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Amanginican Idol.

17 Mar

American Idol has had its share of effeminate and (secretly, or not-so-secretly) gay male contestants in the past, but this season’s Paul McDonald is the height of effete indie SWPLism.  Is there anything about his performance that projects strength, determination, gravitas, control, command, or power?  All I see is some guy with a wispy voice traipsing around the stage like he’s afflicted with a muscle control disease and not caring that he’s presenting himself this way because this probably passes for “cool” in his music circle.

Here he is from last night, singing “I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues.”

Defenders might posit that Paul’s not caring how he comes across actually makes him alpha, but that usually requires either a certain amount of self-awareness and IDGAF-ism, or so much ripe masculinity that it can’t be denied.  Paul, on the other hand, seems to be laboring under the delusion that what he is doing is charming and cool, a delusion that is likely buoyed by the alpha attractors of being in a band prior to the show and now being famous thanks to television.  Whatever masculine personal traits Paul may possess disappear when he gets on that stage to perform.

Unfortunately for me, there are some worse contestants who need to get voted off before Paul, and the largely female, middle-aged voting base has a greater tolerance for male contestants than female (I know, what a surprise), so I expect Paul to live to sing for at least a few more weeks.

Other related thoughts:

The show is deeply feeling the loss of uber-alpha Simon Cowell.  Steven Tyler is useless on these live performance nights, and Randy Jackson lacks the swagger to pull off meaningful criticism.  And from a performance standpoint, Cowell was just better at delivering a sharp, 30-second critique in the heat of the moment.  They really should have gotten another music executive for the panel, someone who knows what qualities a performer will need to survive in the pop world, rather than going for two celebrity performers loath to judge the contestants because they feel too much empathy for them.

Boundless: Charlie Sheen >>>>> Kanye West.

12 Mar

Boundless blogger Glenn Stanton recently took Kanye West to task for his tweets on abortion, while somehow throwing in a comparison to Charlie Sheen, in his post “He Makes Charlie Sheen Look Downright Gentlemanly.”  How Sheen’s recent antics have anything to do with West’s tweets is a giant non-sequitur to me.  But, this being Boundlessworld, that Sheen has avoided speaking about abortion is enough to earn him pity and a moral free pass:

Charlie is obviously deeply and sadly troubled. As a human being, he deserves our sympathy and prayers.

But for West there is no pity!  For making the following observations,

an abortion can cost a ballin’ n**ga up to 50gs maybe a 100.  Gold diggin’ bi**hes be getting pregnant on purpose. #STRAPUP my n**gas!

West is relegated to the scrap-heap of humanity.  Stanton then clutches his pearls and asks us, in italics, “What does one say?” Stanton continues with what may possibly be the most white-knighting, mangina-tastic, hand-flaily rant to grace Boundless in months:

Does our culture have even the most liberal criteria for a gag-reflex where we can collectively say, “This guy deserves to never be heard from again!” This guy is an offense not just to women, but to men as well who believe that women are perhaps — just maybe — much more than sexual objects that need fixing when they become mothers.

Kanye at least reveals what most women should realize, that abortion is not a feminist sacrament, but rather a predatory male’s plan B — a way to keep his woman in the sexual market for maximum access.

Neither Charlie nor Kanye are men. And it would be an insult to boys to call them boys. Charlie is pitiable. Kanye is not. He should be forced, like a man, to take responsibility for his misogynistic offensiveness. Will his market demand this of him?

So, let me get this straight:  Charlie Sheen, the proudly drug-addicted client of prostitutes and father of children by three different women, who once (accidentally?) shot then-fiancee Kelly Preston in the arm, who has slandered his boss Chuck Lorre with an anti-Semitic slur, deserves our pity and prayers.  But Kanye West, who spoke truth about abortion and gold-digging hos, is an evil misogynist the world should strike down?  Stanton seems to have no concept of the world that West lives in, which is one where many women, driven by both tingles and shrewd practicality, see powerful men as banks.  No, in Stanton’s world, a woman who sees an opportunity to extort resources from a man by bearing his child does not exist.  Instead, it’s the men who shoulder all the blame for using innocent women as sexual objects and using abortion as a means to keep women as slutty as possible.

And people wonder why gender relations in the church are so messed up.

West’s tweets are not the problem, and attacking West for his tweets will solve nothing.  Screeching against West is about as effective as putting a Band-Aid on a leg full of gangrene.  If the folks at Boundless (and elsewhere) want to see real social change, then they have to embrace the reality of female sexuality.  But what is the likelihood of that happening?  And what is the likelihood of anyone at Boundless ceasing to be so myopic as to understand that abortion is not a cause, it is a symptom?

