So I was reading Mick LaSalle's column this week and I came across this entry:
Dear Mick LaSalle: It may be saying something about how soft we have become as a country when 60-year-old tough guys like Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis and Mickey Rourke put our current generation of "action heroes" like Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt to shame. When the toughest action guys on screens today are an 80-year-old Clint Eastwood and a 64-year-old Stallone, how does that reflect on what America has become today?
Mike Spitzer, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Dear Mike Spitzer: It says nothing about America, except that there was a certain kind of action movie in vogue 25 to 35 years ago, and the vogue faded, and now all those tough guys who were in those movies are getting up in years. However, it may say something about the country that there are actually people looking at the relative toughness of movie actors to gauge the current state of American resolve. I can't for a moment conceive of anyone in 1940 saying or even thinking, "Well, Clark Gable looks a lot tougher these days than Doug Fairbanks looked 20 years ago, so heck, we must be in great shape." Please, let's just not worry too much about the country going soft - except in the head.