The hideous Tony Parsons pens a paean to guns in British GQ. “The first time you hear gunfire is like losing your virginity, but without the sex,” he writes. Excitingly he finds himself caught up in a “violent coup in Southeast Asia”. Bang, bang. In a tropical place (as opposed to British streets) “there is no denying the glamour of guns”. Thinking of his big butch soldier daddy who fought at Monte Cassino he reflects: “My father always thought me a lesser man than he because I had never heard that sound [gunfire]. And he was right. I have no doubt at all that he was right. We are forever lesser men than those who have heard the guns because we have not been tested.”
I should have thought that marriage to the goddess Julie Burchill would have sufficiently tested his sentimental sense of masculinity, hewn from comic books and John Wayne movies and the midget Norman Mailer and his big-cocked sense of his own big cockedness, now just another husk of nothing. Masculinity as defined by Parsons can only be sustained at the expense of others: it draws its energy parasitically from dreamt challenges made flesh. Someone else must lose something for masculinity to feel fulfilled. At its lowest it is expressed in domestic violence. At its most handsome, it resembles George W Bush. The sense of redundancy it trails behind itself is explored in a huge literature of bitter and disappointed experience, so easily forgotten by copycat sons of copycat men who wank in front of mirrors.
Come on Tony, throw a sheet over the triptych and give your over-used cock a rest.