A masculine archetype that sadly has disappeared from Postmodern Culture was once a defining icon throughout the English-speaking world: that was the hero who operated outside the Letter of the Law, but upheld nonetheless the Spirit of the Law. From the Robin Hood of Mediaeval English folklore to the Dirty Harry of Hollywood's late Golden Age---there was always a character who stood out: an enemy of the untouchable, corrupt elite; a friend to friendless: the one those in trouble turned to when in need.
An era dominated by political correctness and moral relativism can only look with horror upon men once looked up to as heroes. So for this weekend's entertainment selection, we're going to showcase that archetype in a character who even claimed the mantle of Robin Hood: The Saint.
The Saint aired on the BBC from 1962-1969 and on Independent US networks, featuring the exploits of adventurer Simon Templar. The show was based on a very popular British novel series of the mid 20th Century by author Leslie Charteris. Charteris was in fact, a co-producer of the television series after semi-retiring from writing. It's believed by many---and not without good reason---that The Saint was a character modeled largely upon Charteris' own experiences. At any rate, Charteris clearly identified with the character: the novels and sometimes the opening series narration had a brief moral message of sorts related to the story, and sometimes during the dialogue. In his early novel, The Avenging Saint (1930), Templar rescues a damsel-in-distress and escapes with her on a boat. The two have a conversation in which Templar says:
"Yes, they say that I'm mad. But in reality, I'm mad enough that I still believe in romance. I couldn't stand the thought of living in a sickly world where everything is this hoary shade of gray; and there is no right and wrong any longer. Give me instead the heroes of old; who thought nothing of bopping the ungodly one on the beezer; and afterwards celebrating lustily with their comrades over a job well done."
And true to that ideal, Templar takes down a dazzling array of villains: corrupt politicians and evil financial oligarchs; Nazis and Communists; organized crime bosses and a host of other unsavories. His nemesis---like many other such characters---was the police who never quite understood that they and Templar were working on the same side.
Fortunately, Templar always outwitted both sides of the law and lived quite well on the percentages he took from his various enterprises. Templar in this way represents another lost masculine archetype: regardless of the often violent nature of the battles he fought, he was always a perfect gentleman. Our forefathers believed that culture and education mattered more than brute force and manipulation in making a man, and the warrior (or in this case a modern knight-errant) was no exception. Chivalry---a concept sneered at by the self-appointed Manly Alpha Leaders of the Red Pill Manosphere---was a definite aspect of Templar's character. The White Knight, a term used by Manospherians in derision was worn by men like Templar as a badge of honor.
Though The Saint was more popular in England than the US, the character nonetheless spawned numerous Americanized imitators in our own media. As Leslie Charteris once famously said, when asked if The Saint was a good role model for men with its 'quaint notions' of the classical chivalric romantic ideal:
"I am an absurd idealist. But I believe that this must all come true. For unless it comes true, the world will be laid desolate. And I believe that it can come true. I believe that, by the Grace of God, men will awake soon and be men again; and that color and laughter and splendid living will return to a bleak civilization. But that will only come true because a few men believe in it, and fight for it, and fight in its name against everything that sneers and snarls at that ideal."
This is the reason we have these Friday Features: one can learn more about what it means to be a man in one paragraph than everything written in the Manosphere combined.
The Saint is best watched on DVD. Better still, invite your favorite local Red Pill or Male Feminist over to watch with you. But be warned: like Templar's religious namesake, you might witness a conversion to manhood before it's all over. It's happened before to a lot of men.