ALL BLOG POSTS AND COMMENTS COPYRIGHT (C) 2003-2016 VOX DAY. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. REPRODUCTION WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION IS EXPRESSLY PROHIBITED.

Thursday, March 05, 2015

The danger of fantasy

I've long wondered why the science fiction ranks were so littered with gamma males, both on the supply and the demand sides. I'd theorized it was because it was an escape for unathletic people; at my first group book-signing, about every third person commented how little like a "science fiction author" I looked. I didn't understand what they meant until I looked at my fellow authors, most of whom were at least 100 pounds overweight and looked as if the only adventure upon which they'd ever embarked was Cheetoh Quest.

However, the recent discussion at Alpha Game concerning Graduating Gamma and Diagnosis: Gamma has opened my eyes to the real connection between the Gamma male and fantasy fiction. And, in answer to a question that someone asked earlier, I do think science fiction and fantasy, particularly modern Pink SF, is psychosocially dangerous for young men of the Gamma persuasion.

Consider this comment from JW, whose situation we've been analyzing at his request.
I've got this over-inflated sense of self, and that external things haven't burst that. A combination of parents being too soft and a relatively forgiving and facilitating world/state/government/society/community/family has allowed this ego in me to survive. In a more challenging environment it would be broken down.

I've maintained this self from adolescence, and whereas for many people their parents "knock" that out of them Ive got this "tantrum-like child" in my head. Whats happening is I'm protecting this child in my head (which is objectively me, not an external body) and running away or avoiding anything that challenges the beliefs or ideas of this child-like persona. One of which would be "I'm special"....

Seeing myself within an objective social hierarchy using the conceptual framework you have makes it much clearer. I'm wannabee alpha, in my head I'm special and therefore deserving of alphaness, I'll lead, I'll get the girl, I'll be the hero, but the reality of what I am bursts that bubble every time. Once I'm challenged by objectively superior men I crumble and/or avoid run away. And yet I yearn for that while doing nothing to either deserve it or try to get it.
This is the danger posed by the Pugs, the Rand al'Thors, the Harry Potters and so forth. In many ways, they are the precise opposites of the Frodos, the Conans, and the Marcus Valeriuses. (In the middle would be the Aragorns, the Tarans, and the Luke Skywalkers.) They are Special, with a capital S, but not due to anything they have ever done. They have Special powers and are innately recognized as superior beings with a right to lead, initially by the astute, but eventually by everyone.

Most importantly, they don't have to do much more than show up in order to have leadership handed to them on a silver platter, nor do they have to do much beyond be a figurehead and occasionally make Difficult Decisions. If you think about it, they are essentially what the average millennial thinks a CEO is, and they are handed that quasi-CEO status for nothing more than being Special.

This is pure poison for the Gamma soul. It not only justifies his failure to act or to self-improve, but flatters his delusions about himself. Those who fail to recognize his Special status, those men who fail to fall in line to follow him and those women who fail to offer their hearts to him, are either evil or foolish and blind, just like the antagonists in the book. And one day, just like those antagonists, they will get their comeuppance! It is inevitable, it is fated.

No wonder the Farmboy's Journey is so popular. It's basically psychological reinforcement for the Gamma mind. And, writers take note, the less the protagonist has to actually do, the more that his accomplishments revolve around his being rather than his deeds, the more popular it is likely to be with the Gamma crowd because it flatters their desire to lead, get the girl, and be the hero.

Contrast this with Frodo. He is the hero, but he leads nothing and he gets no girl. All he does is shatter the power of Mordor and save the People of the West. Conan is the hero, wins a crown, and gets numerous girls, but he does it all through his deeds; he is the opposite of Special, being frequently dismissed as a mere barbarian. Marcus Valerius is an aristocrat, but for him it is as much burden as benefit, and while his Valerian blood provides him with leadership of the House legion, it doesn't offer him anything more than the opportunity to fail.

I think one can tell a lot about a boy by learning who his favorite characters from various books are. For example, my favorites from The Lord of the Rings were always Eomer and Faramir, which in itself is telling in retrospect. Both were men who were content to be overshadowed, but proved to be competent leaders when the burden was thrust upon them, and both were stubbornly loyal to the point of endangering themselves. My guess is that neither of them likely held much appeal to the Gamma crowd, who would be more drawn to the hidden Specialness of Aragorn, and even more drawn to the likes of the infuriating Rand al'Thor and the insipid Harry Potter.

It's an interesting field that remains largely unfurrowed, the psychosociality of literature. But one thing that is already clear is that if you've got a young Gamma on your hands, you might want to consider pushing more Louis L'amour, Robert E. Howard, and Jack London on him than permit him to indulge himself in repeated reinforcements of his delusional Specialness.

Labels: ,

216 Comments:

1 – 200 of 216 Newer› Newest»
Blogger Markku March 05, 2015 5:50 AM  

Treebeard.

Anonymous Rhys March 05, 2015 5:52 AM  

No wonder the Farmboy's Journey is so popular

The farmboy's journey is suppose to be about growth though.

Take Luke Skywalker as the embodiment of the archetype. He is a dreamer, longs for adventure and is motivated by wanting to be like his father. He changes from a naive boy obsessed with proving himself to his father (or his supposed ideal thereof) to a man who surpasses his father.*

Does a gamma fantasy contain character's growth into manhood?

* If you watch the Star Wars movies in an alternate order with the prequels in between Empire and Return you get a parallel where Luke's story echoes Anakin's and that actually goes to make Luke's temptation by the dark side believable. Of course the prequels suck so much not even this makes them watchable.

Anonymous Rhys March 05, 2015 5:53 AM  

Treebeard.

Gimli, ever since I played Golden Axe

Anonymous Vidfamne March 05, 2015 6:07 AM  

How would this principle translate into say GoT?

Blogger Ben Cohen March 05, 2015 6:10 AM  

Samwise Gamgee.

Blogger Ben Cohen March 05, 2015 6:12 AM  

Game of thrones - The Hound

Blogger Bill Solomon March 05, 2015 6:18 AM  

"How would this principle translate into say GoT?" do you fall asleep at night and dream of being daenerys? Or are you one of those people that finds the grimness of the boltons sadly necessary?

Blogger Bill Solomon March 05, 2015 6:18 AM  

@Markku wut?

Blogger Cataline Sergius March 05, 2015 6:19 AM  

Most importantly, they don't have to do much more than show up in order to have leadership handed to them on a silver platter, nor do they have to do much beyond be a figurehead and occasionally make Difficult Decisions. If you think about it, they are essentially what the average millennial thinks a CEO is, and they are handed that quasi-CEO status for nothing more than being Special.


Good Lord. You have just explained one the most worrying questions I've ever had in my life..

Why in hell did the Millennials think Obama was remotely qualified to be President of the United States?

Blogger skiballa March 05, 2015 6:19 AM  

I agree, Rand al'Thor is infuriating, in that particular series I always found Perrin Aybara to be the character I felt most connected to.

Blogger W.LindsayWheeler March 05, 2015 6:20 AM  

I actually think that our society, The West, really doesn't know how to train boys to be men. Leon Podles has an excellent book, The Church Impotent, The Feminization of Christianity. In it he talks a lot about masculinity and how that is produced. In looking at ancient societies, he discovered that many separate boys from women at an early age. Boys have to be masculinized. While as females grow into women by instinct, boys do not grow into manhood by instinct. They have to be trained and nurtured into manhood. Podles describes the first step is that boys have to be separated from the feminine. You can't change gamma behavior by just reading; it has to began at seven, or so, and boys have to be separated from the feminine. It begins there. Second, they have to be put in Nature for Nature hardens them.

To back up Vox's contention on literary heros, Polybius describes that young Roman boys would be herded to statues of famous Roman statesmen and military men or to plays about them, and they heard historical accounts of these men famous actions and deeds. Plutarch wrote his whole book Parallel Lives for the training of young men. Plutarch's Lives and Xenophon's Anabasis should be read by all young men. They are two-fer. It connects men to their heritage of Classical Antiquity and showcases great heroes of masculinity and manhood. In Victorian British Schools, Xenophon's Anabasis was required reading for seven year old boys.

If we are to maintain Western Culture and masculinity, Plutarch and Xenophon should be required reading for boys as well as those suggested by Vox.

Anonymous eTraditionalist March 05, 2015 6:29 AM  

This applies to all kinds of fiction.
This applies to all types of men.
This applies to both men and women.

By imagining themselves in the role of a fictional story's "hero", men and women alike of the most diverse background obtain a feeling of satisfaction and a sense of self, thereby removing any need to engage with the real world in any meaningful manner.

This is especially true of video games, where individuals not just passively but actively take the role of the lead of a story. Unlike the passive imagining of being eg. Neo in "The Matrix", a gamer actively identifies with the lead of the story as he himself (or she herself) is responsible for getting the character through the game and reaching the end.

As much as I appreciate video games, I do think they are harmful in this regard and far more so than movies of any kind.

Anonymous blume March 05, 2015 6:31 AM  

Faramir and Sam.

Markku is a Finn, of course he loves a badass tree that kills all invaders.

Anonymous llollzlzlzllzzzzzz March 05, 2015 6:31 AM  

READ THE GREAT BOOKS!!

REMEMBER THE LAW OF MOSES!

Anonymous totenhenchen March 05, 2015 6:32 AM  

Manuel "Mannie" Garcia O'Kelly-Davis - The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

It's worth noting that this Heinlein novel won the Hugo in 1967. Fifty years later, such a book would have the pinkshirts gnawing their own hides in anguish and hatred.

Anonymous PhillipGeorge©2015 March 05, 2015 6:35 AM  

Jeffrey Satinover's book on "homosexuality" went a long way to convincing me homosexual doesn't exist. Like laboratory tests for "psychiatric illness". They're nothing but men or women with the following list of attributes, skills, affinities, talents. Things, some and many of which are subject to will, volition, experience, seasons time and change. You're alpha to omega designations might be useful for something - I can't quite see what.
Today's coward might well be next week's congressional medal of honour recipient. That very band of brother series led to the pacific series. Both series covered the stories of people who simply went into melt down from physical and mental exhaustion. God maketh the man; so get well soon, midnight comes.

Blogger Bill Solomon March 05, 2015 6:36 AM  

"READ THE GREAT BOOKS!!" Ive always had a suspicion that this is just a shill for CH I mean who else would actually bother reading manosphere christian blogs and have the wit to troll them generally successfully. But then I always think nah too improbable.

Blogger Bill Solomon March 05, 2015 6:39 AM  

"You're alpha to omega designations might be useful for something - I can't quite see what." ---motivation to train oneself for said situations.

Blogger Bill Solomon March 05, 2015 6:41 AM  

@gbfgmlolz but then again its not like its a difficult formula to follow...

Blogger Ben Cohen March 05, 2015 6:48 AM  

I used to have some of those Gamma characteristics until I made peace with the world. Gammas try to mold the world to their idea of what it should be and build up resentment and rage when nothing goes their way. Playing video games, just like reading fantasy books is a way that they can feel they are winning until they go out into the real world and realize that no one cares about them.

Anonymous Barnabas March 05, 2015 6:54 AM  

Anything escapist such as scifi and fantasy is inherently beta and could be considered dangerous to the potential real world aspirations of men. Such art forms will tend to draw those who feel that they don't have what it takes to cut it in the real world and will ensure that they are right. I would say that the more complete and engaging the alternative reality, the more destructive.

