Re: RARA-AVIS: Real guys don't worry a whole lot about if they're real guys or not...

From: Mark R. Harris (
Date: 27 Mar 2008

I agree with Kevin completely, especially about that "greatest generation" nonsense. The "greatest generation" was mainly a bunch of 18 to 25 year olds just like any other 18 to 25 year olds; they were called on to do some things and they acquitted themselves reasonably under the circumstances, by and large. That's fine but it's not some never-to-be-repeated greatness.


On 3/27/08, Kevin Burton Smith <> wrote:
> Mario wrote:
> > On the fate of the American male, there have been some serious
> > sociological studies resulting in books. The conclusion was that there
> > has been a loss of masculinity and a loss of self-esteem among
> > American males, that men are disoriented, they no longer know how or
> > where to fit. Also, that they have become more like women but that
> > women don't necessarily like that. Complicated stuff...
> Those serious sociological studies are usually trotted out by guys out
> to prove that all the other guys -- but not them, nosireebob, no
> fucking way -- are wimps.
> And almost every generation finds a previous one more to their liking.
> > In any case, it's considerably more complicated than saying that men
> > have become pussywhipped (or more so than they were before, in the
> > dark ages of the fifties). It's a societal thing, not a merely
> > individual phenomenon. On a time scale that makes any sense, this is
> > an alarming change, if indeed it is real. The people who have studied
> > it say it is.
> The people who study stuff... right.
> > What would Shell Scott think of all this?
> He'd say, "Merio, baby, why are you so down on chicks? Swing with it,
> man -- you gotta dig them as they are, not as you'd like them to be.
> Now, what time's happy hour?"
> > > Yes, you're right and I was exaggerating of course, but still I
> > don't think Dick Powell was very impressive even by the standards of
> > the time.
> And yet, he was probably in better physical shape than most, having
> been for many years a professional dancer. And thank God we were never
> subjected to a shirtless Rooster Cogburn.
> All this talk about vanishing masculinity (and the ongoing derision of
> many female HB writers that pops up regularly on this list) seems to
> indicate a lot of male insecurity out there, and becomes a sort of
> self-fulfilling prophecy.
> But this notion that some golden make-believe era (the thirties? the
> forties, maybe?) was the epitome of masculinity is just plain silly.
> It's all bullshit derived from old movies and revisionist history.
> This "greatest generation" stuff is a crock; a salve for baby boomer
> guilt and insecurity.
> Each era gets the men (and women) it deserves, but rarely the ones it
> needs. Men (and women) will be as "tough" as they need to be, and
> lesser men (and women) will still turn "the cult of masculinity" into
> a fetish, and talk endlessly about the good old days of pseudo uber-
> males like John Wayne and Ernest Hemingway. Borrowed flight jackets do
> not a war hero make.
> But I must admit, I do miss chest hair. Most actors today look like
> Ken with their shirts off.
> Pass the quiche...
> Kevin Burton Smith
> The Thrilling Detective Web Site
> Celebrating 10 Years of P.I. Thrills
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Mark R. Harris
2122 W. Russet Court #8
Appleton WI 54914
(920) 470-9855

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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