September 25, 2013

Real Men Want To Drink Guinness, But Don't Expect Them To Pay For It

Guinness.jpgthe reason the bubbles go down is because of the drag created by the bubbles rising up the center. 
yeah, like a metaphor.




Click this ad. It's great, the internet told me so, it says it represents something good about humanity. You're going to cry and feel good about the future and then consider ordering a Guinness.  That is, unless you already like Guinness and then you're going to have a totally different reaction, like switching to Belhaven.






"The choices we make reveal the true nature of our character."

Yeah, we're sheep.  Message received.  That wasn't the message?  Are you sure?

According to social critics around the internet this ad is "such a refreshing change", "great to see sensitivity and strength combined",  "promotes a new kind of masculinity."  I'd like to know what was wrong with the old masculinity?  The one featured on Game Of Thrones?  Was it too masculine?

Before you applaud this ad for "breaking the mold of beer adverts" you would do well to remember that all ads are aspirational, not representational, and for sure not inspirational, i.e. the ad thinks this will work on the target demo because it describes an aspirational image for the demo, i.e. i.e. the ad has made several important assumptions about the kind of person who would like this ad-- not the product, the ad-- and you're not going to like them.  Still don't see it?  Take yourself back to 1990. What would this ad have looked like?

In 1990, the ad would have shown the masculinity and heroism of the crippled guy: him, in his chair, keeping up with the bipeds, both physically and mentally, taking shots and landing zingers.


Wheels (laughing):

You still throwing bricks?  What is this, a Masons' convention?  I got an idea, let's just gather up all these bricks and build a shelter for the homeless so your mom has a place to live.

Group (laughing):

Oh no he didn't just bring up your momma!

Biped (laughing):

Can someone sub in for Mr. Motherfucking March Of Dimes?  He needs to take off for two hours to watch 60 Minutes.

Group (laughing):

Ooooohhhhhh!  Snap!  His momma looks like Morley Safer!

Wheels (laughing, fouling a tree ent): 

Sorry, you either smoke or you get smoked.  And you got SMOKED!

Biped (laughing):

Tree ent! Oh, that's funny on two levels!!


(Wheels shoots but is blocked by Biped)

Biped (laughing):


It's true, white men can't jump!



("good game", high fives all around.)

Voice Over:

A real man doesn't see limits.  He doesn't see disability.  He takes on whatever life throws his way, sets up, and shoots for 3.   It's not about the best trick shot,  it's about points on the board.  And the way he handles the rebounds will define him as a man.  Life is a team sport, and most people play to lose.  For the winners, there's Guinness.


Then we'd pass the bong around and watch Simon & Simon reruns.  I may not be remembering everything accurately, it was a long time ago.

But this ad does the exact opposite: it shows a bunch of "men"-- signaled by the modern exterrnal cues of tricep tattoos, wide gaits and carefully managed stubble-- playing down to Davros's level, not as a one time offering, but as a regular weekly game

That's very sensitive, but, just curious, do these guys who grab a shower in the locker room have another weekly basketball game where they play standing up, or is this all it takes to satisfy their interest in recreational athletics?  Because I can't imagine anyone who actually likes playing basketball to be able to do it only this way.  Perhaps their Cosmo girlfriends give them two evenings off a week for bro-ing? 

Get ready for a super-sexist comment that is nevertheless 100% true, good thing my rum makes me impervious to your idiotic criticisms: reducing yourself because you think it's a show of solidarity is a straight up chick thing to do, see also Slut Walks and crying excessively for the deceased.  It was super-brave that Kellie Pickler shaved her head to support her friend with breast cancer, but what the hell was the point?  "Breast cancer awareness!"  Isn't that what the implants are for?


kellie-pickler-300.jpg getting the message out



The most generous interpretation of her "look at me" behavior would be, "I'm supporting my friend, showing that people can be beautiful even without hair, especially if they have a spectacular body and a national dance show, and a glam squad, and a wig, and are not on chemo."  Message received, oncology can bite me, I'm calling a stylist.

I can hear the grumbling, so I'll make a slight modification: only a woman would allow another person to reduce themselves in a show of support.  When Joseph Gordon-Levitt improvised the head shaving scene in 50/50,  Seth Rogen didn't then grab the hedge clippers and say, "I'm not going to let my BFF feel bad about himself"  because that would be, you know, ___________________.  "Is it gay?"  "No, no, is it retarded?"  You're both right.  Everyone's a winner!

I could use this ad as a commentary about the wussification of America, "the guilt of privilege",  the Land Of Sensitivity Training, etc, etc, but that would be wrong and anyway I don't have that kind of time.  I started writing a porn book, this book has become my own personal nightmarish Hamlet, a scary real life example of what the "return of the repressed" looks like, and FYI it looks horrifying. Remember the scene in Ju-On where whatever the hell that ghost thing is materializes in the window, not to look at anyone specifically, but... only to reveal that it is watching?

ju-on.jpg
According to psychoanalysis, this is what turns me on. 


II.

All of the psychologically necessary praise for this ad can be attributed to two things: 1) It's for Guinness, which is already a kind of masculine product;  2) the woefully deluded premise that ads try to sell you on a product.  Oh my God, what year is this?  Stop it, this is WRONG.

Ads do not try to sell you a product, is Mad Men canceled yet?  On that now unwatchable soap opera Creative stays up all night eating chinese and trading tag lines, trying to capture the essence of the product.  Essence of the product-- for whom?  In fairness, back then there was only one TV and one wallet per household, so demos tended to be a little more broad, by which I mean women.  Fair enough, and not anymore.  Now ads target a specific demographic, and tailor an aspirational message/image for that demo on which is piggybacked whatever product paid for the take out. THE PRODUCT IS IRRELEVANT.  Write it down on a sticky note next to A-B-C, it will help.

If the ad works you will consequently want the product no matter what it is, baaaaa, this is what I mean when I say ads teach you not what to want but how to want.  You could use this exact same Guinness ad to sell something as unmasculine as guar gum flavored ice cream and it would work just as well, and I know this because





While you wonder who copied what and why they bothered let me observe a key difference between this Indian ad and the American: in the Indian ad, everyone is handicapped, and the one biped joins in.  His innate importance is signaled by his Iverson jersey, keep in mind this is 2006.  That's your metaphor for an aspirational, westernized, privileged but still socially conscious young man in India surrounded by... the rest of India.   


III. 

My interest here is not the tricks the ad uses to get you to like Guinness, but what the fact of the existence of such an ad says about American men today.  It's bad.  It's really, really bad.

Let's go back to the assumptions the ad makes about its target demo.  What is the target demo?  Think about this.   Not who drinks Guinness already, this is not a "brand reinforcement" ad.  Who are the people the ad is trying to attract?   The ad doesn't comment on Guinness drinkers, it is making assumptions about people who like the ad.  Who is the ad trying to attract?

"Is it paraplegics?"  That's a weird guess.  "Is it basketball players?"  I'm going to assume that's code, no.  "Is it 30 something guys who play basketball and then go to bars to meet women?"  No, that's Heineken's gimmick.    Aspirational-- look at the ad: who is not those men, but considers them masculine, sees something more masculine than themselves? 

It's beta males. The best of men, except for actual men.  What is a beta male?   He is the kind of man who anxiously looks for something to identify him as a man, while doing nothing to become a man.  For him, there's Guinness.

"Hold on.  You're saying that Guinness assumes if I like this ad I'm like, a... loser?"  Yes.  Or a girl.  Tagline:



Dedication.

Loyalty.

Friendship.


I'm sorry, is this an ad for beer or golden retrievers?  Why not "good nutrition" or "isn't always yapping about her frenemies"? Just because the guy saying them sounds like a man doesn't mean these words are branding for men. Usually "male" values are the things you have to teach or encourage people to do, like bravery, or sacrifice, or stoicism, where the default, the easier thing, is to not do those things.   Dedication and friendship don't code for men, they are too basic for men, they code simply for person, although women get associated with them because... not much more is expected of women.  For whatever reason society has made the observation that women seem to be worse at friendship then men, and that reason is called TV, way to set the bar really really low, Shonda.  "You're... my... person."  Ugh, Jesus, someone Silkwood me.  It's not that these values are inferior, it's that you can't imagine someone else needs to praise them-- or that any person alive or dead would feel good about themselves for having them-- or would seek to be described this way.  "I'm a good friend."  Of course you are, there's no sacrifice involved, plus it gives you someone to talk at.  This Guinness ad is for the demographic that aspires to positive experiences and pretend challenges buried in rhetorical cover so to avoid the guilt about its meaninglessness.  "The cedar roasted asparagus has good chew. I don't know how to enjoy it, so I'll Instagram it."

Wheelchair b-ball is nice but it has nothing to do with being a man or masculinity, or females and femininity, or anything, and the point here is that the public's desire to link it to masculinity is a sign of three very bad things: a) a pervasive sense of insecurity and inadequacy in many men which has a precise psychoanalytic characterization that I will not elaborate on here and which the ad reassures you is soooo not true, you loyal friend, you-- you're a real man; b) another example of the media teaching people how to want, how to think, in this case about themselves; c) the general public's exhaustion with masculine men who don't deliver on their masculinity,  i.e. and e.g. getting the check.

"I think your interpretation of the ad is wrong."  Maybe this is the Dexedrine talking, but I think you liked the ad.  Do a system check: did you like the ad?  "Well, I kinda liked the song."  Yeah.  That's why it was also in Grey's Anatomy

IV.

You may have heard that it's hard to be a modern woman because of "the impossible expectations media sets", but you should try it from the penis side.   Not measuring up in America generates a distinct response in men, let's see if I can elicit it in you.  No?  Wanna bet?

Here's an ad that is female analogue of the Guinness ad, i.e. it played on the same show and time.  Let's run the experiment. 





Storyboard:  Raining.  Pretty brunette in Iris & Ink trench and skirt sufficiently above the knee comes out of a Lean In and, oopsy, she has no umbrella. Oh my God, that's so hysterical.  So she runs to a passing salaryman and huddles underneath his.   He's surprised, obviously, the last half-Asian to come up on a white guy in the rain was The Ring and we all know how that ended.  (Code for "Asian" by walking by a Chinese restaurant.)  She gazes into his eyes.  "We're headed the same way, right?"  she NLPs.  "Yeah!" he responds, but five steps later you can see his pacemaker go off as she blue balls him for another umbrella that crosses their path, this time a basketball player's.  (Everybody still with me? Let's keep going.)  A few steps later, she froggers off towards the next passing guy, and when she settles in their eye contact lingers for longer than this married guy has had in a decade.   "After you," she says in some kind of way that means some kind of thing.   Three more steps, and she dumps him and his thrifty tote bag for a luxury SUV.   She closes the door, a sigh of relief.  She made it.

So?  How do you feel?  Here's the tag line: "it's all in how you get there."  Well, how did she get there?

Here's one interpretation: she's a cunt, by which I mean a woman.   The commercial represents a reality about women, hopping from guy to guy, taking, taking,  taking.  And that sigh at the end was what she really thinks of men.  =choads.

You'll observe that this harpy never said thank you, she never even said excuse me.  She just assumed it was ok, she was entitled, the world belongs to women, and when she got as far as his five and a half inches could take her, she was off to the next guy, black guys and homewrecking.  Even better, she is proud of how she pulled it off, because getting to her car isn't the only goal, learning how to manipulate emasculated men is just as important, note she never used a woman.  The tag line reminds women that they shouldn't feel to guilty about it, men are dispensable.   As an aside, buy a Cadillac.

That's one interpretation, but the striking thing about the ad is how she explicitly did not slut her way from man to man.  All she did was ask to use their umbrella-- and got it. That's the Female Power.  What's enraging isn't that women are sluts, but that they are not sluts-- that they are able to manipulate men, get what they want, without paying for it.  That message to female viewers is what gets men angry.

The problem with this analysis is that it assumes the message is for women only, as if women are the ones who buy themselves Cadillacs, and as if men would not be exposed to this commercial except by a wife who drags her husband over to it, "oooh, look at this great ad!  I want a car!"  But this ad was on at 4pm on ESPN, same time as the Guinness ad, for the specific male demographic that... is home watching ESPN at 4pm, e.g. guys home at 2.  What's the aspirational message to those men?   She's exactly the kind of woman they wish was in love with them.  "I want the kind of woman with max female power, that can get anything she wants, and that everyone wants, but no one can get-- and she picked me."  See also female superheroes.

Ok, but why does she need to manipulate men?  What does the ad assume that women assume about men?

There's a gigantic error in the ad, yet to most people the ad is totally believable, like this is a  hidden camera vid, this error is invisible to them; and if this error was corrected this ad would have never been possible.  Do you see it?  Why didn't one of these "men"  just walk her to her car?   Three guys, not one thought of this?  She's under your umbrella and your natural instinct was not to protect, to help?  So wrapped up in what it all means and power imbalances that you couldn't just... behave?  Ok, forget about chivalry-- out of sheer selfishness, a hail mary longshot?  Sure, no expectations, but what the hell, let's see where it goes, maybe she'll ask you out for a Guinness?  Were you so insulted by her "entitlement" that you couldn't just try?  Or so flustered because a woman that you have stripped of her ordinary humanity and forced her to be a symbol of value chose to be near you, your brain couldn't  figure out what to do next?  In which case her decision to leave you for another umbrella was astutely correct, odd how she and the commercial knew that.  All men are good for is an umbrella because she cannot rely on men to act like... men.

The point is not simply that those men should have walked her to her car, the point is that the ad knew with 100% certainty that it would not occur to any man watching to do this; that it would not occur to any woman watching that it's weird no man thought to do this.  Meanwhile, what did occur to men was that she's a jerk.

Look at it from your daughter's perspective: should she date the guy who walks her to her car, or the guy who doesn't walk her to her car?  "You can't judge based on that!"  What else can I judge on?  Didn't you judge her based on her wanting to stay dry?

"Hold on.  You're saying that Cadillac assumes if I hate this ad I'm like, a... loser?"  Etc, and so forth.  Love and hate are opposites for lovers, not ads, for ads the goal is to stimulate want through any emotion convenient.

Tagline: Ladies, it's all in how you get there, because you're on your own.

This is what the ad is telling women, and you, its foundational assumption: the public's exhaustion with men who don't deliver on their masculinity, their general loss of ambition, drive, respectfulness... and purpose; coupled with men's haunting suspicion that their true worth-- "in other people's minds"-- is signaled by women's opinions of them, after all, money, jobs-- all that is fake.  Hence the need for something to redefine masculinity, to make it real.

"Well, feminism has emasculated men."  Really?  A girl did that to you?




V.

The Guinness ad proposes that what makes men men is that they don't act like stereotypical men, if and only if they look like stereotypical men, otherwise they're not men.  That sentence is 100% correct, but it could only have been written by a madman.  Reshoot that commercial  using the cast of The Big Bang Theory and the entire aspirational message is obliterated.  The mere fact that they took stereotypical-looking men to use as contrasts to "stereotypical men" means they themselves assume that "stereotypical men" are indeed the real men, everyone else is waiting to be labeled, by some other omnipotent entity, that they are close.  And if this is confusing, just change "men" to "women."

It's confusing because the Guinness ad is a mess of signals and symbols that you usually only see purposely mixed together for parody, like a Hooters waitress who also turns out to be really smart.







Ok, she's only smart at mixology and football, but to a guy watching ESPN at 4 in the afternoon, not coincidentally the same place/time the Guinness ad and Rainy Run were running, this signals as genius.  The question is, why would the demo watching this want her to be smart ALSO?  Look at her, what more do you want?  Which is the same question as, why would the demo watching this want the Guinness guys to be "a new kind of masculinity"?   What is the precise origin of the want?

Look at the guy in the chair, gentlemen of 4pm football, that guy is aspirational you.  I'm told  Vitamin E is some kind of battalion leader, but the only reason she is talking to him is because she is smart, i.e. the fantasy for the viewer is that to talk to a girl like her he doesn't have to be interesting, engaging, witty or cool, let alone young or attractive; she's "smart" and likes "smart guys" so she's happy to stick around and talk to "smart" guys about the things that interest them.   Again, "smart" here carries the loosest possible definition so it can apply to 4pm Disney affiliates, but the point is no different than if she was solving for x.  You don't have to woo her on her terms (whatever they may be), she's ready to meet you on yours.

At this point you will no doubt think that the fantasy here is to be able to score a Hooters waitress or a 36-24-30 but this is neither true for you nor for the ad.  The point for the ad isn't her as physically attractive but her as a type-- a Hooters Waitress-- if she was thirty pounds heavier but still had the same attention to her appearance (makeup, etc), and adopted the style and mannerisms of hot girls then she would still cause that kind of approach anxiety, she would still be such a symbol, I'm pretty sure this is the entire gimmick of the Kardashians.  I know this is going to sound like madness, but 8/10 that approach anxiety is defensive, you think you want something you really do not want, that person is not for you, I don't mean not good for you, I mean you do not really want this; but anyway the point here is that the ad mixes up the symbols as humor, to fool you into thinking that what's humorous is that this type could play against type; but the horrifying, Ju-On reality is that the symbol ceases to be a symbol for you the moment she violates her own symbolism-- the moment you get to know her-- and then the want DISAPPEARS.  Just like fear.  If that ghost in the window so much as coughs like reality you will scale the wall and beat it the fuck out.

And I know all this is true because the ads told me so, in order.   You're going to be infuriated at this blonde Hooters Waitress for only being attracted to chiseled abs and a commanding phallus, but even if she miraculously chose to come under your umbrella, you'd see suddenly  she was only a brunette, huh, and you still wouldn't do anything about it.  And off she goes, a missed opportunity.  And before that ignites your amygdala into a blinding self-hatred, you will remember that it's all the cunt's fault, and besides, never mind all these girls, the fact that you're a good friend to your less fortunate friend is what makes you a man; but since you are not actually a good friend, indeed, you don't even have any friends, well, this ad will signal to yourself that you are.  Message received.

As an aside, drink Guinness.








Comments

I love that your posts make... (Below threshold)

September 25, 2013 12:36 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I love that your posts make me think.

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You're on a whole different... (Below threshold)

September 25, 2013 12:53 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

You're on a whole different level

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I'm glad you're back, even ... (Below threshold)

September 25, 2013 12:53 PM | Posted by maturin20: | Reply

I'm glad you're back, even if just for a quickie. I've read through the archives in the last few months, it's been a ball.

A question for any psychiatrists: I took Depakote for years as a kid, for absence seizures. Have there been any studies about long-term side effects?

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 4 (12 votes cast)
Amazingly intricate and int... (Below threshold)

September 25, 2013 12:56 PM | Posted by David: | Reply

Amazingly intricate and interesting.
Don't ever stop writing these posts, the insight you provide to people is priceless.

And yes, I was a bit fond of the Guinness commercial. I also disliked the girl in the second commercial.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 15 (19 votes cast)
I saw the Cadillac ad as me... (Below threshold)

September 25, 2013 12:57 PM | Posted by Max: | Reply

I saw the Cadillac ad as metaphor: she's seeking shelter with whoever she can find it, but she only feels relief when she enters the car. The woman is assumed to be desirable, the question is why can't the umbrella men keep ahold of her? The answer is, they're not Cadillac Dependable(tm). Since the viewer can't become the object, the next best thing is to own it.

Also, this is 4PM sports. Who watches TV at this time of day? The unemployed, the retired, and the semi-wealthy (same thing). I'm guessing the target demo is a divorced 55-65 year old white male with $2-$5 million in assets. He may no longer be a demon in the sack, but that's not what this professional young lady is looking for. She wants security. And who better to provide it than a man with life experience, leisure time, and a large bank account accrued over years of hard work and sacrifice?

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 90 (90 votes cast)
"I know this is going to so... (Below threshold)

September 25, 2013 1:01 PM | Posted by TheoJ: | Reply

"I know this is going to sound like madness, but 8/10 that approach anxiety is defensive, you think you want something you really do not want, that person is not for you, I don't mean not good for you, I mean you do not really want this"

I read this today written by a (apparently) perceptive woman in her 20's, in less than 140 characters. It did sound like madness, but it felt like truth, too.

And I would've never imagined hearing it for a 2nd time the same day from my favorite blogger.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 19 (21 votes cast)
Amazingly intricate and int... (Below threshold)

September 25, 2013 1:05 PM | Posted by David: | Reply

Amazingly intricate and interesting.
Don't ever stop writing these posts, the insight you provide to people is priceless.

And yes, I was a bit fond of the Guinness commercial. I also disliked the girl in the second commercial.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -3 (13 votes cast)
After seeing that Guinness ... (Below threshold)

September 25, 2013 1:20 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

After seeing that Guinness add I remember thinking "At least they are spreading a positive message". I liked the add, but immediately felt guilty because... it's a beer add and the very fact that It stirred am emotional response indicated that I was the target.


Fuck, I fell for it, and then a few weeks later TLP calls me a pussy.

Good to hear you're still drinking. I was worried.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 42 (46 votes cast)
Great as usual, thank God y... (Below threshold)

September 25, 2013 1:41 PM | Posted by ATate: | Reply

Great as usual, thank God you are back. Fuck the porn book, good grief it's all out there anyway...what more can you add to it? Anyway, welcome back!

AT

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It was a surprise but a hea... (Below threshold)

September 25, 2013 2:02 PM | Posted by John Craft: | Reply

It was a surprise but a heartwarming one to see a new article up here. There are very few things that can put me in such good moods while reminding me why I am a depressed wreck.
Also, it is always extremely interesting to see such points of views that seem to apply so much, if not exclusively, to America. This is extremely interesting, because they make one who isn't American wonder : "how much of this is true and/or applicable to my own culture ?"
As always, brilliant. Good luck on your book, impatient to see how it will turn out.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 16 (18 votes cast)
FIRST!... (Below threshold)

September 25, 2013 2:04 PM | Posted by JACK FOWLER: | Reply

FIRST!

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -37 (43 votes cast)
Wheelchair basketball is an... (Below threshold)

September 25, 2013 2:06 PM | Posted by guy: | Reply

Wheelchair basketball is an intense contact sport, you can get brutully injured and theres your sacrficirle for ya. You'd get your shit rocked on the court TLP

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -19 (57 votes cast)
God I missed you. Welcome ... (Below threshold)

September 25, 2013 2:23 PM | Posted by VF: | Reply

God I missed you. Welcome back.

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Before I even read this...<... (Below threshold)

September 25, 2013 2:32 PM | Posted by Fellow Smugglers: | Reply

Before I even read this...

So glad you are back!

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Damn it.Ok. So i'm ... (Below threshold)

September 25, 2013 2:44 PM | Posted by Scott: | Reply

Damn it.
Ok. So i'm a loser. Now what?

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Sorry Alone, you're way off... (Below threshold)

September 25, 2013 3:00 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Sorry Alone, you're way off on the slut walks. They're not about getting down to anyone's level, trust me on this.

The real issue with the walks is how, when poor women proudly threw the "slut" persona back on society's face back in the 90s, everyone talked about demeaning sexualization and the erosion of morals meaning in modern society; and how, when the entitled white middle-class followed suit twenty years later, they were praised for their courage and independence. I'm not saying the walks are a bad thing; I'm saying the ghetto hoes on bright short shorts that you believe to be objectified victims of patriarchy are in fact more knowledgeable about power and freedom than you.

