8th 2011
Public History Ryan Gosling

Posted under: American history, fluff, jobs, students

Via Leslie M-B at The Clutter Museum, we learn that someone has made a very funny mashup called Public History Ryan Gosling, in which said Gosling “seduces you with public history theory.”

Too funny.  But I must ask you:  what’s appealing or sexy about this guy?  His name means “baby goose,” and he looks like a pretty average looking mope to me.

Graduate students!  They’re always impressing me with their ingenuity and creativity, aren’t they?


24 Responses to “Public History Ryan Gosling”

  1. Perpetua on 08 Dec 2011 at 7:26 am #

    That’s hilarious. Thanks for sharing, H. The Ryan Gosling feminist meme has been around for a while, but this is a great new take. I wonder what Mr. Gosling thinks about all this. (I have to admit, the “hey girl” start is what makes the whole project for me.)

    I think you have to be in your teens or twenties to think he’s sexy.

  2. Shadow Boxer on 08 Dec 2011 at 7:53 am #

    Beyond Feminist and Public History Ryan Gosling, there’s also Library Ryan Gosling and Typographer Ryan Gosling. It’s the cheesy opening with the studied sexuality of the photos that take it over the top for me.

    It’s the ultimate fantasy for women who grew up smarter, more awkward, and plainer than other girls: a good-looking man who makes his money being pretty, stereotyped as stupid, chatting up nerdy girls in their own language. In my opinion, he gets sexier with each one of these.

  3. History Maven on 08 Dec 2011 at 8:09 am #

    Hey girl! My public history friends and I have been having a lot of fun with this on Facebook, though I don’t know either what makes RG sexy or appealing. But somehow I think the meme is funnier for the fact that he isn’t the classical or Hollywood-created Cary Grant type–that is, this is just a guy trying too hard to seduce you.

    At another level, though, perhaps the seduction is all about this moment in the history/public history employment marketplace. (Love the PHRG self-referential entry: “Hey girl, combining my image with theory is an outstanding exercise in Public History praxis.”) More than ever, the profession is emphasizing public history as the practical “jobs” track, even though that sector really isn’t growing and what jobs there are pay, in some regions of the US, adjunct-level salaries (and in some cases no benefits, to boot). In short, the profession is trying to hard to persuade students that public history is a more viable career option than the tenure track, so perhaps the interpretation here should focus less on the image and more on the words–in today’s market, what in historical and museum theory and practice will get one that job? Who’s seducing whom here?

    It’s the sort of humor my grad school cohort indulged in as we faced the competition for jobs, but we did it with edited Far Side posters.

  4. Spanish Prof on 08 Dec 2011 at 8:50 am #

    Well, Historiann, we finally agree in our taste in men. I don’t find anything special in RG either.

  5. Historiann on 08 Dec 2011 at 8:51 am #

    History Maven: you may be right that his average-mopeness is part of the appeal.

    It’s all good! Enjoy the laughs. As for hacking pop culture before the internets: I recall, Matt Groening had some very pertinent grad-school mocking cartoons back in the late 1980s, too.

  6. Historiann on 08 Dec 2011 at 8:52 am #

    Spanish Prof.: good to know! We must be femmes d’un certain age. (Sorry that I don’t know the Spanish version–I hope you’ll fill me in on the correct idiom.)

  7. Historiann on 08 Dec 2011 at 8:58 am #

    p.s. to all: Remember My Daguerrotype Boyfriend? Do you think there’s more eye candy there than at Public History Ryan Gosling?

    (I have to confess: I don’t have anything against Daguerrotype Boyfriends, except I keep imagining how nasty all of that unwashed hair must have smelled.)

  8. Dr. Crazy on 08 Dec 2011 at 10:04 am #

    You know, I think the RG thing actually has less to do with his looks than with the fact that he doesn’t seem especially stupid, compared with many other Hollywood actor types, in that he does seem to be interested in choosing quirky (Lars and the Real Girl) or unattractive (Blue Valentine) roles. So sure, he’s that guy from The Notebook, but he’s also that guy from Half Nelson. Which is why we can have Feminist RG or Public History RG, while we couldn’t have, I don’t know, Feminist Brad Pitt or Public History Zac Efron. And also: he’s about the age of lots of people in grad school, which I think is part of it, too. That’s my theory anyway.

  9. Historiann on 08 Dec 2011 at 10:14 am #

    He was the guy in Blue Valentine? That was a pretty good movie, although wow: super-depressing. I actually really loved his character’s defense of his drinking: “I have a job where I CAN drink in the morning! I’m living the dream!”

