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Should Christians think James Bond is sexy?

10 Nov

In a recent Boundless article, Matt Kaufman opined that in his boyhood he found James Bond greatly disappointing as a hero because Bond beds women.  While he could respect some of the things that Bond did (like fighting villains), he could never like or respect Bond because of Bond’s promiscuity.  He goes on to add that he can’t root for immoral good guys whose vices are not presented as vices.  Basically, it’s boilerplate Christian media-sighz.  (Hate is too strong a word, so Christians typically sigh and shake their heads sadly.)

Most of the comments agreed with Kaufman, with male commenters proclaiming that Captain America is a better hero than Bond because, I guess, Captain America didn’t bang chicks, and with female commenters proclaiming that James Bond is in no way attractive to them because he objectifies women.  (Never mind that in all of these movies the women come willingly to Bond without demanding marriage first.  No, that these women are willing to fornicate with Bond must be All Bond’s Fault and but for his objectifying ways, they would remain pure as snow.  Or:  if the man sins, it’s the man’s fault.  If the woman sins, it’s the man’s fault.)

What entertained me most in the thread was the spiritual one-upsmanship going on.  After a while, it wasn’t enough just to disapprove of Bond and approve of Captain America:  you had to disavow movies in general as bad, or prefer movies where a married man turns away another woman by sticking his ring finger in her face or something, or accuse James Bond of being riddled with STDs, or prefer Dietrich Bonhoeffer to Captain America (yes, one woman actually wrote this).

One brave soul tried to red pill bomb the place by pointing out that Bond treats women the way they would like to be treated (Jacob M, if you’re out there, swing by!).

“How to treat a woman.” Did it ever occur to you that James Bond knows exactly how to treat a woman? How to give her what she wants? James Bond isn’t exactly depicted as raping these girls. They go willingly with him. Man, the church is several generations behind the world in understanding what drives female mating behavior. The adage “chicks dig bad boys” is decades old by now, and yet Matt Kaufman and several of the commenters here keep talking about “respecting” women or treating them “uprightly.” Do you have any indication that that’s what women actually want or like? Other than Glenn Stanton’s pronouncements from on high that women are more “naturally good” than men and automatically desire traditional family life? Look, just like men are attracted to traits in women that aren’t necessarily the “right” ones, women are attracted to traits in men that aren’t necessarily “right”–i.e., quick, cheap, flashy displays of dominance and power, rather than reliability, trustworthiness, or any characteristics that would make him a good husband and father after 20 years of marriage. Women like and are attracted to men like James Bond, and therefore enjoy sleeping with them because it feels good.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not defending any of this. It’s hugely problematic. But until the church comes to grips with the depraved nature of femalesexuality as well as male, it will just continue sliding further and further into cultural irrelevance.

For his pains, he ruffled the feathers of some very healthy hamsters.


Whoa, Jacob #18, I had to re-read your post to make sure you weren’t being sarcastic. While I’m glad that you don’t defend the behavior described, I am concerned that you believe women want to be treated that way. At least you could have modified it to “some women”

Without placing the blame on one gender since we are all sinners, my experience has been women complaining about being treated with such disrespect, myself included. A man like James Bond is not at all what I am attracted to. A man who respects and protects me? Definitely a winner.

Mrs. Ashley:

Oh Jacob M. :P That’s a pretty broad accusation you’re throwing around there. You’ve got a thread full of women here that seem more interested in character than suave here and instead of being interested in knowing what shapes their character and where to find them you instead throw them under the proverbial “All Women Want Bad Men” bus.

In my experience, women don’t prefer men who throw them under said bus.

;) Just a little dating tip.

Guys want to talk about how all women want bad men and then they keep chasing the women who want them. Now, there are women out there like that, but if you’ve been attracted to so many of them that you’re jaded about it then the odds are pretty good that 1) your picker is busted or 2) they aren’t actually all after “bad” guys, they’re just not after *you*. I know lots of decent Christian women who have married decent Christian men, and probably you do, too. I don’t think all men are smooth-talking womanizers who are skulking around trying to take advantage of whoever they can — assuming that all women are just waiting around for the right jerk to talk them into bed is just stupid.

The cries of NAWALT will echo into the past and future of a thousand generations.  Also, note the shaming language – “I had to re-read your post to make sure you weren’t being sarcastic” – “I am concerned that you believe” – “That’s a pretty broad accusation.”  And let’s not leave out Mrs. Ashley’s parting shot that if men believe women like bad men, then it’s the man’s fault for seeking out bad women.

