44 Presidents | Order from Amazon.com
The night the wife cooked lobster, I did the dirty deed of dropping the stunned monsters head-first into the boiling pot. "This is my first time killing my own food," I said.
"Do you feel like an animal?"
"You're their Hitler, aren't you. Oh, no --"
"Their brains are leaking out into the water."
"Good! It's best that they not think too hard about this."
+ + +
"I might be thinking too hard about this, but 'manly man' doesn't quite capture what I'm trying to get at. The man I'm thinking of takes the old-school manly man and updates him with the best qualities of other types of men."
"How about -- you know how Jerry Lewis called himself a total director?"
"Yeah, because he had total control over his films. You can call your type of man the total man."
"Hmm hmm hmm hmm. I like it."
"That way, you and Jerry Lewis can have another thing in common, besides your humility."
+ + +
We must begin by recognizing the fictional nature of the total man. He's a superhero who can crawl on walls, form luminescent green solid objects at will, surf at light speed through the vacuum of space, see through your clothes, and smash things. As a corporation, he combines the best practices of Google, Gazprom, GE, and United Fruit Company. Jesus and Hitler are his right and left hands. Like the Geto Boys, he can't be stopped.
+ + +
The total man must be assembled out of myth because the everyday world is sick with poor excuses for manhood. In Pittsburgh, a 48-year-old systems analyst named George Sodini shot up an aerobics class, killing 3 women before turning the gun on himself. His blog explained that he had not had sex in 19 years and that life held nothing in store for him. In Germany, a 39-year-old computer expert named Armin Meiwes dined together with his Internet date, 43-year-old Bernd-Jurgen Brandes, also a computer expert. Their meal: Brandes' penis, which Meiwes had amputated with Brandes' consent. (The two had met on a cannibal forum.) In Austria, Josef Fritzl, a 73-year-old former electrical engineer and son of a Nazi stormtrooper, was convicted of rape, incest, enslavement, and murder after it was found that he had locked away his daughter for 24 years in a secret dungeon he'd built below his house, in the process fathering 7 children with her (1 of whom died shortly after birth, having received no medical attention), 3 of whom were also kept in the dungeon, untouched by natural light. Fritzl's son/grandson Stefan, 18 upon his release from the 5'6"-tall dungeon, stood for the first time to his full 5'8" height. In Arizona, in the parking lot of a state welfare office, a 48-year-old unemployed trucker and known dickhead named Faleh Almaleki rammed his Jeep Grand Cherokee head-on into 20-year-old Noor Almaleki, his own beautiful daughter, crushing her head and spine. Her crimes: being hot, having a boyfriend, moving in with her boyfriend -- thereby staining her family's name in the eyes of the only community that matters: Muslims with penes. In South Korea, Lee Seung Seop, a 28-year-old industrial boiler repairman who'd recently gotten fired from his job for chronic lateness and dumped by his girlfriend, collapsed in an Internet café and died of an exhaustion- and dehydration-induced heart attack. He'd been playing Starcraft for 50 hours straight (minus pee breaks). In China, selective abortions have resulted in 32 million more boys under the age of 20 than girls, a surplus that is likely to create the planet's highest concentration of pudwhacking, WoW-mastering virgins-for-life. If they're lucky.
+ + +
I don't know, man. There's evil, and then there's just plain badness, and then there's some evil again. So what. One time, I had a conversation with a sharp dude about the lack of meaningfulness of the label "evil". To an Islamic fundamentalist, we're evil, ladies who dress slutty (wear normal clothes) and bring shame upon their fathers are evil, and suicide bombers are the ultimate heavenly good, and we're not mere minutes away from changing his mind and heart any more than he's mere minutes from talking Cheryl into going back in time and covering up those Tiegs; and isn't that our planet's ultimate game? Swaying people's minds and hearts. That and/or exterminating one another using brute force. All relativism and fatalism aside, being able to identify evil in other men doesn't help me become a better man. Pointing out evil in other men doesn't require imagination; it's easy, and that's why you see so many people doing it. Kevin Shields the cat brought fleas into my house, and now fleas are the tangible embodiment of evil in the world to me. I've bathed Kevin half a dozen times with cat shampoo, combed him with a flea comb, dropped flea drops on his back, sprayed him with organic flea killer, put a flea collar on him, dusted the entire basement with diatomaceous earth, given him a whole-body diatomaceous dirt bath, and sprayed a pungent organic insecticide everywhere. Now it smells like a jungle and feels like a jungle, because the indestructible fleas still live. Now I feel phantom crawly things on me, whether or not they're there. Calling evil evil will achieve nothing. Fog bombing the house with toxic chemicals might.
