It has been a roller coaster of events over the First AVFM Reunion in North Carolina. I have been tied up administering emergency psychiatric care to the legions of social just-us warriors who were deeply traumatized by the two minutes of male raucousness I posted to YouTube.
Luckily, they are all so impressionable I was able to herd them into the Astrodome and chant about playful puppies till they were able to pull back from the precipice of a psychotic break. Say what you want about groupthink and shared delusions, they come in handy.
Down to business now, the good part.
One thing that happened at the reunion was a brief ceremony honoring two AVFMers as MHRAs of the Year.
Yes, we had two of them. And it was a very hard field to narrow down. Remember, in attendance were people like Dean Esmay, Jonathan Taylor, Anil Kumar, Tom Golden and others who have dedicated to this cause in too many ways to count. Naming anyone, or two for that matter, came with a feeling of regret for not recognizing the others. My only salvation was that this is not the only time this is going to happen.
This year, for 2015, I have selected Sage Gerard and David King as AVFM’s MHRAs of the year.
Let’s start with Sage. Sage is a brilliant young man (for a ginger), and possesses what I can only describe as a spine of titanium. Sage entered (with enthusiastic consent) AVFMs team as a writer, videographer and eventually a trusted technical assistant to David King.
From there he set about proving his metal. He started a conspicuously non-feminist men’s issues group at Kennesaw State University (Zen Men, formerly KSUM). In the process he stood alone against an entire interdisciplinary studies department where the faculty was colluding to destroy his reputation, to have him arrested, to paint him as a threat to campus women.
I cannot say for certain that he never blinked but if he did I never saw it.
He proceeded, while under constant fire, to host a conference at the school. He enlisted a panel of speakers whom he knew would outrage the faculty and feminist elements in the student body and made it all happen despite overwhelming pressure to relent to the ideologues.
For effs sake, he took the stage by himself and launched a 25 minute rant toward his mother (whom he dearly loves) after she cracked from the intensity of the program and well, lost it a little bit. He was the spontaneous, fearless, glorious son-of-a-bitch that we all wish we could be.
Since then, he has stabilized Zen Men as an entity, developed assets and is engaged with others who are forming chapters at other schools.
That is not all of the reasons Sage was a logical candidate to be honored. The fact is that if I tried to list everything Sage has done for AVFM and for the MHRM as a whole, I would not have time to honor the other recipient. Still, I must go on to say that while all this was going on, Sage Gerard was organizing drives as a part of Zen Men, to feed and clothe homeless people.
With that, I want to express my deepest thanks to Sage and acknowledge that we are all indebted to you. You walked right into the vipers nest and poked them with a stick like you owned the place and they were the unwelcome visitors. Most importantly, you have started something direly needed by the world we live in. Thank you for being the future of justice for young men in college.
♦ ♦ ♦
The other recipient was David King. David wears a couple of hats around here. He is, of course, our CIO in charge of technical operations. He is also our acting CFO. He is our business manager and as such he has taken AVFM from a sole proprietorship to two LLCs. His meticulous (which if you look up in the dictionary you will find David’s picture) attention to detail, investigating everything from American tax codes to operational agreements, accountancy and banking catapulted us from no organization to highly and efficiently organized.
Oh, and when he wasn’t doing all that, or running the four servers we have in three countries, he spent weeks writing our accountancy software from scratch. Why? Because Quicken and other commercial options did not suit him.
As you might imagine, David’s sometimes pedantic and detail rich mentality drives us all crazy here and there. Oh, well, I did some estimates on the skills and work David has brought to AVFM. It rings in, conservatively, at a quarter of a million dollars’ worth of professional services.
David has never taken a single dime of AVFM revenue. No wait, we dipped in and bought him a vape to help him quit smoking about a year ago. Set us back about 90 bucks as I recall.
A more personal anecdote about David. Dean brought him to my attention quite some time ago. He contacted me kind of excited, said he had this guy who knew servers really well. I was like, servers? Uh, f*** no. No freaking way.
Dean continued to work on me for a while and I eventually dropped the use of the f bomb when saying no, and just said no way. Finally they wore me down and I handed over the keys so he could take a peek under the hood.
Obviously, since then I have come to know David a good bit better. We talk frequently, sometimes bump heads and even sometimes bump heads pretty hard.
Having had that experience I can say this. In every interaction I have had with David King I have never seen a hint of an unprincipled or dishonest man. He is a literal fountain of consistency when it comes to ethics and fair dealing. So help me, if I had million dollars (which I clearly don’t) I would leave it with David, take a vacation and pick the money back up without counting it. He’s that honest, and I am proud to call him my friend.
Finally, David deserves to be honored. My job is hard, crappy sometimes, but at least I am surrounded by people who know what I do and who pull for me; who inquire about my wellbeing; who order me to bed when they know I am not sleeping. David King slaves under a merciless taskmaster (his own commitment to this cause) and there is but a small handful of people who even have a clue of what he does. It is not an overstatement to say that what he has done for AVFM and for the MHRM is heroic.
Please join me in thanking Sage and David their work. It is so far above and beyond the call of duty that it casts a shadow on thousands of good men.