Where Men Are Men, and Women Are Ballbusters

Maybe it’s a consequence of having grown up in the Alan Alda Seventies, but we’ve never understood Dude Culture. We’re certainly aware of it — any beer commercial will provide quick instruction — but it’s always been a world completely foreign to us. There’s something so fragile about it all, the fear that membership in the Guy Club is so easily revoked.

Especially if you change your action movie’s leading character from a man to a woman:

But the process was a bit trickier than just changing the hero’s name and adding high heels. “In the original script, there was a huge sequence where Edwin Salt saves his wife, who’s in danger,” says [Salt director Phillip] Noyce. “And what we found was when Evelyn Salt saved her husband in the new script, it seemed to castrate his character a little. So we had to change the nature of that relationship.”

Yes, it’s fine and dandy for Angelina Jolie to kick butt, but let’s not get carried away with that Grrrrl Power crap. No Anerican Male is shelling out twelve bucks just to watch some wuss who can’t rescue himself with a snappy one-liner.

Then again, we’re not entirely immune to the world we live in: We honestly, deeply hate asking strangers for directions.

[Entertainment Weekly, April 23/30 issue]

We males are emotionally fragile delicate flowers aren’t we?

My pet peeve of male entertainment are sitcoms built around man children aka big babies in big boy pants. They tend to celebrate being a wussy emotional retard who can’t deal with any sort of responsibility. The male sex has more than enough of them and we don’t need any more.

On the other hand, Hollywood takes Grrrl power and uses it in really stupid ways.

So what am I saying? A lot of Pop Culture sucks.

More Arrested Development though as over the past month, I’ve learned that my dad’s family is closer to them than I realized. Ny dad and I are among the few members of our immediate family who are/were gainfully employed–No cracks about about being George Michael (and I have no “cousins” I am hot for.)

I have no idea what any of this means.

But what about this new “sensitive loser guy” chic? You know, like the guy in Sideways, like this new Ben Stiller movie, the sensitive, damaged, 40-something slacker, these are not members of the “dude” culture. The kind of guys you see in a bromance movie.

@Benedick: Dude, no way, I am gonna have to show you how to party! We’ll get a cube of natty light and play beer pong.

I call my son “dudemanbro.” He is going to be so confused some day. Tho I do think, there is a NYC thing, for men to call each other “brother,” the whole word, its maybe a union thing, a police and fire department thing, but I seam to hear it more among New Yorkers than anyone, guys who call other guys “brother.” “Eddie, I miss you more than all the others, and I salute you, my brother.”

Those guys used to be 20 something slacker sensitive guy losers.

That is sadly in my age demographic so I recognize it immediately. Strangely, I don’t like them either. Neediest folks I’ve ever met.

@ManchuCandidate: Yeah, they suck. Hrmph, hrmph, those guys over there, glad I’m not one of them.

@Promnight: “beer pong” I see this referenced at TFLN but have no clue what it can be. Is it some kind of game like ping pong or a drinking game?

@Promnight: I know it’s dangerous but – hey – it sure beats Rikers.

here is one from dude culture I dont get. doing things in groups.
riding motorcycles, etc. my coworkers always used to insist on walking down the street to the coffee place to get coffee until we decided we were all spending to much money there. now they all walk down the hall to the kitchen to get coffee. together. it always makes me giggle.

@Capt Howdy: For the same reasons that our dogs run in packs, no?

I guess so.

is there something wrong with me that I dont get this.
or is it just that I am gay?

@Capt Howdy: Did you ever read The Secret Lives Of Dogs? Worth it.

And what about that whole loving farts thing? Straight guys admire each other’s flatulence.

Don’t get that, either.

@Benedick: Well, there’s beer pong, which is played with ping pong paddles, and Beirut*, in which the ball is tossed by hand, but both typically involve a triangle of cups of beer (six is standard, but some play with ten) into which you and a teammate try to sink ping pong balls. The idea is to sink a ball into all of your opponents’ cups before they can do the same to you. (If your team is completely shut out, you have to run laps naked around the table, but that rule is not much enforced.) The losing team has to finish all of the beer on their side of the table.

* Often mistakenly called “beer pong.”

It’s because the men in power in Hollywood secretly know they don’t possess any skills that would allow them to survive as men in the real world, which is why they freak out whenever their ideal of masculinity is challenged on the screen. Also, they hate the general movie-going public and don’t believe we have the mental capacity to comprehend something a bit more evolved than ME TARZAN YOU JANE.

speaking of guy things
the season finale of Spartacus was awsum.

@mellbell: Much simpler in the old days, youngster: one beer a person, paddles, a ball. Sink the ball, that guy drinks. It was never intended to be Sport, with Rules, but rather a way to break up the everyday tedium of “how shall we get drunk today?”

Like quarters: bounce a quarter, get it in, the other guy (or gal) drinks to the bottom. Miss, you drink.

