The New Metro-Politics

By Mark Simpson

So, pretty, svelte – and somewhat swish – David Milliband and his million-dollar smile, who was gushingly described by Hillary Clinton as ‘attractive’ and ‘vibrant’, is the front-runner in the Labour leadership contest to replace the big clunking grimace of Gordon Brown with something more electable.

It seems highly likely that soon all three main political parties in the UK will soon be led by adorable 40-somethings who look like moisturised, pampered 30-somethings who never miss the gym – and whose suits are cut to advertise their shape rather than disguise it. Metrosexual politicians rule. Literally. The ‘new politics’ is looking increasingly like a kind of ‘metro-politics’, in which male politicians have to seduce the electorate with their looks and sensitivity in order to have any chance of ugly, hard power.

Despite famously using a poster of Cameron next to an Audi Quattro and warning ‘Don’t let him take you back to the 1980s’, it was Gordon Brown who looked like the throwback. Gene Hunt without the swagger, or the nostalgia. And more creases. (If Cameron looks like anyone from the Eighties, it’s definitely not Gene Hunt or mannish Mrs T – it’s Spandau Ballet’s Tony Hadley at his most preening.) Even without the financial meltdown Brown was never going to win those brightly-lit TV debates on our Widescreen HDTVs. Not because of anything he said of course, but because he looked like death on toast. Dry toast.

David Cameron and Nick Clegg by contrast are politicians with prime-time skin who have gone one step further and entered into a political metro-marriage. A straight civil partnership which proclaims to the world: this is a progressive affair where there is no ‘husband’ and no ‘wife’: we’re equals who are sensitive to each other’s needs. Plus we both look really fetching in our matching blue made-to-measure.

Nor is metro-politics just a British phenomenon. The most powerful man on the globe Barack ‘smokin hot’ Obama is a President several trouser sizes smaller than most American men his age who makes the Free World wait every day on his morning workout. Even the great white male hope of his Republican Party ‘girly man’ hating enemies is a former Cosmo centrefold. In keeping with the dictums of metro-politics, President Obama is something of his own First Lady in front of the camera, always knowing exactly where the most flattering camera angles are – famously winning the Democratic nomination from Hillary Clinton because he was much prettier than her, and sending a ‘thrill’ up the leg of straight male commentators.

Which brings us onto an apparently paradoxical aspect of the ‘progressiveness’ of the metro-politicians admiring their reflection in the polls. Whilst they may be more appealing to many women voters than more traditional, plainer politicians, and are often keen to present themselves as ‘post-feminist’, they tend to regard themselves as so sensitive and lovely that they don’t actually need women in their cabinets. Unless they’re a bit camp like Theresa May. Or a bit scary like Hillary Clinton.

Although backbencher Diane Abbot has thrown her bonnet into the ring in the Labour leadership contest, she isn’t regarded as a serious contender – in part because she’s considered ‘too abrasive’. Instead the choice seems to be between David Milliband’s full-wattage metrosexuality and his brother’s Ed’s less dazzling eco-friendly variety.

The smart and nicely turned out money is on David. But either way, Her Majesty’s Opposition will very likely soon be led – like Her Majesty’s Government – by two surprisingly young-looking straight men who openly profess their love and admiration for one another.

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71 thoughts on “The New Metro-Politics

  1. Mark W: nicely put brother. There is no philosophy in silence, and some people just step over the simplicity of that in favor of ‘ego’ stuff. But that’s the nature of the ‘ego’

  2. Marcelo: I think that you’re prety clear. Indeed, reality is best subsumed into the silence you speak of:’that place”. The best use of language is to figure out what we are talking about in the first place, and not inventing new and generally not” better ” ways to understand things.
    I think that poets are the only people qualified to forge new expresions: something of a miracle.  What used to be called ‘philosophy’ is the humbug of arrogant minds who believe that despite the chatter of centuries, believe they have a superior way to systematise reality. Most people don’t understand what they are already saying.

  3. “Natural Manhood – your entire argument is based on that separate entity. Which you clearly feel yourself to be. And thats not what I’m referring to.”

    I’m sorry, but your posts were so confusing, You were being philosophical and I was left to draw my own inferences.

    I don’t feel a separate entity … not that there is anything wrong with that! … that is what those who choose a ‘homosexual’ identity do … what is wrong is to misdefine this separate entity in terms of ‘sexuality’ rather than ‘gender’ that it actually is.

  4. Mark w: This is what I meant by not wanting to “take it to that place here” – never trust men who over complicate things!

  5. Natural Manhood – your entire argument is based on that separate entity. Which you clearly feel yourself to be. And thats not what I’m referring to.

    That is not what is doing the witnessing.

  6. “Now I know that people who talk of identity never want to go to this place because, well – in silence there is no more conversation.”

    When one is really silent and alone by oneself, one may not even feel a gendered person at all. Gender comes into play mostly when we relate with other humans. Then we become aware of being either male or female. Now, as it happens, this awareness, may not tally with what we see ‘down there.’

    “But if we are ever really serious about understanding who we are – we must go to that which is trying to find itself.”

    That which is trying to find itself is not what is attached to our bodies. What is trying to find itself is what exists within. It’s dying to come out, to be acknowledged, to be given a valid social space and identity. When the society refuses to give it as ‘gender’ (what it actually is), then this inner-self gets confused and tries to reinvent its identity on sexual differences as validated by the society (and sexuality is heavily manipulated in the West, not what it is made to appear).

    “So, in understanding ‘identity’ one must start from your 0 meter position first before wandering off into the wonderful conceptual playground.”

    This ‘0’ point is again what exists within. However, social identity cannot just be defined by what exists within. To take an extreme example, if an individual with male sexual apparatus, sees himself as a female from within, he cannot have a ‘woman’ identity, however he may like to have it. To thrust the ‘man’ identity on him (even to use ‘him’ for ‘her’ is unjustified) is not recognising the inner-female, the ‘0’ point. The social identity has to be a combination of the ‘0’ point as well what is seen from the outside, and so there have always been at least, three human genders (but actually more):

    Man

    Woman

    Third gender (both male and female at the same time, like male from outside, female from inside).

    Unfortunately, the Western world, besotten with politics and manipulation around male gender and sexauality, has redefined ‘third gender’ as ‘males who desire men’ in order to stigmatize the trait of men who desire men for those with a strong male identity (now called unjustifiably ‘heterosexual’, when there heterosexuality is more of their gender role, not always and not exclusively, their real biological desire). And this has what has happened in the West. But its wrong!!

  7. Marsh,

    A note on Biology.

    Biology is the human attempt (particularly, originating in the west) to understand life based on what can be seen and verified, as validated by an organised body. This organised body is part of the overall society, and is not free of its cultural/ religious, etc, influences when it seeks to understand nature, or collect data about it. And it affects how science views life, which may not always be a representation of facts.

    Also, life is much more than what is tangible and can easily be verified. And, we have not even verified everything that can be verified.

    When biology rejects something, it should have a valid grounds to do so. Has there been any studies conducted to negate the possibility of “Gender orientation” being a biological possibility? What is happening is, that because the Western culture, seeped in Christian values, does not recognize or comprehend ‘gender’ as a valid human trait, western science easily negates it, without having to prove it.

  8. Marcelo,

    “All I can see is the activity of witnessing and that which is being witnessed.”