I’ve pointed out many times on this blog that women miss that women don’t want to be treated in Bond-ian fashion by just any man.  They want to be treated in Bond-ian fashion by a man with the sexual allure of Bond.  Maybe not Bond himself, but someone who has the confidence and swagger of Bond.  (The nice suits, sophisticated gadgets, and hot cars don’t hurt, either.)  A boring man with a mediocre salary who promises he will NEVER LEAVE HIS WOMAN EVER?  Of course they don’t want him to walk up to them and whisper seductive nothings in their ears.  Until men and women get this, they will continue to be losers at love.

I also think that there’s a certain amount of projection going on.  A woman who finds a man of Bond’s basic sexiness caliber unattractive probably has never experienced attention from a man that attractive or been in the orbit of one; therefore, it’s easier for her to dismiss the idea of such a man as attractive to herself, partially because she knows she could never attract, much less receive commitment from, such a man.  And for women with this kind of sexual insecurity, the promise of commitment can be very powerful because it is not easy for them to obtain.  I think there is also some conflation going on between raw sexual attractiveness and commitment attractiveness.  The other explanation:  her hamster is lying to her.

As for Bond himself, the whole point of Bond is to be an idealized fantasy character and to be sexually attractive.  Bond movies are not character studies; they are meditations on a fantasy of mid-century masculinity wrapped up in an upper-crusty package.  He’s like a Brit mid-century Indiana Jones (another fantasy character).  What both characters offer is escapist adventure, where reality and consequences don’t intrude.  Maybe this is a bad thing, I don’t know.  But stories like this resonate with us because on some level, we want to believe that we have adventure, ingenuity, and resolve inside of us, and that these things make us more attractive people.  Most people will never live lives anything similar to Bond’s.  Is it bad to step into his shoes for a couple of hours?

Regarding Bond’s womanizing:  all I have to say in addition to what I’ve already said on the matter is that Bond would seem gay if he refused every attractive woman who came on to him or if he didn’t pursue any attractive women in his orbit.  If Cherry McPoppin (whatever the female du jour’s name is) came on to Bond and he said (AND ACTUALLY MEANT IT), “Actually, I’m saving myself for my future wife, and I respect you far too much to try to talk you into having premarital sex with me,” audiences would outright reject the character as completely unrealistic (in a movie where fantasy is the name of the game!) and as, well, in complete denial of his homosexuality.  If a woman accepted without disappointment such a claim, audiences would also reject that as completely unrealistic.  A woman pursuing Bond who received such a rejection would only be more motivated to have him.


How John Eldredge would have men live.

14 Jul

I was emailing back and forth with a friend, and she mentioned that she finally watched Legends of the Fall for the first time.  Back in the mid-’90s, this movie helped solidify Brad Pitt’s heartthrob status, as he basically spent the movie looking like Fabio’s younger, blonder, Calvin Klein model-ier brother while alternately brooding or wooing as necessary.

However, what I did not know is that John Eldredge, in his revered Christian book Wild at Heart, used Pitt’s character Tristan to represent the “Wild at Heart” man.


Eldredge writes,

Then there is Tristan, the middle son.  He is wild at heart.  It is Tristan who embodies the West–he catches and rides the wild stallion, fights the grizzly with a knife, and wins the beautiful woman.  I have yet to meet a man who wants to be Alfred [Aidan Quinn, the practical beta brother] or Samuel [Henry Thomas, the wussy, other beta brother].  I’ve yet to meet a woman who wants to marry one.

Did Eldridge watch a different movie than the one that was actually made?  As my friend described it (de-capped for readability),

The guy who tries to kiss his younger brother Henry Thomas’s fiancee Julia Ormond, and then scalps a bunch of Germans because they kill Henry Thomas in WWI, and then comes back and steals Julia from his other brother Aiden Quinn, and then runs away for five years bc he is too ~WRACKED WITH GUILT~ to be happy with Julia, and then comes back and messes with her head after she marries Aiden Quinn after all, and then smolders until she throws herself at him again but he says “No Go Back To Aiden,” and then kills some people because they killed his Indian wife, and then has to go live in the mountains the rest of his life.

That is apparently how John Eldredge would have men live.

