Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Let's Read Some Stupid

Advent, in spite of all that twinkly tinsel and lights, is a penitential season. Maggie Gallagher
No, it isn't. Spare me from all the Buckley Catholicism, because very few of you know what you are talking about.

I have a new story up on the ways in which the Blago scandal could damage the incoming Obama administration, even if no one on Team Obama has engaged in any pay-for-play dealings with Rod Blagojevich or his circle. Byron York

Obama did nothing wrong, but the Blago scandal could still damage him. Blago was taped saying that Obama will give him a pat on the head and send him home, but he could still be damaged. I fully expect eight years from now to read York predict that Obama could be seriously damaged by his post-presidency plans, and then liberals will be sorry they elected him.

I'm pretty sure there's never been a period in human history when certain people
haven't had this particular kind of unrealistic expectation when it comes to
love. We typically refer to those people as women, and they also happen to make
up a majority of rom-com-watchers. If there's a connection, it's that
women enjoy these films because these films show guys acting like women want
guys to act, i.e. irresponsible and hopeless at first before their love for the
female lead transforms them into stable, romantic (and telepathic) adults. Stephen Spruiell

I had no idea The Corner let 13-year-olds write for them.

Jesse Jackson Jr.'s loud protestations seem designed to assure the audience he was terrified of wiretap transcripts to come. Victor Davis Hanson



Anonymous said...

The Corner is indeed written by adults. They're smug, self-centered know-it-alls who use phoney bravado to mask their insecurities, which is very much like a 13-year-old, so it's very easy to see how they can be mistaken for as much.

Anonymous said...

I dunno. I didn't read the post in question, so I don't know what thesis he was hanging on that assertion about women's narrative preferences. But I think that a lot of the appeal of romantic comedy IS very much because of the scenario he outlines. It's essentially the plot of every romance novel ever written: Bad Boy is tamed by the love of a Good Woman. If you're the right woman and you love him enough, you can always bring him to his knees.

Male romances (aka "Westerns") revolve around the opposite notion: that even the love of a Good Woman CAN'T tame a Bad Boy. After he tastes of (doomed) love, he must always ride off into the sunset. Alone.

Of course, in both romance narratives, the Bad Boy is never all that bad after all. In Westerns he's usually just Dramatically Haunted, by a previous love that didn't work out or an incident of violence in which he didn't acquit himself well enough.

The man's flaws in classic Romance are usually excesses of a traditionally "masculine" virtues (too Honorable, Protective or Independent), or his behavior is the result of a mere misunderstanding that can be cleared up in a climactic revelation scene (after much entertaining angst). Romances can therefore be funny, whereas a true Western is always tragic. A man is what a man is, see, and a man has to do what a man has to do -- and that always means he has to Leave.

Noir fiction of the hardboiled detective variety, another "male romance" genre, has essentially the same theme: It Never Works Out With Women, although in noir it's because of HER, and in Westerns it's because of HIM.

I'm not saying these are realistic themes, or contribute positively to the modern American ethos, but I don't think he's wrong to say that women, even today, are more drawn to Tameable Lone Wolf kind of stories and men are more drawn to stories of Lone Wolves Who Can't Be Tamed.

Personally I like both kinds of fiction, but I'd never mistake them for lessons in living.

Susan of Texas said...

CP, maybe all libertarians stopped developing at 13--it would explain a lot.

Julia Grey, I believe he was talking about women wanting immature types that they can make them into the type of man they want. I agree many women want to tame a bad boy, but I don't thing they want "irresponsible and hopeless" men to trnasform them into "stable, romantic (and telepathic) adults." I think Spruiell is projecting, here.