Lessons from Public Transit
On Friday I took a bus in LA (which of course I didn’t pay for–tragedy of the commons my friends) and I ended up talking to one of these ladies. Miss Mercy, actually, a famous groupie from the 60’s and 70’s who slept with Chuck Berry, Al Green, Johnny Otis, Frank Zappa, Brian Jones (of the Rolling Stones) and a whole bunch of others. She was best friends with Pamela Des Barres who wrote “I’m With the Band” and “Let’s Spend the Night Together,” and a couple others. In fact, there is a while chapter dedicated to her in the latter book. As far as girls in LA and the party scene, they were IT and everyone knew so.
But let me tell you, Mercy is haggard. Absolutely haggard. At the risk of making a straw man argument, I did a lot of thinking about her. These groupies were products–if not the idols–of the Sexual Revolution. These were the role models and exemplars for an entire generation of teachings about sex, gender and health. When we were told “women are just the same sexually as men” these are the women they used as proof, or when they said “gender is a social construct,” this was the living, breathing, contrary information. “See, once we through off the yoke of sexual conservatism, we can all be happier.” Well, Mercy didn’t exactly turn out that way. In fact, it drove her to speed, heroin, LSD and the poverty, darkness and waste that comes ‘long with them.
The most fundamental declaration of evolutionary psychology is that, theoretically a man could have an infinite number of children a year–each ejaculation inside a woman is a potential pregnancy. A woman, even with the same of amount of sex, can only have one child a year. And that, leads to profound evolutionary implications. It simply creates a different system of pressures and rewards. A male has an incentive to be able to mentally handle multiple partners, where as a woman need only handle a substantially smaller number. It’s not good or bad, it’s simply fact and it is one that must be acknowledged.
Well it wasn’t acknowledged (in many cases it has yet to be). The idea that these women could sit down and write sexual conquest lists as though they were expecting Christmas presents is one of the biggest lies liberalism has ever created. I forgot to mention something about Mercy, she doesn’t just look haggard–she works at Goodwill. Is that the sort of case-study we want to emulate? Trust me, there is more than just a correlation with the drug use and alcohol. These are mechanisms that exist almost solely to drive and rationalize the engine they were tricked into riding on.
Step into a Women’s Studies department at any university in America and you will hear what are essentially the same delusions that they have been teaching for nearly a half-century. Concepts that have been widely contested–that STDs affect all sexual orientations equally, that gender doesn’t really exist, that gender roles are the product of modernity, that it’s merely a coincidence that across all societies ever men who had promiscuous sex were exalted while women who did it were derided, that rape has no sexual traces to it at all, that men and women think in the exact same way, and on and on and on. Of course it is very difficult, sometimes heartbreaking to admit these things. But is it any worse than the veil of righteousness used to blind people into pursuing lifestyles that ultimately end badly? Ask Dr. Drew, Samantha from Sex and the City did not see her happy ending in real life. Look at Mercy–she wasted years of her life in homelessness at the depths of a crack addiction because popular culture and academia glorified something they shouldn’t have. (To preempt a Tucker mention, there is a very key difference that I won’t get into, but even then there is a reason that that is not my life.)
So what’s the tie in to the internet? Well there is no “internet,” only life. And the key to getting past all the bullshit is listening to that little voice inside you over the mass of noise coming from the “experts.” They are wrong, almost always. But that voice? Well its served your genes for hundreds of thousands of years, and since you’re here thinking about it, it’s done a better than average job. If you’re in college, and you like what you’re doing, then by all means continue. But if you don’t–if you’re having doubts–well then fucking quit. Just because that’s how all your friends act, doesn’t mean they’re happy and it certainly doesn’t mean it will make you happy. Just because they tell you they’re having a good time doesn’t mean they actually are. And just because the Campus Health Center says a behavior is healthy doesn’t mean that it is. If you’re in a business and it all seems counterintuitive and hollow, then it probably is. For one of the few times in history, these major industries are faced with the possibility of having to start completely over again. This is your chance. More importantly though, new generations of revolutionaries have a terrible track record when it comes to being correct. So you can drink the kool-aid and become the next Mercy or you can think about it intelligently and emotionally and choose the sustainable, healthy and fulfilling path. This isn’t about sex or lifestyles–it’s much bigger than that. It’s about understanding that very often the things people say a more a reflection of what they want to believe as opposed to what they actually know. If we’re capable of tricking ourselves about sex, capable of deceiving ourselves into defecating into a bucket because Chuck Berry says so, what aren’t we capable of believing?
