Everything is Violence – or the Whinging of Nice Guys

 

We have people with vast and varied skills and talents, but regardless of the particulars, if a person cannot fight, they are not going to win anything and some less skilled person who can is going to be the one who gets the money.

This situation has many possible names.

‘Warrior society,’ by me, but ‘the patriarchy’ is good too. Acceptable answers also include ‘rape culture,’ ‘male culture,’ ‘culture of violence,’ and ‘male bonded, tournament species primate society.’

Everything is violence, all the words, all the metaphors are violence metaphors: strength, resolve, steadfastness . . . I’m having my usual trouble finding a way in , so let’s jump to the middle. Twitter, you’re breaking my heart. Case in point, I’m sorry I hate to speak the phrase – women in comedy – Goddamn it. I’m sorry.

This isn’t about any genetic traits, or suitability, gender differences, it’s this violence thing. If we have comics competing for work, the tougher ones, the meaner ones will rise to the top. Firstly, comedy is mean, but secondly and more importantly, in any competitive environment, the tough ones do not lose to the weak ones. Success stories all tell about how ‘driven’ the person was, how they ‘wanted it more’ than others – of course that’s euphemistic for who was nastier, who was willing to be nastier, meaner, someone who wins fights – this I mean, when the talent for humour is equal. All else being equal, violence and intimidation are winning out, everywhere.

For the most part, successful people are all of the meaner variety, and we’re having some trouble legislating it away, because of course the same is possibly even more true of our leaders and our lawmakers. If they’re not alpha types, they’re not leaders. Where I’m going with this is, ladies, good men, as big as you think this problem is, you’re not really getting it. The traits for “leader” and the traits for “rapist,” those are the same set of traits, the same set of genes.

Quick level change: rapist genes have taken over the world.

Of course they have, and not just this year.

A certain criminal justice professional from Alabama has me thinking about his type, and lesser ones, and worse ones. The lesser variety of this fellow is what my friends call a dawg, a guy who lives for the conquest, just loves banging every woman he can, and we hope to keep these guys away from our wives and daughters. Respectable people over thirty consider these guys immature at best and dangerous at worst – perverts, basically. These guys spread their seed impressively sometimes, probably producing more offspring than a faithful, married man. The worse kind of these guys do all of that with violence, and rape may not be “about sex” but rapists spread their seed successfully too. Plus, again, many good, male qualities are the rapist qualities, even if he behaves and we choose those traits purely unconsciously and symbolically.

The well-behaved “manly” fellow, the well-behaved alpha/leader/protector, the ostensibly “preferred” phenotype, he’s a product of the rapist’s genes, we almost certainly all are – but he’s the one where the rapist traits are on display: a strong will, knowing what he wants, a plan, a goal, a certain audacity. Not all strong men are rapists – but rapists are not generally pacifists, either. Ladies, you see a “winner,” keep the mace handy, is what I’m saying. Maybe if we stop selecting our leaders on the basis that they’re double “Y” chromosome psychos who will fight anything or anybody, they won’t all be rapists too.

If I drop the mike there, though, I’m still lying, over-simplifying. It’s not that simple “if we/then” statement; those are driving me crazy on Twitter, it’s not so simple. It all goes to our security. Unfortunately, on a basic level, if we don’t have our own violent men, then we’re vulnerable to the next group’s violent men, I mean, we at least think so. This is the definition of a problem, that it’s not easy. The only thing I can say that has any hope in it is that we are self-actualized creatures, that we created ourselves in this way, and that suggests we have the power to re-invent ourselves too.

We will have to get over those so-tempting simple “if we/then” things, though. It’s “if we/then,” but it’s not just some single aspect of our lives, it’s pretty much all of it. Re-inventing yourself is more than a makeover.

