Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Post-Masculine America?

Pajama Boy
Google Images

I became aware of Pajama Boy late in the day, I suppose, because every other blogger in the world has already blogged about him and undoubtedly come up with more interesting things to say than I will today, but since the image above so unselfconsciously depicts precisely what Camille Paglia thinks is wrong with America and the West -- an emasculation of males that produces boys instead of men -- I'd like to add a few (very few) words.

The individual who took on this PJ-role is a certain Ethan Krupp, about whom I know nothing, so he may be a decent fellow and all that, and anything that I say about Pajama Boy should not be taken as a reflection upon the actual individual Krupp.

Anyway, when I first did see this ad for Obamacare, I thought it was another conservative dig at President Obama that had used Photoshopping to make the President look foolish, for no serious politician would use such an infantile image and expect to gain anything other than laughs. But since the image was made in all seriousness, the message we're getting is that the people who made this image expect their target audience to be the sort of little boys who should be in bed but who have persuaded their mamas to fix them a final cup of hot chocolate before they go, and the mamas allow them that. Now, the little boy is supposed to be us, but who's the mama here? The Nanny-State who made the hot chocolate and promises to always take care of us? And our role? To e-mail everyone we've ever 'friended' and spread the word?

Call it the "New E-masculinity"! And get talking . . .

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At 6:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting last two posts, and I did go to Waka Waka Waka to appreciate TBH's new Obamacare ad. I think I have found an article to help us all reclaim some semblence of manhood -
Recapturing Manhood

It is either this Jeff or we all have to go back to the hayfields and start throwing the bales on the truck.

P.S. - I hope the link thing works!


At 7:17 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Hmmm . . . facial hair? That doesn't seem to work for Paul Rudd -- his moustache makes him look like a porn star! (My premise is that male porn stars look ridiculous.)

A full beard might do the job. Chest hair? Definitely.

These wild growths of hair -- full beards and chest hair -- seem to identify men with nature, or some of nature's creatures, especially bears.

Are women attracted to bears?

Jeffery Hodges

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At 8:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My 16 yr old kid John is just about ready to go-for-it and start wearing PJ bottoms as pants to school! I keep telling him, hmm, that's like a BAD DREAM I had when I was his age, vs a fashion statement; he just laughs...Charley

At 9:53 AM, Anonymous Yule said...

This reminds me a lot of these:

Do You Got Insurance, Bro?

All are...cringeworthy, disgraceful, depressing. Astonishingly, all those were made in seriousness, too (not as sarcastic parodies by opponents).

At 12:46 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Pete, I had a dream like that, too! Except I didn't have my pajamas on . . .

Jeffery Hodges

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At 12:49 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Well . . . at least, no hot chocolate!

Jeffery Hodges

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At 1:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ha, yeah, that's the full-up horror version of the nightmare, as opposed to the lighter version that I decided to go with above...have a great New Year--Pete

At 3:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've seen Ms. Paglia's name mentioned in print on a number of occasions but have not read her writings extensively. Posed on your linked post about her, I perceive her like so many other social scientists to fall into the "data is the plural of anecdotes" trap. What data did she use to generalize that elites used to serve in the military but no longer do so? I suspect she is comparing WWII vets of the Greatest Generation with baby boomers who used college to qualify for draft deferments. The Wikipedia entry on the military service of US reveals that about 1/4th had no military service at all. Early presidents mostly served in state militias while most others served in major conflicts that conscripted large numbers of men: the Civil War and the two world wars. Starting with Howard Taft, there is an unbroken string of six presidents from both parties, none of whom served in the military. I cross checked with the Wiki entry on US conflicts and noted that the two major conflicts near the turn of the last century relied on a small voluntary force. Likewise, of the two recent presidents without military service, Clinton deferred while Obama was too young to get sent to Vietnam.

If I were to research the biographies of industrial titans like Astor, Carnegie and Ford, I would probably find that they are no more likely to have served in the military than their modern tech counterparts like Gates and Zuckerberg.

Another relevant point to counter Paglia's assumptions is the impermanence of the human condition owing to evolution and rapid technological innovation. The power of contraception has dramatically altered life and employment choices for both sexes. It is rational to expect cultural norms to adapt accordingly in a relatively short period of time while biological adaptations will occur more slowly.

Paglia appears to be one of the script writers that Bob Somerby warns us about in his outstanding blog, the Daily Howler. Anytime these storytellers refer to "elites," we need to turn our critical thinking skills on full power and question every assertion made in the text.

Wishing you and your family a year of joyful growth and strength to bear any hardships that you face.

At 3:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Posed on your linked post about her = based on your linked post about her

Military service of US presidents

The two major conflicts of turn of the last century were the Spanish-American War and the Philippine--American War.

At 8:05 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Thanks, Sonagi (I assume), for the research and questioning of Paglia's remarks. You always make me think.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 12:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just went through some of the posts by Corie Whalen at the link Yule provided. All I can say is WOW!! She is definitely passionate about her beliefs, but at 25 how many of us really knew what our lifetime beliefs and passions would be? Personally I lean more Democratic than Republican these days, but have voted for candidates in both parties in the past. I think if you lean too far to one side or the other, you fail to hear or comprehend opposing views which may be more in line with your own beliefs or political position. There has only been one man, or woman, who was right ALL of the time. Unfortunately, HE is not available to vote for.



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