Anonymous PA March 05, 2015 7:20 AM  

The Gamma-themed discussions at Alpha Game and here gave me a lot to think about VD's hierarchy vis a vis Heartiste's alpha-beta-omega scale. Advocates of one scale sometimes criticize the other as overcomplicated or simplistic, respectively.

But each has its place. Heartiste's scale measures a man in terms of a single factor: his attractiveness to women, therefore it's a linear "hot or not" (to chicks) continuum. Vox's scale measures a man in terms of his status among men, and that is a multiple-factor metric, therefore it's two dimensional at the alpha-sigma and gamma-omega ends of the continuum.

Anonymous PA March 05, 2015 7:28 AM  

Continuing with the VD and CH hierarchies -- I've come to understand what a potent weapon Heartiste's game teachings are, and how potentially lethal to an unwise practitioner. It's really advanced shit, that can backfire on the user.

For example, CH's principle of Irrational Confidence, in gamma's just amplifies his gammatude.

VD's scale teaches the fundamentals of "know thyself" and then improvement in status may follow. CH's scale is best used by those who are ready for it. Gammas aren't.

Anonymous Aus Köln March 05, 2015 7:31 AM  

GoT - Jaimie Lannister
Wheel of Time - Matrim Cauthon
LotR - Frodo

Blogger Dominic Saltarelli March 05, 2015 7:31 AM  

Everything I've seen written about Gammas thus far can best be summed up as "Gamma = woman".

Gamma males are men who think like women.

Anonymous Aus Köln March 05, 2015 7:33 AM  

Gamma males are men who think like women.

-Absolutely. That has been the general consensus among the Commentariat over at AG.

Anonymous Stingray March 05, 2015 7:39 AM  

Gamma males are men who think like women.

Probably most are a product of the single or ruling mother who thrusts self esteem up her children by telling them how special they are and cutting their meat into their teens.

Anonymous Tom March 05, 2015 7:46 AM  

I'm not a Fin, and I have to admit that Treebeard was the most fascinating character.

The one I most wanted to be was either Sam or Tom Bombadil, the latter probably just because of my name.

Though honestly, my aspirations have seemingly mirrored Bombadil. I grew up on a farm and have always enjoyed situations where I was the master of my own little domain. Not the world, nothing too large or important, but my little corner of it where I could run things as I saw fit.

The psychosocial ranking systems are both over simplifications, but the map can't be the country. The systems let us look at and categorize different types of human behavior in useful ways. But, I have to admit that it is very humbling to apply many of the truths that come from that analysis to ourselves.

Blogger Joshua Sinistar March 05, 2015 7:54 AM  

Gamma and Beta males don't think like women, they're stupid enough to believe what they tell them. Women say they want a sensitive man with a sense of humor that can cry. They lie. Bullshit! They don't cream their jeans for Woody Allen or Steve Martin! They want a rapist who won't kill them. Those damn romance novels don't have genteel effeminate males of refined character who bring flowers and candy to meet your parents! They have pirates and warlords and barbarians that tear off their clothes and fuck them like sluts.
Women LIE.

Anonymous Anonymous March 05, 2015 7:58 AM  

I think a tangential question is equally interesting: how did it happen?

I read science fiction when I was young (30 years ago). It was a 50 year string of engineers writing about speculative science.

Take a 20 year break, and go back to it. Science fiction is now as you described. How did it happen? I know that a publishing house can choose to publish a certain (female, or progressive) author. But they can't force consumers to buy it. So arguing that 'Big Publishing' forced it doesn't quite do it. Readers are choosing to read different things. The writers have changed (are there still old-style engineers-turned-into-authors?). The conventions and awards organizations have changed. A conspiracy could have changed the authors, or the published, advertised books. But it couldn't change everything.

What happened?

anonymousse

Blogger njartist March 05, 2015 7:58 AM  

"Laugh"
When I finished reading these comments, I opened another blog and the first thing I read was: "If you find yourself in a fair fight, your tactics suck." [Colonel Jeff Cooper]

Wasn't going to comment but here goes: If you desire to be a man cry unto God who made all men to be your Father: He will lead you through a life that will make you a man.

Blogger Cataline Sergius March 05, 2015 8:04 AM  

It's an interesting thing. The few Millenials I know who have tried to read any of the Miles Vorkosigan books. Just cannot get into them. They know those books become classics (some of them anyway) but they just don't get into Miles. They don't feel the attraction.

I wrote that one off as a change in zeitgeist but now I'm wondering. Does a, 'by your bootstraps' hero, who has overcame tremendous obstacles, have way less appeal to a Millennial, than a Child of Destiny like Harry Potter?

I think the answer is, yes. The Special Little Snowflake syndrome is actually worse than I thought it was.

I first noticed this trend with Harry Potter's, much better written antecedent, Timothy Hunter. The character that Rowling shamelessly ripped off, (*ahem*) (I of course mean was inspired by ) when she wrote Sorcerers Stone.

Sidenote: I strongly suspect Neil Gaiman made quite a tidy little sum of money from Warner Brothers, just for pretending there was no comparison at all to be made between his pubescent, glasses wearing, owl owning, Child of Destiny, boy wizard from London and Harry Potter. No comparisons to be made whatsoever. Don't be silly.

Blogger JaimeInTexas March 05, 2015 8:12 AM  

njartist.. How does that looks like?

Blogger Nate March 05, 2015 8:12 AM  

" But one thing that is already clear is that if you've got a young Gamma on your hands, you might want to consider pushing more Louis L'amour, Robert E. Howard, and Jack London on him than permit him to indulge himself in repeated reinforcements of his delusional Specialness."

if you'll forgive a tiny bit of scope creep... when last we were discussing Gamma Males here we were talking about helping parents of Gamma kids. Something we should have mentioned but did not.

Your kids need to see you fail. Your kids need to see you make mistakes and deal with them. They need to see you be wrong... admit you were wrong... and adjust your thinking... in a transparent and obvious way.

And like you said Vox... you need to force them to admit when they are wrong.

Anonymous Daniel March 05, 2015 8:14 AM  

anonymousse,

The readers haven't changed. They have left. The conspiracy of publishers has been laid bare; it started overtly and in earnest and publicly in about 1992 or so, although sympathies were probably planted earlier.

Virtually no current SF fan has even heard of the Quantum Rose, much less read it - but they still pick up Foundation and Dune as if they are fresh. They will (and do) pick up real SF when it is made available.

Harry Potter would have been popular among children had it been written in 1964. The difference is that adult women and their gamma counterparts now read young adult fiction as a genre.

Anonymous PA March 05, 2015 8:14 AM  

"At home drawing pictures of mountaintops
With him on top"

A song about a poor gamma.

Blogger Nate March 05, 2015 8:15 AM  

"I'm not a Fin, and I have to admit that Treebeard was the most fascinating character."

oh good. So it wasn't just me then...

Blogger Joshua Sinistar March 05, 2015 8:16 AM  

I have to say I don't really understand the appeal of Harry Potter. He's not a hero in any sense of the word. Things happen to him, and he's famous but not for anything he did but what happened to him as a child. In the end, he doesn't get the girl, he doesn't get a big reward. He just survives through luck and constantly through the stories he's saved by other characters. Most of the other characters like Dumbledore, his giant friend and even Hermione are far more interesting than he is really. He's more like a witness to the adventure than the real hero.

Anonymous Aus Köln March 05, 2015 8:17 AM  

What Joshua Sinistar stated earlier is true, essentially. Gammas aren't really men in women form who think like women - and they _are_ generally stupid enough not only to believe in fairy tales about women, but also most of what women tell same Gammas to be true.

That being said, to the "casual male observer" who may be unfamiliar with the intricacies of the manosphere over the last nine years...these Gammas do tend to exhibit many parallel actions and modes of conduct quite similar to women. Likely, this could be due to the general "childish" approach to life so many of either group adopt over the course of their lives. Seems logical, anyway. Those that act like children toward their betters shouldn't really be surprised when they end up getting treated like children.

Anonymous Samson J. March 05, 2015 8:17 AM  

I agree that you can tell a lot about a boy from his favourite characters. My semi-alpha older brother always liked Gimli, and as a lesser-beta kid I never understood why.

As an adult my favourite are Boromir and Denethor, which is something you hardly ever hear.

Blogger Nate March 05, 2015 8:18 AM  

"A song about a poor gamma"

and the dead lay... in pools of ruin below.

There is a reason I said gammas had sociopathic tendencies.

Blogger JACIII March 05, 2015 8:27 AM  

Insipid is a good word for Harry Potter. Too many of the popular SF/F characters begin their tales having paid their dues in an untold backstory.

Anonymous Stg58 / Animal Mother March 05, 2015 8:29 AM  

Vox,

What you describe sounds like every book, tv show or movie where the female protagonist suddenly finds out she's a princess. Dresses, parties and princes follow. See "The Princess Diaries".

Anonymous Miserman March 05, 2015 8:30 AM  

This is pure poison for the Gamma soul. It not only justifies his failure to act or to self-improve, but flatters his delusions about himself. Those who fail to recognize his Special status, those men who fail to fall in line to follow him and those women who fail to offer their hearts to him, are either evil or foolish and blind, just like the antagonists in the book. And one day, just like those antagonists, they will get their comeuppance! It is inevitable, it is fated.

This sounds very much like what a single, working woman would tell her son in those moments when she is over-compensating for not being a mother most of the time. It is sheer flattery that serves only to bolster the son's view of himself for the sake of the conscience of the absentee mother.

Anonymous Aus Köln March 05, 2015 8:31 AM  

Hmmm...interesting comment, Nate. Makes me wonder how many of history's world reknowned dictators were really situational alphas and/or gammas, instead of the alpha super men faces they enjoyed showing to the public. Homo-Vegetarian Hitler comes to mind...as do Pol Pot, fatherless Stalin, and a host of others.

I wonder also what the difference is between Alphas' natural dark-triad sociopathic traits vs. the sociopathic tendencies of Gammas in general. Something to ponder.

Blogger Joshua Sinistar March 05, 2015 8:31 AM  

Actually, Harry Potter is not really a Fantasy Novel. Sure it has magic and monsters, but actually its a mystery series. You could easily take these stories and substitute the Scooby gang instead. Every story has a secret or mystery to be solved and they stumble through a series of misadventures until they unmask the villain. "I would have succeeded too, if not for those dang kids and their dog!"

Blogger David March 05, 2015 8:33 AM  

Who even wants to be an alpha?
What on Earth would have made me want to be Captain of the Football Team on whose arm hung the Head Cheerleader/Homecoming Queen. Both were self-absorbed, paper-thin mannequins, not people.

Nothing seems odder to me than your gamma wanting to be your alpha. IIRC, it's what you label a sigma, a competent, respect-worthy individualist (for its own sake, not just "to be different") who typifies the kind of man I strive to be, and the goal for my sons.
March to your own beat.
Build relationships based on mutual respect.
Strive for self-improvement and to earn the respect of those who have demonstrated wisdom and accomplishments.

Be a better man, husband, father and neighbor, while observing the limits of knowledge and leaving others to tend their own gardens.

Try to be an alpha? No way, Jose.

Anonymous Stickwick March 05, 2015 8:39 AM  

Barnabas: Anything escapist such as scifi and fantasy is inherently beta and could be considered dangerous to the potential real world aspirations of men.