It kind of reads like beta longing.  Eldredge obviously can’t be Pitt, but darn it, he really would like to be, if he could just un-imagine all of the bad stuff………

My friend, arbiter of fairness, added,

 To be fair though, Aiden is kind of whiny in it. I mean, hello, obviously she should have just married him first before Brad even came back from the war, but he kinda pulled a Bolin when she and Brad started gettin’ it on.
But when Aiden and Julia got married….they were really cute. Until she killed herself bc she couldn’t be with Brad. Yes this is real.
Don’t even get me started on the women in this movie.

I asked,

Did he see a Mormon edit of the movie or something???

My friend replied,



Henry Thomas, despite being a beta virgin, comes off smelling the best of all three. Of course he dies first.

So men, be Wild At Heart.  ‘Tis better to scalp a bunch of Germans, swipe your brother’s wife and play mind games with her, inspire her suicide from your rejection, and go retire in the mountains as a murderer than to die cuckolded or a beta virgin.  First.

I mean, a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do.  Especially Christian ones.


Jack Dawson game.

5 Jan

In the comments on Dalrock’s post “The one that got away,” which discusses a woman’s penchant for holding on to memories of a previous lover even if married to a man who gives her everything she could ever want, anon66 criticizes the movie Titanic, saying:

This is why I dislike the movie Titanic. At the end of the movie Winslet’s character ends up back on the ship with DiCaprio to which I ask “What about her husband?” Was a very short fling on the doomed ship more important to her than a lifetime of marriage and children.

Commenter vitabenedicta replies:

What’s interesting is that the fiance is an alpha–socially powerful, violent, largely indifferent to her–while her paramour is more of a beta–a sexually timid white knight who dies saving her life. After he dies she marries another man, who also appears to be a beta, but he can’t ever inspire the passion that the first beta did. So the movie isn’t so much about getting “five minutes of alpha” as it is an instruction manual on how betas can succeed with beautiful women. (Basically, target young women who have never been in love before; be different than the men in her usual surroundings; and be an artist. It’s a bit of a tall order.)

I started to write a reply but then realized that it was getting long and detailed enough to merit its own post here.  Since the movie will be re-released in April of this year (with a 3-D conversion, of course) to commemorate the centennial anniversary of the ship’s sinking, let’s take a look at the real alpha/beta dynamics in the film.

For those who are unaware (either having never seen the film, or have forgotten the details, or were too young to see the film when it was released [oblig. THAT MAKES ME FEEL SO OLD UGHHH]), here’s the plot:  Rose DeWitt Bukater is an upper-class 17-year-old Philadelphian engaged to wealthy heir Cal Hockley.  They are traveling with Rose’s mother from Southampton, England, to New York City on the Titanic.  Rose feels trapped because she does not love Cal, and he sees her as a prize possession rather than a person.  On the first evening of the voyage, Rose meets Jack Dawson, a penniless American sketch artist who won his steerage ticket in a game of poker.  He seems interested in her as a person, and she sees an opportunity at a new life.  They fall in love, the iceberg hits the ship, the ship sinks, and Rose survives empowered to live life to the fullest.

This story is framed in a flashback, with Old Rose telling the story to a treasure hunter looking for the diamond necklace that Rose received as a gift from Cal.  At the end of the movie, having now spilled the secret she held so long, Old Rose drifts off into sleep (or death?) and finds herself young and back on the Titanic, where Jack is waiting for her.

It’s still hard for me to believe that the guy who wrote and directed Terminator and Aliens is the same guy who wrote and directed this grade-A chick crack (and the plot description reads like the romance novel that female romance writers all wish they could have written), but there you go.

Going back to the above comments from Dalrock’s, I disagree with vitabenedicta that Cal was alpha and Jack was beta.  In actuality, the reverse is true.  Titanic is actually a testament to inner game and is a celluloid representation of Roissy’s insistence that money and social status alone are not enough to win a woman’s affections.

Jack is more beta on the surface, but he has strong inner game.  It is actually this strong inner game that provides the basis for the emotional through-line of the movie.  When Jack and Rose first meet, Rose is about to commit suicide by jumping off the back of the ship at night.  Jack is able to talk Rose out of suicide using some light negs, nonchalantly reminding her of how cold the water is and how he’s gonna hafta jump in to save her, subtly shifting the power in his favor by insinuating that she’s being silly and emotional.  What he does NOT do is act like what she’s about to do is SRS BSNS.  A lesser man would have acted frightened that Rose would jump.

Jack is also unapologetic about his station in life and sees it as a good thing.  He does not try to seek Rose’s approval (or even make any pledge or attempt to better himself for her).

