Archive for March, 2017

The Twilight of the Age of Aquarius… V

Sunday, March 26th, 2017

A gentleman at work, from Pakistan, was bewildered by the events reported from “Day Without a Woman.” Taking a broader view of the protests leading up to it, and likely sputtering along afterward, he asked in a jocular sort of way if the United States is heading toward a new reality in which every single day is a “day of” something, with constant protesting by someone or another. Now I have to wonder, what am I supposed to say to that? Joking or not, he isn’t wrong…

Shrug it off, I guess. “Yep, it does seem like we’re headed in that direction.” And, it does. This leads off into a rather titillating train of thought. What makes it so?

My answer: It has to do with the much-talked-about, but oh so little-practiced, conflict resolution skills. In my time on earth I’ve read and heard much advice about this, most of it unsolicited. What I’ve learned in all that time boils down to just three basic things:

1. Pissing people off on purpose doesn’t resolve conflict. Neither does ridiculing them, mocking them, marginalizing them, condescending to them…
2. Putting people on notice that it is exceptionally quick & easy to get you pissed off & bent out of shape, also doesn’t resolve conflict. Neither does that time-honored tactic I have taken to call, “I surely must be the best-informed among the two of us in this exchange, for behold, see how incredibly hard it is to tell me anything.”
3. The above two items, against my reasonable expectations, are somehow privileged knowledge. We have a metric fuck-ton of people walking around among us, who can dress themselves, drive cars, hold jobs, etc….but demonstrate zero knowledge about them.

Ah, but this is dishonest, isn’t it. The true source of the problem is not ignorance, but apathy. The original ballad of the Age of Aquarius sang of:

Hippie ChickHarmony and understanding
Sympathy and trust abounding
No more falsehoods or derisions
Golden living dreams of visions…
peace will guide the planets
And love will steer the stars…

What a steaming load! This age that is coming to an end now, I hope, has been marked by — protests. Front to back, stem to stern, lock stock & barrel. Protest after protest after protest, and that’s a euphemism. Show me something your local teevee news is calling a “protest,” a five-spot says I can show you a riot. A ten-spot, if they call it a “peaceful protest.”

What better example to offer than the Day Without A Woman referenced above?

On March 8, 2017, women in the United States will be presented with an opportunity. A worldwide strike has been called…They will not cook breakfast, lunch, or dinner. They will not clean, watch children, buy groceries, drive carpool, fold clothes, wash dishes, or have sex…They will not work the assembly line or the phones, take your order or ring you up. They will skip shifts at hospitals, universities, and labs. They will not send emails or schedule appointments, braid hair, paint fingernails, or wax groins. They will wear red, march in the streets, block bridges and roads
Strikes are by nature about value. To withdraw your participation in work, even for a day, is to ask others to consider the value of that work. How long can they go without it? When they lose a day of your labor, what do they lose? [emphasis mine]

It’s embarrassing just to read it. I’m guessing it was thought important to have someone on-hand to check spelling and grammar, but no one thought about sanity. Women are to withdraw their services and the rest of us are to think about how miserable we are without them and how badly we want them back again — while we sit in traffic, with a bunch of women on the bridge just ahead of us, blocking it. Should I even burn off the time & space explaining the contradiction? It seems obvious. You don’t get to make your salient point with a grand exit, charging out of the room and slamming the door behind you, leaving your abandoned audience to sit in quiet contemplation of the misery that awaits them without you — and then barge back in to throw plates & glassware against the wall. Everyone gets only one grand exit.

Still unclear? Imagine yourself sitting on the edge of a bed threading a needle, or making a sandwich, or soldering an old-fashioned circuit board, or building a Jenga tower. As you repeatedly fail with this maneuver or that one, do you start to yearn wistfully for the complementary services of the four-year-old sugared-up little shit who’s jumping up and down on the bed? Or are you more likely restraining yourself from defenestrating the little bastard? “Day without a hyperactive idiot jumping on the bed knocking over my Jenga tower” comes off looking like an appealing invitation, not a threat.

But, why should I worry about how women look blocking a bridge in front of me, stupidly expecting me to sit in quiet contemplation of my lonely life without their sexual favors. The protest is in the past. What’s not in the past is: Somewhere, they’ve got them some event-planners who are stupid, insane, or both. Most likely, these ogres are alarmingly tin-eared and self-centered. They couldn’t see the problem coming. And they’re still running things, at least, within their own sorry movements.

That’s the next thing I want to see die. We’ve survived the worst of this sorry, misbegotten Age of Aquarius, but it’s not over yet. There are still some ambient rays at twilight. There is much to fix.

These riots we see at the twilight, aren’t too different from what we saw at the dawning. These are people who want things, should be able to present a rational argument about how the common benefit of all is inextricably linked to the fulfillment of these wishes. But since they’re blocking bridges, the link either isn’t there, or they lack the intellectual capacity to present such an argument. (The cognitive dissonance required to perceive a benefit to interfering with traffic, on a day where you’re supposed to show how utterly and completely society relies on your continuing presence to continue functioning, would tend to suggest the latter of those two but it could be both.) So now…as they did back in the 1960’s when it started…they “protest” as a substitute for the presentation of this rational argument. They express their wishes, and if that doesn’t yield instant satisfaction, they lather rinse & repeat. Express the same wishes more emphatically. They are a repairman failing to achieve the desired effect of the repair, and having only one tool available to proceed with any further repairs.

Summarizing: They blocked traffic because withdrawing wasn’t enough. We can get along without cranky, nagging, unpleasant and unskilled liberal women just fine. And they knew it.

