"o The James Dean Parameters - Robert Brady - Eclectica Magazine v2n4
June/July 1998

The James Dean Parameters

by Robert Brady

We're all more or less aware of the parade of James Dean look-alikes that Hollywood has trotted out over the years since James Dean finally gave us all a precise idea of what a James Dean look-alike should look like. But how many of us are aware of the privilege we enjoy in this regard? It wasn't always this way. People in 1912, to pinpoint just one example, hadn't the slightest idea what a James Dean look-alike should look like, since James Dean hadn't been born yet, so there was no one to resemble, a palpable deficiency that stretched from the mid-1950's all the way back to the beginning of the human race! But even though nobody knows for sure who was the very first guy to look like James Dean, it's certain there were quite a number of pre-James Dean James Dean look-alikes, before the person we now know and accept as exemplifying authentic James Deanicity came along and established once and for all what all subsequent James Dean look-alikes would have to look like. As for the Deanless millennia, although via the movies we can't look very far back, historical detective work has led James Dean look-alike experts to conclude that the earliest verifiable example of a pre-James Dean James Dean look-alike lived in northern Russia early in the seventh century A. D., but of course that individual was quite a bit ahead of his time, as were the many previous, and subsequent, pre-James Dean James Dean look-alikes all the way through history, until James Dean came along and at last gave them all somebody to look like. Even so, people reportedly used to stop this Russian on the street and say: "Excuse me; aren't you..." but then they'd fall silent, of course, not yet knowing who the guy looked amazingly like. Other aspects of this phenomenon can be seen in our own day, for example in the number of infants who look exactly like James Dean looked as an infant. But people who impulsively stop the mothers of such infants on the street can only say that the infant is certainly going to… look like somebody someday; because actually there is no such thing as an infant James Dean look-alike, since according to James Dean look-alike regulations, an infant who resembles James Dean as an infant cannot be a genuine James Dean look-alike, even if the infant happened to be James Dean himself! Because as we are all now privileged to know, a genuine James Dean look-alike can only look like what James Dean himself looked like when he looked exactly like what everybody knows James Dean looked like! Incidentally, it is also of interest to note that the James Dean we know is the only person who ever looked exactly like James Dean who wasn't a James Dean look-alike, and didn't have to put up with people stopping him on the street and telling him who he looked amazingly like, because there was no difference whatsoever between himself and James Dean! Another little surprise in all this is that, according to the now fully established and globally recognized James Dean Parameters, for most of his life, through infancy, childhood and adolescence, James Dean himself didn't look like James Dean. And because James Dean departed this earthly plane so soon after setting the Parameters, no one knows what a middle-aged or elderly James Dean look-alike looks like, which means that at this very moment there are any number of guys out there who in fact look amazingly like what all the 45- to 85-year-old James Deans would have looked like, but nobody has the slightest idea who these guys look like. For the many millions of James Dean look-alike fans, this is an extremely unsettling thought.

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