 

Taylor Swift can teach you about romance.

11 Mar

Of all the popstresses on the radio these days, none captures the girlish heart (and hamster) better than Taylor Swift, probably because she’s only 21 and writes all of her own music.  Her song “Fearless” greatly reminded me of Point IX in Roissy’s ever-so-tastefully named “Sixteen Commandments of Poon“:

IX. Connect with her emotions

Set yourself apart from other men and connect with a woman’s emotional landscape. Her mind is an alien world that requires deft navigation to reach your rendevous. Frolic in the surf of emotions rather than the arid desert of logic. Be playful. Employ all your senses. Describe in lush detail scenarios to set her heart afire. Give your feelings freedom to roam. ROAM. Yes, that is a good word. You’re not on a linear path with her. You are ROAMING all over, taking her on an adventure. In this world, there is no need to finish thoughts or draw conclusions. There is only need to EXPERIENCE. You’re grabbing her hand and running with her down an infinite, labyrinthine alleyway with no end, laughing and letting your fingers glide on the cobblestone walls along the way.

“Fearless” is all about a girl falling in love with an alpha who takes her for a drive in his car after it has rained, but the emotions Swift describes are right out of this Roissy post.  Sample lyrics:

We’re drivin’ down the road
I wonder if you know
I’m tryin’ so hard not to get caught up now
But you’re just so cool
Run your hands through your hair
Absent mindedly makin’ me want you

And I don’t know how it gets better than this
You take my hand and drag me head first
Fearless
And I don’t know why but with you I’d dance
In a storm in my best dress
Fearless

Also note the hat tips to aloofness, taking charge, a hint of danger/the unknown, and the woman not knowing the why of her feelings.  In contrast, here is a song Taylor Swift will never write:  one where she’s in the car with a guy and he’s constantly asking her where she wants to go and if he’s driving too fast and if she’s comfortable or not.  Just some food for thought.

Anthem for the gameosphere (NSFW).

2 Feb

Also works for Christian honeymoons!

Steve Harvey says that men and women can’t be just friends.

19 Dec

While promoting his new book, comedian/author Steve Harvey tells CNN’s Frederica Whitfield that men and women can’t be just friends because, a la When Harry Met Sally, men want to have sex with their female friends and are only “friends” because the woman has LJBFed them yet they are still hopeful that there will be a chink in her LJBF armor at some point.

For the most part, I think this is true, but then how do you explain men with chubby female friends?  Is this implicit confirmation that men like chubby girls, despite all the manosphere screeching to the contrary, or do men just like to keep a “safety” handy in case of sexless emergency?  Maybe what we really need is definitions of “chubby” and “friend” that everybody agrees on.  There’s just too much wiggle room for those terms.  Also, is a woman who doesn’t really have any male friends yet is not getting asked on dates de facto unattractive to men (the logic being that if she is attractive, men will try to be her friend if they’re too scared to ask her out)?

Other questions that women might have about this topic that the men here can answer:

  • You have a male friend who considers himself progressive, straightforward, and Unlike Other Men.  He insists that you and he are, and will only be, Just Friends.  Is he lying?
  • You have a male friend who insists that you are a wonderful woman with many amazing qualities, but he needs to Pursue Jesus right now.  Is he lying?
  • You have a male friend who likes to have long, deep, one-on-one conversations with you, but he never asks you for a date.  Is he attracted to you?

HT to ONTD.  For good times and, um, ~insight~ into the mindset of single, college-age, non-religious, liberal millennials on this topic, read the comments.

Game on film: “The Body Politic” edition.

15 Oct

Even though most Hollywood players consider themselves socially progressive, meaning they support, inter alia, same-sex marriage, women’s rights, the Prius, your taxes paying for everyone else’s health care, the idea of minorities, and Christian/Christianity-bashing, they can often be downright Paleolithic when it comes to depicting romance onscreen.  It’s astounding to me how often biological truth trickles through the ideology.  Yes, there are still people trying and failing to make The Michael Cera into a romantic trope, but for the most part, when the writers of a film or television show are trying to put two characters together, they’re going to incorporate elements of Game, especially if the protagonist is a woman.  Despite all of the social inculcating from kindergarten on that “boys and girls are equal,” NO ONE, not even Progressive Hollywood, truly believes that a woman is capable of falling in love with a submissive man.  This is why you will see a lot of sitcoms with doofus, no-Game husbands and smart wives – but you won’t ever see a show about how a smart woman falls in love with a doofus, no-Game man.  (If one manages to make it to the air, it will not last long.)  If the marriage is already established, it is taken for granted that at some point in the past, the man had enough Game to get the woman to marry him, and it is equally taken for granted that he then deteriorated into a hapless beta schlub.