+ + +
Whatever happened to the man of tomorrow of yesteryear? -- smiling, fit, reciprocating the adoring gazes of his wife and their beautiful children, wearing a jetpack. No, we are staring down into our fucking phones, updating the Panopticon about our current whereabouts, regurgitating Internetspeak and Internet jokes, getting yelled at by an array of bosses, building shrines to our faces tilted just so, tanning, moisturizing, customizing, crying, cutting, dressing like weasels or dads, eating at stupid restaurants, shutting ourselves in, going into credit card debt, not getting wet, taking seduction lessons from guys with faux-hawks and Chinese tattoos, still not getting wet, letting ourselves go. Well, at least we've got our jobs.
+ + +
An article by Hanna Rosin in The Atlantic has claimed that women now comprise, for the first time, a majority of the workforce in America. My own search of the Bureau of Labor Statistics' site -- and a quick phone call to the BLS for confirmation -- contradicted that claim; as of July 2010, women do comprise 49.7% of nonfarm employees, but that category doesn't include self-employed workers, a category dominated by men. (Including self-employed workers, women make up 46.6% of the workforce.) Still, Rosin's article's point is well taken: things done changed, and now the American household's got two economic sheriffs. With nearly three women earning a college degree for every two men, and with the jobs with the largest projected growth being dominated by women, it appears as if the new sheriff is better equipped than the old sheriff to handle these lean times.
+ + +
Female-headed households are a subject near to my heart because I'm the product of one. My father was an insurance salesman whose income fluctuated dramatically throughout his career. I think of him now as a Willy Loman-esque broken man, except whereas Willy deludes himself that his big break is just around the corner, my father has meekly accepted that life did not go the way he thought it would. My mother's steady (forty years, one job) paycheck saved our family from financial ruin, though not from the chaos of unreasonable debt -- 32 years into their mortgage, my parents don't own their house. My mother's leadership extends from her personality -- socially robust where my father is shy, goal-oriented where he is distracted by process, upbeat where he is self-doubting. My father panics; and my mother, for better or worse, gets things done. I was 9 or 10 when I noticed that the two of them had in many ways flipped the traditional script. She signed the checks; he cooked; I cultivated fictional male role models.
+ + +
Perhaps my parents were ahead of their time, and now a post-feminist America has caught up to them. Women will bring home the bacon, and men will be caregivers, and this new equilibrium is what will finally, finally make most people un-neurotic. Men will cook the bacon that women brought home, and nobody will secretly think of those men as dick-tuckers. Maybe. Maybe my female friends will stop lamenting the lack of high-caliber men in their lives. Men will evolve. Where do we go from metrosexual? Dream bigger: the man of tomorrow will learn how to get consistently laid for being a nice guy who is attentive to the stated needs of his partner. Chicks won't dig jerks, and dudes will wake up and appreciate that true beauty is on the inside, thereby loosening hot chicks' stranglehold on male attention, and monkeys will fly out my butt, and Toto, who's being carried away by the flying monkeys, barks, "Hey, I don't mind this!" -- though only other dogs understand.
+ + +
I made a list of 33 iconic men to help me think about the future and how I am going to live through it. My version of the total man is a Frankenstein monster cut and pasted from these icons; and I submit that heterosexual men will find the list's archetypes relevant whether or not they identify with these individual men. Jesus and Hitler were purposefully excluded.
