January 01, 2004

The Scourge of Richard Cohen, Vol. CI

(Ed. -- The following is a bit of mean spiritedness that will be an on-going feature of this blog. Normally the author will endeavor to be reasonably fair, but this is an exception.)

Sigh. We’re off on to the next hundred Scourges as Richard Cohen supposes that someone would be interested in the Confessions of a Retrosexual:

Am I a metrosexual?

If you have to ask…

I've been asking everyone that question ever since I apparently became the last person in the world to discover the term.

Apparently everyone was laughing too hard to answer Dick.

This happened last week when I came across the word seemingly a dozen times in various newspapers and wondered, if you'll pardon my English, what the hell it meant. As an old Washington hand, I was doubly perplexed since Metro is what the subway is called in the nation's capital.

And we all know that every word can only have one meaning.

Is a metrosexual someone who has sex on the subway?

Could be.

Somehow I knew this could not be the case -- you can't even eat on the Washington Metro -- but knowing what it could not be still left me wondering what it is.

Lordy, lordy, the double entendres that cross my mind.

Having spent the weekend with some young people, …

I’m not sure I want to hear any more.

… I asked them all and they all said they were not sure.

There are young people who are clueless, and they hang out with Dick. What a surprise.

It seemed that a metrosexual was a heterosexual man with certain homosexual characteristics -- such as cleanliness, I was told, or neatness, I was told, or a compulsion toward good grooming.

Heterosexuals cannot be clean or neat? Was Felix Unger (the original metrosexual) necessarily gay?

I then plunged into a computer database and discovered that the word "metrosexual" has appeared in print more than 1,000 times in the past year …

Then it must be true!

-- where was I when all this was happening? --

Listening to the ghost of his communist grandfather, who, incidentally, I don’t think would have been all that sympathetic to metrosxuality?

… and that, true enough, it has something to do with going to the gym and having facials and caring about things that real men are not supposed to care about, like their appearance.

As Joe Jackson once sang, “But now and then we wonder who the real men are.”

By now I was confused.

By now?

It is true enough that I care about my appearance …

Dick's pix in the Washington Post notwithstanding.

… and that I pay a king's ransom for a haircut

Limousine illiberal.

… and that I have my shoes shined almost compulsively and that I go to the gym, not every day, but often enough so that with any luck I will live forever.

Clearly, I am cursed.

In all those ways, plus the narcissistic self-regard that is essential and common to all columnists, I am definitely and maybe even highly metrosexual.

Dick is oversexed.

On the other hand, I have never had a facial.

Please God, do not tempt me so. It is a very good thing that I do not have Photoshop.

It is simply out of the question and most definitely not why my grandfather came to this country.

As I noted earlier.

I also have never had a manicure, and while I feel less strongly about that than I do the facial, I don't see it happening in the near future.

Thanks for sharing.

Howard Dean pronounced himself a metrosexual and then characteristically said he wasn't sure what that was -- but whatever it was, he wasn't.

Metrosexuals do not roll up their sleeves and scream at people. Even if there may be a few votes to be had.

Among politicians, Arnold Schwarzenegger may be the most metrosexual of them all, since no man ever paid more attention to his body -- except maybe Richard Simmons, another category altogether.


Ronald Reagan is a metrosexual …


… and so was Kemal Ataturk, a regular clotheshorse and ladies' man who single-handedly modernized Turkey.

Metro, Dick. Think metro. Constantinople, I mean, Istanbul, doesn’t really count. Anyway, whether or not Kemal Ataturk was a metrosexual or not is nobody’s business but the Turks.

Saddam Hussein, a dapper dictator in his salad days, was a metrosexual but emerged from his hole a pure heterosexual.

Any idea where this is going?

Tim Russert is not a metrosexual, George Stephanopoulos is, Bill Clinton is an omnisexual, Ann Coulter is a psychosexual and Strom Thurmond was just a pig.

So clever, so witty.

As for myself, I am still perplexed.

This is news?

I am a fervid fan of the late Cary Grant, who was the best-dressed actor ever to appear on the screen. (Just watch how his trouser pleats don't open when he crouches on a rooftop in "To Catch a Thief.")

Perhaps, though I’d go with Fred Astaire.

All Italians are metrosexuals and some French are, but not the British, because, among other things, they can't keep their socks up.

Celebrating the diversity of stereotypes, there is unity in his bigotry.

For vacations, I prefer the Metrosexual Belt.

As Clint Eastwood once said, “A man’s got to know his limitations.”

Still, what this makes me I cannot say.

If only I were as clever and witty as Dick when it comes to insults.

In going around and asking people, I got various answers until one young woman flat out told me that I am too old to be a metrosexual.

As if she’d know!

That makes me a seniorsexual, I suppose -- a metrosexual on Lipitor -- and explains why I never got a facial.


I forgot.

I’m trying to forget.

Posted by Charles Austin at January 1, 2004 06:14 PM

Well, Florence King did refer to Cohen as "Butterfly Dundee, the man you'd least want to go down a dark alley with." (I paraphrase; I think her grammar was better than mine. I need more coffee.)

Posted by: Andrea Harris at 11:00 AM