But when a show is trying to get two characters together, you can be sure that elements of Game will weave their way into the storyline.  If the show has a “will they/won’t they” premise, the writers will give an alpha male character some super beta moments to prevent it from being utterly ridiculous that the female character hasn’t jumped him yet.  (See:  Bones.)  If the male character is a beta underdog that we’re supposed to root for, he will be given occasional alpha moments to prick the female into alertness, then re-beta-ize him to make the female character forget her attraction.  (See:  Ross and Rachel on Friends.)  Conversely, an alpha female will almost always show vulnerability to the male character before they get together.  She will be TOUGH TOUGH TOUGH – and then share a feeling and/or cry in front of the male.  A beta female, on the other hand, will become more sexy and beautiful and the male character will suddenly see her in a new light.  (This is usually accomplished by sending the characters to a dance, wedding, or other fancy outing.)

So what kind of Game tricks does Hollywood pull out when they need a male character to alpha up?  Well, the easiest, most obvious way is through looks:  the heroine usually ends up with the best-looking guy.  Granted, in Hollywood productions, everyone is attractive, even the unattractive people.  Someone who is supposed to be average-looking in a TV show is still better-looking than an average-looking regular person.  So looks aren’t usually so much a factor, unless the show is pitting a Hollywood average guy against a Hollywood handsome guy.

But even Hollywood average guys can get the girl with Game, and no greater tool can a Hollywood average guy wield than the Neg.  Shorter than the rival?  Doesn’t matter.  Not as built?  Doesn’t matter.  Not as handsome?  Doesn’t matter.  A Hollywood average guy with masterful negging powers is pretty much guaranteed to get the girl at some point down the road, which brings me to my example.

The Body Politic was a twentysomething political drama pilot made for The CW for the 2009/10 television season – a sort of CW-ized West Wing for the TXT-generation.  Featuring a very attractive cast of young actors (The CW’s specialty), it got positive reviews from just about every outlet that sampled it.  Alas, it did not go to series, but a series of clips from the pilot did make it onto YouTube.  I then tracked down the leaked presentation (the 30-minute version of the pilot; if the show had been picked up, the remaining scenes would have been produced).

In addition to establishing who all the characters were, the show spent quite a bit of time setting up a love triangle between Minka Kelly’s newbie Senatorial intern Frankie, Jason Dohring’s ambitious reporter Charlie, and Jay Hernandez’s war hero/staffer Ben.  I usually find love triangles hit or miss because of the tendency to make them very lopsided, with the eventual victor so obviously a superior choice that the whole thing is a waste of time.  This set-up, however, seemed kind of interesting because of the guys.  Dohring and Hernandez provide a very good example of Hollywood average guy vs. Hollywood handsome guy.  Hernandez, while a bit shorter than Dohring, has a stronger jawline, squarer face, and more athletic build.  Introduced in military dress, he’s clearly supposed to be the alpha.  Dohring, on the other hand, doesn’t look athletic at all, lacks a lantern jaw, and isn’t handsome.  Physically beta.  Yet I though it was pretty obvious that Frankie would eventually end up with Charlie (though not without a detour with Ben first), and all because Charlie drops some perfectly delivered negs on her in the first clip we see.  And Frankie shit tests Charlie five times in a row.  And is giving him the eyes.  Check it out for yourself.  Also worth noting is the AMOG battle between Charlie and Ben.

It would have been interesting to see how the show handled the progression of this love triangle.  My guess is that Frankie would have followed her hypergamous impulses and fallen into Ben’s alpha arms, only to feel she had a stronger emotional connection to Charlie.  But that’s all in the ether now, isn’t it?

Beauty is not insurance against infidelity.

28 Sep

Just weighing in on the Demi Moore/Ashton Kutcher cheating thing.  Yesterday Roissy was gloating that, as he had predicted, Ashton Kutcher cheated on his significantly older wife.  (According to Wikipedia, Kutcher is 32 and Moore is 47.)  Roissy’s assertion was that Moore was just too old to keep her husband’s sexual attention and that she was a fool for thinking she could.

Well…yes and no.  I don’t think Demi Moore would have been much less in danger of having her husband cheat on her if she were 25 instead of 47.  Best-case scenario is that it just would have taken longer for him to cheat.  Ashton Kutcher has sufficient looks, fame, and wealth that regardless of whom he was married to, he would still be faced with constant temptation.  It’s more likely that Kutcher, like so many men in Hollywood before him, simply succumbed to the temptation of a young woman who was freely offering herself to him and pumping up his ego.  And in Hollywood, such women are numerous, especially when they can get something else out of the affair, like fame or access to even higher-status men.

