Politics & Media

Let them learn Latin, or, Hollywood is the new Detroit

Ten politically incorrect—but nonetheless brilliant and provocative—thoughts.

The author has quite the macho-Western streak:

6. Something has happened to the generic American male accent. Maybe it is urbanization; perhaps it is now an affectation to sound precise and caring with a patina of intellectual authority; perhaps it is the fashion culture of the metrosexual; maybe it is the influence of the gay community in arts and popular culture. Maybe the ubiquitous new intonation comes from the scarcity of salty old jobs in construction, farming, or fishing. But increasingly to meet a young American male about 25 is to hear a particular nasal stress, a much higher tone than one heard 40 years ago, and, to be frank, to listen to a precious voice often nearly indistinguishable from the female. How indeed could one make Westerns these days, when there simply is not anyone left who sounds like John Wayne, Richard Boone, Robert Duvall, or Gary Cooper much less a Struther Martin, Jack Palance, L.Q. Jones, or Ben Johnson? I watched the movie Twelve O'clock High the other day, and Gregory Peck and Dean Jagger sounded liked they were from another planet. I confess over the last year, I have been interviewed a half-dozen times on the phone, and had no idea at first whether a male or female was asking the questions. All this sounds absurd, but I think upon reflection readers my age (55) will attest they have had the same experience. In the old days, I remember only that I first heard a variant of this accent with the old Paul Lynde character actor in one of the Flubber movies; now young men sound closer to his camp than to a Jack Palance or Alan Ladd.

DISCUSSION
  • Go to comment.
    Nov 25, 2008, 06:41AM
    Mr. Hanson claims that the liberal left (represented by Cindy Sheehan and Michael Moore) has become more shrill and vitriolic than the right. Has Mr. Hanson never heard or read the incoherent, reactionary bile spewed by Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Jonah Goldberg, Ann Coulter, and Bill O'Reilly? Also, Mr. Hanson repeats the baffling assertion (the darling of some conservative circles) that ill-intentioned liberals are trying to convince us that HIV is not a homosexual disease, and that only someone with the honesty and courage of a true conservative would dare to say that HIV is a disease of gays. This is rank, incredibly harmful distortion. In the developing world HIV is a scourge of heterosexual couples, and I really cannot for the life of me understand why allegedly pro-life conservatives would delight in telling straight Americans that HIV is not their problem. It's everyone's problem - the disease respects no personal or political boundaries. Conventional sexuality will not defend you from it.
Add a comment
Register to leave a comment