Sunday, July 19, 2009

Emasculate Culture.

Banalities beg the mind to ignore them. Raymond Ibrahim's phrase above, contrarily, jumped into my mind and found a permanent home immediately.

I'm like many, (if fewer, and a decreasing number, or maybe not so many at all,) guys who like to get laid, and I mean that in the sense of being with women, even one at a time if I can't do better. I've got a full complement of leather underwear, and a fireman costume for the hard to please. I'm some kind of class act. But for all that, it's getting harder to score when the competition comes out with Internet come-ons like: "Fortyish metro-sexual boy seeks nubile sex-monkey for swinging times. Have full sleeves and a Prince Albert. Have own skate-board. Require pot allowance. No cougars."

Yes, girls seek male attention, and they compete against other girls for it. To gain that attention, assuming that some girls are hotter than others and that some hot girls show it off well, less hot girls, as it were, have to compete by going a bit further, showing it off a bit more; and when the hottest of the hotties look like sluts to begin with, the girls who aren't in the rock-bimbette class to start with have to shake it all the moreso. That spiral is downward, some of us say. There are also guys like me, those with as much class as Obama.

It ain't working for any of us, even for the guys getting all the babes all the time. Not working for the babes either. It sucks, in a non-reproductive way. Girls aren't finding the guys they want because the guys they want aren't the guys they want. Girls are finding an increasing number of metro-sexual boys in their forties, just what so many asked for. These guys suck. And these guys too are craving male attention. We live in an "Emasculate Culture."

My guess is that masculine guys have always scored more than not so much guys. But in time, as Princess was looking for Prince Charming, a suitable guy came along and was just about as good as it gets, most couples being as happy as one can expect from this life. Now, from walking around checking out the babes, I see girls frantic to gain the favor of those few guys who appear good as opposed to the many who look so gay it's not even in the cards ever. Guys, maybe ordinary and just not in the rock-bozo class, have opted out altogether, skate boarding and smoking pot and trying aggressively to fail for the sake of winning, to gain the favor of girls to love them. Which brings me to that banality mentioned above.

Nature has its ways, and those who have Nature on their side will do better than those who don't. But as well as nature, i.e. what's natural, there's a matter of culture. Most people most of the time, conform to culture, regardless of it, in spite of the harm it does, because if they don't, they tend to lose big-time. For one thing, the best babes don't want losers. Most guys want the best babes, and they usually and happily settle for the best woman-- if they're really lucky. Women don't want losers; and yet they demand loser men, metro-sexual men, conformist, ordinary guys who just want to get along. Why do women want men they don't want? They don't. They reject them. And yet our culture demands that ordinary guys conform to the call for losers. It' what one might call a lose/lose-type situation. Popular culture demands loser-guys who can't find a girl. Many guys conform to loserness, and they lose. Girls lose too. Guys opt out from anything like hopeful relationships because there's no point in trying to make it with a girl who is desperate for a guy who isn't what she finds when he shows up dressed as per instruction, simpering and effeminate. Guys follow all the rules and end up screwed-- in a bad way. And for the ordinary girl to get any attention from a guy she might like, she has to compete with the sluts who have it all and give it all away cause they must to stay on top. And, though many won't like reading this, some have to compete against their mothers for young guys.

Most people don't think through the way of things cultural: they just do what they do. Culture, believe it or no, isn't necessarily in the interests of most people within it. That's the banality I referred to above. It seems though that such an observation isn't the banality I thought it to be. Some argue tautologically that existence is proof of success. If a culture exits, then it must be good or it wouldn't exist at all. Margaret Meade and Ruth Benedict and the like can spin that rubbish all they choose, but the fact is that a dysfunctional society can linger for millenia, carrying on miserably and not dying out till it dies. It's cultural relativism at its best. Culture doesn't benefit all its members equally. Most can suffer quite miserably and still live for generations and beyond, living like dogs and carrying on. The banality is that this is so. The profundity is that it's so commonly not understood.

