Growing up and watching tons of cable in the 80’s, I got the impression that the coolest way to be a grown man is to be what I’ve dubbed a “Jake”. This is a protagonist who is the sort of unambitious wiseass who’s only looking out for number one. I’m sure Joseph Campbell would tell you this archetype is ancient. A “Jake” is:
- always hungover, with stubble and cigarette.
- often living in a shitty houseboat, truck, trailer or spaceship.
- often based out of Venice Beach, Miami, or Mexico.
- still flirting with an ex-wife or girlfriend who loves him too but is waiting in vain for him to grow up.
- sometimes a father, though if so, only to a daughter, never a son.
- often losing fist-fights and making that seem cool.
- always getting parking-tickets and discarding them.
- able to wear Hawaiian shirts well.
- washed-up baseball players, washed-up novelists, detectives, or freelance pilots.
- a smart-ass to bosses, cops, and yuppies.
As an adult now, it’s pretty clear that alot of these attributes are not actually cool in real life. But the movie guys are still cool. The magic of Hollywood.
*click photos for reference.