Here in the decaying West, we have few positive examples of genuine masculinity in action, and we have seen bad examples all week long. Cringing politicians who talk tough but are afraid of their own shadows. Hoodlums and Jihadists running wild in the streets and thinking random violence makes them tough. Effete media Male Feminists who wear their sensitivity on their sleeves, and think that wins anybody's respect. And the usual cadre of Red Pill/Game Cult poltroons posing as superior men.
In light of all of this, we have selected for this weekend's viewing a series which provides an industrial-strength dose of real masculinity: Man Against Crime.
Man Against Crime (which was also syndicated under the title Follow That Man) was one of television's first hit drama series, although nearly forgotten today. It aired on DTN from 1949 to 1954 and followed the adventures of Mike Barnett, "a private investigator duly licensed by the State of New York" as he said of himself. Man Against Crime was filmed live on location in New York City until 1952; and even afterwards the scenes were still filmed in New York. Modern critics, though generally hostile to these older shows, admit that the series has historical value for its depictions of post-war New York.
The realism in this series is one aspect that sets it apart from the superficiality of later programs. Barnett was a character who always worked alone. He had no police contacts---although he was respected by the local police and, in one episode, went to Washington to testify before Congress concerning organized crime activity. Barnett's cases, too, were typical of what a real PI would actually encounter.
Barnett was what we would call a tough guy today, although he depicted what toughness really means. A better word for this masculine character trait would be fortitude.
Barnett never shows any fear---ever. But he also uses his wits to solve crimes and is notably always professional. Even though this series was criticized in the 1950s as one of the most violent shows on television, it is actually remarkably free from the kind of gratuitous violence characterizing most of today's police dramas.
This is not to say there is no action in the series: the opening scene to each episode depicts gangsters shooting down one of Barnett's clients on his doorstep. But Barnett never employs unnecessary violence---and this is an important distinction for us to note today. Masculinity today has become too closely connected with committing acts of excessive force for its own sake. True, men like Barnett do not back down from a challenge. But it's more characteristic of thug culture than of genuine masculinity to use more force than necessary, even in a just cause. Real men despise bullies, as much as they do cowards and sneaks.
Unfortunately, American culture today represents masculine archetypes as either bullies or eunuchs, with nothing in between the two poles. In reality, both are products of the same anti-masculine zeitgeist in which we live. The masculine role is to defend the weak and protect women; Barnett does both, today's men do neither.
Barnett's relationship with women is noteworthy. He seems to have an empathy even for female criminals he occasionally encounters and is never brutal with them. His love interest is a very young and pretty redhead named Gloria. Gloria is an interesting character. She's something of a bad girl herself, though not a femme-fatale type. We're not given Gloria's background, but she seems to be of a type who had some bad influences in her early life. It's an interesting relationship, because she actually admires Barnett as her hero; while Barnett is very patient with her and helps straighten out her occasional misdeeds. This type of affection---one which sees value where others see none---and seeks to redeem it through love can only come from a character deeply grounded in his masculine nature. Contrast that with the phony Red-Pill Alphas who see all women as subhuman.
Maybe the early 1950s weren't such a bad time to live in after all. Considering how clean and friendly New York City actually looked back then, it must have once been a decent place to live too.
Man Against Crime is free on Youtube, mostly from the 1952-54 seasons, and is also available on DVD. There was an attempt in 1955 to bring back the series on NBC, though with totally different characters and plot lines. Make certain to get the DTN version---this series will provide some genuinely good stories with no shortage of action.