Monday, April 18, 2005

The strange cult of the WASP man

While Portnoy and Woody Allen may have celebrated the shiksa, it's the shikso, so to speak, who's getting all the press these days. From Dustin Hoffman's eternal obsession with being non-blond (via Bamber) to a "Modern Love" column in the NYT Style section in which a woman, I'm guessing of the Semitic persuasion, says wistfully of her ex, "I remembered looking into his almond-shaped blue eyes and marveling at the perfect shape of his WASPy nose," it seems that WASP men are this week what Bobo chic was a month or so ago. (This Thursday, DOC is showing The Way We Were, a movie which, my mother informs me, is about a Jewish woman's unrequited love for a Robert Redford.)

Here, I'm afraid, I just don't get it. As someone whose first real celebrity crush was on Jason Schwartzman in Rushmore, but who is equal-opportunity enough to also appreciate, say, Peter Sarsgaard, I don't know what to make of this new, but not new, craze. I think what the world needs is a massive screening of Yossi and Jagger. Or maybe I just feel like watching the film for, ahem, academic reasons.

3 comments:

Maureen said...

As a nice lapsed-Catholic girl whose adolescent crush was David Duchovny, I must agree with you.

(But "The Way We Were" isn't so much about unrequited love as it is about love that can't escape social realities--Robert Redford can't keep his screenwriter position with Barbra Streisand's anti-McCarthy activism.)

Anonymous said...

The whole world's fascinated by blonde, blue eye aryan looking people. The Japanese and Arabs go abosolutely beserk over blonde girls.

Petey said...

I'm assuming Sarsgaard is Scandinavian in ancestry, so your open-mindedness is aesthetically correct.

As someone who's dated primarily women of Gallic and Semitic genetics, I've also managed to fit in a couple of Norwegians for balance.

The key to understanding the popularity of the WASPy generic is to realize that blandness sells in America. Kraft singles outsell manchego by a not insignificant margin in this country, and the reason has much more to do with their lack of flavor than with their price.

But other than an acceptable minor fetish for the Nordic, the discerning palette prefers Mediterranean genes. Refer to the chorus of Beck's Nicotine and Gravy for further elaboration.