Mark Steyn, "No future." The Corner, National Review Online.18 July 2009

The "alarmism" of my book seems to be going mainstream. Newsweek's economics editor Daniel Gross belatedly joins the demographic deathwatch on Japan:

Japan's population peaked in 2004 at about 127.8 million and is projected to fall to 89.9 million by 2055. The ratio of working-age to elderly Japanese fell from 8 to 1 in 1975 to 3.3 to 1 in 2005 and may shrivel to 1.3 to 1 in 2055. "In 2055, people will come to work when they have time off from long-term care," said Kiyoaki Fujiwara, director of economic policy at the Japan Business Federation.

Such a decline is cataclysmic for an indebted country that values infrastructure and personal service. (Who is going to maintain the trains, pay for social benefits, slice sushi at the Tsukiji fish market?) The obvious answers—encourage immigration and a higher birthrate—have proved difficult, even impossible, for this conservative society.

Mr Gross isn't quite there yet. One can be pro- or anti-immigration but, either way, it doesn't solve a baby bust as severe as Japan's. Up north, Leonard Stern writes:

A nation that doesn't replace itself becomes an aging nation, and that's why economists are terrified. Old people no longer generate wealth, yet they require huge amounts of state support in the form of health care, pensions and other programs... If Canada has never really sounded the alarm about the low fertility rate, it's because we had an antidote — immigration... Now it turns out that the curative power of immigration was vastly overstated. The sobering revelation arrived last month courtesy of the C.D. Howe Institute, the eminent Canadian think tank. The C.D. Howe folks crunched the numbers, did the modelling and discovered that the current influx of immigrants — about 0.67 per cent of the resident population — barely makes a dent. The data show that the only way immigration could offset the declining birth rate is if Canada dismantles border controls and floods the country with well over a half million immigrants a year. Even then, the government would need to impose rigid "age filters" to ensure that only young people are among the new arrivals. The transformation of developed societies - either into old folks' homes (like Japan) or semi-Islamized dystopias (like Amsterdam, Brussels, etc) - will lead, in fact, to emigration. A young German or Japanese circa 2040 will have no reason whatsoever to stay in his native land and have most of his income confiscated in a vain attempt to prop up an unsustainable geriatric welfare system. So many will leave. Where will they go? At one time the obvious answer would have been America - but Good King Barack seems determined to saddle us with the same unaffordable entitlements that have scuttled the rest of the west.

For much of the developed world, the "credit crunch", the debt burden, and the rest are not part of a cyclical economic downturn but the first manifestations of an existential crisis.

Somewhere along the line a gang of middle-class white kids from the rich suburbs decided that it's very cool to act "emasculated." The cool crowd gained prestige, and, viola, we have an Emasculate Culture. It's culture against the common man, which includes the common woman, rather obviously to any but those who don't get it; and it passes as "progressive" and good and laudable. Those who reject Emasculate Culture, those stupid conservatives who like Sarah Palin, for example, feel and perhaps rightly among the crowd, that they will never get laid if they don't conform to the metro-sexual paradigm. And yet, the fact is, looking no further than Todd Palin, these guys do get laid. They even have large families. They don't follow the norms of pop culture. They break the rules, and they get slagged by the conformists who aren't getting laid. Do everything culture demands, and you don't get laid, you get screwed. Culture ain't yer friend. But yes, culture can survive right up till the time Jimmy and Joey find they can't really get along with each other any longer, till they divorce each other, and wander off and die alone. Sort of like emasculated.

Of course, I might be full of shit here. Maybe this is the best in the best of all possible worlds. This guy seems happy enough. And who am I to complain? Let's ask KLJ at ""

Straight guys often think I'm gay, as do really square straight women. Gay people almost never think I'm gay, except when I'm having sex with them.
I guess I'm a little femme, actually a little flamboyant is probably more accurate. Someone suggested I was a metro-sexual. Nope. Metrosexuals are too neat. I'm a slob, unshaven, shaggy haired, fingernails all a mess. The metrosexual club would certainly not have me as a member.