    How one witnesses things can be and often are affected by strong social environments, and if these environments have been highly manipulated, like they happen in the modern west, then the activity of witnessing and being witnessed can be highly illusionary.

    “Now, if i look down – I can see a ‘male’ body.”

    The western world is too much obesssed with what it can see. There is more to things than you can see from the outside. Have you ever tried looking to see what is inside?

    If there is a female inside, then inspite of the ‘outer’ male body, it can be absolutely impossible to see oneself as anything but a female. This inner female or ‘femininity’ is determined by biology (and is not just about choosing female gender roles) … can exist in different degrees. It makes it difficult for an apparently male body to socially be a part of the men’s group or identity, and has no stake (or little stake, depending on the degree of inner femininity) in manhood. This inner female drives males to seek a separate identity from the ‘normal’ males.

    The problem is in the West, they misrepresent this concept of a separate category for ‘feminine males’ as ‘sexual orientation’ (of males with an interest in other males), which is not what it is.

    But, if the society strongly confuses inner-femininity with ‘desire for men,’ then those with insufficient inner male sex, who like men, then start to see their different category in terms of ‘desire for men’ rather than “femininity,” stigmatizing the trait of desiring men for the males with a well formed male identity.

    West refuses to acknowledge this “inner-sex” that we call ‘gender’ (masculinity/ femininity), because like you say, it can’t be seen (you only see the male body!!) … But, actually, there is a double standard in the western attitude towards these things, because, you can’t see ‘sexual orientation’ as well, yet, the west has no qualms about categorizing people on its basis.

    “A subtle ‘character’ arises from this – in what we have come to call “male” which seems to be predicated by the biology of this particular body. Not by history, which is and will always be shaky ground, and mostly false.”

    If its a random historical event, you can probably ignore it, but if its a pattern that is witnessed all through the human history, and is still quite prominent in the entire world (except the West) … and if the contemporary humans, even in the West, are still affected by this ‘inner-sex” (even as it is unacknowledged) and people who’re the most affected, and have a space to TALK, cry themselves hoarse trying to show us that inner-gender is a ‘natural’ and ‘social’ reality and we have to stop looking at just what is outside … then I guess, ‘gender orientation’ (masculinity/femininity) is not something you can just brush aside without giving it a serious thought, and without enough evidences to do so.

  9. Marcelo: Zen gives us that option now and then(minus the biological identity) until hunger, hornyness and sleepfulness set in. You’re not a spoil sport, I’m sure, just stating an untroubled “0” point.

    In any case we’re talking about those other silly people!

  10. I hate to to take it to this place on Marks wonderful blog, but if i pause a thought and sit in silence, merely watching and not get caught up in concepts – i can see no attachment to anything. All I can see is the activity of witnessing and that which is being witnessed. Now, if i look down – I can see a ‘male’ body. And because of it’s proximity I assume that thats me, and a subtle ‘character’ arises from this – in what we have come to call “male” which seems to be predicated by the biology of this particular body. Not by history, which is and will always be shaky ground, and mostly false.

    Now I know that people who talk of identity never want to go to this place because, well – in silence there is no more conversation. But if we are ever really serious about understanding who we are – we must go to that which is trying to find itself.

    So, in understanding ‘identity’ one must start from your 0 meter position first before wandering off into the wonderful conceptual playground.

    Maybe, in finding this – our identification might be to all things.

    And wouldn’t that be a nice place to live?

  11. “What if someone finds himself in each of those divisions from one time to the next?”

    I have been talking about only two categories: ‘Men’ and “third gender.’

    Although, there are people who have both strong femininity and still have masculinity in them, and the degree may vary during various phases in their lives, their gender identity as whole forms in the adolescence and usually stays so through the life. If someone decides to make a switch over later in life that option should be open. In any case, traditional societies allow a lot of freedom to express femininity to males, within the ‘men’ identity. It’s not like in the West, where wanting to look good becomes such a big issue that you need to identify it with another term, another concept.

    ‘masculine male sexuality for men’ is a quality, a trait, not an identity. Masculine male or male with a male identity is an identity. In the West its called straight, and confused with heterosexuality.

  12. “There’s something in a mind that resistes a box..or a bunch of boxes”

    Homosexual, heterosexual, bisexual are boxes. The most unnecessary boxes that there can be. With no historical or biological or even contemporary basis in the areas other than those that are westernized.

    “There can be some poetry and an endless degree of variation to how people are configured.”

    Still, we do have some valid social identities. Our sex and gender identity is that identity that is real and valid. That is why the entire world has had it, always. Any other attempt to categorize people is suspect, especially if it has so many drawbacks as the western concept of ‘sexual orientation.’

    Social identities are valid only when people really relate to them as such, and relate to each other on the basis of that identity. Men really relate to each other on the basis of their inner-male identity, their masculinity. Does every male that likes men relate with the ‘homosexual’ identity or the concept of ‘homosexuality’ or even ‘bisexuality’. NO. Only the effeminate males, and the males with a weak male identity do. That is why ‘homosexual’ its an invalid identity.

    “What does this have to do with meterosexuality, and the adorable Mr. Milliband?”

    Nothing, except, I was raising the basic issue of defining meterosexuality … the concept itself and the need for it.

  13. What if someone finds himself in each of those divisions from one time to the next and with women as well?

  14. There’s something in a mind that resistes a box..or a bunch of boxes. A favorite theme in my thinking these days is that notion that people- ordinary people- have multiple and sloppily arranged personalities. There can be some poetry and an endless degree of variation to how people are configured. What does this have to do with meterosexuality, and the adorable Mr. Milliband?

  15. “This is all intriquing, for sure. I wonder tough if you wouldn’t just be so confused figuring out where you sat wityhinthis configuration, and where you were relative to your partners that you would just get schizophrenic before you ever got an errection.”

    Maybe, I know what you’re trying to say. You’re probably saying that my identities are so complicated that it would make finding sexual partners difficult or something … that they are impractical.

    a) Well, actually, I was explaining sexual identities in a scenario when the gender orientation — a factor forgotten by the west — was taken into account too.

    My identities are pretty simple actually, and they work well the entire world over. There are only two identiies:

    Men = any male with a predominant male identity (not excluding somewhat femininity), but without any consideration to his sexual orientation or preferences.

    Third gender = any male with a predominant feminine gender, but without any consideration to his/her/hir sexual orientation or preferences.

    b) You don’t need sexual identities to find sexual partners. If you like men, what does it matter if the man defines himself as straight or gay or bisexual. If you two like each other, that is all you want to know.

  16. “This is all intriquing, for sure. I wonder tough if you wouldn’t just be so confused figuring out where you sat wityhinthis configuration, and where you were relative to your partners that you would just get schizophrenic before you ever got an errection.”

    I have no idea what this means, so I can’t possibly answer that.

    “You leave out al of the important considerations od sadomasochism though.”

    Sexual preferences of any kind whatsoever, are just that — sexual preferences. They can’t be a matter of identity. Most people have a range of sexual preferences, and would be open to a lot of things at some point of time. Sexual identities just don’t make sense, except when the feminine male wants to use it as his/her separate ‘gender identity.’ Now that the western world is recognizing ‘transgenderism’ as an identity, the feminine male doesn’t really need to stick to this confusion.

