Why Hippies Hate Meetings

I put on eyeliner and the good bra. I got there at 11:20, looked down, realized all I can see is the tits. Lifted them out of the way and saw I had something on my shirt. Went to the bathroom and got as much as I could off.

Came back out. Nobody.

11:30–I see the Professor walking by. I call her and harass her. “I can’t see you,” she says. I feel like a stalker, a very lame stalker.

11:40–I call the person I’m supposed to meet with.

Yep, the meeting is at 12:15.

And that, my friends, is an hour of my life I’ll never get back.

More on Men

As part of my exploration of libertarianism, I’ve been trying to read as many different libertarian blogs as I can find, just to nose around and try to get a feel, not only for the philosophy of libertarianism, but how it’s lived on the ground.

As I was saying yesterday to Chris Wage, the libertarians I know in real life tend to share certain traits–a tendency towards pompousness, a shoot-first swagger, a distrust of authority, and a tendency to treat people who disagree with them as if they’re a little stupid. But, they have the brains and the intellectual curiosity to back it up. And, if you can get beyond that, you’re never going to meet guys more fun to have some drinks with.

But I’ve been looking around at other male libertarian blogs and what I’ve found is something very peculiar. There’s the familiar pompousness, and the assholy-ness, and the patronization of the stupid, but it’s unsettlingly different.

A lot of libertarian men seem to describe themselves as alpha males. Vox Day is the first one I’ve seen articulate what he thinks being an alpha male means. I’m going to quote it at length, because this passage also settled for me the world of difference between a jackass like Mr. Day and a jackass like, say, our dear Sarcastro.

The essence of Alpha is a projected aura of dominance. This dominance can be material, physical, intellectual, spiritual or even emotional, and yet mere wealth, size, intelligence, saintliness or rage are not alone sufficient to provide it, regardless of the amount possessed by the individual. This dominance is usually strong enough to be sensed by others, even when it is not being openly displayed.

Others defer to the Alpha because of this dominance whether he seeks it or not. Even when they don’t really want the Alpha’s opinion, they will seek his approval and it will bother them when they don’t receive it. (Note, seeking approval under the guise of asking for advice can be extremely annoying. Don’t do it.)

In an earlier post, he gives this advice to women:

By the way, another reason that women might do well to give greater consideration to Beta or Gamma males is that those men are much more tolerant of women attempting to control them. Lone wolves and Alphas will sooner kill a woman than submit to one, and the more a woman attempts to exert control over them, the worse their behavior will become. Some men are natural jerks, for others, it is learned behavior. [emphasis mine, obviously]

I think you can see already that Mr. Day perceives himself as an Alpha male, when he’s not busy being a lone wolf.

I’ve been thinking about this ever since I read it and I’ve been thinking about the Professor’s insistence that understanding power only as the ability to harm those of us who are weaker than us, instead of understanding it also as the ability to keep those of us who are weaker safe, is a fundamental misunderstanding of power.

I consider the three libertarians I know to be powerful men. That’s why–even though their politics are so misguided and their insistence on carrying firearms without letting me shoot them* is annoying–I like them. They seem to have found a way to be in the world that suits them. And never, ever have I heard one of them say, in some off-handed fashion, “I’d sooner kill a woman than submit to her.” I’ve never felt, even when I was being my most contrary (and I love being contrary as much as I love cantakerous men), that I was in any danger of stepping over some line that would cause them to hurt me.

Frankly, it never even occurred to me. Possibly because they inherently understand that power–maybe what we might call “the ability to make a place safe”–is both about protecting from outside danger and sharing one’s strength with the people inside.

It’s got to be a pretty fucked up understanding of power that brags about turning on the people it’s supposed to benefit.

It makes me think that there are libertarian men who just kind of are powerful, cantakerous, assholes by nature, but who, at heart, are good men. And then there are men who feel powerless in the face of whatever it is they fear and who set out to adopt the posture** of “powerful, cantakerous asshole.” They’re just pretending to be what they wish they were naturally.

*The guns, not the libertarians.
**There’s a way this reminds me of my post about that kick-ass Michael Bertrand essay, but I can’t figure out how to work it in.

Live Blogging the State of The Union

8:06–Chris Matthews kisses Republican ass. Even calls Rice one of the most popular people in the world.

8:07–Why can’t they get sportscasters to do the play-by-play? It’s got to be better than Matthews repeating himself over and over.

8:08–Is that Keenan from Saturday Night Live standing next to Laura Bush?

8:11–Why does our president always look like he’s afraid that someone is going to heckle him? Still, it’s a good haircut. Is anyone else reminded of Mike Logan with all these tiny flags on lapels? Okay, just the Law & Order fans, I guess.

8:13–Is the president missing his top teeth?

8:15–The first 9/11 reference. If you had 8:15 in the pool, you win.

8:16–“We will act boldly in freedom’s cause” by tapping your phone and monitoring and arresting vegans.

8:17–Burma is looking at itself all “What, when did we get on the bad guy list?”

8:18–“Allowing the violent to inherit the earth.” Who had 8:18 in the “First Jesus reference” pool?

8:20–We’re not for isolationism? Surprise, conservatives!

8:23–Short George Bush–“Politicians suck. But I’ll ask your advice, if you’re not too critical of me.”

8:25–“We must stand behind our military” until they get home, then we must abandoned them. Argh.

8:27–MSNBC hopes the dead soldier’s family will cry. Despite zooming in, no tears.

8:32–More shit about how we’re done with isolationism and another God reference.

8:34–He just admitted he’s going to use the Patriot Act in the “war” on drugs.

8:35–Now he explains why he gets to tap phones without a warrant. See “8:34” if you can’t understand why you might ought to be worried about this, pot smoking hippies.

8:37–I can’t hear the President over the rantings of the Butcher.

8:38–Talk of immigrants causes Kleinheider to howl so loud that I hear him clear up here.

8:42–Senator Clinton could kill with that withering glare.

8:43–For the first time in years, the Democrats show signs of life and SNARK!

8:45–The Butcher asks if the President is high.

8:46–Is that Kleinheider again screaming at the mention of a guest-worker program?

8:47–Again with the medical liability reform. I remember that from last year.

8:48–“America is addicted to oil.” Coal. We’re going to invest in coal. Perhaps no one told the president that mining is still deadly.

8:50–He said something important, I can tell by the clapping, but I tuned it out.

8:52–More math and science? Intelligent design, too, or not?

8:55–The President comes out against gay marriage.

8:57–Well, he was for math and science. Now he wants to limit science.

8:59–Laura Bush is now in charge of some initiative to love children. What happened to her initiative to love gang members? Did that work and now she’s expanding out? Or it failed and so she’s aiming for something easier?

9:01–Bush is going to give money to churches to help with the fight against AIDS, because churches are so well-known for their great love of people with AIDS and their caring outreach to communities ravaged by AIDS.

9:03–“May God Bless America.” See how he gets our hopes up by insinuating that someone more powerful than him is in charge?