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Wednesday, September 02, 2009

The Rise Of The Toyboys



Technically, Levi Johnston is not the classic toyboy. Though a bo-hunk slice of USDA prime, to be sure, he was actually age-appropriate for his prominent boo. Although the timing of the pregnancy was socially inappropriate. Bristol Palin was 17 years-old on the Presidential campaign trail when she was knocked up by her then 18-year-old former hometown hockey star (Averted Gaze). What is incontrovertibly toy-boyish about Levi is his post-coital zest in pursuing a career independent of the family he impregnated into. Everywhere, it seems, the toyboys are breaking their marionette strings, striking out on their own in the big blue marble. Tout le beefcake are reclaiming their inner macho. Or trying to.

It remains to be seen whether any of the toyboys can navigate a high-profile career. The odds, quite frankly, are against them. They are not particularly talented (nor do they need to be, in a Darwinian-sense, because they are beautiful). Every gossip blog, TV entertainment show and tabloid also has a vested interest in making toyboys out to be buffoons. It feeds the populist rage. K-Fed -- in many ways the proto-toyboy -- is a source of endless tabloidal mirth. His profound fertility, ab initio, was a source of our collective marvel (How mighty was his sperm!). For a while K-Fed bucked the tide, laughing at his own profound public uselessness. His weight issues -- K-Fed was a former man-dancer -- only sweetened the beefcheeks. For a brief moment Fertiline seized the momentum with his Superbowl commercial mocking his own mockiness. Laughing at oneself is a sophisticated social maneuver when faced with such overwhelming ridicule (join your opposition). But it did not last. Unused to the rigors of labor, of earning by the sweat of his brow, Kevin, lazily, backlided into a tub of french fries.

Toyboys lack the masculine virtues. Their woozy, carefree sylph-like gazes stare back at us working stiffs from the gossip pages saying, in essence, Sucker. Traditionally, manliness is next to careerliness. A man is measured by the professional efficiency, his status and his success. Toyboys, by contrast, eschewing the rat-race, lounge languidly by the pool pampering themselves, remaining desirable. Worse: sometimes they attempt to DeeJay. They are not unlike human beefsteaks, lagniappe for cougar. Many toyboys go the modelling route -- or are culled from that profession. But male modelling, like the Roman Catholic priesthood in the 21st century, is a somewhat creepy profession.

That having been said: Toyboys are on the rise. HBO's "Hung (picked up for another season)," Kutcher's "Spread (Endorsed by Howard Stern)," the ubiquity of Jesus Luz, Anne Heche's brilliant-bitter diatribe against Coley Laffoon all suggest, in their own ways, that the popular culture's insatiable appetite for cougars now includes their favorite prey animal.

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