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I parphrase, but, "It's you... (Below threshold)

September 25, 2013 3:33 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I parphrase, but, "It's you. The problem is always you."

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You're back!... (Below threshold)

September 25, 2013 3:50 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

You're back!

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Except the umbrella ad is j... (Below threshold)

September 25, 2013 3:59 PM | Posted by Jay Money: | Reply

Except the umbrella ad is just a metaphor. In real life men *do* offer to walk females to their cars, which might be sufficient to impress girls in high school or non-cuntish obese women who are unidentifiable as a human female*, but which is not sufficient to impress women in the real world.

In reality you hound a woman or many women for a date until you happen across one that is feeling like letting someone in that day. Then you hit it off, or you don't.

* In fact this is literally how a couple I know become involved. In the girl's own words, being walked to her car is when she knew the guy was for her. Nice girl, but totally unidentifiable as a female by her physical shape.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -31 (59 votes cast)
Marla, you liar! You big to... (Below threshold)

September 25, 2013 4:02 PM | Posted by Cornelius: | Reply

Marla, you liar! You big tourist, I need this! Now, get out!

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 24 (24 votes cast)
Where's that book?... (Below threshold)

September 25, 2013 4:17 PM | Posted by Thomson: | Reply

Where's that book?

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It sounds to me like these ... (Below threshold)

September 25, 2013 4:25 PM | Posted by obj: | Reply

It sounds to me like these ads are just aimed at lonely men, men who wish they had friends to play basketball with, men who wish the woman would walk under their umbrellas for just a minute, and of course who want the Hooters waitress to see them as more than a customer. Now "alone," why were you watching ESPN at 4 in the afternoon, drinking an aspirational brand of rum? Would you like to talk about it?

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First!... (Below threshold)

September 25, 2013 4:44 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

First!

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -20 (28 votes cast)
Slam Dunk! Did you brake t... (Below threshold)

September 25, 2013 4:44 PM | Posted by Pops: | Reply

Slam Dunk! Did you brake the backboard with this one? Nope, just bent them rim. Sheesh, watching sports? Can't think of a more beta thing to do. Get outside and play.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 2 (14 votes cast)
F-f-first. ... (Below threshold)

September 25, 2013 4:46 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

F-f-first.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -20 (24 votes cast)
What if I drink guiness alr... (Below threshold)

September 25, 2013 4:59 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

What if I drink guiness already, and I like the ad?

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Excellent.... (Below threshold)

September 25, 2013 5:04 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Excellent.

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Shady's back!... (Below threshold)

September 25, 2013 5:35 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Shady's back!

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I'm reading it and so it's ... (Below threshold)

September 25, 2013 5:54 PM | Posted by wannabie: | Reply

I'm reading it and so it's for me. It's so much for me that I'm freaking out. Thanks, Alone.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 9 (9 votes cast)
Been waiting for your retur... (Below threshold)

September 25, 2013 5:55 PM | Posted by QueensBully: | Reply

Been waiting for your return.

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A brilliant post, but I cou... (Below threshold)

September 25, 2013 6:09 PM | Posted by Alex Y: | Reply

A brilliant post, but I couldn't follow the Rainy ad part. I mean, I agree with the general sentiment about men unreliability, but I can't find it in the ad. How did those men suppose to know she had a car? Maybe they wanted to walk her to her home? Or to their own cars? Does Alone dig too deep on this one?

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I don't think you (Alone) u... (Below threshold)

September 25, 2013 6:40 PM | Posted by TINJ: | Reply

I don't think you (Alone) understand "masculinity" or "femininity" for what it really is. It's more marketing, but it's an old kind of marketing that's been around before "marketing" became something we encountered every minute of every day.

If you hold men and women to different standards of courage, intelligence, honesty, humility, and so on, you are what's called a "social" conservative/"social" darwinist. You believe men are in some way better than women, and this is in your interest as a man (or even as a bitter woman who doesn't want to see the next generation enjoy more freedom). I'm not saying this is your (Alone's) position. The text doesn't clarify it explicitly, and you're known for writing while drunk. But this should incline the reader to think so: "what the fact of the existence of such an ad says about American men today. It's bad. It's really, really bad." "What is a beta male? He is the kind of man who anxiously looks for something to identify him as a man, while doing nothing to become a man."

The only people who use this language with a straight face are people on this blog, PUAs, and MRAs. Kinda wonder about the company you might be keeping. Back to what I said before. If you hold men and women to different standards of virtue you're full of it. We're used to the idea of women striving for male virtues, namely aggression and competitiveness, and people attack them as "bitches" and/or "sluts" occasionally. The other side of the coin occurs when men realize that the feminine virtues of empathy, caring, solidarity, and sacrifice have value. When men do this people tend to attack them as "pussies" and/or "gay". (My internet connection can't currently handle youtube, so I'll have to leave another comment if there are no virtues on display, but I'm assuming this is accurate for now)

I would argue that, as a society, even our darkest and most repulsive corners, like advertising, change with the times. We are and will continue to slowly drag ourselves toward a neutral view of sexuality and gender where the "masculinity" and "femininity" of traits fades out. Virtues will stand on their own. Nowadays is a time of confusion, where people play toward one end of the spectrum, whether physically male or female, but eventually, I'd speculate, it'll happen. In all likelihood this will be a good thing, assuming men and women alike DO adopt the traditionally feminine traits as a whole, rather than abandoning them as weak and useless and only taking on the male. You could say that these traits represent the caring and noncompetitive side of humanity -- which probably holds our culture together just as much as competitive masculinity does. Which is important to note: our society DOES punish men for acting traditionally masculine as well, no doubt. That explains why we have less aggressive males as well; they get the stick, too. Hardly anyone gets punished for being too giving, except as a matter of realizing after the fact they've given too much.

The umbrella commercial suggests the danger of women who "deceive feminine" but "play masculine", which is one of the dark sides of this. In essence, it's pretending to be weak while having full strength. I suppose it's a valid criticism that MRAs make of a certain type of woman, one that certainly exists. Although you have to wonder how recently this became a TV-worthy occurrence? Haven't bossy, argumentative, and deceptive wives (ie "playing masculine") been around since the black and white days?

None of this suggests that shaving your head in solidarity with your friend who has cancer or getting in a wheelchair and playing basketball that way matters. If your friend feels comforted maybe it is, and if you can't recognize that, you're probably not an "alpha" but an asshole.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -13 (133 votes cast)
These posts are wayyyyy too... (Below threshold)

September 25, 2013 6:43 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

These posts are wayyyyy too long.

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I remember watching that Gu... (Below threshold)

September 25, 2013 6:44 PM | Posted by Dave: | Reply

I remember watching that Guinness commercial the first time and thinking; "Oh my Buddha, Alone is going to have a stroke."

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Alone. We've missed you.</p... (Below threshold)

September 25, 2013 7:03 PM | Posted by TL;DR:: | Reply

Alone. We've missed you.

TL;DR:

Real men do what they want. The rest plan for what they would do and retroactively treat each moment as practice instead of execution.

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New post on hump day. Thank... (Below threshold)

September 25, 2013 7:07 PM | Posted by Giuseppe: | Reply

New post on hump day. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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Thank you for another great... (Below threshold)

September 25, 2013 8:24 PM | Posted by rafaleon: | Reply

Thank you for another great article. Please do not hold back to post more, and I will be looking forward to read the book you are working on.

all the best
R

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I'm glad I've never seen th... (Below threshold)

September 25, 2013 8:28 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I'm glad I've never seen this commercial before. I was never really taught what I was "supposed to be," as a man but as an adult I find that premise dangerous and stupid. It appears that any sort of cult of gendered understanding is basically in the service of other people with a variety of different aims.

Being a schizoid motherfucker makes me pretty disinterested in playing word games about who is supposed to be doing what in order to be "true" to what they are. Also, as an aside, who or what is applauding this ad, and why? Are we really looking for commercials to deliver our cultural values to us?

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guys, i figured out who TLP... (Below threshold)

September 25, 2013 8:46 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

guys, i figured out who TLP is- it's a viral ad for roger dodger 2; roger dodgier. only roger is now a woman

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I parphrase, but, "It's you... (Below threshold)

September 25, 2013 8:53 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I parphrase, but, "It's you. The problem is always you."

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Nine hours and no comments?... (Below threshold)

September 25, 2013 9:10 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Nine hours and no comments? Congratulations, your blog is dead. You slaughtered it.

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Sweet Jesus you've just bra... (Below threshold)

September 25, 2013 9:18 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Sweet Jesus you've just brainfucked me. Hurry up with the book, I can't wait!

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He's baaaaaaaaaack. That's... (Below threshold)

September 25, 2013 9:26 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

He's baaaaaaaaaack. That's gold, Jerry. Gold!

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Clap! Clap! Clap!... (Below threshold)

September 25, 2013 9:39 PM | Posted by Lilly: | Reply

Clap! Clap! Clap!

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Glad to see you posting aga... (Below threshold)

September 25, 2013 9:48 PM | Posted by Boris: | Reply

Glad to see you posting again. Porn book update?

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HGUALHUAGLAEGHGLUAULHUHAGUL... (Below threshold)

September 25, 2013 10:29 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

HGUALHUAGLAEGHGLUAULHUHAGULAE

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This is a fantastic piece, ... (Below threshold)

September 25, 2013 11:11 PM | Posted by Bill frist: | Reply

This is a fantastic piece, thanks for posting such great content again.

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> As an aside, drink Guinne... (Below threshold)

September 25, 2013 11:59 PM | Posted by zZz: | Reply

> As an aside, drink Guinness.

It is done.

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Can your blog, like for onc... (Below threshold)

September 26, 2013 12:17 AM | Posted by Q: | Reply

Can your blog, like for once, stop fucking with my head in such illuminating ways?

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incisive, as always. +1</p... (Below threshold)

September 26, 2013 12:32 AM | Posted by James: | Reply

incisive, as always. +1

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -1 (5 votes cast)
Welcome back! great return... (Below threshold)

September 26, 2013 12:53 AM | Posted by Justin: | Reply

Welcome back! great return

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I dont honestly know how I ... (Below threshold)

September 26, 2013 2:34 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I dont honestly know how I felt about the umbrella girl. It confuses me that she wouldnt ask to be walked to her car. Its also confusing that the guy would let a stranger in a city get that close to him,without showing more apprehension. It really makes no sense at all. City folk are way more wary than that.

As tlp said this stuff is for someone who sits around all day thinking "someday" without actually doing anything.

For myself I have it in my mind that im training to join the military. Whether or not I join is less important than the fact that believing that I am has given me a source of willpower to get up and exercise. This has other effects, but finding those out is an exercise left to the reader.

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Wow. If you're reading it, ... (Below threshold)

September 26, 2013 2:42 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Wow. If you're reading it, then it really is for you.

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Yay! He is back!p.s.... (Below threshold)

September 26, 2013 2:54 AM | Posted by VR: | Reply

Yay! He is back!
p.s. I love Guinness.

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I bet the Guinness ad is a ... (Below threshold)

September 26, 2013 3:18 AM | Posted by LZ: | Reply

I bet the Guinness ad is a preemptive defense against negative backlash from Arthur's Day binge drinking in a few hours. Guinness supports the handicapped... how could it also encourage alcoholism?

Other theory: the ad was an attempt to make girlfriends/wives loosen up about letting their boyfriends/husbands go out drinking with friends. Create associations of men out drinking as a demonstration of female values (loyalty, good friendship, etc.) instead of a chance to squeeze titties and puke in hedges, and more men can drink more (Guinness)!

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It is always good to see yo... (Below threshold)

September 26, 2013 4:00 AM | Posted by Zanzard: | Reply

It is always good to see you posting, Last Psychiatrist!

Would you (or, for that matter, any commenters) care to point out other ads that could easily swap the Guiness ad that was the basis for this article?

It could be a very interesting exercise, even if not necessarily a very enlightening exercise.

I'll now proceed to open a can of Heineken. Not due to any particular statement, but because I want to drink beer and my fridge is full of Heinekens. Guiness was unavailable at the supermarket where I bought these...

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Nice of them to play in whe... (Below threshold)

September 26, 2013 4:19 AM | Posted by Ben: | Reply

Nice of them to play in wheelchairs with their handicapped friend in a closed off gym where nobody can see them, and none of them will feel bad even if they get their asses kick in basketball because they a high enough walking:rolling ratio to reinforce how normal they are.

If they really wanted to be supportive they would forget the basketball game and roll up into the bar with him... or, y'know, just act normal without making him feel like everyone's catering to his disability.

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So what changed over the la... (Below threshold)

September 26, 2013 4:28 AM | Posted by Clinton: | Reply

So what changed over the last two decades to turn men into such saps?

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The basic analysis is aweso... (Below threshold)

September 26, 2013 4:44 AM | Posted by Guy Fox: | Reply

The basic analysis is awesome, but you might be selling the act of hopping in a wheelchair for a game of pickup short. It's just odd to present 'sacrifice' as a manly virtue, which I'll buy, and then to say that such manly men wouldn't deign to demean themselves by playing with their buddy. That might be sacrifice on their parts, like reading the Lorax to your kid for the 47th time that month when you'd rather be reading from 'your wife's copy' of 50 Shades or correcting post-modern psychoanalytic readings of ads on the internet or whatever. They might be helping him to prepare for a competition. He might have become paralyzed while saving all their lives in God-knows-what-kind of scenario, and it's the least they can do along with helping him move.

Given the context of the hypermasculine physiques and attire, the will-conquers-all-but-soothingly music and the fact that the activity has nothing to do with beer and when and where it was aired, you're right about the aspirational, identity-selling content of the ad. But the pettiness you assume in how the ad will be generally read by Guys sitting at home at 16:00 is also in your reading, no?

This also applies to the waitress to some extent. You're assuming that she can't be smart because you're attracted. Not just that there's a correlation between your hard on and women's inanity, which might be about you, but that the one necessarily excludes the other as a fact about the world. Again, the context being what it is, you're right, but do you still have room in your readings of the world outside of ads (what little of it there is left) for people who aren't types?

Your post about countertransference was awesome, and it included:

A post, a story, and the (mostly) silent therapist are the opposite: a screen to project on so that patient or reader can then ask, why does this make me feel like that? (Or, more rigorously: "what do you want from me?")
and
It would be an interesting experiment to read a story and write down your feelings and interpretations of it, and then return to the story a decade later.
Don't forget to go back and reread your previous readings.

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Brilliant observations. I'm... (Below threshold)

September 26, 2013 4:54 AM | Posted by LoLo: | Reply

Brilliant observations. I'm still laughing about the ghost coughing. (And a tad skeered.) ... not sure WHAT I want now.

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Tl DR?... (Below threshold)

September 26, 2013 5:26 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Tl DR?

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Thanks.... (Below threshold)

September 26, 2013 5:26 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Thanks.

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Jesus Christ, I'm glad I ha... (Below threshold)

September 26, 2013 6:02 AM | Posted by Christina: | Reply

Jesus Christ, I'm glad I have a DVR.

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Glad to hear from our frien... (Below threshold)

September 26, 2013 6:49 AM | Posted by zora: | Reply

Glad to hear from our friendly neighborhood pirate again!! :D

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Welcome back, Alone!<... (Below threshold)

September 26, 2013 7:10 AM | Posted by SusanC: | Reply

Welcome back, Alone!

Ok, so I'm going to disagree slightly on the Cadillac ad.

At the beginnining, it's imitating some kind of romantic comedy plot, in which he probably would walk her to her car. So that's our default expectation of what will happen. But also, it's a deliberately lame and over the top version of the rom-com scenario (even in the first few seconds), which signals to the viewer that they're watching a parody. And then she goes and does something which is very much more explotative of the guy than what we'd expect if it was a rom-com plot, and is so totally implausible that the viewer laughs.

The ad is playing to a presumed male viewer, though -- one who thinks that women are just exploiting him (and also, I would guess, thinks that he never has a chance of getting anywhere with her).

====

In Hooter's ad, isn't the idea it's promoting that you'll be served by a waitress who isn't just cute, but will also be able to chat with you about sports. (And this is the service you're paying for as part of the price of your chicken wings). Not (just) that she's smart, but she's prepared to chat with male customers about the kind of things guys are into.

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I'm so excited to see a TLP... (Below threshold)

September 26, 2013 7:39 AM | Posted by JW Katadreuffe: | Reply

I'm so excited to see a TLP post arrive. I've been reading him all month. He's convinced me that I do not need to consume popular culture any longer and I suddenly have all the time in the world to think about something besides the rage I feel when I encounter a meme designed to enrage me.

Why doesn't one of the men be a man and offer to walk her to her car? Because a strange man offering to walk you to your car is probably going to kill you. You think she's using these men for their protection and not paying for it, that enrages you, but she shouldn't have to pay for protection and that enrages her. Here the rain is violence and her vehicle is the citadel; civilization and thick walls.

If one of these men where to shake off the euphoria of walking in the rain with this beauty, and say, hey, I'm going to alter my plans, change my intentions for the day, with the intention of getting you safely to your car, the man that actually does man up would make himself suspect by going against the appropriate response, which is to let the woman do what she wants, we're only together because we're going the same way. If a strange man goes where she goes, that's what we call stalking. He's now in the category of the opportunistic narcissist that you say we need to be wary of, the one that won't accept that the experience ends when the car door closes.

A woman giving a sigh of relief as settles into the armor of her SUV, that is going to recall, for women, the times that she didn't know if she was going to make it to her vehicle and the security of the anonymity of transportation. It heightens the message to the women. You saw the rejection. She sees a fear that is deeper and more immediate.

The guy who sees this as; "she's using guys to get to the top" is going to have a blow out argument with the woman who sees this as "she's just trying to get to the safety of her vehicle." I'm sure both parties are lying to themselves to deny the other party the satisfaction, but that's not what matters. What matters is that they fight and feel a whole bunch of stuff that the other won't validate and think Cadillac at the same time.

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Guinness is a shitty beer.<... (Below threshold)

September 26, 2013 9:08 AM | Posted by Dale: | Reply

Guinness is a shitty beer.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -1 (23 votes cast)
Are you going to publish co... (Below threshold)

September 26, 2013 10:14 AM | Posted by Max: | Reply

Are you going to publish comments?

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Solidarity head shaving alw... (Below threshold)

September 26, 2013 10:20 AM | Posted by Flavia: | Reply

Solidarity head shaving always struck me the wrong way. It seemed to be more about the person doing it than the person with the cancer. Reminds me of FB shout outs I see from family members...

"Hey honey!! So proud of you! Thanking The Lord every day that you're my son!"

You know what most normal people do when they want to tell their son they are proud of them? They call or text them. The son is not the intended recipient of that message, it is just image crafting.

Anyway, I do like that Alone focuses on male narcissism as much or more than the female type, which is more overt, and therefore more deconstructed in other sites.

My husband never wanted me to be "smart" or like him. He always said, "Be nice, and be skinny, that's all I ask." Much easier than being some unreachable fabrication of his desire. For that I am thankful.

Glad you're back dude! These posts are always such a highlight to read, and provide a lot of drunken chatter within our little family.

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I'm glad you're back.... (Below threshold)

September 26, 2013 10:26 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I'm glad you're back.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -1 (1 votes cast)
It's been too long! Glad to... (Below threshold)

September 26, 2013 11:04 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

It's been too long! Glad to see your articles Alone.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -1 (1 votes cast)
"Why didn't one of these "m... (Below threshold)

September 26, 2013 11:32 AM | Posted by Guurzak: | Reply

"Why didn't one of these "men" just walk her to her car?"

Because she didn't ask. For anything. This guy is walking along, minding his own business, when a woman intrudes into his world without invitation or explanation. If she had approached the interaction with sincerity and said "hey, my car is right over there, would you mind terribly walking me that way?" he'd almost certainly have been happy to help out. But instead of honestly communicating her request and giving the man a chance to step up and be a man, she instead strips him of humanity and agency before a single word is said, and treats him de novo like a mobile umbrella holder.

Your stance that it's a man's job to step up to the plate and b) offer what a woman hasn't even bothered to ask for, after a) somehow reading her mind to figure out what that is in the first place, reflects a very troubling assumption of female nonresponsibility for participation in the dialogue of human interaction. If she can't be bothered to tell anyone what she wants, she absolutely doesn't get (and you don't get) to condemn anyone for not doing it.

These men didn't fail as men; you have no responsibility to show yourself a man when the person you're interacting with doesn't even see you as human. The anger is legitimate. People of good will don't use other people like that. Moreover, the anger is not sexist: if a man had done exactly the same thing, he'd have gotten punched.

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In all fairness, the woman ... (Below threshold)

September 26, 2013 12:37 PM | Posted by Meara Keele: | Reply

In all fairness, the woman under the succession of umbrellas never *tells* any of the guys that she's trying to get to her car, she just arrives, shelters & departs... "We're headed the same way, right?"

Other than that, yeah.

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He Lives!... (Below threshold)

September 26, 2013 12:52 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

He Lives!

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My brain hurts after readin... (Below threshold)

September 26, 2013 1:14 PM | Posted by me: | Reply

My brain hurts after reading this! :) Aside from that, i was surprised to discover that i agree with most of your ad autopsy axioms.

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So then, what's the answer ... (Below threshold)

September 26, 2013 2:00 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

So then, what's the answer for men in this era? Outcome independence? Stop paying for things for girls and stop picking up the check? Are men supposed to read The Stoics and go live alone in the woods (MGTOW)?

Or is the fact that I'm asking these questions proof that I'm just another beta male?

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Happy Arthur's day. ... (Below threshold)

September 26, 2013 3:23 PM | Posted by Seamus: | Reply

Happy Arthur's day.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -1 (1 votes cast)
If I want a Guinness but le... (Below threshold)

September 26, 2013 3:45 PM | Posted by whatever: | Reply

If I want a Guinness but less than before reading this, am I still a wuss?

