Saturday, October 2, 2010

Distractions! Feeling Manly

(It's my new feature "Distractions!" In which I pick a topic, and then a few comics, movies, or songs ,a.k.a distractions, to help set the mood. )

As a 26 year old male who proudly owns two cats, regularly uses body spray, and hasn't had anything close to a girlfriend (or an actual friend) in a very long time, I sometimes feel the overwhelming desire to shoot guns, lift weights, eat 5 pound steaks, and soup up a chevys- you know, activities which provide testosterone boosts and make me feel manly.

Unfortunately, outside of the steak, most of those options are a little out of my abilities, forcing me to live a manly life vicariously through other mediums. So today, I present to you a few of the items that never fail to make me feel like an old fashioned red-blooded American male:

Item #1- Comics with a sense of Justice:

In my previous post here at LOL, I mentioned that a lot of the comics I recently purchased had a more violent slant to them. While I admit over-the-top violence gets old after a while(see the movie Punisher: War Zone, better yet, don't see it) there is something ultimately satisfying about the forces of good definitively deal with the forces of evil.

What's manlier? a corpse that won't stay dead, or throwing a grenade in a grave?

I think it's the whole idea of simple justice- "an eye for an eye." If someone does something wrong, the hero makes sure they pay for it in full. There's no chance of the villainous revolving door antics of Batman or Spider-Man's rogues galleries. Instead the endings are cold and final, with a sense of retribution.

- Crisis Aftermath: The Spectre 1-3 -As the new host for the Spectre, Crispus Allen (a manly man himself), must deal with the punishment of his own killer as well as passing judgment on his own family. While these deaths are not as "cut and dry" as most of the comics I'm talking about, this deals with the idea of true justice.
- Jonah Hex (Anything from the current run)- As a former confederate who lives by his own code, Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti's Jonah Hex is his own man, doling out just desserts to each and every vile foe he faces, while upholding the honor of decent folks just trying to live their lives.

- Any of the Dark Horse Robert E. Howard Adaptations- Conan, Kull, or Solomon Kane. Any of these heroes deal with the responsibility of upholding justice with swift and decisive actions that end lives...often graphicly. Solomon Kane puts it best when he states:

Item #2- Anything Eastwood

Over the past few months I have been on a big Clint Eastwood kick. Starting this summer when I finally sat down to watch all the Dirty Harry movies (did you know there were 5? I didn't). I've found that Clint is the one constant in an ever changing world. Tough, brash, a little smug, and apparently indestructible, I'm pretty sure Clint's acting prowess comes from the fact that he probably isn't doing that much "acting." The dude is a bona-fide Bad-A** S.O.B. And although most of the time he plays a sexist, foul mouthed bigot, you can't help but have a fearful respect for the guy's tough as nails attitude.

I remember seeing an interview between Eastwood on 60 Minutes, and when the anchor asked him something about why his kids all had different mothers, Clint gave him this look that I swear could burn holes in things. I thought my TV was gonna melt or something.
But I digress, because I'm sure the actor would much rather be known for his movies. Well, I mean, if he cared what anyone thought....

Must See Moments:
- "Dirty Harry"- Eastwood foils a man's suicide attempt by climbing a cherry picker up to the ledge where the man is threatening to jump from. After getting the guy to start talking about his problems, Harry simply punches him and grabs his limp body and brings it back down safely. Now that's negotiation that gets results!

- "Paint your Wagon"- Yes, the musical that was lampooned on the Simpsons is real (imagine my surprise, horror, and delight at the video store), but somehow Eastwood maintains a rough and tumble hero that doesn't make you lose respect for him. I mean, you lose respect for yourself for watching a musical, but that's why they have a fast forward feature.

(This song has been in my head all week, by the way)

-" A Fistful of Dollars"- Probably my favorite of the "Man with No Name" westerns that I've seen so far, Eastwood plays an untouchable gunslinger who sets two rival gangs against one another, all the while profiting from their deaths and misfortunes. There were a lot of manly moments, but the best was when Clint is beaten to a bloody pulp, manages to set fire to the town, and then escapes inside a coffin on a wagon.

If they ever made an "Old Man Logan", or needed to cast an aged Bruce Wayne in a "Batman Beyond" feature, Eastwood would be the perfect choice.
As far as music, I have no good manly suggestions. I embraced pop/rock/emo a long time ago, and I gave up trying to defend my enjoyment of it. So maybe in the future I'll have some suggestions, depending on the topic.
You'll probably notice after reading this post that your face has more stubble on it, and a need to best someone in any competition no small has come over you, and that you have the increased desired to kill and stuff a bear. That's okay, you just need some distractions...


  1. This was a great post. I'm not a super manly man seeing as how I'm not a big sports guy or car guy or anything like that, but this was full of manly man ideas. I especially agree on how Eastwood would be great as a Batman Beyond Bruce or Old Man Logan. I'm kinda surprised I didn't think of that myself.

    "Gonna paint yer wagon, gonna paint it good, we ain't braggin, we're gonna coat that woooood."

  2. My favorite of the "Man With No Name" trilogy is the middle one, For A Few Dollars More. I think that's probably the one least commonly described as anyone's favorite, but I love the way they integrate the sound of the musical timepiece (or whatever it is) with the actual score in the final's just brilliant.

    I always used to think Clint Eastwood would be great if they ever did a movie version of The Dark Knight Returns. Of course, he wasn't quite so old back I think Bruce Willis would make a pretty good choice.

  3. Thanks JT, I wasn't sure if I was equating violence with manliness too much, but oh well. Hahaha, the song on the Simpsons doesn't actaully appear in the real movie, which I was thankful for.

    Marc- I've yet to see A Few Dollars More, as well as Pale Rider, but thy're on my list. I thought the Good, The Bad, and the Ugly was really well done, especially for the time it came out, but I think I still like A Fistful of Dollars more.

    So who do you guys think the "manliest" hero is? I guess Steve Rogers is pretty dang manly, because he'll actually kill people if he has to, but he doesn't do it sadistically like the Punisher.

  4. I think Captain America is "manliest" in the traditional sense, in that he stands for super-traditional patriotic values that would probably be considered right-wing by most people today...which is interesting, considering Cap's politics are fairly liberal (consider this: he's either died or quit during every Republican administration in the last few decades!). I think that's why I enjoy Cap so much -- he's often a direct representation of the political conflicts the U.S. faces every day, but the fact that he comes from an era that predates our current political climate sort of gives him this ability to stand above it all and come to rational, non-partisan decisions of his own.

    Wow, I really hope that all made sense because it took me a while to write. :P