Paul shares his experience of being objectified on the London Tube by two American women. Noticing that the two women were talking about him, Paul felt himself play to the attention. In fact, he admits changing his posture, shifting his eye contact, and generally playing the role of sex object. When the women left the train, Paul had an epiphany: attractive women go through this on a daily basis. It’s both a trap and an opportunity. When women realize they can play this card they have a choice to make: how much of their identity do they want to derive from being a sex object? Next, the guys discuss what makes good film and television drama. Paul mentions Bridge of Spies, the new Spielberg film, as a great example of a film in which the protagonist takes a morally ambiguous position. Because of this, the audience members ask themselves, “Would I make the same decision if placed in a similar situation?” In another drama – the British television series Scott & Bailey (which follows two female homicide detectives in Manchester) – the female lead makes some unflattering choices, forcing the audience into an ambivalent position. Do we support her, or not? Either way, the audience is invested. That’s good drama. Finally, the guys talk about the arrogance of youth which allows people in their 20’s to be dismissive of romantic partners or career choices based on a vision of what they want in later life. Peter and Paul discuss Kierkegaard’s famous observation and reflect on how difficult it is to know when we’re young what will make us happy when we’re old.

  • Sally Z

    I loved this podcast. Beginning at the end, Kierkegaard’s comment is so true. At the closing years of my life, I have achieved a degree of self-possession I never dreamed possible. It brings peace, stability. Most of my life was unplanned, chaotic. The happiness comes from understanding myself, the backwards look.. I had a lot of help, a very skilled therapist who “got” who I was, decades before I was able to.

    Moral ambiguity is the basic condition of human existence, I think. Our lives are short, we die soon, and yet, a random comment or gesture from a parent, a friend, can take over our consciousness, cause obsessive thoughts, sidetrack our lives. People strive for goals with every fiber of their being, but it all ends with a whimper. I think we all have this ambiguity. That’s why we can root for Tony Soprano, a killer. He loves his family even though he is ruining their lives. Ulysses was an early model…he’d do anything for his crew, but some of them died so that he could satisfy his craving for knowledge and experience. In a course last year on Greek mythology, the teacher explained that our idea of Greek tragedy is wrong. The tragic hero always knows, intuits, what his fatal challenges are, but he chooses not to acknowledge them to himself.

    And the understanding of women trapped in the very short window of opportunity as sex-objects is such a great insight. You seldom see a really attractive woman in a position of authority.

    Wonderful to hear this from men!

    Sally Z

    • Thanks, Sally! Great to hear from a mature, female listener!

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