There is an upside to narcissism. No matter what other people do, you are reminded of your greatness. Lucky you.
Someone invents the Segway, you thought of it years ago. Someone memorizes pi, you just did mom’s taxes. Somebody ran a marathon, you were in the office. All weekend. Challenge is a vestige of childhood.
It’s a cushy gig. The rest of the world busts out in manifold directions, the center of gravity, you, stays still. Greatness never sweats.
James Taranto, writer of Wall Street Journal editorials, is a great guy. He writes about America’s lameness. When a Massachusetts sociology professor describes her research in the New York Times, it’s lame. When she talks about sex, it’s lame. When 15 year old boys don’t want to get girls pregnant, it’s lame.
An odd recent New York Times op-ed by sociologist Amy Schalet touts the rise of, as the headline puts it, “Caring, Romantic American Boys.” Schalet, who studied American high school sophomores (along with Dutch ones) for a forthcoming book, reports that “boys [are] behaving more ‘like girls’ in terms of when they lose their virginity,” by which she means they “are becoming more careful and more romantic about their first sexual experiences.”
Maybe her book will flesh out that claim, but in her op-ed the boys sound downright terrified: “American boys often said sex could end their life as they knew it. After a condom broke, one worried: ‘I could be screwed for the rest of my life.’ Another boy said he did not want to have sex yet for fear of becoming a father before his time.”
If “I could be screwed for the rest of my life” is what passes for a romantic sentiment at the New York Times, the editors’ Valentine’s Day cards must be a laugh riot.
Nothing’s as erotic as caring for children. Harlequin Romance built an industry on the language of changing diapers. The Romeo and Juliet fable tickled orgasm as they argued over how to beat autism. Toddlers get fussy, nipples get sucked, and the silk sheets get plenty sweaty.
. . she offers this further point of comparison: “The 2002 National Survey of Family Growth found that more than one-third of teenage boys, but only one-quarter of teenage girls, cited wanting to avoid pregnancy or disease as the main reason they had not yet had sex.”
Given that nature imposes the physical burden of pregnancy on the female of the species, that sounds counterintuitive. And it’s possible that some of the boys in the survey, mindful of what Schalet quotes another sociologist as calling “the stigma of virginity,” are rationalizing away their lack of success with girls by chalking it up to prudence.
This is a WSJ hack pooh-poohing a sociology professor: “Since when do boys care about getting chicks pregnant?” I suppose if that were no longer true, it would be news. James once slagged a survivor of Vietnam, triple-amputee Max Cleland, for being a war critic because he had PTSD. What a loser, huh? Tough guys protect their territory. American boys wanna fuck, dude.