What they were trying to do, was not to do at all, but to be. It’s too late for strikes. We don’t live in an age wherein some demographic or some industry withdraws its services, and at the end of a day or two the rest of us are starving, dehydrated, sick, naked, or up to our armpits in garbage and ready to capitulate. That ship has sailed. There are really only two services people demand on a moment-to-moment basis, and those are electrical power and wireless Internet. All the rest involve some sort of reserve, which won’t be depleted until we’ve managed to find a scapegoat. “No bread or toilet paper at my local grocery store! Must be Republicans!” For all practical purposes, that means the reserves last forever, because the strike isn’t going to work if we find a believable scapegoat…and we, as a society, excel at doing that. Right or wrong, this perception is going to take all the horsepower out of the strike. Strikes are bullshit in the 21st century. You haven’t seen them achieve anything in many decades, and there’s a reason for that. They aren’t effective.

They hold an allure for the people who organize them and participate in them. All of their value is tied up in this; they are a medium of self-gratification.

The organizers, as I said, aren’t doing anything and aren’t trying to do anything. They’re trying to be. What they’re trying to be, is your Crazy Auntie Mabel…an idiom we have used occasionally around these parts

“Crazy Auntie Mabel” is an alcoholic who’s prone to temper tantrums, cannot take responsibility for her own impulse control, so everybody else has to do it for her…walk on eggshells, don’t say the wrong thing. And above all, make sure and call each other out for saying something to tick off Mabel! “Whaddya think you’re doing??”

Such a silly narrative!! And yet…it seems everyone with some working gray matter and a little bit of experience on this globe, can relate. Everyone who has an extended family, has one of these. Here & there, now & then, someone who’s said something relatively — no pun intended — innocuous, has to explain themselves. A.M. just busted my Gibson guitar and gutted my cat, WHAT DID YOU SAY TO HER?? She has outbursts, and those end up being everybody else’s problem. And responsibility.

I spoke earlier of conflict resolution, and how sometimes those who have the loudest opinions about it know the least of it. Or, are the least motivated to demonstrate that they do know anything. Where there’s an Auntie Mabel, there is a dysfunctional grouping enabling her. If she were not enabled, she wouldn’t last. So Mabel creates the dysfunctional family, or the dysfunctional family creates Mabel. It really doesn’t matter which one it is. But she starts out as a mere irritant…doesn’t remain one for very long. Those who surround her, fear the conflict more than she does. They may think they have the coveted ‘conflict resolution skills,” but these often amount to little or nothing more than figuring what Auntie Mabel wants, and giving it to her. Once that’s done, the message is relayed to the crazy old Auntie that, for whatever other tools she’s lacking to get what she wants, she can always cause conflict. And that will usually work.

So she uses this — there are no other tools available. And she gets what she wants — everyone else fears conflict, she doesn’t. Why should she?

And she gets what she wants.

Other people see her getting what she wants. She evolves into a sort of weird authority figure. And then…a role model. Now you’ve got a real problem.

This is where we are with the protests in Anno Domini Twenty Seventeen. Trump won the election. Nothing else has worked for the malcontents. They are protesting, rioting, call it whatever you want to call it, because nothing else has worked for them. So if they throw a few plates against the wall, maybe some among us will cave in and give them what they want.

If it works, it works. If it doesn’t work, there’s one thing left to do, and that’s to break more plates. And so we find ourselves arguing about more things. Your “real” Auntie Mabel will bring up that time you did, or said, such-and-such a thing…and you’ll be like “Huhwha?? I haven’t thought about that in seventeen years, WTF?” On the national stage, similarly, we find ourselves arguing about…well, you name it. Russians. Grabbing pussies. Wiretapping. Global warming. Big Bird. Hiring hookers to pee on the bed. Small hands. Big hair.

This didn’t happen overnight. It’s something that’s been developing throughout the decades…and, not that many decades. Go back a few generations, and this was not a thing. Reasoned debate was reasoned debate. It might have had a few silly things sprinkled in now & then, but you didn’t have huffiness for its own sake. If people behaved like spoiled brats, they at least had the decency to expect to be treated that way. Today, unfortunately, we have become slowly accustomed to a departure from that.

In the late 1990s I was reading Anatomy of the Spirit, a then recent bestseller by Caroline Myss.

Myss described having lunch with a woman named Mary. A man approached Mary and asked her if she were free to do a favor for him on June 8th. No, Mary replied, I absolutely cannot do anything on June 8th because June 8th is my incest survivors’ meeting and we never let each other down! They have suffered so much already! I would never betray incest survivors!

Myss was flabbergasted. Mary could have simply said “Yes” or “No.”

What might help us to bring about the final extinction of this Age of Aquarius, is to figure out what makes Crazy Old Auntie Mabel tick. She’s really just a geriatric child, who’s reached the edge of her grave site without having acquired the minimal maturity needed to resolve conflicts in any mutually satisfactory way, either by leading in a reconciliation effort or by merely participating in one. She’s like the little kid who never learned to play a board game. Hasn’t got the patience. “Wait your turn” is a complete non-starter, let alone, “Yes he gets to advance to Go and collect $200, even though he was clear back on Reading R.R.” Such things are constantly up for appeal, because paroxysms of outrage are her stock in trade, her communication device.

TriggeredThis leads, over time, to the creation of a world-view the rest of us would do well to inspect. It is a fascinating construct a more stable mind could never create deliberately, at least, not so nimbly. It’s a snow-globe, a fish-tank of sorts, with nothing outside it. So busy is Auntie Mabel with reacting to whatever is inside the perimeter, she knows of nothing on the outside. Hasn’t got the time. And this effect is enhanced by her inventory of tools at her command that she can use to express her disfavor, which is ever-expanding in assortment even though each tool in the set adheres to a common theme. But the most frequently deployed is the Expunge Tool, the Begone-With-You tool, the “stop paying attention at you” tool. She’s responsible for hermetically sealing her own environment. What exists over the horizon, out of sight, might as well not exist at all. It’s not all a politically-left thing. Auntie-Mabels who become politically active out of a concern that we’re losing our “sense of community,” are particularly vulnerable to this.