    (But he was extremely unattractive in that movie.)

  10. Leslie M-B on 08 Dec 2011 at 10:24 am #

    I’m not finding him particularly sexy–more endearing. Exhibit A: Every Picture of Ryan Gosling and His Dog on the Internet. (See also: Ryan Gosling and his dog on Jimmy Fallon.) Exhibit B: Ryan Gosling breaks up fight in New York City.

  11. sophylou on 08 Dec 2011 at 10:26 am #

    I want one with Colin Firth. (I don’t see him opening with “Hey girl,” though.)

  12. Historiann on 08 Dec 2011 at 10:33 am #

    More like, “Pardon me, madam?,” which is more in keeping with his roles. Firth used to be cute, but now he’s pretty dumpy and middle-aged, but to each her own!

  13. librarian of an age on 08 Dec 2011 at 10:57 am #

    We don’t understand because we are too old. I read that in the Washington Post when I was trying to understand the Library Ryan Gosling that’s been making the rounds.

    Post article:
    The Blessing of Ryan Gosling

    Library tumblr:

    I have to admit I do enjoy this one, “Hey girl. Sorry to bother you, but can you tell me the classification number for love at first sight?”

    Oh, also, apparently this all started with Fuck Yeah! Ryan Gosling!

    I’m such a librarian. I had to research this meme. And, by the way, Know Your Meme is an excellent resource for knowing your memes.

  14. truffula on 08 Dec 2011 at 11:49 am #

    A sure sign that I’m reading end-of-term research reports: I followed Leslie M-B’s Exhibit B link. I don’t really understand who Ryan Gosling is but that video is certainly proof of something. It’s a strange set of events.

  15. The History Enthusiast on 08 Dec 2011 at 1:37 pm #

    Part of the appeal with Gosling is that he was in the Notebook, I think. I myself find him somewhat attractive but not ridiculously so (I will be 30 in one month, so I’m not a teen anymore!). The feminist meme is something that will come in handy when I teach theory next semester, but the public history one can be useful in so many different ways. Thanks for sharing!

  16. RG Insight on 08 Dec 2011 at 1:40 pm #

    His proclivity for appearing in romantic indy films is what makes the smart girls gaga. The man can put on one sexy performance.

  17. koshembos on 08 Dec 2011 at 2:41 pm #

    Assessing the sexiness and beauty of a man is difficult for most men for obvious reasons. Another difficult assessment is: why so many people care to comment on Mr. Gosling?

    By the way, actor’s intelligence distribution should be similar to any other group, which means that some actors are very smart while others are very stupid.

  18. History Maven on 08 Dec 2011 at 3:21 pm #

    And let’s not forget Art History Ryan Gosling:

  19. Feminist Avatar on 08 Dec 2011 at 4:33 pm #

    Have you ever seen him with his top off? Ripped! Try ‘Crazy, Stupid, Love’ if you want some examples.

    More seriously, I do think that is what makes him attractive; he is not that handsome, but makes such a huge effort with his appearance that the wiminz sympathise and find it endearing. Who doesn’t like a man who makes an effort? (A sort of desperation to be liked that makes these memes work, imo). Plus Ripped!

  20. truffula on 08 Dec 2011 at 7:10 pm #

    Assessing the sexiness and beauty of a man is difficult for most men

    That’s not actually obvious to me koshembos.

    Also, almost all of the men I know make their own wardrobe and grooming choices. My guess is that they do those things with some purpose in mind, culturally conditioned though it may be.

    More importantly, I was daydreaming about my daguerrotype girlfriend and then I woke up, checked at the Library of Congress, and got over it. Loads of daguerrotype dudes, not so many ladies.

  21. Procrastinating Grad Student on 09 Dec 2011 at 1:07 pm #


  22. Comrade PhysioProf on 09 Dec 2011 at 6:00 pm #

    I kinda look like that d00d in the second picture in the sense of being kinda scruffy-faced and mopey and wearing scruffy clothes.

  23. hysperia on 09 Dec 2011 at 8:12 pm #

    I’m not even heterosexual but I saw Ryan in “Crazy, Stupid, Love” (which was half funny btw) and even I thought he was … ummm … hot. There is that mope-ness too.

  24. Geoff on 09 Dec 2011 at 10:25 pm #

    @ PGS: thanks for the link, hilarious!

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