Hugo De Naranja and I have discussed at great length what it means to be a man in the twenty-first century. We even wrote a pilot about it, which was wildly praised and largely ignored. There was a blowfish involved. It was brilliant. Today, with Oscar nominations out and the President’s State of the Union address on its way I ask the tough questions. I ponder the State of American Manhood. I merely ask and I do not answer because I am not the President. I am simply an absentee voter in the lowest tax bracket.
So before we argue about whether Paul Giamatti got snubbed or snarkily comment about Republicans and Democrats sitting side-by-side, let’s just be happy Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie didn’t get nominated.
Okay, now that we’re happy about that lets get back to the tough questions. Be warned: some may involve immense reflection.
If you’re better at navigating the Farmer’s Market than what’s under the hood of your Volkswagen Golf—are you still a man?
If you prefer turkey burgers—are you still a man?
If you’ve ever turned up a Lady Gaga song in the privacy of your own motor vehicle and enjoyed her shrieking “Alejandro!”—are you still a man?
If you’ve ever seen a six-year-old unwrapping a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and pined for your lost youth—are you still a man?
If you wear socks with your loafers—are you still a man?
If you wake up one morning with a Chihuahua snuggled on the pillow next to you—are you still a man?
If you drink vodka masked by cranberry juice—are you still a man?
If you own tweezers—are you still a man?
If you cried at the end of A Farewell to Arms—are you still a man?
If you floss daily—are you still a man?
If you believe, after a long day of doing whatever it is that you do on your long days, that you deserve a ceremonious bubble bath—are you still a man?
If you’ve ever thought how delectable a glass of champagne would taste on a sunny afternoon while your peers hardily indulge in pitchers of watery Mexican beer—are you still a man?
These questions are not dealing with one’s anatomical situation. Rarely has a man, by the wrath of something larger than man itself, been slowly castrated because he knew how to properly iron a shirt. These questions transcend sexuality because we live in an era when all men are equally aware of the gastronomical advantages of free-range chickens.
I ask these questions because now that Larry King is retired, who is left to get to the bottom of this? Who will ask the hard questions, if not me? Anderson Cooper? Fox News? The Burmese Association of Professional Journalists? I think not!
–The Neapolitan Mastiff