- John Wayne (26 May 1907 - 11 Jun 1979)
For those interested in custom-building the total man, it is important to know all of his factory settings. By historical default, the total man speaks slowly, carries a big stick, and knows how to fire it. He is what's commonly referred to as a man's man -- a boss who is feared, loved, and (above all) respected. However violent a man he might be, he abides by a moral code. He has never shot a man in the back. Whatever happens, the total man doesn't cry about it. He's tough, and his tolerance for men who aren't is low. He chooses doing something about it over talking about it, 100% of the time. "John Wayne" as pop-cultural shorthand for default masculine values is something that every subsequent iteration of masculinity must build upon, reject, and distort. Although he looks square next to, say, Robert Downey Jr's Iron Man, certain tenets of Wayne's man-code are unlikely to be overturned by future man-courts. In The Shootist, his last movie, Wayne articulates the whole of the law in five clauses: "I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do these things to other people, and I require the same from them."
Note that the non-fictional John Wayne -- Marion Robert Morrison by birth -- never went to war. Wayne's third wife argues that the friction between his mythical status as war hero and his RL draft deferment is directly responsible for Wayne's later political conservatism. She writes, "He would become a 'superpatriot' for the rest of his life trying to atone for staying home."
Kim Fowley, rock'n'roll impresario (and himself a rather iconic dude), remarks,
"They say when Theda Bara took on the USC football team that the guy who came closest to getting her off was John Wayne, so she said, ‘You oughta be in movies.’ She got him his first audition and that’s how he got in the movie business. It may have been another actress, but somebody of that vintage literally needed a football team to get off. So there are women like that. What was your question again?"
Wayne was married three times, and his third wife, Pilar, was 29 years his junior. Of living men, Vladimir Putin strikes me as perhaps the most Wayne-like. Oddly but strongly, the fictional Omar Little also comes to mind.
- Woody Allen (1 Dec 1935 - )
Mythically speaking, Allen (born Allen Stewart Konigsberg) is the anti-Wayne. His primary asset -- being funny in a way that Wayne can't dream of -- is offset by a litany of what would be considered fatal weaknesses in Wayne's world: Allen can't shut up, can't shut off his interior monologue, and can't stop explaining himself. His continuous hand-wringing proceeds from an inability to trust anyone. He'll alternate between second-guessing himself and second-guessing those around him, which isn't a viable long-term strategy for the total man. The total man has to trust himself or follow somebody he trusts more than himself, but Allen chooses both and neither. Somehow, he manages to try too hard and give up too easily. He fears physical confrontation and loves urban comfort. He's the sports fan to Wayne's sportsman. To grasp in an instant the essential absurdity of Woody Allen, picture him on a galloping horse. Picture him kayaking. Nevertheless, Woody Allen is a giant swinging cock in the annals of manhood precisely because he fills the negative space around the monolith that is Wayne, transforming background into foreground.
Note that neurotic weaklings have always existed, but that Allen's rise as a protagonist coincides with the sexual revolution of the 1960s/'70s and the rise of second-wave feminism. His greatest innovation was to provide other neurotic weaklings a plausible model for attracting members of the opposite sex -- through humour, narcissism, in-your-face displays of sadness, and strategic deployment of cultural expertise. Of course, he was still a jerk, just like John Wayne, but the jerk is in the details. Whereas Wayne's wild west is a virtual sausage party, Allen inhabits a world full of female foils and villains. That's no accident; that's an adaptation. The post-feminist era of masculinity might be synopsized as an invisible tug-of-war between Wayne's phallocentric isolationism and Allen's gynocentric imperialism. It's a fairer fight than it looks.
Ultimately, the total man has to eliminate or transcend Woody Allen -- not because he's evil (I doubt it.) or disgusting (I don't doubt it.), but because he's unbearably sad. Of all the weaknesses that he's remodeled into charming quirks, his sadness is the one that seems the most authentic and the least redeemed by comedy. He's a man who searches for redemption in art and in attention to small moments, in hearing Rhapsody in Blue while staring at the Brooklyn Bridge, because the rest of his life is a vanilla milkshake of cowardice. The total man salvages the black comedy and the attention-paying, and calls bullshit on the stupid-fucking-white-man stuff.