He is unruffled by Cal’s continued attempts to belittle him and charms all of Rose’s upper-crusty dinner companions. He tells her what to do (“meet me at the clock”) rather than requesting behavior of her. He never panics when the ship begins to sink but remains level-headed and provides guidance to Rose the entire time.  And (SPOILER ALERT) in the end he does what every woman wishes the man she loves would be willing to do for her:  sacrifice his life in order to save hers.

In contrast, Cal, while having an alpha social position, has little inner game and thinks that bullying is a substitute for alpha frame.  He is domineering rather than dominant.  He acts defensively and lets little things bother him, and he spends most of the movie in a petulant mood, being rude to Jack because he can sense Rose’s attraction to him, and paying his #1 minion to spy on Jack and frame him for theft. When he loses his temper with Rose, it’s not one of Roissy’s occasional outbursts to correct bad behavior, it’s a man trying to intimidate because he can sense that he’s losing the woman and intimidation is the only tool he has left in his arsenal.  And once it’s really and finally clear that Rose has chosen Jack for good, Cal completely loses it and picks up a pistol and chases them around the sinking ship shooting at them.  These are not the actions of a man with inner game, who is in control of himself and the situation around him.

(Of course, in case we weren’t able to figure out already that Cal isn’t The One, James Cameron reveals Cal as the ultimate coward, first trying to bribe his way onto one of the lifeboats, and when that doesn’t work, actually picking up a random child and pretending the child is his so he can get onto a lifeboat.  And just to make really, REALLY sure we know that Cal is a loser, we find out that Cal ultimately committed suicide when the stock market crashed in 1929.  Stuff like this is why James Cameron, despite being one of the greatest action directors of all time, and one of the few blockbuster directors who actually writes his own films, will never be considered by tastemakers on par with guys like Christopher Nolan or Peter Jackson.)

In light of the differences between Jack and Cal, and the fundamental truths of Game and female attraction so simply presented, it’s not surprising to see why Titanic became such an international phenomenon.  It worked because the truth of human experience is not bound by culture or nationality. Not that the nice, shiny package of a lavish period drama of class warfare that was also an action movie that was also a disaster pic that was also a “first love” love story that was also Leonardo DiCaprio at his most beautiful and charming didn’t help.  But if more writers were able to access the truths of human existence, I think the box office would be doing a whole lot better.

As for the claim that Rose was some sort of awful woman for meeting Jack in Titanic heaven and not her husband, I think there are a couple of different ways to look at this.  One is that yes, it’s kind of horrible that Rose still carried Jack in her heart, a man she knew for only a few days, rather than the man who was her husband and gave her her children.  But Jack was a first love, and first loves have a way of sticking that later loves can never quite displace.  Isn’t that why manospherians are so much about keeping numbers low?  (And really, how can any man compare with a man who literally talked you off a ledge and saved you from freezing to death in the middle of the North Atlantic ocean while the luxury ship you were sailing on was sinking AND sacrificed himself in the process?  Okay, and also that you had your first orgasm with him in the back of a car.)

The other way to look at this is that having Rose meet Jack in Titanic heaven is really the only way the story could have ended satisfactorily.  The story was about Rose’s emotional emancipation.  Jack was the agent of change.  He was her savior (and Rose even says at the end of the movie that he “saved [her] in every way a person can be saved”).  Having her reunite in death/dream with her late husband (whom we hadn’t even seen), right after she has finally relieved herself of the secret she has been carrying with her since she was a teenager, would have been bizarre.  I can’t imagine anyone would have walked out of the theater rejoicing that Rose showed what a loving and faithful wife she was if THAT had been the ending.

It’ll be interesting to see how the film affects a new generation of movie-goers.  In the age of Twilight, Facebook, and reality TV, will Jack and Rose be able to enchant today’s teens, or will the bulk of moviegoers only be nostalgia-trippers?

Clips from TLC’s Virgin Diaries

5 Dec

I haven’t had a chance to see the episode that aired yesterday yet, but TLC’s YouTube channel has some clips up.  Because I am such a generous blogger, I’ve embedded them here.

If anyone had a chance to see the show, please weigh in.

(Virgin Carey goes on a date with a woman who is really perplexed by his ~status and asks if he has any “subscriptions.”)

(Virgin engaged couple discuss the agenda for their wedding night, which includes “do foreplay.”)

