Three Icons Make 1

Art by George Petty
Art by George Petty

The identity I forced was rooted in femme fatales of Hollywood’s Golden Age.  Garbo, Dietrich, and Bacall fascinated me.  Each of them exemplified a chilly aloof, embodying characters who lived as if any compliment was no surprise.  Their no non-sense control was what I needed to conceal the embarrassed boy.

In the three actresses, I found icons I could take who I was and reshape myself.  Growing up excluded from school parties and youth groups, I learned a preference for being alone or with the few close friends I had.  Like MGM did with Garbo, I molded an air of mystery around myself, utilizing silence and deflecting questions to gloss over my lack of life experience.  I became the master of the eye roll.  I learned to manipulate people’s gaze through the way I dressed and colored my hair, fetishizing myself, just as Dietrich had.  Combining the two I designed a Bacall inspired display of command over movement and gesture, never crawling to be noticed.

I consulted them frequently for advice on how to play it cool.  The best masks sit directly upon the face – smoothing over to present a picturesque self.  A generalized individuality to be seen and easily blend into a crowd.

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Qualities of a Man

In making the cabinet that would provide counsel about the qualities that make a man, a well-rounded person capable of putting the needs of others above their own, I found it difficult to fill the seats intellectual and spiritual/religious.  A good hint as to the qualities I need to develop the most.

My childhood was filled with Roman Catholic upbringing, but I was raised to have an appreciation for all religions.  After my first communion going to church was more on the schedule than something that was ever forced, and was eventually faded out by the time I was in middle school.  Since then I have never really followed any religion or spiritual practice, other than looking up a religion’s Wikipedia page and getting the gist.

Selecting a cabinet member to hold the seat for intellectual has proven difficult as well.  There are few towering intellectuals that I think I would be interested in reading.  Of modern great thinkers, that quickly come to mind are scientists, particularly Neil DeGrasse Tyson and Michio Kaku.  I would like to be able to expand to philosophers or critics, but my knowledge is lacking on where to begin for these as well.

 

Qualities of a Man

1.      Politically aware

2.      Spiritual/religious

3.      Artistic & creative

4.      Intellectual/philosopher

5.      Physically fit/style

6.      Funny

7.      Sexual