Perhaps only one of these US Marines in the latest ‘military camp’ Youtube hit is actually drop dead beautiful (clue: he’s the one who shakes his ass most convincingly, takes his top off, strokes his abs lovingly — and grabs his packet while his buddy zooms in for a close-up).
But you have to give his less physically gifted comrades full marks for the way these trained killers really want to be ‘drop dead’ gorgeous. At least for the duration of a Britney pop song about a woman who loves to look. And make a mockery of the ‘male gaze’ – along with the notion that men, particularly fighting men, are always active, never passive.
Like hundreds of other soldiers prancing around in Youtube clips it’s done for a laugh and a giggle – but it also seems to be seriously saying something about young men today. Even the ones expected to kill for us.
Boy, come over here with your sexy ass….
I doubt these fellows are aware of the extent to which their ambisexual antics were validated a generation before their birth by the Knight Errant who was the topic of a Simpson piece a few years back (the link to which seems to have strangely disappeared), of who the even more ambiguous Bowie said “he made us all possible”
Of course Sir Micheal was miming Moms Mabley, not Brittney.
I think these boys need to find a Buna Bathtub!
Sally Bowles! Based, slightly, on Jane Bowles! Who will appear in my next, Lesbiographical post!
The only thing Isherwood didn’t do with women, I suppose, is send time IN them.
“Titanic was 3 HOURS long. we lost 3 hours”
We’ll never get those three hours of our youth back.
Everyone’s Aeschenbach nowadays.
Elise: You’re right, there’s no need for any theoretical reason to hate ‘Titanic’. I was just trying to rescue those couple of hours of my life I watched sink to the bottom of the Atlantic.
I think you’re really onto something ther with the female subject dead-lover object (metrosexual) vampire critique.
Mark: There’s a theoretical reason to hate ‘Titanic’? The shitty writing was good enough for me.
However, come to think of it that movie caused hysteria in female adolescents young and old for the same reason that ‘Twilight’ does: the adolescent girl (literal or the one inside) wants a lover who’s dominant but non-threateningly unavailable. “Frozen.” (Bronte Byron fanfic, end of.) Much like the heterosexual male version. (Poe. End of.)
But willowy DiCaprio wasn’t even dominant. “Big-boned” Winslett was! Now I want to start singing, “No, Mama, let me go!”
And now, this conversation has made me feel like Vincent Price.
Elise: The film ‘Titanic’ is ALL about the female love of the dead (boy band) lover. Which is probably why I couldn’t bear it.
The skinny Di Caprio sacrifices himself in the chill of the North Atlantic so that the big-boned Kate Winslett can cling to a door and go on to populate the New World. This comes at the end of the film, of course, but the rest of the film is merely anticipating this. Very tediously.
“What a waste!” shades inevitably, if unconsciously into: “What a perfect time to die! In the very bloom of life!”
Mark: I was going to bring up the role of youth-worship in homoerotic obsession with dead lovers. (It’s in your assignment too QRG! ‘Pagan Beauty,’ I believe. Look, I’m back here on Mark’s blog, sticking to my own!)
QRG: I thought of a few female examples, which I will *always* rush off to find, like that cat or whatever in the cartoon. “Exit, Stage Right! And back with Female Examples!” One is, inevitably, from SP. Paglia has discovered a rare decadent novel (of course) about a lesbian who worships her pretty dead male lover’s body with shades of Norman Bates. At least, that’s how I remember the synopsis! Gruesome indeed.
In pop culture terms, maybe the closest thing is the vampire craze among teenage girls. Originally attributable to Anne Rice, the woman who MADE vampires metrosexual back in the 70s (and who is basically a slash fic writer). That’s not really retrospective longing, though.
Er… “The Ghost and Mrs. Muir”?
Sorry, Mark, I’ve taken over your comments thread with my Lesbiography.
Some abs are better than others in that video!
Still love to find some female examples from art/lit though. I expect it would be extra-gruesome.
That context helps, both. So it’s old skool military homoerotics a la Martin and Lewis meets post-it-on-YouTube exhibitionism.
Also, Elise, it’s pretty clear that his buddies consider the topless tart drop dead gorgeous – and that this video is their little ‘hommage’ to him.
There’s an overlap here between old-skool homoerotics – when I was in the TA infantry researching my ‘expose’ the lads called the best-looking squaddie (who I somehow found myself sharing a bunk with) ‘Gorgeous’, partly mockingly, partly approvingly.
But mostly it ends up being about the multimedia omni-tarty Metrosexy 21st Century.
What I find interesting about this vid (and sorry if this has been said often; I stopped following the soldiers YouTube vids and have to do my Metrosexy catchup homework) is that, as Mark says, it seems to be directed towards, or at least acknowledge, the “female gaze,” but at the same time, what in the world could be more old skool camp than dancing and lip-synching to a Britney song. It’s the purest form of exhibitionism, that doesn’t care who it turns on.
Unlike the male rock star, there’s no guitar machismo going on so that the male viewer can “identity” instead of simply being turned on (like, presumably, the female audience members). But as you say, QRG, there’s so much self-awareness there may be less frisson. The YouTube Gaze is more postsexual than bi/omnisexual.
I must admit I rather enjoyed that package-grabbing. I’ll get with the New Metrosexual Order yet.
Apologies! Thanks for pointing that out. I would hate to mix up Marines with soldiers. I must have been distracted by the other Britney miming Youtube clips alongside it, most of which seem to feature ‘Marines’ in the title. Besides, ‘Metrosexy Soldiers’ doesn’t alliterate.
most of these guys are soldiers, not marines