(Tamara, the reclaimed virgin, reveals her “number” and says she had sex with each of her previous boyfriends, but that now she has had such a life change that when she has sex again, it’ll be like being a virgin all over again.)

TLC’s “Virgin Diaries” to air on Dec. 4.

27 Nov

On Sunday, Dec. 4, cable network TLC (home of the Gosselins, Duggars, frumps who need makeovers, and little people) is going to air a one-hour special called Virgin Diaries.  This documentary fill focus on six virgins – a couple saving their first kiss for their wedding***, a 35-year-old redditor incel, and three 30-year-old female roommates (one of whom is a “reclaimed virgin”) who are blogging about their search for Mr. Right.

It’ll be interesting to see how TLC handles the subject, especially in light of the promo below.


Don’t marry a pro-choice woman.

24 Sep

Let me preface what I’m about to say with the acknowledgment that many good women are nominally pro-choice, which is to say that their bleeding hearts won’t permit them to legally “force” any woman into a pregnancy she doesn’t want but they are in general horrified by the idea of a woman having a baby cut up and scraped out of her uterus.  Such women typically believe strongly in contraception and “responsible sex” and do not believe in abortion as back-up birth control.  These aren’t the women I’m referring to.

Rather, the type of woman I’m referring to is the type who is ideologically committed to the complete autonomy of a woman’s body to the point where an unborn baby may be considered a parasite and that even a husband has no say and deserves no say in his wife’s choice to abort their child.

I don’t think there are that many type 2 pro-choice women in the United States, but they’re certainly the most vocal when it comes to sex reproductive issues “women’s health.”  A good example of such a voice is the group of writers on Grey’s Anatomy, which on Thursday had a married female character (Cristina) abort her unborn child because being a mother would just get in the way of being a surgeon, which was her top priority, plus she had never wanted children and believed she would not love her child and would be a dreadful mother.  That in itself was bad enough, but what made it even worse was that this character’s husband (Owen) wanted her to have the baby and wanted to be a father.  Despite his wishes, Cristina was determined to abort their child and (in a bid to get viewers on her side) gave her best friend Meredith a speech about how she really wished she could want a child and how she wished her husband could be supportive of her and understand her, instead of leaving her sad and scared that she was going to have to abort alone.  Sadness and fear, obviously, mitigate all moral consequence.  As a result, Meredith went to Owen and talked about how she (Meredith) had been raised by a mother who loved surgery more than her daughter and how awful that was, and that if Cristina did the same thing, it would “kill” her.  Strangely enough, Meredith did not also add that it would have been preferable that she had never been born, or that her late mother regretted having a daughter who cared for her in her struggle with Alzheimer’s disease.  Owen – an Iraq War vet, by the way – was then convinced that it was right for him to accompany his wife to the murder of their unborn child, and he dutifully burned his man card on the altar of feminism.  I guess viewers were supposed to take this as an example of true love, or at least that the woman is always right.  My opinion was that the writers had just made Cristina one of the most morally repugnant women to appear on the small screen and that if I had been in Owen’s shoes, I would have shown up at the abortionist’s with divorce papers.

It was interesting to read the opinions on Owen and Cristina’s actions because they illuminated the divisions within the pro-choice crowd.  At least in the comments at, about two thirds of the commenters thought Cristina behaved disgustingly.  Sure, the commenters supported a woman’s right to choose, but people who get abortions aren’t supposed to be financially secure, educated, intelligent, married women.  (And how can a SURGEON not know how to practice birth control, or at least get a tubal ligation?)  Furthermore, there was no indication of problems with the pregnancy.  Healthy unborn babies products of conception aren’t supposed to aborted, only the damaged ones.  The other third celebrated Cristina’s decision to exercise her full rights over her body and “remain true to herself,” because it would have been a compromise to her self-identity had she chosen to go through with the pregnancy.  If Cristina had had a baby, the parasites would have won.

Obviously, most people will never go through a real life version of this fictional drama, but the ideological stakes are real.  Among Christians I would presume that most will be pro-life, with varying stances only on issues like rape or health of the mother.  Regardless, for Christians or non-Christians, this is an issue I would definitely check out before the relationship becomes serious enough for marriage.  While you may not go through a scenario just like Cristina and Owen’s, you may face a scenario in which you conceive a child with Down’s syndrome, or a chromosomal disorder that makes it unlikely that your child will survive for very long outside the womb, or some other physical flaw.  You may face a scenario where the pregnancy may endanger the health of the mother.  Knowing what you both believe, and that you are in agreement on those beliefs, could save your marriage someday.