Not all SF and F is escapist. Ralph Wood says this about LOTR:

[I]t is exactly this world of unprecedented evil -- of extermination ovens and concentration camps, of terrorist attacks and ethnic cleansings, of epidemic disease and mass starvation and deadly material self-indulgence -- that The Lord of the Rings addresses. Far from encouraging us to turn away from such evils, Tolkien's book forces us to confront them. Rather than grinding our faces in these horrors, however, it suggests a cure of the ills of our age. This great work enables us to escape into reality. Tolkien achieves this remarkable accomplishment by embedding the Gospel as the underlying theme of his book, its deep background and implicit hope.

As long as the world of the story parallels our world in this sense, it is not dangerous.

Blogger Joshua Sinistar March 05, 2015 8:41 AM  

Dave, go out and make some friends. I'm a Sigma and its a lonely life. When you're on top you're there alone. I wouldn't change it, but I don't recommend it either. Alphas have a gang of buddies that follow them. Its nice to have someone watching your back these days. Know what I'm saying?

Anonymous joe doakes March 05, 2015 8:41 AM  

Boys books used to be morality tales about boys who figured out stuff, worked hard, went places, did things. Tom Swift. Hardy Boys. Have Spacesuit, Will Travel. Or anything by G.A. Henty.

Closest thing today is Percy Jackson.

Anonymous PA March 05, 2015 8:41 AM  

"Who when wants to be an alpha?"

Those who are temperamentally suited for it.

Without alphas, anarchy is likely.

OpenID cailcorishev March 05, 2015 8:44 AM  

After I asked that question, I tried to think of counter examples, and couldn't come up with many. When I think about the SF/F I got when I joined the SFBC in the mid-1980s, it's nearly all of the "swept up by destiny into heroism" sort. I don't think I sought that out; it's what was popular and promoted on the little catalogs they sent out. But now that I think of it:

Garion -- perhaps the most obvious example, since he's a literal Farmboy, and even his Princess is provided by law.
Covenant -- Chosen by the Creator and forced into heroism against his will.
Tad Williams's MST - Simon is similar to Garion, a kitchen boy swept up by others for reasons he doesn't even know until the end.
Saberhagen's Sword books - Vulcan chooses Mark's father randomly, and the Sword falls to Mark.
Amber's Corwin - Born with great powers, more or less a demi-god in our terms.
Asprin's Myth books - boy caught up in things.
Garrett Files - Okay, this is a pretty good one. Garrett never gets a break, and he regularly goes looking for trouble because it's the right thing to do. The detective genre is better than most in this area, I'd say.

I restarted the story I've been working on, because I realized I was falling into the same pattern. It's such a handy framework; maybe that's why it's so commonly used.

On Frodo and others, I think you underestimate the Gamma's power of projection. The Gamma sees Frodo as forced into adventure and heroism, quite against his will, which is really the key. The Gamma is afraid of taking action, afraid of failing, so he wishes Gandalf would come along and draft him. He (thinks he) wants to be a hero; he just doesn't want to take responsibility for making it happen. He can even project himself on Conan: "I'd be a great warrior too, if I'd been captured and forced to work and train like that." The Princesses and adulation are part of it, but I think the real key is that idea of being forced into greatness.

I know a couple boys who definitely trend Gamma, and they love superhero stories, which certainly follow this pattern of "boy turned into a hero by fate/others." It'd be great to have a list of alternatives to steer them towards. The ideal would be stories where the hero chooses, even seeks out opportunities for adventure and heroism.

Anonymous Miserman March 05, 2015 8:51 AM  

If there is a danger for men, it is when fiction becomes an escape from reality. For me personally, taking the red pill turned fiction of all genres into a cup of gall that I had to stop drinking. Making matters worse is that I developed a particular talent in writing fiction, even having a couple of short stories published. Now that fiction no longer holds any value to me, I am prepared to leave behind an entire life of reading and writing fiction just so I can get the hell out of Gammaville. I once loved Tolkien, but that romance is over. Now I would rather study accounting and get a life.

And this is sad because the fields of science fiction and fantasy needs red pill writers.

Anonymous Stilicho March 05, 2015 8:54 AM  

the hidden Specialness of Aragorn,

Strider was a ranger of the north, an accomplished warrior and adventurer, yet that annoying "hidden Specialness" tended to overshadow his actual accomplishments and worth at times, especially by Return of the King.

the likes of the infuriating Rand al'Thor and the insipid Harry Potter.

Mat Cauthon and Ron Weasley were far and away the more likeable, engaging characters in those books.

Anonymous NateM March 05, 2015 8:57 AM  

Ben Cohen March 05, 2015 6:12 AM
Game of thrones - The Hound

Have to agree there. He was a guy I hated in the first book, but became probably my favorite to read. He was deeply cynical and hateful, but he was fully aware of it. He wasn't a good man at all, and they avoided the "he's a bad guy but he has principles" twist with him. Even when he took Aria away it was less to save her than it was to try to catch on with the Starks. It helped that he had some of the funniest lines as well.

Second had to be Tyrion. You have to admire the way he has every reason in the world to just give up and accept his fate as the Dwarf son of Tywin Lannister but he realizes the only way forward is to keep up his labor, developing his contacts, making moves behind the scenes, because it he stops he'd get outmaneuvered and likely killed by his sister or someone else. I know plenty peg him as a gamma but in the books at least (haven't watched the series as much) he's a character who realizes his need to constantly move, or die.

Between these two and Ned Stark, they are some of the only characters in the books who if they died, I wouldn't actually be happy, so you can imagine how much I enjoyed the series thus far..

Blogger Laguna Beach Fogey March 05, 2015 8:59 AM  

What you're describing is a very immature mindset that commonly affects both males and females, young and old, in modern America.

"Cheetoh Quest" heh

LOTR - I've always thought that Tolkien himself was the most fascinating character in this saga, When I was an avid reader of the books from age 10 - 12, I was very interested in the various types of Goblins, Orcs, Trolls, Dwarves, and Elves. It was important to me for some reason to get the classifications right. And then I snapped out of it.

Real history is so interesting that it's probably not necessary to resort to SF/F for young boys. Military history, travel literature, and the history of exploration and colonialism should be enough.

Anonymous Stilicho March 05, 2015 9:00 AM  

Though honestly, my aspirations have seemingly mirrored Bombadil. I grew up on a farm and have always enjoyed situations where I was the master of my own little domain. Not the world, nothing too large or important, but my little corner of it where I could run things as I saw fit.

There you have it, Mrs. FT will henceforth be known as Goldberry.

Anonymous PA March 05, 2015 9:01 AM  

Analogues for the hierarchy:

Alpha: king
Sigma: renegade
Beta: knight
Delta: honest yeoman
Gamma: thief
Omega: village idiot

Blogger Bodichi March 05, 2015 9:02 AM  

Game of thrones - Bron

Rose from common filth to defy every law built to keep him wallowing in filth. Married a woman who no one else would have to elevate his social status while saving hers.

He is the only hero in that entire series.

Blogger AmyJ March 05, 2015 9:02 AM  

Rereading LOTR for the umpteenth time right now. One passage that has always stood out to me is where Frodo complains to Gandalf about the responsibility of the ring. Gandalf basically tells him it's not because he's smarter, stronger, or more special than anyone else, it's just the lot life gave him and he must do the best he can with what he's got.

Always makes me think of what a conversation with God would go like.

Anonymous Thales March 05, 2015 9:04 AM  

Han Solo, captain of the Millennium Falcon . . . you've never heard of the Millennium Falcon?

Anonymous Stilicho March 05, 2015 9:06 AM  

Anything escapist such as scifi and fantasy is inherently beta and could be considered dangerous to the potential real world aspirations of men.

I've heard this before, many times...from women. What they mean is that they fear that such stories will distract men from doing what they think men should be doing. Which generally involves paying attention to them and their interests instead of pursuing their own.

Sometimes, a story is just a story.

Blogger JAY WILL March 05, 2015 9:08 AM  

I daydream and fantasize a lot to this day. Maybe ties in with arrested development, permanent adolescence.

I'm not sure how imagination would be measured but I would think as a a young boy I was higher than normal. I was also quite shy, quite bookish and good in school, a teachers pet. I was also extremely sensitive, I remember getting very upset one day when I'd forgotten one of my school books. The teacher didn't give me a row but took me outside the classroom to explain to me that it was ok and no need to get upset. I was never a "blubber" and tears would just well up but I'd try to make no noise. It was quite funny that while this happened for some reason I put my finger in a hole on the wall, maybe to distract myself, and boys outside thought I was being given a row for doing something to the wall. I was very happy to go along with that rather than admit I was crying because I'd forgotten a school book. Maybe ties in with me now in some ways, I'd rather people think I'm a bad person than a sensitive one. Hide the sensitivity or be crushed.

Ive always felt crying was so weak, Ive definitely at times in my life felt a searing self-hatred when that sensitivity rises in me.

Fantasy provides solace, but no room for growth.

Blogger David March 05, 2015 9:09 AM  

Favorite characters:
Lazarus Long (long lives can yield wisdom, hates politicians.)
Conrad from Zelazny's "This Immortal."
Sam from Zelazny's "Lord of Light"
Tom Swift (kid book character)

Blogger S1AL March 05, 2015 9:09 AM  

@PA - Percy Jackson is an interesting study in contrast because he is "special/chosen," but no more so than anyone around him. But as a coming-of-age series, those books are excellent.

@Samson J - Reading them as an adult, I also have a much greater appreciation for Boromir and Denethor. The portrayal of the latter in the movie was disappointingly 1-dimensional.

Anonymous ZhukovG March 05, 2015 9:11 AM  

There are a number of character in LOTR that I like a great deal. I personally identify with Halthir of Lorien.

I will also give a second endorsement to Boromir. In my opinion his last stand is one of the most heroic things I have read in any book.

Here was a man whose spirit was crushed by his own failure. Yet did his duty, without hesitation, even to sacrificing his life in the defense of others.

Someone mentioned games.

I have played an online game called Star Wars The Old Republic. I don’t know what it says about my personality, but I found the Jedi tiresome and so I mostly played Sith. My favorite character however was my Imperial Agent (Spy).

Blogger Joshua Sinistar March 05, 2015 9:12 AM  

God, but I hate Han Solo! He just a smuggler who ended up being a hero just because nobody else was there. "All you care about is money!" He gets the princess, but she's really no great prize. She should have been with Luke except he was her brother. How does a smuggler end up being a General? Does piloting a crappy spaceship teach you anything about strategy or tactics? A bunch of freaking teddy bears with bows and arrows defeats an army of armored stormtroopers? My ass! Kiss my ass Lucas!

Blogger YIH March 05, 2015 9:13 AM  

You want a perfect example of this?
Whackopedia dubbed him Stalking Cat, someone who took the idea of 'otherkin' to, like cross-dressers that go under the drugs and the knife, to it's horrid, disfiguring extreme.
Just by looking at the photo of him there you can tell that no one tried to curb his delusions.
Dangerous? Only to himself, apparently suicide.
According to Wikipedia (and other sources) his employment was computer programmer.
My guess? He got H1b'd/outsourced into unemployment. Then, unable to find work as a programmer, in desperation he started seeking any employment.
Not even 'do you want fries with that?' would hire him.
You're likely going to see many more suicides like that by heavily tattooed and pierced drama queens whom families, employers, and even the government can't and won't support in their delusions of grandeur.

Blogger S1AL March 05, 2015 9:17 AM  

Heh, on the topic of LotR characters: Beregond is one of my absolute favorites. I'm sure that says something about me.

