Note: This is one of those “fai aku ai fo’i” (just sayin’) posts .... :)
Okay, what’s my drift?
Well, I have always been peeved by the use of the term “Alive” in the title of the accolade. It certainly is a careless misnomer, or an emphatically misplaced quantifier - and qualifier. The obvious question is: “Alive”, as opposed to what, “Dead”?
Along similar connotational references we can therefore audaciously ask: Is a dead man sexy? Are there sexy dead men? Note that I said “sexy dead men” - not “dead sexy men.” Syntactically and semantically speaking, there’s a difference. There are dead sexy people but there aren’t any sexy dead people. Catch my drift? .. LOL! If those seem confusing and/or ambiguous, then “Sexiest Man Alive” is worse - it’s collusive and moronic. Or are they trying to stress the currentness and contemporary relevance of the honor?
And from a marketable standpoint, I doubt the inclusion of “Alive” leads to more magazine sales, than without it. If the former is true, then I think it’s more a reflection on the women - and some men - and their hoydenish tendencies.
Is a man - or woman for that matter - still sexy after he/she dies? I don’t think so. The opposite is exactly what the title insinuates - that the sexiest man can be a dead one too. Well, unless of course he’s Dracula or a Stephanie Meyer vampire. I can understand a magazine wanting to be different from maybe another magazine’s similar honor but the word “Alive” gives the title an absurd and half-witted, if not an eerie feel.
The title also seems to be advertising and reminding the obvious requirement for the honor - and that is, a man must still be breathing and not officially dead, at the time the decision is made. And why not “The Sexiest Man of the Year?"
So is there possibly a different intelligible connotation or context in which “alive” is emphatically and imposingly used by People? (How many connotations are there besides the one we find in a Wanted: Dead or Alive poster in Western movies?)
Having ruminated a remotely possible connotation, the one that came to mind was the cosmopolitan one. In other words, the word “alive” seems to connote and encompass all the men in the world including the more primitive loincloth-clad and protuberant-bellied tribesmen and natives of Africa and the Amazon rainforests and the Samoan aumaga. But it seems that the only sexiest men alive are those in the US and other western countries, aye? Hey, Samoa has a lot of these too, aea? ...hahahaa.... Just ask the late James Michener!
So again what is the real perspicuous function - grammatical or otherwise - of “Alive” in the “Sexiest Man Alive” title? If People magazine wants the title to be valid, intelligent, believed and legit, then it should drop the word “Alive” and replace it with a more practical qualifier. Either that or have a “Sexiest Man Dead” promotion too. LOL!!!!
...ia fai aku ai fo’i