But for others, we excluded them without understanding their underlying necessity, because they appeared unnecessary, yet we never found a suitable replacement. We just vanished them. One of those elements that I speak of is the battle gear and the preparation rituals that men partook in to prepare themselves for battle.
Every man that wakes up each day, and goes to work, helping to support himself or his family, or improve himself or others, is going to battle on a daily basis. These battles come in many forms. Some are internal struggles of doubt and self defeat, others are battles of character. Some are battles that we partake in with others from our work or school tribe, while others may be battles against adversaries that aren’t a lion or a perpetrator, but against complex scenarios that affect our team, or company, our community, or even our society as a whole. Regardless, throughout the course of the day, almost all men do battle. Some know it and feel it, while others have yet to recognize that that is the case.
And how the hell do we prepare our men for battle each day, with a cup of fucken coffee? Fuck that! Some men pray while some men meditate. But I’ve come to dig deeper and further back into the past than that, envisioning a time when battles meant life or death. To a time when a man’s integrity was his code and he communicated through actions. As a man, I’ve come to realize that I must begin each day of life with specific reminders of why I’m going to battle today. Who are my beneficiaries and what are my adversaries? How will I gear up for the day, and what does that gear represent? Like a tribal warrior, I enter my gear one piece at a time reminding myself that each of these pieces is a hard, fucken symbol of what I stand for, what I’ll fight for, and what I’m willing to go down for. Each piece is meant to remind me throughout the day to remain the captain of my ship and that I am not an island, and to someone out there I’m a fucken example of a good strong man.
Call me crazy. But this is the shit that I do, because I know where we’ve been, I know where we are, and if we don’t gear the fuck up, I know where we’re headed.