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January 17, 2008


Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

* Steve Sailer wonders how and why so many Eastern European gals got so hot. Dennis Mangan ventures a theory.

* Roissy is convinced that many men ought to think twice before getting married.

* John Derbyshire loops together Ron Paul, Jamie Kirchick, and Flashman. Now that's one virtuosic columnist.

* Formerbeltwaywonk starts a blog. Great passage from one of his first postings: "Political correctness is a very strong signal of statism. In the mind of a statist, something is either required or banned."

* Hadleyblog's Mitchell allows himself to wax a little nostalgic for old-style political primaries.

* Is lowering your cholesterol always a good thing to do? Perhaps not.

* Speaking of which ... The Houston Chronicle's Ken Hoffman visits with Tom Naughton. Tom talked to me about his diet-and-food film "Fat Head" here and here. Tom's own website is here.

* Low-carb blogger Jimmy Moore talks about food and exercise with weightlifting hottie-nutritionist Jean Jitomir. Jean herself blogs here.

* Welmer thinks that those interested in new painting of the "skill and beauty" sort should look to Beijing.

* Here's an amazingly informative and concise short video interview about typography with Michael Bierut. Michael blogs at Design Observer.

* Virginia Postrel talks to filmmaker Gary Hustwit about "Helvetica," his documentary about typography.

* A 1958 short movie about turkey courtship. (Link thanks to Guy, a commenter at GNXP.)

* Bravo to the New York Times for gathering up the courage to pay a visit to the boogeyman himself, Chicago's Richard Driehaus, a major sponsor of today's classical revival in architecture. Is The Times -- which usually functions as the propaganda organ of the starchitecture establishment -- becoming a wee bit more open to what's actually happening in the world and a little less focused on what it thinks should be happening? Here's a Chicago Magazine article by the same writer about Richard Driehaus.

* Oh dear.

* The Derelict remembers the days when New York City seemed like the center of the universe to her.

* Roosh visits the Third World and, unsurprisingly, picks up a parasite.

* A venture capitalist tries to learn about the future of media by observing his kids. Me, I'm still trying to figure out what the purpose of Facebook is.

* The Book Addict is pleased by the loony, perverse genius of crime novelist Charles Willeford.

* Alias Clio wants to come back as a surfergirl.

* "Hand over the money or I'll switch this vibrator on!"



posted by Michael at January 17, 2008


Things have gone from bad to worse for Roosh - he's now had an encounter with a dead bat in Paraguay.

Posted by: Peter on January 17, 2008 12:51 PM

Roissy is, ultimately, so depressing. Sure, I've experience sex and relationship as pure combat.

My marriage to Myrna was pure bliss. I don't know whether it really happens, but I'm looking forward to the day when I join her in the next life.

Here's a question for all those who find themselves in loveless, combative, bitter relationships? Have you ever considered that you are not really very loveable?

Posted by: Shouting Thomas on January 17, 2008 2:46 PM

Peter -- That's quite a yucko trip Roosh has been taking.

ST -- I don't find Roissy depressing -- he's a funny, outrageous, provocative writer. (Not unlike you, come to think of it.) But I find the world he describes pretty depressing. Have male-female relations really come to this?

My own little theory as I read his blog (and his commenters) is that the old crafts of flirting and courtship have evidently evaporated. But kids still need sex and companionship. So what do they do? They invent "Game," and they approach sex and relationships straightforwardly as combat.

Reminds me a bit of the way some black teen boys act out stupid rapper fantasies. I think that, in this case, father figures have been rare for them, so (having testosterone and needing to express it anyway) they've invented a cartoonish version of masculinity. Result: instead of stylish and suave but funky types like Jackie Wilson or Count Basie, we get buffoons.

Anyway, it seems to me like what used to be thought of as courtship has turned into a cartoon lampoon of itself too. The art and craft were thrown away, so kids have invented a buffoonish version of it to serve their perfectly valid needs. We who retain a bit of the old skills (and who grew up with them and were able to make use of them) look at these new behaviors and wince. They seem coarse and crude.

Which leaves me thinking that the people to blame for the situation are the ones who demonized and deconstructed traditional courtship. Why was that done? Roissy seems to me like someone who has learned how to flourish amidst the rubble the PC reformers created.

He also makes me laugh, which is a great thing. If I were a magazine editor I'd give him a regular column, then enjoy watching readers get turned-on or upset by him. A rabble-rousing guy with his hand on the pulse who enrages and delights readers and pushes hot buttons ... A publication -- at least one I'd run and/or read -- needs writers like that.

What's your take on him?

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on January 17, 2008 3:27 PM

Traditional courtship may have fallen by the wayside for the most part, but it doesn't mean that the whole dating and relationships field has gotten quite as combative as Roissy describes it to be. It certainly seems to me that he exaggerates the contemporary situation. By portraying the typical singles' bar as a miniature Battle of Stalingrad he both makes his blog more interesting than a straightforward account would be AND plays right into the fantasies/fears of his angry-nerd readership demographic.