P.S.  Men, if you begin dating a woman who would deny any rights of your paternity to your unborn child, RUN!!!

Mrs. Lorelai?

24 Aug

Those who have read this blog for a while (or have read most or all of the posts) probably know that I was a fan of Gilmore Girls when it was on TV.  What’s weird about my enjoyment of the show is that I thought the two titular leads were pretty insufferable.  Single mom Lorelai and her daughter Rory were presented as a courageous, witty, attractive mother-daughter duo whom we were supposed to love and root for, but the more I watched, the more I thought, “Holy MOLY does Lorelai ever think the world revolves around herself.  And does she ever SHUT UP?!”  Yet I generally thought the storytelling on the show was good.  Go figure.

Recently the show popped into my head again, and I got to thinking – would any man in the real world consider Lorelai marriage material?  During the seven years that the show aired, she had sex with five different men, yet I think very few fans of the show would consider her promiscuous.  Let’s break it down:

Max – Rory’s teacher at a prestigious prep school.  Seemingly brought together by animal magnetism, Lorelai and Max were on and off until Max, in a fit of frustration, proposed marriage as a way to remain together.  This prompted Lorelai to give a speech about how proposals should be Events.

LORELAI: No, it has to be planned. It should be magical. There should be music playing and romantic lighting and a subtle buildup to the popping of the big question. There should be a thousand yellow daisies and candles and a horse and I don’t know what the horse is doing there unless you’re riding it, which seems a little over the top, but it should be more than this.

Of course, Max did just what Lorelai demanded suggested, and she accepted…

…only to cancel the engagement after calling Rory’s dad (with whom she had already had an impromptu one night stand with on the balcony of her parents’ house during one of her breakups with Max) during her bachelorette party and realizing that she didn’t really want to be married to Max.

Christopher – Lorelai’s high school boyfriend and Rory’s estranged dad who starts the series as an irresponsible screw-up and ends the series as a wealthy man (gotta love inheritances).  In addition to having sex with Christopher during a breakup with Max, Lorelai also had sex with him again on the eve of her best friend’s wedding, after finding out that Christopher and his live-in girlfriend were on the outs.  The only problem was that the next day, Christopher found out that his girlfriend was pregnant, and he decided to go back to her so he could be there for the child.  (But wait, there’s more…)

Alex – A hunky, personality-free guy Lorelai dated briefly.

Jason – A guy Lorelai knew (and used to make fun of) from childhood who went into business with her father.  Quirky and persistent, he finally got Lorelai to go out with him – although she insisted that their relationship remain secret.  Lorelai finally broke it off with Jason after she found out that he was suing her father for screwing him over in business.

Luke – The gruff diner owner with the good heart who pined for Lorelai for a decade (even while briefly married to another woman after a drunken whim on a cruise ship – !!!) before he finally listened to some self-help tapes and realized that Lorelai was the one for him.  After dating for several months (minus a month-long breakup), Lorelai spontaneously proposed to Luke (in order to “feel better” after Rory was arrested for grand theft of a yacht).  Luke accepted, but Lorelai put a halt to their wedding plans, stating that she couldn’t get married without Rory being a part of it (the two became estranged after Rory’s arrest and subsequent dropping out of Yale).  When Rory and Lorelai reconciled, Lorelai went ahead with planning the wedding, but then it was Luke’s turn to postpone, due to discovering he had a pre-teen daughter by an old girlfriend, and wanting to establish his place in his daughter’s life – without Lorelai’s involvement – before getting married.  After months of feeling marginalized and unloved, Lorelai finally gave Luke a tearful ultimatum to elope.  He refused, and Lorelai ran off, right back into the arms of…