This is what the protesters are doing with their “day without” stuff. Screw you guys, we’re going home…of course, then they have to disrupt traffic, so that isn’t where they were going…

This is both an effect, and a (sustaining) cause, of the “not responsible for my behavior” thing. Mabel imagines that she, like all the rest of us, maintains a reputation formed by the perception of others of her actions, good & bad. But like the sculptor making a horse by chiseling away all parts of a block that don’t look like one, she hones this reputation by getting rid of anybody who doesn’t form the correct opinion. They go out to the cornfield. Thus, she is, and simultaneously is not, responsible for what she does.

Auntie Mabel’s understanding of money is particularly bizarre. There’s a tendency for her to take on parasitic traits, since it’s hard to be productive when you’ve never really learned how to deal with other people with their different opinions and different priorities. If you do know an Auntie Mabel, and you probably do, better-than-even odds she’s being materially supported in some way by someone else. Money, to her, is like gas in the tank, with someone else responsible for filling: You’re just about out of it, which is a pain in the ass; you might be running out of it soon, in which case maybe it’s time to show a little bit of foresight and start worrying about it early — maybe. Or, you’re not going to run out of it anytime soon. One of those three things, all the time. But there are never more than thirteen gallons or so. The cash card is never going to reach zero, the credit card has no limit, so from where does the money come? Who knows, who cares. The needle approaching “E” is just another crisis that can be used to stoke some emotion and create some conflict, there’s no cause, no effect, no planning necessary. She may find out, now & then, about other people who have more. It’s nothing more than an occasion to create more conflict. There is no means on earth by which those other people might have acquired the money honestly, of course, so they must be crooks.

The utterly irreconcilable contradiction that is at the core of her being, the defining trait that makes her what she is, is that she lives to “win” arguments — nothing else really motivates her — but she cannot stoop so low as to do any actual arguing. Just wants to skip forward to the fun part, where she says what other people have to do, and those other people go do it. You often see her peddling such non-argument arguments as “Who are you to say,” and “I refuse to discuss.” And yet she thrives on conflict for conflict’s sake. If you really want to set her off toot-sweet, just start inspecting any one of a number of things people inspect when they argue honestly, when they don’t think the details of what makes life go, are somehow beneath them. A little bit of “Yes but if it worked that way, we might expect to see X…” Or maybe some of “Yes but by that logic, whenever A we would have to conclude B.” Or: What’s the epistemology? How come it is you think you know, what you think you know?

Kaboom! Triggered!

We have that word now, because we’re all Auntie Mabel. The current generation has discovered, en masse, that in some settings there are a lot of advantages involved in being Auntie Mabel, and not too many readily noticeable downsides. Our institutions of higher learning might not like to admit it, in fact expend boundless reserves of energy to assert the opposite, but they do much to encourage life in a hermetically sealed snow-globe. And, “winning” arguments without doing any actual arguing? What’s not to like? Well…familiarity breeds contempt, and even in chic, happening places like Urban Dictionary one quickly discovers the love of sarcasm exceeds the fondness for generic lefty hipster nonsense. You see this with the top voted definition calling it “The mating call of a landwhale as it submerges from the patriarchy.” The sarcasm continues to ooze for a bit…until you get to Page 2; the first post of which puts together the siren song of Crazy Auntie Mabel far better than I ever could.

Okay, kiddos. Enough of this ‘landwhale’ bullshit. I’m about to tell you what REAL triggering is.

To be ‘triggered’ is NOT to be offended by something. It’s actually quite different from that. To be triggered is to have a certain stimulus, be it a word, a place, a person etc, set off (or trigger) a memory linking back to a traumatic point in your life (i.e. rape, a local terrorist attack, or any sort of horrible event), resulting in negative effects like anxiety attacks (and that’s just one of the many things that can come from being triggered. Trust me, it can get so much worse). It is NOT something to be treated lightly.

I’ll conclude this with a rundown of tips for if you ever come across someone who can be triggered.

1: Do not make fun of them. Triggering is a serious issue which should be treated with care and respect.
2: Do not start calling them things like ‘SJW’ or ‘Landwhale’ or whatever other bullshit you might associate with triggering. It has nothing to do with that.
3: Do not, I repeat, do NOT (I repeat again, FUCKING DO NOT) attempt to trigger them. You should already know this, but I’m saying it anyway. DON’T TRY TO TRIGGER PEOPLE, YOU FUCKING ASSHOLE. Don’t even consider it. You can do some serious damage to a person’s mental state if you do. You keep that in fucking mind.

Now, I’d appreciate some upvotes so we can get this ACTUAL definition of triggering to be the top definition, so no one has to see that disgustingly mean ‘landwhale’ definition again.

Do not, I repeat, do not FUCKING DO NOT attempt to trigger them you fucking asshole. The mask is ripped away. I rest my case; it’s a device for people who want to win the argument without doing any actual arguing. “I want it done like this, so don’t do it that other way or else consider me triggered. And don’t do that you fucking asshole.” Might as well be the anthem of our times.

Well…that’s not the end of the story though, is it. Since Auntie Mabel is typically unproductive, it very often emerges we have to do things she doesn’t like in order to produce things; we have to do something “that other way” in order to get anything done. It really isn’t hard at all to come up with an example or two. Burning fossil fuels to send a freight or passenger vehicle along a road, will suffice. Sometimes, to attend to our practical purpose for existing on this plane, we have to wait for Auntie Mabel to make her grand exit, slamming the door behind her, and then attend to business with her out of the way. We have to take advantage of her limited world-view, of the glass in her snow-globe. We have to wait for the toddler to cry himself to sleep so we can go back to threading the needle. Hey, it works so well! If Auntie Mabel doesn’t have something directly in her line-of-sight, it won’t exist to her. The whole thing becomes a non-issue. Enforced day-to-day by a rigid code of silence. “What did you do to piss off Mabel” quickly morphs into “What are you going to do to make sure Mabel never finds out about it.”