Posted by: Peter on January 17, 2008 3:54 PM

I don't know, Peter. I recognised the world Roissy describes right away, although I agree that he exaggerates somewhat. And of course, he puts his points as crudely as possible, to get people going. Leaving that aside, though, Roissy accurately describes what courtship has become in both high school/university and the big city, where competition is at its height. Not so much, perhaps, in smaller communities among young adults no longer in school.

And I'm not an angry nerd...

Posted by: alias clio on January 17, 2008 4:35 PM

Roissy's writing reminds me of one side of Henry Miller's writing . Miller was also gifted at describing the sheer physical, wrestling, itching fever of sex. Miller was the master of revealing the economic and status bargaining behind sex.

Roissy has obviously read Warren Farrell, and the other writers attached to what is called the men's movement (because everybody has to have a movement). A friend of mine dragged me into this political sphere for a couple of years. The men who populated that sphere were a weird bunch. Many of them were burned out survivors of human potential groups, therapeutic groups, weekend retreat groups... every kind of group you could imagine. Many of them had become empty shells. They had tried to conform to so many hip movements that they had lost themselves.

I got involved in these issues because, like Roissy, I believed that the legal system had become incredibly unfair to men, as feminist dogma steamrolled over everybody without opposition. (That was a big part of the problem. There was, despite the attempt to rewrite history, no opposition to feminism.) Myrna also got involved.

Myrna and I attended these political gatherings together, and this ultimately became a problem, because the ineffectual, confused men who predominated became outraged that our relationship worked. They wanted to see the world through a paranoid lens that provided a political explanation for why they always failed with women. And, since they were also hopelessly infected with PC feminism, they had no sense of humor. Myrna got a kick out of mercilessly ridiculing feminist women and that just made these guys mad. Myrna and I ceased attending the men's movement meetings because we would inevitably find ourselves in the midst of a roomful of these men screaming at us. They would scream at us for being happy, for not conforming to PC ideology, for just getting along and going along, for having a sense of humor... and on and on.

Roissy is doing a great job of portraying the horrifying disintegration that all this ideological crap has brought down on us. Since I was once a leftist (long ago), I know how people careened down that path. Myrna and I would often tell the men at the political gatherings something like this: "Why don't you dump all the fucking hip nonsense and just do things the way your grandfather and father did?"

This only evoked greater outrage. No modern, intellectual, sophisticated man, they would scream, could lower himself to live the traditional way. What would other people say?

Roissy is certainly a great writer when it comes to invoking the misery and bitterness that the loss of custom and tradition has produced. All he seems to offer as an alternative is eternal war. I guess it really does seem that hopeless to most people.

Posted by: Shouting Thomas on January 17, 2008 4:43 PM

"Political correctness is a very strong signal of statism. In the mind of a statist, something is either required or banned."

That's quite a silly comment, considering that "politically incorrect" is neither.

Posted by: JewishAtheist on January 17, 2008 6:23 PM

The minute anyone writes "statist" or refers to Hayek or von Mises, I run like hell.

Posted by: Peter L. Winkler on January 17, 2008 8:51 PM

JA -- Really? It strikes me as a pretty high-class near-epigram. There's a kind of person out there ("statists") who is constitutionally unable to simply let things be and let people get on with their own lives. And the mania for political correctness is a symptom of the presence and maybe even dominance of this kind of personality type. Pretty nifty! You don't think so? I certainly haven't come up with anything half so catchy, terse, and valid in recent decades ...

PLW - Do you mistrust Hayek and von Mises themselves, or some of the people who are fanatically of their school? I got curious about the Austrian scene and did a bunch of reading in it. I found both guys interesting and impressive. I didn't think they hold the key to all wisdom (who does hold such a key? and does such a key even exist?), but I had a very rewarding wrestle with them anyway, far more rewarding than most of my wrestles with leftyish theory and thought. On the other hand, the hardcore Austrian scene ... Well, it gets very dogmatic, doesn't it? Almost Aspie. I look around myself very warily when I tread through it. Not that there aren't a lot of smart people who are part of it, god knows. But there's a lot going on that's over my head. It's like a right-wing Kremlin, or something.

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on January 18, 2008 10:57 AM

Right, you betcha political correctness doesn't exist. All of the people who have encountered it, been burned by it, had their lives and careers ruined by it, are simply hallucinating.

"These are not the droids you're looking for..."

Posted by: tschafer on January 18, 2008 12:20 PM

I can't say I've gotten my head around all the relationships over at Roissy's, but I always thought that he and Roosh were two people.

Sigh. I feel so old.

As for alias clio, why, I do believe she and Roissy have been engaging in a bit of flirtation over there. I think they're attracted to one another, despite (because of?) their differences.

And they both write really well, dammit!