 

Jeff

Nov. 19th., 2017

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10 thoughts on “Everything is Violence – or the Whinging of Nice Guys

  1. Pamela Spiro Wagner November 20, 2017 / 1:11 am

    I think it is a rape culture just in the way that men seem to have to dominate women and others in general, even verbally. I often FEEL raped by male domination tactics, even if not sexually, not exactly that is, though it can feel just as violating to have men shove their words and violent insistence on LOGIC down my throat just when I am trying to explain that emotions have a valid existence and should be respected. I believe that men like to win arguments for the same reason they rape women, because ultimately it is just part of the war…and they have to dominate and win at all costs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jeff/neighsayer November 20, 2017 / 3:10 pm

      I hear you and they make me feel that way too. Honestly, I can hardly find a person who is interactive enough for me, all dudes are . . . it’s not the right word, unilateral. “I’m doing THIS” and everybody else can just deal, I hate it. But yeah, seeing the fuhrer on TV, I feel his discounting of me, his complete lack of acknowledgement for me and most folks every time I see him, and that is violence even before they break your door down . . . I argue, because ‘the patriarchy,’ the idea that men are like this so they don’t have to cook their own dinners, it’s just not enough. I have this insight that both Freud and the biologists are wrong that sex and breeding aren’t the be-all, end-all, the Prime Mover, that violence is. You don’t breed if you can’t fight and survive. I see ideas like that coming out of me and I think I’m getting closer to the truth, but our odds keep getting worse at the same time. It goes towards muting myself, I worry that this train of thought is a lethal mutation, a true idea that can’t possibly do anyone any good. I know, drama queen.

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  2. Jeff/neighsayer November 20, 2017 / 3:29 pm

    So the idea is, this is not the end of the conversation, I’m saying that we as a species, every nation does this, depends on and glorifies male violence and simply pays lip service to the violent down-sides of it, not to say, so suck it up, Buttercup, but to say, this is the real problem. I am seeing innumerable calls for improvement in rape culture bullshit – but I an simultaneously seeing praise and support for manliness everywhere I look as well, from my own enjoyment of the very male voices of Alice Cooper and Hunter S. Thompson, all the way to Mr. Moore’s wife still touting her husband’s inability to take no for an answer as a selling point to the voters. It’s kind of all one, and I know I’m asking us all to control our biology, asking us not to like the sexiest people or something, but I do have something new to bring to this conversation, and that is that saying ‘it’s biology’ is not the end of any conversations either. Evolutionary thinking and increasing knowledge in the areas of environmental control of genetic expression indicate some interaction between our behaviour – in that we are the human environment to a huge degree – and our genetic expression, meaning between our behaviour and our phenotype. “Biology” isn’t going to hold up as an excuse much longer, because biology is interactive; it ain’t geology. Your genes aren’t a defense, because they aren’t random, someone selected for them. Someone is responsible for our “biology.”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pamela Spiro Wagner November 26, 2017 / 11:41 pm

    If we were “our biology” and only our “biology” we would by that argument still be running around unclad, eating bugs and berries…so phooey to that. Clearly biology is tempered utterly by the education and cultural influences that “biology” has enabled us to acquire. So the notion that “biology” made me do it and i cannot change it or control myself is a load of crap…moreover, biology is far from destiny as the study of genetics makes abundantly clear. Except for a precious few instances like the case of huntingtons disease where having the gene corresponds to the fact that one will get the disease (if one lives to a certain age) there are few conditions that depend completely and solely on genetics alone. That is to say, simply on our “biology”. In almost every instance there is a strong interplay between biology and the social, cultural, educational and behavioral environment, not to mention the epigenetic ramifications of those. The very notion that we should give up and give in to men who say “we cannot do otherwise” because we are this way and it is just the way we are is ridiculous. But a huge excuse for those who do not WANT to stop behaving in selfish and violent and harmful ways to never cease their ways, i must say. It is the age old excuse of excuses, but it is also as old as the hills and holds no more water than the leaky old bucket it always was.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jeff/neighsayer November 27, 2017 / 9:08 am