The net effect of this is: Auntie Mabel ends up being the one ostracizing herself, when she thinks she’s ostracizing everyone else. It’s a really sad thing. People talk about the “Uncle in the attic” that no one ever acknowledges in any way, whose presence you dread at Christmas parties and so forth. Well, she’s him. Crazy Auntie Mabel, up in the attic, all alone…where she belongs.

Day Without a Woman? Every day is a day without these kinds of women…if you want to get anything done.

The Twilight of the Age of Aquarius… IV

Sunday, March 5th, 2017

It would be most tragic if a casual reader caught sight of my post immediately previous, in which I lament what has been happening over the last several decades to womanhood, and concluded from this that I think manhood during this same stretch of time has been doing wonderfully. The truth is I don’t think that. Or, reviewed the arc of similarly-titled posts overall and concluded I’m entirely confident about where things go from here on, under President Trump, who’s going to make everything fine & dandy, no need for anyone to worry about anything. I don’t think that either. I know there are people out there who rush to conclude this about their fellow countrymen, that these fellows have been fully assuaged, believing with Trump in charge everything is on auto-pilot. The target that is in their sites, is anybody with an opinion to share who doesn’t buy wholesale into every kooky Trump-conspiracy theory they & their compatriots have thought about peddling. Some of those theories are kookier than others, so it logically follows that their target is any & all rationally-thinking Americans. That’s an error.

They’ve been eager to point to the historical enshrinement of manly personalities into the position of the next iron-fisted dictator, most famously pointed-out in F. A. Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom (for those who are too rushed to read the whole thing, you can catch the video summary here, reproduced from a cartoon series that appeared in Look magazine, 1945). This is an entirely valid concern. The problem is not one of validity, but of relevance. I have yet to meet the Trump supporter who pushes the idea that, with The Donald in charge, we can all stop worrying. If I am to be listed among them, my own viewpoint is: Heck ya, we should be worried about The Road To Serfdom under this new guy; we should have been worried about it under that other guy; we should have been worried about it under the guy who came before him, and the guy who came before him — we should maintain, and act on, a concern about this all of the time.

And I’ll go much further: It is Trump’s critics, not his fans, who are guilty of condensing complex public policy issues down into overly simplified perceptions and prejudices about gender roles. It is only normal for them to do so, because they have become acclimated to it.

No one with a name or reputation worth defending, is going to put that name or reputation under a written statement to the effect of “get rid of all masculine traits, and all society’s problems will be solved.” But, that is the sentiment being acted-upon when we see institutions of higher learning prattle on with their foolish nonsense about “toxic masculinity.” In the world that has become unnaturally familiar to us in the recent past, we can’t deliberate the distinction between these two things, because the acid test would be whether the designers of toxic-masculinity curricula would be willing to trash something that is exclusively masculine, and at the same time, undeniably good. And in merely composing such a question, you see, I’ve already lost ’em. Their culture will not acknowledge any such thing, for it’s written into the leading pages of their catechism that females can do anything males can do — at least, all of the good stuff. It’s a “soap bubble” catechism, retaining whatever structural integrity it has by way of tolerating no breaches in the perimeter. They’ll refuse to entertain any discussion of good thing men can do that women can’t do. Their stated rationale for this refusal is in identifying some woman, somewhere, who’s shown herself capable of doing whatever the good thing is, that anyone cares to name…and yes, somewhere there always will be one. But the real reason for refusing to discuss it in an honest dialogue, is they can’t afford to do so. Once you acknowledge males are innately superior at doing something, no matter what it is, even the silly stuff like playing video games, you leave the door open to the dangerously natural: Gender roles. You tacitly acknowledge that they’re a real thing, and perhaps our perfect Utopian destiny is not waiting for us beyond the point in the pathway ahead where we discard them. Maybe they’re not just garbage to be cast over the shoulder as we march confidently and progressively onward. Maybe they’re something we should keep. Maybe gender roles are even something we should, dare I say it — cherish.

So with two or three generations ticking by, society guided by a “get rid of masculinity and everything will be fine” credo that no one’s willing to say out loud, even as anyone with some authority to wield makes weighty decisions based on it, over time we have accepted the War On Boys as normal. It starts with public K-12 education, in which “boys are treated like defective girls” (0:29).

We’ve become accustomed to masculinity itself being undefined. It’s treated as a mental illness in the school-age boys, something in need of medication. Later on, we routinely see it undefined further, by way of defining opposites. We haven’t long to wait at all before someone says, with a residue of irony that diminishes asymptotically across time, “a REAL man…” and then what comes next is something a real man wouldn’t actually do. The one that appears most often is “isn’t afraid to get in touch with his feelings,” which means something stupid, like crying during a movie. Nope. Common sense provides the correct answer here, as it usually does, real men don’t actually do that. Or: cheerfully holds his wife’s purse while she hits the can at the shopping mall. Nope again. A man may love his wife, but standing there like an idiot holding a purse, with no idea of when the ordeal is over, is not living the American dream. Hate to break it to those who needed to see it, I’m sure it comes as a shock. The science is settled.

This stuff we today call “liberalism” achieved victory after victory during this time, by selling itself to the non-liberals first. To salt-of-the-earth types who respect God, and the people who share their communities with them, the types who most strongly resemble the grandparents, aunts and uncles who have earned your respect. People with actual brains, and consciences, who are way too good for what the liberals were selling them. How did liberalism manage to make inroads on this slice of Americana? Well, the obvious answer is “by lying about what it really is,” but it’s more complicated than that, and the war on boys is an apt example of this. If liberalism had been subject to truth-in-advertising restrictions, it would have had to recruit new “soldiers” into this war by saying: We want to create a climate of fear. We want men and boys to be afraid, very afraid. We want males to be teetering on the brink, forever, of losing whatever positions they have in academe, in their professions outside of it, and in society in general — or, to have lost those positions already. That is how we want to re-define what it means to be a man: There are men who have already lost it all, and there are men who haven’t but are afraid it’ll happen any minute. We want men to see what it’s like.