Christopher (again).  Christopher had become a single dad after his wife had left him for a prestigious job opportunity in Paris.   He had also become very wealthy due to an inheritance from a deceased relative, and began paying for Rory’s schooling, which brought him back into Lorelai’s life.  After Luke rejected Lorelai’s ultimatum, Lorelai went to Christoper for comfort and ended up having sex with him.  Then the new writers for the show took over and made Lorelai and Christopher begin dating again and seem like a functional couple until they eloped in Paris, after which Lorelai started exhibiting buyer’s remorse but being completely surprised that her husband would notice and feel hurt about it.  After Lorelai wrote a character reference letter for Luke’s custody battle for his daughter, Christopher found it and interpreted it as his wife still having feelings for her ex-fiance.  Christoper confronted Lorelai about the letter and stormed off, refusing to answer any of her phone calls for 24 hours.  Unfortunately for Christopher, Lorelai’s father had a heart attack during this time, and when Lorelai couldn’t reach Christopher, she decided once and for all that he could never be depended on and that they had made a mistake in getting married.  After they separated (with Christopher apologizing to Lorelai for “pressuring” her into marrying him), Lorelai began incorporating Luke into her life again, and realized that he really was the one after she found out that he worked all night to give Rory a going-away party (in the series finale, she leaves to work on the Obama campaign).  Of course, Luke was ready to take Lorelai back with open arms, stating that he was willing to give her “all the time she needs.”

My feeling after Lorelai had sex with Christopher after giving Luke the ultimatum was that Luke would have to be CRAZY to take Lorelai back, especially after how things ended between them.  How could any man with even a smidgen of self-respect take back a woman who ended their relationship with a crazed, overemotional ultimatum and having sex with her ex who happened to be the father of her child and with whom she had had a number of one-offs?   And then – the storytelling debacle of the final season – turn around and date and marry the ex, then split after a couple of months because, oops, she wasn’t thinking straight and she really still did have feelings for her ex-fiance?  At the time, before I had even heard of Game, I thought the reasoning behind this plotline was completely bogus if Luke and Lorelai were truly supposed to be together at the show’s conclusion.  I remember reading articles where the showrunner said that Lorelai needed to explore what might have been with Christopher and realize that hopes/wishes were not the same as actually making a life with someone.  Okay, fine – but did she really need to marry and divorce him over the span of a few months to figure this out?  According to the show, the characters had known each other for over 30 years!  Moreover, if Lorelai still had this burning need to figure out if she and Christopher could make a life together, then what was she doing ever getting engaged to and planning to marry Luke?!?!  It just made Luke look like a placeholder and an enormous CHUMP for taking her back at the end, acting as though Lorelai’s actions were just a tiny misunderstanding to be waved away now that time had healed all wounds.

Truthfully, the show was in a pickle after the ultimatum/sex.  The original showrunner and primary writer left the show after that, leaving a new crew of writers to resolve the storyline in what turned out to be the final season.  The show’s fans had oneitis for Luke and Lorelai as a couple, so the show had to end with the two together, yet the original showrunner had, in my opinion, rendered that logistically impossible.  So, while the writers didn’t exactly make lemonade out of the lemons they were left, they did make…something.

Anyhow, I’ve gone completely off track with my original point, which was whether any men in real life would consider Lorelai wife material.  Clearly I’m overinvested if I’m still having fits over the storyline even though the show has been out of production for several years, but the show’s transgressions were so egregious that they will forever remain irreconcilable.  I can suspend disbelief for quite a bit of things in a fictional story, but defying basic human nature isn’t one of those things.


Movie: Soul Surfer.

9 Aug

I recently saw the inspirational movie Soul Surfer, which is based on the real-life story of Bethany Hamilton, a Christian teenage surfer who lost her arm in a shark attack several years ago.  Unlike Fireproof, Soul Surfer had a multi-million dollar budget and major studio backing, and as a result offers viewers Hollywood production values and “name” actors who were able to bring the script to life.  The movie was shot in Hawaii and makes the island look gorgeous.  The surfing is also authentic – the real Bethany Hamilton did the surfing for her movie self – and is well-filmed.

Oftentimes when Christian stories go through the Hollywood machine, the Christian content gets watered down so as to draw a wider audience (i.e., not “offend” anyone).  That didn’t really happen in Soul Surfer.  We see the characters attending church and singing worship songs, Carrie Underwood shows up as the youth group leader to read scripture and go on missions trips, and Bethany’s dad is reading the Bible as he watches over her in the hospital.  I was surprised to see this degree of realism of a contemporary evangelical lifestyle in a major theatrical feature, but the movie manages the minor miracle of not being preachy or self-conscious about it.  The Hamilton family’s faith is presented as a normal part of their lives, not a Special Teachable Moment or Time Out For An Altar Call To The Heathens Unsaved We Tricked Into Seeing This Movie That’s Supposed To Be About Surfing  But Not Really HaHa.

