Monday, 19 December 2011

Predictions for 2012. The return of the Alpha Male.

There's always a reason for Daniel in those blue trunks. So, that's 2011 more or less wrapped up. Phew! What a year, eh? Revolutions throughout the arab world with dictators toppling like dominoes, the EU of the verge of meltdown, the royal wedding, the UK in riot mode and Minx winning X-Factor.

Where will it all end?

No idea, but I know I'll be spending a lot of it in the company of alpha males. And so will you.

After years of the metrosexual, of the 'new-age caring sharing happy to change nappies and cries at girly-flicks' type of man-boy, I smell testosterone in the air. Times, they are a-changin'.

Of course, we'll always have Bond, the very paragon of alpha-ness, but look at Driver. Ryan Gosling is rapidly becoming a fan-girl fav, but why? He's an alpha. Hardly speaks, certainly doesn't share his emotions, handy with his hands and ruthlessly brutal, and a loner. These are not qualifications for a long term relationship!

But, my oh my, we do love him. Pwerhaps in a confusing world we all hanker for someone to come along and 'sort s**t out' with his bare hands. Simple and direct. Perhaps we're weary of negotiating, trying to do the right thing, taking charge for our own destinies.

For me, the defining alpha moment was watching the opening scene of Dr. No, when Sean Connery says the immortal 'Bond...James Bond' with an almost sneer as he lights up. Now, Sean was 28 at that time but frankly, so manly he was prehistoric. It was as if billions of years of what it is to be a man had been purified down to that defining moment, that casino and those words. Come on, you still get a little thrill when he does it, don't you?

What defines an alpha male? On the most simple level, who would you like on your side in a fight? That's the ultimate role of the alpha, to protect the group, society, pack. He accepts his role as a warrior and has no real qualms about it. He doesn't do angst.

Sex appeal. His mere presence make the other males cower and the females blush. Again, this is his function, to have many strong sons to further protect the group down the generations. Chaste he is not.

A certain elequence. He says what he means and means what he says.

He is the ultimate male-wish fulfillment fantasy, as simple as that. Since the moment one big hairy ape with good hair swung down and thwacked the tiger on the head and saved the female ape in distress and the other male apes sat around thinking 'I wish I'd been ape enough to do that'. Always was, always will be. So, my list of alpha males for 2012:

1. Daniel Craig. The new Bond movie. 'Nuff said. They say it often, but they mean it here, the best Bond since Connery. Please oh please let the next movie be like Casino Royale and not Quantum of Solace.

2. Sean Bean. Ned Stark. I know it came out this year but I still haven't seen it and this is my blog. Sean's been great for years and years and years and age has only man him more so.

3. Jon Hamm. The new series of Mad Men. Certainly at the front of the queue when God handed out 'ridiculously good-lookin''.

4. Christian Bale. He will lead the superhero brigade which is frankly gigantic in the year of Avengers. Honourable mentions to Robert Downey Junior, Chris Evans and Chris Hemsworth.

5. Karl Urban as Judge Dredd. Karl is usually the best thing in whatever he does (Priest, anyone?) and he won't be taking off the helmet. Respect to the Law!

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

This blog is NOT about religion. It's about Marmite. Honestly.

Alas, I couldn't find an image of a bottle of Marmite ANYWHERE, so, completely BY RANDOM, I found this action-packed image by one of my favourite comic heroes, Frank Miller. I've NO IDEA what it is about, but I'm sure it's an intelligent, thoughtful and non-bigotted and even-handed debate about the so-called 'clash of civilization' we've been hearing so much about since, oh, September 2001.
But I'm here today to talk about Marmite. For those of you who don't know what it is, I can't be bothered to explain it to you, because explaining and understanding takes too long and is hard, but all you need to know is it's VILE and I HATE it.
Okay, if you must know, its a vegetable yeast extract. Vegetarians love it. Now I'm not prejudiced against vegetarians, and some of my best friends are vegetarians, but, I just want to say do you know who else was a vegetarian?
Adolf Hitler.
Just sayin'.
But this is not a rant about vegetarians, it's a rant about Marmite.
But millions of people in the world love Marmite. They have it as their favourite thing EVAH. They have it in the morning, the moment they get up. They snack on it during the day and even at night. My gosh, like FIVE times a day, easy. You kind of wonder what else they can be doing with their lives, wasting so much of it on Marmite.
I don't know who invented it, maybe some guy out in the middle of the desert because that's where all the crazy ideas come from, don't you agree? Anyway, it gets invented. I bet even his wife thought it a bit odd, but she came on board and soon there were a handful of other Marmaite lovers.
Now, can you believe it, it's GLOBAL.
How can so many people be so INSANE? Marmite is disgusting! It's been banned in some countries, but that just drives it underground (I myslef, so my shame, have smuggled in pots for friends abroad who've been converted to the stuff, but because I love them, I do it). Governments are waking up to the evil of Marmite, but I don't think it's a war that can ever be one. If only there was a way of recognising Marmite lovers, then it might be easier. You know, we could get them to wear special badges, or round them up and get them to live in certain areas so we could keep an eye on them and make sure they don't spread their vile Marmite love. Surely we have a duty to protect our children from Marmite?
I say this as a concerned parent who, sadly, has lost his own two young ones to Marmite. I married a Marmite lover. I admit it. I thought she would keep her Marmite love to herself, but she INDOCTRINATED them into loving Marmite when they were very small and impressionable. How evil is that, feeding Marmite to defenceless babies! Now, it's too late. But, it made me realise, that Marmite lovers aren't that different from me, afterall. I know my kids, they're just like everyone elses kids (though by far more talented and pretty and all that and they sure tidy their rooms in the morning. Not.).
It's made me realise that I shouldn't fear Marmite. It's out there. It appeals to millions. Some good, some bad. It's certianly not to everyone's taste, but then what is?