Had they sold it that way, it would’ve been truthful. But they wouldn’t have sold much.

The recruiters were far craftier than that. They attacked the decency angle. How do you get a decent, wholesome mother of sons, to support something that will put her sons’ future in jeopardy, all day every day, forever? When she has three, four, five or more sons she loves more than anything? How do you do that. The answer is, you make it about behavior. Enter: The so-called “objectification” of women.

Esquire UK editor Alex Bilmes got in some hot water this week when, on a panel about feminism’s conflicts with advertising, he admitted that his magazine objectifies women. As The Guardian writes,

“The women we feature in the magazine are ornamental,” he said, speaking at the Advertising Week Europe conference in London on Tuesday. “I could lie to you if you want and say we are interested in their brains as well. We are not. They are objectified.”

Objectifying WomenHe went on to compare pictures of women to pictures of “cool cars,” which is to say that the models are presented to men as trophies and objects for use, instead of people. The comment has churned up outrage, but really, we should be happy that Bilmes was being, to use his own words, “more honest.” Nearly everyone is or has been complicit with sexism on some level, but almost no one admits it. Seeing someone admit outright that his magazine deliberately objectifies female models is refreshing. Bilmes even used the word objectified correctly, to mean “reducing to an object,” rather than simply looking at with lust.

That’s Amanda Marcotte being charitable. But, if you follow her link back to her own article, you find she shouldn’t have done this, for she makes a point about the stop-female-objectification movement that is more against it than for it:

Objectification is reducing someone to an object, but unfortunately it’s all too often used to mean “crossing some invisible line from being attractive to being too sexy,” whatever that means.

Her point is at least definable, even though she doesn’t want to define it: Men are to bear all of the responsibility for everything. Can this be rationally denied? A man who looks at a woman can certainly do it impolitely, but it is undeniable that he lacks the power to “reduc[e her] to an object.” This is a metaphor for something else. As we go looking for that something else, we find a kaleidoscope mish-mash of lists of tell-tale signs as this social-justice warrior and that one scramble over one another, each to lend their own contribution to these newer layers of revised definition; but the one common facet to it all is making the object of objectification feel like she’s this “object,” and nothing more.

That’s why it’s all bullshit. If men are to be made responsible for the feelings of women they’ve never met, to whom they have no connection whatsoever other than that woman existing within the physical frustum of their gaze — well, they would have to be responsible for everything else too. And the woman would have to be responsible for nothing. Reminds me of the old joke about the redneck kid in the park, enjoying a nice, long, rude gaze at the temptress walking by, who chooses to confront him and demand “What do you think you’re looking at??” “What yer showin’ me,” came the unabashed reply, without skipping a beat…

Ah, that’s not polite at all. But it’s quite correct.

What’s incorrect, is that males who stare at Beyoncé exactly the same way other guys stare at someone else, are somehow innocent of a transgression of which the others are guilty, because of Beyoncé’s intentions. But that’s part of what has been lost. What a masterful move. The kindly old salt-of-the-earth mother-of-sons will fall for it every time, too, since it can be so naturally presented as instructions to your boys not to stare. What concerned mother can ever pass up a chance to refine her male progeny into behaving more like little gentlemen?

The big lie here is that it ever had anything to do with that. This was about the women who were not receiving these stares. It was “If you won’t steal a glance at me, you aren’t allowed to steal one at anybody else either.” It was Rush Limbaugh’s Undeniable Truth of Life #24.

But, good luck telling that to anyone at the time. It would have been construed as paranoid, by just about everyone, for anyone to portray this as an attack on maleness. Nevertheless, with the gift of hindsight, if we’re honest, we can acknowledge that’s exactly what it was. There’s guilt, with no crime, after all. And no one within the targeted demographic is innocent! Not even America’s First Holy President, believe it or not.

President Obama has apologized to California’s Attorney General Kamala Harris after praising her looks during remarks at a fundraiser this week, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Friday.

“They are old friends and good friends, and he did not want in any way to diminish the attorney general’s professional accomplishments and her capabilities,” Carney said during his daily briefing. “He fully recognizes the challenge women continue to face in the workplace and that they should not be judged based on appearance.”

Obama made the call to Harris, a potential gubernatorial candidate, Thursday night after returning to Washington from a fundraising visit to California.

At an event to benefit the Democratic National Committee earlier in the day, Obama said Harris is “brilliant and she is dedicated and she is tough,” adding that “she also happens to be, by far, the best looking attorney general in the country.”

Did Barack Obama ever apologize for His prior behavior, since stepping out into the public view a decade-or-so ago, about anything else? Just one other thing? Can’t recall.

Okay so we have: Noticing something visually appealing about a woman — sorry salt-of-the-earth Mom, you were fooled, it’s not about rude staring because President Obama didn’t do that — is tantamount to a denial that the woman has anything positive going for her outside of looks. And that, in turn, is somehow the same as making her feel this way, which leads to objectification. Two equivalences. Both bullshit.

The truth is, there was nothing broken here, nothing in need of fixing. A nice, long, vulgar leer is unbecoming, but there’s nothing by way of social reform needed to fix that. People do things that are unbecoming all the time. Producing a DVD that forces me to watch all the previews is unbecoming. Calling me on the phone on a weeknight for donations, or surveys, is unbecoming. Especially when I’m in the middle of throwing a temper tantrum about a DVD produced the wrong way.

Staring may not be something that would earn your silver-haired saintly momma’s approval, but it’s also not rape. Sorry, it’s just not:

This website has seen many students, faculty members, and administrators – especially in “higher education” – say some pretty dumb and hateful things about men and boys, often with the general support or acquiescence of the academic community. It has happened so much that it is increasingly hard to top the moral contortions and blind hatred they have pushed out over the years, like an unregulated megacorporation spilling toxic waste into the public drinking water.