Anonymous Anubis March 05, 2015 9:18 AM  

I read the Potter series after it was obviously a phenomenon so that I wouldn't be out of touch with expressions therein. I don't really see how Harry Potter is the best character in the story. He is an orphan, he has stunted magical growth with his main power coming from the killer of his parents. He is a trust fund kid who gets the "white privilege book of alchemy" in one book and only achieves a patrouns(his most impressive work that everyone learns in another book) thanks to a temporal Paradox. Hermanee is a know it all token STEM placement. Ron actually has to overcome challenges performing in chess & sports. Ron also overcomes his fear of spiders. The Wesley twins demonstrate innovation + how incompetent big govt is against Umberage & when they open their business the ministry is their best client with many govt workers unable to do protective magic.

Draco is probably the best character he demonstrates leadership in the house of ambitious cutthroat wizards. He isn't afraid of failure & has skills as shown by fixing the impossible to fix teleporting cabinet. He has more moral challenges than Harry but is revealed to be good at the end. He is also comfortable around what many perceive to be dangerous people.

Blogger David March 05, 2015 9:19 AM  

Joshua, we are who we are, and the Apple that tries to be an orange spends its ripeness on folly.

I have no need of a posse; my equals neither follow nor lead, for the Slave/Master dichotomy is for lesser men.

Perhaps PA is right, since Sallust's observation that most men prefer slavery to liberty is as true today as it was 2000 years ago.

I prefer to let the masses of men toil without me in their S&M swamp, where the power of the master corrupts souls just as much as the weakness of the slave.

Anonymous Leonidas March 05, 2015 9:25 AM  

My two favorites were always Aragorn and Gandalf (the ultimate Sigma). I was about to make a comment about Aragorn eventually proving himself to be a badass in his own right, but the reality is that he was a badass in his own right straight from the beginning. I always thought it was far cooler the way he knew all the secret ways through the wilderness, was friends with the elves, and spent his whole life fighting orcs and goblins than all that silly business about becoming king.

But Farimir was always a good third place on the list, because even in a book chock full of upright, honorable, manly men, Faramir stood head and shoulders above the rest for his honor. He was hardcore, even without a sword. His complete and utter ass-raping in the Jackson films is one of the biggest cinematic crimes of all time.

I think Aragorn stretches the analogy a bit. It certainly can be made to fit him, but he's a lot more complex than that (despite the perennial accusations of Tolkien's characters being cardboard cutouts, they're all quite a bit more complex than that). But Harry Potter? Yeah, that was always one of my biggest complaints about an otherwise decent series. Harry never really did much for himself.

OpenID easilyangered March 05, 2015 9:28 AM  

Not sure where I rank in the heirarchy, pretty sure I'm not a Gamma because I think "bitch" every time one is mentioned. But I would like to mention I have hope I'm doing right for my son, as any time I want him to stop doing something, I can tell him "that's for girls" and he throws whatever pink or fluffy piece of crap he's been playing with down. He even goes so far as to tell my wife things are for girls now, so I just have to make sure I don't abuse that power as an easy way to make him stop doing something. Anyway, I digress.

Characters:
Tolkein:Bilbo - frodo whines too much, bilbo just tries and finds he is stronger than his doubts.
GoT: Tyrion. though Jamie and Brienne are growing one me
WOT: Lan - Death is light as a feather, Matrim is a close second, the only one who doesn't bow to the women.
SW: Han Solo - the one that shot first
MAgician series: Jimmy the hand, and in the empire series Mara.


Blogger Nate March 05, 2015 9:30 AM  

"I wonder also what the difference is between Alphas' natural dark-triad sociopathic traits vs. the sociopathic tendencies of Gammas in general. Something to ponder."

I wouldn't lump alpha's in there that much. If a guy happens to be telling a story and everyone in the room stops to listen that's not his fault. If every time someone in a social setting tells a story to the group... but spends most of their time looking at him and making eye contact with him... that's not his fault either. How people react to a person is on them... not on him.


Anonymous Anubis March 05, 2015 9:31 AM  

"How does a smuggler end up being a General? Does piloting a crappy spaceship teach you anything about strategy or tactics?"

He is a smuggler outsmarting the military of the Republic not a Mexican smuggling a couple bricks of cocaine in his rectum. If you have a lesser ship better piloting can outperform a good ship with a bad pilot. We don't have a lot of details about detection/avoidance in the Star Wars universe it could be like hackers/internet security or vast open space with detection happening near planets. NASCAR came about due to Rum Smuggling. If broken wand Ron can compete with "unearned white privilege" wand Harry then he would be the better wizard.

Blogger JartStar March 05, 2015 9:33 AM  

Samwise. He went through all of that horrible stuff so he could go home in the country to a good wife, dinner, and his daughter on his lap. He wasn't destined to be a king or a leader of an army; just do your job and live peacefully.

Blogger Desiderius March 05, 2015 9:34 AM  

"He is a trust fund kid"

This.

Pretty much all the most egregious SJWs are trustifarians.

Anonymous p-dawg March 05, 2015 9:42 AM  

I always thought Tarl Cabot and Remo Williams were the best sci-fi characters.

Anonymous Toz March 05, 2015 9:43 AM  

The gamma is a bunch of Holden Caulfields, who believe themselves to be special. But really, they're just solipsistic and it's the world that needs to change, not them.

Blogger Joshua Sinistar March 05, 2015 9:45 AM  

Look I loved the first Star Wars and the Empire Strikes Back was great too. But way too much time is wasted on special effects and a lot of the story makes no sense at all. Luke has his hand cut off and his ass handed to him in the second movie by Vader, but in the Throne Room he defeats Vader easily. How? What did he do in between those two fights where he could defeat a freaking cyborg with superhuman strength? The Imperial Fleet should have massacred the rebels in the last battle. A twelve mile long superstar destroyer is blown up because one ship crashes into the bridge! Those damn ewoks are only there to sell Teddy Bears to kids at Toys R Us at Christmas!
Why is Han Solo a General? All he's leading is a small band of rebels on a guerrila raid. He gets captured by Ewoks and THEY defeat the stormtroopers.
Lucas spent so much time with special effects and toylines that by the third movie he just pasted it together to tie it up because it was supposed to be a trilogy and he didn't want to make a six hour film to explain how any of this shit happened. He just put it together and the rubes ate it up.

Anonymous NateM March 05, 2015 9:47 AM  

In LOTR I always sorta liked Boromir. He was honest, brave and did his best to be just. His personality may have been effected by his father He wasn't a Bad man, he just didn't have any idea what he was asking for in wanting to yield the Ring against its owner.

Blogger bob k. mando March 05, 2015 9:47 AM  

Vox
Most importantly, they don't have to do much more than show up in order to have leadership handed to them on a silver platter



it's the male equivalent of the princess sociotype.



Vox
in repeated reinforcements of his delusional Specialness.



which is the same way the Chinese have wound up with a generation of Little Emperors.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Emperor_Syndrome
"though many of these precocious kids can recite the English alphabet or read newspapers in traditional Chinese characters by the time they're 10, their parents often still perform basic tasks for them: fixing their hair, tying their shoes, wiping their bottoms."

btb, the Little Emperor syndrome is a refutation of 'Nature/Genes are All Determinant' hypothesis.

this is NOT the way the parents were raised and they didn't come out this way themselves. yet, across a broad swathe of the population, they have performed an experiment demonstrating conclusively that a new sociotype can be forced to express through certain Nurturing practices.

Anonymous Daniel March 05, 2015 9:51 AM  

I was partial to Sauron. Made cool things like magic rings and Gollum. Had a volcano. Never showed up for events but everyone wondered what he was up to. Did not lose on strategy but on having objectives beyond means.

Samwise was another favorite, as well as Faramir,, especially in contrast to Boromir (in whom I was very disappointed - such potential, such ferocity, such blindness.) Frodo kind of goes without saying, again in contrast to Bilbo's overlong exposure to the ring. Bilbo, even as a younger fellow, probably would not have done what Frodo did: keeping it secret and to himself was too much of an obsession.

Now, flipping that: I didn't read enough of Harry Potter to get very far, but there was nothing special about his specialness. The magic school was a fun setting, but I didn't get much sense of the characters, and their version of broomball was dull. Same with Qvoth from the Name of the Wind - or, College Boy Aces Magician SATs, Earns Div. I Swordsman Scholarship.

Anonymous Eric Ashley March 05, 2015 9:57 AM  

How can someone not like Miles Vorkosigan? One of her books was the only one that made me cry and laugh out loud in the same book.

In LOTR, Frodo. But then I liked them all mostly.

Harry Potter looks like an excellent Alpha. Looks cute, has powers and money, and does some things which are easier for him than others. Remember Alpha ain't about taking risks, its about having followers and girls chasing you. Being an Alpha is often the equivalent of being a Child of Destiny sent on a quest.

Anonymous Leonidas March 05, 2015 9:57 AM  

The Wesley twins demonstrate innovation + how incompetent big govt is against Umberage & when they open their business the ministry is their best client with many govt workers unable to do protective magic.

The Weasley twins were probably my two favorite characters. For sure, my favorite scene in the whole series is when they leave Hogwarts and give the bureaucrats the finger. That was classic.

Anonymous NateM March 05, 2015 10:04 AM  

I was partial to Sauron. Made cool things like magic rings and Gollum. Had a volcano. Never showed up for events but everyone wondered what he was up to.


Sauron-The Original Literary Sigma

Blogger SarahsDaughter March 05, 2015 10:05 AM  

Harry Potter looks like an excellent Alpha. Looks cute, has powers and money, and does some things which are easier for him than others. Remember Alpha ain't about taking risks, its about having followers and girls chasing you. Being an Alpha is often the equivalent of being a Child of Destiny sent on a quest.

Oiy.

So you must have read this:
If you think about it, they are essentially what the average millennial thinks a CEO is, and they are handed that quasi-CEO status for nothing more than being Special.

And agreed that the socio/sexual hierarchy is based on one's luck in life.

Blogger Joshua Sinistar March 05, 2015 10:08 AM  

I was never sure Sauron was defeated. Sure the ring is gone, but how hard is it to forge a measly magic ring? The scene where the ring is destroyed after the long trek to the Volcano is great stuff, but are you really telling me Sauron couldn't get someone else to forge a measly ring?

Anonymous A. Nonymous March 05, 2015 10:09 AM  

I think one can tell a lot about a boy by learning who his favorite characters from various books are. For example, my favorites from The Lord of the Rings were always Eomer and Faramir, which in itself is telling in retrospect. Both were men who were content to be overshadowed, but proved to be competent leaders when the burden was thrust upon them, and both were stubbornly loyal to the point of endangering themselves. My guess is that neither of them likely held much appeal to the Gamma crowd, who would be more drawn to the hidden Specialness of Aragorn, and even more drawn to the likes of the infuriating Rand al'Thor and the insipid Harry Potter.

My favourite Lord of the Rings character was Halbarad, Dunadan and cousin to Aragorn, who shows up leading a contingent of Rangers and then falls in battle at the Pellenor Fields. My favourite Star Wars character, for the longest time, was Green Leader, the doomed A-Wing squadron commander who fatally crashes into the Super Star Destroyer. Apparently, my boyhood self-image was a lower-ranking leader who dies helping the heroes attain victory.

Anonymous Thales March 05, 2015 10:12 AM  

How does a smuggler end up being a General?

Well, don't look at me -- I just told 'em you were a fair pilot...

Blogger bob k. mando March 05, 2015 10:15 AM  

llollzlzlzllzzzzzz March 05, 2015 6:31 AM
READ THE GREAT BOOKS!!
REMEMBER THE LAW OF MOSES!



oh God.

