Monday, May 31, 2010

Strange Magic

Bing has charisma, and he knows how to use it. And I’m not talking about the vaguely baby seal-ish face he employs when he wants a treat. Nope, this true Aquarian’s got his blue eyes on a way bigger prize—the world in general, and the world of lady cats in particular.

How do I know this? He told the animal communicator that he sees himself as a “matinee idol” (I know, I know, I’ve told this story many times. I don’t know why I persist, because it’s nothing but a conversation stopper) and that he was sure that all the girl cats would fall in love with him when they saw his photograph as it appeared in the 2002 ASPCA calendar. “Oooooh, Mr. November,” I see them purring.

Star quality? Whatever you want to call it, I think it has something to do with going through life imagining/assuming that you are being looked at, that there is an enveloping, admiring gaze on you. You wanna see it in action in human form? Watch the next Yankees game and set your sights on lucky #13.

Though his technique isn’t as refined as Bing’s, A Rod is all over the matinee-idol wannabe thing. The first time I noticed it looked like he was playing for the camera, he actually was. As he was rounding the bases after hitting a home run, he paused ever so slightly at 3rd, turned to face the camera and…did he smile? did he give a thumbs-up? (Oh no, that was Don Johnson, whom I’m hoping my friend Stephanie will tell you about in the comments box…) Anyway, I later saw the same clip of him in some promotional material, and he hasn’t stopped acting like we’re all looking ever since. Well, we are all looking, but he’s so dang obvious I laugh (and fall for it) every time. He’s not only playing the game, he’s playing himself playing the game.

Yes, A Rod is hot sh** and he isn’t about to let us forget it. True charisma, however, is when someone makes you, the viewer, the one doing the looking, the one initiating the gaze, feel like hot sh**. You don’t have to be a famous actor to have charisma, though that’s probably where it gets you the most money…and as such, that’s probably its grossest form. (Gross meaning unrefined here).

I remember walking through Times Square after I’d been country line dancing one night, probably like 10 years ago. I passed by one of the Broadway theaters and noticed someone getting into a limousine, and that person was…looking at me. Looking at ME? Yes, looking at me, as I walked by. Well, why not? I was swaggering by in my cowboy boots, all cat’s meow and hot sh**. Who is that person who thinks I’m the cat’s meow? I’ve seen him, I know him, is he the weatherman from the local news or something, someone you relate to on a half-snoozy level?

No, it was Warren Beatty. And he wasn’t looking at me, I was looking at him, and he was reflecting it right back at me. It’s not like I necessarily liked him either. I mean, I like Shampoo, but never made any further investments.

It was simply that which makes you think you’re greater than anything that can be thought…that old devil, charisma. And I walked on home, a little lighter and brighter than before.

Music for those who’ve got their mojo on
Strange Magic, ELO
It’s Your Voodoo Working, Charles Sheffield


  1. Hello, Pune: I hadn't thought about my encounter with Mr. Miami Vice in years, and now that I have, I actually can feel my cheeks flushing as I type. Now, that is the power of charisma! From 15 years ago, in a half-remembered encounter, Don Johnson can still make me swoon. I "met" him in the lobby of an office building, and when I encountered him, face-to-tan, I was rendered speechless. I actually became tongue-tied and weak-kneed. He knew he had that power over me and the other couple of women in the foyer. He granted us a blinding smile, a finger pointing mock gun salute, and a thumbs-up as the elevator doors closed shut. It was powerful! He didn't look human; he didn't look real. It was like a Hollywood filmstrip flickered to life. Really, I still get simultaneous goose bumps and a heat rise (and it's not menopause)!

  2. Boy, did you deliver! I didn't realize he gave a mock-gun salute AND a thumbs-up!