So, what do I do that's "Gay" and what does it make me?:

  1. I collect vintage Barbie dolls (mostly reproductions, I aint rich).
  2. I love women's fashion. I don't know the names of designers or anything, but I'll sit and people watch with you for hours and rip to shred what most folks are wearing, giving the occasional thumbs up. And before you get catty, rarely would I give myself the thumbs up.
  3. I watch Musicals. Love 'em. I've watched them since I was a kid.
  4. I dig Figure skating. Okay, I can't figure out why this is considered gay. It's the sexiest thing in the world. Ballet too. It's like porn only the people are better looking and you don't have to worry about them ruining everything by spitting.
  5. I have sex with men. No, just kidding. Ha ha. Really, I'm just kidding. Shutup.
  6. I cross my legs high. Drives my little brother crazy. "Dude, why do sit like that. Doesn't it hurt your balls?"
  7. My voice goes high when I get excited. My boss makes fun of me for this one all the time. It may have something do with crossing my legs high.
  8. I like pink. It's a fun color. Colors don't have genders. Get over it.
  9. I say "Get over it."
  10. Sometimes I pretend my girlfriend's really a dude. No, just kidding, heh heh. No, sweetie, really, I'm just kidding. Dang!
  11. I LOVE drag. I think it's an amazing form of entertainment and I just can't get enough. Though Sacramento doesn't offer very good drag. Tranny Shack at Club Stud in SF is where it's at.
  12. Salad spinner. I have one at home, and I want one to keep at work. I like to wash my lettuce before I have a salad or sandwich, and then I like it dry. So, a salad spinner. Allen thinks this makes me the gayest of the gay.
There are more. But that'll do for now. My girlfriend in trying to come up with a term for me, and the many others like me, has coined the phrase Faux-Mo, rhymes with homo. I like it. It works. Yay! (13. I say "Yay!")


truepeers said...

Seems to me that if you are going to identify or measure "sick" cultures, it has to be in comparison to relatively more healthy ones across space and time. I don't see how an appeal to biology can supply sufficient guidance, given that the very possibility of culture, in the first place, may require going against some if not all of our biological instincts. Thus an argument that pits "culture", in general, against biology, can't go far. This is not to deny, however, that biology still has a hold on us and that we are not endlessly mutable according to our passing fancies.

For example, what to make of an attack on the metrosexual in the name of some cultured (not simply biological) taste for heroic males. Against this, one might be able to make an argument that the metrosexual male is part of a trend towards a few males monopolizing access to women, or of women being "liberated" from a marital and monogamist discipline such that they can support themselves - at least until the sexless men stop working for the system - and forget about all the guys who aren't up to manly snuff. In short, polygamy and matriarchy look a lot more natural to me than does the monogamous nuclear family. In nature, not all males are "manly". Many are sexually ambiguous.

I also find rather queer these arguments that Western societies are doomed to bankrupt themselves and the young on the cross of social security entitlements. Why don't people simply assume that an aging society will become a poorer society and old age will simply be poorer and tougher than it has been recently? There are good reasons to think a declining population will lead to economic problems, in terms of reproducing skills and capacities - human capital - but this has little to do with the assumption that present social security promises (which are not, by the way, debts in any strict, legal, sense) must inevitably bring doom in the face of a declining population. Why do pundits assume the young that there are will forever enslave themselves to the old? Or why not assume that there will be a more productive and efficient society in future? As we are oft reminded, the Great Plague made life better for the survivors who could use resources more efficiently. Prophets who simply tell us that the future is the "logical" outcome of present trends aren't really prophets, if they are stuck on the decline of the present order and not imagining the new covenants that will come the day after they really must come. Of course, it could all end the day after tomorrow, but what can we do with that thought?

truepeers said...

Seen on Craigslist: Grown up Tricycle - simple, FUN, sturdy - $200

Rob Misek said...

13. Less than equal to heterosexuals as defined by your inability to choose to reproduce monogamously.

Dag said...

I had, by fluke, I call it, an unpleasant encounter today when a guy around my age accosted three young teen-age girls on the sidewalk, telling them they looked like prostitutes. Of course they got angry and he got hostile and the whole thing go ugly in a hurry.

for no good reason he turned to me and asked if I thought he was right.

Well, no. The girls look like teenage girls dressed like sluts, like most other girls in the neighbourhood. I told him to ... whatever. The fact is, girls who dress like sluts don't look like prostitutes, they look like the typical kid these days and that's it. The reality, the prostitute who hangs around all the time, came over minutes later asking -- I'm not making this up-- for $6.00. She doesn't ask me, of course, because I made it plain to her long ago I'm not getting anywhere near anyone like her. She calls out, not to anyone in particular, just to anyone within earshot, "Awesome blow-jobs."