  17. This is all intriquing, for sure. I wonder tough if you wouldn’t just be so confused figuring out where you sat wityhinthis configuration, and where you were relative to your partners that you would just get schizophrenic before you ever got an errection.
    You have a very valid point about female liberation. I think most of us concure with that inevitability.

    You leave out al of the important considerations od sadomasochism though. Remember power before truth applies especially here. You need to figure that in, I’m sure Mark S would agree.

  18. “Another thing while I discuss it, what happens to heterosexual males with female identities/males identies? You seem to leave the impression that homosexuals are the only vessels of these distinctions.”

    (a) You will never understand what I’m saying, unless you learn to stop classifying people as homosexual and heterosexual, even if you see it all around you in your society, if you can manage to do it, you’ll understand how men have always lived in this world, and the concepts they’ve lived by. So, there are no real ‘heterosexuals’ as an identity, and no homosexuals as well — people sexual needs can be pretty fluid.

    (b) Only the feminine gendered males really care for the separate ‘homosexual’ category. It’s their idea basically. What they’re actually looking for is a separate identity from males with a male identity, and since they confuse this distinction with their sexuality for men, they make that into an identity. They fail to understand that there is more to the ‘heterosexual’ identity of such a majority, than mere biology … that males with a male identity go through enormous pressures to be heterosexual, in order to qualify for social manhood.

    (c) The western society, which wants to paint male sexual desire for men as feminine (gay) and male sexual desire for women as masculine (straight), has already taken care of that. The feminine gendered males, as ‘queer’ and ‘transgendered’ males are increasingly being excluded from the ‘straight’ category and being included into the LGBT category. But there is strong resistance from anti-man forces (including the ‘gays’) that stops the males with a strong male identity who openly acknowledge their desire for men from being a part of the ‘straight’ category. The problem is the definitions of the two male categories.

  19. -Little attention is ever paid to the blaring fact that all of the new “male” designations have been the outgrowth of female liberation, which has far more of an affect than “east/west” per se.-

    Female liberation, as we know it is very much a western idea, and it has been hijacked by the western anti-man forces as an excuse to destroy men’s spaces by heterosexualizing them, and to break men from men.

    Why should female liberation be allowed to define the categories of males? Of course, the categorization of males as straight-masculine-heterosexual and gay-feminine-homosexual serves the interests of the female, by placing a lot of powers at her disposal as a source of men’s manhood. However, shouldn’t the categories of males be defined by men themselves, without any unreasonable implicit or explicit outside intervention?

  20. The males are not divided between ‘males who like men’ and ‘males who like women.’

    Neither is male sexuality divided between ‘male sexuality for men’ and ‘male sexuality for women.’

    If at all ‘sexual orientation’ needs to be configured, male sexuality is divided between:

    -masculine male sexuality for men
    -feminine male sexuality for men
    -masculine male sexuality for women
    -feminine male sexuality for women

    masculine male sexuality for men and feminine male sexuality don’t come into the same category. They are essentially different in nature. The masculine male meets another male as a man. The feminine male meets another male as a woman (in different degrees). When a masculine male is approached by another male, he is approached as a man. When a feminine male is approached by another male, he is approached as someone who is half-male/half-female. Only the feminine male sexuality for men calls for a separate category.

    The western world knows that masculine male sexuality for women does not come into the same category as feminine male sexuality for women. So, while the former are part of the straight category, the latter are a part of the LGBT category.

    The masculine male sexuality for men and the masculine male sexuality for women come into the same category of men. Instead of being divided over people, these two different forms of sexuality, in nature, form part of the same man, but during different stages. While youth is for sexual bonding between males, reproductive sex is indulged in by many mammalian males in the latter part of adulthood, often without forgoing male bonds. They are both phases a man goes through. Of course, many males do not go through the second phase, but they intensify the first one. That doesn’t make these males a part of the feminine males who have the same outer sex of sexual partners.

    Likewise, feminine male sexuality for women and feminine male sexuality for men forms part of the same category. In nature, only the feminine gendered male has any long term or emotional ‘sexual orientation’ for women. With humans, of course, there are other factors than biology that comes into play, in order to heterosexualise the non-feminine males. Feminine male sexuality for men that is exclusive is an exception rather than the rule.

    It should also be noted that while masculine male sexuality for men is more oriented towards emotional and social bonding (apart from a deep sexual bonding) and so is much more monogamous and long lasting, even lifelong … the feminine male sexuality for men (gay) is often promiscuous by nature, limited only to the physical part of it. The feminine male is more geared to form emotional and social bonds with women.

  21. <<>>

    There are only two world cultures, as far as values and social construction of male gender and sexuality goes. One that exists in the entire non-western world, and even in the parts today designated as ‘western’ (like most ‘western’ labels, western doesn’t exactly mean “in the west” … it is used more to refer to highly industrialised, economically and politically powerful nations, with a Christian past and a ‘scientific’ background — which is not always so perfect), before 1860s or so. In the middle ages, the Christian west, diverged a bit from the ‘world’ order, in this respect, but still more or less, the eastern and western viewpoints were the same. The ‘westernized’ spaces in the non-west, unfortuately are fashioned along western lines.

    They considered males to be divided into basically ‘men’ and third genders. The men were assigned the sexual roles of penetration (not necessarily of women), and sexuality between men was widely prevalent in the men’s spaces today designated as ‘straight’. The third genders were assigned the sexual roles of being penetrated. So, while the biological difference between ‘men’ and ‘third genders’ remained ‘masculinity’ and ‘femininity,’ the social difference became that of ‘penetrator’ and ‘penetrated’ but never, that of liking men or women. Desire was not important. Performance was important.

    Most of the non-Western world still lives under those social constructions and values.

    In the West, politics of gender and sexuality and an extremely hostile need for the society to contain sexuality between men in a society that was openeing up sexually otherwise, led to the ‘third gender’ being defined as ‘homosexuals’ — actually, the third genders started it themselves, with Karl Maria Benkert.

  22. <<>>

    1. Even if for discussions sake I agree that heterosexuals, homosexuals really ( meaning biologically, and not just as a social construction) exist, even then, they surely do not exist as they do in the west. Furthermore, if there are two genders of males, then how can the sexuality of a man for (let’s say) women be in the same category as that of a third gender for women? Surely, then ‘men’ and ‘third genders’ wouldn’t be “same-genders” and any desire between them would classify as “heterosexuality.” If you accomodate the factor of three human genders (actually there are at least five of them), the whole idea of classifying people as who is liking whom would get so complicated that it would cease to be practical. The concept of sexual orietnation is made possible only through the negation of human gender orientation, and confusing it with ‘sexual orientation.’

    2. If its true that homosexuals, heterosexuals and bisexuals exist, then you also have to accept that there are people who like blacks, whites, Indians, Arabs, short, tall, dark, fat, thin, and whole range of other characteristics in people. What makes just the outer sex of the partner so important for the West? Would you care to have a blackosexual, whitosexual, Indianosexual, and what have you? The only reason the concept of ‘homosexuality’ was created was to target, isolate and persecute the human trait of men desiring men (but letting the third genders do it, in the separate category they call as ‘homosexuals.’!).