But this case is pushing it. Straight from the Goshen College website, on a page titled “What men can do to stop rape”:

“Don’t allow psychological rape or commit it yourself. Psychological rape consists of verbal harassment, whistles, kissing noises, heavy breathing, sly comments or stares. These are all assaults on any woman’s sense of well-being.”

That’s it, men. It’s time to come to terms with our Patriarchal Privilege™. We actually are all rapists. We just never knew it until Goshen College told us.

Of course, under this definition most (if not all) women would be rapists as well. But as Feminists & Friends have told us in the past, since rape is all about The Patriarchy™ men cannot be raped anyway.

The link no longer points to a page that actually says that. That’s the thing about this “stare rape” fantasy, it’s like a mess of cockroaches. Light hits them, they scatter. That’s another tip-off, for those who need it, that there’s something wrong with this.

Fact is, it’s natural. Men are interested in women, and women are interested in men. When you hear someone complain about that, you’re almost certainly hearing someone who wouldn’t exist if it were not true.

To the extent that the complaint is about insufficiently refined behavior, look to modern liberalism and modern feminism as the original causes. Society has provided ways to deal with these “problems,” and those preventative measures were among the first things targeted by the progressives once they found their way into unprecedented levels of power. We used to call it “role modeling,” and then the newly empowered proggies, again acting on contrived new rules they would never put together word-for-word, with an actual name or reputation underneath, came up with this new load: Who needs role models?

And is it really the case that children learn about gender primarily by observing and copying behaviour in others, as shallow ‘social learning’ theories imply? In practice, academic approaches to gender development have moved on, placing much greater emphasis on the ways in which children’s understandings of masculinity and femininity are actively shaped by diverse and changing social contexts.

The evidence that boys growing up without fathers are necessarily harmed is also unconvincing. Reviews of research on fatherhood over years suggest there is very little about the gender of the parent that appears distinctly important. Indeed, they reveal instead common factors in positive father and mother involvement or care.

Of course boys, and girls, benefit from the presence in their lives of positive, involved fathers. But it is difficult to single out fathers as making a unique contribution. Conversely, focussing on the need for a ‘male role model’ downplays the important contribution of women. Far from ‘feminising’ boys, there is evidence that mothers, grandmothers, and female siblings and friends have a significant positive impact on their development.

It is important too to ask what kind of male involvement is healthy for boys. Some boys and young men suffer not from an absence of male role models, but from an excess of limiting and destructive models. We shouldn’t therefore assume that any male role model is better than none. [emphasis mine]

This is the kind of thin rationalization that has become commonplace and accepted, in our society, in the recent past. “I can’t find anything fathers bring to the table here…certainly, nothing I could learn to appreciate.” Again we are gifted with the wisdom of hindsight. We should have been viewing such highbrow screeds as what they really are. Not essays of enlightenment from someone who can see something eluding everyone else, but rather, confessions of ignorance from someone who can’t see something everyone else can; specifically, anything good about males. When it’s taken into the tall grass of defending no-role-models as “at least not as bad as something else”…that’s pretty far gone. Lots of things aren’t as bad as something else, after all. Enslaving women is not as bad as something else.

But, we do need role modeling for boys. Without it, we are lost. No need to argue about it, we have experienced it, as a society, first-hand. How lost did we get? Well, someone has to ask the question…Captain Capitalism asked it, and did a pretty fair job of asking it.

Are There ANY Masculine Millennial Male Role Models???

I noticed something a bit odd.

Tom Cruise and Mark Wahlberg are the two main guys heading up the two main action movies in play right now. Cruise is over 50 and Wahlberg is over 40.

Where the heck are the Millennial male action heroes???

So when I tweeted this out, an Agent in the Field returned this. The top 40 or so actors under 35. And bar Captain American and Thor (both actors are Chris I believe), the rest of them a[re] pussies for god’s sake! Seriously, look at those limp-wristed, pansified girly men. Christ, the original Hans and Franz in SNL were more manly than this lot!!!!

Oh well. Millennial girls worship at the altar of feminism. I guess they got their dream come true with the men of this generation.

There’s something I’ve been noticing as well, which could explain what The Captain had been noticing. We’ve been getting punch-drunk on the spectacle of women yelling at men and the men not being able to talk back. Kinda gets back to the subject of previous post. I recall this surreal joint-press-conference being done by then-current President Obama and former President Bill Clinton, in which Obama seemed to abdicate. They both made a big deal about wrapping things up and meeting the schedule expectations of their respective shrewish wives…very telling. Seems there’s a constituency out there demanding this. Can’t get enough of the sight, or at least the idea, of a PWSHNSSMWWTF talking down to her man.

It is, perhaps, not an exaggeration to say that somewhere along the line, that’s become what masculinity is. Standing there & taking it while your wife, girlfriend, female at work, playground duty teacher, or some other female is talking down to you. And I find it rather telling: It starts with a desire to teach boys not to behave too lasciviously toward the fairer sex, to act more like gentlemen. What a laudable goal. And it ends with the ultimate extrovert holding court where he has no business doing any such thing; the modern-male ideal among those who seek to dismantle masculinity, without admitting that’s what they want to do. Bill Freakin’ Clinton. Who certainly does have his fan base; but would any among them want their sons to turn out like this? To treat women the way Bill Clinton treats women?