Would it have been wiser for Kutcher to marry someone younger (if he had to marry at all, which he probably shouldn’t have)?  Possibly, but many beautiful women in Hollywood who are younger than Moore have been cheated on.  The only way female beauty is a protection against male infidelity is when the woman’s beauty greatly outpaces the man’s status, so that the man feels he has something irreplaceable to lose, and even then, it’s not a sure thing.  (Real-world example:  Roissy’s regular commenter Gorbachev, a self-proclaimed 6 who has been dating for a few months a woman whom he considers the hottest woman he’s ever seen in real life, a woman who gives him agonizing oneitis – and he still cheated on her.  And then went on the internet and told everybody.)

Basically, if you don’t believe that marriage is an exclusive sexual relationship for life, you shouldn’t marry.

Mike, Molly, and missed signals of attraction.

21 Sep

Last night the new Chuck Lorre sitcom Mike and Molly premiered.  In the episode, Mike, a cop, and Molly, a fourth grade teacher, individually attend an Overeaters Anonymous meeting.  Molly is charmed by Mike’s sense of humor and introduces herself to Mike after the meeting ends.  What happens next is right out of the Matt Savage playbook of missing signals (I kid with love, Matt):

Molly tells Mike that she’s a fourth grade teacher and would love to have a police officer come and speak to her class, HINT HINT HINT.

Mike responds that she should contact the police department and they’ll send someone over.  (Level of obliviousness:  10.)

Molly’s face immediately falls at his not taking the bait.  (Her inner monologue:  OH NO HE DOESN’T LIKE ME I WANT THE EARTH TO SWALLOW ME WHAT DO I SAY NOW????)

Fortunately for Molly (and for the premise of the sitcom), Mike’s cop friend suggests that Molly give Mike her number and Mike can talk to her class himself.

Molly happily gives Mike her number and tells him to call her.  Mike says he will.  Molly lingers, hoping that Mike will ask her out.  He doesn’t.

Molly leaves with her sister, and Mike’s friend chastises him for not making a move.  Mike defends himself, saying he didn’t want to look desperate.

Scene ends on a button.

Watch it here:

Sometimes art really does imitate life!

The most painful LJBFing (for a woman).

23 May

Don’t worry, faithful readers.  I haven’t forgotten about the second half of the last post.  Stay tuned.

I saw the movie Just Wright on Friday.  For those unfamiliar, it’s a romantic sort-of-comedy, sort-of-drama starring Queen Latifah, Common, and Paula Patton as a physical therapist, NBA star, and gold-digger, respectively.  Obviously, Queen Latifah and Common’s characters end up together at the end, but not before navigating a shapely bump in the road called Paula Patton.  In this case, Patton’s character’s gold-digging strikes very close to home since she is Latifah’s character’s godsister.

Although the script never fleshes the characters out much beyond the surface, a lot of women will be able to relate to Latifah’s Leslie, who is always passed over by men for Patton’s Morgan and long ago learned to accept that men will always see her as the “friend.”  Common’s Scott is no different:  despite some sparks with Leslie during a chance meeting at a gas station, the minute he sees Morgan, Leslie is but an afterthought.  In practically the blink of an eye, Scott proposes to Morgan, assuring his skeptical mother that Morgan is different from the girls he normally encounters.  The future looks set — until Scott injures his knee during a game midway through the basketball season.  Scott’s agent arranges for a top-notch physical therapist to work with Scott, but when the therapist turns out to be a sexy blonde, Morgan gets Leslie to work with Scott instead.  It’s while Leslie is rehabilitating Scott that Morgan returns Scott’s ring with a note, telling an irate Leslie that she can’t be married to a has-been.  It’s also during this time that Leslie and Scott begin to get closer.

Although nothing unpredictable happens in this movie, it did contain what I thought was one of the most painfully realistic moments that most women have experienced at least once in their lives:  the female version of “let’s just be friends.”  In the scene, Scott asks Leslie why her phone isn’t blowing up with calls and texts.  He points out that in the time she’s been working for him, she hasn’t been going on dates.  Leslie absorbs his observations with dignity and simply says that she’s single.  I’m not sure that any woman can go through this experience without feeling slightly humiliated, especially when the person who has noticed that you’re a romantic dud is someone you’re attracted to.  But Scott unknowingly makes the experience even worse, because he goes on to say (helpfully, I’m sure, in his mind) that Leslie is smart, funny, and attractive.