*head in hands*

please tell me that's not GBfM posting here.

Blogger Vox March 05, 2015 10:19 AM  

Harry Potter looks like an excellent Alpha.

Ah, no. He's more like the Gamma idea of an Alpha.

OpenID cailcorishev March 05, 2015 10:20 AM  

Does a gamma fantasy contain character's growth into manhood?

Yes, but he's afraid to pursue it actively, which is why he likes the idea of Destiny forcing him to do so. Garion becomes a man in the Belgariad, but it's not like he has a choice. If he fails, it's not really his fault, because none of it was his idea in the first place.

Anonymous Stickwick March 05, 2015 10:22 AM  

NateM: In LOTR I always sorta liked Boromir. He was honest, brave and did his best to be just. His personality may have been effected by his father He wasn't a Bad man, he just didn't have any idea what he was asking for in wanting to yield the Ring against its owner.

Pretty much. I see Boromir as a metaphor for the modern Republican -- he wants the power of the Ring to preserve something of great value, but does not see the corruptness in his desire and how it would lead to something more horrible than he could probably imagine (reference Vox's post on the banality of killing). What makes him a great character is that, instead of reducing him to a two-dimensional caricature, Tolkien portrayed Boromir very sympathetically; he was valiant and had other good qualities, but was ultimately as tragically flawed as any of us fallen creatures. (By the way, it's believable that Faramir would resist temptation, as he was described as having more of the Numenorean kings in him than his brother, i.e. he was more otherworldly than Boromir.)

Anonymous Viking March 05, 2015 10:22 AM  

Interesting idea. This would also explain what makes so many story driven computer games so popular but with so little staying power and replayability.

Blogger Nate March 05, 2015 10:25 AM  

"And agreed that the socio/sexual hierarchy is based on one's luck in life. "

ah... the gamma notion of alpha is similar to the females.....

telling.

Blogger Joshua Sinistar March 05, 2015 10:27 AM  

The problem with today's Fantasy Novels is that the women are men, the men are little girls and the herione ends up sleeping with her horse because she always wanted a pony when she was growing up.
Somewhere in the World, a little boy is reading these stories and dreaming about becoming a doctor, maybe a Psychiatrist, and eating your liver with beans and a fine chianti.

Blogger Marissa March 05, 2015 10:28 AM  

Actually, Harry Potter is not really a Fantasy Novel. Sure it has magic and monsters, but actually its a mystery series. You could easily take these stories and substitute the Scooby gang instead. Every story has a secret or mystery to be solved and they stumble through a series of misadventures until they unmask the villain. "I would have succeeded too, if not for those dang kids and their dog!"

I've heard an interesting theory, I think from Stefan Molyneux, that Harry Potter is really a story about a mentally disturbed child in an asylum. It was a pretty cool interpretation.

Anonymous Donn March 05, 2015 10:28 AM  

Beorn, tall, big, hairy and just wants to be left the hell alone.

Anonymous Copperheaded March 05, 2015 10:29 AM  

Looking for parenting advice from the Ilk. My oldest son will turn eight in July. He is very bright and well behaved, but he is, at times, painfully shy. He will be playing competitive baseball for the first time this year and I'm afraid that he will get on the field and just stare at the ground. He does this often when people he does not know speak to him. I try to force him to deal with it, but he just completely shuts down. Honestly, I feel horrible for him. He will not know any of his teammates. My gut tells me to throw him out there and he'll either sink or swim.

Should I force him to play baseball even if he just stares at the ground? What can I do to help him get over this? Is forcing him to face his fears the best thing for him?

A little background: my wife and I home school our four sons 7, 6, 3, and 1. The 7 yo is the only one with this problem.

Anonymous Wendy March 05, 2015 10:30 AM  

Sam, Faramir and Halbarad are my favorites.

Boromir was honorable and a great warrior (as his final moments proved) but the sword was a hammer and everything was a nail...and there had to be some great men that the ring could tempt. Denethor was noble, but in the end gave in to despair. That was his downfall.

Kiddos will have lots of Louis L'amour to read for sure.

Blogger SarahsDaughter March 05, 2015 10:32 AM  

ah... the gamma notion of alpha is similar to the females.....

I didn't write that clear enough. My intention was to say that he must agree with the average millennial that CEO's are handed their status for being special.

Though, you may be right. Women likely do not understand that not quitting does not equal lucky.

Anonymous Rabbi B March 05, 2015 10:35 AM  

" . . . just do your job and live peacefully."

My Sam Gamgee is indeed a reflexion of the English soldier, of the privates and batmen I knew in the 1914 war, and recognized as so far superior to myself"

― The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien

His unswerving loyalty was truly one of his best qualities. What's not to love?

"I am glad you are here with me. Here at the end of all things, Sam"

― Frodo

Blogger Joshua Sinistar March 05, 2015 10:37 AM  

Copperheaded take your son to the park and play ball with him. Take some older boys who know how with you to show him how its done. Be critical but not overly. Don't baby him and see if he can do it before you send him out.

Blogger bob k. mando March 05, 2015 10:41 AM  

Joshua Sinistar March 05, 2015 10:08 AM
I was never sure Sauron was defeated. Sure the ring is gone, but how hard is it to forge a measly magic ring?



uh, you missed that whole part where in the forging of the One Ring, Sauron invested much of his own personal power and being?

then there is the whole question of the skill of the smith. Sauron was superlative, having learned from Aule himself.

being separated from his Ring is the only thing that even permitted the forces of the West to compete with Sauron.

of course, Maia such as Sauron and Gandalf aren't really mortal ... and that is where the greater risk to Middle Earth lies.

Blogger Vox March 05, 2015 10:41 AM  

Should I force him to play baseball even if he just stares at the ground? What can I do to help him get over this? Is forcing him to face his fears the best thing for him?

Yes. Don't cripple him by limiting him on the basis of your fears of what might happen. A good coach will deal with him as he is. I had one kid who had zero interest in soccer. I would put him in goal during the scrimmages, where he would sit down, turn his back on the game, and play in the dirt. Tall, good-looking kid, and less competitive than any boy I've ever seen.

His mother was always trying to apologize, until I finally told her: "Look, he's a dreamer. He's happy being out here with the others. He's fine, he doesn't cause any trouble, just let him be himself."

Anonymous Leonidas March 05, 2015 10:51 AM  

A good coach will deal with him as he is.

If he ends up having a lot of trouble with it, don't be afraid to look around a bit for a good coach. Most people aren't good coaches. Don't be a dick about it, either, though. A coach who has trouble with your particular kid isn't necessarily a bad coach, even if he's not right for your kid.

Blogger Nate March 05, 2015 11:04 AM  

" Women likely do not understand that not quitting does not equal lucky. "

You would be amazed how far not quitting can take a man.

Blogger Nate March 05, 2015 11:07 AM  

"Should I force him to play baseball even if he just stares at the ground? What can I do to help him get over this? Is forcing him to face his fears the best thing for him?"

I would put him out there. No question. But I would watch the coaches carefully with him. A bad coach in that situation can ruin a sport for a kid. A really bad coach can ruin all sports for a kid in that situation.

If the coach is an idiot, and I don't just mean he's got expections and is demanding, I mean he's being a legit idiot... like ridiculing your kid and singling him out... then you need to be ready to step in.

Blogger Nate March 05, 2015 11:10 AM  

"uh, you missed that whole part where in the forging of the One Ring, Sauron invested much of his own personal power and being?"

Actually that's the part that drove me crazy. You have X power. You put X power in a ring? why? You already had it. Now you are vulnerable when before you were not. Now your power can be seperated from you.

Creating the ring didn't give X+ power. The power came from him.

infuriating.

Blogger Gunnar von Cowtown March 05, 2015 11:10 AM  

From age 11-13 I read every REH Conan I could get my hands on.

LOTR - "This book would be way better if Conan showed up, killed all the orcs and put the moves on Éowyn."
Covenant - "This sucks. Time to read the L. Sprague De Camp pastiche with the lame Boris Vallejo covers."
GOT - Read that as an adult. Ned Stark.

Not sure if it's a sign of maturity or the SJW-ification of Hollywood, but for the past 5 years or so everytime I see a summer blockbuster, I end up rooting for the bad guys (Bane, Ronan the Accuser, etc.) Anyone else share that pattern?

Blogger lordabacus March 05, 2015 11:12 AM  

Treebeard is near the top of my list too, right under Radagast. Both benefit a lot from the Tolkien tactic of introducing intriguing characters and then only giving you a glimpse of them. Helps give you a sense of the scope of the world, and leaves you wanting more. Remember how infinitely more interesting the Clone Wars were when they were just a line mentioned in passing?

BTW, I achieved the rank of Level 4 Mage in Cheetoh Quest, but only after buying the baked jalapeno expansion pack.

Anonymous Stilicho March 05, 2015 11:18 AM  

Creating the ring didn't give X+ power. The power came from him.

Wrong. The additional power was control of the three, seven, and nine along with all they had wrought.

Anonymous Stilicho March 05, 2015 11:21 AM  

Clarification: You're right that the power to accomplish this came from him, but he needed to redirect some of into the One in order to achieve a greater victory than would otherwise have been feasible for him.

Blogger Nate March 05, 2015 11:25 AM  

'Wrong. The additional power was control of the three, seven, and nine along with all they had wrought."

Don't buy it. You're giving Tolkein a huge hunk of charity that simply isn't justified. There are big holes in the story.. as great as it is. For example... Why did he need to put the power in the ring to control the nine... when even without the ring... he took Sarumon?

Blogger CM March 05, 2015 11:27 AM  

Literary favorites:
Anne Shirley (forever and always)
Eowyn
Neville Longbottom

Blogger Nate March 05, 2015 11:29 AM  

"Clarification: You're right that the power to accomplish this came from him, but he needed to redirect some of into the One in order to achieve a greater victory than would otherwise have been feasible for him."

Meh.

The only good explanation is one I don't believe Tolkein employed. That Sauron had tons more power than he could actually access on Middle Earth... and created the ring and put that power into the ring, so he could access it there.

Blogger Bodichi March 05, 2015 11:29 AM  

@Nate

I disagree. Sarumon's greed and ambition as well as abuse of the Palantir were his undoing. He was only doing Sauron's bidding until he could overpower him (of course he never could, this was delusional).

Sauron actually had control over the holders of the other rings, they were loyal (albeit magically coerced) servants.

Anonymous The Millennial Falcon March 05, 2015 11:40 AM  

Love me some Boromir and Gollum - alpha and omega baby.

Blogger Joshua Sinistar March 05, 2015 11:40 AM  

All right! Stop this Tolkein about Middle Earth or I'm going to have Peter Jackson send black Hobbits to your house. All I was saying is that since Sauron is immortal and powerful he could still come back. He wasn't destroyed. I really didn't want to discuss the intricacies of magic rings because that's just delusional!

Blogger The Only Cigar in the Box March 05, 2015 11:42 AM  

@ Nate

Regarding Sauron investing his power in the Ring. It seemed like a rather interesting way to let yourself live forever. You only die if the ring is destroyed. It's nigh impossible to destroy it (not even dragonfire could melt it). And furthermore, it's likely to corrupt anyone who finds it, making it impossible for them to actually want to destroy it. The fact that it is small and easily lost also provides an advantage.

Sauron's basically a lich with a nearly indestructible phylactery. The phylactery also has a number of built-in countermeasures.

Seems rather genius to me.

