Moronic men; suffocating women

I first started noticing this trend with the commercials. Here’s just one of the more obnoxious ones, for Coors beer:

Wife in bathroom checking  to see if the strip for her pregnancy test has turned blue: “Honey, I think this is what we’ve been waiting for…”

Oafish husband checking to see if label of his beer has turned blue, indicating it has reached the perfect temperature for consumption:  “Yes, I think it is!”

And so on.

It’s a familiar pattern, acted out in dozens of other ads, in which the enjoyment of such guy things as drinking beer, eating junk food or watching sports gets shunted aside because of some needy, homemaking, or reproducing female. If the palimpsest of TV ads is correct, and it seldom lies, there is a crisis in male sensibilities, a conflict between acting like a spoiled nine-year-old dolt or becoming an emasculated, pussywhipped boyfriend/husband/dad.

And the movies this summer are all over it. Take “Shrek the Third” for example. Poor Shrek. All he wants is to hang out in his hovel in the swamp, eating, sleeping, farting, doing the things an ogre likes to do. But the beautiful princess he married has transformed into an ogress herself, demanding he face up to responsibilities and take up her dad’s job as king. Who needs that shit? And then the coup de grace: she’s pregnant!

Or “Spiderman III.” Peter Parker as a superhero enjoying the adulation of millions, getting all the chicks and fighting bad guys if he didn’t have an idea in his head to marry his high school sweet heart, the talentless singer and jealous, energy drain Mary Jane.

As for “Knocked Up,” what more to say? Only that the marriage between the characters played by Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann, in which she hunts him down like a detective to find out he’s two-timing her to play fantasy baseball with his pals (worse than adultery in her mind), is one of the most pathological depictions of the institution of marriage I’ve seen since "The War of the Roses." And it’s supposed to be a good thing!

And finally, and I’m sure that there are plenty of other examples as well, there’s Fantastic Four: The Rise of the Silver Surfer in which bride-to-be Sue Storm, played by the lusciously  vapid Jessica Alba, has forced her fiancé Reed, Mr. Fantastic no less, to do his earth-saving research stuff on the sly because otherwise he’s not being “focused” on their wedding. But honey, Galactus is about to suck all the energy out of the planet!

All of these films have happy endings, of sorts, all affirming the sanctity of family values. But they also allow the guys a little wiggle room to do what they do best -- be assholes. So, in the movies at least, the blue slip of the pregnancy test and the blue label on the beer bottle can be the same. I think this is what we’ve been waiting for.

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