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?

Written by Ryan Holiday
Ryan Holiday is the bestselling author of Trust Me, I’m Lying, The Obstacle Is The Way, Ego Is The Enemy, and other books about marketing, culture, and the human condition. His work has been translated into thirty languages and has appeared everywhere from the Columbia Journalism Review to Fast Company. His company, Brass Check, has advised companies such as Google, TASER, and Complex, as well as Grammy Award winning musicians and some of the biggest authors in the world. He lives in Austin, Texas.