You know what would be really upright, masculine, well muscled, stiff-necked, rock-hard, square-jawed, hairy-chested, sinewy, broad-shouldered, brawny-handed, beefy-thighed, auburn-haired, dreamy eyed, um… uhh… Sorry, what was I saying? Oh yeah: You know what would be really cool? If one of these Raging Queens who are so excited about Harvey Mansfield's Manliness could praise the book with manly facts and reason instead of womanish intuition and touchyfeelyness.
Today's example: A swooning encomium to Manliness by Donald Devine, editor of Conservative Battleline and professor of political science at Bellevue (the university, not the mental hospital). Devine's soufflé of fabulousness combines impressionist factoids ("There are manly women, and he cites Margaret Thatcher as an example, but she is the exception that proves the rule"), gender eschatology ("Feminists have increasingly been sticking it to men at least since Simone de Beauvior's [sic] 'The Second Sex' in 1949″), counterfactual history (more on that in a moment), and a nod to the Teen Fellatio Epidemic that has brought America to its, um, knees, and combines it all into a great male-hysterical hissy fit. A sample:
After a revival of manliness in the late 19th century under Theodore Roosevelt, Herbert Croly, William James and other progressives, the more radical Frederick Nietzsche—inspired by Charles Darwin's evolution undermining any certainties in nature—directly declared all non-manly values and all gods dead. Manliness became unrestrained by any outside forces or ideals. Decent progressives did not abuse the license available to them but they could not say why not. But nihilist aggressors in two hot and one cold war were not reluctant to draw the consequences, including murdering millions of their own peoples. Beauvoir adapted Nietzsche's nihilism to the second sex…
Read the whole thing, if you're man enough.
This isn't potted history, it's unpotted history. "Frederick" Nietzsche, who lost his mind nine years before San Juan Hill and died before the neurasthenic Teddy Roosevelt became president, and Darwin, who croaked in 1882, must have been working pretty hard after the late 19th century to do all that damage to our national vigor. And from there, well, who can't see the result: Every bedroom a Buchenwald!
A more or less serious question: Is this really the best the manly men can do? I thought The Duke was back.
On the plus side, Devine works in an allusion to Sprint's great stickin' it to the man commercial.