Number of times Woody Allen has been married: 3
Number of years older he is than his third wife: 35
Icon preferable to Woody Allen, if you're looking for sadness and mental self-entrapment: David Foster Wallace
- Clint Eastwood (31 May 1930 - )
Eastwood, perhaps the planet's most perfect anti-nerd, has never played Dungeons & Dragons in his life. Nevertheless, he makes a marvelous case for adopting chaotic neutral -- the alignment of the unreliable loner -- as the total man's official alignment. That is to say, his highest value is his own freedom, and although he does not enjoy being party to the suffering of others, he sees no duty to intervene in others' affairs when he has no chance of personal gain. He is selfish, pragmatic, unsentimental, but not totally lacking in mercy. He knows he has to be unfair sometimes; and when what goes around comes around, he greets it like an old friend. He equates pity with disrespect, and therefore expects no pity from others. He makes few friends, and he avoids depending on what friends he does have. He responds poorly to being ordered around, and aligns himself with groups only when doing so might further a specific personal goal -- and then only temporarily. He prefers acting to reacting. He travels light and has no need for what the womenfolk call "closure". If Clint Eastwood is the total man, then the total man is prepared to die alone, unloved and unmourned.
(Yes, I have been watching spaghetti westerns, thanks to the informative, enthusiastic recommendations of my good friend Brian.)
Number of wives/domestic partners Clint Eastwood has had: 4
Number of years older he is than his current wife: 35
- Paul Newman (26 Jan 1925 - 26 Sep 2008)
The total man loves his wife like you wouldn't believe. The reason you wouldn't believe it is that, according to a 2002 National Center for Health Statistics report,
- for brides under 18, 48% of marriages end in divorce within 10 years
- for brides 18-19, 40% ...
- for brides 20-24, 29% ...
- for brides 25 and older, 24% ...
-- and of the remaining intact marriages, you have personally witnessed far, far too many that appear to be loveless, sexless, respect-less, and/or otherwise magick-less. In the whole of your experience, if you're lucky, you personally know of maybe one marriage that seems as cool as the marriage of Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward; and when you visualize these marriages -- both the one you personally know and the one you have imagined for Paul and Joanne (your good friends, in your head), they are lit through the same hazy filter used for sitcom versions of heaven. In unreal life, these blessed couples endure; and you secretly find comfort in the proven existence of oases of improbability in the desert of probability. Yes, Paul was married once before and probably cheated on his first wife with Joanne. You are aware, and you have deemed this imperfection humanizing and instructive. After all, the total man learns from his mistakes.
Number of times Paul Newman was married: 2
Number of years older he was than Woodward: 5
- Seth Rogen (15 Apr 1982 - )
The total man has decided that his looks and weight are less important than hers. His fame and his goofy irreverence, neither of which are likely to disappear anytime soon, are what make him desirable. They never thought he was cute when he was doing open mike night, but he's not bitter about it. The total man surrounds himself with male friends who have similar goofy interests. He's not bothered in the slightest that this might all look a little gay to the non-casual observer; the total man has an acute case of rampant homophilia. He knows that to isolate himself is to diminish himself. Dogs who travel as a pack have a much better chance of stopping a moose.
Times married: 0
Is he Canadian: Yes
- Denzel Washington (28 Dec 1954 - )
Some days, it seems as if Denzel Washington is the last leading man on the planet still getting jobs as the strong, silent type. Russell Crowe, too, maybe. What the fuck happened?! Why are we now deluged by sensitive girlyman protagonists who are using the big screen to indulge in a two-hour therapy session designed to help them finally let go of their dead wives and overcome their fear of failure/people who are different from them/intimacy with a woman/killer wind? That's what we find attractive now? I remain skeptical and vaguely amused, as well as nostalgic for a form that peaked before I was born: the western. Bring that beat back! Let Denzel Washington play a small-time rancher who accidentally gets mixed up with train robbers; I don't care about historical plausibility.
Washington is the best good guy working today and one of the best good guys o.a.t. He's equally at home in MLK mode (neutral good, to those of you who speak elf) or Malcolm X mode (chaotic good), but I wouldn't mind seeing him in Clint Eastwood mode (chaotic neutral; see above) a bit more, before he gets too old to administer savage beatdowns to saloons full of wicked, unwashed horse thieves. Washington reminds me that the total man is constantly forgetting to reward the bad behaviour of others.
Did you know that Denzel Washington has been pulling a Newman? He's been married to the same woman, Pauletta Pearson Washington, since 1983. In 1995, Denzel declined to kiss co-star Kelly Lynch for a scene in the film Virtuosity. Lynch explained, "Denzel felt strongly that white males, who were the target audience of this movie, would not want him to kiss a white woman." But I wonder if he and his wife have rules about such things. It can't be easy, being married to a guy whose first name is synonymous with mass, spontaneous female orgasms.
