Two posts back, I gave you a challenge: Close your eyes. If I say the word “masculine,” who is the first familiar face that you see? Who’s the man?

Last week, I had the honor of joining Dr. Jeff Keuss, Dr. Christine Chaney, Carlo Nakar, and show host Jennie Spohr for another evening of lively discussion at The Kindlings Muse. Before a live audience at Hale’s Ales Pub and Brewery, we talked about masculinity, action heroes, and who we consider to be the manliest of them all.

I won’t spoil it for you. Let’s just say that somebody at the table thinks that the answer is… Jeremy Renner.

Other names that came up in the discussion, for one reason or another, include…

  • Tony Stark
  • Bruce Wayne
  • Peter Parker
  • Jay Gatsby
  • Abraham Lincoln
  • Jeremy Renner
  • Brad Bird
  • Wes Anderson
  • Don Draper
  • Charles Kingsley
  • and Sheriff Bell of No Country for Old Men.

Only some of these were suggested as models of masculinity. Others were mentioned as artists who wrestle with questions about masculinity.

And yes, even though we tried to avoid it, the Q&A part of the program brought us to the subject of pastors. If you know anything about Seattle churches, you can probably guess what the panel was asked to address.

Suffice it to say… we had a wild time.

And now, you can listen in. The podcast of our discussion has been posted.

But let me warn you: This podcast is full of spoilers related to a variety of films… especially Rian Johnson’s film Looper.