    3. If its true that males can be divided into homosexuals, heterosexuals, bisexuals etc., then you also have to admit that women can be divided into whores and non-whores. Would you care for that? What is the purpose of these divisions? What is the history of these divisions? And, most importantly, what is the contemporary position of these divisions? The answer to all these questions is that “homosexuals” actually refer primarily to males with a deficient male identity, who like men exclusively. While “Straight” refers to males with a strong male identity, who, whether or not they like women, or like it to the extent it is required for the heterosexual identity, they take the heterosexual identity, because that is what the western politics of manhood forces them to do. When men face tremendous pressures to have sexual desire for women, if they want their manhood to be socially validated, then how wise it is to assume that the ‘hetero’ and ‘homo’ categories honestly represent the actual situation of what exists naturally around these traits.

  23. Could it be that there are both “males with a male identity” (masculine gendered males) and “males with a female identity” (feminine gendered males) and also heterosexuals, homosexuals and bisexuals, neither set of groupings being exclusive of the other? Of course all of the different individual representatives being metrosexual or non-metrosexual: however that is defined.

    My greatest interest in your theorizing goes with wondering why this insistence on an “eastern” and “western” dichotomy. Which east and western culture? There were many hundreds historically. Due to American imperialism, there really exist few cultures in their pure states which have not been dessicated and which did not depend to a significant level onfemale subjugation (or better, differentiation, the other term being judgemental, and a function of western feminism).

    Little attention is ever paid to the blaring fact that all of the new “male” designations have been the outgrowth of female liberation, which has far more of an affect than “east/west” per se.

    Another thing while I discuss it, what happens to heterosexual males with female identities/males identies? You seem to leave the impression that homosexuals are the only vessels of these distinctions.

  24. Mark Walsh,

    And is this (below) not a sweeping generalization?

    “Some homosexual males get strong masculine identies from their mothers. That happens more often than one would suspect in this age of female liberation. ..”

    I don’t think you’ve got what I want to say here.

    I am not saying that masculine males don’t want to look good, or they don’t take good care of themselves. I just didn’t say that.

    One of my points is that ‘meterosexual’ if it refers to males (even when they’re masculine) who take good care of themselves and preen themselves up well, then its a faulty concept, valid only in the artificial world created in the West, having no validity outside that artificial world — much like the concept of ‘homosexuality’ itself.

    Why is the West so concerned about artificial gender roles and why is this attempt to define males based on whether or not they follow these artificial gender roles. Why not look at the real, biological inner gender of males, their inner male or female sense, and then define them on the basis of that. It’s not my own ideology, that is how things have been all across the globe, throughout history.

    Another point I’m making is that there are only two kinds of males in this world. And they’re not ‘homosexual’ and ‘heterosexual.’ They are “males with a male identity” (masculine gendered males) and “males with a female identity” (feminine gendered males). The gender roles they take up will depend upon their inner sense of being a male or female. This inner gender is rooted in biology.

    There are some who can fit into both the gender categories of men, and these people are probably what you want to call ‘meterosexual’ … these bigendered males also fill up most of the ‘gay’ category.

    It’s wrong to categorise males with a strong male identity, together with males who have a female identity, (as meterosexuals) just because they both want to preen themselves and look good. They’re still different.

    Just as its wrong to categorise males with a strong male identity together with males who have a female identity (as homosexuals), just because they both exclusively like men.

    Am I making myself clearer now?

  25. “natural man” I can see that you have given some thought to gender and sexuality; enough to make some dangerous generalities. Some homosexual males get strong masculine identies from their mothers. That happens more often than one would suspect in this age of female liberation. They idenbtifuy with being masculine and are attrascted to males. This is one example which has become familiar to me.e.g. I have a friend who’s mother is an auto mechanic. This is only one example of the variability to which refer.

    The important point though is that these matters exist in isolation from meterosexuality. If your concern is the natural, you might take note of the fact that the males of most mamalian species are the showy sex. Notice species of birds particularly or almost any species. Why should humans be any different, the most masculine should be the most attractive. In politics, especially, when there are no
    other distinquishing characteristics-except in America, religious fanaticism, it turns into a beauty pagent of sorts. Even when last appearances counted for something, with Jack Kennedy, an outspoken concern was whether or not Protestant America would accept a Catholic, particularly an Irish Catholic. They underplayed his religion and played up his good looks and that of his French wife Jackie.I’m sure that he was the last president to ever don a top hat. It was almost like having royalty-the pomp and circumstances were so evident. Nonethe less it became an issue , when in later years, he wanted to visit his ancstors Ireland and his advisers forbad it . He went nonethe less.

  26. All I’m saying is that this world is not divided into homo and hetero. The male world is divided between males with a male identity (men) and males with a female identity (third genders).

    The very concept of having a separate category for homosexuals, is based on the belief that the feminine gender of the male flows out of their sexuality for men, which is a fallacy. There are males who have a strong female identity and they also like men exclusively, and so they fit into this western concept — this separate homosexual category (which is basically for feminine gendered males (who like men), including, the transgendered, the meterosexual, i.e. the partly masculine, partly feminine … some of whom are ‘straight acting’, i.e. they pretend to be masculine (but don’t have a strong enough male identity.)

    These are the males who take up the ‘homosexual’ identity and relish it and thrive in it, whereas the male with a strong male identity who likes men exclusively (all straight males like men), suppresses and hides his sexuality for men most of the time. When are we ever going to set the record straight.

  27. When you look at a queer guy, just by being with such a person, observing his mannerisms, the way s(he) conducts him(her)self — how can you not believe that there is something which is different about this person, and this difference is not just ‘social’ and that its deep seated within the biology of the person.

    How can you not acknowledge this difference as a ‘gender’ difference.

    Whereas, the difference between a ‘heterosexual’ male and a ‘homosexual’ male, if its just about sexual preferences is purely socially constructed. For one thing, a sexual liking for another male is a near universal male trait, and exclusive and constant heterosexuality of the kind witnessed in the West is a rarity in nature. This heterosexuality is also socially constructed by forcing men to forego their sexual need for men and to divert this sexual energy towards women.

    The western world is all upside down.

  28. Third para in my response above should read:

    It is because of this negation of third genders that has resulted in the obnoxious western concept of ‘sexual orientation’ and redefining the feminine ‘third genders’ as ‘homosexuals’ stigmatizing the entire trait of desire between men, for males with a strong male identity — a phenomena that you yourself worry about, but never want to go into its depths to understand its causes, beyond what is allowed by your culture’s limited ‘homo’-‘hetero’ ideology.

    Straight and gay is actually about ‘gender orientation’ and not ‘sexual orientation.’ The males with a strong masculine inner-self give up their sexuality for men, and channelise it (or just fake it) exclusively towards women, while the feminine male celebrates ‘sexuality for men’ as a social marker of his inner female self, validated by the separate category for ‘homosexuals’ (a separate category only makes sense of feminine gender).

  29. A typo in the above post of mine.

    The first line of my response should read:

    Why is there so much resistant amongst westerners to acknowledge the ‘inner-female’ or the ‘inner-male’ … ESPECIALLY amongst people who define themselves as ‘homosexual?’

  30. <<<Dear Mr Natural Manhood. Thanks for your comment. I’m sorry that my usage of metrosexuality doesn’t quite fit with your ideology. It sounds interesting, but I can’t quite bring myself to believe in ‘inner feminininty’ – or ‘inner masculinity’ for that matter. Or ‘real inner femininity’ or ‘real inner masculinity’, whatever they are. For me the delightful thing about metrosexuality is dispensing with the dreary need to talk about ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ ’sides’ – or, god forbid, ’souls’.