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 4 (4 votes cast)
Just this one more time, I ... (Below threshold)

September 26, 2013 4:03 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Just this one more time, I am posting.
1. Guiness stout is kinda boring, but the eccentricities of the guiness family, and of English and Scottish (they are Scottish, right?) eccentrics are kind of compelling, probably more so than American eccentrics and not counting that Virgin company guy.
2. \she shaved her head why??? To show solidarity, or seriously to show bald women can be sexy? Cuz we already know bald chicks can be sexy, like early sinead o’connor. But-showing bald can be sexy is not the same as showing cancer can be sexy. And people do tend tyo have problems dealing with the sexuality of chronically and terminally ill people. Shaving one’s head won’t solve this. Trying to patch it together after your partner gets sick is slightly better. Trying to have a decent relationship with your sexuality, her sexuality and aging should help. Which is I guess why I posted.
3. Men being men and women being women and women being men… I have no idea right now. No big statements today. I didn’t watch any of the commercials. Probably it is really simple. Do your own thing until someone makes you want to do more of their thing with your thing. (an awful sentence, I know). I didn’t- that wasn’t sexual, I just meant the whole question of how to be a good rep of your gender, whatever you consider that to be. Just do what is cool with you until you decide to switch some shit up. And while this might sound trivial, I think it the miasma of gender and sexual bullshit kids and even adults get from television an d movies and wherever they get their models from, it might be kind of nice simple advice.
No- not nearly soap boxy enough. One big payoff maybe for being marri3d before you start to get sick and die is that by then you are used to the other person so you can take care of them (including their sexuality). If kellie pickler really did shave her head to show cancer can be sexy, that is unfair pressure on women with cancer, sure they want to look good, but I bet they equally want to be free to be less than perfect and loved for that at the same time.
And if there is anyone stupid out there who thinks chronically and terminally ill people don’t have sexual and romantic or emotional wants and needs of a physical nature, seriously, get a clue right away.
I guess that is it.
Oh no- one more. And---this whole thing with showing solidarity by wearing a pink ribbon or a tee shirt? I highly recommend volunteering in a nursing (long term care ) home if you really care, or a hospital, or just clueing in to your neighbors and real people and their wants and needs so you know what they need if and when they get sick. YOU might feel good wearing a pink ribbon, but I kinda doubt it makes a real cancer patient feel that much stronger. So find oiut what does work and do that instead, assuming you really do care. Also, some people find slightly empty gestures insulting- a sort of fakey fake “I feel your pain” type of bullshit thing.
I’ve made all of these mistakes, btw. All of them a few times over. But I still try to try.
...
oh. i watched teh commercial- I do things kind of gradually. but anyway- it is nice! I like it! think kellie pickler still seems kinda dumb, but y'know, who cares.

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nice party trick if you're ... (Below threshold)

September 26, 2013 4:03 PM | Posted by grapplerx: | Reply

nice party trick if you're stuck in range of commercials is to mute the commercials and dub them with the whole gang!

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Nice gender policing, Alone... (Below threshold)

September 26, 2013 4:21 PM | Posted by sdenheyer: | Reply

Nice gender policing, Alone.

http://theredpillroom.blogspot.ca/2012/10/free-to-be-man.html

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Great analysis. Thanks. I h... (Below threshold)

September 26, 2013 4:33 PM | Posted by John: | Reply

Great analysis. Thanks. I hope the book is going well.

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What a bunch of horse shit!... (Below threshold)

September 26, 2013 5:02 PM | Posted by Tony: | Reply

What a bunch of horse shit! Off to listen to the Girls in Hoodies podcast to wash the taste out.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -9 (17 votes cast)
Welcome back! That was marv... (Below threshold)

September 26, 2013 5:09 PM | Posted by Nicholas: | Reply

Welcome back! That was marvelous!

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -1 (1 votes cast)
I've missed you so much.</p... (Below threshold)

September 26, 2013 6:34 PM | Posted by Toffeemama: | Reply

I've missed you so much.

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Hm. The echt asshattery of ... (Below threshold)

September 26, 2013 6:58 PM | Posted by Jambe: | Reply

Hm. The echt asshattery of refusing to share an umbrella is framed as a sexed or gendered act though it's nothing of the sort.

Your presumably non-feckless male alternatives are the motivators of chivalry on the one hand and expectation of favors on the other. The former (rejected) option conflates mundane nicety with essentialist gender identity while the latter (tentatively embraced) epitomizes what was earlier decried as "betaness".

This false dichotomy between chivalry and favor-hunting is conspicuous given the earlier mention of beta mentality, a notion which is the well-trodden territory of self-styled pickup artists and externalizing narcissists (which we're supposed to dislike).

It has occurred to me that you're playing to a crowd. You espouse courtesy as its own reward ("take it, you fools!") but you know the crowd demands more. Enter the addition that one might get a future drink from niceness in the now. Yes, the karma-carrot narratively framed as glorified selfishness; they'll eat that shit up. Imply some spice, too, eh? Maybe MORE than a drink. Unlikely, but nothing ventured, nothing gained!

Seems you're mocking your audience. Your points all seem knowingly borne by a cynical consumerist's view of sociality. Human interactions are games; it's all give and take. Every interpersonal endeavour espouses guile.

Comers will profess non-misogyny and bemoan feminism or the modern male's lack of confidence. You'll sit back, sigh, and think, "dance little puppets."

I could be giving you too much credit, I suppose. Maybe it's the stimulant talking.

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/Comers will profess non-mi... (Below threshold)

September 26, 2013 7:16 PM | Posted by Me: | Reply

/Comers will profess non-misogyny and bemoan feminism or the modern male's lack of confidence.

Wasn't one of Alone's points that feminism was explicitly not the problem?

"""
"Well, feminism has emasculated men." Really? A girl did that to you?
"""

His point is probably something to the effect of "The problem is you." And maybe stop focussing on you.

Totally unrelated: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wQ5mcU-wwYo

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The guy referred to as Vita... (Below threshold)

September 26, 2013 7:57 PM | Posted by admo: | Reply

The guy referred to as Vitamin E (I don't get this reference, any help?) is Jon Gruden, former NFL head coach. Just thought I'd point that piece of trivia out before I flip back to SportsCenter.

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"It has occurred to me that... (Below threshold)

September 26, 2013 8:24 PM | Posted, in reply to Jambe's comment, by admo: | Reply

"It has occurred to me that you're playing to a crowd. You espouse courtesy as its own reward ("take it, you fools!") but you know the crowd demands more. Enter the addition that one might get a future drink from niceness in the now. Yes, the karma-carrot narratively framed as glorified selfishness; they'll eat that shit up. Imply some spice, too, eh? Maybe MORE than a drink. Unlikely, but nothing ventured, nothing gained!"

Yeah, the crowd is the American beta male. Alone is saying, basically, since you're a beta male, and you're consumed with some combination of fear/guilt for trying to pursue women, just go for chivalry or plain selfishness instead and see where that gets you. That's step one. Repeat step one a few times, and maybe Alone's audience will shrink by one in the near future.

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Why didn't the men think to... (Below threshold)

September 26, 2013 11:44 PM | Posted by Jirafa: | Reply

Why didn't the men think to walk her to her car?

Because when a beautiful, well dressed young woman you've never met before starts walking close alongside you she's probably working.

They are trying to sell a Cadillac after all...

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Fuck you. ... (Below threshold)

September 27, 2013 12:06 AM | Posted by Cunt: | Reply

Fuck you.

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Wait, I thought this sort o... (Below threshold)

September 27, 2013 12:28 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Wait, I thought this sort of emasculation existed only in the land of anime, and by extension - japan.

Whats it doing in America?

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WHERE'S YOUR PORN BOOK, DAM... (Below threshold)

September 27, 2013 1:16 AM | Posted by Matt: | Reply

WHERE'S YOUR PORN BOOK, DAMMIT?!

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I normally agree with Alone... (Below threshold)

September 27, 2013 4:38 AM | Posted by Skef: | Reply

I normally agree with Alone's take on these things, but I'm not sure I buy the Guinness ad analysis. I would find it easier to accept if certain wheelchair sports, including wheelchair basketball, weren't a thing. A surprising number of alpha-male types have seen Murderball (which is wheelchair rugby, but rugby doesn't scan for a U.S. commercial). The "point" of Murderball is to present the sport as not just being a diminished version of something else.

Many many years ago before California Pizza Kitchen expanded and got sucky, I used to tell people that they would like it better if they just put the whole "pizza" thing out of their mind. If you were in the mood for a big, greasy slice of pepperoni, CPK wouldn't cut it. Best to just put it in its own category. And regardless of whether people put wheelchair basketball in its own category, it certainly is quite distinct -- the skills are very different and I'm sure it's very hard to do well. So suppose those guys play regular basketball too, does that really matter? Wheelchair basketball is only a diminished version of it if they're in the same category.

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Another aspect of the Cadil... (Below threshold)

September 27, 2013 7:48 AM | Posted by Jacob Willem Katadreuffe: | Reply

Another aspect of the Cadillac commercial is fear. When she lets loose that sign from the perch of her driver's seat, it is because she has made it to the safety of her SUV. It is a citadel. She is surrounded by civilization and thick walls.

A vehicle is safety. If not the commanding hight and thick walls of an SUV, than the safety in the anonymity of traffic. This recalls those times when a woman sought the safety of her vehicle, the times when she didn't know if she was going to make it to the safety of her vehicle.

In this analogy, the Cadillac is physical security, the rain is a culture of violence, and the men protect her from the rain while she controls them because she has to; "After you."

If one of those men where to offer to walk her to her car, if he were to collect his wits while walking with this beauty under and umbrella in the rain, and say, let me escort you to where you're going, now he's a stranger following a woman in the street. That would make him a stalker, wouldn't it? What if one of these men is one of those opportunistic narcissists that won't accept that this movie is over when her car door closes? Rage, perhaps?

Which can lead to some pretty intense arguments. "She's using all these guys to get a Cadillac." It's a metaphor for marriage and divorce. "She's just trying to get to the safety of her vehicle." It's a metaphor for navigating a dangerous world.

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Interesting aside... "8/10 ... (Below threshold)

September 27, 2013 8:38 AM | Posted by Narcissus Thespiae: | Reply

Interesting aside... "8/10 that approach anxiety is defensive"

So I am unconsciously trying to alert myself that (against the shiny advert–type) she's not what I really want. I've been told to want this, so on some level I do–– but not really.

Would this not then ultimately intimate that the only way to win, is not to play? Seems you have suggested that along the way.

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The lady in the umbrella ad... (Below threshold)

September 27, 2013 11:59 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

The lady in the umbrella ad moved pretty fast. I'm not sure I'd have had time to react at all before she flitted to the next guy. Not because I'm processing some sort of post-modern gender politics semiotic word salad, so much as the fact that pretty girls make me stupid. Two seconds later, she's darting to the next guy.

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"""a pervasive sense... (Below threshold)

September 27, 2013 2:55 PM | Posted by Sean: | Reply

"""
a pervasive sense of insecurity and inadequacy in many men which has a precise psychoanalytic characterization that I will not elaborate on here and which the ad reassures you is soooo not true, you loyal friend, you--
"""

Don't tease like that. Please do elaborate. After all, this describes roughly 80% of the men I know.

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caddy girl moved too fast. ... (Below threshold)

September 27, 2013 2:55 PM | Posted by Mclarry: | Reply

caddy girl moved too fast. only the last guy had enough time for somebody slow witted like myself to offer walking her. that said, I need to read this one 3 more times to wrap my head around. vitamin E?

thanks for the new post.

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The final act, is the fetis... (Below threshold)

September 27, 2013 3:37 PM | Posted by Shamgar: | Reply

The final act, is the fetish disavowal. The insistence (she's a cunt) of reinforcing identity and in so doing *not* facing the negation of negation (I am the problem/dying to self as identity).

Žižek provides a wonderful definition of the ‘negation of negation’ in Less Than Nothing:

The shift from negation to the negation of negation is a shift from the objective to the subjective dimension: in direct negation, the subject observes a change in the object (its disintegration, its passage into its opposite), while in the negation of negation, the subject includes itself in the process, taking into account how the process it is observing affects its own position.

Kierkegaard was right to say we do not believe. We believe to believe.

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That would be narcissism.</... (Below threshold)

September 27, 2013 3:39 PM | Posted, in reply to Sean's comment, by Bill Clinton: | Reply

That would be narcissism.

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Old timers: It is because o... (Below threshold)

September 27, 2013 3:51 PM | Posted by Eddie Teach: | Reply

Old timers: It is because of my love for you that your features appear to me as worthy of love. Til death do us part.

Current generations: I love you because of your properties which are worthy of love. Until that is, they aren't.

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That Sean, would be narciss... (Below threshold)

September 27, 2013 3:57 PM | Posted, in reply to Sean's comment, by Hilarious Bookbinder: | Reply

That Sean, would be narcissism. Its mentioned a time or two, I think, in the archives.

As for the article...Žižek provides a wonderful definition of the ‘negation of negation’ in Less Than Nothing:

The shift from negation to the negation of negation is a shift from the objective to the subjective dimension: in direct negation, the subject observes a change in the object (its disintegration, its passage into its opposite), while in the negation of negation, the subject includes itself in the process, taking into account how the process it is observing affects its own position. Let us take the ‘highest’ example, that of crucifixion: the subject first observes the most radical ‘negation’ imaginable, the death of God; then, it becomes aware of how the death of God opens up the space for its own (subjective) freedom.
[299-300]

Without the negation of negation, we follow the endless cycle of narcissism (blaming the other, re-enforcing identity, etc,). Always worth the wait, Alone, thanks.

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Sounds like you didn't read... (Below threshold)

September 27, 2013 4:25 PM | Posted, in reply to Jambe's comment, by Andrew: | Reply

Sounds like you didn't read the whole article. It really sounds like you stopped halfway through and then drew a conclusion. And why are you hiding behind academic-speak? "essentialist gender identity"? Get out of the books. No one is impressed.

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A question has been nagging... (Below threshold)

September 27, 2013 4:58 PM | Posted by K.S.: | Reply

A question has been nagging at my mind for the last few TLP posts, although it only became clear while reading this one.

As I understand Alone's premise/framework, it is:
1. the media has a target
2. that target is you, by definition (if you're watching...)
3. media can reveal unpleasant truths about the audience--you--and can also reinforce or create unhealthy attitudes

My question: what happens when the media misses the target? N.B. I'm not concerned with the cases where the target gets the message without being consciously aware of it, that's seems to be the point.

Does the message cease to matter if it's not received? Imagine a naive viewer who doesn't have all the cultural associations that the ads reference. If you don't know the symbols, how do you "read" the subtext? Imagine Alone's daughter watches the Cadillac ad. Does she take *any* message away from it if she hasn't already learned that women manipulate men, men are jerks, etc?

TL;DR does the media only matter in context? can the audience miss the message?

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OK, let's presume that the ... (Below threshold)

September 27, 2013 6:15 PM | Posted by Classicist: | Reply

OK, let's presume that the typical beta male reaction to the Cadillac commercial is to hate the girl. How does Cadillac benefit from inculcating that gentle hatred?

And no - I didn't think to walk her to her car, either.

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Alone, what is your opinion... (Below threshold)

September 27, 2013 6:24 PM | Posted by ben ten: | Reply

Alone, what is your opinion on the hatred against photoshopping models in todays media?

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>"The point is not simply t... (Below threshold)

September 27, 2013 7:05 PM | Posted by PD: | Reply

>"The point is not simply that those men should have walked her to her car, the point is that the ad knew with 100% certainty that it would not occur to any man watching to do this; that it would not occur to any woman watching that it's weird no man thought to do this. Meanwhile, what did occur to men was that she's a jerk."

Wow is this ridiculous. The ad knows that you won't see the error because the ad has been very deliberately edited to prevent you from seeing it. The woman never walks more than five feet with any of the men, which, of course, makes absolutely no sense until you consider that that if she *did* walk more than five feet with them, they would say, "where are you headed?" and etc.

To conclude that it wouldn't occur to the men to walk her to her car *in reality* is completely backwards. That is exactly what they would do, which is why the ad is cut the way that it is. That is also why it's so obnoxious. It doesn't matter whether these men are "real men" or "pussies" or whether they are chivalrous or egotistic or whatever. How would you know? They never have a chance to react. She doesn't know and she doesn't care, because they are so completely objectified.

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>"The point is not simply t... (Below threshold)

September 27, 2013 7:06 PM | Posted by PD: | Reply

>"The point is not simply that those men should have walked her to her car, the point is that the ad knew with 100% certainty that it would not occur to any man watching to do this; that it would not occur to any woman watching that it's weird no man thought to do this. Meanwhile, what did occur to men was that she's a jerk."

Wow is this ridiculous. The ad knows that you won't see the error because the ad has been very deliberately edited to prevent you from seeing it. The woman never walks more than five feet with any of the men, which, of course, makes absolutely no sense until you consider that that if she *did* walk more than five feet with them, they would say, "where are you headed?" and etc.

To conclude that it wouldn't occur to the men to walk her to her car *in reality* is completely backwards. That is exactly what they would do, which is why the ad is cut the way that it is. That is also why it's so obnoxious. It doesn't matter whether these men are "real men" or "pussies" or whether they are chivalrous or egotistic or whatever. How would you know? They never have a chance to react. She doesn't know and she doesn't care, because they are so completely objectified.

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oohh new post!!! What a sur... (Below threshold)

September 27, 2013 9:16 PM | Posted by Anshu: | Reply

oohh new post!!! What a surprise! I just checked the page expecting to see the "Still alive" post. I hope this will be worth the wait. :) Thanks for not forgetting us.

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I don't understand this adv... (Below threshold)

September 27, 2013 10:08 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I don't understand this advert, it's a "lets do an apple advert without delivering", it's what? To be a man you need to cutoff your balls WTF has that got to do with a drink? Who the fuck is this aimed at? I'm guessing manginas.

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If I were a paraplegic id h... (Below threshold)

September 28, 2013 1:15 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

If I were a paraplegic id hate the guiness commercial. what sort of person relates to what tlp has written?

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Ads are aspirational, but t... (Below threshold)

September 28, 2013 2:03 AM | Posted by PaulK: | Reply

Ads are aspirational, but they are also about validation and affirmation -- people like to see their way of life and their current self affirmed (because egos want to avoid change, yes?).

The Guinness ad also validates a widespread fear among white males of basketball. Basketball on unicyles? Yes (http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2691/4191777079_128898bff4.jpg. Basketball in a wheelchair? Fine. Basketball on two feet? GOOD GOD, NO! So what this ad does is affirm that it can be cool to play a wussied-down version of a "real" sport.

The Cadillac ad affirms that, yes, real guys will let a beautiful, assertive woman walk all over them. How could they not? That's just how it works nowadays. So if you have the money for a Cadillac, then get one! Because it's the car that says there's absolutely nothing wrong with freezing up in the presence of a beautiful young woman. But at least she got under the umbrella with you for a couple of seconds, and for a lot of guys out there, that would make their whole week. Maybe even month.

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I loved the article and it ... (Below threshold)

September 28, 2013 4:20 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I loved the article and it got me thinking. Something didn't sit right.

Guinness ads aren't marketed to 50 year olds. They're set in their ways. And Budweiser has the frat market under wraps. Guinness markets towards post college 22-40 year olds who can afford an extra few bucks per beer. Point being, it's the generation below the dumbest generation of narcissists in the history of the world. What's your take on the pathology in these kids?

The men are beta males and the women are subservient and not willing to take power, instead getting jobs in industries where the women have the trappings of power. I get that from the this and the last series of posts, though I'd argue the seeking of trappings of power occurs in the beta males. But what's the axis II disorder?

By your article, it seems we're in for another generation of narcissists with cripple boy playing a role in the young men's movie so the young men can play down to his level and feel better about themselves, taking on the role of "good friend". They are the kind of people that latch onto anything that externally validates their identity. Masculine men play basketball so these men play basketball. Beta men play down to a friend's level, so these men play down to that level. My question is, are they truly narcissists? I wonder if we're seeing the emergence of a generation of dependent personalities, in response to narcissistic parents. These men are dependent on their handicapped friend telling them they are good friends. These women are dependent on their industry to tell them they're powerful, trappings of power be damned. These beta men are dependent on a woman to make the move and don't think to walk her to her car. Worse than that, and a point I think you missed or glossed over, is no man saw the woman in the rain, or dodging from umbrella to umbrella, and before she approached him, asked her if she needed help.

Dependent personalities explains the support of the nanny state in young 'uns and why they voted in Obama, twice, and why both masculinity and femininity are converging. It explains why no man has the balls to walk a woman to her car after being approached, or to approach a woman in the rain and ask if she needs help. Hollywood says men are expected to shave their chests and trim their junk. Women their legs and vags. Men, both gay and straight, are increasingly welcomed into slut walks and radical feminist gatherings. I feel like we're missing something if we assume this is narcissism again. What do you and/or your readers think?

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That "gentle hatred" is ina... (Below threshold)

September 28, 2013 4:48 AM | Posted, in reply to Classicist's comment, by Matt: | Reply

That "gentle hatred" is inadequacy in disguise. The ad shows you precisely how you are a loser. The proposed solution? A Cadillac!

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And this sense of inadequac... (Below threshold)

September 28, 2013 7:36 AM | Posted, in reply to Matt's comment, by davidwolkenstein: | Reply

And this sense of inadequacy IS what TLP describes as narcissism. So now that everyone has unanimously decided that the problem is narcissism, the solution (which even TLP doesn't have, otherwise he would have told us by now) long overdue has to be invented. I have properly identified the kernel of the problem, and it is on the brink of being solved. If anyone wants to work together, they can contact me at my username and outlook.com

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The video under II seems to... (Below threshold)

September 28, 2013 8:10 AM | Posted by FRRibs: | Reply

The video under II seems to be offline or removed.

Also; always a pleasure to see your insightful, curmudgeonly self spinning out another dense commentary.

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I think you over analysed t... (Below threshold)

September 28, 2013 9:38 AM | Posted by Coop: | Reply

I think you over analysed the cadillac ad a bit, the message it conveys is pretty straight forward:
It is saying that the watcher isnt enough to hold on a beautiful woman. It doesnt matter if youre a handsome executive, a young black fellow or a shy early thirties guy. A Cadillac will get her - so go get one.

I really enjoy your ad analysis, would you or any of the readers recommend a book on psychology of advertisement?

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"That's your metaphor for a... (Below threshold)

September 28, 2013 11:10 AM | Posted by ArgleBargleZarg: | Reply

"That's your metaphor for an aspirational, westernized, privileged but still socially conscious young man in India surrounded by... the rest of India."

If you're taking this interpretation of the Indian ad, then wouldn't a plausible interpretation of the American ad be that, rather than appealing to "beta males," it's appealing to a sense of noblesse oblige in an "aspirational, privileged but still socially conscious young man" in the U.S.? Also, it's interesting to note that the Indian ad presents a more authentically Christian message than the American one.

Great post, by the way!

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Meh, you had me till you tu... (Below threshold)

September 28, 2013 11:20 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by ArgleBargleZarg: | Reply

Meh, you had me till you turned to politics. The G.I., or so called "Greatest Generation," voted for FDR, who was far to the left of Obama, four times. Would you describe them as being a gang of dependents with converging sexualities?

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I suppose I should have pre... (Below threshold)

September 28, 2013 1:19 PM | Posted, in reply to Hilarious Bookbinder's comment, by Sean: | Reply

I suppose I should have predicted that that would be the answer, but it doesn't quite match the sort of character I was envisioning, which is basically a beta. Is a beta really a variant of narcissist?

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oops, I meant wolkenstein a... (Below threshold)

September 28, 2013 1:25 PM | Posted, in reply to davidwolkenstein's comment, by david: | Reply

oops, I meant wolkenstein at outlook.com
no spam please

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I'm now waiting for my coug... (Below threshold)

September 28, 2013 4:43 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I'm now waiting for my coughing brunette Hooters ghost so I can beat the fuck out of a Cadillac.

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So Alone, after you read th... (Below threshold)

September 28, 2013 8:59 PM | Posted by ThingNo2: | Reply

So Alone, after you read the reactions to your writings-what happens?