I really like this post a lot, but the most intriguing part for me was when you said
“To preempt a Tucker mention, there is a very key difference that I won’t get into…”
I’m not sure if we’re allowed to suggest topics for future posts here, but if we are, I’d like to see a post where you go into this key difference, as well as the reason youve decided not to be like Tucker in this respect.
Ryan, ha ha, I heart you. Your blog is my favorite read on the Internet, and when I go through my mad unsubscribe session next week you will be one of 2 or 3 that I keep.
Yeah it’s totally up for discussion.
For me, it’s simply that it doesn’t interest me. And I don’t want to claim some moral high ground–it simply does not feel feel for me to live that way. It makes me feel shitty, and awkward and self-loathing and sad.
But the key difference is complicated and murky, but essentially it is an evolutionary truth that a small number of men have most of the sex. It’s about as old a tradition as there is. More than that, he’s clearly set up some emotional barriers that prevent it from affecting him.
Again, it’s all very subjective and there are always exceptions. Maybe Jenna Jameson is one. But the vast majority of the time…
I’m hearted though…that’s a first
Have you considered that such biological things as alpha malehood are emergent phenomena?
Organisms have minds as well as bodies and human beings have the most complex minds of all. We aren’t just automata compelled forth by our genes but thoughtful, feeling, REMEMBERING beings with the capacity to make decisions.
Maybe alpha malehood is a phenomenon of human life that only appears when the alpha male in question is fucked up mentally and emotionally and driven by power, dominance, and attention.
“Well there is no “internet,” only life.”
The truth, ladies and gentlemen. Though this is one of those things where people who get it get it and those who don’t don’t; the difference between those who think and learn and those who label and think they understand.
Evolutionary psychology is the study of the mind–as it evolved over time.
Maybe humbleness and restraint are emergent traits–ones that appear when it is apt to suit the person’s lifestyle needs.
In fact, many would argue that this is exemplified by homosexuality, which acts as a reproductive strategy for some in certain environments.
But I’m curious to hear more of your thoughts
“If we’re capable of tricking ourselves about sex, capable of deceiving ourselves into defecating into a bucket because Chuck Berry says so, what aren’t we capable of believing? ”
Well, as someone who attends one of the most radically liberal Universities in the land, I can say that people will swallow almost any bullshit put in front of them, and not just because they believe it, but because they fear the repercussions of saying something “politically incorrect”.
A few months ago, we had a Black Panther, who is on the public record making anti-semitic/anti-white comments come to our campus and try to speak. Nary a word of protest occured. But when the Israeli Prime Minister came to a University in Montreal a few years ago, there were riots in the streets(and any time a pro-Israel event tries to go down there are the usual voices protesting).
I see the logic behind a lot of “radical thought” as inter-related, morally/ethically bankrupt and highly poisonous. These people will not, for example, admit that male homosexuals might have higher rates of certain STDs because admitting such differences might reverse gains made in “the struggle for equality”, their raison d’etre and Holy Grail.
“It’s about understanding that very often the things people say a more a reflection of what they want to believe as opposed to what they actually know”
As one who studies Journalism, this quote might as well sum up my future profession. Everybody is coming in the door with their already ingrained liberal biases and then being further exposed to these radical positions. Of course this bias is going to seep into the “factually objective” news items. Again, this is a reason why Fox News, for all its faults, is so sucessful. Much like Hollywood, the news media business is incestuous and arrogant, ignoring the 50% (or more) who don’t want to hear the Nader/Moore party line. Rupert Murdoch capitalized on that brilliantly.
