Mantastic! A Prolegomena of Manly Men (well, more like a brief list)
They drive fast. They chop wood. They catch their own food. They sleep outdoors. They grow full beards in a day’s time. They shave their beards with knives instead of razors. They build fires. They know how to use a gun. They can take a punch. They eat things with faces, raw. They make things explode. They do things they aren’t proud of with pride. They look good dirty, but they clean up nice.
I am speaking, of course, of super manly men. While it’s true that I am a sucker for the slight-of-frame, pale, artistic type – I am also quite fond of their dauntless, grittier brethren. For fun, I thought I would give you a list of my personal favorites – it’s about to get really handsome in here, prepare to get a Manful:
Steve McQueen – It was the movie Bullitt what first introduced me to Mr. McQueen. There is a scene in which he is waking from sleep and he is completely disoriented and cranky – I was a total goner at that point. I wouldn’t call him conventionally handsome, but he radiated a hotness that spoke to me - and that hotness said, “this guy is going to do things and do them well, his sweat alone could get you pregnant.”
Kurt Russell – Believe it or not, it was Kurt Russells’ turn in Big Trouble in Little China that first ignited the flames of my devotion. Specifically, it was a scene in which he dons Dork Glasses (very much like my own pair) and a buttoned-up suit that made me love him – I have a prediliction for the geeky and myopic, don’t you know. But let us look at his fantastic role as MacReady in John Carpenter’s The Thing. Firstly, I firmly believe that he was able to grow a full-sized beard the instant that he decided he wanted one. Secondly, MacReady is not one to be trifled with. Armed with a flame-thrower, dynamite and Beard, he is unafraid to tie you to a chair and suss out the alien life-forms by force. Or by waiting. Patient force, I believe it’s called. The point is, I love him.
Harrison Ford - Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom probably isn’t the best in the series, what with Short Round and an especially shrill Kate Capshaw, but I feel like it may be my favorite. I suspect a little of it has to do with nostalgia, monkey brains and The Mola Ram School of Heart Removal – but a lot of it has to do with Mr. Ford. I adored the opening sequence in the nightclub ( Anything Goes! ) as well as the goofy as fuck, air-raft stunt. A scrubbed-up Harrison Ford in a tuxedo is better than no Harrison Ford at all, though I preferred him grimey, sweaty and shirtless in his trademark fedora. For my money, he has never looked better.
Nathan Fillion – I must confess, I loved the show Firefly. Nathan Fillion played Captain Malcolm “Mal” Reynolds and watching him reminded me of a combination of Kurt Russell and Harrison Ford – which is to say, a little bit of alright. He possesses an affable quality and can take a beating as well as effectively distribute one. Charming and formidable, his sense of humor is of the dry variety ( my favorite) and – though I am not a man – I would say he was relatable, an Everyman type. Only handsomer.
Daniel Craig – When Daniel Craig first took on the role of James Bond, much ado was made over leaked images of him sporting teeny, tiny swim trunks on the set of Casino Royale and deservedly so – he is well-fit. However, it was seeing him reprise the role as a gritty, bloody, Beater of Ass kind of Bond that caused me to view Mr. Craig in a new light. He looks like a man who can take care of himself plus a room full of other people – and his resemblance to McQueen isn’t lost on me.
Henry Ian Cusick - There have been times when I would be watching Lost and the show would kind of take a turn for the ridiculous (which – watchers of the show will understand – is saying something) and I would say to myself, “oh fuck this. I’m out.” But then I would think of Desmond. I love Desmond. I love hearing the sound of his voice and I love to watch him run for his life. And punch people. I would think of Desmond and how my life was richer and more vibrant with him in it and I would steel my resolve and I would commit myself to watching Lost again. Desmond Hume, how I love you.
Bear Grylls- star of the reality program Man vs. Wild, Mr. Grylls caught flack a few years back for airing misleading episodes about survival. Apparently he occasionally slept in hotels with the rest of the crew when they weren’t filming night scenes and certain scenarios are staged to provide dramatic effect. I would argue that such is the nature of all ”reality” programming and would go even further to suggest that this guy is in fact, the Real Deal. Plush nights in a the Super 8 aside, there is something very attractive about a man who can clothe, feed and shelter himself with little more than a Leatherman tool and his own cunning – even if what he eats is completely gross. Also, there is something attractive about a man who is attractive.