When I began writing here, I positioned myself as a Gentleman of a Certain Age, an aging roué, someone of certain old-guard attitudes. I'm still all those things. I do look in the mirror in the mornings and list the things that go into how I define myself, and those things are always there. What else? Well, having grown up one of the older cities in America, one with its own very carefully-curated personality. Having left here to go to university at a place in New England that trades on its own carefully-curated image. Being a native of a region that habitually inspires a complicated and often painful relationship to its culture and past. Being someone who has lived his life inside books. Having spent so many years in academia, I define myself by that. And by being someone who tells stories. Being a raconteur is a key part of being a roué.
I told you at the beginning, I live in genteel poverty in a flat on the edge of a lake, in a bohemian neighborhood in a city on a river. I define myself in part by memories of cities where I've lived, by memories of downtown streets and shopfront reflections.
What I've been wondering tonight is about how my life can be graphed. I'm not sure what axes I need to be plotting, though. Wealth and career success? I won't fare too well on those. Cultural capital? Well, a bit better.
I'd like to graph factors of attractiveness, of course. The result might well be very disheartening, but on any seriously complex graph I might be able to find enough axes to move along to shift myself into desirable regions. The question remains--- what to graph? What are the factors to be graphing for attractiveness as a male? And how are they to be balanced against one another? How do you compare, say, age versus cultural capital versus social status?
Here in the new year, sitting alone in my flat, with Carnivale season beginning, I do wonder what the factors should be for the graph. If you're reading this, I'm open to thoughts. What are the factors for male attractiveness here in the new year? What are their exchange rates and relative buying power? What should be part of my graph, and how should I read it?