    The male desire to be desired is the hallmark of metrosexuality. That you should reject this as irrelevant seems a little strange, given your interest in ‘femininity’. Because in the West (where I live and write), and in many parts of the rest of the world, post-colonisation, it was considered just a few twinklings of the camera eye ago to be THE feminine quality.

    MS,
    Why is there so much resistant amongst westerners to acknowledge the 'inner-female' or the 'inner-male' … except amongst people who define themselves as 'homosexual?'

    The negation of human gender (masculine or feminine/ male inner identity vs female inner identity) is a peculiarly western phenomenon, triggered by Christianity's rejection of male third genders.

    It is because of this negation of third genders that has resulted in the obnoxious western concept of 'sexual orientation' and redefining the feminine 'third genders' as 'homosexuals' stigmatizing the entire concept for males with a male identity — a concept that you yourself worry about, but never want to go into its depths beyond what is allowed by your culture's limited 'homo'-'hetero' ideology.

    If you can acknowledge 'sexual orientation' what prevents you from acknowledging the female within. One very plausible reason given by a western friend who often ruminises on the topic is that the people who reject this are often gays who are aware of and very fearful of their own femininity inside, and would rather not hide this femininity behind a 'sexual label' rather than face it upfront.

    If gender (let's say male femininity) was only a question of artificial gender roles and not of biology, then, people would not go to the extremes of either cutting off their genitals or having a sex change operation … even after going through extreme odds.

    And if gender (let's talk about male masculinity) was only a vain thing, then men would not go to the extent of killing or laying down their own lives to defend their manhood or to go to the extremes to kill/ disown their sexuality for men, so that they can fit into the social roles of 'heterosexuality' for manhood.

    Gender orientation is very real. It's sexual orientation that is an invalid concept. Heterosexuality is nothing but the gender role of manhood defined by the West, and 'homosexuality' is nothing but the gender role of the queers (i.e. the feminine males) as defined by the West.

    Instead of challenging these artificial definitions of gender, you waste your anger at 'gender orientation' itself and reject it culturally. Sad.

  31. straightonlyinbed: I don’t retract the bit about Vidal, only about Obama, many of the few enlightened people,especially literate and intellectual, believed his pre election rhetoric about being at least farther anti-corporate than Hillary who had already shown her husbands proclivity for deception. and being bought off. He fooled us. His meterosexualiytty has made that overt fact mote to most crackpot voters. Vidal was not that terribly left in a normative spectrum., only relative to the right wing The bottom line of the discussion demonstrated by this is that we are left guessing, because Americans are almost to a person just plain stupid. because theyu are not presented with the choices that free people are. That we have a black president is , of course as you demonstrated, a joke. Yuo woun’t find him accidentally dropping ending consonants or eating chitlins(if he knows what they are.)
    The trickery involved in allowing our school system degrade has been to close off every single aspect of information dispersion to private enterprise. A quality public school system would presentto people that the opptions op-en to free people around the world are Communist, Socialist, even Fascist(what they have now).
    Is the entire American population going to be imprisoned befiore people start to wonder if there wasn’t something they missed along the way. Wheather real or apparent we do not have a normative range of choices, because the media is controled by the right wing entirely, almost.

    Look at how the right wing trampled over Helen Thomas, the formost journalist in America for a possibly true but unpopular statement she made. She was forced, I’m sure,to apologise. How insane.
    We no longer have freedom of speach at all.

  32. Well you can take that back, but I like what I wrote before I saw you added your take back, so I’m leaving it there.

  33. Before I answer the “shot” question (which is an appalling and opportunistic shield for many democrat gen-Xers who are in fact hopelessly materialistic – without the art of metrosexuality by the way),

    I just want to mention that my second “zinger” about “they teeth” was aimed at the latest events in Britain, and a play on British dentistry. I made no allusion to an american urban black “accent” which is heard in various areas to various degrees, dropping final consonants in favor of an almost italian/french continental sound of vowel ending for words (“their” becoming “they” as an example).
    The “they” I was referring to was the English/Brit cockney accent so abused for comic effect on BBC and other island programming. The media that’s pro democrat (not pro left of course) in the US has done so much race baiting against the Republicans that I myself (and everyone) is now relfexively looking for racial subtext to every statement. I guess they can’t attack the right on principle instead, because the democrat media and the right basically share the same principles.

    That said, the fear of “getting SHOT”, that a president has, is something that hangs over the head of the pop culture, real presidents, the security services, ever since Kennedy. And one may have considered that it ought to have done so since Lincoln.

    From what I can tell, no “lefty” president of the US has ever been able to do the things he said he would. Democrats support him and say he’ll do it ALL (which is ridiculous), then when he doesn’t, it’s because the powers that be wouldn’t allow it. When he’s out and a new player is in, the left fools itself that THIS TIME the guy will do more than the last disappointment. Sounds less like realism and more like reaching for a Daddy figure to make it all good. And who wants to believe their father is weak…or dishonest?

    What an interesting existential choice the modern metrosexual has before him (and I suppose Presidents do, just more dramatically):
    death, if you stand for principle above style,
    or
    fabulous wealth and stylish suits.

    For anyone who actually believes that the pretended, principled retrosexuality of Eisenhower is impossible for a left winger, well, then there really are no object lessons. Do or die.

    But if you believe the soul is nothing and surface material the whole of the life impulse (which in a paradoxical way metrosexuality embodies), then what is there to even complain about? You’re getting exactly what you want.

    And, uh, don’t forget that hippy trippy Lyndon Johnson was NOT shot. While ultra con Reagan was. The money can punish you without assassination. Not to mention, the money would be in deep doo doo if Obama’s life were even attempted. For all the ignorance in America (and even Vidal’s warning about martial law upon Obama’s “probable” assassination), there’s enough backbone left in the country to rise up against whoever would do THAT. Talk about a red herring. Aside from weird little NRA type supremacist diddlers in Arizona (really the ultimate retrosexual), the “bankers”, who are more greedy hyenas than masterminds, are hardly going to risk a temporary loss in American chaos for a long term gain.
    It’s a lot cheaper to just buy congress. Legal, too.

    Even the assassination fantasy has a ring of psychological projection far greater than any practical, realistic concern.
    But everything aside, it’s a perfect way to silence debate and self censor at the same time, “don’t expect him to do anything, just support him, because he might get SHOT! by Rush Limbaugh and the CIA! or at least impeached!”
    Maybe he’s been put in danger every time democrats say that he’s “ACTUALLY, REALLY” an ultra liberal socialist at heart. Because the right wing dumb-dumbs read or hear that and they think, “aha! Fox news was right! It’s all a conspiracy.”

    So if you really care for him and for the liberal project, stop calling him one. Before they catch on to us.

  34. I was unaware of the “whistleblower “arrests. If you’re right I’m guessing we really fucked.

  35. straightonlyinbed: Thanks, an object lesson is always so beneficial. We appreciate that. Your “obama/bankeing example could only have come from someone perversely entangled in the narrow context of American “polarity”. What the fuck was he supposed to do without being shot? The banks took a lot of weathy people and corporations for a ride. That certainly doexn’t make him an object in the way of Corporate domination of ours and many of the world’s governments. Your range is manybe purple to mauve on the spectrum.
    I said that there was no real choice, I’m sure Vidal would agree. Only an ignorant and irrelivant public would accept what they ‘re selections are as “democracy”. There is no choice that amounts to a real choice and that reflects a range allowing economic freedom. When Obama gets the military machine out of protecting corporate interests around the world and makes America something other than an oligarchy and gives ordinary citizens the ability to determine their fates and be productive themselves we may have a chance at self governance. Any educated American knows that we had more of a Democracy back in the days when there were no womens wrights and there was slavery.