@Tommmcatt Loves The Giant Floating Head: No, never. The only truly “guy thing” I do, aside from Sport, is ogling and talking about girls.

@RomeGirl: I don’t agree with that at all. Hollywood power brokers are some of the scariest, fiercest men you could ever hope not to meet in a dark alley. They exist in a free market that is global, that is hugely successful, and produces vast amounts of money. You may not like H’wood movies but they sure do know how to reach their market. Plus the technical know-how is astounding. These are the people who should be running NASA, Iraq and Afghanistan. They actually know how to get things done. Had Iraq had the pre-production planning and scrupulous budgeting of, say, Iron Man the war would be a thing of the past. Almost all of the new movie-making techniques are invented here in the US. Hollywood invented outsourcing labor to cheaper overseas sites (Canada City, etc). Hollywood invented a kind of credit financing that has since been taken up by other industries (GE could still take a few lessons in how to hide gross profits). Plus there is an extraordinary pursuit of what is perceived to be talent.

As to what is produced, the great majority of people don’t like to see new things. They like to see old familiar things given a new gloss. H’wood has always done that. The kind of individual talent of, say, a Bunuel, can’t exist in H’wood because he’s an individual and H’wood is about pumping up the mainstream.

@Benedick: Case in point: Tom Cruise’s performance as a studio exec in Tropic Thunder.

I actually like Cruise when he plays villains. Collateral is a fine underrated entertainment.

Mind you, on topic for a change, I must say that I am appalled by the American custom of having Ariel in The Tempest played by a girl. It gives me the shudders in my most private parts. And I say that having been in that play with a really fine performance of that part by a woman. I suppose that’s similar to Angelina Jolie in this film I’ll never see.


Just once, I’d like to see Harry Reid channel the exec from Tropic Thunder. Can you imagine it: McConnell calls up to whinge about the financial reform bill…

Mitch: So, we think we’ll have to block this coming to the floor for debate.
Reid: First, take a big step back… and literally, FUCK YOUR OWN FACE! …rant continues…

@Benedick: @RomeGirl: Setting aside the question of whether you have different concepts of what skill sets are masculine and whether or not Hollywood power brokers have them, I think you’re both right about their relationship with the hoi polloi: They both know how to give them exactly what they want and loathe them as sheeple (hence their ability to know how to please them).

@al2o3cr: Alan Grayson might get there first.

@Benedick: I saw a production at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival with Prospero played by a woman and Ariel by a man. I love that play. Go ahead, mock me for being moved by Prospero’s last speech. Because I am.

@Dodgerblue: Ashland’s a bizarre little oasis of cultah on the Oregon-California border. Every time I stopped in town on the way to SF, I felt like I was in a backwater liberal theme park.

@nojo: I bought a Tilley hat there. Still have it. Those things are close to indestructible.

@Dodgerblue: I worship and adore that play. The first time I ever wore tights it was to play Ferdinand – who might be Shakeshite’s least appealing juvenile. And I’m not bitchin for sexist reasons but because if you change genders you mess up the story of principalities and powers. And lessen Miranda’s only bint on the island role.

Ashland requires a ten month contract. No way Jose.

@Benedick: I saw it at the RSC in ’89 or ’90 with a wonderfully masculine (and hawt, shirtless) actor playing Ariel, who isn’t the fey little sprite some make him out to be.

@Mistress Cynica:

I despise lissome and nubile Ariels- and Pucks, for that matter. From a strictly dramaturigical point of view, of course.

@Benedick: I think “Only Bint On The Island” would make a great name for a production company.

@Mistress Cynica: He’s the prince of the air. Caliban of the earth. Both Prospero’s metaphorical sons, their powers only restrained by Prospero’s superior magic. Echoes of Gloucester and his sons. And of course now it’s thought Shakeshite didn’t stop writing after this play and Prospero drowning his book was not a personal farewell.

Puck rhymes with Fuck: accident? Robin Goodfellow rhymes with Rahm Emanuel: you see the pattern?

@Dodgerblue: A colleague just handed me a little pamphlet about Tilley. I had never heard of the brand before.

@Nabisco: The day I got mine, I fell into a river (kayaking hi-jinks) wearing it, and it’s been taking abuse all over the US and Europe since. You just cannot wear these things out. Cram it into a suitcase or backpack, shake it out, put your knee into it, good as new.

@Dodgerblue: Funny thing is, all the stories about Tilleys involve falling into rivers or some such. So as long as I don’t have one, I’m pretty safe, eh?

@Capt Howdy: There’s nothing gayer than two hetero dudes on a jetski.

@Nabisco: I have been quoting that song constantly, lately, here and on Youtube.
@Nabisco: There is only one Tilly: http://photo.net/photodb/photo?photo_id=5679009&size=lg

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