Times married: 1
Number of years younger he is than his wife: 4
- Hunter S. Thompson (18 Jul 1937 - 20 Feb 2005)
The total man surveys his surroundings and declares, with absolute objectivity, "There's no fucking rules, dude."
Years older than second wife: 35
- Michael Cera (7 Jun 1988 - )
The total man's immune system reacts efficiently to remove all traces of Michael Cera from the body. At the same time, the total man is vaguely thankful that women do not all share the same taste in men, and that there will always be specialty niches for men who are full of uncomfortable pauses, meek body language, and strong preferences for music that sounds the way a vegan hamburger tastes.
- George Michael (25 Jun 1963 - )
The total man wouldn't dress like George Michael (born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou), shave like George Michael, or hang out in public toilets waiting for action like George Michael; but he would be happy to sing, believe in love, and have faith like George Michael.
Golden gay: ?
- George Clooney (6 May 1961 - )
Whether or not the total man is honest with other people, he must be honest with himself. George Timothy Clooney, perhaps the world's most famous bachelor, may seem to be just a normal, extraordinarily handsome actor with a respectable, boring body of work; but there is one admirable thing about him that's rare nowadays. He is honest in affairs of the heart. The Cloon was married once, from 1989-93, before his star had risen. Since then, he has bounced from one beautiful young lady to another while publicly swearing that he will never be married again. Not getting married is a smart policy for a man of his status, given how U.S. divorce laws favour a gold-digging wife, but what impresses me is that he's been up-front about his policy to his ladyfriends. If they get their hopes up, that's on them. When a man gets married -- assuming it's a traditional marriage -- he's explicitly stating, "I'm never fucking a woman besides my wife again, no matter how many attractive women throw down their panties before me at the mere sight of my face." The Cloon has decided that he cannot say anything to that effect and mean it, and I think women respect him for it. Of his ex-wife, he says, "I probably –- definitely -– wasn't someone who should have been married at that point. I just don't feel like I gave Talia a fair shot." The total man admits his errors, not out of humility but out of loyalty to science.
- Toshirō Mifune (1 Apr 1920 - 24 Dec 1997)
Anybody who has watched a Japanese movie knows that there's a whole lot of bowing going on in Japan. Women bow to men; men bow to women; subjects bow to their rulers and vice versa; and equals bow to one another. All bows aren't created equal. There are bows for greeting, farewell, apology, deference, gratitude, and when you get hit by a sword. Generally, the lower you bow and the longer you hold it, the more respect you convey. Everybody's got his own style. Some people tend to look servile when they do it, and some look like they are beginning a sequence of complicated pantomimes. Toshirō Mifune never looks servile or like a mime when he bows, or when he does anything. As far as I am aware, the man never had an uncool moment in his life. He dressed cool and fought with a sword cool, and he taught the total man to move with strength and grace.
Number of children by wife: 2
Number of children by mistress: 1
- Morrissey (22 May 1959 - )
The total man is not embarrassed that you know exactly how much he loves to be loved. Evade the tackles of the beefy event staff, run up on stage, and rip the shirt from his back. He believes that he deserves love of this quality, and he believes that it was all luck. What a wanker he is! What a wanker he would be not to enjoy this moment! The total man believes and disbelieves his own hype.
Gay: Ask him, ask him, ask him
- Groucho Marx (2 Oct 1890 - 19 Aug 1977)
Originally, I had Bugs Bunny in this slot, but then I remembered that Groucho was the RL Bugs Bunny, the hero who was never at a loss for words, and never at a loss, period. Thanks to Groucho, the total man understands that a joke, if it is good enough, can make a defeat a victory; and a victory, a defeat. Now the total man is slippery, ungraspable to his enemies, and forgetful of whether he even has enemies. It becomes difficult to hold a grudge when you have never lost.