Notable for readers of this blog is the portrayal of Bethany’s parents by Dennis Quaid and Helen Hunt.  It’s not just that they were believable as parents and a married couple (they were), but they were believable as a married couple who loved each other and LIKED each other and still had a sexual spark between them.  It was a pleasure to see.  Too often in movies and TV, longtime married couples who get along are portrayed as kindly roommate-partners whose pinnacle of passion is a peck when the husband or wife comes home from work, or maybe an affectionate side hug.

Funnily enough, although Soul Surfer is primo youth group entertainment, I can see it being controversial in some circles because the girls wear string bikinis throughout much of the movie (although during the surf competitions, they wear colored surf shirts).  To someone familiar with beach/surf culture, this is ordinary and unremarkable, but I can already imagine the handwringing over whether to let hormonal teenage boys view the movie for fear of inciting lust.

(For parents – there is zero bad language, and even the shark attack is pretty benign.)

Bad alpha dads: the movie.

4 Jul

The folks who made Fireproof, about an alpha firefighter who was an inadequate husband, are returning this fall with Courageous, a new film about a group of alpha policemen who are inadequate dads.  Judging by the trailer, it looks like this movie, like its predecessor, features a Sage Black Guy who points the Struggling White Guys to God.  Ten bucks says this will be another box office hit.

Suggestions for future movies:

  • White mom who is stretched too thin between work and kids gets advice from Sage Black Churchgoing Neighbor and learns to let God make her husband a better husband.
  • White teen girl who is tempted by alpha jocks gets advice from Sage Black Churchgoing Friend and learns to let God be her one true love.
  • Pregnant white teen girl is encouraged by evil public school counselor and pushy nonbeliever parents to get an abortion, but after talking to a Sage Black Churchgoing Lady, learns to value life as God values life.
  • White male business/land owner struggling to make ends meet is approached by unsavory investors to start a casino or strip club, but gets advice from Sage Black Churchgoing Employee and learns to let God provide instead.
  • Politically powerful white male racist has the opportunity to create more oppression for people of color, but after an encounter with a Sage Black Churchgoer in great financial need, learns to be colorblind as God is colorblind.
  • White male missionary is discouraged after not seeing conversion results, but after an encounter with a Sage Black Local with great faith, learns to have same faith.


A good hairstyle success story.

13 Apr

In the last thread, Ceer asked:

For a men’s haircut, unless it’s quite outlandish, like a mohawk or dreadlocks, is the quality of a man’s haircut REALLY all that noticeable?

The answer is YES.  A good haircut can make the difference between a man looking sexy and a man looking plain (or worse).

A good example of the power of a good haircut is 2008 American Idol winner David Cook.  I think it’s fair to say that Cook might not have won Idol if he hadn’t gotten a very flattering haircut when he was about 6 weeks into the voting rounds of the competition.  Even though Cook had one of the best voices of the season and had turned in some very strong performances, women didn’t get excited about him until the haircut arrived.  It was only after the haircut that Cook, who had previously been considered somewhat douchey and smug, transformed in women’s eyes into a sexy, smart, mature man who sent them into a tingle frenzy.

Here is Cook as he looked at his audition:

He’s not a bad-looking guy, but there’s nothing remarkable about his looks, either.  Pretty much everything about his hair screams douchewad.

Here is Cook as he looked singing “Hello,” which was his breakout performance three weeks into the voting:

His singing put him on the map, but he wasn’t incinerating panties, either.  While the hair is improved, it distracts from his face and looks like a run-of-the-mill “young rocker guy” haircut.

Below is Cook as he looked post-haircut:

His face is now front-and-center, and the facial hair adds maturity and intelligence to his look.  He looks cleaner, healthier, more confident, more approachable, and more open.  He barely resembles the douchewad who auditioned with red bangs, soul patch, and really ugly fauxhawk.  This is the haircut that skyrocketed his sex appeal to women, and which he has more or less maintained since.

The thing to note is that the changes that Cook made to his hair aren’t drastic.  Mainly he just got a cleaner, shorter ‘do that flattered his face.  But the difference that those small changes made was huge.  His haircut allowed people to see the best in him, instead of distracting them.  (He also lost some weight on the show.  That helped, too.)

Now, Cook obviously had the help of professional stylists, and the average person doesn’t have access to that.  Cook was also starting with a more extreme look than the average person.  Still, if you’ve had the same “safe” haircut for a while, maybe it would be worth looking into something a little edgier, something that’s a break from the normal.  It’s only hair.  It’ll grow back.  At the very least, you’ll get credit for rocking the boat a little.