Some time ago I was trying to convince a girl to watch Fast and Furious 5, and I tried to woo her with the prospect of Paul Walker. She then accused me of having a man-crush on Mr. Walker. This is not remotely accurate. To the best of my abilities, I would estimate that Paul Walker is an attractive man. There are always flukes out there that girls seem to like that seem entirely unattractive (Jack Nicholson, manatees, Robert Pattinson) but generally at least, I can tell if a man is classically attractive. But I don't think that man-crushes have any relation to attractiveness. Generally a celebrity man-crush is attractive, because generally we don't want ugly celebrities, but that aesthetic criteria really doesn't carry any weight where man-crushes are concerned.
I have also been accused of having a man-crush on a certain individual, simply because I made an unsolicited biography of his life. Again, interest in an individual doesn't a man-crush make. You can have a legitimate, academic, ironic or self-centered interest in someone, and have it not relate at all to man-crushing on them.
Some time ago I had a feature on my blog called My Island. It involved picking 10 women from television with whom I'd like to be stuck on a desert island. I think it started by talking about Kate from Lost, or else I was just day dreaming about women and/or islands. The list ended up including:
1. Kristen Bell
2. Evangeline Lily
3. Tina Fey
4. Gillian Anderson
5. Olivia Wilde
6. Kristen Chenoweth
7. Jenna Fischer
8. Tricia Helfer
9. Jennifer Garner
As with many projects I start, I never finished it. And I'm not going to now. Instead I'm going to provide you with a list of men with whom I'd want to be stuck on a desert island. I think that's probably the easiest way to define a man-crush. It's someone that you would want to hang out with, especially if that association was forced to be exclusive (such as being stuck on a desert island together.) Ideally I'd get to hang out with these guys when and where I wished, and even more ideally, we could all hang out together. But the reason for that is mostly because it might attract some of the original 9 girls from My Island. And no matter how cool I think the following 10 men are, I'd pick any of the women to be stranded with first. Hos before bros. But here would be the bros:
1. Stephen Fry
These aren’t necessarily in any order, but it’s well possible that I’d pick Stephen as my first choice. There’s a good chance that you don’t know who Mr. Fry is, but he may be the world’s most likable man. Just watch any video of him; I’ve never seen him NOT being charming. He’s a polymath, a polyglot, and a paragon of curiosity. Who better to talk to until you both starve to death.
Runners up for Stephen’s spot: his partner on QI Alan Davies, and his partner on Fry & Laurie Hugh Laurie.
2. David Bowie
I promise that not everyone on this list will be British. But in all honesty, lots of them will be. Also, I promise not all will be homosexual, as Stephen Fry is, and David once claimed to be bisexual (though he has backed off that claim in recent years.) What David Bowie is, above all else, is cool. I most definitely have a man-crush on the Thin White Duke. Plus, it would probably help to have someone of his massive fame stranded on the island as it would make people look harder to find us.
Runners up for Mr. Bowie’s spot: Thom Yorke, Wayne Coyne, Beck and Damon Albarn.
3. Bill Murray
You may notice, that these people are all old. This is partially because I’m old. But even more importantly, young people are often dull. Who wants to hang out with Shia Labeouf? Maybe in 30 years, but I highly doubt it. Bill Murray on the other hand, is eight kinds of awesome. He’s so cool he probably wouldn’t hang out with me even on that desert island, but I’m going to give him a spot anyway, just in case.
Runners up for Bill’s spot: frequent collaborator Wes Anderson.
Stay tuned for the remaining 7 members of Man-Crush Island.