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"The cedar roasted asparagu... (Below threshold)

September 28, 2013 9:25 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

"The cedar roasted asparagus has good chew. I don't know how to enjoy it, so I'll Instagram it."

If you know it has good chew, why don't you enjoy it by chewing it? WHY DON'T YOU CHEW IT, IMAGINARY EXAMPLE MAN!?

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Welcome back, I missed thes... (Below threshold)

September 28, 2013 10:26 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Welcome back, I missed these posts.

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There is a certain manic ch... (Below threshold)

September 28, 2013 10:40 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

There is a certain manic character to your words which feels defensive. Are you defending against some disavowed aspect of the castration you see in our society's men?

Policing gender - I felt this too. What would become of your worldview if the splitting we use on gender were allowed to fall, the ambiguity and flux that characterizes life allowed to take over. How would your premises work if you weren't formatted in a heterocentric oedipal triangle.

Chodorow and Butler are my abiding friends.

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8/10 that approach... (Below threshold)

September 29, 2013 1:28 AM | Posted by TheCoconutChef: | Reply

8/10 that approach anxiety is defensive, you think you want something you really do not want

"I'm the kind of guy that can get that kind of girl and I'm going to prove it by doing it right now."

But then what you want is a proof and not the girl and so, you know, poor girl.

Also, the man who want proof is also and necessarily the one who isn't sure about himself, which is the point of proof.

But how is the anxiety not about the result? That is, because so much is at stake (the guy's identity) he, therefore, is anxious.

But I can see that if we were talking about somebody who really wanted to girl, he'd be more concerned about her and what stood in his way than about how he looked.

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Now I see that the Chipotle... (Below threshold)

September 29, 2013 2:17 AM | Posted by Oedepism: | Reply

Now I see that the Chipotle 'factory' ad was far beneath your talents. Insightful and amazing stuff, Sensei. Thanks

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If I recall correctly from ... (Below threshold)

September 29, 2013 8:00 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

If I recall correctly from the post on the Steubenville rape case, the chick thing to do is reducing yourself TO REFUSE a show of solidarity, in that particular example 'making sure you're the next to get a non-consensual dicking by calling your fellow woman a slut for getting the first one'.

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"How would your premises wo... (Below threshold)

September 29, 2013 11:26 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

"How would your premises work if you weren't formatted in a heterocentric oedipal triangle."

enjoy the social construction of the "down vote"

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I guess he loses another bi... (Below threshold)

September 29, 2013 11:27 AM | Posted, in reply to ThingNo2's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

I guess he loses another bit of his remaining sanity

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I think the very first thin... (Below threshold)

September 29, 2013 11:31 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

I think the very first thing should be rejecting the idea of masculinity sold by the media and feminism (ie men are men if they emasculate themselves completely).

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I have that sinking feeling... (Below threshold)

September 29, 2013 12:36 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I have that sinking feeling you get when you realise you've got problems that are completely your own responsibility to fix.

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Maybe I will critically eva... (Below threshold)

September 29, 2013 3:36 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Maybe I will critically evaluate whether it should matter to me, while noting that it does.
I made you angry- I wonder what part of that is you and what was me. Enjoy the up vote.

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A deep thinking post.... (Below threshold)

September 30, 2013 1:37 AM | Posted by Laurie M: | Reply

A deep thinking post.

A great welcome present for a long break.

And – start or stop drinking Guinnes, it doesn’t really matter.

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TLP, I love you, but you're... (Below threshold)

September 30, 2013 3:54 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

TLP, I love you, but you're wrong this time. Not about the Cadillac or the Hooters, but about the Guinness commercial. Your analysis only works if wheelchair basketball is actually "reducing" the bipeds--it's not. Wheelchair basketball isn't easier than regular basketball, it's just different--different muscles worked, different height to shoot from, different strategy, etc. In this commercial, the gentlemen presumably acquired a new, difficult skill in order to continue to play team sports with their friend. If the goal of their basketball playing is to get in the NBA, then yeah, you win. If the goal of their basketball playing is to have social time with their friends where they get to bodyslam each other, then they're doing it right. Except they should shit-talk more. There we agree.

I admit to having only a passing familiarity with team sports of any description, but I still think you're wrong on this one. Please write more stuff, I missed you.

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Sorry anon. Meant to give y... (Below threshold)

September 30, 2013 11:01 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Sorry anon. Meant to give you an upvote, but my touchscreen slipped.

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We don't get our morals fro... (Below threshold)

September 30, 2013 3:07 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by WraithKingPrime: | Reply

We don't get our morals from commercials, the ads are a reflection of societal ideals.

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What about the people who c... (Below threshold)

September 30, 2013 3:33 PM | Posted by Roger U: | Reply

What about the people who come up with the ads? Who is "the system" or "they" who tells us how to think? If the big insight is that people are influenced by, and in turn influence, other people then I'm disappointed. Your articles seem to imply that a larger influence is at work on us plebes, but it is never named.

For the record, I've seen the Guinnes add a couple of times and never even realised it was a Guines ad because it didn't hold my attention long enough for me to see the product placement. Now that you've broken it down for me, I don't feel enlightened. I'm not saying the article wasn't interesting, I just don't see the point.

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If someone says to you, we'... (Below threshold)

September 30, 2013 5:28 PM | Posted, in reply to Guurzak's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

If someone says to you, we're heading the same way, right?", wouldn't the absolutely natural response be, "I don't know, where are you going?" Unless you are so caught up in the hot chick thing that your prick has stolen all the blood from your brain.

Which is I think what TLPs point was. But, you know, maybe reading TLP has stolen all the blood from my brain.

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Am I sane? Is my c... (Below threshold)

September 30, 2013 5:50 PM | Posted by WhoAmI: | Reply

Am I sane?

Is my computer hacked? It's not for amusement the question is put forth.

In any case: thank you for the post.

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Thank you for one of the m... (Below threshold)

September 30, 2013 5:59 PM | Posted, in reply to TINJ's comment, by Jensen: | Reply

Thank you for one of the most thoughtful comments I've read on this site (or maybe I'm just saying that because I agree with it). I'll add my observation that IMHO (perhaps I just hang out with the wrong crowd being surrounded by the target demographic of reddit 24*7, which includes very few women) it seems that the type of men who generally use terms like "beta" don't even consider *any* positive traits to be feminine, only the negative ones. "Feminine" empathy and cooperation has been embraced by men and rebranded as "being a bro." The few men who are married discuss how "the wife" keeps them from any positive activities (aside from making babies, I guess). Women who don't act like that are not regarded as real women. Perhaps they are called a "broette."

From my perspective as an outsider, it seems as if the women have no space and no positive traits left to them, not even from a sexist "men and women are equal but different" perspective that used to be prevalent. It looks like they're backsliding to non-entities, even as I'm told that they're doing better than ever in the workplace. I don't see it in a workplace that is 90% men, at least 12% undegreed men, and 8% female secretaries with BS degrees (I did the math). Yet we don't fight fires, we don't shoot people, we don't do hard science, we don't do a single "masculine" thing that the old "division of labor by sex" proponents would consider a valid reason to keep women out or put them in the lowest positions.

The two or three men who are feminists whisper about how it makes us look bad when about 30-40% of our job applicants are women, yet the percentage of men employed has been growing. Everyone else talks about how a woman could never be the protagonist in a serious gangster story, and aren't these feminists so ridiculous, oh one of the girls made cupcakes for us today, hey anyone want to go out and get away from the wife tonight?

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Wheelchair basketball is... (Below threshold)

September 30, 2013 6:18 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Oedepism: | Reply

Wheelchair basketball isn't easier than regular basketball, it's just different.

True enough, but I guarantee that if you survey 100 American Families less than ten are going to even think of that. The popular perception of a wheelchair is as a handicap, which is why the same word is used for free points in... well, basketball.

But as long as we're picking nits here, each of the sports wheelchairs used by the nine able-bodied men cost $2000 (go ahead: try finding a rental). Read into that whatever you like, but I'm going to go with "utterly implausible fantasy".

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"Self-Made Man" by Norah Vi... (Below threshold)

September 30, 2013 7:18 PM | Posted, in reply to TINJ's comment, by Nobody Atall: | Reply

"Self-Made Man" by Norah Vincent

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loyalty? A virtue of women... (Below threshold)

September 30, 2013 7:19 PM | Posted, in reply to LZ's comment, by Nobody Atall: | Reply

loyalty? A virtue of women? Ummmm ... no.

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Completely off base comment... (Below threshold)

September 30, 2013 11:54 PM | Posted, in reply to TINJ's comment, by 2Wycked: | Reply

Completely off base comment.

First off, stand off that ridiculous rhetoric that masculinity and femininity are purely social constructs. Google David Reimer. Many cases like his exist that proves a great bit of male and female behavior is biological, not a social construct.

You seem to be strongly sympathetic to feminism, which is amusing because it is inherently meaningless and stands for nothing substantive. Let me guess, you take strong stands against rape, domestic violence and hatred. How bold.

First off, it is obvious that you don't know anything about MRA's. MRA's are basically the clean-up crew for narcissistic women (feminists) who only give a damn about themselves. MRA's try, in vain, to convince feminists men are more than objects, but they will always fail. You can't cure narcissism. Still, feminists hide behind other women and pretend they give a damn about other women, but the hilarious fights between feminists on race, sexuality and all that strongly suggests feminists, now and historically, have always been narcissistic.

Second, I really don't know who you think PUA's are, but you are probably just upset that psychological tactics work on you. Further, you also probably have the vestigial remains of Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder that has plagued America from its inception. Most, but not all, people who complain about misogyny, believe in feminism and attack MRA's with rage have levels of this personality disorder. You simply can't handle your anti-social impulses.

Third, are you even remotely aware of what this blog about? You think the destruction of these social constructs of gender will result in a society where people are judged on the merits? That's laughable that you think people are not judged currently on the merits. Narcissism, once again. Destroy people's historical and traditional roles? Gee, I wonder what personality disorder will replace that? Further, you say that people (you) are not judged currently on the merits - due to sexism - that is because you cannot handle being judged. Your sense of self is fragile, like just about everyone else's.

Fourth, and finally, you have absolutely zero understanding of what masculinity and femininity are. As expected, you have little sense of the world around you and seem to just project everything you want the world to be out. Yes, you want what you label sexism and misogyny to exist in the world. Are you a woman in 20's or 30's? That would fit Lasch's concept of radical politics stabilizing a young person's sense of self in our narcissistic society. You need to be a victim in order to avoid the eventual narcissistic injury you will be hurt by: You are not all even close to what you thought you would be in your head.

In the ballpark, honey?

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Forget the stupid porn book... (Below threshold)

October 1, 2013 12:47 AM | Posted by Slider: | Reply

Forget the stupid porn book. Writing a post like this and writing porn (not about it) gives me cognitive dissonance. Don't guys who obsess about porn also belong in this category? Also, I agree with others about the umbrella commercial. She doesn't ask for anything. Otherwise, the analysis would be correct.

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I find it fascinating that ... (Below threshold)

October 1, 2013 2:35 AM | Posted, in reply to 2Wycked's comment, by Jensen: | Reply

I find it fascinating that you discuss movements related to individual rights while making sweeping generalizations about men and women, feminists and MRAs. Then you follow this up with an even more fascinating assertion that feminists are narcissistic, but the male answer to what you see feminists as being (a special interest group wanting special privileges) are not. Additionally, you seem to think that PUA tactics are real, ignoring the truth that those who are "manipulated" by them seem to be willing victims. Or so it seems to me; I won't presume to speak for women's experience, but I could only see someone being "tricked" if they're pathologically too nice to say no. The rest is a bit of a dance; hence it's called "game." The people who really aren't looking for sex probably aren't going to respond with more than cursory politeness.

I don't think women need any help destroying idealized traditional roles, given the willingness of such upstanding men to go out of their way to bully women who are just asking for the freedom to fend for themselves because straight men have done such an awful job of watching out for them, as such men have insisted is their right. "I wouldn't need feminism if men didn't try and fail to tell me what was good for me," is a quote I've heard. Or maybe bully is the traditional role of the straight man.

But what do I know...

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I didn't get guinness add, ... (Below threshold)

October 1, 2013 6:03 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I didn't get guinness add, but I like the Cinematic Orchestra generally. I think the emotional response comes from the music mainly. It's a nostalgic/recovering from depression sounding song sung in a wimpy voice which is the kind of feeling one goes for with drink.

As for 'stereotypical' looking men with the 'carefully managed stubble', we're all fashion victims to some extent. Can't make me feel bad about that one :)

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Wait, both feminists & MRA'... (Below threshold)

October 1, 2013 6:14 AM | Posted, in reply to Jensen's comment, by 2Wycked: | Reply

Wait, both feminists & MRA's are narcissists in my analysis..both are seeking to further their agenda, for sure. Sure, MRA's have more ground to legitimately cover at this point, but they WILL become straight-up narcissists just like feminists.

Still, WTF is this "trick" analysis you cough up? Those women "manipulated" by PUA are too "nice" to say no? You should read your last paragraph and wonder why you even comment on this blog.

Further, do you understand sexual arousal? I can't approach this point because you just try to straight up blur so much here.

Blah, blah, blah - why can't we go back to a time when OCPD ruled the day and we had better defenses against our anti-social rage?

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further, isn't 'carefully m... (Below threshold)

October 1, 2013 9:20 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

further, isn't 'carefully managed stubble' as carefully managed as 'clean shaven'??

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So is the 1990's Guinness a... (Below threshold)

October 1, 2013 9:36 AM | Posted by Rubicon: | Reply

So is the 1990's Guinness advertisement aspirational as well. As in "you're a loser but drink Guinness and you can be a real man"?

Whereas today's is "you're really NOT a loser(even though your watching sports at 4pm), feel good by watching this add, don't change just drink more Guiness and you'll be surrounded by Alpha male friends (even in a bar at 4pm).

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I liked the Cadillac ad bec... (Below threshold)

October 1, 2013 11:45 AM | Posted by Joe: | Reply

I liked the Cadillac ad because it was narrated by Henry Rollins.

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<a href="http://www.youtube... (Below threshold)

October 1, 2013 5:41 PM | Posted by Hantavirus: | Reply

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_jIj4UWuRg

This article could've been half as long.
Heh heh. Size joke.

p.s., if the first (or third) guy in the Caddy ad walked her to her car, how does that in any way change the messages you've outlined above? (=Women are still users; men are still The Used.)

love,
20-yr Guinness drinker

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time for a confession. i ha... (Below threshold)

October 1, 2013 6:16 PM | Posted by pink: | Reply

time for a confession. i hate girls, women, with long, shiny, silky, glammed up hair, like those in the shampoo commercials. i've hated them since i was young; the image control spoke to my mind like a mandate as if there was no other way of defining "femininity" or "womanliness" than what's on the screen. i would rebel by cutting my hair short and eyeing warily females who dress and behave stereotypically. i see their presence as a shadow similar to the ghost in the mirror, a persistent reminder of the expectations for my gender, to which I've chosen to refuse long ago.

And yet, i can't say i hate long hair - tied in a pony tail, in cool curls, or the many looks i've never had, and out of sheer curiosity, want to try just to feel what it's like having it. not for the purpose of the commercials. maybe having it is no more like trying on a new color, and what is so bad about colors after all? except there's the conditioning process at the beginning kicking in, making me feel ambivalent over something as minute as having a hair style.

you can say, forget the media and just be yourself. that's another tagline, of course. somewhere, somehow, you will have formed an image of who and what you are, and by choosing to be in tiny decisions over hair styles or guinness beer, you give up on other possibilities of being. that is a fact.

i did have long hair, finally - but i cut it off soon after, because it became so un-me. that shadow kept creeping in, and i found myself never really able to enjoy it as much. just the beta female version, because you tend to talk down to the beta guys too much. the camera should move to another focus once in a while :)

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He did when he talked about... (Below threshold)

October 1, 2013 6:28 PM | Posted, in reply to pink's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

He did when he talked about Jezebel.

I was amazed the first time I went on that website. The only things they talked about was looks and fashion.

"Being fat in a swimsuit if fine" was the topic at the time.

As an oppressive patriarch, am I supposed to be intimidated by this? Am I supposed to feel threatened in my power and privilege? Because of your obsessing over how you look?

If fashion magazines are your nemesis then you mean nothing.

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The Cadillac analysis is pr... (Below threshold)

October 2, 2013 12:24 PM | Posted by Chinchilla: | Reply

The Cadillac analysis is pretty spot on. Here is my question though. Motives aside, lets say a man offered to 'be a man' and walk the woman to her car. What are the chances of her accepting this offer? There is no doubt that she is a cunt, but I think that she also enjoys it.

I just imagine redux of this commercial going like this:

Girl goes to first umbrella. "Going my way, right?" leaves man goes to second umbrella, the man asks "I have a meeting in 15 minutes, but you are lovely, let me walk you to your car" girl pulls out mace, sprays man.

Some women are just cunts... for the sake of being cunts.

A real man would take the mace to the face and say "Thank you sir, can I have another."

Maybe I am so Beta I dont even realize it. Maybe I am Delta. The matrix has me.

Cunts, such a lovely word.

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Regarding MRAs:In ... (Below threshold)

October 2, 2013 3:41 PM | Posted by sdenheyer: | Reply

Regarding MRAs:

In the post "What is a Real Man" Alone says this: "the one thing Ashton Kutcher has done in his life which is indisputably evidence of being a real man is that stayed with Demi and helped raise and support her kids."

From what I've seen, many MRAs are divorced men who can - by law - only see their kids every other weekend - who's involvement in their childrens' lives has been largely reduced to paying child support (ie. getting the check).

Changing the law to make custody arrangements more equitable is one of the goals of MRAs.

Is that narcissism?

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For all the people who say ... (Below threshold)

October 2, 2013 4:34 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

For all the people who say the Guinness analysis is off because wheelchair basketball is actually quite difficult: When you're deconstructing an ad you can't think about things in terms of what's correct/incorrect, true/false, real/fake; all that matters is what the majority of the target viewers will think when they see it.

It's a lot like playing Family Feud. In that game, the CORRECT answer is wholly irrelevant and only the MOST POPULAR answers will score points. So, in order to win, you can't be a smartypants giving accurate answers, no, you have to think like the sort of person who would sit on the phone at noon answering survey questions for a game show for absolutely no personal reward. Who does that? The lonely, the elderly, and the dummies. Give answers that fit any one of those demos and you're sure to steal the board.

So, while in real life wheelchair basketball is a difficult sport that in no way diminishes an able-bodied person who chooses to learn how to play it well, the kind of person the ad is targeted towards most likely DOESN'T KNOW THAT, and therefore the fact is irrelevant. All they see is "wheelchair = handicap" so "playing wheelchair basketball for handicapped friend = sacrifice".

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Who the hell watches commer... (Below threshold)

October 2, 2013 6:41 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Who the hell watches commercials

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Sort of. You have to judge... (Below threshold)

October 2, 2013 10:07 PM | Posted, in reply to sdenheyer's comment, by ColdFusion: | Reply

Sort of. You have to judge each individual case.

If they (the fathers) decided it was better to break up than to sacrifice some of their (potential future) happiness to see and influence the development of their children every day, than that was their narcissism manifesting itself.

If their wives decided that it was more important to break up than to sacrifice some of their (potential future) happiness in order to see that the father could influence the development of their children every day, then that was their manifestation of narcissism.

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Got to say just discovered ... (Below threshold)

October 2, 2013 10:20 PM | Posted by Johnycomelately: | Reply

Got to say just discovered this site and your writing is bloody fantastic.

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Cadillac owners on average ... (Below threshold)

October 2, 2013 10:44 PM | Posted by Zver Muzhik: | Reply

Cadillac owners on average have the lowest level of educational attainment among all luxury car owners (i.e., in contrast to the men in the ad). So the ad is really about how those men fall short of what a modern woman desires. Notice her quasi-orgasmic sigh as she slumps into the seat. Also note that a wealth but lowly educated man - i.e., self-made entrepreneur - is precisely the type to be watching ESPN at 4pm.

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I was one of the posters ma... (Below threshold)

October 2, 2013 11:32 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

I was one of the posters making the point about wheelchair basketball being just as hard as regular basketball. You have a damn good point.

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Why do people keep labeling... (Below threshold)

October 3, 2013 9:32 AM | Posted by S: | Reply

Why do people keep labeling TLP with masculine pronouns? Toward the end, she writes:

At this point you will no doubt think that the fantasy here is to be able to score a Hooters waitress or a 36-24-30 but this is neither true for you nor for the ad.

No male in North America would know what that size means. The few who do would never actually write it as a point of reference.

TLP is a woman, the fact of which, for me personally, makes reading the archives a thousand times more enjoyable.

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God is a man. TLP is God. ... (Below threshold)

October 3, 2013 10:22 AM | Posted, in reply to S's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

God is a man. TLP is God. Therefore TLP is a man.

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Based on what I've read, TL... (Below threshold)

October 3, 2013 10:31 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Based on what I've read, TLP wants to come across as masculine. Therefore, TLP is "he" to me, even though I suspect he may be she. Doesn't really matter, does it?

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In Frank Zappa's "Wonderful... (Below threshold)

October 3, 2013 11:35 AM | Posted, in reply to S's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

In Frank Zappa's "Wonderful Wino" (October 1976), part of the lyrics reference a "fine lady" measuring "Thirty-six, twenty-four, hips about thirty."

I think many males in North America who are > ~30yrs probably know what that measurement means.

But maybe not.

Regardless, I don't see this as even slightly wobbly evidence that TLP is or is not female.

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hahah YEAH BRO REDPILLED TI... (Below threshold)

October 3, 2013 12:43 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

hahah YEAH BRO REDPILLED TIHS SHIT

/r/THEREDPILL

DAE ACT LIKE A BETA BITCH?

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Ok, so TLP is either a woma... (Below threshold)

October 3, 2013 1:38 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by S: | Reply

Ok, so TLP is either a woman or a male Frank Zappa fan. I'd go with Occam's Razor and say the former. But there is plenty of other evidence throughout the archives that she is a woman.

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Or a female Zappa fan.<br /... (Below threshold)

October 3, 2013 4:03 PM | Posted by Hantavirus: | Reply

Or a female Zappa fan.
Those exist too, bleeve it r not.

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<a href="http://thelastpsyc... (Below threshold)

October 3, 2013 4:56 PM | Posted, in reply to S's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Bad at math

What did he think about? He thought about his kids, how sad they'd be that their father was dead.

Just saying.

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The target audience of thes... (Below threshold)

October 3, 2013 9:49 PM | Posted by Gavin: | Reply

The target audience of these advertisements is not simply "those who are home at 4 in the afternoon." More importantly, it is directed at the relatively small (or large depending on where you live) percentage of people whose tastes are dictated by advertisements. What kind of people are influenced by appeal-to-emotion advertisements? Probably no one who enjoys Alone's musings.