Anonymous Stilicho March 05, 2015 11:42 AM  


The only good explanation is one I don't believe Tolkein employed. That Sauron had tons more power than he could actually access on Middle Earth... and created the ring and put that power into the ring, so he could access it there.


Nah. Sauron was a servant. If you want an additional source of power, you make the ring a conduit to his master or a relic of his master.

Anonymous Huckleberry -- est. 1977 March 05, 2015 11:44 AM  

The 7 yo is the only one with this problem

Does he have any similar problem with his brothers? He's the oldest, does the 6 year old look up to him at all in any way as a leader?

As for forcing him to play, yes. Get him out there. Once he's on a team, you'd be amazed how quickly things like this can get sorted out when a boy knows his place among his peers.
But, I will advise that before you throw him into it, teach him the basic fundamentals if he isn't already familiar with them.

Anonymous Zippy March 05, 2015 11:46 AM  

I always knew that there was something about Harry Potter that rubbed me the wrong way! Thanks for putting your finger on it for me.

Compare Harry Potter with Kip in Have Spacesuit, Will Travel. He teaches himself calculus and Latin, rebuilds a spacesuit, and saves the world. A bit of luck, some help from his friends, but a lot of real effort on his part.

We need more heroes like Kip.

Blogger Conan the Cimmerian, King of Aquilonia March 05, 2015 11:47 AM  

Túrin Turambar

Blogger Nate March 05, 2015 11:49 AM  

'Regarding Sauron investing his power in the Ring. It seemed like a rather interesting way to let yourself live forever"

Sauron was already immortal mate.

Blogger The Only Cigar in the Box March 05, 2015 11:50 AM  

Regarding the main thread - let's not forget that "Chosen One" stories seem to place some hard limits on the main character and usually end up being a big fat bore. I'm sure we all loved the first "Chosen One" story we read as children, due to our impressionability and the novelty. After that, they grow progressively dull.

Somehow, I was always drawn to the wizard characters - the Obi-Wans, Gandalfs, Allanons, and Belgaraths of the story.

And contrasting "Chosen One" or "Destiny" type characters vs. rogue-like character in popular fiction, the Han Solos always seem to have more going for them than the Luke Skywalkers. (I'm pretty sure Han got a ton more ass than Luke ever did.)

Anonymous Ivan Poland March 05, 2015 11:54 AM  

This is how I introduced the concept of game to my kids. Han = Alpha, Luke = Beta. Han gets the gal and Luke gets daddy issues. At the end of Episode IV Han and Luke are getting medals and Han gives Leia a wink while Luke looks like a puppy getting a treat. Alpha/Beta in a nutshell.

Blogger Nate March 05, 2015 11:54 AM  

"All right! Stop this Tolkein about Middle Earth or I'm going to have Peter Jackson send black Hobbits to your house."

You may decide to start dancin' with the bear son... but the bear decides when its time to stop.

Anonymous Leonidas March 05, 2015 11:55 AM  

Creating the ring didn't give X+ power.

Sauron learned the craft of creating rings of power from the Elves, and the rings had power of their own. Sauron's ring had more power than any of theirs specifically because he added his own power to it. It absolutely was X+ power, and that's well documented both in the main LOTR story and in the appendices.

Blogger The Only Cigar in the Box March 05, 2015 11:55 AM  

@ Nate

Well, he was Maiar. Like Gandalf or the Balrog. Immortal in a sense.

Regardless, he could still get the boot permanently from Middle Earth, as happened at the end.

I'd argue that investing his power in the Ring made him more difficult to permanently "defeat."

Anonymous Jill March 05, 2015 11:59 AM  

That is one thing I can't stand about the average fantasy book--the uber specialness of whomever the main character is. S/He has a magical power! A secret prince/ss! A special ability nobody else possesses! Gag. It makes me want to puke. I hated that aspect of Harry Potter. He's magical in a world of average Muggles. I much prefer the reluctant hero who does what he does because it's right or because he must, and NOT because he has magic.

My favorite character from the LOTR universe is Beorn, aside from Bilbo and Frodo. Beorn is calm, at one with nature, has no desire for glory, but can be utterly ferocious when he decides it's time to fight.

Anonymous Michael Maier March 05, 2015 12:04 PM  

The 13 year old girl in "The Unexpected Enlightenment of Rachel Griffin" is far more of a hero in one book than Harry Potter ever dreamed of being.

Great book, BTW. Lots of fun.

Blogger Joshua Sinistar March 05, 2015 12:05 PM  

Look the reason Tolkein is different is because there really isn't a hero. Its just a bunch of guys who get together due to the events that happen around them. Its like the game Dungeons & Dragons where a party of characters gets together and goes on a quest.
The reason Tolkein has such lasting appeal to so many people is because there are so many different characters for readers to relate to. Its not like other Novels where if you don't like the hero you hate the book.

Anonymous Copperheaded March 05, 2015 12:06 PM  

Thanks for the advice everyone. It is much appreciated.

Huckleberry - Those two are inseparable. The 6 yo most definitely looks up to him. He is a normal 7 year old boy at home.

Blogger Student in Blue March 05, 2015 12:08 PM  

The faddish, popular stuff has always been overt escapism, because who are the majority of the population but Deltas and Gammas? And since we've been raising more Gammas than Deltas ever since Political Correctness, and the audience drives works made for profit, you get more of these greatness-thrust-upon-me Gamma protagonists who simply react to what's going on around them.

(And wouldn't you know it, the Gamma protagonist wins the day only because he believes all the right things and forces others to conform to him. It's for their own good, y'know.)

This is what the Mary Sue really is. It's not really how "perfect" the character is and how many character flaws they have that keeps a character from falling into this trap, but rather how much the protagonist is just Gamma wish fulfillment. Harry Dresden has several flaws as a character and isn't perfect, yet he is still a 'Gary Stu' because of the Gamma wish fulfillment mentality.

Anonymous A. Nonymous March 05, 2015 12:19 PM  

And contrasting "Chosen One" or "Destiny" type characters vs. rogue-like character in popular fiction, the Han Solos always seem to have more going for them than the Luke Skywalkers. (I'm pretty sure Han got a ton more ass than Luke ever did.)

Luke ultimately ends up becoming something of a wizard-priest-in-training, so I'm not sure he really counts. His is a higher destiny, ultimately, than merely getting the girl.

Blogger Nate March 05, 2015 12:19 PM  

"Harry Dresden has several flaws as a character and isn't perfect, yet he is still a 'Gary Stu' because of the Gamma wish fulfillment mentality."

It also makes more sense when one considers how much Jim Butcher claims to hate Harry.

Blogger Joshua Sinistar March 05, 2015 12:39 PM  

The reason I don't like Harry Potter is because nothing really pays off in those books. He's not really a hero. He doesn't get the girl and he's no great wizard either. Luke Skywalker doesn't get the girl but he becomes a Jedi. Harry lives through it.
Harry Potter is really just Scooby Doo. A loveable goofball that has misadventures and other characters save the day. Even so, he's not really loveable.
In the magical realm he's special and everybody loves him and are willing to die for him, but in the real world he's hated by his stepparents and nobody knows he exists. He's an orphan without two pennies to rub together in the real world, but in the magical realm he's Richie Rich with a pile of gold and everybody is his pal. But does this selfish bastard even give two gold coins to his stepparents for raising him all these years? NO!
Sure he hates them, but he could at least give them something for room and board, the little shit. Its not like he's Cinderella that has to do the dishes and scrub the floor. Scooby Dum, maybe?

Blogger Hrodgar March 05, 2015 12:40 PM  

I always assumed that the Ring, in addition to giving a large degree of control over the other Rings of Power, acted as a force multiplier of sorts. Maybe it comes of playing too many tabletop RPGs where some sacrifice greatly increases your power, but with the tradeoff of some weakness (perhaps a vulnerability to certain attacks, perhaps relying extensively on a particular item, perhaps being denied access to a portion of available spells, something like that) is pretty common. Sauron traded flexibility and adaptability for power, just like any competent specialist. Sure, in Sauron's case it's a bit more extreme than a typical RPG example and we don't get the details of how it works, but given that the art of crafting Rings of Power was lost or known only to a few, and that Sauron's Ring was unique even among them, I wouldn't expect to. At any rate, separated from his phylactery/legacy item/arcane focus/spellbook/signature weapon, his power was, naturally, greatly reduced. I mean, heck, most of the time a pistoleer or archer or swordsman will be more deadly than a pugilist, but take away their weapon and suddenly the boxer has the advantage. Same underlying principle.

Blogger bob k. mando March 05, 2015 12:40 PM  

Copperheaded March 05, 2015 10:29 AM
I try to force him to deal with it, but he just completely shuts down. Honestly, I feel horrible for him.



Desensitization techniques ( opposite of throwing them in the deep end ) may be successful for him.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desensitization_%28psychology%29

also, it wouldn't surprise me if he's picking up on your 'feeling horrible' as embarrassment ABOUT him, not FOR him.

try to discard your 'feeling horrible' and project confidence IN HIM to him. also, force him to meet your eyes when trying to buck him up.


Nate March 05, 2015 11:04 AM
You would be amazed how far not quitting can take a man.



while not bad advice, a child who has been repeatedly placed in no-win situations will likely not have much interest in trying to persevere.


i would also be curious as to how much of this is genetic ( extro- vs introversion having been demonstrated to have a large genetic component ) vs something that may have happened in pre-school or something.



Nate March 05, 2015 11:10 AM
Creating the ring didn't give X+ power. The power came from him.



absolutely not true. imbuing the Ring gave Sauron
1 - the ability to control all of the other rings
2 - the ability to pervert the strengths and efforts of all the other ring wielders

the 7 and the 9 ( Star Trek homage to Tolkien? ) he seized outright. had the High Elves used the 3, he'd have corrupted them as well. and wouldn't that have been a coup?

while always much stronger than any of the natives of Middle Earth, Sauron would have had great respect for the abilities and powers of the High Elves. they did, after all, play a significant role in the overthrow of Morgoth.



Nate March 05, 2015 11:25 AM
when even without the ring... he took Sarumon?



absolutely false.

a - Sauron did not 'take' Sarumon, he perverted him. Sarumon was trying to raise his own army of Uruk-Hai and take the One Ring for himself. had Sarumon succeeded, Sauron would likely have been overthrown.

b - the tool of Sarumon's perversion was by the palantir in his possession, the same as with Denethor.

Palantir having been created by High Elves by much the same means ( imbuing the work with part of their essence ) that the Rings had been made.

there was no harm that could come to Sauron from the Palantir as there was nothing of himself in them. and he was the most cunning and powerful entity yet remaining in ME.

Bombadil could have stood against Sauron while wielding a Palantir? no other could have.



Gunnar von Cowtown March 05, 2015 11:10 AM
Anyone else share that pattern?



did you not notice all of the nerd spooging over the Joker?

Blogger Ken March 05, 2015 12:41 PM  

Dresden is an odd case; he acts like an Alpha with his enemies, but is definitely a sniveling Beta among the women in his life. Though the series is getting disappointing in its tone, Butcher did a good job temporarily getting out of the rut in the appropriately named, "Changes."

Anonymous Jack Amok March 05, 2015 12:42 PM  

What Joshua Sinistar stated earlier is true, essentially. Gammas aren't really men in women form who think like women

Yes, they are.

I think you and Joshua are missing an important distinction in the Alpha-Beta-Gamma construct. It's about how these different types of men relate to the world. Alphas seek to fix serious problems, Beta seek to live with them, and Gammas seek to maneuver someone else into fixing things for them. That last part is feminine thinking. Women typically aren't in positions to make change or wield power. They influence, cajole, nag, but in general distrust their own ability to actaully do the thing.