It’s really the fact that he says Leslie is attractive that twists the knife.  Most women enjoy hearing that they are smart and funny.  If a man whom a woman is attracted to tells her that she is smart and funny, she will maybe feel a little disappointment that he didn’t say more, but she generally will not feel despair.  It’s when the issue of looks enters the picture that women can really be devastated.

Women instinctively know that their looks matter to men and that some men will never be attracted to them because of their appearance.  Much as women hate the priority that looks have, all women want to be considered attractive by men, especially men they’re attracted to.  As a result, nothing is quite so painful as being told you are physically attractive yet the man doesn’t want you.  This is by far the most horrible way that a man can “let’s just be friends” a woman.  A woman can get over “you’re really cool, I like you a lot, but I just don’t see us this way,” but a woman will feel her soul being crushed when a man says, “you are beautiful, but I don’t have any feelings for you.”  Every woman’s next thought is, “If you think I’m beautiful but don’t want to be with me, then there must be something terribly wrong with me.”  Every woman’s brain translates the man’s words as “I would fall in love with and/or have sex with every horrible, lying, ugly, stupid shrew in the world before I would fall in love with or have sex with you.”  It’s not just a rejection of her as a person, it’s a rejection of her as a woman.

Obviously, in the movie, Scott comes around and sees that Leslie really is the right person for him, so all’s well that ends well.  (Although I had to suspend disbelief that an NBA star would marry and, presumably, remain faithful to a woman, much less a woman of Leslie’s size.  I just can’t believe that an NBA star as big as Scott would not have a nationwide harem with svelte “girlfriends” in every city.)  Anyhow, my point is this:  men, if you really care about a woman, don’t compliment her looks directly unless you have immediate intentions to act romantically.  In other words, it’s fine to say “you look nice today” or “I like that dress on you.”  It is NOT okay to say “YOU are attractive” or “YOU are beautiful.”  Especially not beautiful.  I highly recommend not saying “you are beautiful” to a woman unless the next words out of your mouth are “I love you.  Will you marry me?”

P.S.  for the Culture Police types – The movie is a very true PG.  There is next to nothing objectionable in the film other than a very brief, very not-showing-anything love scene between Leslie and Scott.  No language, and Leslie has a very good relationship with her married parents.

“Hanging out”: clear as mud.

13 Apr

Two of the most stress-inducing words in the English language, at least as far as male/female relationships and dating go, have got to be “hanging out.”

Say you’re friends with a guy (o most common of scenarios in Christian circles!), and you’re somewhere on the sliding scale of never-in-a-million-years to straight-up head-over-heels in love and dying for him to reciprocate.  Whenever you’re together (always in a group, of course), he’s friendly with you, gives you lots of side hugs, sometimes has one-on-one conversations with you about Important Things, and thanks you for praying for him/his friend/his unsaved relative/his mom’s operation.  Now, one day out of the blue, he calls you up and asks you to “hang out.”  (Sometimes this also takes the form of “maybe get some people together,” with “some people” being optional.)  He sounds casual, but your heart starts to patter.  What does he mean?  What does “hanging out” mean?  Good news!  Nobody knows!

Here is where the folks at Boundless would step in and browbeat encourage young men to be intentional about women and to stop hanging out and start dating instead — all the while encouraging hanging out, usually via group stealth dates, to get to know someone.  (How’s that for irony?)  I generally think that hanging out should be confined to groups.  If a man calls up a woman and asks her to hang out, and it’s just the two of them, then that’s a date.  Even if it’s not intended to be a date, it tends to have the form of a date and be interpreted by others as a date.  And, at least in my experience, there’s often a strange, quasi-date feel permeating the affair.  I know, I know:  you’re different, and your friends are aware of the delineations you’ve made in relationship status.  But generalizations arise from commonality, and chances are that you are not quite the special snowflake you think you are.  Someone, somewhere, is going to be misinterpreting something.

In sum:  Men, be upfront.  Women, be receptive (so long as it’s not of the “I’ll say yes to anyone” variety).

Since pictures are worth a thousand words, and stories are how we learn about ourselves, I thought the following scenes from the show Gilmore Girls would be a good example of what “hanging out” usually leads to.  In Rory’s case, her object of interest is actually interested back, but he doesn’t make it clear before Rory goes through the emotional ringer.

[Background to the scene:  Rory Gilmore was the beautiful, brainy daughter on the old WB show Gilmore Girls.  Throughout high school she had the (g0od?) fortune of having two different boyfriends who liked to fight with each other over her.  However, in college she met her match in Logan, a party boy who also happened to be the heir to a publishing empire.  Early on, Rory didn’t know how to handle either her attraction to Logan or Logan himself due to never having encountered a boy who could either take or leave her looks charms.]

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