    At this point it is irrelivant what Obama does, as long as his makup and lighting are well done, and he doesn’t sound as embarassingly stupid as Sarah Palin.

    Again you do a great job of demonstrating the results of obfuscation.

    Just talk to an ordinary European who has lived here.

  36. They’ll even love gay hating, freedom fearing, technophobic, anti arty establishment bores, so long as they brush they teeth.

  37. MW:
    as to bullying and obfuscation, for anyone not retrosexually living in a cave (so an elite of informed people), the news and evidence are that the obama admin seeks to match and beat the previous team at material and legal protection of the millin’ complex and has already indicted and arrested more than one leaker/whistleblower who exposed that same millin’ plex.
    The last team, like good rugby team, intimidated behind the scenes and with shady threats performed on the field. Theatre. These guys just buy the ref and tell him to pick penalties against their opponent.
    No theatre, no big announcements or shows of patriotism. No bullying. Just arrest and convict. All biz.

    Vidal names the american public for its ignorance and irrelevance. But that doesn’t mean there’s no choice and he doesn’t say there’s no choice. Don’t forget Obama was quite happy to campaign early on in a rhetoric that was as far from center right as his left helix.
    And the people, so oh so ignorant, as well as the media, were often heard to remark that he would have specific policies (not just abortion and welfare) that would be anything but right wing mil-ind.

    Aside from Obama’s camera preening, the machine he’s in (as well as the one he’s in charge of) hardly seeks to be “loved”. But then that’s the real power of metrosexuality: they’ll love you anyway, no matter what you do. If you just do it “right”.

  38. Well stated Mark. Indeed, any concepts use becomes foggy if not incoherant if we meanderinto the”philosophical ” wonderland of appending or extending it’s meaning beyond the primary and substantial use for which it applied, especially relivant to a language (as any interprter would know).

    The “inner male” inner female” paradigm is no more than a way of pushing off gender variability (in any personality) on western(American) men:an outgrowth of feminisma la “Iron John”. Living in middle America, this liberal foray into gender bending has been as common as apple pie for 40 or so years.

    Regardless of it’s intent , the concept (re;gender as such) is so far flown from metrosexuality as to be entirely on a different continent conceptually. Mark S. described that well.

  39. Dear Mr Natural Manhood. Thanks for your comment. I’m sorry that my usage of metrosexuality doesn’t quite fit with your ideology. It sounds interesting, but I can’t quite bring myself to believe in ‘inner feminininty’ – or ‘inner masculinity’ for that matter. Or ‘real inner femininity’ or ‘real inner masculinity’, whatever they are. For me the delightful thing about metrosexuality is dispensing with the dreary need to talk about ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ ‘sides’ – or, god forbid, ‘souls’.

    The male desire to be desired is the hallmark of metrosexuality. That you should reject this as irrelevant seems a little strange, given your interest in ‘femininity’. Because in the West (where I live and write), and in many parts of the rest of the world, post-colonisation, it was considered just a few twinklings of the camera eye ago to be THE feminine quality.

  40. (Speaking from Britain here, rather than England)

    Surely by the logic applied in the original article, Andy ‘Lashes’ Burnham is the hot tip for the Labour leadership?

    G

  41. I like many of your ideas. However, I don’t agree with your definition of meterosexuality. Meterosexuality as a concept has any relevance if it refers to males with a strong inner femininity, but who are identfied as ‘heterosexuals.’ It’s basically a western concept, because in the non-West, we’re in any case categorized in terms of our gender identities, as, ‘man,’ ‘woman,’ or ‘third gender,’ not as ‘heterosexuals’ or ‘homosexuals.’

    Meterosexuality refers to the a strong inner femininity inside males identified as straights. However, it cannot refer to just male softness or male desire to look attractive or things that are only artificially judged feminine by the western world. These things would not be seen as feminine in the non-west. Let’s look at the real femininity or masculinity when categorizing people. Just because someone takes good care of himself doesn’t make him a meterosexual. A meterosexual male will be a ‘hetero’ guy who wears stuff that kind of makes him look feminine, i.e., like a female, or a half-male/ half-female. A guy who uses a lot of time to groom himself, but presents himself as an attractive man (rather than a half-male/ half-female) cannot be adjudged a meterosexual.

    Meterosexuality as a concept, if just used to describe the soft side of any masculine gendered male is a useless concept, when there is an immense need to identify the femaleness within many heterosexual identified males.

  42. Albert: Regardless of the justification for a stupified populace in the U.S. I think that the only economy that is sustained is one that perpetuates an extreme class society, and is no longer actually democratic at all. The only party differences are religious, because the corporate run media keep people in ignorance. In Canada the only reliable journalism(not propagandized) is CBC, which like bbc is commited to just telling the truth. Notice that American Television stations have no overseas offices, because they have no investmrent in telling the truth about our rape and pillage of other countries. It may seem “liberal” to have a black, metrosexual President, but it’ hasn’t made much difference than if we had voted in a white Republican.
    Even American Gay politics is run by by deranged Heterosexual lapdogs (more like a lap elephant in Sullivans case) . Gay neighborhoods (e.g. San Francisco)have been disgustingly gentrified buy hords of middle class whites. I hear stories now of baby carriages blocking the Castro., and gay oriented businesses being harassed.

    I think that at least ,in the U.K there is some sense of reality about options, and the perception is better related to reality.                                                                                                   

  43. Mark W.

    When the late President Eisenhower gave the warning about the military industrial complex back in the late 1950’s, people should have listened then. Now it’s considered the norm for sustaining a economy complete with a program of “morality control!” I do not want what is happening in the USA right now, but neither do i want a “Clockwork Orange” environment that seems to be happening in certain parts of the UK either!

  44. Straight only. . . .
    An overriding fact that almost everyone seems to neglect is that as “polarized and divisive” as the media chooses to paint the American public, and which in a perverse sense is true, the commentators fail to gualify that this separation is meaningless when they fail to specify the context of this baffonery. In truth the difference between right/left in America is meaningless: a fraud. It’s an invention which gives the impression that there is a real division of sensibilities in America. The public is too entirely IGNORANT to conceive of the broad range of differences which exist in truly democratic countries. I.e, The range of differences in Spain or Italy, e.g. is between Communist and Fascist with maybe Democratic Socialism in between.This is a range and context more accurately reflecting the variances of real choice. A metaphor would be one which allows that while there is great contention between extremes within the color range, the visible range is only from yellow to orange, not whole spectrum which healthy realistic people apprehend. The range in America has to do with not much of anything. The far ends are all to the right (Corporatism) of an ordinary range. and the differences reflect dumb things like gay marriage, and abortion: social issues, not the economic and militaristic meat of substantial, real differences.

    The process by which Neoconservatism (neoliberalism) took hold when any chance of real democracy was quashed in America began at the end of WW2, when Corporate propaganda assured that the only choices offered are one or the other form of dictatorial Oligarchy: Corporatist or Communist. (basically the same thing: no democracy) Instead of promoting real choices in which all citizens are empowered, the (right wing) media has constrained people to the choice of extreme fascism and soft poofy delusional Corporate oligarchy .

