Thursday , November 21 2019
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How To Be a Man

Summary:
GSTAAD—I was reading Julie Burchill’s review of my friend Candace Bushnell’s Is There Still Sex in the City? when one of the reviewer’s insights struck me like a stiff left jab to the noggin: “Those who have persisted in carrying on creakily have become increasingly embarrassing.” Ouch! Could she have the poor little Greek boy in mind? Of course not, I told myself, but then…never mind. A little paranoia at my age is normal. I felt better the next day when a Dutch TV crew of five arrived in the Alps to film a program called How to Be a Man. It stars one man—me—and it will be shown on Dutch national television in November. Yippee! Margriet van der Linden, a statuesque, Viking-like tall blonde, and a real pro, put me through the

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GSTAAD—I was reading Julie Burchill’s review of my friend Candace Bushnell’s Is There Still Sex in the City? when one of the reviewer’s insights struck me like a stiff left jab to the noggin: “Those who have persisted in carrying on creakily have become increasingly embarrassing.” Ouch! Could she have the poor little Greek boy in mind? Of course not, I told myself, but then…never mind. A little paranoia at my age is normal.

I felt better the next day when a Dutch TV crew of five arrived in the Alps to film a program called How to Be a Man. It stars one man—me—and it will be shown on Dutch national television in November. Yippee! Margriet van der Linden, a statuesque, Viking-like tall blonde, and a real pro, put me through the wringer. Rarely have I been asked so many intelligent questions, challenging at times but never intrusive or embarrassing. We spent three days talking about manhood in the age of #MeToo, and filming when I mixed it up in karate training with my sensei Richard Amos.

More about karate later, but how to be a man nowadays is quite tricky. If one reads the lachrymose prose of, say, Roger Cohen in The New York Times, what passes as a man of good sense and taste means someone without courage or originality. (Actually, it’s worse—reading Cohen reminds me of a queasy teenager squeezing his pimples. La Goldberg is even worse.) A sense of duty never to leave a wife, but also a sense of entitlement never to give up a mistress, just about defines manhood as far as I’m concerned. The Dutch lady was very good in the manner in which she took me around my life; it was obvious she had read the Spectator columns with evangelical zeal, because she knew all about me. She wished to know what has happened to men, and my answer was #MeToo. Some of these brainless female American hustlers are even challenging men’s literary achievements. A female clown critic recently wrote that Zelda Fitzgerald’s madness was due to the fact that her husband, Scott, cribbed from her. Imagine the great Scott, author of The Great Gatsby and Tender Is the Night and numerous other heartrending novels, cribbing from the poor, tragic, mad-as-a-hatter Zelda (mind you, a good occasional writer herself, but not anywhere near him). Such are the joys of the American-made #MeToo bullshit.

We spoke a lot about sport. Part of the experience of sport resides in dealing with the finality of it. It’s often a kind of death. This is not true of seminars, lectures, or even reading. (You can always read it again.) Pursuing excellence plus the requirements of courage and personal discipline make sport unique, although most sports are now entertainment, the ethos of sport long gone. The money will do it every time.

Taki Theodoracopulos
Taki Theodoracopulos (born August 11, 1936), originally named Panagiotis Theodoracopulos and best known as Taki, is a Greek journalist and writer living in New York City, London and Gstaad, Switzerland.

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