Fragile Masculinity Under Attack! Part II

Back from Thanksgiving vacation. I had enough time driving back to think of things that piss me off. This is what I came up with.

I’m  always skeptical of someone that declares themselves to be something rather subjective. I worked with a guy that claimed to be a genius…I mean, with a straight face, he said to me “I’m a genius”. Now there are certain “objective” ways to declare yourself as something. If you want to say you’re a “genius”, the best objective way to do so would be to say something like “I have a 190 IQ” and/or “I’m a member of Mensa”. If true, those would be irrefutable facts and, I suppose, by definition you would be a “genius”.  Otherwise, most people would think you’re just a stupid asshole.

And speaking of assholes, have you ever listened to the Jason Stapleton podcast? I once listened to him regularly but one thing that drove me crazy was his insistence that he was an “alpha male”. It made him sound more delusional than cool, which was the complete opposite intention. It’s been awhile since I’ve listened in, so maybe he stopped doing that. But Jason is hardcore libertarian and one of those white guys that came from nothing, now has something, and believes everyone owes him something. Very similar to Adam Carolla. You know, just because you make millions of dollars talking about the stock market and libertarianism…apparently that makes one important. But Jason and Adam, you guys don’t serve important functions in society so I really don’t feel sorry for you because you have to pay millions in taxes. But I digress. Jason wants you to believe he’s an alpha male. He tells us all the time. But is declaring ones self to be “alpha” an action that a genuine “alpha male” takes?

Now I’ll admit, Jason is probably more alpha than I am, but that’s a low bar to hurdle. He’s successful, according to him he’s good-looking…he seems to hold a degree of objective criteria to be classified as an “alpha male”. But again, how masculine can you be if you have to keep reminding people how masculine you are?

And that’s always been the weird thing about the anti-feminist factions…feminism is a perceived as a direct attack on “alpha male-ism”. Which in some forms, it could be! But in response to this attack, instead of upholding traditional “masculine” characteristics like self-confidence in ones’ manhood, masculinity becomes overemphasized to the point where it becomes questionable. Why would a woman’s rise in power be perceived as a threat to male power? And it’s here where the “alpha male” movement starts looking paper thin. Instead of maintaining confidence and acceptance, maleness becomes overemphasized….or in other words, men overcompensate. And it looks desperate.

Not to confuse all the Right-leaning movements out there, just because something is “libertarian” doesn’t make it “alt-right” and so on, but I’ve mentioned before that many on the Right (particularly the alt-right) want a return to paternalism sans the responsibilities that were once included with it. Others have noticed the same. They’d rather sit at home and whine about how they deserve a girlfriend because through some perverse yet unrecognized sense they’ve somehow earned it! And many have flocked to Trumpism because it stokes the fires that rages from within because it takes on an exaggerated form of masculinity as a counter-attack against increasing female power in culture. It has permitted men, or emboldened them, to bring out the worst in themselves by promoting bigotry and sexism all because they can’t get laid or feel that their masculinity is threatened.

But what Stapleton and others do to annoy me is their over insistence on the things that are stereotypically “masculine” (at least if you’re a white male)…big trucks, guns, hitting the weights, and doing everything you can to not look like a pussy. Maybe my own masculinity is threatened when I see those things. Clearly I’m not a manly man. I like sports but that’s the only thing I can talk with other “men” about. I don’t give a fuck about cars, I don’t know how to fix things, I don’t like gyms, and I’d rather watch anything with Ryan Gosling over something Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was in. Mind you, maybe I do tend to do things to overcompensate…I do own a big truck that I don’t need (I only own it because I don’t want to worry about upkeep) and you can say that I like to live vicariously through James Bond when I watch those films. Fair enough. (Perhaps I’ll defend my obsession with James Bond as being a genuine artistic critique, rather than a masculine obsession, in a later post). BUT…but….in general I don’t believe that masculinity is something to be “flexed”, if you will.

While I’m absolutely a flawed person, I am who I am. The only person that I’m trying to impress is, well….ME. Seeking to become an “alpha male” by declaring yourself an alpha male is not very alpha male-like. In fact, I’d argue, just being aware of the concept throws into question of what your status might be. If you ever had to ask yourself “am I an alpha male?”, the question has effectively been answered. REAL men don’t concern themselves with such nonsense. Think James Bond has ever wondered that? Therefore, this completely disqualifies me from being an alpha. If you’re reading this post…you are not an alpha. If the TITLE of this post pops up in your feed…you are not an alpha. Alphas don’t concern themselves with such shit. They’re so cool, they’ve probably never heard of the Internet. They’re so comfortable with themselves, it never occurs to them to question their manhood.

