Ksenija Pavlovic McAteer interviewed Tim Samuels, documentary filmmaker, author, and broadcaster, to discuss Samuels’ latest book, Future Man, and talk about what kind of man Donald Trump is.
Who is the Future Man, Tim? Is he here, already or will this sort of be the Second Coming?
Tim Samuels: We’re just about coping with the present man! - who is already transforming politics across the world. I fear the future is going to see a whole lot more social upheaval - once millions of men find robots have taken their places at work. Future Man is going to have to be smart, skilled, flexible and able to get along with automaton.
This future man, what kind of woman he wants to be married to?
Tim Samuels: Anyone who’ll put up with a man coming home complaining that the robot is busting his balls at work and life used to be better in the last millennium… Men will want relationships utterly grounded in partnership, mutual respect and a sense of humor to cope with the ever-increasing absurdities of life.
Who is the Future Woman, then?
Tim Samuels: The future is going to see a serious schism between those who can still gainfully work - and those who find they’ve become economically superfluous to needs. Both men and women are going to have to navigate that… so it’ll really depend on where you end up in the pecking order. I suspect Future Woman will be better equipped to cope - given that men are falling behind educationally and bring more ego to the type of jobs they’re willing to do.
Why are relationships so complicated?
Tim Samuels: Because we now have crazy expectations around what we think relationships should be like - thanks to Hollywood, magazines, social media and all that. Those expectations are never going to be matched in reality - so we feel let down. Plus there’s too much choice these days - and men are a pain in the ass to be with when they’re not feeling sure of themselves, which is all too common in this economy.
Is marriage overrated?
Tim Samuels: I’ll tell you if I ever try it! But there doesn’t seem to be a better arrangement out there. Friends who leave it later seem to have more enduring relationships - once their expectations are much more grounded, and libidos have calmed down.
What kind of man is Donald Trump?
Tim Samuels: You don’t need me to add any more pop psychoanalysis to the canon - but what’s more interesting is his particular appeal to men, especially those in hopeless economic circumstances.
When you’re feeling desperate - and the usual ways of doing politics aren’t showing any signs of changing your plight - then why not roll the dice with someone who promises to smash the system? Who projects hyper-masculinity - almost a father-like figure who will keep your alleged (or constructed) enemies at bay…. Even if it’s all just bluster and talk.
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