Friday, 4 December 2009

Old Man Parentheses

The conclusion I have come to is that when I, or anyone else for that matter, refers to someone as attractive, the rule should be this:

“When an old or dead person is referred to as attractive, it should be automatically assumed that they are speaking about the version of that person in their prime, and not the appearance of the person at the present day.”

E.g. “Mick Jagger” = “Mick Jagger (circa 1965)”. (The brackets do not require verbalisation.) No one finds Mick Jagger attractive now, except Mick Jagger.

This goes without saying usually, for example, “Yeah, I’d do James Dean,”* is not something that would be answered with gasps of disbelief that someone is admitting to necrophilia. People assume they mean the young, and more importantly, alive James Dean. This is possibly different if the person grew old and then died. For example…

There was probably a time in the 1970s when some people would have said that Michael Jackson was attractive. He looks like a perfectly normal guy in some of his videos before the majority of the surgery. If anyone said this nowadays, everyone would think you were seriously, seriously sick. For a bloke with so many different guises, the pale, wizened goblin look will forever be the world’s fixed image of him.

The above rule, I believe is most significant when referring to people who have not only been famous for a very long time, but have also had many different looks. David Bowie had a good 20/30 years of foxiness. Even I have to admit, he’s looking pretty old now, but of course he is - he's sixty fucking two. When David Bowie is referred to as attractive, the disclaimer – “between the years 1969 and 1999” should be automatically assumed, unless otherwise stated.

If people implement this rule to the best of their ability, I believe we can overcome embarassing social situations altogether. Basically, a lot less people will think I'm an old man perv, when really, I was just born 30 years too late.

* I wouldn't.

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