Skip to main content

Generation interlude

In Katie Roiphe's world, the boy crisis is fictional. Not in the sense that the much-hyped threat to manliness is a fiction. No, the provocateur argued in Sunday's New York Times Book Review, that evidence of masculinity's decline is found in fiction -- more specifically, in the imaginary sex lives of imaginary male protagonists in novels written by men. This is a new take on a familiar argument, but Roiphe places the blame on the very same culprit framed for ruining the real-life sex lives of real-life men: feminism.

[. . .]

She seems to believe that men, be they real or fictional, are supposed to emerge cocksure on the other side of young adulthood -- or at least convincingly appear to. Even the hot pink graphics accompanying the article practically scream: C'mon you sissies -- grab your balls, be a man! But I dare say the real issue here -- for men and women, too, clearly -- is growing up, not manning up. (Tracy Clark-Flory, “Male writers go limp,” Salon, 4 Jan. 2010)

feminism isn't it; it's that allowance, in general, largely ended, late 70's

80s on, we all became more aware of how best to please, how to convince yourself "this is living," while really doing what you can not to seriously piss anyone off. And it has come at the cost of self-definition, true enablement -- personhood. So it is possible that a whole generation could amount to something of an interlude, with their predecessors having the great fortune of living at a time where there was more allowance, less in your way (despite all they'll say) to drive you to school down all your desires, growth, so self-consciously. It's the true rule from "Almost Famous": something really awful happened at the end of the 70s that has made even rock-and-rollers seem like just couldn't break past the (w)all of mother's disapproval.

If we want people to seem less like they're all too well broken in, we need boomers now to appreciate that good growth from their youth means, not just well-behaved leftists, with their all As, pleasing world-concerns, their striving for Princeton, but people whose thoughts and behavior will likely make them angry (a point Barbara Ehrenreich has made recently -- "hey professors, do you want free-thinkers, or don't you?"). Real change -- for the good -- is going to piss you off: because it will mean surrection of a belief system, an ethos, you cannot make claim to -- it will be all about them, not you -- will mean they are prepared to pass you by.

It is nearly impossible to mature when the culture -- note: even the indie escapes -- around you wants to keep you pliable, deferent, afraid of looking ridiculous, of being caught out --Tom Cruise-like -- on your own. We may have to wait for a new era, and be kind to those who would have been pilloried if they persisted in any effort to be more ballsy.

Feminism has become something which keeps pretty much everyone at bay. But it's not feminism but rather the era that has temporarily shaped the nature of its mission. This has not been a good era for any ism; however much its fight to provide and empower, it will have been bent to kow and control. People say we've been through a period of ridiculous excess, but it strikes me most, as one of atonement.

Link: Male writers go limp (Salon)

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Superimposing another "fourth-wall" Deadpool

I'd like to superimpose the fourth-wall breaking Deadpool that I'd like to have seen in the movie. In my version, he'd break out of the action at some point to discuss with us the following:
1) He'd point out that all the trouble the movie goes to to ensure that the lead actress is never seen completely naked—no nipples shown—in this R-rated movie was done so that later when we suddenly see enough strippers' completely bared breasts that we feel that someone was making up for lost time, we feel that a special, strenuous effort has been made to keep her from a certain fate—one the R-rating would even seemed to have called for, necessitated, even, to properly feed the audience expecting something extra for the movie being more dependent on their ticket purchases. That is, protecting the lead actress was done to legitimize thinking of those left casually unprotected as different kinds of women—not as worthy, not as human.   


2) When Wade/Deadpool and Vanessa are excha…

"The Zookeeper's Wife" as historical romance

A Polish zoologist and his wife maintain a zoo which is utopia, realized. The people who work there are blissfully satisfied and happy. The caged animals aren't distraught but rather, very satisfied. These animals have been very well attended to, and have developed so healthily for it that they almost seem proud to display what is distinctively excellent about them for viewers to enjoy. But there is a shadow coming--Nazis! The Nazis literally blow apart much of this happy configuration. Many of the animals die. But the zookeeper's wife is a prize any Nazi officer would covet, and the Nazi's chief zoologist is interested in claiming her for his own. So if there can be some pretence that would allow for her and her husband to keep their zoo in piece rather than be destroyed for war supplies, he's willing to concede it.

The zookeeper and his wife want to try and use their zoo to house as many Jews as they can. They approach the stately quarters of Hitler's zoologist …

Full conversation about "Bringing Up Baby" at the NewYorker Movie Facebook Club

Richard Brody shared a link.Moderator · November 20 at 3:38pm I'm obsessed with Bringing Up Baby, which is on TCM at 6 PM (ET). It's the first film by Howard Hawks that I ever saw, and it opened up several universes to me, cinematic and otherwise. Here's the story. I was seventeen or eighteen; I had never heard of Hawks until I read Godard's enthusiastic mention of him in one of the early critical pieces in "Godard on Godard"—he called Hawks "the greatest American artist," and this piqued my curiosity. So, the next time I was in town (I… I was out of town at college for the most part), I went to see the first Hawks film playing in a revival house, which turned out to be "Bringing Up Baby." I certainly laughed a lot (and, at a few bits, uncontrollably), but that's not all there was to it. I had never read Freud, but I had heard of Freud, and when I saw "Bringing Up Baby," its realm of symbolism made instant sense; it was obviou…