      first pass, I heard you ranting at me rather than with me! I know, I am treading disgustingly close to making those excuses. I feel I have to in order to move beyond them and the fucking Nazis are stealing all the words before I get to use them properly. I said “rape is a successful mating strategy” last week and found out via twitter that the Nazis already own that catchphrase, and of course that it’s an endorsement, mating strategies are good if you’re into world domination. It wasn’t my point at all. My point was it’s a successful strategy and that is BAD, strategies that increase breeding generally are BAD, especially ones that spread the rapists’ fucking genes more than anyone else’s. Biology sucks, it’s all bad news, but we get lost if we forget about it. Person on twitter could not allow this talk of rapists spreading their genes, because “rape is not about sex,” and I understand the context of that and I agree, but . . . it’s the sex that makes it so bad and so powerful to a large degree. In the long run, our great grandmother’s non-sexual trauma over her rape can fade over generations, but her rapists’ genes have probably increased exponentially in the world during the same period.

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  4. Anonymous November 29, 2017 / 11:50 pm

    Naw i was with you all the way… i know you were doing the” gotta use their words” bit but i had to get my rant off my chest anyway!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pamela wagner November 29, 2017 / 11:52 pm

    That was not anonymous but your blog is not recognizing me, pam…and when i tried to sign in, it wouldnt let me,

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Jeff/neighsayer December 2, 2017 / 11:08 am

    It’s not clear enough in this blog – it’s so easy to fall into the usual conversation, damn it all – I am not saying meanness makes better comedy, that violence and intimidation are winning onstage for the male comics, that we the consumers are choosing the nastiest ones. I’m saying that in the offices, in the meetings, with club owners, with agents, this is where the types who frighten people are winning out. Like if you and some sociopath have the same agent, the agent may work harder for the one he fears more, this is what I’m saying, again, comedic chops all being equal.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pamela Spiro Wagner December 2, 2017 / 12:12 pm

    I actually have no argument with any of this. I get it. I do. It is not that difficult to comprehend or agree with when you have lived, as i have, knowing that the only values worth living for or with are kindness, generosity, and compassion, and that nothing else really matters. Certainly i do not believe in violence as a way of life or that successful a strategy as it may have proven over the millennia for acquiring power and material goods, it will either end our species or relinquish its grip on humanity to better values (or we will all perish.) To put it better, we will either find a way to change what we as a societry of human beings value in men and women and in those few we regard as our leaders, or humans will vanish from the earth, and perhaps take the rest of what’s still living with us. I do not think that violence or meanness has permanent survival value, not in the long run. One might end up winning, yes, but at what cost? To be the only surviving member of the species left on earth? A dooming and finally doomed strategy! No, what would work better would be to use some cooperative system or strategy that could fulfill everyones needs without violence or rape or harmful meanness, so that no one left the table destroyed or damaged and the epigenetic ramifications were beneficial and life improving for each individual…i am tslking about stopping the competetive culture and the notion of shortage that imbues all warrior strategies: “Gotta fight for more of xyz cuz if i dont get it all, someone else will take it and i wont even have enough!” We need to stop 1) using and consuming physical goods and resources in such a way that makes shortages an inevitability 2) using these concrete shortages to shore up the idea of emotional shortages — there is enough love and support in the world for everyone! Just because one person gets love does not mean a leader figure for instance is therefore going to be deprived of something due to him! I could go on about this, but you may feel this is a different topic. I do not think so at all. I think it is in fact precisely where your argument leads, but you may not see it this way…

    Best wishes,

    Pam

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  8. Jeff/neighsayer December 2, 2017 / 2:33 pm

    Pam,

    cool. Right with you up to here, all that is my mission. We got differences, the difference between psychology and biology, like here –

    “…i am talking about stopping the competitive culture and the notion of shortage that imbues all warrior strategies”

    Culture doesn’t make people, people make culture – but that’s all background, explanations. I know we have the same plans and goals for the world, doesn’t matter

    this is where I’m starting to think it ain’t the culture but rather alpha culture, one of our cultures within the culture, something like that . . . know what I’m working on today? Since I have this idea of altruism as a collective strategy against the alphas (like, our own group’s alphas), I’m trying it out on the ten commandments see if they can all be viewed that way. Publish if it works, I guess

    Cheers,

    Jeff

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