09/23/2013 10:56 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Tropic of Marvin


Oedipus killed his father and married his mother. The myth was adapted by Freud because it made practical sense. It's really Darwinian when you come to think of it. The father must symbolically and literally be removed from power in order to make way for the son. In the case of Marvin Gaye, you had the Oedipus complex in reverse. Gaye was murdered by his own father, Marvin Sr. Many parents discountenance the idea that they might be competitive with their own children. It's an unpleasant thought. Marvin Jr. was in fact killed with a .38 Smith & Wesson he'd given to his father--a fact that makes for an even more dizzying variation on the theme of oedipal rivalry. But it's easy to see why any male would have felt competitive with a son like Marvin Gaye. He was the sexiest man dead or alive, sexier than Dumas peer or Hugo (who were famed womanizers), sexier than Wilt Chamberlain (who in his A View From Above claimed he had slept with over 20,000 women), sexier than JFK, Jack Nicholson, De Niro, Pacino or Tom Cruise, and certainly sexier than current idols like Justin Timberlake, JZ, Ben Affleck or Brad Pitt. Take a look at the video of Sexual Healing. Can anything be sexier than this? Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer is one of the sexiest books of all time, but Miller's words are no match for Marvin's moves.

{This was originally posted to The Screaming Pope, Francis Levy's blog of rants and reactions to contemporary politics, culture and art}