Electric charges

Earlier today, the posting “I sing the body elastic”, about Mikey Bustos’s parodic hymn to Speedos, the skimpy elastic men’s swim suits — with a title playing on “I Sing the Body Electric”, a poem from Walt Whitman’s 1855 Leaves of Grass, celebrating the human body. Beginning:

I sing the body electric,
The armies of those I love engirth me and I engirth them,
They will not let me off till I go with them, respond to them,
And discorrupt them, and charge them full with the charge of the soul.

On the noun charge here, from OED3 (June 2008):

4. fig. Suddenly exciting, thrilling, or intense, as if caused by an electric charge or shock; stimulating; charged with tension. [first cites 18th c.]

In section 2 of the poem, an appreciation of the bodies of men (especially workingmen), as expressing their natures, their character, indeed their soul:

The expression of the face balks account,
But the expression of a well-made man appears not only in his face,
It is in his limbs and joints also, it is curiously in the joints of his hips and wrists,
It is in his walk, the carriage of his neck, the flex of his waist and knees, dress does not hide him,
The strong sweet quality he has strikes through the cotton and broadcloth,
To see him pass conveys as much as the best poem, perhaps more,
You linger to see his back, and the back of his neck and shoulder-side.

Then in section 9, in a long Whitmanian catalogue, of the parts of the body:

The voice, articulation, language, whispering, shouting aloud

This blog hasn’t shrunk from the appreciation of men’s bodies, as expressions of character and also, yes, as attractive pieces of meat. On this latter path, checking out images of shirtless workingmen, I was led to a 2/1/14 Daily Mail (UK) piece “The best Diet Coke break EVER: Host of bare-chested hunks gathers to celebrate 20 years of the iconic adverts”, reporting on the men who’ve performed shirtless for Diet Coke over the years. Beginning with the first, Lucky Vanous, in 1994:

(#1) A screen shot; you can watch the whole ad here

‘Break’ The original ‘Diet Coke Break Hunk’, Lucky Vanous, kept a group of admiring women in an office building glued to their window, as a shirtless construction worker on a building site.

Lucky Vanous landed the Diet Coke Break ‘Hunk’ role when he was married and attending Fordham Law School. After appearing in the first ‘Diet Coke Break’ ad, Lucky also appeared in the lesser-known 1995 spot ‘Magazine’ – where he plays a male model brought to life on the pages of a fashion magazine after a girl opens an ice cold Diet Coke.

More on the man, from Wikipedia:

(#2) Lucky in a posed shot

Lucky Joseph Vanous (born 11 April 1961) is an American model and actor. He became nationally known in 1994 after appearing in a series of commercials for Diet Coke.

Vanous was born in Lincoln, Nebraska, and served in the United States Army 1st Ranger Battalion. Upon discharge, he studied at University of Nebraska at Lincoln. He was discovered while visiting New York City, and he moved there to model and continue his studies at New York University and Fordham University.

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