Posted by: PatrickH on January 18, 2008 1:45 PM

Oh, I think a lot of issue can be taken with Roissy, don't you? But I also think he's outrageous, provocative, funny, etc. I learn a lot about the new world younger people inhabit by reading him. And by reading his commenters too. Interesting the way that the gals aren't remotely put off by the vulgarity, isn't it? i'm tellin' ya, today's kids ...

For me anyway, reading Roissy is like watching someone like Dave Chappelle. Hey, a great Dave Chappelle bit I ran across on YouTube. It's about how crazy girls are to take seriously articles about 100 Ways to Please Your Man. "Ladies! There aren't 100 ways to please your man. There are only four. Suck my dick. Play with my balls. Make me a sandwich. And don't talk so much."

I mean, like a lot of what Roissy writes, that can't stand up in court, I suppose. But I'm not going to spend time arguing with it. It's funny, and lord knows it has some validity, and that's more than enough for me.

I think A. Clio is a pretty flirty gal, don't you? All that style, all that deadpan-twinkle, that attraction she has to, er, provocative topics, her love of dealing with them in brainily restrained ways ... Ooolala. Intellectual sexpot-diva? Sophisticated provocatrice? Or maybe both? Votes, anyone?

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on January 18, 2008 1:56 PM

I can see how Roissy might be amusing, if I read every word with tongue firmly planted in cheek. His view of mankind/womankind is drearily depressing otherwise. I think people are too egotistical to accept that, for the most part, they get the divorces they deserve (at least monetarily - I don't think that holds true for the emotional fallout).

Posted by: Julie Brook on January 18, 2008 3:19 PM

They invent "Game," and they approach sex and relationships straightforwardly as combat.

heh. seduction for the ADD-addled infomatic, video game generation.

We who retain a bit of the old skills (and who grew up with them and were able to make use of them) look at these new behaviors and wince.

the old skills still exist. you'll find them used by naturals. these are the guys who can't at all explain what it is they do that draws women to them.
i think a big difference is the advent of evo-psych. this is knowledge previous generations of ladykillers didn't have. if you read Mystery Method or even the newer stuff like RSD and Pickup 101, you'll notice the techniques all rest on a foundation of pretty solid biosocial theory.

science can now breakitdown into digestible chunks so hapless betas can take a swing for the fences as the ball sails toward them, matrix-style, in slo-mo.
the problem, of course, is that this calculated swing will never come off quite right. but at least they'll make contact with the ball, and in so doing grow more confident to swing at normal speed ad-libbed pitches in the future.

Roissy seems to me like someone who has learned how to flourish amidst the rubble the PC reformers created.

adapt or meta-die.

Roissy has obviously read Warren Farrell, and the other writers attached to what is called the men's movement (because everybody has to have a movement).

i can't stand the "men's movement". it's a ragtag collection of simpering betas and useless advice.

All he seems to offer as an alternative is eternal war.

that depends on how you define victory.

Interesting the way that the gals aren't remotely put off by the vulgarity, isn't it?

you can get away with a lot if you do it with style. ;)

Votes, anyone?

i imagine a.clio still writes letters longhand to friends, family, and maybe lovers, and when she does she bites the end of her pen with parted lips.

btw, steve's article on hot russkies reminds me (since i am an aficionado of the slavic sexbombs) of the looks disparity between their women and their men. russian men are mutant ugly in comparison. this only makes sense if that geographical region's peculiar combination of facial features works better when packaged in a pink ribbon of estrogen.

Posted by: roissy on January 18, 2008 3:52 PM

Mmhmm. Interesting comments being made here while I was out this afternoon. Just for the record, a Muse's purpose is but to inspire. She does not warm herself at the fires she lights.

Of course, the denizens of both Mt Olympus and Mt Parnassus have been known to take a tumble or two with mere mortals. But the results were usually far from happy for the mortals.

Posted by: alias clio on January 18, 2008 8:19 PM

Votes anyone?

Sure, I think clio's plenty va-va; she writes like an attractive woman, not just the brainy one she so obviously is.

Me and clio share a city of residence as of now, and I can't help wondering if she was that attractive, thoughtful blonde I terrifed one night back in my drinking days by pointing at her sweatered breasts and shouting, "Pearls! Them's pearls! And they're all mine!", then falling down.

Ah, alcohol. She was once my muse, till the price of loyalty became too high. But still, she did have a way of loosening my tongue. As H. Simpson once said, "To alcohol! The cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems!"

You weren't that blonde, were you, clio?

Posted by: PatrickH on January 18, 2008 10:15 PM

Doesn't sound familiar, PatrickH, but I can't be sure. Never did much hanging out, outside my long-ago university escapades, except with co-workers and old friends, most of whom are, these days, considerably younger than I am.

On the other hand, well, indulgence is a family characteristic.

Posted by: alias clio on January 18, 2008 11:49 PM

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