    (Logistically it looks as if Bush/Cheney set the stage for Obama, by doing the thugwork. They were by far much more aggressive in the practice of outrageous bullying and obfuscation. They didn’t even pretend to be honest. Obama just pronounces one thing and in reality does something else. While preaching diplomacy and nonaggressive humanistic goals, he perpetuates the unnecessary wars that wars that Bush began. He doesn’t just blatantly change the Constitution whenever it suits his needs like his predecessors. Bush/Cheny actually had plans in action for the U.S. to rule the world.(The Wolfowitz Doctrine) Cheney had made plans for immanent Martial law in the U.S. in 2002. The press has manipulated people better than an army could. He has retained some of the unconstitutional methods that Bush It looks like we may be slithering into another war in Korea. The notion that we can’t be overcommitted is folly since we have the most destructive and prepossessing military machine known to man. Unbeknownst to most Americans, the U.S .has engaged in some 200(Gore Vidal) preemptive conflicts since WW2. One more here and there is birdfeed.
    Re: metrosexualism in dictatorships, America wins out since nearly the entire populace could be reduced to passive dupes.

  45. MW: Palin’s posterior is more horse like than sow like. At least grant her that. Physiologically. metaphorically you may take your pick, if you wish.

    Ass is one of the hardest things to emulate for the male body builder. Woman just has more fat there and hence a softer smoothness (if cellulite pocks don’t form), where a man’s proud derriere will usually be a wizened (and ruined-looking) texture on well shaped rock muscle. When a “she” has it good, it’s at least slightly better than the best a “he” can provide. And Palin has a good one. Easily even better (fuller) than the First Lady. I’m sorry but this fact of gender is an actual obstacle to total metrosexual dominance (depending on the nation of course).
    I know the ass is a prime target in “gay” circles but it’s still balanced against the rest, so I don’t think I’m highlighting any particular gay shortcoming.
    Conversely, since men have more muscle on average, their thinnest boy asses are naturally fuller than those of skinny girls.
    I mean, even tits are easier to emulate in waxed, bulging pecks, than is “back”.

    And name ONE English symphony that pop oriented audiences would say is great, the way they would of Beethoven. Even if they didn’t like Beethoven.

  46. Yes, MW, Obama did and has made more than one speech, directed at Americans and abroad, about how the USA will be the new standard bearer of metro sexual, co-operative, stylish, sophisticated diplomacy. And then he’s pushed like mad to have more war and more police-state-ism and more unaccountable/incompetent “corporatism”…and it’s looking like even more than Cheney/bush would have dared. Perhaps as a cover for his speeches, which promote metrosexual peace to the people, where the real revolution will be. Although anonymous corporatism its own kind of metrosexuality/homosexuality.
    So American politics are polarized and divisive, as they have been for over a century: left/right, republican/democrat.

    If he’s been slow to use his brain then that’s a distinction away from metrosexuality, with it’s wordy, playful, nerdy, bitchiness. And I think he’s using his brain at full. I could get nastier about it but what’s the point?

    Not only has England produced art culture for centuries but also engineering of superior value. But for all the rolls royces they sell to the world and the common man, most English product hasn’t had as suave a look or feel as what continental Europe offered for export (until more recently).

    Shakespeare, Wordsworth, Constable, Hitchcock…the list goes on. But you can’t pretend that it just reflects the “English” soul, or else there never were geniuses, just people who bothered.

    I don’t mean English are “stupid” (although when they are they have a rowdier way of doing it), but that they weren’t as transfixed by beauty or capable of producing it universally, the way, say, Italians can. Not a transcendent beauty, just a hot, slick, delicate, suave shine on everything.
    Transcendent beauty of great art is for the artists to make, not everybody.

    Italians haven’t produced great world art in centuries, yet their aesthetic proclivity seems to grow from an even deeper root than the renaissance. Even ignorant Italian American ginos, who never heard of DaVinci, still have an instinctive way of combing their hair that THE metrosexed Pierce Brosnan could never have managed on his own. (and when he was still a player, the reports were that he showed up to interviews looking like a wreck, trying to be un-beautiful and reclaim “real” manliness. failing, of course.)

  47. Flash: Obama made what is bound , by the right to be a girlie assertion: In a speach before West Point cadets, he repudiated the Right wings long planned claims at unilateral World power and preemptive war (as seen in Iraq and elsewhere since WW2) and said that dipliomacy was the new agenda for America : This, if taken seriously will be a tampon in the teeth of American paternalistic militarism. The metrosexual paradigm is evidenced in the “passivity” that will be implied. Some of us see that as respect and compassion for others, if it is seen as effeminate then so be it. Hail Meterosexuality.

    Someone in the NYTimes suggested asking the Republican ledership for their birth certificates(a stunt used by them to prevent minority voting) not to show that they were Americans as much as to prove that they were over 8 years old. Bimbos like Sarah Palin give this suggestion reality due to her cognative strength, not her sexuality.

  48. Straight only..
    There is no reality to the idea that he parties are converging in the U.S. at all: quite the contrary: Americans are becoming aware that most people are getting fried at the stake by ruthless Corporations and their dimwit accomplices(Palin, Rush Limbaugh,etc.), and their is greater divisiveness than there has been since before the great depression.
    Even an earthworm could compete successfully with Sarah Palin: she has tits and ass like a sow but no brains whatso ever and is in fact a National comic figure. She has no idea of what a concience was if it slapped her the mug: the teabagers wlost all of the primaries they were in last Tueday.

    Obama at least has a considerable brain, although he has been slow to use it for the national good, tending like a lot of senators to put Corporate Interests before those of the common man-to his deriment. He may wise up in time; it’s hard to say.

    “What amazes me is just how image conscious English politics can be. Art and sophisticated hedonism aren’t in the national character, as Herbert Read lamented. This must be globalization, but from where? Notoriously anti – European, are Italian branded, Italian designed, Italian photographed bus ads enough to convert the English?”

    The Engilsh, while not flashy, have been a beacon of culture for centuries, some of the greatest drama , poetry, humor, and literature have been British; on the music side the influence of British Rock has been undeniable; several of the greatest world symphonies are British. Hedonism seems to be underdone as exhibited in the national diet.

    Italians market and make fabrics and clothing design, which everyone else wears. I don’t know that he average Italian peasant goes to pick tomates in Armani duds. Truely many of the young fellows look better with none at all.

  49. One of the peculiar and shocking effects of metrosexuality has been to make the world a little bit more Italian. Even the English. Which as you suggest is a major departure.

    British culture became increasingly aestheticised in the Nineties and Noughties, in large part because we have such a high density of media in the UK. New Labour was after all a madeover version of a party that was once the bulwark of the working classes (funny how we have to remind ourselves what ‘Labour’ used to stand for).

    London also became an increasingly globalised city. Even Manchester became more continental – partly because of all the expensive foreign players at Man U.

    In the late Nineties early Noughties there was an advertising campaign for Ikea (before everyone shopped there) which implored us to ‘Stop being so English!’

    And we did.

