Tuesday, August 16, 2005

It's my own fault, I know

I date younger men. I can't help it, I'm a sucker for potential.

But check this out. Tucked away in this Newsweek article about movie stardom is a great observation about our manliness-lacking generation:
There's a fundamental difference between the big American male stars of Gen X and their predecessors. The icons of the past were men. Paul Newman, Robert Red-ford and Warren Beatty were young and beautiful at the start of their careers, but they were never "boys." Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp, Will Smith and Cruise, not to mention Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio, are defined by their boy-ishness. They began their careers as kids and, even as they move into their 30s and 40s, have never fully lost their dew.

This was possible only because their parents—the baby boomers—had redefined the culture's perception of maturity, masculinity and aging. The boomers were conscientious objectors to adulthood. (How could maturity be a good thing if you didn't trust anyone over 30?) And as the boomers entered their 40s and 50s, and became the men and women running the Hollywood studios, they still clung to their right to dress like 20-year-olds. How could the Gen-X stars not be boys? That was virtually the only model available. "Youth" had become a lifestyle, a commodity, an ideal, a fetish. Indeed, when a romantic leading man came along who wasn't cut from the American Boy cloth—George Clooney, say—he would be explained as an anomaly, a throwback, a reincarnation of a Cary Grant or William Holden.

And that right there, my darlings, is why George Clooney is my imaginary celebrity husband.

Also, learn to dance, okay? If you ever learn anything at all from the wisdom of Owen Wilson, it is that the ability to dance well will get you laid.

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