To quote the great Commander William Riker “don’t try to be a great man, just be a man and let history make its own judgements”. Because REAL men, in addition to quoting Star Trek, don’t need to prove themselves. So put down your copy of “Gorilla Mindset” (Which you can listen to above, if you can stomach it) and just be a man for fuck’s sake.

The Truth About Cats and Dogs

Cats get a bad rap.

Not that they aren’t cherished. They’re probably more celebrated today than they ever were in Ancient Egypt. But there’s been (a really stupid) battle between owners of dogs and cats over the years about the superiority of their animal.

And I must say, dog owners have been owning this fight…especially with recent evidence supporting dogs “loving their owners” far more than cats. (Apparently there’s some chemical release in the blood when the emotion of love is felt, and dogs have an abundance of it when around owners. Or some shit like that.) There’s most certainly problems with that evidence, and I could probably put together a Searle-Ian “Chinese Room”-like argument to challenge it….by saying something like “output we receive from the machine (or the dog) might be perceived as genuine love, but where in the machine (or the dog’s mind) is there actual love? The animal (or machine…or Chinese Room) is simply following a set of procedures to produce a desired response from the owner, which the owner perceives as love therefore reciprocating the feeling but nowhere in the animal is there “actual feeling of love”, just like the man in the Chinese Room doesn’t actually understand Chinese”….or something like that. ANYWAYS. We could probably use that as an argument against “love” in general, but with dog’s over-the-top response to their owners, it’s probably safe to assume they actually have genuine feelings for humans.

Meanwhile, cats with their apprehensive nature, are perceived as being deceptive and secretly trying to kill their owners. They don’t love their owners and use their cuteness to get food and warmth. Their “love” is not genuine. Additionally, because they’re generally smaller, furrier, and fragile, people use “feminine” as a pejorative to describe cats…they’re nowhere near as cool as dogs, completely ignoring the excessive neediness of canines. Cats therefore get an undeserved bad reputation while ignoring how deceptively badass they are.

In fact, I’d say that the felidae family of species is the most badass on the planet.

I should probably mention that I grew up with both dogs and cats, so I have a love of both. But hatred for cats is far more prevalent than hatred of dogs. While owners of cats, especially a large number of them, are thought of as being cooky and otherwise strange…owners of dogs don’t have the same sort of stigma. I should point out that MOST people that own these animals do so because “that’s just the thing to do”…but “dog people” don’t get called out for their bullshit, at least not on the order that “cat people” do.

What I find most disturbing about the exclusively dog people is the borderline psychotic need for discipline from their animal. Assholes like the so-called “dog whisperer” popularized the idea that the owner must demonstrate “alpha male” tendencies to their pet if they are achieve any sort of discipline. “Don’t let your dog walk in front of you when walking them “, “Don’t walk around your dog, make your dog move!”, “Send your dog to a training school”, etc, etc. Do you have any idea how crazy that sounds? Why have an obsession with having a “well-discipline dog”? Do you own a pet for companionship or to fulfill your overbearing desire for control? And few people seem to bat an eye when “dog people” do this shit. To me, that’s just sociopathic behavior. If people did that to their kids, I’d just think they’re an asshole.

You can counter by saying “it’s for the good of the dog because it allows them to understand you.” Fine. They might “respect” you for being the “alpha”, but how is it for their benefit? Which dog do you think is happier…the one hopping around, wagging their tail, and licking (and possibly annoying) everyone? Or the dog that’s well behaved and only does things on command and therefore doesn’t bother and lives in fear of their owner? Face it, if if this is how you treat you animals or kids, you need to go see a therapist.

But this is why some “dog people” don’t like cats…they don’t bend to our will as easily. If you piss off or scare a cat, you’re gonna have to do a lot more to regain its trust. While the evolution of the domestic cat hasn’t been untouched by humans, domestic dogs meanwhile are totally a human perversion of wolves. Behavior that we found acceptable prevailed and characteristics we didn’t like died out. Thus we get the modern dog. Cats have grown accustomed to us, but dogs have totally evolved to be of service to humans. Unlike most people, I don’t take awe in human achievement. In fact, I think most things we touch turn to shit. While I love dogs and don’t think they’re “shit”…cats on the other hand are objectively FAR more badass and you have to EARN a relationship with them. If you treat them like shit, they’ll say “fuck this” and do everything they can to avoid you.

Dogs, on the other hand, will love you unconditionally…even if you treat them like shit. A dog’s love is given.

There has to be something in it for the cat. You’ve got to respect them and let them live their lives the way they want to. For a cat…their love is EARNED. And which love is more rewarding? The kind that’s programmed into the animal to depend on you? Or the kind that’s deserved because not only do you provide for it, but you also show it respect? A relationship with a cat must be mutually beneficial.