  50. Albert: Well, in political terms it’s already been a success. It won’t last of course, because the membership of the Tory Party is Eurosceptic, homophobic and read the Dail Mail and Daily Telegraph. They don’t much care about civil liberties either, the moment a bomb goes off. But then nothing lasts in politics. In part because the Lib-Dems are ruthlessly pragmatic/opportunistic when proffered a taste of power I suspect this coalition will last almost a full Parliament. But it is almost in Cameron’s interest to have a falling out with Clegg before the next election – and blame him (ever so politely) for everything that he can’t blame the previous Labour administration for.

    Besides, Cam has gerrymandered the rules so that it has to be a 55% no-confidence majority in the Commons to call an election, meaning that if Clegg walks Cam keeps No.10. Nice pre-nup.

  51. And let’s not forget that most male models look eerily Italian. So it’s not all behind the scenes.

  52. The nice thing about parties converging in the States is that it becomes less immoral to consider candidates just on how they rate physically.

    Obama may be a narcissist, but in pure physicality, he simply doesn’t have the tits (and ass!) to compete with Sarah Palin (who sees a donk on a white chick anyway? She may be predestined). He doesn’t deserve to have them anyway, biologically or ideologically. So it’s a nice coincidence of principle with prick.

    But it still doesn’t sound right thinking that way about the U.K.

    What amazes me is just how image conscious English politics can be. Art and sophisticated hedonism aren’t in the national character, as Herbert Read lamented. This must be globalization, but from where? Notoriously anti – European, are Italian branded, Italian designed, Italian photographed bus ads enough to convert the English?

  53. When I heard Clegg, now in “power” (so to pretend), make such an outlandishly internationalist, libertarian set of promises on law and order, out of nothing (what event would suggest that England was ready and willing to become a law abiding Netherlands? Aside from some intelligence on the ground about where Labour’s security policies were “really at” with the plebs), I thought: this is wonderful that it becomes part of the public discourse, but he’s only being so flamboyant about it to prove that he’s his own man, not the Tories’ gang-bitch as the price of being “co prime minister” in the history books.
    So I suspect/fear that Clegg will, very soon, like all major liberal politicians in the West today, if they can get elected, they’ll run for the hills with their stated principles or, under the charm of a conservative’s misinterpretation of metrosexuality in the sound of Barry Manilow (and wads of cash), they’ll embrace their new found establishment.
    For gay rights to be the measure of a man’s liberalism, seeing that most of us aren’t /REALLY/ gay, seems like a weird dare to see how far the prank victim will go. In America, the liberals seem to be the perpetual victim of the prank (having chosen to “go all the way” on that issue and no other and finding themselves outcast as some sort of “used banana”).

    IF there were at least some Ridley Scotts providing major experiences that *actually* offer some cosmopolitan substance, I would have some optimism for where the politics “move”. But Clegg’s popularity as well as his stated liberalism seem to stand on sand. Fickle, dusty, English sand. Like one of today’s invisible fashion models: one wrinkle will be the end of them.

    Maybe that will be the competition and spectacle. Watching twin prime ministers compete in the swimsuit category, fake tan and face lift after another.

  54. To the most MISCHIEVIOUS Mark S:

    Maybe i’m TOO much of an optimist in this regard, but what do you think the odds are of a successful relationship between the Cons and Lib Dems going nationally ?

  55. mark S

    But hasn’t there been a con/ lib dem marriage in Birmingham that has been somewhat successful ?

  56. In the case of CleggCam metro-politics is meant to present a more liberal, more metropolitan face of the Tory Party to the world. Cameron has been trying to change the image of the Tory Party for years – coming from PR he knows how ‘The Nasty Party’ as it became known in the Blair years had to rebrand. Gay rights have become something of a totem for him because a) they are a litmus test of liberal metropolitan views and b) the old Tory Party defined itself as being against liberalization of the law in regard to buggers. Unfortunately for Cam, much of the Tory Party still hates gays – and liberal metropolitan types (like him). In some ways, the hung Parliament was a godsend: he jumps into bed with uber-liberal, uber-popular Clegg and says to the Party members gnashing their teeth: ‘I had no choice! The electorate made me do it!’

    Cam’s plan is to suck Clegg dry of all his liberal likeability – look, I snogged Clegg and Clegg snogged back! I can’t be so beastly after all! – and discard the empty husk of the Lib Dems before the 5 years is up.

  57. If metrosex performers are the politicians,
    does this have any repercussion on political positions?

    Metrosexuality is more about surface glamour than deep soul. So no wonder either side can adopt it.

    In the US the dem’s are supposedly the “women’s party” party because they’re more caring, less authoritarian, etc (I know! I know!).

    But the left in Britain is nothing like the establishment left in the states.

    So, is Clegg’s inspiring civil liberties announcement a function of the contemporary british left-ish position, common british “freedom loving” character (England always seems like more of an empire mourner and defender while the peripheral kingdoms, captured and oppressed, were the only real freedom lovers), or the new metrosexual political appeal?

    I mean, does metrosexuality make politics more liberal? liberal ideology make more metrosexuality? or do the two just ride along without intersection?

    It seems like, if the metrosexual says what I likes to hears, I’ll be all a-flutter. But if he tries what I don’t, I’ll resent him as a “poof”.

  58. That ‘s encouraging! Such a change from needing to vomit , and having a headache at once- the visceral charge from politicians like Bush.or Palin. Actually the British wil have one on us. Maybe Millibrand will make tarts of many.– fun politics.
    BTW, scary Ms Clinton just threatened severe reprocusions for No. Korea. Just what we needed to do to keep our huge army employed- a new war – and into a change of scenery. Didn’t that just need to happen? Other wise, someone might get around to asking what all those armaments, troops etc. were for. and create a greater unemployment crisis. It would have been more creative to open male whorehouses with the troups. Continual War starts to get booring. Politicians are much better being cute and not creting messes. or at least being cute, which Hillary fails at except to the lesbian crowd maybe.

  59. David Miliband has my vote! I have almost never claimed that right off about a politician: but he doesn’t need glitter; or even clothes for that matter. Of course this is just a first impression . He and Barack would just have a real contest for press attention. Beauty contest in the guise of politics! The media question may be consternating : will they be “in bed together?” , or cat fighting.

    Albert: it will take a literal miracle for America to be untangled from the dyfunctional military /industrial mess in which we are currently festering. Nietzsche trumps: “Power before truth”, only all the power is self imploding at a rate that not even the devil and a flock of angels can reverse. All the beautiful and well intentioned young men may as wel be on ALW musicals. You can’t reverse 30 years of top notch convolution.

  60. Mark:

    Looking at things from across the pond at what’s happening here in the former colonies, the young congressional progressives (including the not so young Al Franken,) are the ones presenting key ideas and getting many of them accepted. You are not hearing about this from the press with their fixation on Sarah Palin and the Tea Party nuts. I’m a former Republican who voted for Obama and wants the young progressives to take charge. But my disappointment with him is he should have been kicking ass right from the beginning. Like i said in a previous post on this blog in 08 i wanted to see Obama win even if he fails in his attempts. Well you in the old country have 3 photogenic guys. If they fail in their attempts in taking charge of government, maybe Andrew Lloyd Weber will star them in a original musical play in the west end! LOL!

  61. He’s grown on me already. I couldn’t bear him just a few weeks ago. But CleggCam have made him much more appealing. His wily nerd-chic is probably the Labour Party’s best weapon against the smug, smarmy toffs that think they’ve got the country sewn up in their Saville Row sleeves.

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