I’m sorry, after years of hearing about how John Kerry would have been a terrible president because he is some kind of Parisian fairy, I am now staggered to learn that one of conservatism’s archetypes of manliness isJean-Luc Picard.
(Otherwise known as my second TV crush, after Hawkeye Pierce. Is there an equal opposite to cradle-robber? Because whatever that is, I’ve always been it. When I was 13 I had a thing for Adam onAll My Children, Adam who was old enough to be my mother’s grandfather. WTF, subconscious?)
Let’s get back to Frenchy McBaldness. Picard, okay, read books, drank tea and spent like eleventy-billion yearsnot banging the hot, seriously-into-him redheaded doctor down the hall. He came from a family of winemakers. His best friend was a black woman played by Whoopi Goldberg. He had a foreign accent! I don’t have a problem with any of this (unf), but how exactly does it fit in with the ideal of Conservative Manhood being about smashing things and keeping the bitches down? Does whipping some Borg ass now and then make up for stuff like this?
They’re mostly wrong, actually: Indiana Jones taught at a university and preferred museums over profit, and the Holy Grail is about the dangers of religious fanaticism. The A-Team is about helping people who have nowhere else to turn, who should probably just be shoved away with a lecture about bootstraps. I can’t speak to the wrestler up there, but he seems to be treating that woman with affection (at least, she’s not barefoot in the kitchen).
Trying to shoehorn pop culture into modern politics usually ends up stupid for this reason: Any good character is complex, and modern politicking needs things simple and dumb.
Before the 1980s, there were different masculine characters, but today, they are conspicuously absent. Men are shown either as thuggish degenerates, or as effete androgynes.
I will admit to impatience with actors young enough to be my legal kids being the new sex symbols, but that’s not to do with them or the culture or masculinity, it’s to do with how I am nowold as fuck. Luckily, there isBen Daniels for me, andRobert Lindsay, andIdris Elba, andyes I watch a lot of British TV I can’t help it they’re all so amazing, with the voices and hands and such. Even on the basic non-cable TV there are men who look like adults doing doctor and lawyer and detective things. If you’re not finding sufficient masculinity in the world, it’s probably a better idea to look in the mirror than to keep changing the channel.