Worked in TV news. Now, a stay-at-home dad writing about American manhood, politics, and race.. and a bit of Britain, too.





at what point in history do you think americans stopped having british accents


Actually, Americans still have the original British accent. We kept it over time and Britain didn’t. What we currently coin as a British accent developed in England during the 19th century among the upper class as a symbol of status. Historians often claim that Shakespeare sounds better in an American accent.


(via daniphantomgone)

The next James Bond? Former 007 Pierce Brosnan says he should be.
Read more at Sky News.

The next James Bond? Former 007 Pierce Brosnan says he should be.

Read more at Sky News.

“Chicago Fire” is the rare TV show that celebrates a sort of uncomplicated masculinity— and, unlike sitcoms such as “Last Man Standing” and “Guys with Kids” celebrates it as though it were not under attack. These men are manly — they rescue people for a living — but they’re not misogynists (some jokes aside) or nerds or convinced that their gender is about to be destroyed. Many of them have lots of feelings. This makes them pretty rare.

I like this show, too. Maybe this is part of the reason why.

Read more of Willa Paskin’s article in Salon here.

[Rand] Paul’s challenge to Obama’s executive authority to order drone killings on U.S. soil represents a threat to the Republican Party’s monopoly on manliness — and hence part of its grip on millions of white male voters — for one simple but powerful reason: it shows that (white) men can adopt an anti-militaristic stance and not be dismissed as passive and weak.

This is a few weeks old, but it’s a good take on how Paul’s filibuster is unique for members the Republican Party who wrap up their individual sense of masculinity with the size and deployment of the U.S. military.

Read more of Jackson Katz’s piece in the Huffington Post.

Race has also played a role in [Justin] Timberlake’s rise. It’s fair to attribute some of his success to the same dynamic that propelled Elvis Presley to the top of the pop charts: white boy plays black music, makes it “safe” for mainstream America, and outsells the originators in the process. But Timberlake’s relationship to race reflects our world more than Presley’s. Elvis was a rebellious figure: a white Southerner tapping into black culture at a time when black culture was taboo. For that reason, among others, he’ll always be a much more revolutionary artist than Timberlake. (So will [Michael] Jackson, who melded black and white music and united two previously segregated audiences.) But in 2013, African-American culture is no longer forbidden. It’s mainstream. It’s cool. Timberlake takes this for granted—he’s never known otherwise—and so do his fans. As a teenager, Timberlake wanted to be black, basically. He learned to sing from Brian McKnight, Al Green, and Donny Hathaway; early profiles describe his “homeboy delivery” and “hip-hop flavoring.” As Pharrell Williams once put it, “Justin could’ve been raised in the black church.” And so, unlike Elvis, Timberlake isn’t challenging the status quo by singing R&B. Instead, he is embodying our deeper, postracial aspiration—a desire that didn’t exist in Elvis’s day—to be at ease in black and white culture simultaneously. If he can pull it off, perhaps we can, too.

I appreciate the hope, but a couple of things bother me in this passage from Andrew Romano’s piece on JT:

-Yes, Timberlake does play that Elvis role, but even in 2013 African-American culture is still forbidden in some places. It’s not universally understood, respected or appreciated.

-And Timberlake “wanted to be black”? Really?? That’s quite a statement. There needs to be more proof than just listening to soul records.

Read more in Newsweek/The Daily Beast.

Not only did Hollywood ignore black cowboys, it plundered their real stories as material for some of its films.

The Lone Ranger, for example, is believed to have been inspired by Bass Reeves, a black lawman who used disguises, had a Native American sidekick and went through his whole career without being shot.

—More on Hollywood’s omission of black cowboys in the Old West and interviews with black cowboys in their 80’s.. from Sarfraz Manzoor in BBC News.

What makes an ideal man? Page through the advertisements placed in a standard American men’s magazine, and you’ll find one idea: He is a stomping, yelling, shooting, drinking, fucking, tough guy. He has big muscles and a limited emotional range—stoic, angry, horny. He exists in dark alleyways, war zones, and fast cars. He holds his beer bottle over his crotch to approximate a boner.

If advertising is meant to be aspirational, these ads are presenting a pretty sad version of what American men can aspire to be.

—By Amanda Hess in Slate

It’s about America and who goes to see movies. Women are interested in men and women, and men aren’t interested in the woman’s story. They just aren’t. There are exceptions, but by and large … I mean I do think that it’s feminizing for a guy to go see a movie with a female lead unless it’s Angelina Jolie shooting people or Zero Dark Thirty or something that feels like it’s in the male sphere. The devaluation of the traditional female roles or the traditional female approach, it starts to feel like this is what’s wrong with our country.

—The creator of HBO’s “Enlightened,” Mike White, on why men don’t watch shows or movies with female leads. Read more of his interview in Vulture and more on men watching female leads in Slate.

Boys learn that academic disengagement is a sign of their masculinity. If we want to re-engage boys in education, no amount of classroom tinkering and recess and science fiction reading is going to address that. We will need to enable boys to decouple the cultural definition of masculinity from academic disengagement.

—Michael Kimmel in “Do Boys Face More Sexism Than Girls” in the Huffington Post