Read this bit of good writing:
Leonard Cohen, that magnificent Canadian Buddhist Jew, once defined a saint this way: “A saint does not dissolve the chaos; if he did, the world would have changed long ago… It is a kind of balance that is his glory. He rides the drifts like an escaped ski.” By Cohen’s definition, the closest thing that American men have to a patron saint right now is Clint Eastwood. This magazine recently commissioned a survey of twenty- and fifty-year-old American men, and when asked to name the coolest man in the country, both groups chose Eastwood by a wide margin. The guys born in 1960, the ones who grew up growling, “Feeling lucky, punk?” to their friends, make sense, but the ones born in 1990? How did they end up picking the old guy from Space Cowboys over Clooney and LeBron? The answer is simple, really: During all the real and imagined crises of American masculinity that the past half century has coughed onto our screens, Eastwood has been the one stable figure in the midst of the darkness and the turmoil, a man entirely apart from the boring and draining established types that have dominated movies for four decades — macho pigs (see: Burt Reynolds, Gerard Butler), lovable schmucks (see: Woody Allen, Michael Cera), merry pranksters (see: Chevy Chase, Adam Sandler), and impossibly cool hipsters (see: Steve McQueen, Brad Pitt). Eastwood’s endurance is the endurance of saints, and what he embodies more than anything is the definitive virtue for American men both then and now: restraint. He rides the line between his own terrible desires and the world as it is with the grace we all aspire to.
Can’t think of any truer words. Didn’t know Leonard Cohen was a Canadian Buddhist Jew either.