29 December 2007

Do Good-Looking People Have Souls?

Alright already. Enough of the Annual Holiday Introspectacular. Let's talk about good looking people.

I wonder if they don't see the teeming mess of population. If they have a kind of infra-red vision for attractiveness, a glaze that relegates the rest of us to the blurry background. They operate on the slick surfaces of the world. The construction of inner life becomes a necessary effect of our secret automatic banishment from this world.

Or something. SO I ASK THEN: ARE THERE ANY HOT GENIUSES? I'm trolling and polling for hot geniuses. This is hard ... try image searching the names of philosophers and scientists. Yikes. Granted, most of them are old men, but I'm beginning to wonder whether genius has lain dormant in the good-looking because they had no use for it. Let me know if you got any. One of my professors said that Nathaniel Hawthorne was "dishy." Made Melville want to Moby Dick his Scarlet A-hole. Made Herm's Billy Budd for Nate's Young Goodman Brownstar.

There's definitely something Bogarty about Albert Camus: But that's mostly his boho posturing, no? Put him in a Cosby sweater and khakis and he's a French-looking highschool teacher. But this is no boys' club. Dig poet Anne Sexton as Mrs. Robinson: She is trying to seduce me.

Bring me your good-looking geniuses. I've got kind of a humanities bias going here, so I welcome other disciplines. But NO ACTORS or MUSICIANS. That's way too easy.

That said, for the first time in a long while, I have a celebrity crush. You might know her. Her name is Zooey Deschanel. Not just because she is cute (which she WAY is); lots of actresses are cute. But you might not know that she sings and has been playing out and recording with M(att) Ward. Here is their version of Sam Cooke's Bring it on Home to Me And here is Stormy Weather accompanied by a photo montage. Here is me blushing.


Anonymous said...


Sexy scientists!

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Madhurima said...

My unsurprising two cents:

Jhumpa Lahiri:


Tim Brennan:


I'm also realizing, however, that most pictures for book jackets make the author look hot:


...or maybe not...

kris said...

Robert Oppenheimer, father of the atomic bomb.

But maybe this is just a Camus/Bogart thing, where the addition of a cigarette gives the illusion of hotness?

Lauren said...

Richard P. Feynman. My dad's adviser. My mom wanted to do him. He was married but got around-- they say.



Lauren said...

working urls for the feynman:



Lauren said...

I think Wittgenstein is kinda dreamy.


Lauren said...

Paul Auster, of course (who vaguely resembles Feynman). And his family.


Adam said...

It strikes me that both categories, "hot" and "genius," refer to innate qualities. Call them god-givens. What one does with these god-givens is a wholly other matter.

With that said I offer two hot geniuses. The first is definitely a genius and may or may not be hot. The second is hot and may or may not be a genius.

First up, Derridada. The gargantuan mind of JD (RIP) is without question. I'm going to go ahead and suggest that he is also hot, even though it is likely that he is merely handsome. Perhaps the Camus-in-a-Cosby-sweater experiment is appropriate here. The aura of his genius seems to increase his hotness.

The second example is the stunning Susan Sontag. Genius? I can't say. Really really smart, no doubt. Hot. I'm going to say yes indeedy.

Valencia said...

Well written article.

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