Now, in women, or at least in feminine women, it's not such a bad thing as we're biologically accustomed to it. We expect it and it's fine. But men aren't supposed to act that way and it's not fine.

Blogger ajw308 March 05, 2015 12:52 PM  

@Joshua, in the end, Han chose to be there when his first impulse was to be somewhere else. That's what sets him apart.

Blogger Nate March 05, 2015 1:03 PM  

"Bombadil could have stood against Sauron while wielding a Palantir? no other could have."

Judging by the way Tom tossed around The Ring... it hardly seems possible that Tom would even know Sauron was trying.

Anonymous Jill March 05, 2015 1:07 PM  

" They influence, cajole, nag, but in general distrust their own ability to actaully do the thing.

Now, in women, or at least in feminine women, it's not such a bad thing..." Bullshit. It's always a bad thing to cajole others into doing what you should be doing. Talk about lowered expectations. Yes, of course, there are situations where a person has no control. But humans, women included, always have agency.

Blogger Student in Blue March 05, 2015 1:20 PM  

@Ken
Dresden is an odd case; he acts like an Alpha with his enemies, but is definitely a sniveling Beta among the women in his life.

That's what Gamma wish fulfillment is. Gammas do not really understand violence, and write what they believe would be badass in a fight, because that's how badass they would be in a fight (in their minds). Either way, the key emphasis is that Gammas do not understand violence, much in the same way that they don't understand CEOs, because Gammas hold a skewed view of the whats and whys of conflict.

Blogger JaimeInTexas March 05, 2015 1:20 PM  

My wife wanted me to read the LOTR. I told her that I would if she read C.S.Lewis' space trilogy. She did and I did read LOTR.
My reaction to Sam was that, to quote the Bible, he was "a friend that sticks closer than a brother."

Proverbs 18:24 (NIV)
24 One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

And, Sauron cannot come back. It is fantasy and his author is dead. :P

Blogger JaimeInTexas March 05, 2015 1:22 PM  

My wife did not like the space trilogy, because That Hideous Strength, for some reason, scared her.

Blogger Joshua Sinistar March 05, 2015 1:25 PM  

Wait until Tolkein becomes public domain, and then see how many times Sauron comes back. Personally I want him to come back and kick female Thor's ass in Marvel's new Disneyverse!

Anonymous Athor Pel March 05, 2015 1:33 PM  

" CopperheadedMarch 05, 2015 10:29 AM
...
Should I force him to play baseball even if he just stares at the ground? What can I do to help him get over this? Is forcing him to face his fears the best thing for him?
...
"



Sports might not be the silver bullet you are looking for, so keep an open mind.

Find an activity/hobby that the kid can deeply connect with. Meeting others with the same interest is an easy way to overcome shyness. If the shyness is deep then one on one is likely the best you'll be able to do at first. Asking for group participation can be like asking a beginning trumpet player to play in an adult orchestra. The social tools just aren't there, the confidence is not there.

It was only as an adult that I figured out the following. The adults in my life as a child assumed I was learning things that I most definitely was not.

Do not expect the kid to understand things on his own. Be explicit more often than you might otherwise think you need to be. Do not assume anything about a kid, even a kid that seems high functioning. The kid doesn't know what he doesn't know. He doesn't know what he needs to know. He's not a mini-adult. I'll say it again, never assume.

One other suggestion. I mentioned social tools above. A big part of those tools are the rules of etiquette. They exist just for this reason, the training of children into adults. You want the kid to overcome shyness, then give them a set of rules to follow, they will instill confidence.

Blogger Quadko March 05, 2015 1:44 PM  

Great realization and insight! That also explains why I still like John Carter and Conan long after they should be forgotten childhood books, and why I'm so bored with the "anointed special one" Cinderella story with guys.

How about the story of the farmboy who isn't special, but who makes himself better, who fights twice as hard for each inch than the anointed do for kingdoms, and who sacrifices himself for the betterment of those around him? Scorned by all but his friends, he gets neither luck nor blessing, just has to figure it out and make it work well enough to make the next step with the limited available resources... Now that story told well a thousand times would shape boys and society in a much different way.

But I also recognized most of the "given a special power" growth stories are in part a reflection of boys discovering they have the magic power of testosterone in their teen years and how that changes the world for them. Just most authors forget that's what this storyline is about, and don't provide useful lessons any more about navigating, using, and succeeding wisely with the power.

And that's also why I think "girls can't bond with these stories" is such a stupid complaint - they don't have to be taught to deal with testosterone, so of course they don't bond with them any more than boys do with "dealing with estrogen" teaching stories. Exploring that could be a book (library!) itself.

Blogger bob k. mando March 05, 2015 1:47 PM  

Joshua Sinistar March 05, 2015 11:40 AM
All right! Stop this Tolkein about Middle Earth



the guy who has posted 14 times in this thread and is making terribad puns at us is haranguing us about our choice of discourse?


are you related to Porky or Marston?

Anonymous Stickwick March 05, 2015 1:48 PM  

What's all this Sarumon jazz? Do we have Jamaican Maiar or something? Dude's name was Saruman.

bob k. mando Bombadil could have stood against Sauron while wielding a Palantir? no other could have.

Hold on a sec. Didn't Aragorn hold his own against Sauron with a Palantir?

Anyway, all this discussion of Bombadil just highlights why I, and I daresay many other people, found Bombadil nothing more than a curiosity. He was so powerful and so above the struggle, that it rendered him inert and unengaging.

JaimeInTexas: My wife did not like the space trilogy, because That Hideous Strength, for some reason, scared her.

That Hideous Strength was indeed scary, but no more so than current events.

Blogger JaimeInTexas March 05, 2015 1:49 PM  

Copperheaded. Gotta find what will ignite his spark.
My 2nd son would read and could not spell if his life depended on it. But, my wife got him a book, Rocket Divers, which she started reading aloud to him, and that book clicked. He read it and has not stopped reading since.
What kind of sport would fit his personality better? Depending where you are, surfing, tennis, racketball, cross country running? Gotta try to figure out what will ignite the spark.

Blogger Joshua Sinistar March 05, 2015 1:50 PM  

All this SJW BS is really just a sorry attempt at changing human nature by making boys more like girls and girls more like witches you want to burn at the stake. Times change, but human nature never does.
The more they push the more readers will go away, and then the genre will fall into the hands of others who don't use these things to try and shape reality to fit their delusions.

Anonymous Stickwick March 05, 2015 1:51 PM  

bob k. mando: the guy who has posted 14 times in this thread and is making terribad puns at us is haranguing us about our choice of discourse?

Don't question him, bob. He's a sigma. It is their way.

Blogger Ken March 05, 2015 1:52 PM  

Stickwick, I generally have to be reminded that Bombadil existed because he was so disjointed from the rest of the story. To this day, I still can't imagine his purpose in the narrative - and based on the comments, I'm not the only one.

Blogger Nate March 05, 2015 1:54 PM  

"Anyway, all this discussion of Bombadil just highlights why I, and I daresay many other people, found Bombadil nothing more than a curiosity"

But that's all Bombadil was ever intended to be. a reminder of a bigger universe with big mysteries.

Blogger rycamor March 05, 2015 1:59 PM  

Stickwick March 05, 2015 1:51 PM

bob k. mando: the guy who has posted 14 times in this thread and is making terribad puns at us is haranguing us about our choice of discourse?

Don't question him, bob. He's a sigma. It is their way.


"I'm a peacock. You've gotta let me fly!" (ref)

Blogger Quadko March 05, 2015 2:04 PM  

Bombadil ... I still can't imagine his purpose
Also, he's a Tolkien author insert, and Tolkien's admiration of his wife as Bombadil's wife, as I recall the discussions.

Blogger bob k. mando March 05, 2015 2:07 PM  

Stickwick March 05, 2015 1:51 PM
Don't question him, bob. He's a sigma. It is their way.



1 - pfffffft. Vox is the ur-Sigma and i question him when i deem it appropriate

2 - Sigma? or *Snowflake* Sigma?




Ken March 05, 2015 1:52 PM
To this day, I still can't imagine his purpose in the narrative



http://www.glyphweb.com/arda/t/tombombadil.html

Anonymous karsten March 05, 2015 2:20 PM  

This is the danger posed by the Pugs, the Rand al'Thors, the Harry Potters and so forth. In many ways, they are the precise opposites of the Frodos, the Conans, and the Marcus Valeriuses. (In the middle would be the Aragorns, the Tarans, and the Luke Skywalkers.) They are Special, with a capital S, but not due to anything they have ever done. They have Special powers and are innately recognized as superior beings with a right to lead, initially by the astute, but eventually by everyone.

Most importantly, they don't have to do much more than show up in order to have leadership handed to them on a silver platter, nor do they have to do much beyond be a figurehead and occasionally make Difficult Decisions. If you think about it, they are essentially what the average millennial thinks a CEO is, and they are handed that quasi-CEO status for nothing more than being Special.

Contrast this with Frodo. He is the hero, but he leads nothing and he gets no girl. All he does is shatter the power of Mordor and save the People of the West. Conan is the hero, wins a crown, and gets numerous girls, but he does it all through his deeds; he is the opposite of Special, being frequently dismissed as a mere barbarian


This is an extremely important and telling distinction. The SJW-type, gamma-pleasing hero of Team Pink is, in effect, "chosen" (there is no basis in merit for his renown). It is precisely the type of character who would appeal to individuals who have an armchair view of life.

The heroes of Team Blue end up in situations almost due to happenstance and achieve what they do because of actual hard work. This type of character appeals to those who earn their way in life and never ask for, let alone expect, a handout of any kind.

Blogger Gunnar von Cowtown March 05, 2015 2:22 PM  

@bob k. mando
"did you not notice all of the nerd spooging over the Joker?

Sure, but I reckon that Heath Ledger's untimely death ratcheted up said nerd spooging by about an order of magnitude.

Blogger Student in Blue March 05, 2015 2:24 PM  

@karsten
Do keep in mind that Pink vs Blue is not the same as Gamma vs Others, even though there's quite a bit of overlap between Gamma and Pink.

Anonymous GreyS March 05, 2015 2:24 PM  

This was an enlightening piece. I never put much thought in it, but my own divergence away from SFF was mostly due to this "Special" narrative.

I'm not what I would consider a "natural" SFF reader and came to it relatively late (prbly age 19 or so) after stumbling upon some good, entertaining, and enlightening stuff. But as I moved on in search of more, I kept finding the sort of books just as VD describes-- that young man who does nothing whatsoever to deserve his Specialness. It's so narcissistic and unreal to me. I think I even happened to pick up two non-related Secretly Special Baker's Son books back-to-back one time and grew bored and frustrated and just threw them away and moved on to other genres. Then with the addition of [other lame things in SFF documented so well here] I rarely saw much need to get back into it. Plus-- in those days-- where would one go to find rebel SFF voices? Maybe you'd luck into talking to a certain employee at Mysterious Galaxy, or run into a guy at school reading something interesting (etc etc) but now with the internet in full bloom one can join opposing voices rather easily.

Blogger Ken March 05, 2015 2:29 PM  

Bob: Holy crap, I probably should have read the Simarillion to understand 90% of this! Wow...so...the consensus is, "No one knows; keep guessing," and Tolkien wanted it that way, more or less.

Could it be the ultimate Mary Sue? Where Tolkien makes himself the only character in his narrative unaffected by his own narrative device?

