I think it’s safe to say that James May – Captain Slow to many – is the most beloved of all Top Gear hosts. Scruffy, erudite, and frustratingly wont to proselytization of all things obscure and arcane, he may not be the kind of man we want to hang out with, but he is the man many of us are probably closest to being ourselves.
And that brings up an interesting question regarding May’s latest TV endeavor, the BBC show, James May’s Man Lab. On this program the foppish host laments that modern holders of the Y chromosome have lost their collective manhood, and he seeks to re-instill the skills that he thinks will bring it back. Here’s the thing though, James is English. In fact, he’s not just English, he’s veddy English, and some of the key elements of his concept of manhood reflect his undeniable Britishness. Case in point, on the first episode he demonstrates how to make a fish finger sandwich, which I guess was once a mainstay of British yob consumption, but perhaps does not resonate with Men outside of the Isles.
It should be noted that in true Man fashion, May is unable to undertake the simple task of assembling the aforementioned snack – comprised of packaged breaded fish, two slices of good stiff British bread, and sauce tar-tar - without managing to break a glass. Perhaps he is not the best role model for modern manhood in a breakable society. You can make that determination for yourself as the entire episode is available over at Hooniverse.