I like this picture of Groucho waiting at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol in 1958 with Eden Hartford, his third wife, and Melinda Marx, his 11-year-old daughter by a previous marriage. Maybe it is a meaningless accident of a moment, and maybe it tells a big story. Note the little separation between Groucho and Eden; they'd been married for four years by this point; had that been enough time for their magick to dim, if there had been magick? Maybe Eden was happy at all times except when Melinda was around, who was a reminder to Eden that Groucho did not belong wholly to her. Eden might be shooting a cold glance at Melinda, who is sitting close to her father, who adores her. She's showing the beginning of a smile. Seven years later, the tone-challenged Melinda is embarking on an ill-fated career as a pop star. Eleven years later, Groucho and Eden are getting divorced. Win, win, win, win.
Years older than third wife: 40
- Tom Waits (7 Dec 1949 - )
From the anti-George-Michael, a.k.a. Thomas Alan Waits, the total man steals a feeling of hospitable decay, of being at ease with beat-up old junk. He knows he'll be beat-up old junk, too, soon enough; and junk-dealing is as good a method as any for cultivating future self-respect.
Number of different versions of Waits' "Way Down in the Hole" that have been used as the theme song for The Wire: 5
- James Bond (1953 - )
The total man enjoys romantic works of art because they show him the man that he might be, and probably never will be, unless some sort of miracle happens. Miracles happen all the time, according to ICP, so why shouldn't he be ready? To that end, he watches whatever James Bond comes his way -- Connery, Moore, it doesn't matter. To allow oneself to inhabit the character and to allow the character to inhabit oneself -- that is what matters. What matters is to move with the smoothness; to get loved by that delicious Pussy Galore; to use all the gadgets (unlike the riff-raff, who let the gadgets use them); and to scoff at danger.
1953 gave birth to a twin assault on male fantasy: Ian Fleming's first Bond novel appeared, and Hugh Hefner invented Playboy. Coincidence or conspiracy? Bond's popularity paved the way for the perfection of the British spy hero in the 1960s by Patrick McGoohan, who was a good deal smarter, harder, and weirder than any Bond.
Number of Bond books by Ian Fleming: 14
Number of Bond movies: 22
- R. Kelly (8 Jan 1967 - )
The total man possesses far more mistakes than regrets. His restless imagination is forever pushing him forward into the next episode.
Number of counts of videotaping himself having sex with an underage girl R. Kelly was indicted on: 14
Number of counts of videotaping himself having sex with an underage girl R. Kelly was found not guilty of: 14
- R. Crumb (30 Aug 1943 - )
Everything old was better and more real than everything new, and nobody gets it because they're all too hypnotized by shined-up shit, because people are no smarter than goldfish; and the only solution is to get the hell out of America. That's why the total man is a curmudgeon. He's a terrible, terrible human being who gets loved only because he is a genius; and he realizes how unlucky and unloved he would be were it not for his gift -- which makes him, if anything, only more cranky.
If he were less of an asshole but just as curmudgeonly and an even more unlikely candidate for fame, he'd be Harvey Pekar.
Wives who are cartoonists: 1
Children who are cartoonists: 1
- Mike Tyson (30 Jun 1966 - )
The total man is full of pain, but he has noticed that pain is not an inert gas. Pain always reacts with other elements and gets made into something else -- tears, poems, bottles, needles, punches, and sometimes heavyweight championship belts.
In Allen Iverson, pain reacted with hubris and love to form basketball's most notorious ball hog. Hunter S. Thompson's chronic back pain reacted with boredom and an extremely low tolerance for boredom to form a bullet to the head. Mike Tyson will tell you that he converted his mental pain into other men's physical pain. I always knew the dark side of the Force was real. Drew Ailes once said of Tyson, "Although not a violent degenerate myself, uh ... I think it's important to have empathy for these horrible creatures."
Halfway around the world, Manny Pacquiao is busy playing Kenobi to Tyson's Vader.
- Notorious B.I.G. (21 May 1972 - 9 Mar 1997)
Enemies make the man. The total man intuits the potent mixture of humour and sentimentality. You're nobody 'til somebody kills you.
Children from previous relationship: 1
Children from marriage: 1
Current ages of children: 17, 13
- Tupac Shakur (16 Jun 1971 - 13 Sep 1996)
The total man accepts the thrill/danger of competition. He has discovered that fearlessness can start as make-believe fearlessness, anger as make-believe anger, and war as make-believe war.
