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The letters have been pouring in, and most of you agreed with Sheerly Avni's rant about Ben Affleck being unworthy of People magazine's moniker "Sexiest Man Alive."
Some of you had your own nominations. Honorable mentions included baldy bad boy Vin Diesel, perennially popular Johnny Depp and Brad Pitt, indie fave Clive Owen, "24" stress babe Kiefer Sutherland, swarthy worthies Benicio Del Toro and George Clooney, and classics Denzel Washington and (Ben's pal) Matt Damon. But the runaway winner, by many, many votes, was Russell Crowe.
This got us thinking that perhaps we should formalize this process a bit. After all, you were reacting to a reaction to a People magazine choice.
In this time of perhaps-impending war, recession and bad weather -- not to mention holiday shopping and dinners with relatives -- we thought we'd offer you something more interesting to ponder. Tell us who you think the sexiest man alive really is -- and why. We'll tabulate the results, print the best letters and then we'll tell you who Salon thinks it is. Send your e-mail letters to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please put "sexiest man" in the subject line.
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Ben Affleck debunked. Thank you, Salon. Once again you have earned the price of my subscription. But forget Vin Diesel; the sexiest man in film was Tcheky Karyo in "Saving Grace."
-- Patricia Schwarz
I used to like Affleck until he screamed bloody murder at folks who voted for Nader, while he failed to vote at all. After that, I realized that not only was the Affleck duck sexier, but he was a better actor as well. Shame that out of the "dynamic duo," the more talented and much sexier Mr. Damon is shunned for Buff Daddy.
-- Julianne Motley
I would absolutely have to agree with Sheerly Avni's opinion of Ben Affleck's sexiness. I would prefer the man in Salon's featured personal to sweep me away. He looked much sexier than Ben in a side-by-side comparison.
-- Tanya Stepasiuk
Hurray to Sheerly Avni. I agree with her completely. Ben Affleck parts his hair a little differently and he's instantly unrecognizable to me. (I once watched him in an interview where I didn't even realize it was him until it was over; he was that unrecognizable and that bland.)
And Ms. Lopez saying that the difference between her and People magazine is that she will find him sexy even in 100 years made me laugh for an hour straight. They're both the sluts of Hollywood, pairing up with whomever they happen to be co-starring with at the moment. Jennifer Lopez cheapens marriage as an institution and we need to stop making her into a "blushing bride," giving her the attention she so obviously craves. Time for the media to move on to something else!
-- Stevie Shea
Wait until J.Lo figures out that Ben is actually Adam Sandler. Notice you never see them in the same place?
I wish I could blow up Ms. Avni's article and put it next to every movie poster, every magazine cover, every billboard covered with his face. We need a guerrilla campaign exposing this Big Lie, or whatever to call the campaign to convince Americans that Ben Affleck is a leading man. He has as much appeal as any of the guys on my old high school swim team -- and I'm not talking about the hot ones. That's what drives me crazy about Affleck. I went to an average suburban school, and I can remember at least 10 guys there that were hotter, or more charismatic than he is -- yet this guy is supposed to carry a movie? He is somehow supposed to compare to movie stars of old, or even George Clooney of today? Like comparing a Little Leaguer to the Marlboro Man.
Thanks for letting me rant. I'm sure Ben is a great guy. But People did him a real disservice with the oversell.
-- Eleanor Stacy Aab
THANK YOU THANK YOU! He is so not sexy. I've never thought so and I can't understand what this obsession with him is. It's like raving about saltines. They can be good, but there's nothing special about them. THANKS!
-- Andrea Starrett
Ben Affleck as the Sexiest Man Alive made me wet -- and not for the appropriate reason. Indeed, I was wet because I pissed my pants at Sheerly Avni's astute rant against the chipper boy next door. I'll have you know, during "Pearl Harbor," he generated more heat with Josh Hartnett than with Kate Beckinsale -- enough so that finally, in a jammed theater, I had to shout, "Kiss him!" whenever those two brooded in the same frame. Thanks for picking up on it, too, Sheerly.
-- Jen Cowan
Right on, Sheerly Avni! Ben is OK, but that's it. He's as bland as vanilla pudding. Thanks for including Russell Crowe in your own list of just a few obvious better choices. MY vote now and always HAS been for Russell. Yes, he certainly can Behave Badly now and then (!), but that has nothing to do with Russell's phenomenal appeal and truly ANIMAL magnetism. (That uptight 21-year-old in the Japanese restaurant has a lot to learn.) Russell's looks, voice, towering talent and high intelligence certainly add to the whole package, too. And maybe the fact that he's very much his own man and there's no one else like him? Yes! Russell rules!!
-- Pat Kingston
That's weak. Really weak. C'mon, the guy has only made the big time because of Kevin Smith and "Chasing Amy." Granted, he may not be Brando or Pacino (in terms of acting), but the guy has it together. Perhaps he's not the sexiest guy alive, but he certainly doesn't deserve the relentless dogging you gave him. Lighten up, for Christ's sake.
Russell Crowe, Russell Crowe, Russell Crowe, Russell Crowe, Russell Crowe, Russell Crowe, Russell Crowe, Russell Crowe, Russell Crowe, Russell Crowe, Russell Crowe, Russell Crowe, Russell Crowe, Russell Crowe is the sexiest man in the world!
-- J. Rossi
In "Ben Affleck sexy?" Sheerly Avni informs us that "If Ben Affleck is sexy, then the terrorists have won." That's the best line I've seen in print anywhere this year. God bless Sheerly Avni, God bless America, and to hell with Ben Affleck.
-- Bose Fugland
I was with you the whole way through until I read "If Ben Affleck is sexy, then the terrorists have won." If Sheerly Avni is too lazy or poor a writer to come up with a sharp ending without beating the old 9/11 drum you should can her. This is the kind of crap that makes it hard to take Salon.com seriously, or even enjoy what I read on the site.
-- Matt Wirz
I have to agree with Sheerly Avni that Ben Affleck is not my idea of sexy (and by the way, when he visited our town, the local folks were not impressed with his behavior), but I'm really writing to object to the pejorative remarks made about "small teeth." As the proud owner of small teeth, I say: Who wants to go around with big old horse teeth?
-- A. A. Lloyd
I feel the exact same way. Vin, Hugh Jackman, Colin Farrell, Benicio, Denzel -- these are sexy men. Affleck is a whitebread sandwich without meat or mayo. He's just tired, and as quiet as it's kept, J.Lo's just as flavorless. Thanks for the article. It sums up exactly what my friends and I have said.
-- Mia L.