Honey RiderThe real tragedy is that there was no culture-conflict necessary here. If you look at it from a high level, thinking only about the essentials, most people are not involved in any disagreement about what we want. There should be a balance. Before all this shit came down, really, we had it already. James Bond, in Dr. No, supposedly the prime example of male symbolism that required reforming, first serious interaction he ever has with a female: He acknowledges Honey Rider’s presence, does not treat her as merely an object (although, arguably, the producers of the movie do), makes a promise to her that he will not steal her shells, and when her boat is filled with bullet holes promises to buy her another. And then he spends the next forty-five minutes solid dishing out to her one instruction after another after another…supposedly highlighting the need for the oncoming feminist movement. Which arrived. But did not achieve the necessary balance, of men knowing what to do, and at the same time respecting a woman’s presence, dignity, wishes, etc.

No, it didn’t provide a balance that was missing, it took one away that was there already. It replaced this delicate balance with an absolute. We can’t find male action movie role models, because male characters can’t figure out for themselves what to do & just do it anymore. That would be a remnant of patriarchy!!

The Captain has noticed a deficit, because you can’t make an “action movie” this way. Action movies, in the classic James Bond era, worked because they were at least somewhat connected to what might happen in real life. The protagonist was physically local to his challenges, and he decided what to do about them. Nowadays, a lot of these decisions have to be checked: Does the female approve? One trick that has become popular in recent years it to use the “bluetooth headset,” connecting the protagonist to a “roomful of computer nerds” who let him know what secret panel is behind what wall. And, tell him what to do next. When to duck. It looks snazzy, but it also serves the purpose of fulfilling the “action movie” fantasy of lazy, couch-entwined females: The female, safely insulated from the physical danger, tells the male what to do, and then he does it. All the vital elements of the story are told. Except for one thing: A man actually making decisions.

This is dysfunctional, because in addition to failing the test of realism in telling an action story in video form, it fails the test of fantasy as well. What level of desire do women have, for a man who is constantly asking what to do next, until all the decisions made are entirely reflective of his female overseer’s priorities, and not at all of his own? Any man with any experience dating women at all, knows the answer. Chicks hate that. Feminists won’t permit us to talk about it openly, but women have a primal revulsion against that. There are few things that get a woman aggravated faster, than when she asks something like “Where should we go eat?” or “What color should we use to wallpaper this bedroom” and gets back an answer from her stud, some variation of “Oh, I dunno…whatever you wanna do.” This actually annoys the average women more keenly than any so-called “objectification” ever can, and a hell of a lot faster. It denies her the man’s sense of identity. And evolution has built her to seek this out in a man. She doesn’t want a certain color of wallpaper, she wants his color of wallpaper, some sign that she’s making this house a home with that guy, and not some other guy. It’s why all the cultures around the world, the advanced and the not-so-much, that never had any contact with each other, use both Christian names and surnames. And, in almost all cases, inherit those surnames from the father. The actions of the individual reflect, well or poorly, on the name he’s given as an individual, and also on the family crest. Each name is an unfinished book, and these deeds are written into those books. That’s how it works. Humans, at a biological level, expect it to work this way.

Now when you have The Flash and Green Arrow sidestepping the meaningful masculine act of making decisions as the action-hero physically confronting the danger, leaving it to their distant, protected, bluetooth-connected strong-willed female computer nerds to tell them what to do next, what this does is remove the need for a male role model. How is a man to conduct himself? Well the question answers itself, now; there are no decisions to be made, just listen to the female voice on your ear bud and do what she tells you to do. But what about ethics and moral reasoning? Leave it to majority rule; decide however it seems society wants you to decide. Listen to the Loud Crowd. And, the job is done. No need to think for yourself.

There’s no use resisting it, anyway. You Will Be Made To Care.

In recent years, we’ve seen how the real crime isn’t conservative intellectual or ideological dissent but conservative emotional dissent. Mozilla’s Brendan Eich being pelted from his job, the perfidious treason of the wedding-cake bakers, the assaults on Hobby Lobby and Chick-fil-A, the bonfires of asininity lit every day on college campuses: These have so much less to do with an ideological argument and more to do with the new unwritten and unspoken fatwah: “You will be made to care.”

Making “emotional dissent” a crime, is necessary. A compass can only be used as a compass if it has one needle. And since liberals cannot defend the direction toward which their compass needle points with facts, logic and common sense, they have to be particularly touchy when it comes to contrary needles pointing in different directions. To make it seem reasonable that the human male is entirely lacking in purpose, they have to make it look to the casual observer like it’s always been that way.

I was reminded of this a few years back when Severian and I were targeted for retaliation by, of all people, award-winning Science Fiction author John Scalzi and his Internet-admiring pals…

Morgan quotes me, John Scalzi quotes Morgan, hilarity ensues.

Skimming through that thread is a clinic in point-missing. Or a classic illustration of Larry Correia’s first rule of internet arguing: Skim until offended. Since Morgan mentioned “pulling his man card” in the third sentence….

For the record, the following are NOT the point of that post, or my original post, or the Vox Popoli post which inspired it all.

– Ha ha, Scalzi is a weak weakling that’s weak.
– Masculinity comes in card form.
– Manhood is defined by one’s bench press.

All of that is just projection. The point is larger and simpler: It takes a tremendous amount of effort to maintain a worldview like Scalzi’s.

He claims his daughter out-lifts him. Which means one of two things must be true:

1. He’s actually been in the gym recently, such that he can make an accurate head-to-head comparison with his daughter; or
2. He hasn’t, in which case he’s just making that comparison up.

If it’s the former, he could hardly fail to notice that the average man is stronger than the average woman, and it’s not even particularly close. Even assuming Miss Scalzi is in the top 1%, female strength-wise, and trains like a demon; and that Mr. Scalzi is in the bottom 1% of male physique (or has a degenerative musculoskeletal condition or something) and has never lifted a weight in his life, he can’t have failed to notice that most of the girls are over by the little plastic jazzercise weights while the guys are throwing plates around. Maybe his girl out-lifts him, but the average girl is nowhere near the average guy, and five minutes in the gym is all it takes to see it.