You want to know what a prostitue looks like? They look like her, like a 35 year old who looks like a 50year old who has let herself go from the get-go. They look like women with sores and scabs and missing teeth and cuts and bruises and running sores and ragged filthy rags. Yuck. That's what prostitutes look like. Kids look like cheap sluts. A big difference. And even so, it ain't my business to accost them on the sidewalk. If it were my business I'd damn fast find a new occupation. I editorialize here for the sake of generating discussion and consideration, not to give license to cranks who want to humiliate children.

I'm happy to find major disagreement here in the comments section. I like that a lot. But in person, I do very much prefer a reasonable discussion over coffee where I'm not screaming at people. I scream here if I feel like it, but this is not the real world. This is the Internet, a theatre of the mind for performers, some intelligent, some not so much.

What do we do when some people go so crazy that they set fire to the Sarah Palin family church-- with people inside! Even when I'm being over-the-top rhetorical I still maintain some sense of proportion and, I like to think, a sense of humor.

Yes, we do have here as well as elsewhere, a very sick society. We work to make it better by talking, not by accosting girls on the sidewalk. And yet, I fer that if we don't do more screaming here it'll become more and more likely that others will take extreme measures on the streets out of sheer frustrate rage.

Let's settle things here so we don't do that on the sidewalk.

Rob, Peers, "Put up yer dukes."

Otherwise, we'll have coffee and act like gentlemen.

Amoureuse Jonny said...

Obama's favorite songs is last summers hit - you got the sweetest ass in the world :D ROFL

Rob Misek said...

I intentionally leave no opportunity for misunderstanding.

Perhaps this clarity appears judgemental. Fortunately, the truth doesn't bend to our desires.

While self-proclaimed intellectuals debate, children grow up without guidance and we degenerate into a sick society.

We need to break bad laws to turn this ship back on course.

Our (liberal government corrupted) charter of rights and freedoms, now policed by the CHRC, states that it is illegal to discriminate between unequal behaviours.

The reason for our social degeneration is clear.

I have no problem with you having the freedom to act responsibly or not. To be a model citizen or a fag, or a criminal.

But I'll be damned if I accept that I cannot discriminate between the unequal behaviours with my actions, on the street every day.

truepeers said...

I editorialize here for the sake of generating discussion and consideration...And yet, I fer that if we don't do more screaming here it'll become more and more likely that others will take extreme measures on the streets

-you are going to have to explain to me how screaming and considerate discussion can exist together. I am not prepared to say that screaming has no place in the world, but I think its uses are limited. Thinking you are going to change the world by screaming at it, what's more in a blog that needs to do a lot of work to attract readers, strikes me as a little self-deluding. The mob you seem to want to raise doesn't read blogs.

As for those who don't want intellectuals bantering, nor screaming, how does Rob expect to convince anyone that sex outside of marriage is wrong?

I think if people want to have a conversation, i'd like to hear them explain how they think history works, how things change, and what is the role of serious discussion, or screaming, alongside all the more pragmatic factors that shape change.

Sure I may disagree with your account, but if you really want to see me scream just try arguing that culture, in general, is something that makes us sick. Culture, whatever its pathologies, is, in general, that which keeps us from unleashing the capacity for intraspecific violence that our animal forebears had to face when the animal pecking order broke down and a new form of order - "culture", in the anthropological sense of the word - had to be invented.

Yes, in much archaic "culture", peace and order are achieved by building up a mobbish sense of unanimity about good and evil and turning this onto a victim who is ripped apart in the name of goodness and peace for the rest of the community. But if anyone is proposing we scream in order to return to an age that is ordered by the sentiments of the mob, I'll have to say I think he is out of touch with the needs of the modern world. There may be a lot in our "culture" that is sick and turning back towards mob "thought" and violence, but if we are going to turn away from this there needs to be some kind of spiritual capacity in the models - inevitably to be found on the margins of society - who are going to show us a better way. And perhaps this spirituality can only come now from learning patience in the face of a long unfolding revelation that the many in our culture, especially those obsessed with false Messiahs, are going to have to endure into the limits of the present forms of magical thinking.

truepeers said...

