Sat Jan 28 00:16:09 EST 2012
(Attention conservation notice: Whining.)
So I was re-reading "The End Of Men", because if there's anything an unemployed 23-year-old semi-electrician (for reference, my extremely unimpressive resume (source code)) likes hearing about more, it's "your entire gender is worthless and unemployable"; when I peeped this paragraph, yo:
Over the years, researchers have proposed different theories to explain the erosion of marriage in the lower classes: the rise of welfare, or the disappearance of work and thus of marriageable men. But Edin thinks the most compelling theory is that marriage has disappeared because women are setting the terms—and setting them too high for the men around them to reach. “I want that white-picket-fence dream,” one woman told Edin, and the men she knew just didn’t measure up, so she had become her own one-woman mother/father/nurturer/provider. The whole country’s future could look much as the present does for many lower-class African Americans: the mothers pull themselves up, but the men don’t follow. First-generation college-educated white women may join their black counterparts in a new kind of middle class, where marriage is increasingly rare.
As the traditional order has been upended, signs of the profound disruption have popped up in odd places. Japan is in a national panic over the rise of the “herbivores,” the cohort of young men who are rejecting the hard-drinking salaryman life of their fathers and are instead gardening, organizing dessert parties, acting cartoonishly feminine, and declining to have sex. The generational young-women counterparts are known in Japan as the “carnivores,” or sometimes the “hunters.”
American pop culture keeps producing endless variations on the omega male, who ranks even below the beta in the wolf pack. This often-unemployed, romantically challenged loser can show up as a perpetual adolescent (in Judd Apatow’s Knocked Up or The 40-Year-Old Virgin), or a charmless misanthrope (in Noah Baumbach’s Greenberg), or a happy couch potato (in a Bud Light commercial). He can be sweet, bitter, nostalgic, or cynical, but he cannot figure out how to be a man. “We call each other ‘man,’” says Ben Stiller’s character in Greenberg, “but it’s a joke. It’s like imitating other people.”
"Greenberg"? Never heard of it. Let's hit IMDb.
You know those fleeting, inelegant moments and transitory, almost Seinfeldian scenarios in our lives that, unlike on Seinfeld, we never really talk about, because they betray how clueless and insecure we all are? You know how we'll go to parties basically to see one person and find we're inept at opening up and socializing with anyone else? You know those pointless, roundabout stories we'll tell about something that happened that we thought was interesting or funny but we don't realize how boring or monotonous they are till we're halfway through them? What about the receiving end of that situation? Why are we so worried about hurting these painful storytellers' feelings when they're making us so uncomfortable having to feign interest or amusement for indefinite durations? You know those sexual experiences we never talk about even to our best friends because they were so painfully awkward and nakedly ungraceful? You know how when we're on drugs we only indulge occasionally and we find ourselves wording things in creative ways, feeling overconfident and impulsive while everyone else is viewing us as rather reckless? Roger and Florence know, all too painfully, awkwardly, uncomfortably, recklessly well.
Golly, that sounds like a laff riot. Hold on, lemme hit up Amazon to order this gem on DVD. Hell yeah I want next-day shipping! Gotta see this bad boy ASAP.