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This guy has the right idea... (Below threshold)

October 3, 2013 10:23 PM | Posted, in reply to TINJ's comment, by Froot Loop: | Reply

This guy has the right idea. While I like TLP blog, I don't like how it appears he holds men and women to different standards. As a transgender individual who has yet to come out yet, many of the things he says about men and women are the same tired nonsense I heard since I was little and struggling to perform as my biological gender.

I'm tired of being told to man up and stop crying and stop being emotional. I'm tired of being told to act like my assigned gender. "If you look like a man so act like one" No, gender is complex. There is a spectrum with gender, we are not either masculine or feminine, we all have differing levels of masculine and feminine traits.

And I'm worried that your idea of ideal masculinity is game of thrones. The show were murder, rape, backstabbing, and general un-pleasantries is a common occurrence by men who feel that women are literally cattle. Game of Thrones is how not to be a civilized man. Or human being for that matter.

Still a great blog that has taught me many things, though problematic with respect to gender and sex.

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I think the ad did a great ... (Below threshold)

October 4, 2013 3:42 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by daskairi: | Reply

I think the ad did a great job of making wheelchair b-ball look challenging. After watching the action sequence, my first thought was something along the lines of "glad I have my legs so I don't have to worry about men with machine-augmented lower bodies crushing my fingers and shins on the jump shot," and, "this is what white athletes resort to in order to get some shameless team basketball time?"

The former was an actual thought. The gravity of the ad isn't the relative handicap an able-bodied friend-type person assumes by playing the "less difficult" handicap version of the sport. That would be condescending.

The act isn't stepping down, as much as it's stepping over to meet the cripple halfway, on his terms (to make him feel better and understand how not-so-damaged he is (and you're willing to step down to his level to do it)).

The condescension is deeper than just portraying handicap basketball as easier.

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"TLP is a woman, the fact o... (Below threshold)

October 4, 2013 4:00 AM | Posted, in reply to S's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

"TLP is a woman, the fact of which"

The "fact"? The only fact here is that you should stop posting... also here, have a downvote

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But at least she g... (Below threshold)

October 4, 2013 8:25 AM | Posted, in reply to PaulK's comment, by jonny: | Reply

But at least she got under the umbrella with you for a couple of seconds, and for a lot of guys out there, that would make their whole week. Maybe even month.

So Disney.

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I'm tired of being... (Below threshold)

October 4, 2013 9:51 AM | Posted, in reply to Froot Loop's comment, by jonny: | Reply

I'm tired of being told to man up and stop crying and stop being emotional. I'm tired of being told to act like my assigned gender.

Maybe you should just ignore gender considerations and grow up. Why is your assigned gender even relevant? Act your age.

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Or a female Zappa fan.<b... (Below threshold)

October 4, 2013 11:31 AM | Posted, in reply to Hantavirus's comment, by S: | Reply

Or a female Zappa fan.
Those exist too, bleeve it r not.

In which case she would still be a female, hence why I left that possibility out.

The "fact"? The only fact here is that you should stop posting... also here, have a downvote

Anonymous is very hostile to the possibility that TLP is a woman. Why is that?

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While the question of Alone... (Below threshold)

October 4, 2013 11:51 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

While the question of Alone's sex (sorry, gender) is largely irrelevant except for pathological and projective considerations on behalf of the readers, I'll weigh in.

I (I I I. Me Me Me.) really don't see how anybody can read the bulk of the archives and come to the conclusion that Alone is a woman. It just doesn't add up and would only make sense if it were a long con, deliberately written over many years so as to appear to be the words of a man. If so this has been very cleverly orchestrated.

While there are a handful of subtle implications towards the feminine used by Team Woman as evidence if not proof, these appear to be playful misdirections whose only purpose is to fuck with us. Gendered evidential nuggets to the contrary are more numerous.

The majority of the written material on this blog is either implicitly or explicitly masculine: the writing style, the humor, the world-weary cynicism, the continual references to porn use and manly movies, the rum, and several other aspects I am too lazy to corroborate.

From "The Effects Of Too Much Porn":

"It's easy to access. It's not terribly damaging. It sucks up a lot of time that you always regret afterwards, Davy and Ron may light candles and dim the lights in preparation for their "date" with but three seconds into the ejaculation they're already planning how to kill themselves. That's right, mo, that's two hours you could have spent learning to Ricky Jay a deck of cards or dictionary attack your ex-GF's facebook account."

You'd have to be acutely aware of a modern directionless and narcissistic male's sex drive, porn habits and, most importantly, the male orgasm itself to make an observation that is so astonishingly on the money as to be frightening. If those words really were written by a female then I don't know what to believe anymore.

I may be seeing manliness not because it's there but because I want it to be there, but even so my hypothetical money is ding-dong rather than hoo-ha. Unless, of course, this is a joint project of multiple collaborators.

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I am a beta male and did no... (Below threshold)

October 4, 2013 12:42 PM | Posted by Beta Male: | Reply

I am a beta male and did not have any of the reactions TLP described. Also, S is fucking wrong. I am under 30 and instantly knew what he was talking about. I don't think I know a single man who wouldn't instantly know what that meant, many I know would probably electively use it as a point of reference themselves.

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Every time I see this add a... (Below threshold)

October 4, 2013 1:30 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Every time I see this add all I think is that Guinness is disgusting.

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I want to make it clear : w... (Below threshold)

October 4, 2013 1:33 PM | Posted, in reply to S's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

I want to make it clear : we're hostile to you.

Let's be extra clear : we're not hostile to what you stand for, represents, or the ideas your support.

Just you.

What I'm saying is, TLP is a woman and I hate your face.

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Does she want to be walked ... (Below threshold)

October 5, 2013 2:53 AM | Posted, in reply to Classicist's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Does she want to be walked to her car? She seems satisfied with the current state of affirs.

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I'd like to know your analy... (Below threshold)

October 5, 2013 5:10 AM | Posted by David: | Reply

I'd like to know your analysis on this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3wa4cS2GIA

Their "about" page on their blog starts with:
'About Marc and Angel Hack Life
Passionate writers, admirers of the human spirit, and full time students of life, Marc and Angel enjoy sharing inspirational advice and practical tips for life on their popular personal development blog, “Marc and Angel Hack Life.”'

I'm not sure whether to take this as good advice or bad advice. Something irks me about it, but I can't say what. Maybe the fact that the dude starts with talking about everything sad, and then how it can be happy, and then how that makes him and Angel happy, and that's why you should keep striving for that little bit of happiness because it makes them happy. It's like a guilt trip that starts by pre-emptively going over your past and then making you feel bad for stopping those brief moments of happiness and long periods of sadness that allow those two to be happy (because they're not targeting the people who aren't struggling with depression or low self-esteem ("if you're watching it, it's for you")).

Or it could be I'm being defensive and I'm actually the one putting up barriers and reading into it too much. I honestly don't know which.

Your thoughts?

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I'm not the person you want... (Below threshold)

October 5, 2013 10:13 AM | Posted, in reply to David's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

I'm not the person you want but I think we can live with this.

I saw 4 frames of that video.

Two young persons, good looking (normal good looking), well lighted, well dressed ("looking sharp") in what seems like a modern yet relaxed cafe maybe, or perhaps an art studio or one of those loft with lots of natural light, or a relaxed hip office. They represent a young professional ideal : the compromise between career, the obligation of life, and personal independence, self expression (no suits, no tie, no cubicle). Twenty something don't want to be corporate drones, but they also don't want to be bums, to look bad in front of X, to abandon material comfort. The compromise formation is to do everything you could do in a cubicle on way too much floorspace and with big windows. Worth it.

So the first thing I'm thinking is "hypocrisy". These people aren't there to help me. They're there to glorify themselves (this can be true while I'm projecting). They're passing themselves as sage guru without actually having either the life or the appearance of anything approaching wisdom. Nor the age, really.

They look like good looking drifters, keenly aware of how to look aspirational, not having actually achieved anything but harnessing enough charisma to tell other people what to do (easier / more gratifying than doing something no one knows about). I've seen this before and by before I mean yesterday.

I feel their gig works the same as the guiness ad in one respect. Beta males see the first seconds of the ad and they immediately think "real man", merely because of how the actors look, of what they're doing, of the Jason Bourne camera work. But then the ad tells them "what defines them isn't all of those things, it's that they're really nice". Marc and Angel (is that a nickname?) seems to work the same way. They signal something for a certain kind of viewer who then want to hear "but it's the inner beauty that counts".

That's all four frame in the video and I'm already irked. Fundamentally, I think it's because I don't believe them. "We're all about good feeling and niceness and personal growth", they say. And I'm thinking "Oh no you very much aren't. I remember you from high school you motherf..."

I knows these aren't good feelings to have but they're the ones that are there.

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I'd give my right testicle ... (Below threshold)

October 5, 2013 11:12 AM | Posted by Matt: | Reply

I'd give my right testicle to see what you have to say about the ubiquity of internet addiction.

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Alone needs to stop drinkin... (Below threshold)

October 5, 2013 1:51 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Alone needs to stop drinking and get married.

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Alone needs to sto... (Below threshold)

October 5, 2013 3:02 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by jonny: | Reply

Alone needs to stop drinking and get married.

Because the drinking is preventing him from getting married? I see what you did there Ma'am but what you've failed to make an argument for is marriage.

I know it's it tough to make an argument for obligated care (slavery). But I'd sure like to see a Toddler whore make that argument because it seems you just peddle sex (but not to the john, of course) until the john gets desperate enough to buy himself a whore for life.

I once saw a girl who I knew had slept with thousands of men wear white on her wedding day. Isn't that a laugh? Or is it a laugh and a half. It's almost as funny as when I told some feminists that marriage was sexist and they called me a misogynist.

That whore's doe-eyed innocence was touching. Brought a tear to my eye, it did.

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Looks like a couple of narc... (Below threshold)

October 5, 2013 4:59 PM | Posted, in reply to David's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Looks like a couple of narcissists spouting New Age narcissistic platitudes about believing in yourself and saying "I am a good person" infront of the bathroom mirror every morning. That is to say, a recipe for misery and continual disappointment, something that, like all navel-gazing and self-absorption of a 1960s/70s vintage, is doomed to failure because it is wholly invested in self and sense of self, and pays no heed to anything outside the self, be it God, community, friends, family or other people in general.

The message offered in that video is simplistic and comforting enough that people can respond "thanks for helping me believe in myself, such an inspirational message" inbetween gulps of soda, before going back to online porn or undermining their partner because THAT BITCH WON'T BLOW ME AS MUCH AS I DESERVE.

Ground that Alone has oft treaded.

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This makes me glad I dismis... (Below threshold)

October 5, 2013 6:48 PM | Posted by scissor: | Reply

This makes me glad I dismissed the Guinness ad for being cornball. Especially the guy at the end, raising his hand in the air as he walks off the court. Does it make me alpha that that image aggravates me? Something to think about while practicing my boxing moves at the gym in a bit.

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Interesting article. Good t... (Below threshold)

October 5, 2013 10:53 PM | Posted by DudeManGuy: | Reply

Interesting article. Good to you're back and writing again.

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Your right I should stop ta... (Below threshold)

October 6, 2013 12:37 AM | Posted, in reply to jonny's comment, by Froot Loop: | Reply

Your right I should stop taking gender roles into consideration. It's not like strict gender roles have existed since the beginning of time and those that transgress them are punished with physical assault, death or worse.

But us silly trannies, it's all in our head, why can't we just be normal, is that right?

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Being lonely never do good ... (Below threshold)

October 6, 2013 2:49 AM | Posted by Richard: | Reply

Being lonely never do good to anyone. Time for a partner. I liked when you said ''what turns me on''?
Ads that not trying to sell a product. I think i have seen an advert like that where the main theme was don't go for unprotected sex or you may end up with HIV.LOL

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I'm starting to suspect som... (Below threshold)

October 6, 2013 7:34 AM | Posted, in reply to Froot Loop's comment, by Ψ: | Reply

I'm starting to suspect some form of mass mind control (schools? advertisements? flouride in the water? MK-ULTRA? chemtrails? HAARP? JIDF? The corporatist Zionist patriarchal white-nationalist communist Jewish fascist Illuminati alien lizard banker people from the 10th dimension that are behind 9/11, FEMA death camps, and the frequent disappearances of my car keys?), because you sound exactly the same as 99% of other internet Social Justice Warriors. SJWs' writing is uniformly prissy and condescending, as well as painfully bland, like it has been run through a copier a few dozen times. There's no snap, crackle, or pop to it; no metaphors, analogies, or wit are contained within -- it is mostly lukewarm, half-hearted condemnation. This style of writing just kind of sits there sadly in the corner, waiting for someone to notice it (just like its authors probably do in real life).

Characterized by words like "ambivalent", "arbitrary", "complex", "ironic", and "literally", which allow the author to argue without the emotional and intellectual investment of sincerely held opinions, the only emotion most of these beigeist literary turds display is the vanilla "Wow Just Wow"™ faux-outrage of a professional victim. If these authors do allow themselves to express a sincere emotion, it is almost always withering contempt or apoplectic rage.

PS: The refrain of "I I I", the focus on your "socially constructed" "identity", and the generally absurd and immature navel-gazing of your comment prove you have learned nothing here.

PPS: It is amusing that your comment begins with "This guy", when TINJ never mentioned anything about being male. So it seems you too hold men and women to different standards...

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"Anonymous is very hostile ... (Below threshold)

October 6, 2013 9:50 AM | Posted, in reply to S's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

"Anonymous is very hostile to the possibility that TLP is a woman. Why is that?"

First it was a FACT, now it is a "possibility". I made a stop posting and downvote joke and it turned into "very hostile" (I hope I haven't scared anybody). Also nice way to construct a sort of a posting trap even though you cheated a little to do it (see the first part of my post)

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"All they see is "wheelchai... (Below threshold)

October 6, 2013 2:09 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by DensityDuck: | Reply

"All they see is "wheelchair = handicap" so "playing wheelchair basketball for handicapped friend = sacrifice". "

Exactly. We're supposed to interpret it as "look at these guys giving up their fun so their friend doesn't feel left out", except that's not what's happening, they're still playing fucking basketball. After they're done having beers and trying to get the waitress to go down on them, they all stand up and drive home, and their friend gets to wait for his Paratransit driver to show up and take him back to his ground-floor apartment with rails around the crapper. Sacrifice is, like, "climb on my back, John, I'll be your legs".

I mean, it's a good-hearted impulse to change your activity so that your friend can participate, but let's not be acting like it's some triumph for the new masculinity.

...although that kind of takes us back to TLP's point. The fact that the ad-makers (and many viewers) do consider this some kind of redefinition of masculine psychology says a lot about what they think of the default Man. If they honestly think "playing a game that their crippled friend can play too is something no Man would ever voluntarily do", then no wonder the justice system produces the results it does.

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Stages of reading a TLP art... (Below threshold)

October 6, 2013 2:42 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Stages of reading a TLP article:
1. OK, sure, that sounds like a reasonable assumption
2. Hmmmm
3. Wait, what?
4. Please stop making clever allusions that I don't get and say what you mean.
5. I now haven't the foggiest idea what you're saying, but
6. insofar as I get the drift, damn, that's fucking depressing.

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If they honestly t... (Below threshold)

October 6, 2013 2:54 PM | Posted, in reply to DensityDuck's comment, by jonny: | Reply

If they honestly think "playing a game that their crippled friend can play too is something no Man would ever voluntarily do", then no wonder the justice system produces the results it does.

My problem with handicapped people is I don't approve of their existence. Unless they're not imposing on anyone, they really shouldn't be alive.

If I was handicapped, I would be offended if anyone suffered to please me. There is no way in hell I'd let my mates play wheelchair ball just so I feel included. It's kinda patronising. Who would want their friends doing something they wouldn't otherwise do just so they don't feel left out? It's insulting.

Would you let friends suffer to make you feel good? Empathy doesn't get in the way? Dignity? You just want that suffering. Why would anyone be stupid enough to suffer to please those who are pleased by their suffering? Why should anyone?

This is why love is bullshit and you're all empathy-bankrupt sociopaths. Exclusive love is a Protection racket you impose on your prey to protect them from their best interests, which may include a great many competing interests you want to exclude but for that very reason, would not include you.

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I blame estrogen-mimicking ... (Below threshold)

October 6, 2013 2:58 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I blame estrogen-mimicking compounds in the water supply.

Semi srs

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Whoa there skylark, hold on... (Below threshold)

October 6, 2013 3:09 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Whoa there skylark, hold on just a minute--you're telling me that men sometimes feel shitty after they jack off? NO WAY. That is some deep dark next-level insight into the modern male mind, man (and definitely not something that Spinoza mentioned in the Tractatus of 1677), clearly no woman could ever access that.

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*Taking notes*...Hit... (Below threshold)

October 6, 2013 4:19 PM | Posted, in reply to jonny's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

*Taking notes*
...Hitler...had..some...good...ideas
*Turn page*
...feelings...are....for....pussies

Do you have a blog?

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2Wycked, your comment ... (Below threshold)

October 6, 2013 5:59 PM | Posted, in reply to 2Wycked's comment, by TINJ: | Reply

2Wycked, your comment

First off, stand off that ridiculous rhetoric that masculinity and femininity are purely social constructs. Google David Reimer. Many cases like his exist that proves a great bit of male and female behavior is biological, not a social construct.

David Reimer's issue appears to be one of gender identity. I didn't talk about this at all in my original comment. And in these few sentences you manage to confuse masculinity for a male gender identity and femininity for a female gender identity. These are different things. And I don't agree with your premise that there is such a thing as "masculine" or "feminine" behavior in any biological sense except for, well, biological: skeletal, muscular, reproductive organs, etc.

You may be interested to look up Sapolsky's observations on a group of baboons in which older males, who routinely fought each other, were killed by disease. In short: the younger males were raised by females who didn't fight, and once the males grew up, they had essentially learned "we don't do that kind of thing." What is my claim here? A very ordinary one: behaviors and traits are learned -- an almost universally accepted claim. Except that here I don't think "masculine" or "feminine" traits exist as special categories, somehow naturally, biologically inherited.

You seem to be strongly sympathetic to feminism, which is amusing because it is inherently meaningless and stands for nothing substantive. Let me guess, you take strong stands against rape, domestic violence and hatred. How bold.

You must've looked that definition up in a different dictionary than me. I checked wikipedia and this is what it said: "Feminism is a collection of movements and ideologies aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, and social rights for women. This includes seeking to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment. A feminist advocates or supports the rights and equality of women." By that definition I'm happy to say I'm a feminist.

MRA's are basically the clean-up crew for narcissistic women (feminists) who only give a damn about themselves. MRA's try, in vain, to convince feminists men are more than objects, but they will always fail. You can't cure narcissism. Still, feminists hide behind other women and pretend they give a damn about other women, but the hilarious fights between feminists on race, sexuality and all that strongly suggests feminists, now and historically, have always been narcissistic.

Second, I really don't know who you think PUA's are, but you are probably just upset that psychological tactics work on you.

Maybe some people think like this, but I don't see it. There are a very small subset of feminists who think men are evil, sure, but they're far from the majority.

And I'm not really concerned about PUAs. I don't think their techniques are manipulative necessarily, with a few exceptions like negging. I'll even say I've watched and like some of what Owen/RSD does, but won't fully endorse it because I haven't seen it all.

Third, are you even remotely aware of what this blog about? You think the destruction of these social constructs of gender will result in a society where people are judged on the merits? That's laughable that you think people are not judged currently on the merits.

I said people will judge traits based on the merits of each individual trait. As in, rather than expecting a man or woman to respond aggressively or with forgiveness respectively, people will choose based on the virtues themselves.

Fourth, and finally, you have absolutely zero understanding of what masculinity and femininity are. As expected, you have little sense of the world around you and seem to just project everything you want the world to be out. Yes, you want what you label sexism and misogyny to exist in the world. Are you a woman in 20's or 30's? That would fit Lasch's concept of radical politics stabilizing a young person's sense of self in our narcissistic society. You need to be a victim in order to avoid the eventual narcissistic injury you will be hurt by: You are not all even close to what you thought you would be in your head.

In the ballpark, honey?

I cut out most of your mind-reading and bitterness based psychology, except for this quote above. I'm a 24 year old white guy living in the rural south. I went to college to learn computer stuff. I'm hardly the stereotypical representative for feminism, but I care about people and want to live in a world where everyone gets respected and can live their life with the greatest freedom possible.

You wrote your post against someone who isn't actually here, and you didn't read my post very closely. Can I be allowed a little bit of psychology of my own? You're not interested in reading closely anything that disagrees with you. (No, that doesn't mean you're a narcissist.)

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Forgive my ignorance of Spi... (Below threshold)

October 6, 2013 6:12 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Forgive my ignorance of Spinoza in this particular instance, but the quoted passage is but a short excerpt from a larger article on porn "addiction" which arguably bears out my supposition of a requisite male perspective. It is not just about feeling bad after orgasm; it is the whole dynamic of sexual desire Alone has covered in that and other articles, e.g the ambivalence towards sluts, "I bet she did anal with her other boyfriends", and the fantasy of a "pretty girl in the rain" who has "black hair, big eyes, and is dressed like an ingenue".

And sarcasm really is the lowest form of wit. Stop ruining my movie with these narcissistic injuries.

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Alone, holy fuck. The comm... (Below threshold)

October 6, 2013 8:20 PM | Posted by ThingNo2: | Reply

Alone, holy fuck. The comments on the blog indicate our only hope is benzo dispensing machines next to the Red Box. You white coats are not efficient enough to stem what's coming.

I'm stocking El Dorado and ammo since there's no way the AMA is letting that gravy train leave the station.

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I love the ads and commerci... (Below threshold)

October 6, 2013 11:13 PM | Posted by Green Solution Collective: | Reply

I love the ads and commercial! I was shocked when those man stood up. I thought they were also crippled.

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Alone, you've written that ... (Below threshold)

October 7, 2013 9:21 AM | Posted by Me: | Reply

Alone, you've written that the scariest thing you've ever seen was a kid sleeping at a movie. Have you read your comments section?

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send mail to my username + ... (Below threshold)

October 7, 2013 9:55 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by wolkenstein: | Reply

send mail to my username + outlook asap

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i think that's wrong. I thi... (Below threshold)

October 7, 2013 12:06 PM | Posted, in reply to WraithKingPrime's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

i think that's wrong. I think that by partially mirroring existing societal values, and partially challenging them, you can get people to revise their morals rather easily.

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Eh. I'm not feeling the for... (Below threshold)

October 7, 2013 6:26 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Eh. I'm not feeling the force of the insights, but then again I might not be the brightest robot in this comments section either.

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Let's take a step back in t... (Below threshold)

October 7, 2013 10:58 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Let's take a step back in the Guinness commercial. Why doesn't the woman have her own umbrella? Why doesn't the woman run to other women with umbrellas? Why is she running around in a short skirt that's somewhat business like but too short to be appropriate business wear in most places of employment?

Taking these questions into consideration, we could hypothesize that this woman is trying to use her sexuality to seduce men to care for her but at the same time has a great deal of rage which she induces in the men that are left behind as well as sensitive viewers (through projective identification). The men are surprised at her forwardness (in intruding on their personal space) but before they can make an interpretation of it, she leaves them behind to repeat the same behavior with another. Her rage is so intense that dumping one man isn't enough to disperse it. She finally returns to the safety of an inanimate object (the cadillac) and sighs with relief because she was able to get to it before her own rage harmed her.

