Monday, December 2, 2019

The Eclipse of the Antihero

There was a time say starting with the advent of Gregor Samsa that antiheroes came into vogue. You didn’t have to be the star of the football team or a war hero anymore, you could be just the reverse, a cockroach. Along the time line of this Age of Faint Praise, there was the Dustin Hoffman persona from Mike Nichols's The Graduate and, of course, Alexander Portnoy, whose notoriety as a character in literature derived from his masturbating into a piece of liver. Woody Allen, a mousy looking creep with glasses, impersonated himself and for a while was one of America’s premier directors as well as actors. In the days when comedians like Woody Allen and Louis CK were ascendant, you had a chance if you didn’t possess a bronze star. But today, the neurotic guys who think too much and have weird sexual peccadillos have no claim to fame. If Porn Hub issued the equivalent of an Academy Award to the sex addict who was capable of monopolizing the lion’s share of its millions of daily hits, there might be a chink of light. But now the curtain has come down and life has again become a nightmare for the meek and the last who neither inherit the earth nor are any longer first.

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