... but I stopped. Now I'm a dad, and may blog again...

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

392: The Masculine Ideal

Larry David is a hero; he speaks his mind, puts to right all that he perceives as unjust and bullshit, fights for his position, and doesn't care a hoot or two about the consequences. His social standing wavers in and out of favour and he cares not; onward he battles firm in his convictions. The world around him is one of his own construction, one well earned and I don't think there is a man alive who wouldn't envy and admire him. He is without prejudice of colour, creed or sexuality – his battles are against laziness, ignorance, hypocrisy, and stupidity. He is right. Forget Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp, Barack Obama, David Beckham or Steven Gerrard: Larry David is the masculine ideal, the Vitruvian Man, the alpha, Hercules and Odysseus.

Curb Your Enthusiasm, which is supposedly antagonised by Larry's faux pas, is actually about Larry's stubborn reactions to the arseholes he encounters. His response to idiots and aggressors is to square up, expose their wrongness, let nothing slide; he is honest, open and regrets nothing. As someone committed to the Sisyphean task of writing this blog – the dictates of which increasingly require opinion on contentious issues, interpersonal relations, and occasionally spills over into my private "real" life – I both empathise with Larry and strongly admire him. Yes, Larry 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' David is a fictionalised version of Larry David, but equally Kevin 'I Blog Every Day' Bradshaw is me but not.

Sometimes less me and sometimes more; always me but not quite, you know what I mean. I can say things here that I wouldn't in real life. Admittedly the main reason for that is it doesn't matter if no one reads it – I'll write it anyway – but only an idiot or an extroverted narcissist would talk this much with no one listening. A narcissist I may be, but it's pointing inwards not out. Larry is very much an extrovert in his narcissism: he talks and talks, he is told to shut up, and he just brushes it away and carries on asking questions and thinking out loud.

His behaviour is a filter removing the wastrels from his social circle, condemning them to the circle of hell that is a life outside of his awesome presence. He is arrogant, self-serving, and verging on solipsistic in his attitude towards his own perception of social norms. But isn't that the dream; to be able to act like that free from any real guilt or lasting repercussions. The credits roll and all is back to norm.  (To top it all off he is a huge success, financially and critically.)  Every day is an episode, every blog post is an opportunity to deconstruct a waiters failings to his face before ordering food, ask an inappropriately personal question to a girl guide, or call a disabled person a cunt. And then when I have google-imaged some slightly relevant pictures and clicked 'post', let the credits roll. Most will be forgotten, yet some will carry over into the next day forming a story arc lasting a few episodes or a series at most. Credits.

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