You know the type. He’s dry, sharp, knowing, smug, ironic, pompous, witty, brutally honest, either blithely ignorant or gleeful in shucking aside the norms of social interaction, intelligent, flamboyant with language and creative with insults…
And therefore, hot as hell.
You pick up patterns of the type of people you’re attracted to (well, if you’re like me and prone to navel gazing and retrospection and pattern-seeking). And this kind of man, usually in the form of one TV character or another, has been one of them for me for a long time. As teenager, it was John Munch from Homicide: Life on the Street (let’s not dwell on the fact that Richard Belzer who plays him is my parents’ age ie. pushing 70 now!)
and the Doctor from Star Trek: Voyager.
He’s a type that reoccurs often, taking unsuspecting folks by surprise in his abrasiveness that still manages to attract fans almost slavish devotion. The obvious literary predecessor is Jane Eyre‘s Rochester. He’s snarky, snide, sarcastic, and smart, and somehow, devastatingly attractive to Jane and her readers. I’m pressed to think of examples that are not current, but three examples would be: Sherlock (the original Holmes fits this to a certain extent but no where near as cutting as Benedict Cumberbatch’s incarnation); Greg House (unsurprisingly, has his origins in Holmes as well); some incarnations of the Doctor from Doctor Who (or at least aspects of his incarnations) and Malcolm Tucker (just starting watching The Thick of It for the first time today which prompted this post.)
For a number of women (and indeed men) it is bewildering that anyone cold be attracted to this kind of man. Who in their right mind wants to be with someone who is so bloody rude?
There’s a number of things at play here. One, intelligence is sexy. Two, so is a sense of humour, even if it is cutting. Three, the willingness and audacity to fly in the face of expectation is terribly cool; he is the thinking girl’s bad boy. Four, and I think this is quite important, is the idea that if a man who is that smart, that exacting, so dismissive of large swathes of humanity for not meeting his standards, turns around and deems you, yes, you – humble yet ambitious, desperate to be clever and exacting and sharp, as he is – worthy of his attention…well, isn’t that a coup? How marvelous must you be if he, the poster boy for misanthropy, decides you are special?
Or maybe that’s just me. I suspect there’s some truth in there, though. Probably because as I got a little older these men have become a little less appealing. Intriguing still, yes, but not quite so held up as the ideal, because you know what? Don’t really need Mr. Smart Arse (as much as he might make me laugh darkly at the petty foibles of society) deciding for me if I’m worth it or not. (Still, Malcolm Tucker can swear at me in his lovely Scottish bur any day of the week. )
I know there are more of this type. Anyone care to share their own clever, sarcastic, witty bastards? Thoughts on why they are so compelling despite our better judgement?
[Of course, you may have also noticed from the above a general interest in older men - compared to me, and certainly at 14 they were much, much older - and interesting profiles, but those topics need entries of their own.]
Mirrored from jacquelinebrocker.esquinx.net.