December 31, 2016

EVERY GREAT STORY IS A LOVE STORY...BETWEEN MEN:

As Iron Sharpens Iron : Review: Sebastian Smee, 'The Art of Rivalry: Four Friendships, Betrayals, and Breakthroughs in Modern Art (Bruce Fleming, December 31, 2016, Free Beacon)

Male-male relations, if they are not sexual, are rarely considered these days, generally absent from the mental screen of those who consider men and women. Now all are reduced to the abstraction of "gender." Or rather men are. Sisterhood is powerful; OK, sure. The closest we get to a male version of this is the military's idea of "band of brothers," men united by combat. But this is increasingly under siege, as now women are to be admitted to all branches of the military and into all realms of combat. So much for the notion of the band of brothers. Now perhaps the band of humanoids?

And it's not just the military. Straight men aren't the flavor of the month. Nobody cares about their odd ballet of love and hate with each other. Of course I do, and so do many other men. It's just that we can't let on that we do. Sebastian Smee, the art critic for the Boston Globe, also cares. But in what seems like a clever sleight-of-hand, his book about the way men bond and compete with each other as dearly loved rivals is offered as (and will clearly be sold as) "art history" rather than as Men's Studies: The Art of Rivalry: Four Friendships, Betrayals, and Breakthroughs in Modern Art.

Say it loud and say it proud: Straight men both love and hate each other. Why wouldn't we? Our nature as the king of our small preserve means that other men fall either into the category of threats or bosom buddies. Or go from one to the other. We compete with each other, but we know that we're the closest the other has to a mirror image. Do we love each other more than we hate each other? Or the reverse? Things can get messy.

Ilsa is incidental to Casablanca.  Rick and Louis find love.


Posted by at December 31, 2016 9:13 AM

  

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