Man-Crushes: Respect, Inspiration, Dedication, and Jealousy

Hi guys, it’s Mike. Pat and I had a discussion about “man-crushes” and decided you’re awesome. Or at least, a lot of you are.

There’s so much in you that makes us feel a really intense combination of respect, inspiration, dedication, and jealousy. You all draw your inspiration from different places, but we’d like to think you felt this same way towards the great men of generations passed. We like to think you too got together on a school night and compiled a list of all the guys you aspired to be just like. Imagine Zach Galifianakis and Chris Thile sitting in a dorm room listening to the Microphones talking about Tom Waits’ fashion sense. We can pretend Ben Folds and Anthony Bourdain bonded over the Ramones. Neil Gaiman and John Green probably didn’t stand in line for George R.R. Martin signings with their first editions of A Game of Thrones, but a couple college kids can dream.

The feeling isn’t romantic exactly; Pat, during our conversation on the issue, emphasized the respect involved in a “man-crush”, it stems from someone aspiring towards something in someone else. Upon the analysis of our own almost-obsession with these incredible artists, musicians, writers, and people, we honed in on the fact that this quality of aspiration was integral to our man-crushes. Pat and I also noticed that these very fields of work that we draw so many aspiring people from, are the fields we find ourselves studying and aspiring to be involved with. We also realized that, of course, makes complete sense.

It’s a pretty basic concept. For anyone truly trying at something, whether it be a finer art, professional sports, or an exact science, you really need to find the people that move you. It’s a forward motion: admiring someone’s work in your field of interest has no detriment to your own skill or professionalism. I would defend that it improves your game, real or figurative, in that you see what can be achieved and strive towards it.

Where we can all go wrong however, is putting these talented men on strange, manly pedestals. It’s fairly easy to get hung up on the greatness of your man-crush, but you’ve just got to remember they wished they were better too. My earlier hypotheticals aside, Larry David, while in the military, really did see Take the Money and Run and really did fall for the magic of Woody Allen. They would go on to work together in Whatever Works and that’s awesome- a man-crush successfully fulfilled.

So I think, as long as there are good men doing really great stuff, we’re always going to be here, aspiring to be something like them. There’s always going to be college kids studying writing and music, or want-to-be comedians stuck in basic training, geeking out over their work. We all just have to remain levelheaded and not let our man-crushes swamp us with hopelessness. We want to be just like them, we don’t want to be them.

Pat and I both agree, we’re not ready to emotionally commit to stalking.

HAPPY CRUSH WEEK!! Keep on Crushin’ It, Kids!

-Mike Kerr and Patrick McDonald, Staff Writers

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