Momentary lapses of reason?
Learning to fly?
Naaah ... just too old to rock'n'roll, too young to ...
Men have lingering guilt pangs when they peruse the fine publications of the aforementioned Men? Ha! and double HA!
Great, just great. Not only do I now have to spend time feeling insecure about my masculinity (that's the last time you'll catch me issuing out a McEwan at the library) this also means that I can't blame my perpetually single status on the fact that there are no women out there with compatible interests. Next he'll be telling us that only eunuchs listen to Chopin. Sob!
I am pretty sure that is a conditioning thing. One does not find too many well read males in modern Anglo-Saxon societies (the US, UK and Oz.. I refrain from making a statement about the West in general), these days, because the notion of the well-read gentleman as an aspirational figure has all but disappeared.Another example of this is Debating, which still remains a highly respectable activity in schools in India, with the good ones getting loads of attention from women, but will get you accused of being gay here. (Not that there is anything wrong with being gay, of course). And attitudes like these exist even amongst academics at an elite liberal-artsy university like mine.
HWNSBF: Great. Now you tell me. Oh well, at least I didn't mention all my debating trophies in my last comment. Oops! Did I just say that?
dear he who.. not sure if you are from bombay, if you are, then which college did you go to? to my mind, this whole debating thing is very delhi metrosexual. No self-respecting Bombay Boy would go for a debate and there were certanly no long lines of women waiting to pounce on said Boy were he to emerge victorious in such a competition. In fact I recall my only competition was an aspiring Hindi film star (though, at the time, I suspect that he, like me, only took part for the 10 marks extra promised in the BA exam). n!
Blah-nik - the guilt is not about the content of the publications but about the supposed 'opportunity cost' in not reading more 'serious stuff'.Falstaff - I know what you mean, debating used to be the equivalent of a Blackberry (Colin Powell just called the B a "chick magnet"). Sadly enough, even the 'Blackberry' didn't work for me. A* S*-R* was the 'debate hottie' in our time. I'm now in the tough transition from debater to debate judge. It hurts.And you just imperilled your #1 seeding on my blog table with a misplaced "out". High standards are high-maintenance, Sir.Fingeek - there's something even worse than "the notion of the well-read gentleman as an aspirational figure .. all but (disappearing)". That's when the w-r g IS an a f, but the concept of well-read is limited to Paulo Coelho and the Chicken Soup series.Neela - I hate private blogs. I feel excluded. Re: the "Delhi metrosexual" concept, debating was and I daresay still is popular in this city called Calcutta. As I said earlier, it was also a factor in being judged pounceable upon, though my experience suggests that it was never the only factor. (Yes, I KNOW I lacked the other factors, don't rub it in)J.A.P.
@neela: Being a Bombayite, let me point out that Bombay is not like the other (so-called) Indian cities. Cal : 'Rule Britannia' :: Bombay : 'Kiss me baby, one more time'. (and, i suspect, :: Delhi : 'Oye Bawadibooch')I am aware that debating is not a popular activity in B'bay colleges. You may ask Falstaff where I went to college, and you will realize why I connect to Bongland. But, yes, in my comment I was referring to these other places (and more so to Cal, since I was familiar with the debating scene there). That Delhi had a vibrant debating scene was a discovery I made later in life, on interacting with people such as Falstaff here.
JAP: *in reprise of whiny pleading voice from primary school* "Sorry, sir. Please, sir. It will never happen again, sir. Promise." Also, wait, you're telling me Colin Powell is getting action? Colin Powell!? I have GOT to get myself a Blackberry. Agree with you about the lowering of standards for being well-read. Someone was described to me as being well read the other day because he'd read all of Dan Brown! I remember reading an article once (a long, long time ago) where the author (a woman) said she wouldn't even consider dating someone unless he'd read the complete novels of F Scott Fitzgerald. Why can't more women have standards like that? (Any lonely women out there looking to discuss The Beautiful and The Damned?)Fingeek: While it's true that debating in DU gets you loads of attention from women, I'm not sure this is necessarily a good thing. There is a significant sub-section of women from your favourite Women's College in South Delhi who are convinced that yours truly is an arrogant, hyper-aggressive jerk, based purely on watching me debate (most of them have never even spoken to me). It's a good thing I was only in it for the money.Also, any thoughts on why it is that the well read gentleman as a f is dying out? I mean, I could understand if everyone was starting to read less, but if, as McEwan suggests, women are still reading, you would think there'd still be a market for men who are well read. Even if men no longer aspire to be well-read, women should still aspire to be with well-read men, no?
JAP: A small Q from a simpleton - Was the use of "lingering" simply freudian or considered?
@he who shall not be flamed - Debating is not gay. I'm in St. Xavier's Kolkata. In my school, its a stud thing to be a debator. Its a gay thing to try to set up your own nature club. And debating got you grace marks in any subject if you were in danger of failing.
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