Personally, I am not too interested in (end world) apocalyptic thinking, at least as something to engender by screaming and not to criticize, unless the apocalyptic thinking is the kind capable of engendering the greatest patience in this world and the greatest faith that within the limits of this world, and all its potential pathologies, we can still do enough to insure that human society continues. Even Rene Girard is not quite patient enough for me:

CH: Who is the antichrist in your interpretation?

RG: Well, we don’t know, but there are many plausible candidates. Obviously there is something very insidious about the antichrist, who is a seducer. So it must not be someone like Stalin or Hitler since they failed miserably. And the antichrist doesn’t seem to work by force. But I think you could see that it’s a certain modern spirit—the spirit of power, the idea that man has become totally master of himself, and that he doesn’t have to bow in front of powers greater than himself, and he’s going to triumph in the end.

CH[Girard's interviewer]: So this crisis you see us constantly going through, how does it end?

RG: We’re going through a slow increase in the symptoms of destabilization that characterizes the modern world.

CH: And then what will happen?

RG: I don’t know. You have two conceptions of time to consider: the eternal return, which I think is the founding murder of a scapegoat, and therefore a new religion. The scapegoat phenomenon is so powerful, that a community can organize itself around it.

And then we have continuous time, which carries through to the destruction of the world, the Second Coming. Obviously, that withdraws the source of renewal, which is the sacrificial murder of a scapegoat. With the Bible there is no renewal, no new religion.

CH: Nietzsche noted that we've gone almost two thousand years with no new god.

RG: Nietzsche has some texts, which are very interesting, because he would like to go back to the eternal return; therefore he is not really apocalyptic, because he is not really waiting for the kingdom of God. He would like to go back, and he hopes that there will be an end of Christianity.

CH: You point out that he hated the gospels, that he didn’t see them from a theoretical or historical perspective.

RG: No, he didn’t. He saw them as the worst possible thing for the world, because he saw it as a cause for decadence, of people becoming incapable of energy and moving in history in such a way that civilizations would not renew themselves and die. It was pre-Nazi. He was nostalgic for archaic religion.

CH: Did he have a point? Is there a kind of decadence to where we are now?

RG: Sure, he had a point. Because that long, endless period of apocalypse is getting a little tiresome. And, then, if you really look it is probably extremely noncreative. Today do you feel the arts are as productive as they were in the past?

The kingdom of God will not arrive on this earth, but there is an inspiration of the kingdom of God in our world, which is partial and limited. And there is a nonchristian, antichristian decadence in all its ways. We still have the prophesied “abomination of the desolation” to get through, undoubtedly.

CH: Given this long apocalypse we’re going through, what do we do?

RG: Nothing spectacular.

CH: We just sit it out?

RG: We just sit it out. But we must try not to surrender to the spiritual decadence of our time and rise above the world around us.

CH: What about this quotation: “Except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened”?

RG: It means that the end times will be very long and monotonous—so mediocre and uneventful from a religious and spiritual standpoint that the danger of dying spirituality, even for the best of us, will be very great. This is a harsh lesson but one ultimately of hope rather than despair.


Rob Misek said...

The fact is that if someone doesn't value the concept of truth, one might be able to entice them to practice a desired behaviour through bribery, but there can be no intellectual debate which could yield a convincing result.

The story goes that when Christ was asked on his way to crucifixion what people would do in his absence he said that God would give everyone a counsellor in Christs absence and forever, the spirit of truth.

He didn't say the bible or any other text, nor a christian ghost.

Simply, all we have shared as counsellor to our shared reality for all time has been the spirit of truth. The team spirit for all humanity.

The spirit of truth is meant to supercede everything else.

So when I ask if you value the truth, this is what I mean, and what is necessary for intelligent debate.

I have yet to find someone else who meets this criteria.

Here we are presented with the greatest communication tool in the worlds history and nobody values the truth to make useful debate possible.

My current solution is to present the truth knowing that it cannot then be ignored, but must either be accepted or denied.

The choice to accept the truth or deny it represents the growth or destruction of society.

Eventually those who choose destruction must be stopped by those who choose growth or the end will come.

Presenting the truth should expedite the process.

Dag said...

I'll come back to this tomorrow when I have time to put in properly. Good points all round.