IS A GENTLEMAN “COOL”? Interesting take by James Bowman on a new book titled The Compleat Gentleman by Brad Miner, a former literary editor of National Review:
In fact, “cool” is the great killer of gentlemanliness. Cool is Frank Sinatra knocking women around or Miles Davis shooting himself up with heroin and self-pity [Miles knocked a few women around as well–Ed] or Marlon Brando’s witheringly ironic portrayals of, um, gentlemanliness.
Hadn’t really thought of it that way before, but it’s a great way of putting it. Sinatra, Miles and Brando were great artists at their peak (although each would descend, at times, into self-parody in the collective sunsets of their careers), but that doesn’t necessarily make them gentlemen.