A Poseur Alert is awarded for passages of prose that stand out for pretension, vanity and really bad writing designed to look like profundity. Thus far, this year’s top vote-getter is from Susan Elizabeth Shepard and Charlotte Shane on one of the age-old sex positions:
69 confronts us with an unfortunate truth: it is a distinctly capitalistic, efficiency-emphasizing endeavor that erases the unique personhood of each participant by relying on a crude approximation of how human bodies fit together if human bodies are conceived of as identical, two-dimensional figures like the numbers of its name. … The position also echoes the service economy in its demand (mainly on women) of a convincing performance of pleasure. It’s not enough to simply be present and to competently do the job that’s asked of you by your lover, you must also appear to simultaneously enjoy said lover’s ministrations, regardless of the delicate balancing requiring to keep from suffocating him or breaking his nose. This is a form of emotional labor like that demanded from baristas, servers, and sex workers; not only do you have to do a good job, you have to like it.
The current runner up was written by Mark Bauerlein about tattoos:
As a friend put it to me: A tattoo isn’t the Word made flesh, but the flesh made word. It may strike old-fashioned types as pedestrian narcissism and adolescent conformity, and sometimes it surely is. But in a deeper and more troubling way, it is canny and subversive artifice, spiced with a moralistic claim to personal liberation. A tattoo is a personal statement but also an anthropological position that accords with the prevailing transvaluations of our time. It’s a wholly successful one, too, judging from the entertainment and sports worlds, and youth culture. With the mainstreaming of tattoos, another factor in the natural order falls away, yet one more inversion of nature and culture, natural law and human desire. That’s not an outcome the rationalizer’s regret. It’s precisely the point.
Vote for one of the above, or any of the other three finalists, here. After that, cast your votes for the 2014 Malkin Award, Hathos Alert, Yglesias Award, Cool Ad, Face Of The Year, and the year’s best Chart, Mental Health Break and View From Your Window. This is also the first time you can help choose the Map Of The Year and Beard Of The Year as well! Polls will close on New Year’s Eve, so be sure to register your choices before then:
- Click here to vote for the Beard Of The Year!
- Click here to vote for the Chart Of The Year!
- Click here to vote for the Cool Ad Of The Year!
- Click here to vote for the Face Of The Year!
- Click here to vote for the Hathos Alert Of The Year!
- Click here to vote for the 2014 Malkin Award!
- Click here to vote for the Map Of The Year!
- Click here to vote for the Mental Health Break Of The Year!
- Click here to vote for the Poseur Alert Of The Year!
- Click here to vote for the Window View Of The Year!
- Click here to vote for the 2014 Yglesias Award!
Please note: due to there not being enough nominees this year, we will not be issuing a 2014 Hewitt Award, Moore Award, or Dick Morris Award. You can learn more about those and all our awards here.