Long search for the evolutionary answer

21:11, Mar 21 2012

It is a strange fact that 42,778 people are currently followers on Twitter of a 26-year-old man who, by his own admission, is only useful from his belly button to his knees.

James Deen is not especially tall, especially handsome, or especially interesting as far as anyone can tell, but he has no problem in the wood department, as they call it in porn.

This fluke of nature calls himself the luckiest guy alive because he can put his attribute to commercial use in the kind of movie that needs neither plot, script nor character development.

Whether he knows how to hold a knife and fork, likes gardening, or has any other interest in life is of no concern to his admirers, who Only Want One Thing.

I pause here because this is exactly what women have always moaned about with men; real men, that is, the ones they actually meet in person. We have never before had our choice of fantasy men who we could watch vicariously in action, should we have a few spare moments left over from earning a living and washing our smalls.

But now porn is all the go among thinking women, and the big intellectual question is whether it's patronising to women to assume they like the odd exchange of dialogue and display of tenderness as opposed to full-on chains and padlocks and biff.


Count me out. Too tired. But I will observe that Deen has a damn cheek going by almost the same name as the iconic James Dean, the 1950s actor who died in a pranged Porsche.

My hunch is that Dean's image will endure for a good few years yet as a symbol of archetypal masculine attractiveness - and he achieved this not only by being fully clothed, but also by being dead.

Deen's fame will be a flickering match in a dirty old ashtray compared to that.

By contrast to Deen, I doubt very much that any women pant after Stephen Wolfram, the balding and totally average-looking maths genius, now middle-aged, who wrote his first book on particle physics at the age of 14 and had a PhD at 20.

I mention this because somewhere in the great system of evolution there is a definite glitch that needs to be explained in a hurry if our species is to work out how to survive in this world we currently make such a mess of.

It is the likes of Wolfram we should be aiming our simpering selves at, surely, rather than an average Joe with a single, rather common ability that requires almost no IQ.

We should be wanting to breed - if sex still has any relation to reproduction - with blokes who are not only clever, but also rich.

We should thrill to words like "cosmology" and "quantum field theory", then, for the very good reason that we haven't a clue what they mean, but guess that they may come in handy one day.

I am thinking about evolution and the oddness of human beings because in the past week scientists have reported finding yet another kind of prehistoric species of fossilised human beings in China.

It's believed they died out 11,500 years ago. They don't look like any other human fossils, so this is exciting for the scientists.

I would be more interested if we weren't unearthing new missing links every year or so to general delight. Weren't the last some kind of Indonesian hobbit people?

Personally, I'll be grabbed by such reports if and when we unearth a fossilised people who practised altruism, respected the planet and put a value on human dignity.

Until then I'll ponder whether Deen is some kind of evolutionary answer - though I'm unsure of exactly what was the question.

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