Like with all things to do with science we only have part of the picture right now. “Dominance” and “alpha male” are just concepts that may or may not accurately encapsulate a natural phenomenon.
Is dominance a dated concept that only sheds light on part of animal social interaction? Does dominance exist in our species? Does alpha malehood exist in our species? The importance of alpha malehood is that the alpha male has more or less control of all the females within his community. But even in a closely related species, Pan troglodytes (the common chimpanzee), there is a community in which the alpha male does not control the females because they spurn him. There is more at play than just dominance. And don’t even get me started on how radically different our sexual system is from the chimpanzees’. I highly doubt any human could qualify as an “alpha male” – except for perhaps the rare ruler who has a harem.
I love the premise of ev psych. Obviously the mind is an adaptation and a lot could be learned about it from the lens of evolution. But the research that is being done in ev psych is pretty damn specious. A lot of people say it is a doomed field, because its methodology and prevailing opinions are just crap.
Evo bio is a much better discipline, IMHO. It focuses on traits instead of adaptationist structures within the brain, and has illuminated a lot more human behavior that way.
The idea that sexual alphamales–or men who have a disproportionate amount of the sex–is not a phenomenon. It’s very fucking real.
It’s a very basic and simple evolutionary niche. One that natural selection practically pushes men towards–so it wouldn’t be a modern phenom.
And Ted Turner has a harem right now.
Ryan, I’m actually pretty disappointed by the generalization and oversimplification in this post.
Perhaps the sexual freedom of those women led to their downfall, but it’s more likely due to the wear-and-tear of the rock and roll lifestyle. Years of drugs, drinking and wild living will do that to anyone–take a look at many of the men who lived hard in the 60s, and you’ll see a similar deterioration.
Plus, Miss Mercy’s sleeping around didn’t lead to her current situation. I’d assume it was more a result of not learning any skills that she could use later, while also spending her youth developing a reputation as a wild person. She never built a foundation for a successful life.
Yes, she did have a lot of sex with many different men during that time, and yes, she was glorified as a symbol that women were just as sexual as men. But I’d really hesitate to go out on a limb and say that the sex ruined her life and that it would do the same for all other women.
Also, it’s incorrect that all cultures exalted “men who had promiscuous sex…while women who did it were derided.”
If you look back into a study of religion, you’ll find that there was a time (at least in Europe) where female goddesses were supreme. And even then it was not about the sex… it was about the fact that originally no one understood how a woman became pregnant.
Eventually, when the connection was made, male gods earned a place in religion, and then gradually increased their prominence. The promiscuity issue was never about sex, it was about power. Frequently, many societies with strong female goddess also followed a female line of succession. Sex was an important part of their religion and society because it was how reproduction happened. Female rulers often took many lovers.
Obviously, for males aspiring to power, this was a bad thing. Especially since some societies sacrificed high-ranking men to “fertilize the earth” for the next year.
But as societies shifted over from hunter-gather societies to agricultural ones, and from female goddesses to male gods, sex was vilified for women because it was such an important element of mother-goddess worship. Taking away sex was often the most effective way of taking power away from female goddesses. Being able to call the fertility rituals unholy was a major weapon in the fight for power.
If you look deep within a lot of mythology, the echoes are there. Aphrodite/Venus had the power to influence all the gods, although she’s often portrayed as a harlot. Demeter/Gaia, although she usually maintained a low-profile, could bring Zeus himself to his knees when she chose. Freya had a lot of power as well. It’s even in Christianity–the reason Mary was so pure was that she had never had sex–it’s telling women they need to reject sex to be holy.
Yes, this comment of mine was also oversimplified because there simply isn’t room to explain such a complicated issue.
But, I just wanted to point out that the issue is never as clear-cut as you portrayed it to be–and not all societies rejected women who also had promiscuous sex.