I think this ad is designed to appeal most to women who had ambivalent relationships with their fathers leading them to want to castrate them by being successful enough to afford their own Cadillac.

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^^I meant Cadillac commerci... (Below threshold)

October 7, 2013 10:59 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

^^I meant Cadillac commercial in the above post.

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I wonder if the car is actu... (Below threshold)

October 8, 2013 3:21 AM | Posted by Maddym: | Reply

I wonder if the car is actually hers? Maybe sugar daddy 'let' her drive that day. I didn't find it empowering at all. The tag line is trite and meaningless, just like the one in the beer ad: platitudes, bleh. It's all about how you get there. I guess if you use enough people you get a big car, beats me.
I thought at first, the beer ad was advertising something completely different: could have been for Vet's fundraising, anything, you name it. What has it to do with beer? And by the way, have any wheelchair/disabled basketball players weighed in on the comments? What do you guys/girls think of the ad? Patronising? Affirming? in any way realistic?? Bollocks?
And since when is knowing about sports in any way an indication of intelligence?

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I think the ad is supposed ... (Below threshold)

October 8, 2013 7:29 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Dovahkiin: | Reply

I think the ad is supposed to appeal to both sexes in different ways. Make the woman an object -- pretty much a needy woman who needs them to get to her car (hence no women with umbrellas), and thus suggest that you'd be able to take the woman home if you had that car. To women, the message is that if you have that car, men will take care of you. Men will allow you to use them, they will protect you.

The woman isn't the star, the men are. They are the knights in armor. Hurray for progress.

ON to the Guiness ad -- I think it's strange that the only way these men could relate to a man in a wheelchair is to pretend to be in wheelchairs themselves. One thing about the ad -- if you look, even when the non-disabled ones fall over, they don't use their legs to get back up like normal people would. Why? Their legs work, that's made obvious by the ending when they all get up and walk out of the gym. It seems symbolic, and if I were to make a guess, I would suggest that it's patronizing -- we're so good that if we didn't pretend our legs don't work, the disabled man would be shown how broken he actually is. (I've never played wheelchair b-ball, I get that the sport itself is probably hard, I'm focusing on the content of the ad). It makes me think of a dad who plays ball on his knees and lets his 6 year old "win" -- which is insulting once the child realizes that he's losing on purpose and not playing to his full ability. In other words, they don't risk their egos in the game at all -- they are deliberately holding themselves back so even if they lose, they don't lose face. Because the fact that they were holding back, deliberately, means that any loss they suffer is meaningless, as they weren't really trying.

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<a href="http://www.youtube... (Below threshold)

October 8, 2013 12:25 PM | Posted by tigersharkgoat: | Reply

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xzr0SxaExKc

Alone, curious what you make of the Hank Gathers left-handed free throw w/r/t the line of thinking that it's a chick thing to do to lower oneself to make a statement. his friend was dead rather than potentially dying, but athletic performance is a male equivalent of female beauty, so the analogy with what tits mcgee did in shaving her head holds, i think.

not that it should matter, they both pulled it off - he made the free throw and she still looked hot.

you think hank's was less "look at me" than TM? I think so, but that's my bias speaking. can't EXPLAIN why.

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"Second, I really don't kno... (Below threshold)

October 9, 2013 2:18 AM | Posted, in reply to TINJ's comment, by DensityDuck: | Reply

"Second, I really don't know who you think PUA's are, but you are probably just upset that psychological tactics work on you."

Ah-heh. PUA is not a "psychological tactic" any more than a peacock's tail or a lion's mane or a tarantula spider's mating dance. PUA is a signaling device, a method of displaying your sexual availability.

When a woman goes for your game, one of three things is happening. Either A: she's too drunk to know better, B: she's gone tharn and anything up to and including "here's my dick, get suckin" would have worked, or C: it's actually *you* that got played, and all your game did was wave a big flag saying "I'm easy!"

"I'm a 24 year old white guy..."

Which means you know two things, bro, jack and shit, and jack left town.

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I may have been drinking th... (Below threshold)

October 9, 2013 10:46 AM | Posted by ss: | Reply

I may have been drinking the koolaid for too long, but can someone give me a good explanation about the difference between sacrifice (something men should do) and "reducing yourself"(something men should avoid)? The example of the shaved head makes some sense in the fact that shaving your head doesn't really help the other person, but where is the line? Isn't a sacrifice a reduction in oneself, whether it is in the form of social perception, time, money, or another resource?

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What is the difference betw... (Below threshold)

October 9, 2013 12:32 PM | Posted, in reply to ss's comment, by Chinchilla: | Reply

What is the difference between a donation and a PR move?

You can both sacrifice and reduce yourself with the same action, but sometimes they are separate.

What is one thing that Kelly Pickler sacrificed? She is still hot with short hair. "Ill only support cancer awareness if I can still look cute as a button."

If she would have donated enough money that she could not afford that dress (We would have heard about it), that would have been a sacrifice. Instead she does just enough to keep her identity 100% intact while still being able to look in the mirror and say "I'm a great the greatest person"

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The distinction is in the f... (Below threshold)

October 9, 2013 7:40 PM | Posted, in reply to ss's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

The distinction is in the focus of the person doing the act.

Is the focus Self or is it Other?

For instance, in the ad, I don't even know who the real handicapped guy is and that's because he doesn't matter. What does matter are his friends, those about whom we get to think "wow, what a bunch of great guy / men". They get an extra self qualifier.

When Alone mentioned the example of the dude jumping on the clipper and proudly declaring that he was going to shave his head in support, we immediately detected the fraud (probably because there wasn't anything aspirational about it, on purpose). In this scenario, the guy can't deal with his own anxiety and feels as though he has to do something, anything and so he does the completely useless just so he can show that he's not so useless after all. In fact, he's super important. He's shaving his head in support! (And he'll get to tell everyone.)

"But in the ad, aren't they doing it for their friend?"

Well, we don't know. But to the kind of people this ad was designed for, that help is only an accessory to qualify the friends. The handicapped guy is used as a plot device to define them. Self above other.

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This is not a formality. I... (Below threshold)

October 9, 2013 10:08 PM | Posted, in reply to Ψ's comment, by Froot Loop: | Reply

This is not a formality. I am a Transgender. A Transwoman to be exact. Gender dysphoria is very real, I have a female mind,male body.

These 25 years of my life have been just bad. I have had people misjudge me and harm me based on my assigned gender at birth. I don't understand virility in the slightest. I tried really hard to fit in, but it's all bullshit. I'm pretty feminine. Have a feminine way of thinking,talking,doing things.
I hear from everything around me what I'm supposed to be based off what I look like. "If you look like a man,act like one!" "If you look like a woman act like one!" If your intersex, your screwed!
I haven't came out of the closet to anyone. But I'm coming to grips with myself. I'm transgender, I like women's things, women's clothing, I like perfume, I like looking pretty, because I am a woman. I'm attracted to women as well as men. It's who I am, I'm not denying it anymore.
If you never took gender into consideration in your life, well guess what? Your cisgendered. Your the dominant gender identity, you have nothing to fear. But I'm weary of admitting who I am because people won't accept me or worse. Transwomen getting murdered for who they are does happen.
I'm a political science major, but that has nothing to do with anything. The disgust I had was real. Learn about transgenderism before you say anything else.

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Why should men sacrifice? D... (Below threshold)

October 10, 2013 1:08 AM | Posted, in reply to ss's comment, by jonny: | Reply

Why should men sacrifice? Did a woman tell you that?

I don't buy into this nonsense about Other > Self, either. That sounds like something the Others say to tear down their child's Self, to make the kid feel worthless enough to want to suffer to please the toxic, leech mother who destroys everything her needy comes into contact with.

On a Buddhist forum the other day, I got a really good answer when I thought I'd caught a very knowledgeable guy contradicting himself over the importance of Self. We need to focus on Self until we're grownup and no longer reliant on others. So childhood (or life, for those who never grow up) can be viewed as a river and Self is our raft needed to get to the other side. Once we're completely Self-reliant and immune to manipulation by external validators - once we're need-free - the raft of Self is naturally discarded as it will no longer be needed.

You need to be Selfish. Ignore the Others. That doesn't mean you exploit them or create suffering, it merely means you ignore all the screaming leaches telling you why you should and shouldn't suffer to please them. Be Selfish. Suffer to please yourself. Get to the other side of the river. There is no logic in the assertion that selfless sacrifice is virtuous but it's a Good way to die in war for lies. There is no logic in the assertion that Selfish action can't help the collective.

Here's a great example from Brazil:
i.imgur.com/AGuWybN.png

He owned their snotty little judging faces. And did a lot of good. I doubt he was motivated by anything more than making stupid people look stupid. Who cares? He achieved more "good" with his prank than you and I will, lifetime.

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I don't get it. What's it a... (Below threshold)

October 10, 2013 11:16 AM | Posted by Mark Knight: | Reply

I don't get it. What's it all got to do with who buys the Guiness? Tell you what, I'll buy!

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I don't buy into t... (Below threshold)

October 10, 2013 1:54 PM | Posted, in reply to jonny's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

I don't buy into this nonsense about Other > Self, either.

But I didn't say that. I said you could qualify somebody's action as a function of it's prime motivator, which isn't a normative statement.

To be fair, it wasn't actually an answer to ss' question either.

Rethinking the question, it seems that reducing yourself to somebody's level necessarily entail some sort of sacrifice since you are, after all, "reducing yourself".

So the point isn't that they are or are not sacrificing, it's that they are sacrificing in a specific way, a way that is of no use at all to the person for whom it nominally is for, a way that focuses on Self instead of Other.

"Reducing yourself".

Again, note that I am no where saying "Self

To think of a sacrifice that wasn't of the form "Self above Other" would be to think of something that's done at a cost for yourself, that benefited the other person, and that no one else knew about. You're nice, you're decent, but you don't get to be recognized for it.

Like Barbara Stanwyck. (I know, not actually Stanwyck.)

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Why are you men so obsessed... (Below threshold)

October 10, 2013 3:29 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Why are you men so obsessed with being men? Why don't you just chill out and be you? And when it comes to women, mind your own business.

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"Why are you men so obsesse... (Below threshold)

October 10, 2013 4:28 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

"Why are you men so obsessed with being men? Why don't you just chill out and be you? And when it comes to women, mind your own business."

It's probably beta male that are obsessed about being men because they can't manage to do it effortlessly.

Regarding the last part, not a chance. Be sexy and woman-like and watch your weight. Bye

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"Why are you men so obsesse... (Below threshold)

October 10, 2013 4:30 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Chinchilla: | Reply

"Why are you men so obsessed with being men?"

Because we want to bang supermodels.

"Why don't you just chill out and be you?"

I am me, I happen to be obsessed with being a man.

"And when it comes to women, mind your own business."

Did you just say that we should not analyze women because they (females) are none of our business....

... please pass the rum

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We're obsessed with gender ... (Below threshold)

October 10, 2013 8:16 PM | Posted, in reply to Chinchilla's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

We're obsessed with gender because our culture gives no clear definition of what it really means to be a Man (or a Woman).

I'll speak for my own gender (XX) -- there's no clear definition beyond products and lifestyle choices. You're a Real Woman for wearing the right clothes, or for using the right makeup or liking Rom Coms instead of Action movies. You choose to be a female CEO type or a Mommy. You care about media selected "female issues". None of that tells you how to be a real woman, just how to look like one.

I think that's why America is obsessed with the question of Man Card and Woman Card -- we don't know how to grow up and it all feels like a kid with a costume on.

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you are making a mistake. N... (Below threshold)

October 11, 2013 4:24 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

you are making a mistake. No one is obsessed with gender, except for feminists and social justice warriors. It's them who are obsessed with it and project their obsession on others

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That explains the increasin... (Below threshold)

October 11, 2013 7:52 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

That explains the increasing genderfication of consumer products. We can't get gender neutral legos or diet drinks because we never think about gender at all. I think the reverse is true -- we think about it all the time. Every purchase we make, every movie we rent, certainly our clothing, is all gender all the time. You can't buy gender neutral diet soda. There's a 10-calorie version "for men" and a 0-calorie version for women. Pizza and wings are Man Food, yet no man would feel comfortable ordering a salad in a restaurant. We have toys that should be gender neutral (legos for example, which are just bricks) that come in special versions for boys (red, blue and black, spaceship and castle themes) and girls (pink, purple and white, house and ice cream shop themes). There are complaints by mothers that they literally cannot find girl's clothes that are not pink and purple and covered in flowers. There's games for boys and games for girls. When are we not thinking about gender?

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Typical internet commenta... (Below threshold)

October 12, 2013 12:20 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Froot Loop: | Reply

Typical internet commentator mentality to shut down conversations about serious issues like gender roles by accusing the other of seeing things that aren't there. You probable think the same thing about racism and ableism and think that all those "anti racist activist" and "feminist" are making it up to promote the "gay agenda" "black agenda" "female superiority".

How about you state your opinions on transgender people rather than trying to shut down conversation?

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You're a Real Woma... (Below threshold)

October 12, 2013 10:20 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by jonny: | Reply

You're a Real Woman for wearing the right clothes, or for using the right makeup or liking Rom Coms instead of Action movies. You choose to be a female CEO type or a Mommy. You care about media selected "female issues". None of that tells you how to be a real woman, just how to look like one.

Why are you looking to external sources for guidance on how to be you?

"But I want to be a Real Woman."

How can you be both? You have to choose whether to please them or please you. As pleasing them won't actually please them, you'd be a fool not to displease them by pleasing you.

nb. Or is this what you were trying to say?

We're obsessed with gender because our culture gives no clear definition of what it really means to be a Man (or a Woman).

No we're obsessed with gender because our mothers were whores who sold themselves to men, raped men with their deceit, created suffering for no reason, give rise to a new birth of indecency...and raped their children's minds. Our mothers were bad people.

No one needs a defintion from culture to be a Real Human. It's coded into your DNA. We know the humane answer to every dilemma but we deny ourselves in our quest to be defined by a self-defeating 'ideal'.

We don't need anyone asserting what it is that Real Men and Real Women do because the truth is that Real Men and Women don't give a fuck about what others hold up as the ideal. They're just real. They don't need to front.

You need to accept why you're unwilling to be you. We all do.

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Whenever an attractive stra... (Below threshold)

October 13, 2013 11:45 AM | Posted by Cato the Yungest: | Reply

Whenever an attractive stranger wants my help, I immediately I assume I'm a mark. Not necessarily for my wallet or valuables, but perhaps for some sort of personal satisfaction on their part.

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In 1990, the ad would ha... (Below threshold)

October 13, 2013 7:24 PM | Posted by forgotmyname: | Reply

In 1990, the ad would have shown the masculinity and heroism of the crippled guy

This is so true.

In 1990, the Cadillac Ad would show either a lot of horses and/or Cindy Crawford as a princess who had almost everything. Then she visits a wizard and then I don't even: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6tB8-73s6qM.

But the message to women (and it is women normal car ads are targeted to most of the time) stayed the same: No matter how many dicks you sucked in your cute skirt to get here, just because you were afraid to get a tiny bit wet, buy the car (or get a man to buy it for you) and you will still be a princess.

The guinness ad is more interesting. What disturbs me is the individual=hero (1990) versus the group=hero (now). It is just such an ad for the military. War is terrible, but only one in five gets crippled. And nobody gets PTSD, non sibi sed patriae, everybody plays basketball instead. And you needn't worry. Support the troops by drinking. Maybe I am just seeing ghosts though.

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I think you nailed it. ... (Below threshold)

October 14, 2013 7:12 PM | Posted, in reply to Dovahkiin's comment, by J: | Reply

I think you nailed it.

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If you're rich enough to bu... (Below threshold)

October 15, 2013 12:59 AM | Posted by Belindie: | Reply

If you're rich enough to buy a Cadillac, you're rich enough to buy an umbrella. Why didn't she just go buy one?

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Alone, I've got a question ... (Below threshold)

October 16, 2013 3:47 AM | Posted by Hans: | Reply

Alone, I've got a question for you that's been really bugging me.

I've been reading this blog for awhile, and I'm always impressed by it. I believe your crazy pop culture analysis. My question is this: It seems to me like you paint the media and advertising as highly refined propaganda. You see all of these underlying symbols that I guess are not immediately visible to us, but work on our unconscious. Okay, I get that. But in doing this it seems that you really assume that the people in charge of marketing/advertisement are just...well they're pretty much geniuses.

I've always thought that ads and all that were pretty stupid, I mean they never made me want to buy anything. Am I underestimating the power that these ads have on me and everyone else? Also, are these advert execs really that brilliant? Do they understand what they are doing? Or is it as unconscious to them as it is to us--and you are just the one who points it out?

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"Sacrifice is, like, 'climb... (Below threshold)

October 16, 2013 7:38 AM | Posted by Jules: | Reply

"Sacrifice is, like, 'climb on my back, John, I'll be your legs'."

And that's precisely what Sam does for Frodo in that maligned film series created purportedly for "beta males". And what was the most common interpretation of their relationship? "LOL, these hobbits are so gay". Another proof that masculinity is nowadays linked only with external signs (tattoos, wife beater shirt, drinking Guinness, showing off you care about your handicapped friend).

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When I first saw the Guinne... (Below threshold)

October 16, 2013 1:55 PM | Posted by meistergedanken: | Reply

When I first saw the Guinness ad last week, my thought was simply: who bought them all those wheelchairs? There's no way all those guys went out and bought their own, so was their purchase financed through some government grant - that taxpayers like me involuntarily subsidize?

Not sure, but I think I sidestepped the whole masculinity entanglement, so I don't feel that bad right now...

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"...'Well, feminism has ema... (Below threshold)

October 16, 2013 8:06 PM | Posted by A♠: | Reply

"...'Well, feminism has emasculated men.' Really? A girl did that to you?"

Yep.

And that gal was my mother.

Just like innumerable other men.

You're the psychiatrist.

You should know that already.

Do you think the effects of all that inculcation should have been gone, miraculously, upon my 18th birthday?

If so, what's the point of therapy?

Why do you have a career?

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whole nother* level ;)... (Below threshold)

October 19, 2013 3:09 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

whole nother* level ;)

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I'm tired of being told ... (Below threshold)

October 20, 2013 7:12 PM | Posted, in reply to Froot Loop's comment, by James K: | Reply

I'm tired of being told to man up and stop crying and stop being emotional. I'm tired of being told to act like my assigned gender. "If you look like a man so act like one".

You seem to assume that the false and downright foolish ideas you have been given about masculinity are correct; and that the way to fix the discord with reality is to have your gender "reassigned".

I hope for your sake you will undergo some kind of psychotherapy before taking any decision about reassignment. The purpose would not be to talk you out of reassignment, but to help you understand your own motives and assumptions.

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To think of a sacr... (Below threshold)

October 21, 2013 8:10 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by jonny: | Reply

To think of a sacrifice that wasn't of the form "Self above Other" would be to think of something that's done at a cost for yourself, that benefited the other person, and that no one else knew about. You're nice, you're decent, but you don't get to be recognized for it.

Like Barbara Stanwyck.

It's not "...you don't get to be recognized..."

You don't need to be.

lacan.com/zizekillinois.htm (An Interview with Slavoj Zizek- Eric Dean Rasmussen)

This Zizek interview that mentions the Barbara Stanwyck melodrama is amazing. Zizek is brilliant (or at least he used to be). I've heard him say a lot of stupid things but in this interview in 2003, he's brilliant.

Zizek is talking about Self. It's neither Other > Self nor Self > Other. It's entirely about Self. When the Other's opinion of you no longer matters, you can act in their interests. When you no longer need to impress, you won't need to care about your reputation or your legacy or how your actions will be perceived. Image, impressions, opinions, feelings; it's all worthless bullshit. You can act in the interests of others without needing to harm their interests for fear of losing their respect or company. You're not motivated to appear to be. This allows you to be.

If we compare Sydney Carton's sacrifice in Dickens' Tale of Two Cities with the mother's sacrifice (Barbara Stanwyck), both are motivated by love but Carton's love is selfless whilst the mother played by Stanwyck is driven by selfish love. The difference is all image, the need to appear to be. Sydney Carton needed the dramatic, sacrificial act because he was made to feel worthless, miserable and inferior. His Self was eroded (by whores like his mother, who needed his love and Lucie Manette, who needed to lead him on, just keeping her options open, being a generic shrewd sleaze, lies to "save feelings", etc). His Self was shot.

Carton is called a "jackal" because it appears that, while Mr. Stryver very deftly presents each case, it is Carton's legal acumen that helps win them, though Stryver gets all the credit—a reference to how the jackals help the lions with the kill, while the lions take all the glory. It is also seen that Carton is an alcoholic who faces a great lack of self-confidence.

Dickens was so creepy. How did Carton lose his self-confidence when he's such a brilliant legal eagle and all-round good fellow with a heart of gold? Dickens doesn't go there but someone had motive to make Carton feel that way (always the mother, initially; but Carton had only himself to blame for allowing others to keep him feeling worthless). Carton stayed out of the limelight because he was Self-less. He needed the validation but he lacked self-confidence. Mr Stryver didn't have Self either. He needed the validation so he took advantage of Carton's eroded Self, keeping his self-confidence low to save all that worthless approval (glory) for himself.

In shame, Carton was unable to claim the worthless approval he didn't feel entitled to. When the opportunity came to exchange his life for Darnay's (the better man, as determined by the worthless whore Lucie), Carton's sacrifice is something like the validation Zizek is referring to when discussing motive for fundamentalist suicide bombers.

Zizek: Even more importantly, it's a strange logic in which the bombers themselves have doubts, and their suicide becomes a way of confirming their belief. "If I kill myself in this way, I can calm my doubts and prove, even to me, that I do believe." So, even here, the issue of belief is more complex that it might seem.

Zizek is right that it's not really about religion, but he wasn't completely on the money here. Suicide becomes a way of confirming their belief that they are worthy. First they have to be made to feel unworthy by their mother, followed by everyone who disapproves of everything, for this reason. Having been reduced by manipulative sleaze, they strive to impress those who abused them. In shame, they seek validating glory. They'll prove themselves, just you wait and see. They're dying to impress creeps who made them feel they needed to. War? Martyrdom? Every abused boy jumps at the opportunity. Finally! A chance to prove their worth. But someone has to make them feel worthless first.

nb. I used to do this with girls but in this broken world of needy fronting, it all got too horrifying. Girls are all fronting as they're the victims of brutal emotional abuse. Underneath their appearances, they feel worthless (made to feel that way by mothers and women who shame girls for [being a human girl]) and shamed you for being a naked human toddler. It's the emotional form of genital mutilation and every woman and every guy that knows it's going on is culpable (even if their malice is limited to failing to speak out). But if you have the power to make girls feel unworthy or inferior, they will lose their minds. Tired of trying to impress them, I made them feel they needed to impress me. I nearly lost my mind. They only have one way to impress. It was horrifying.

