Who is The Byronic Man? Who is this mystery wrapped in an enigma, with a drizzling of secret sauce?
He is a brain surgeon and former Olympic kick-boxer.
He was the inspiration for the characters of Neo, in The Matrix, and James Bond (From Russia With Love and Casino Royale, only)
At night, The Byronic Man, it’s rumored, puts on a cape & mask and fights crime. (He denies these rumors, citing his mild-manner as evidence)
He wrote Cyrano de Bergerac under the pen-name “Edmond Rostand” and the pen-year “1897.”
He can bench-press an adult bull.
His mind is so powerful that when he thinks sad thoughts, flowers die.
On their vacations, dolphins like to go swimming with The Byronic Man.
…Hm? What? Oh. Not buying it, eh?… fine.
Once upon a time there was this guy (spoiler alert!: it was me). He was a professional stand-up comic, actor, and struggling writer. He was going along, feeling quite iconoclastic and cool as he built a name for himself.
Then one day, he had a moment of something, perhaps clarity, and realized he was becoming someone he didn’t like very much – he was someone who cared more about the adoration of strangers than building close friendships, he was tired of dumbing down his humor, much of his life had become dedicated to developing the superficial parts of his life, he was starting to really hate everyone (you try making 90% of your human interaction with strangers who’ve been drinking – see how you fare), and starting to abandon ideas of morality and honor that he’d always felt strongly about. So what did he do? Well, depending on who you ask he either:
- Went crazy (unlikely, but possible – he does talk to himself quite a bit)
- Self-destructed (ample precedent for this, certainly)
- Walked away in search of the person he wanted to be (which sounds pretty saccharine, doesn’t it? Like the narration before the opening credits of a 1980’s CBS drama, or something)
In all likelihood, of course, it was a mix of all three, perhaps 2 & 3 more than 1, we’d like to think, but maybe the jury’s still out.
In any case, he quit everything, sold his stuff and moved. He started trying to, in the words of Mr. Antolini from Catcher in the Rye, “live humbly for a cause,” instead of always trying to die nobly for one.
This was a while ago, and now he still acts, performs, writes, etc, but also spends time with friends, teaches college and high-school classes, and other humble things. Happily ever after? Psh. Yeah, right. Things are pretty good, thank you, but a leopard don’t change no spots, and a Byronic guy don’t change no Byronism. And thus, this site was born.
And he wouldn’t say no to a little adoration of strangers, now and again, by the way…
Intrigued? Curious? At least reluctantly willing to learn more? Here are a few of my favorite posts to start you off with…