Toby Young’s column in a recent Spectator is one of the most hilarious pieces of writing I’ve read in ages. It’s on an old theme: the girlification of men. But he makes it fresh as a daisy. Read the whole thing, as we say in the blog business, but let me provide a taste here:
I went to a wedding recently at which the groom was an ex-public schoolboy in his twenties. No more prime specimen of girlie manhood are you likely to see. . . . He’d probably spent more getting his hair done than the bride had spent on her dress. It was stomach-churning.
Yet the effect of this wet noodle on the assembled women was electrifying. As he got up on stage and started telling his bride how much he loved her, bursting into tears within 30 seconds, they literally began to drool. For them, this Barbie Man was the new masculine ideal. And let me tell you, his bride was an absolute knockout. In the good old days, men would have conquered continents for less. Yet here she was, giving herself to a man she probably could have beaten in a fight.
That reminded me of that priceless line from the mid-1980s: that we shouldn’t get too excited about changes in Moscow just because Raisa Gorbachev was the first wife of a Soviet leader to weigh less than her husband. (As it turned out, Gorbachev was, indeed, something to get excited about.) (Memo to itchy-fingers: I am as Reagan-worshiping as they come, trust me. You can’t get to the right of me on the Cold War. Don’t even try. But about Gorbachev — it’s just true. Thank you!)
P.S. Speaking of Gorbachev: Do you know that his website is www.gorby.ru? Swear.