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November 02, 2007


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class drift. also, marriage is now optional for women who used to just accept their fate as that toad's wife, so now, he's just, you know, out there. what would diego rivera look like nowadays? sartre? see what I'm saying?

Doug M.

John Cole: bite away. It's painfully familiar, though it took longer for me. (Other hand, the GOP of the '90s was much less odious than what it's become today. Which is saying something.)

Neckbeards : jowls :: combover : bald spot. You can understand why guys try this, but it's usually a bad idea.

I note in passing that Strom Thurmond was very much a TR-style manliness/fitness fanatic.

The lack of sponsor girls is plausible -- they clustered in particular bars, and there were plenty of otherwise sleazy places that would sternly show them the door. And the Clancy Brothers, could happen; Belgrade music was wildly eclectic.

But the beer, no.

Doug M.


I'm pretty sure that TR, unlike Strom, never pimped out his wife to grad students. Alice turned out a little wild, though. More than a little.

I bite my tongue because I would otherwise start on specific individuals. Oh, not just him. I've encountered others of the dogpile elsewhere.

It's rather scary how there is a recognizable phenotype of faux-futurist blowhards. As LL says, there's a strong class component to this. But it's also like those brain development disorders which cause the face to grow in distinct ways. Makes you wonder how plastic the adult phenotype is.


Incidentally, this summer on the F train I saw a professional styled combover that ALMOST WORKED. I don't know, maybe this guy was recovering from chemo or something. I wanted to shake his hand.

But the neckbeard, it's like Lear said: never never never never never.

Will Baird

neckbeard: BOLNUH! Or in !bad transliterated Russian.


Just say *NO*.

It burnses us it does.


Increased choice for women definitely plays a part - and explains the hatred of that type of man for feminism - but I'm surprised noone has mentioned the increased popularity of escapist literature now compared to a hundred or fifty years ago, and the rise of sedentary lifestyles . Do they simply go without saying?


That should be "relative" rather than "increased", and "entertainment" instead of literature.


It's partly class resentment. Physical fitness has emerged as a marker for "not lower class". Which makes some sense, because it requires substantial time investment.

And it's clearly sexual resentment. So much of the modern "culture war" can be traced to people who never got any in college (or an equivalent life experience), and hated those people who did.

Basically, it's the old game of "spite the bourgeoisie" again. Showing up the Man (or, in this case, the Woman) by becoming morbidly obese warmongers with dubious sexual ethics.

Fortutnately, I'm sure Hillary will send them all off to the rendering plants. I mean re-education camps.

Escapist: for every one of these bozos who ends up writing bad military SF with Cinemax themes, there are several dozen who wouldn't know Joss Whedon from Hoss Cartwright. Escapist entertainment, outside of blockbuster movies (in the sense I think you're using 'escapist'), is a small fraction of our collective media consciousness.


When I said "escapist", I was thinking more along the lines of 24, Tom Clancy novels, and similar pornography. But, thinking about it some more, I'm not sure they could be defended as qualitively different from works that have always existed, even with the torture advocacy and the like, and even if they can, I'm not sure which way the arrow of causality points - did these works produce the type of man we're talking about, or did they arise due to the demand from these men? Thinking about it yet more, I now suspect the latter.

Incidentally, while escapist entertainment might be a small part of the media enviroment overall, it seems like certain people might focus on it disproportionately. Look at Instapundit, for example.


Tom Clancy has been against the war since at least 2004, you know. By this point, I figure he has a dartboard with Tipsy Walker's face on it. (People might talk if he brought the cutout to the pistol range.)

24 is an interesting case. It's produced by a true believer, making it the torture version of Veggie Tales. But it wasn't the only show in the network lineup that sought to exploit the new zeitgeist; it's the only successful one. I'd have to say it's because of the timed serial action-adventure format.

Glenn Reynolds is also an interesting case. His father is a minister and civil rights activist, the former head of Religious Studies at the University of Tennessee - Knoxville and one of the founders of the Journal of Religious Ethics.

Does it really surprise you to learn his son is a crass pro-torture apologist for the current administration who believes in becoming immortal by having his head frozen and his thoughts downloaded into a computer? Spite *that*, bourgeoisie!

Noel Maurer

Being too lazy to look this up myself, could you say a little bit more about Tom Clancy? I'm intrigued.

As for the rest, well, you know my opinion about the chickenhawks. Boy, I wish Joe would comment here.


Sure. Clancy knew something was up during the run-up to the war, when he nearly got into a fistfight with Richard Perle when Perle claimed Powell was a "wuss" for his concern about the troops in the proposed invasion. (Perle claims this is fiction. Of course, it all fits with the parties' known characters, including Perle's denial. There is no truth in a certain sort of apparatchik.) Note the competing views of masculinity.

Anyway, Clancy finally came out when he co-authored Marine General Zinni's biography, released in the late summer of 2004, but probably written beginning in the winter of 2003.

Upshot: the views of *Reagan's favorite author* were marginalized by the Party cadre; and the wingnuts now chant "he has a book to sell!" whenever another former military planner comes out with another tale of gross incompetence, bad will, and malfeasance.

I can't wait till this country scrapes these people off the bottom of its shoe.

Joseph Eros

It is interesting, and a bit frightening, how Clancy has been unpersoned by Bush's supporters. I haven't seen him quoted anywhere since the Zinni book came out.

I guess he's busying himself with making fistfuls of money putting his name on video games (or possibly being more deeply involved in their production). Not bad work if you can get it.

There's definitely a good article, and maybe book, in the comic-book-guy-manly-man phenomenon. Status resentment is a big part of it, and I suspect that the disparagement of "metrosexuals" is a subfraction of that.

In the chickenhawkery context, this end up intersecting with what I call the Myrmidon Delusion, the idea that US soldiers are warriors without peer--which neatly excuses the 101st chairborne from even thinking of trying to enter their company. How this all plays out over the next ten years or so will be extremely bizarre, and probably depressing. But I try to maintain hope.

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