Owning a pet simply to emotionally and physically dominate it is not “mutually beneficial”. And it’s far easier to dominate a dog in this way than a cat because THEY DON’T PUT UP WITH THAT SHIT. Try yelling a cat and see how far that’ll get you. Cats have far more respect for themselves because their existence is not dependent on US.

So c’mon, let’s give cats some fucking respect.

Watching WAY too much “Fast and the Furious”

Everywhere I work, everywhere I go…the same bizarrely specific person appears.

I can’t escape them.

As I mentioned before, I live in a red state. But I imagine that this type of GUY can be found anywhere. But the shape he takes down south is this: A huge TOOL fan (along with a number of other aggressively mediocre metal bands that appeared in the late 90s and the 2000s), thinks of himself as a mechanic but has to reluctantly accept his current job (and despite being a “mechanic”, he has a shitty car), grew up unknowingly white trash, believes himself to be a “genius”, and hates life and blames everyone but himself for his shitty predicament.

Oh, and he has facial jewelry of sorts. AND, perhaps worst of all….he has an overbearing sense of cynicism.

I first became aware of this type of guy when I was in the Army. That pretty much describes every other white guy in the military. Of course, I was young then. The Army is full of faux-alpha male types, so I didn’t realize that these people were just self-loathing buffoons.

Then I briefly dated a “goth” girl. I was 19 and she was 25. She had all kinds of male friends (that she was probably fucking). Now I wouldn’t classify the guys I’m discussing as “goth”, but they certainly run in the same crowd. And this provided me with a brief peek behind the curtain.

All of these guys were in their late 20s or 30s, so I didn’t realize how pathetic their lives were. But they had the strangest conversations. I don’t even know if we could call them conversations as they were really just talking at each other. There was no sense of emotional reciprocation. Not that they didn’t have emotions. They just didn’t KNOW that they had emotions. But the topics of conversations were all the same: cars, buying parts for cars, motorcycles.

And they smoked. A LOT.

However, on occasion something strange would happen. They’d break from their usual topics and mention an absolutely horrible story. Usually something traumatic that happened to them. And these stories are nearly impossible to believe. Yet they always ended the same way: they felt nothing.

What the hell? Why would someone tell a horrible (and unbelievable) story only to say that they didn’t feel anything afterwords? Is it a cry for help? Is it an attempt to create an emotional connection? What’s the point?

And that’s where I discovered another trait: an obsession with the “dark” aspects of life that supposedly have no effect on them. It’s self-loathing masquerading as cool, that THEY believe makes them look tough on the exterior.

I hate Nirvana. The band, not the religious philosophy. It’s sad that Kurt Cobain killed himself. I wouldn’t wish that fate on anyone. But he was this symbol of a movement towards making sad and horrible things cool, yet being in complete denial of one’s own feelings of the sad and horrible things. Nirvana, for me, symbolizes this wallowing in self-pity. It’s not cool. It’s just shitty music.

Thankfully the relationship with the “goth” girl didn’t last long. There’s only so much of that shit one can take. But it left me with an awareness of this brand of unaware and deceptively smug jackass.

And they were everywhere. It’s understandable that teenagers would be that way. But grown ass men?

You’re probably wondering “what’s your point?” Or “who gives a shit?”

But it is becoming bothersome. Why do I keep running into these assholes? Do they actually EXIST? Or am I projecting that image onto them?

If it’s the last question, then I have a major problem. Obviously. Why would I project that onto them, and why the hell do I despise the shit out of them?

I wonder what people think when they see me. I wonder what it’s like to have a conversation with me. Do I come across as being cynical? Do my stories sound like absolute bullshit? ARE my stories bullshit?!

Unfortunately I cannot know what it’s like to have a conversation with me. I’d like to think that I’m an engaging, charming, and handsome character that people trip over themselves to meet. But what if that wasn’t true? And what if I KNOW that that’s not true, and somehow I’m trying to bury the fact that I AM a cynical piece of shit that people hate?

So perhaps those guys aren’t the problem….I’M the problem and I just see too much of myself in those douchebags. And that’s why I keep running into these mother fuckers everywhere I go.

So it’s ME that’s engaging in self-pity!

Son of a bitch!

But the ultimate question I want to ask is: what are these guys called? Is there a name for them but I’m too much of a homebody nerd to know what the cool kids are saying? If there isn’t, can I give them one?

They’re not alt-right. In fact, I don’t think they have an understanding of politics at all. Plus, these guys do get laid, so that definitely wouldn’t fit the alt-right definition.

But I’ve got nothing. Someone help me out.

Anyways, I get the feeling that these guys watch WAY too much Fast and the Furious. So that’s why I posted a Fast and the Furious video. Peace!