Yesterday, Sugarplum wrote an interesting account of what happened when her man's friends found their lead-up-to-wedding blog. Read it yourself. I found it extra interesting as I had a conversation recently about how the things that were once the mark of a gentleman had become gay (good dancing, good manners, good grooming, good conversationalism, et al). The guy I was talking to blamed feminism because of the independence and sexual liberation it entailed, by which I suppose he meant men didn't have to try so hard to make us naked anymore. I don't buy that, of course. In part because of the formerly greater economic prominence of prostitution and in another part because it suggests men are naturally lousy dancers, boorish and shitty conversationalists, and I love them too much to believe that.
But an explanation there must be, and where feminism falters Marxism hollers. The reason what used to be gentlemanly is now gay to the degree that Sugar's fiancé is getting shit for appearing in a wedding blog (and yes, Sugarplum is an actual woman) is because of one of the elements of Western capitalistss reaction to the spectre of revolution.
This is the ubiquitous pop culture celebration of the Working Class Hero; filling up our media with images of hard, strong, manly troglodytes of stereotypes of the blue collar man. This celebration goes hand-in-hand with the presentation of the middle and upper classes as a bunch of fags that you shouldn't emulate or envy or, uhm, have a revolution over. The beginning of this trend happily co-incided with the post-Enlightenment stage where educabourgeoiseous had stopped believing in Hell and started coming out of the closet if that's where they happened to be, but uneducated working-class people still more or less believed what the preachermen told them. A couple of high-profile buggery lawsuits, and bingo! It worked so well that now even the richest young men in America cultivate the most apely possible behaviour in public.
It also reminds me of how bullshit like Naomi Klein and culture-jamming gets mixed up with socialism now. Gosh, I can't stand Naomi Klein.
Of course there were many other important elements to this Western capitalist response; humans might be dumb motherfuckers but they're not THAT stupid. And of course the most important one was the non-forced introduction of artificial controls over class and income disparities, like minimum wages, pensions, notice periods, paid vacations, and other physically unnescessary laws touching on working conditions.
Some societies went further in one direction than another. In France and Italy, where there were lots more practical concessions to the real needs of the working class than there were here, having good manners, grooming, and conversation skills won't make you look gay (although they're still lousy dancers), which was so confusing for me I had to sleep with tonnes of them before I could wrap my head around it. And while one can complain about the charmlessness of the Canadian male, our slightly superior social protections let our men, generally speaking, make American men, generally speaking, look like cavemen who couldn't charm their name out of the snow with a stick.
No other news fit to print today. I feel inhuman and bound to my apartment by the disaster Marvellon has wrought of my innards, but I'm going to a concert and an Indian veggie buffet later, just to show Big Pharma it's not the boss of me.