In case you’re wondering about that “masculinity comes in card form” thing, I’m pretty sure it’s a reference to Scalzi’s tweet about me, which is buried behind one of those several links:

“Somehow, ‘revoking the Man Card’ doesn’t seem adequate for this.” — Dude who apparently keeps his manhood in a card.

I didn’t comment further on this at the time…but, there is a question that arises sort of naturally out of this. Where else does one keep one’s manhood? I’ve got my own answer, and a card is not it. What’s Scalzi’s? It’s necessary to know, in order to get his little jibe.

And his answer, I’m left to conclude, likely is not the same as mine…

Spot the debased beta. This won’t be a difficult test. Regular beta males aren’t always immediately discernible, but debased betas stick out like a White person in Germany.

Our case study today is John Scalzi, a quisling male emblematic of so much that has gone haywire with White American men (and their beards).

Debased BetaExhibit A: This is Scalzi’s Christmas card. He signed off on it. He approved of it. This is how he wants the world to see him.

Is this the Self-Shiv of the Week? I see two brutish women and one screeching little girl. Merry sexual inversion, everyone!

Nature abhors a T vacuum, and Scalzi, having surrendered his T to the devil for the nice life in a 98% White town, guarantees that his defensive back megawife and daughter take up the T slack. And so here they are, wife and daughter doing a man’s job and smirking like a cocky self-assured chad respectively, while the nominal male (scalzied) clasps his hands together and shrieks with delight off to the sidelines as the real men get to work.
The debased beta is a creature of the modern dystopian West. His kind was vanishingly rare before THEE CURRENT EPOCH, because any males in such craven, open revolt against their masculinity were bullied into social seclusion and ignored by women with anything on the ball. (Or they successfully transmogrified their effeminacy into a strength by becoming the charming dandy lover to loveless housewives.) But now they effloresce all across America’s fruitcup plains, glorified by the media, championed by disingenuous feminists, and medicated into an epicene stupor by Femme Pharma, corn, and porn.
The handicap principle I mentioned above is a factor, but only applies to betas who don’t routinely and excessively neuter themselves, thus retaining some of the tactical value of the counter-signal. Scalzi is not one of these betas; his self-abasement is thorough, habitual, and nauseatingly ostentatious.

Another facet of the DB personality is the love for wallowing in powerlessness, reveling in weakness. This self-abnegating stance harkens the sacrifices of hermit monks or early Christian proselytizers, but the real impetus for it is the classic fear of success psychology. A lot of emasculated betaboys in Scalzi’s position don’t want to act more manly because they secretly fear improved manhood will lead them to abandon their fat wives. Affecting an air of servitude and prostration and doofusness reinforces the comfort bubble that debased betas prefer to ensconce themselves within, precluding any possibility of betterment and temptation to vice.
Reading Scalzi is like bathing in a vat of menstrual blood and having pure estrogen injected straight into the scrotum. One must exit Scalzi’s world through a decontamination chamber of red meat and range shooting. His sickness can’t be allowed to spread to vulnerable men. His dildology worldview is a disfigured anti-reality that will yield like buttery goodness to the shiv every time, because nothing substantial underlies it. And the Chateau will flay him, over and over, until his ugliness of mind and spirit perishes from the earth.

Somewhere, Severian was marveling at the profile difference at work here. He and I are, relatively, nobodies; I’m actually going on thirteen years now saying over and over again, “nobody reads this blog” and it’s become a catchphrase of sorts. Scalzi is famous and successful. He has no reason to deign to talk to us. And yet, he went right into this “must have the last word in everything” mode, time and time again. Which made for more posts about his strange debased-beta relationship, and still more. Maybe that’s all part of the plan. Maybe he’ll chime in, in response to this, as well. Who knows? Virtue-signalers never go half-way. They’re like the Energizer Bunnies of Internet packets.

But that just makes it all the more remarkable that the original question remains unanswered: What purpose, in their world, do men have? Biology itself is waiting on an answer. Lots of things have been eliminated; men aren’t supposed to decide things, aren’t supposed to lend their identities to anything, definitely can’t tell a woman what to do. They can squeal like little girls when their wives push calendar years off the edge of cliffs, but you know, real-little-girls can do that. So who needs men? And for what?

Bottom line is, yes something is changing here. The new Trump administration is making people feel very uncomfortable in a lot of ways, and discomfort can feel unnatural sometimes. But as Trump’s predecessor often pointed out, people can be very frightened of change, this doesn’t necessarily mean the change is a bad thing.

Maybe what’s been going on, is people have become accustomed to decisions not being made, save for the decisions that are mostly expected. There’s been a slippage of standards here. The extraordinary decisions that are hailed as revolutionary and courageous, if you look at them closely you see…there’s really no courage here. It’s not “revolutionary,” quite so much as upside-down and inside-out. Direction-less and lost, getting things backwards. The “guidance” on allowing transsexuals into the girls’ restroom (warning, video behind like auto-plays), that’s a perfect example.

A back-to-basics is overdue. Were things so bad before? Back then, a woman could show pride in being a woman, and at the same time, have some respect for men. Men could do the same; if they were proud of being men, they could still respect women. And they could make decisions. Go so far as to say what must be done — if they knew the answer. And this was not pilloried as some kind of assault on women. There was no “How Dare He??” after Indiana Jones said “I’ll make it up as I go along.” To be sure, there must have been some troubles…someone must have said something that caused offense…something to put us in the soup in the first place. But the big take-away from all this is, it’s better to do something and screw it up, even to the point of offending people, than to just scuttle along, not doing anything except squealing like a little girl with your hands squished together, for sake of not offending anybody. And then offending someone anyway. And then having to tweet about them on the Internet so you can have the last word…and pretend up is down and down is up, men are women and women are men, etc. Too much complication. There’s a lot more time and energy left over to be used for productive things, if we just see things as they really are and act accordingly. And, ya know, do stuff instead of coming up with excuses not to do stuff.