By exchanging his life for "the better man", Carton became worthy. Someone had to make him feel worthless first. His sacrifice was selfless. They eroded his Self to make him suffer to please.

By contrast, the mother played by Stanwyck didn't need to be loved by her daughter because she loved her Self. She was able to be the mother she wanted to be without the need for her daughter's love forcing her to appear to be. The mother's sacrifice was selfish. She knew her own worth. She validated herself.

Without Self, you need to appear to be.
Self leaves you free to be.

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Quote-"...'Well, fem... (Below threshold)

October 21, 2013 5:34 PM | Posted, in reply to A♠'s comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Quote-
"...'Well, feminism has emasculated men.' Really? A girl did that to you?"
Yep.
And that gal was my mother.
Do you think the effects of all that inculcation should have been gone, miraculously, upon my 18th birthday?
If so, what's the point of therapy?
Why do you have a career?
--------------------------------------------------

I understand your answer to Alone, and I can hear what you are really trying to say to him...
You are mad, angry, even furious! You feel cheated, betrayed, setup, by someone you should have been able to depend on... and they failed you. You won't find peace blaming her though, because it doesn't end there. If this article was about motherhood and your mother read and commented it would sound like this:
-----
{"...'Well, Masculism has villified mothers.' Really? A man did that to you?" Yep. And that guy was my father.
Do you think the effects of all that inculcation should have been gone, miraculously, upon my 18th birthday?(or when I became a mother?)}
-----
Yes, it keeps going, but who knows what the excuse was back then. It is also true that somewhere along that chain, someone could have broken free. You could break free right now in fact, but you've seen the monster that is waiting for you if you do.
The snarling and twisted image of your own face is waiting for you if you turn around... It's everything you've wasted, everyone you've hurt, every life you've helped destroy up to that point. You fear the horrible truth that you had it within you to break free, and all the ruination you desperatly try to forget could have been prevented if you had. After you became an adult you could have stopped digging your hole and started back up to the surface, but you would be forced to accept the reality that every single foot of your long and painful crawl to the top, was created by you. It's easier to keep your head down and blame the Mother who dug the first few feet, instead of yourself for the hundreds you've dug since then.
Don't think about how hard it is/was. You don't know how hard it would have been to grow up because you never actually tried it. Your chosen excuse about the difficulty with breaking this chain didn't come from personal experience, but from repeating a phrase you heard. You found the best excuse for silencing that nagging despair in your heart and kept it on replay, you made sure not to look up until there was no light that could reach your depths you will find yourself.
I'm not attacking you, I'm attacking me, it simply applies to you. It applies to all of you.

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I quote:"Well, fem... (Below threshold)

October 22, 2013 2:24 AM | Posted by Gofer: | Reply

I quote:

"Well, feminism has emasculated men." Really? A girl did that to you?

And I reply:

The men who would walk a woman to her car respect their mothers; why else was 'your mama' such an insult before it became a caricature of itself?

This happened because two wars destroyed two generations of men and the women they failed to control were able to destroy their children; now that the chain of manhood which has been passed down since time immemorial has been broken, the cycle cannot be restored without paying a blood price which pales me to imagine.

Woe to you who hides in your imaginary ivory tower, you see too much of yourself even in the truth.

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Um. Alone. Drunk, on dexies... (Below threshold)

October 23, 2013 11:07 PM | Posted by Another Old Drunk: | Reply

Um. Alone. Drunk, on dexies, and raving about Manhood. That does not sound good. Have you ever considered rehab? Seeking help? Seeing as how you have a social, economic and professional position you might be endangering by abusing substances and acting out on the public Internet. Which is bound to bleed over into real life somewhere unless you're posting from a cave in North Dakota having buffalo bring your your goodies.

As for the subject, you're a "Male Chauvanist Pig" who has problems with the idea that other men ain't always manly enough for you. So is it true what the tabloid headline said about Bruce Jenner being a tranny? And Greg Louganis is gay & has AIDS. And Burt Reynolds was photographed in panty hose. Disgraceful. They should all butch up just like some guy on the Internet who claims to be a shrink. "We're all MANLY men here on the Flaming Queen."

By the way, I'm a middle-aged white guy too; doesn't it suck? We still don't get no respect. We should be able to get a better deal just by whipping out our bwana dicks, limp & tiny though they are. We've got to be two of the whitest manliest men on the Net, so how come we're not oppressing anybody? Could it be that we were lied to? And that we've been bergeroned for nothing? Oh my. Oh mary.

Anyway. I'm starting to worry about you, Doc. Which by itself ought to worry you.


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hooters ad sucks because th... (Below threshold)

October 25, 2013 3:48 PM | Posted by guidos_are_real: | Reply

hooters ad sucks because the actress is not good at acting.

cadillac ad sucks because it sells unhappiness. cadillac wants to sell to bitter careerist woman who is alone and will enjoy watching a woman use men to get to her destination and not give a shit about them. Yay, I have a sick car, but I'm all alone. AWESOME!

What do you think of this thai ad for health insurance? Is the point to divert attention from the high cost of health services, instead underline the fact that you can't operate a profitable business in Thailand if you're an average person? Or is this man just an untalented business person who must rely on the kindness of strangers to get by?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7s22HX18wDY

Help others and together we will pay our doctors through affordable health insurance, but don't worry about beggars and or the cost of doing business. It does not matter. The beggar will grow up to be a doctor one day.

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LMAO... (Below threshold)

October 25, 2013 10:05 PM | Posted, in reply to Another Old Drunk's comment, by woww: | Reply

LMAO

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Who says you know what a re... (Below threshold)

October 26, 2013 2:34 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Who says you know what a real man is?

bravery, or sacrifice, or stoicism

Stoicism is what makes a real man? Is that like when Odysseus slaughtered ALL 108 suitors of Penelope? You know some of them might have actually thought he was really dead and everything. To bad. Time for them all to die! But maybe he kept a stiff upper lip while killing every last one of them. That's what makes it stoic. As compared, you know, to the exact opposite of stoic.

You know, stoic is more like something a woman, or a boss, wants in a slave when they do something amazingly vile and FEEL they should get away with it. Like a "wife" who got oops pregnant and then threatened to murder the guys son if he didn't marry her. You know, like that. And then the slave... husband.... failed to display proper Sacrifice and Stoicism for the slut. Double Plus points on her nobility if she already had kids when she pulled this off.

Did your brain just explode? Oh we are not done yet.

Let's talk about FIREPROOF. The fireman Caleb saves a kid in a fire at the risk of his own life. Complete with actually being burned by the fire doing it. Sounds like Sacrifice, eh? Oh no it is not. Not Sacrifice as you mean it chicky. Wikipedia removes the saved kid from the movie description because a non-Christian Whore is unable to properly process Caleb's need to do everything she commands cause that's what God wants. She is presumably to hot for him to do this. But a Christian Whore, a Good Woman, like Catherine, knows that God wants Caleb to sacrifice everything FOR HER. There are no kids because a Good Christian Whore would have problems processing destroying her kids life because that's what she wants to do. So right there we have an important difference between a Christian Whore and a non Christian Whore, eh? But back to SACRIFICE. What Caleb needs to do to really SACRIFICE, and be a REAL MAN, is Sacrifice his desire for sex when he wants from his f'ing wife, Sacrifice his desire for a boat so wifey's mommy can have a NEW very overpriced wheelchair and NEW very overpriced bed. He also needs to Sacrifice his self-respect and his reason. Because Catherine is setting up to f'ck a doctor and with his twenty minutes of fame Caleb can totally dump the stupid slut and replace her with someone way hotter and way more loyal. As a Real Man though, Caleb practices SACRIFICE.

Bravery, you wouldn't much like bravery either, IN THE REAL WORLD.
Bravery is when you good friend, a great veterinarian, has a very bad day, and almost called the police, because one of her customers started screaming at her that "she was a murder" and "Can't she, as a stupid whore, DO HER JOB." And it was like so wrong. Sure she refused to do the "slow kill" method of removing heartworms but that is NOT HOW THINGS ARE DONE. YES it has lower mortality than Immiticide. YES, it is CHEAPER than Immiticide. But see, there is HOW THINGS ARE DONE. And HOW THINGS ARE NOT DONE. And no, the customer has NO FUCKING RIGHT THE STUPID FUCKER TO TELL HER, PRINCESS WITH A VAGINA, HOW HIS DOG IS GOING TO BE TREATED. SHE BEARS THE VAGINA. SHE WENT TO COLLEGE.

NOTE:
The customer also went to college, and the customer has a way harder degree than her.

Liking bravery?

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It's important for an anima... (Below threshold)

October 26, 2013 5:14 PM | Posted by whatever: | Reply

It's important for an animal to see how much it can get away with:
It's easier to keep your head down and blame the Mother who dug the first few feet, instead of yourself for the hundreds you've dug since then.

You need to see how far you can ramp the minimizing and maximizing adjectives up before the bad person calls you a shameless liar.

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why are you all up in Zizek... (Below threshold)

October 27, 2013 12:07 AM | Posted, in reply to jonny's comment, by you know its (fck the apostrophe, im not being graded bitch) me: | Reply

why are you all up in Zizek's jockstrap? Zizek have so much charisma, his unkempt peasant costume fool you. super entertaining story teller, agree, but anyone born east europe in mid 20th century and still believe communist system is way for humans to be governed...this person intellectual salesman, family probably benefit of government contract or appartchiks. maybe zizek's communism is type of "Tito style socialism" and we should take careful time to measure yugoslavia's potential...could it have been a paradise, the correct type of socialism? Zizek favorite proverb translate to this: it is better to look from the mountain than from the dungeon. I guess he never see Communist dungeon. Go ahead, grade me bizzotch, give me that thumbs up! you and i both know I got all A's in school except from the intellectual salesman professors, their ego could not fathom my brilliance...points off for punctuation?? I'll show you some PUNCH_UATION! Take your possessive nouns and shove them up your unattractive butt! LMAO.

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ya okay! born in central or... (Below threshold)

October 27, 2013 12:19 AM | Posted, in reply to you know its (fck the apostrophe, im not being graded bitch) me's comment, by I'm from Ljubljana AND im insulted because this is central europe and we are proud to say we are not: | Reply

ya okay! born in central or east europe, fck u snob.

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Ok, defining "manhood" has ... (Below threshold)

October 28, 2013 12:55 PM | Posted by Mike: | Reply

Ok, defining "manhood" has been a pet peeve of mine for some time and something I have struggled with for God knows how long. Not because I am less of a man, although I guess I can't say that without defining man first. Oh well.

In any event, the struggle for me is always this: man always seems to fall back on character traits or subjective things as definition. Women are very much, whether they admit it or not, rooted in biology (and therefore objective things). They have a womb and they are the gatekeepers. They can choose to try and deny that aspect, but it is very much always there. But can men be defined in those same terms? I don't think they can. We don't stand guard at any entrances (quite frankly we're the ones who want let into the garden), nor do we have new life so intertwined with our very internal being. Everything is external biologically. And simply saying we have a penis and that makes us different doesn't somehow seem to hold the same connotation when defining "man." Not like the womb and the woman.

Instead, we use character traits. Brave, stoic, blah blah blah. The trouble is, women can have those character traits, too, can't they? Does that make women masculine if they have them? Who knows, but it still isn't completey within the realm of men. To me, defining man would have to somehow bring forth something only men can have. Which I guess leaves us with penises? Doesn't have the same ring to it as life-bearing womb...

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The thing is that it's gott... (Below threshold)

October 28, 2013 4:37 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

The thing is that it's gotten much much worse since 1900. In 1900, you could eat any food you wanted, use and soap you wanted, and so on, without it being a commentary on your "manhood" or your "womanhood". Ride a horse of any breed or color, again with no issue whatsoever to do with gender.

We had roles, certainly, I'm not denying that. But the issue of male and female consumer goods (outside of women wearing dresses and men wearing pants) didn't exist. The entire family ate the same food, used the same soap, and so on. Gender was a part of your life, certainly, but it wasn't something that you had to waste a whole lot of time thinking about.

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Instead, we use ch... (Below threshold)

October 29, 2013 1:06 PM | Posted, in reply to Mike's comment, by jonny: | Reply

Instead, we use character traits. Brave, stoic, blah blah blah. The trouble is, women can have those character traits, too, can't they? Does that make women masculine if they have them? Who knows, but it still isn't completey within the realm of men. To me, defining man would have to somehow bring forth something only men can have.

If you saw the gender-bending going on in Thailand, you would understand girly and manly traits are just a putrid fabrication of whores.

Who has motive to define the sexes? Why are you motivated to define what character traits belong to whom?

In vain doth valour bleed, While Avarice and Rapine share the land. - John Milton

In vain do men suffer, while Toddler whores plot their suffering.

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youtube.com/watch?... (Below threshold)

October 29, 2013 1:23 PM | Posted, in reply to guidos_are_real's comment, by jonny: | Reply

youtube.com/watch?v=7s22HX18wDY

Help others and together we will pay our doctors through affordable health insurance, but don't worry about beggars and or the cost of doing business. It does not matter. The beggar will grow up to be a doctor one day.

Thailand is the global leader in emotional conditioning. Everything is a Confidence trick played on children who are raised with exploitable traits, amongst other - more peculiar - influences like the 36 of 37 Thai TV soaps with a plotline that went like:

- Boy likes girl
- Girl rejects boy
- Boy rapes girl
- Girl hates boy
- Boy falls in love with girl
- Boy commits to pursuing her Right
- Girl not interested in rapist
- Boy's dedication and commitment to pursuing her Right wears her down in the end
- Boy and Girl live happily ever after.

This advertisement is just more of the same, on a few levels. It's easy to miss the subtle promotion of filial love and care that is always present.

One side is doing the manipulation. Decency has become Evil's slaves.

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a) a pervasive sense of ins... (Below threshold)

October 29, 2013 2:25 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

a) a pervasive sense of insecurity and inadequacy in many men which has a precise psychoanalytic characterization that I will not elaborate on here and which the ad reassures you is soooo not true, you loyal friend, you-- you're a real man
..okay, I'll bite. What does this mean

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Here I am, stuck on the bet... (Below threshold)

October 29, 2013 3:33 PM | Posted by Dan: | Reply

Here I am, stuck on the beta male thing, thinking about how the ad strikes smoothly on it's demo. Then I realize that I'm aspiring on your considerations about "male" values, and how I have hesitated so far when those moments arrises.

Shit gotta be more subtle than that, right? I'm Rationalizing to much?

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hmm jonny, i dont agree. yo... (Below threshold)

October 29, 2013 4:11 PM | Posted, in reply to jonny's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

hmm jonny, i dont agree. your response made no sense. you are kind of annoying in the same way this blog is annoying. in that all the comments are also written by the blogger. so you are annoying in an entertaining type of way to a person who is momentarily lazy and wants to be entertained by something they already have mastered. Does that make sense to you? I find myself being more interested in what I write than what you do. Can you get more clever?

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As long as you feel that wa... (Below threshold)

October 29, 2013 6:02 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by jonny: | Reply

As long as you feel that way, it must be valid. You expressed your feelings adequately. Your disapproval was conveyed. Next time, an argument of some kind? Baby steps...

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What kind of rum do you dri... (Below threshold)

October 29, 2013 6:10 PM | Posted by pg: | Reply

What kind of rum do you drink anyways? Did you cover this. I owe you a bottle of zaya.

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no, no argument necessary, ... (Below threshold)

October 29, 2013 7:56 PM | Posted, in reply to jonny's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

no, no argument necessary, im interested in information, jonny. what would be better is a post on why google was allowed to buy doubleclick in 2007, what doubleclick et al industry is, and how to generate ad traffic on a website without really trying. that would be more interesting than writing about npr. whatever you write on npr was already covered by noam chomsky or somebody like that. same shit, different decade.

nerds are always giving us new ways to connect and all that shit, but less talented at sharing worthwhile information or "content." Are those words one and the same? I'm so confused. Stratfor please explain the world to me!

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The following recent arti... (Below threshold)

November 6, 2013 12:40 PM | Posted by Harry Horton: | Reply

The following recent articles off the internet concerning the risperdal side effects situatioin and legal activity surrounding this issue.

(1) "Watchlist News" : "Risperdal lawsuit News: Johnson & JOhnson to pay over 2.2 billion in risperdal and invega settlements. draws comment from Wright and Schulte LLC." Nov 5, 2013.

(2) "Johnson & Johnson agrees to largest - ever false claims act settlement in risperdal lawsuits" Nov 4, 2013.

I got sick off of risperdal in 2001. I developed the fuel consumption inflexibility feature with the drug and a reduction of the respiratory ratio that comes with the drugs usage. Drug company reform is needed to say the least, in order to make headway for developing an ehtical as possible mental health system.

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/It's probably beta male th... (Below threshold)

November 7, 2013 6:19 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Me: | Reply

/It's probably beta male that are obsessed about being men because they can't manage to do it effortlessly.

Have you read No More Mr. Nice Guy? It goes into this dynamic quite a bit. How it comes about, what the effects are, (some of) how to get over it. It doesn't use the word "Narcissism" but it essentially talks about how "Nice guys" create a narcissistic identity for themselves.

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/It's probably beta male th... (Below threshold)

November 7, 2013 6:20 AM | Posted by Me: | Reply

/It's probably beta male that are obsessed about being men because they can't manage to do it effortlessly.

Have you read No More Mr. Nice Guy? It goes into this dynamic quite a bit. How it comes about, what the effects are, (some of) how to get over it. It doesn't use the word "Narcissism" but it essentially talks about how "Nice guys" create a narcissistic identity for themselves.

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As for the subject... (Below threshold)

November 8, 2013 10:23 AM | Posted, in reply to Another Old Drunk's comment, by Mike: | Reply

As for the subject, you're a "Male Chauvanist Pig"

Pretty sure Alone is a woman, there, Chief.

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It's a little ridiculous to... (Below threshold)

November 16, 2013 3:36 PM | Posted, in reply to Mike's comment, by paddleship: | Reply

It's a little ridiculous to search for an identity in generic biological functions, and it's only because of your own biases that you assign more importance to the bearing of a child than the process of conception. One is more painful and personally destructive, sure, but neither is more essential. No womb, no baby. No cum, no baby.

Women are more prone to identity disturbances, lack of actual confidence (actual, "I know what I can do" confidence, not girl power puffery), and lack of clear life goals in part because so much of womanhood can be enacted in a state of near-total passivity. Let a boy think you're pretty, let him kiss you, let him fuck you, let your body make the baby. Spend 20 years in a fog of domestic and probably financial trivia. The script writes itself, personal initiative not required. A man is driven to scheme and fight for sex even if he fights for nothing else, and he never fights for it harder than when he's young, when his self-conception or identity is still pliable, while the girls are off languishing in the peak of their un-fought for, basically undeserved sexual power. The struggle, at least, gives him a sense of his strengths and limitations, makes a real person out of him, and even if he becomes a bitter fool who hates himself he can still view himself as a first person subject who acts and is responsible for taking action if he wants to obtain the things he wants. Women, on the other hand, are conditioned by their early experiences to feel an odd sense of entitlement mixed with powerlessness, in addition to a constant, inescapable sense of diminishment as they realize their peak years were only meant to be a small slice of their lives, leaving them now more and more inevitably without any stake in the only game they know how to play.

A woman who obtains her sense of self from her ability to be a mother (or a sex object) is, I think, the sort of woman Johnny always rants about in these comments' sections. The option to opt out of life and become nothing more than a womb and a caretaker doesn't give women any advantage in discovering who they really are-- rather, it's an easy exit into a non-personhood whose very essence is defined by and dependent upon the neediness of those around her.

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you obviously haven't read ... (Below threshold)

November 16, 2013 4:04 PM | Posted, in reply to Mike's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

you obviously haven't read much of this blog, then. if you'd read more of it then you'd see he's obviously male.

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A woman who obtain... (Below threshold)

November 16, 2013 4:27 PM | Posted, in reply to paddleship's comment, by jonny: | Reply

A woman who obtains her sense of self from her ability to be a mother (or a sex object) is, I think, the sort of woman Johnny always rants about in these comments' sections. The option to opt out of life...

Yes, but if only they were that decent. In taking the option to opt out of contributing to life, they proactively become focused on creating suffering to validate / sustain their existence. They believe their malice is hard work because it is hard work to rape men with deceit. It's hard work to resist the temptation to split open your legs when it's all you want to do and there's offers coming in non-stop.

It's hard work lying to impress and putting your best foot forward. It's hard work shaming a child into being your slave. It's hard work emasculating your husband into remaining suitably reduced to be manipulable. It's hard work creating the necessary drama to disguise the fact that you're existing to create suffering for everyone.

But if it weren't for them whipping their husbands, no work would be done. If it weren't for them whipping their children to school, these A+ marks on the fridge would have been F. If it were not for them slut-shaming their daughter, she'd be the talk of the town. If it were not for her torturing everyone in her life, all their lives would be worse.

Mothers know this for a fact because this world doesn't measure parental success by degree of happiness but by degree of torture meted out to get her slaves to achieve.
i.imgur.com/KTpymLz.jpg

She's measured by how afraid of her displeasure her family is. Until the torture of children no longer makes them feel proud...mothers will keep torturing them and feeling good about it. She knows she's a great mother. Everyone is miserable but trying their best to please her with suffering.

It's a wonderful feeling knowing you're good at a job you enjoy doing.

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Nothing is gained by the so... (Below threshold)

November 16, 2013 4:29 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by paddleship: | Reply

Nothing is gained by the sort of emotionalism you describe in your last paragraph. It's ironic that you decry Stoicism only a few lines up. Keep shooting yourself in the foot.

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It would be nice if TLP com... (Below threshold)

November 17, 2013 4:23 PM | Posted by gus: | Reply

It would be nice if TLP commented the last Volvo ad that is viralizing on the net these days... It's the one that features Jean Cloud Van Damme http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7FIvfx5J10

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Hey hey hey waddup waddup w... (Below threshold)

November 19, 2013 3:19 PM | Posted by Andrea Coates: | Reply

Hey hey hey waddup waddup waddup – I’m going to try this again, and in a slightly different tone, because it doesn’t seem to matter whether I’m nice or a cunt, it’s Hard fo Girlie to get respect. You’re still brilliant, no doubt, no doubt, but come on – you think you’re alone in this? You think the world deserves your fucking cynicism? You think I’m not three leagues ahead of your Criticisms with my OmG OmG wait for it: Optimistic Manifesto for rEvolution. “Its’ so fun being miserable, though.” Yeah fucking right, go drink yourself to death: Ima get busy getting Mark Zuckerberg to give Shane Smith head so I can film it. You think I’m fucking kidding? You think I’m gonna sit back and let the Media die of Asphyxiation? Bitch Please. Lighten up. You are not alone. There’s more than One Genius staring into their Computer Screen Eyes like Tazers get the People wake up wake up its Utopia! Hahahahahhahahahahahahahahahaha. Bitchnuts, you fucking ignore this shit you wont live it down; I don’t forget a snub and I own Google. Oh its True tho: welcome to the future, where Blondie Big Tits and her Porn Site got more Clout than the Rockefellers. I like you: you’re almost as clever as me and if I can do you a favour I will, but you better acknowledge me Wanker or wither alone like Nietzsche in his Asylum. That’s how this works. It aint good for yo Brain, being a Middle Aged Man with Only his Pet Nihilism for Company. You think you can write a book about Porn without me in it than accept the bonfire of irRelevance, ManBoi. Andrea Coates: Utopian Philosopher of Sx, Drugs and Anarky
http://andreacoatesoperationfun.blogspot.ca/

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You appear to have cut out ... (Below threshold)

November 22, 2013 11:05 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

You appear to have cut out the section about your writing that also pictured the ghost from Ju-on, but then reference it in the last paragraph?