Duration of marriage in years, before divorce: 1
- Barack Hussein Obama (4 Aug 1961 - )
The total man knows the game inside and out. He can measure precisely the value of friends and enemies. He knows what to say to control damage, and he knows when to say nothing and let his opponent run out of emotional steam. The total man has lost before and is fully aware that he can lose again. He is aware of the danger of not thinking far enough ahead, and the danger of thinking too many moves ahead. His constantly-shifting target is the equilibrium point between trying too hard and being too passive. As critical to his success as "ready" and "aim" are, he knows he will be judged only on "fire". Inside all of this gamesmanship, his head and heart are ruled by two ideas:
- "We can be good."
- "We can cooperate."
If he is wrong, you bastards, come and get him.
Years older than his wife: 2
- J.D. Salinger (1 Jan 1919 - 27 Jan 2010)
If he is to do anything good at all, the total man needs some alone time.
Years older than his second wife: 40
- Marlon Brando (3 Apr 1924 - 1 Jul 2004)
The more eccentric, difficult, or ostensibly assholic the total man is, the more fiercely his loved ones will attest to his kinder, gentler, more sensitive side.
Years older than his third wife: 17
Adopted children: 1
Children by wives: 5
Children by his housekeeper: 3
Children by anonymous: 3
- Klaus Kinski (18 Oct 1926- 23 Nov 1991)
Batshit crazy is not a dealbreaker.
Years older than his fourth wife: 41
- Werner Herzog (5 Sep 1942 - )
Given that nature is
"full of obscenity ... fornication and asphyxiation and choking and fighting for survival and growing and just rotting away";
"the trees are in misery, and the birds are in misery; I don't think they sing; they just screech in pain";
"taking a close look at what's around us, there is some sort of a harmony; it is the harmony of overwhelming and collective murder"
-- the total man must not avert his eyes.
Years older than his third wife: 28
- Harrison Ford (13 Jul 1942 - )
In a pinch, gun over sword.
Years older than third wife: 22
- David Lynch (20 Jan 1946 - )
No, the total man won't tell you what he meant. Just watch the fucking thing again.
Wives/domestic partners: 5
Years older than current wife: I'll guess 30
- Andy Kaufman (17 Jan 1949 - 16 May 1984)
The total man doesn't tell the joke. He lives the joke.
Bastard children who were put up for adoption: 1
- Homer Simpson (1987 - )
Homer Jay Simpson is a cautionary tale to the total man -- about how if he were a fat, crude, lazy, ignorant slob, everyone would stop loving him, even his family. Ha, ha, no they wouldn't!
- David Letterman (12 Apr 1947 - )
The total man has imagined his whole life as one long, continuous appearance on Late Night with David Letterman, in which his main objective is to not get his ego destroyed by Dave's understated, offhand mockery; and maybe -- if he's lucky -- get in a few good jabs that cause Dave to stop, grin downwardly, shoot the camera a wry look, and reshuffle his index cards before resuming the conversation.
Years he was with Regina Lasko before marrying her: 23
- Bob Dylan (24 May 1941 - )
The total man will answer your question without hesitation, in a manner that suggests he heard a different question altogether.
Years older than second wife: 13
- Bruce Lee (27 Nov 1940 - 20 Jul 1973)
The total man synthesizes many styles into "no style"; he is concerned not with originality but with making the strongest possible Jeet Kune Do. The wildness of his legend is directly proportional to the simplicity with which he lives. He was water, and now he is still water.
Years older than wife: 4
the thirty third man
Open to: All, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 14
Insert archetype here
+ + +
(again w/ 100% functional links)
( 33-20Collapse )
19. ADRIANO CELENTANO "Stai Lontana Da Me" (2.0 MB) -- Full of whoops, yelps, howls, growls, grunts, falsetto swoops, evil laughs (?), coughs, and James-Brown-esque sexual punctuation, this song is a catalogue of manly utterances. Google translates the song's title as "You're Away from Me", but Celentano sounds pretty happy about it, because now he is boning something like 10 other ladies. The trombone part is so cool.
DUDLEY MOORE & PETER COOK "Bedazzled" (2.2 MB) -- a classic masterpiece of aloofness, a trait in men that women have historically found irresistible