things of little relevance


The Liberal Arts Layabout
March 19, 2010, 12:13 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Jessica Grose dissects me and you and everyone we know (if me and you and everyone we know were male and likely living in Brooklyn):

Greenberg is pretty much the fictional representation of the masculinity crisis that Susan Faludi outlined in her 1999 book Stiffed: The Betrayal of the American Man. Men like Greenberg, Faludi argued, were led to believe as boys that they were “going to be the master of the universe and all that was in it,” that they’d be astronauts conquering the final space frontier or, at the very least, that they would master a lifelong stable job and a healthy family. But by the ’90s, Greenberg types found themselves “masters of nothing.” The latest recession is only making it more so, as job security becomes a fantasy for many, and marriage rates plummet.

And yet men are still tragically unable to retool. The image of the American woman has gone through several upheavals since the 1950s, but the masculine ideal seems fixed in cultural aspic: Think slick ad executive Don Draper in Mad Men and the WWII heroes in the Tom Hanks-produced HBO series The Pacific. So his confused, paralyzed counterpart is cropping up in ever-more variations on TV and in movies: the omega male.

Who am I kidding? I am already a liberal arts layabout…

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1 Comment so far
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Thank you for including a Kicking and Screaming screenshot. Talk about an underrated movie! And damn, I’m itching to go to Prague too.

I’ve say it once and I’ll say it again: WATCH MAD MEN.

Comment by Julia




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