PLease don't alter the articles TLP, I beg of you. They are my constant.

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Yawn.... (Below threshold)

November 23, 2013 6:11 PM | Posted, in reply to Andrea Coates's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Yawn.

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He's on the right track tho... (Below threshold)

November 23, 2013 8:21 PM | Posted, in reply to paddleship's comment, by jonny: | Reply

He's on the right track though. Bravery is the creepiest emotion of all, with the possible exception of love. Bravery is narcissistic, it's entirely about appearances (faking courage in the absence of confidence). Why?

Bravery is key to mothers' exploitation of their male young. It's considered a nobel virtue but it's pure sleaze. Being brave is not in the interests of the brave but (arguably) in the interests of whomever they're being brave for.

Toddler mothers have taken over the world, shrewdly preparing children for betrayal. Men are conditioned with exploitable values by mothers.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (NKJV) 4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails or at least, it will give that last full measure of devotion to Christian warlords like Lincoln and Christian whores like your Mom.

Mothers do all this work and girls come along and gobble up the meals mothers made for themselves. I believe this explains the war women are waging against girls, who might only realise they're in a war when their mothers are mutilating their genitals or launching an unprovoked shame assault on their Self.

"In vain doth valour bleed,
While Avarice, and Rapine share the land."

Everyone needs to put down tools, drop their weapons and put the leeches out of our misery. Men must stop enabling this Toddler bloodbath.

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I think you're confusing br... (Below threshold)

November 24, 2013 1:01 AM | Posted, in reply to jonny's comment, by hans: | Reply

I think you're confusing bravery with false bravado, man. You say bravery is narcissistic, but it's completely opposite. Look where you hear it most often--the military. That's like as anti narcissistic as you can get. It's all about sacrificing the individual in favor of the group. And doing what needs to be done despite obstacles like fear and doubt.

Maybe you don't mean to, but it sounds like you are arguing against those self sacrificing virtues. Maybe you're right that it's a way of exploiting the brave...but guess what? They might be pawns but they are NOT narcissists. You were right when you said it's about helping the other, not yourself, but that's totally opposite of narcissism! It's recognizing the essential humanity of other people, and that's pretty deep stuff!

Maybe you'll say that it's smarter to choose cowardice in order to avoid being exploited, and it makes sense. But the world will always need those brave souls who do what others won't or can't do. Not that I mean to insult you...but there can only be so many parasites who live off the labors of the brave.

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Sacrificing children for a ... (Below threshold)

November 26, 2013 1:04 PM | Posted, in reply to hans's comment, by jonny: | Reply

Sacrificing children for a group is not humane. Religious tribal insanity is the source of all inhumanity. All wars are fought for lies. The victims of emotional cannibals are blind. They have eyes but they cannot see. There is one group and it's called Self / Humanity (same thing). It's need-free. It's been destroyed by needy whores who shame children so the tribe can exploit them. They ripped Humanity apart piece by piece, needing love. This isn't especially deep. You were raised by a tribe of cannibals and you've been marinated accordly. Nom nom.

Humans feed on their own with emotional lies and physical violence. Cannibals always end up eating each other, but first they eat their young.

Maybe you'll say that it's smarter to choose cowardice in order to avoid being exploited, and it makes sense. But the world will always need those brave souls who do what others won't or can't do...but there can only be so many parasites who live off the labors of the brave.

No.

Humans aren't courageous when they need to fight. Only cowards need to be brave. Courage doesn't need to kill or die or suffer to prove itself. That's the true value of Self. The ability to withstand the emotional assault of the war-mongering tribe's needy whores who will label you a coward for not killing and dying for their leaching campaigns. They'll ridicule you, bully you, try and make you feel unworthy, feel worthless, feel abnormal, feel ashamed. If you're objective, you'll realise they've done it already. It's what the Matriarchal tribes do. They shut you out and tell you how to get back in but it's all a stupid Confidence Game.

You don't need to prove yourself to them.
You don't need to sacrifice your Self to impress them.
You don't need to suffer to please them.
You don't need to take care of them.

You have no obligation to them at all. You owe them nothing. They've done nothing but lie to you. You didn't ask to be hijacked here against your will, to suffer. It's all lies. When you have Self, you will understand why you wear clothes. They have nothing to trade with you. They have no value. They have filthy lies and putrid needy. When you have Self, you will have the courage to protect your Self from creeps. When you have Self, you won't need to fight.

You won't need to be brave.

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Sacrificing ... (Below threshold)

November 26, 2013 6:58 PM | Posted, in reply to jonny's comment, by hans: | Reply

Sacrificing children for a group is not humane. Religious tribal insanity is the source of all inhumanity."

I never said that war (which I assume you meant) was humane, and I'm sorry if I gave that impression. My point was that an individual's self sacrifice for the group is a selfless (and not narcissistic) act.


I think you're mistaken when you point to religious tribal insanity as being the source of all inhumanity. You're focused too much on intergroup violence, but you ignore intragroup violence, which definitely has roots other than tribalism, insanity, or religion.

All wars are fought for lies...

I don't mean to patronize, and my apologies if it comes across that way, but statements about the human condition that involve "always," and "never" are usually incorrect. War is an incredibly complex subject, and I think that your oversimplification impedes a more nuanced understanding.


...There is one group and it's called Self / Humanity (same thing).

That is a very enlightened position you have, and it might even be true, but unfortunately, the rest of the world doesn't see it that way, including myself. There are so many different ways of living in the world, and some of them are completely antithetical to what you (and I) believe in and strive for. Other people live by completely different truths, and some of those I want nothing to do with. I imagine you would feel the same, if you were to experience them.

It's need-free. It's been destroyed by needy whores who shame children so the tribe can exploit them.

Your anger against the antecedent generation is understandable, but imagine it from their end. Those who have come before spent at least 17 years raising us from infancy to adulthood, in the meantime helping to keep this huge machine that is the modern world functioning. I think it's perfectly understandable that they ask for something from us, especially during wartime. Our bodies are hale, and not yet weakened by age and disease. We also lack meaningful skills in our youth. It's fair and just that they ask us to fight on their behalf. We aren't as valuable. But in a few decades, the shoe will be on the other foot.

No.

Humans aren't courageous when they need to fight. Only cowards need to be brave...but it's all a stupid Confidence Game.

I think that you and I are discussing two different topics. You seem to be referring to bravery and cowardice in terms of self validation. I am talking about brave action, and the need that every society has for people who will do what others are afraid to. The most obvious examples are the police and military, but it also includes things like high-rise construction workers,taxi drivers, things like that.

You have no obligation to them at all. You owe them nothing. They've done nothing but lie to you. You didn't ask to be hijacked here against your will, to suffer. It's all lies. When you have Self, you will understand why you wear clothes. They have nothing to trade with you. They have no value. They have filthy lies and putrid needy. When you have Self, you will have the courage to protect your Self from creeps. When you have Self, you won't need to fight.

You won't need to be brave.

Would you please define "them?" I believe you are referring to those in power and the previous generation (one in the same, really), but I don't want to mischaracterize you. But I'm going to assume that's what you mean.

How predatory do you think that "they" are? What do you think you will look like in 20-30 years? That's who they are, and how they act. But the assertions that we owe them nothing is a little selfish. The world that you and I both inhabit was built by the generations before us. People just like us, who had the exact same hopes, dreams, and fears. Everything we know we owe to them, and the world they created it. They (and I am specifically referring to baby boomers) are going to be passing the torch soon. Regardless of how well they performed, it's a heavy burden to shoulder, and we owe it to our ancestors and descendants to act selflessly, and keep this vast machine alive.

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My point was that ... (Below threshold)

November 26, 2013 10:14 PM | Posted, in reply to hans's comment, by jonny: | Reply

My point was that an individual's self sacrifice for the group is a selfless (and not narcissistic) act.

Narcissists are selfless. Narcissism is a corruption of Self. They obsess over their false image because their Self has been eroded. They're not in love with themselves. They're in love with their image, which substitutes for the Self eroded by mothers' shame.

If an individual sacrifices themselves for the group, they are selfish. They have Self to sacrifice. If an individual is sacrificed by the group, they are selfless. They had no Self. It's a question of control. If you control yourself, you are selfish. You decide. If you are controlled, you are selfless. Your Self has been handed over to creeps. They decide. Wars are fought by selfless boys who need to be brave because they lack the courage to be humane.

...you ignore intragroup violence, which definitely has roots other than tribalism, insanity, or religion.

It's very simple. Humans are products of their environment. Monkey see, monkey do. If mothers communicated using truth / logic rather than lies / violence, humans would be humane.

...statements about the human condition that involve "always," and "never" are usually incorrect.

Counter-arguments taking this form are never logical. All wars are fought for lies. War is never sane. Humans don't kill humans.

Other people live by completely different truths

There is only one truth and it is biological. Humans were coded to fuck, not to fight. It's one or the other. Some Matriarchs got confused. They had the power to enslave their own. Promiscuous women stood in their way. This is how they communicate:
religionconfidencetrick.blogspot.com/2013/05/the-gates-of-hell-were-opened-by-love.html

Logic was changed to illogical. God is good. Lies are nice. Truth is rude. Children love mothers. Women hate to fuck. So we fight.

Those who have come before spent at least 17 years raising us

You have Stockholm Syndrome. 17 years spent forcing you to do things you didn't want to do. It's how you break slaves.

keep this huge machine that is the modern world functioning.

You think it's functioning? Umm. Okay I have to stop as I've been wasting my time. Don't forget to suffer to please [anyone pleased by your suffering]. Makes sense. After all they've done for you.

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The Cadillac advert had me ... (Below threshold)

December 29, 2013 8:29 PM | Posted by Yehovah: | Reply

The Cadillac advert had me smiling. What's wrong with a strong woman doing whatever she wants? She didn't kill or rob anyone.

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In the Cadillac ad, why wou... (Below threshold)

January 2, 2014 10:22 PM | Posted by John: | Reply

In the Cadillac ad, why would any of the men try to walk her to the car? She barely said hello or goodbye let alone, "I'm trying to get to my car."

If I were to imagine myself as one of the men, I'd assume she had confused me for someone else, was lost, or trying to scam me.

It may be what the ad is trying to imply, but it's a shitty job if that's true.

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"That is, unless you alread... (Below threshold)

January 6, 2014 1:41 AM | Posted by Boozahol: | Reply

"That is, unless you already like Guinness and then you're going to have a totally different reaction, like switching to Belhaven."

YES. So glad to see other alcoholic degenerates who recognize Belhaven as a better version of Guinness.

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Meanwhile, back on topic...... (Below threshold)

February 11, 2014 8:00 AM | Posted by disabled and go fuck yourself: | Reply

Meanwhile, back on topic...

For those who couldn't read through this meandering pile of insecure bullshit, TL-DR = If your friend has no legs, don't level the playing field, make him watch the rest of you play standup B ball from the sidelines like a PROPER ALPHA MALE. Also steaks.

Better yet, ask yourself, why do you and your ALPHA MALE friends from fictional advertising land even have crippled gimp friends anyway? That's not very alpha. Fuck those guys. They should have other gimps for friends, so whole and normal human beings who stoop to include wretched cripples in their social circle aren't ALPHA MALE enough.

Forget sticking by your mates. Forget anything resembling humility or a capacity to create an level playing field by thinking outside the box of bullshit social norms that are neither social nor normal, your job as an ALPHA MALE is to express your secret inferiority by trying far to fucking hard to show the world what a big man you are.

I submit it's far more ALPHA to not give a flying fuck what some opinionated blogger says on the internet, if you want to play wheelchair basketball with your mate who's in a wheelchair, go for it, and fuck what image conscious egomaniacs with insecurities about their masculinity so profound they feel compelled to attack anything they don't see as cavemanish enough to qualify as alpha male behavior tell you about what it means to be a real man.

Proper "ALPHA MALE' behavior would be to kill and eat the guy in the wheelchair. Thank fucking christ most people's attitudes to disability have progressed beyond the stone age. Thanks Guinness, fuck you

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im too fucking depressed to... (Below threshold)

February 17, 2014 6:35 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

im too fucking depressed to feel either way about the ad.
im probably still a pussy anyways.

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Crippled people really are ... (Below threshold)

February 17, 2014 10:45 AM | Posted, in reply to disabled and go fuck yourself's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Crippled people really are the worst.

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A shining example of a tran... (Below threshold)

February 17, 2014 4:08 PM | Posted, in reply to James K's comment, by Froot Loop: | Reply

A shining example of a transphobic comment:

That all transgender people are confused, that we don't know any better, that we are "failed men" or "failed women" that just need a good talking to, that if we just knew "real masculinity" or "real femininity" we would be okay. It's all just transphobic nonsense by people who refuse to understand being transgender.

Why is it that when people point up how messed up Machismo can be, some dude like you comes along and says that it isn't "real masculinity" that we were taught wrong? Could it be that masculinity is highly subjective and contradictory. That it is not rigid and changes constantly. That guys like you are uncomfortable with ambiguity and need someone to scapegoat, like faggots,queers,trannies, all those guys are "failed men" who need psychiatric help for making me question my machismo.

Before I came to grips with my transgenderism, I believed in a rigid masculinity to fight my unconscious fears of coming to grips with my ambiguous gender identity.

So why do you need to attack my comment dude, what do you really have to gain?

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Nothing about James' commen... (Below threshold)

February 18, 2014 2:24 PM | Posted by you serious bro?: | Reply

Nothing about James' comment was transphobic. He did not, as you suggest, scapegoat transgender people. James merely suggested that as you struggle with understanding your identity, you might consider mental health services for support. He was understandably concerned for you because prognosis after sexual reassignment surgery is very poor--there's a very high incidence of depression and suicide. Don't believe me? http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21364939 Indeed, most countries require mental health support and counseling for years before attempting reassignment surgery. THE IDEA ISN'T TO REPRESS YOU. THE IDEA IS TO HELP YOU NOT KILL YOURSELF.

I followed the thread and one of the commenters gave some very good advice that you seem to have ignored completely. You said "I'm tired of being told to man up and stop crying and stop being emotional. I'm tired of being told to act like my assigned gender."

In response to you, he/she said "maybe you should just ignore gender considerations and grow up. Why is your assigned gender even relevant? Act your age."

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I plan to get professional ... (Below threshold)

February 19, 2014 12:58 AM | Posted, in reply to you serious bro?'s comment, by Froot Loop: | Reply

I plan to get professional help, that's pretty much a given. What I don't understand is the assumption that gender discrimination does not exist, I'm assuming because you people are cisgender and refuse to learn about transgenderism. The language you use has been the language used to oppress gay people in the past, and now transgender people. "Why don't you just go to a psychiatrist, he will fix you and get rid of these silly tranny thoughts"

That's not what's going to happen. What will happen, and it happens to all trangender people, is that I will come to grips with being transgender. What will not happen is that I fit back into my at birth gender. Trying to do that causes transgender people to commit suicide.

I read the study, and were should I begin with the numerous flaws

The sample size is too small, the study even says it itself that it's too small. How can we be sure their is no bias? The control group was comprised of cisgendered people chosen at random that was much bigger. And they lived better lives because they don't have a severe psychological problem. You shouldn't need a study to tell you this. Want to know something else? People who live in high crime areas are more likely to get mugged than people who don't. I didn't need a study to say that.

The study acknowledges that 80% of people after sex changed operation report satisfaction with the sex change.

The study says that changes in hormonal treatment,psychosocial care, and sex reassignment surgery have lead to greater life expectancy for transgender people that go through sexual reassignment by the time this study happened, the 1970s.

The study says at various time that sex change actually does improve the mental health of transgender people who under go, and isn't for stopping sex change operation.

It even acknowledges the best way to fight morbidity and mortality rates among transgender people will be a combination of sex reassignment surgery and better psychotherapy.

It also ignores how DISCRIMINATION AGAINST TRANSGENDER PEOPLE IN HEALHCARE HAS A EFFECT. AS WELL AS DISCRIMINATION PERIOD.

Here's a observation, and I don't need a study. Poor people live harder lives than rich people because of classism. Women have it harder than men because of sexism. Blacks have it harder than Whites because of racism. And if I summarize this study, it basically states transgenders have it harder than cisgenders. Really? Any non-bigoted person could see that.

It doesn't even find a good reason why post op transgenders have such awful lives. It just says it does...because... doesn't even go into the reasons.

Then there was the section on crime. It was only a few sentences and didn't prove anything. It was ridiculous

The study is faulty, contradicts itself constantly, and the argument it has is weak. As The Last Psychiatrist often says, studies like these have a agenda behind them. You can find any study to support your argument. That's why I take anyone with a study with a grain of salt because they often falsify information,distort the facts, and contradict themselves. It's like sturgeon law, 90% of them are crap that's used to keep researchers busy.

I'm aware of the fact that sexual reassignment surgery is only allowed after years of rigorous therapy and psychological help. I'm a transgender person, I know these things.

Transgender is a umbrella term that includes people with gender dysphoria,people who identify as the opposite sex,genderqueer,third gender, and of course people who undergo sex reassignment surgery. I say this because neither you or James K understand what the term means.

I don't plan to get a sex change operation. And if I did I know I would have to undergoes years of therapy to get the SRS. Why do people who know nothing about transgender people always talk down to transgender people like we're confused? Like one day we decided to chop off our dicks because we like wearing pink.

Oh yeah, your a cisgender person unwilling to empathize with transgender people. You also refuse to acknowledge that gender roles are strictly enforced. In the same way white people refuse to acknowledge racism because they know very little about black people. Or straight people aren't homophobic even as they use homophobic slurs because "homophobia doesn't exist".

Three people have told me "gender roles don't exist". They do, it's just that you've been so socially indoctrinated to act out your role that you obey it without question. Than when transgender people come along, you realize everything you did as a man isn't natural, you were just taught to think that way, so you accuse transgenders of being crazy to protect your insecure hetereosexuality.

This is just so typical of not just transphobia, but all types of bigotry. You point out something is racist, people call you racist. You point out something is sexist, people call you sexist. You point out something is transgender, people shut down and just say your crazy, man up. It seems that rather than confront our shameful history, we rather pretend it doesn't exist.

And don't call me bro. Right off the bat I know you use axe bodyspray,have a upturned collar, and really aren't that smart.

I am transgender, gender roles do exist and they are enforced, and none of you know anything about transgender people. I suggest you learn about transgender people before you open your mouth anymore.

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So now that everyo... (Below threshold)

February 20, 2014 10:36 AM | Posted, in reply to davidwolkenstein's comment, by jonny: | Reply

So now that everyone has unanimously decided that the problem is narcissism, the solution (which even TLP doesn't have, otherwise he would have told us by now) long overdue has to be invented.

Maybe he has told us the solution, with emphasis and clarity; but we didn't want to hear it? Maybe The Answer isn't the answer anyone is looking for.

When you're playing in a rigged game, there's only one play you can make. The only way to win is not to play.

[. ] To Be.
[x] Not To Be.

That is the Question and, I'm fairly certain, The Answer that no one is looking good for.

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The "answer" is service to ... (Below threshold)

February 21, 2014 7:12 AM | Posted by KarlYoung: | Reply

The "answer" is service to become the Hero of Your Story. A hero is the person is NOT the main character but serves the main characters. Serve and you will eventually be connected to others.

Go back and read Marc Maron's Mid Life Crisis and Amy Schumer Offers...

Alone, you've got a mess of a following.

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*snort* Yup--a whole differ... (Below threshold)

March 13, 2014 2:27 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

*snort* Yup--a whole different level of bullshat. What a waste of 10 minutes I'll never get back.

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Look, you friggin' bozo, yo... (Below threshold)

March 16, 2014 4:19 AM | Posted by anus mundane: | Reply

Look, you friggin' bozo, you need to learn to write better and you need to find an editor ASAP. The following is a tangled heap of grammatical garbage:

"This is what the ad is telling women, and you, its foundational assumption: the public's exhaustion with men who don't deliver on their masculinity, their general loss of ambition, drive, respectfulness... and purpose; coupled with men's haunting suspicion that their true worth-- "in other people's minds"-- is signaled by women's opinions of them, after all, money, jobs-- all that is fake. Hence the need for something to redefine masculinity, to make it real."

I've hated it since day one. It's been a feat to comprehend. I've finally managed to do it, but only because I've climbed through most of your other essays-- and because of this I can better track the semi-coherent ramblings of a paranoid fucker living in a world of madness (you).

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Bad troll is bad... (Below threshold)

March 16, 2014 9:52 PM | Posted, in reply to anus mundane's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Bad troll is bad

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Lazy retort is lazy.... (Below threshold)

March 17, 2014 4:42 AM | Posted by HGJ: | Reply

Lazy retort is lazy.

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"If you hold men and women ... (Below threshold)

April 29, 2014 9:43 AM | Posted, in reply to TINJ's comment, by eagle: | Reply

"If you hold men and women to different standards of courage, intelligence, honesty, humility, and so on, you are what's called a "social" conservative/"social" darwinist.¨

What I got from the text is not that Alone, personally does that, BUT, society is organized to do that -- ie, itś OK if the lady doesnt go to school and have a career, she can still get married. (But if sheś not pretty, she cant, so she better be pretty). This is basically the state of things, the bar is set lower for women, which is arguably the reason they underperform in a lot of disciplines -- because they can, without a lot of pain (as long as they do stuff that anybody could do, namely perform some beauty rituals to signal 'femaleness' [someone said that some women are not 'identifiable' as female because theyŕe fat. Could it be the reason s/he is saying this is because being pretty is THE thing females do, the one they can fall back on, if everything else fails?]). I am not a man, but I am thinking; being a man is more stressing, in certain ways, but, eh, with great power comes great responsibility.

Off course, being pretty or having a career do not necessarily matter in the grand scheme of things, if we want to get really philosophical about it, and maybe living more years is worth it to women.

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Hey I enjoying Reading your... (Below threshold)

September 11, 2014 7:24 PM | Posted by Tooba: | Reply

Hey I enjoying Reading your posts . They are always so interesting and very well written . Thank you for writing.

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Regardless of whether this ... (Below threshold)

September 14, 2014 12:35 AM | Posted, in reply to Tooba's comment, by johnnycoconut: | Reply

Regardless of whether this is spam, I fully agree.

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'"Well, feminism has emascu... (Below threshold)

September 23, 2014 5:57 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

'"Well, feminism has emasculated men." Really? A girl did that to you?'

Yes: my mother.

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Celebrate every time you hi... (Below threshold)

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Just like anything else you... (Below threshold)

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