Blogger James Dixon March 05, 2015 2:43 PM  

> you might want to consider pushing more Louis L'amour, Robert E. Howard, and Jack London...

Not coincidentally, I'm sure, three authors I can recommend to anyone.

> Wait until Tolkein becomes public domain, and then see how many times Sauron comes back.

Sauron, Bombadil, and "the rest of the story...": http://richardhartersworld.com/cri/2002/bombadil.html

Blogger bob k. mando March 05, 2015 2:47 PM  

Ken March 05, 2015 2:29 PM
Holy crap, I probably should have read the Simarillion to understand 90% of this!



uh, yes?

protip if you attempt the Silmarrilion, if you find it hard going just skip the first two 'books'. once you get past the creation narrative the story picks up quite a bit.



Ken March 05, 2015 2:29 PM
Could it be the ultimate Mary Sue?


it's a hypothesis.

however, i don't get the idea that Tolkien was in the habit of wearing gold boots with a blue jacket. or even black boots with a white jacket. he seems to have been more of a tweed man.

think of it as Zelazny, before Zelazny. making allusions to things and then never explaining them adds depth to the world.

it would also be true to the experience of many of the minor characters within that world.

Anonymous Stickwick March 05, 2015 2:48 PM  

Nate: But that's all Bombadil was ever intended to be. a reminder of a bigger universe with big mysteries.

That's more or less Ralph Wood's analysis.

Bombadil seems oblivious to all moral distinctions. He seems to dwell joyfully in the world without any possibility of defecting from his service to Iluvatar. Perhaps Tolkien wants his readers to discern the presence of other such creatures who dwell delightfully beyond good and evil. But while being an immensely interesting figure who rescues the hobbits from the Barrow-wights as well as Old Man Willow, Bombadil is morally and spiritually irrelevant to the struggle that lies at the heart of the Quest. ... Perhaps he is Tolkien's reminder that, while the world's hierarchy is carefully calibrated for our benefit, it contains anomalies that lie beyond our comprehension. Like the emblem placed atop the tallest spire when a medieval cathedral was finally finished, Bombadil may be Tolkien's own monkish gift to Iluvatar -- a creature not meant for our understanding but for the enjoyment of God alone.

Unlike Wood, I don't think Bombadil is immensely interesting. He was sort of interesting the first time I read LOTR, but after that, he just seemed tedious. He has no stake in the outcome of the Quest, and, as Wood points out, he rescues the Hobbits more to defend his territory than out of friendship or justice. Contrast him with the Elves. The Elves can leave Middle-earth any time they want, so, in a sense, they don't really have a stake in the outcome either -- except they seem to love Middle-earth, or at least aspects of it, and show interest in friendship and justice.

Leaving Bombadil out of the movies is one of the few creative decisions by Jackson and his merry band of marauding writers that I agree with.

Anonymous Ollie March 05, 2015 4:00 PM  

Vox,

This is a bit of a late post, but I’ve managed to stumble upon what I believe to be a simultaneously fascinating and horrifying case study depicting what can happen when a gamma is exposed to the wrong influences. In brief, the subject of this case is a young-ish blogger (now in his mid-twenties), whom over the span of roughly ten years, underwent a disturbing transformation.

That transformation is from a scrawny yet fairly handsome, though awkward and love-shy young straight man into a full-on batsh*t SJW bi-polyamorous pre-op tranny vegan feminist new-ager whom now resembles a chubby Janeane Garofalo, and literally eats out of garbage bins.

No, really. This actually happened, as far as I can gather.

The telltale signs of gamma behavior can be easily spotted by looking through many of the subject’s blog posts, which not only chronicle this disturbing story, but illuminate how easily gamma tendencies can be developed into leftist pathologies.

That gamma belief in oneself as innately special (as you describe in your post) led to a predictable turn into a series of new age beliefs and the eventual adoption of a hokey and self-flattering “old soul” indigo child identity.

In strikingly gamma fashion, one of the posts even explains why he no longer chooses to engage in debate, going through some pretty impressive mental gymnastics to elevate the art of deflection as the choice of true intellectuals. As you may deduce, this person sees the science on both global warming and the merits of veganism to be decisively settled.

I could leave a link, but I think this post probably leaves more than enough information for even the most casual googler to find the blog.

For those who are curious to see though, I advise you go easy on the guy and try to leave him alone. As absurd as his writing can get, I genuinely feel quite sorry for him and empathize with a lot of the trials and tribulations (running the gamut from standard teenage angst to legitimate and serious health issues) he has had to deal with. What’s more, if you can get past some of the “F**K YOU DAD!!!” tantrums, it appears that in a few areas, the poor kid’s heart is in the right place, daring to consider (or even hold) a contrarian view or two. I just wish he could have had somebody in his life to calm him down, mentor him and help turn him away from such a self-destructive path.

Blogger Markku March 05, 2015 4:02 PM  

My understanding of the purpose for forging The One Ring, is that all the other Rings of Power shared the same source of power. With The One Ring, Sauron was able to tap into this power, and due to his ring being more powerful than the rest, to corrupt the other rings and their owners. Thereby eventually turning them into nazgul.

Anonymous Ollie March 05, 2015 4:06 PM  

One last thing to add is that the hierarchy framework you developed and description of Gamma in particular, provides a very effective framework for decoding the actions and motivations of our dear friends on the far left.

Blogger Quadko March 05, 2015 4:19 PM  

He has no stake in the outcome of the Quest, and, as Wood points out, he rescues the Hobbits more to defend his territory than out of friendship or justice.
I think this again goes to the author insert nature of Bombadil. Can you think of a better description of a desired life of a "professor" or "academic" while the world war is raging? Or at least, what Tolkien wants out of such a life? Tom has fought his wars already.

Blogger luagha March 05, 2015 4:19 PM  

"That Hideous Strength, for some reason, scared her. "

That Hideous Strength is very real, especially in its portrayal of female political games at N.I.C.E.

Anonymous Steve March 05, 2015 4:31 PM  

My favourite LOTR characters are Gandalf (the Grey, he seemed a bit more approachable before he was sent back) and Sam Gamgee.

Frodo was a bit dull, wasn't he? Aragorn was interesting as the mysterious Strider, but less interesting as the man who would be king.

Pippin and Merry were more or less the same character, and Fatty Bolger could easily have filled in for either of them.

The Elves are completely insufferable.

Anonymous Barnabas March 05, 2015 4:34 PM  

"Anything escapist such as scifi and fantasy is inherently beta and could be considered dangerous to the potential real world aspirations of men."

"I've heard this before, many times...from women. What they mean is that they fear that such stories will distract men from doing what they think men should be doing. Which generally involves paying attention to them and their interests instead of pursuing their own."

That's because the escapist is no good for for beta bux or alpha fux. I still stand by my assessment.

Blogger Cataline Sergius March 05, 2015 4:41 PM  

Harry Potter looks like an excellent Alpha.

(*Snort*) If there is any Alpha in the Potterverse it's Draco Malfoy . The girls are so taken with him it has seriously freaked out, J.K. Rowling. I had fun with that a while back.

...Malfoy can gather resources, whether or not those resources wish to be gathered by him. He is a natural leader, (see Crab and Goyle) . No weak or submissive body language, (unlike Ron). And while a coward, Draco is willing to take risks and he appears to have no fear of failure. He doesn’t seek approval, even from Snape. Very competitive, he effortlessly dominates House Slytherin. The most ambitious house at Hogwarts, In fact, he appears to have had it under his heel from a very young age.


Malfoy projects an almost unnatural confidence. Good looks and money are just icing on the cake.

Clearly and obviously Rowling, Mary sue-ed herself into the story. Which is the only reason there will never be Harry Potter sequel called; Hermione Weasley and the Suspiciously Blonde Baby.

Blogger Marissa March 05, 2015 4:45 PM  

I could leave a link, but I think this post probably leaves more than enough information for even the most casual googler to find the blog.

Manboobz? No, I assume he's never been described as "scrawny".

Blogger frigger611 March 05, 2015 4:46 PM  

Nailed it, Vox.

But JW seems to be blessed in one way, that is, he is able to be brutally honest with himself and acknowledge his faults and weaknesses. That's huge. Because he can see the problem clearly, can identify it, he can work on fixing it.

I'm glad he's hanging round your sites. Good step in the right direction.

Anonymous Eric Ashley March 05, 2015 4:48 PM  

Sarah'sDaughter,

Its a factor. I'm Gen X, but given Sen. Gore, father of Al Gore, and Bush, father of W, and Bill, hubby of Hillary, a Millennial could be easily forgiven for thinking the deck was stacked. Because it is.

What does this site rant about frequently? The gatekeepers in SF holding down the good, and exalting tripe.

But as David Drake said...of course the game is rigged. You can't win if you don't play. A lot of men win without advantages handed to them.

Alphas and CEOs to be often have it easier than others, which lets them spend their energy on greater advances, which then yields greater advances.

I think a better question is 'who is the bravest?' And despite Alpha's feats, I doubt its t hem.

I think Harry Potter is part of the Alpha, and not wholly bad. One of the more noble qualities of these sorts is their generosity to lessers, which Potter demonstrated in many little ways.

Clear as mud?

Anonymous Steve March 05, 2015 4:57 PM  

Stickwick - What's all this Sarumon jazz? Do we have Jamaican Maiar or something?

Where do you think Longbottom Leaf came from, mon?

Frodo's rasta cousin, Jar-Jar Baggins, grew the good shit.

Anonymous Steve March 05, 2015 5:20 PM  

Eric Ashley - I think a better question is 'who is the bravest?' And despite Alpha's feats, I doubt its t hem.

The bravest character in LOTR is Samwise Gamgee, and he's no alpha. Not at first, anyway. Maybe he is by the time of the Scouring. I vaguely recall he becomes Mayor of Hobbiton in later life, so perhaps he develops into an alpha male.

At the start of Fellowship, Sam is just a young working class man who does a bit of gardening for Mr. Frodo, before getting shanghaied onto the quest by Gandalf. Frodo, Merry and Pippin are posh boys - country squires with polite accents who grew up in big houses. Sam is from the servant or tenant class, he's rough around the edges and the social inferior of his hobbit companions. He comes dangerously close to being the group's Snarf.

It's not even Sam's ring. But he carries the burden of it, for a while. He slays a giant spider. Stands against orcs and wolves and evil men. Walks into almost certain death. And gets the girl in the end.

So why was "Frodo Lives" a meme, and not "Sam Lives"?

On a side note, I very much enjoyed Sean Astin's portrayal of Sam in the films. Po-tay-toes!

Blogger S1AL March 05, 2015 5:24 PM  

Tom Bomadil is Tolkien's expression of the un-Fallen Adam, in many ways. He's a man of the earth, to the point that Sauron's power could never corrupt him the way it did men (because of their "lust for power"), but could destroy him and he as he destroyed the world.

That, and he highlighted that there was more to the story than just the Ring... there were Powers that existed beyond the struggle of the Third Age.

It's a bit sad that Tolkien's weirdest and least-popular character inclusion is still deeper and more interesting than 99.9% of the dreck that is produced today.

Anonymous pseudotsuga March 05, 2015 5:47 PM  

The discussion of Tom Bombadil always has to take into account why Tolkien wrote LoTR and how long it took him to do so.
The success of the Hobbit surprised him and his publishers. Most of what he wrote and was interested in up to that point was actually the backstory to his invented languages and places (i.e. what we find in the Silmarillion and 90% of his unpublished stuff). Thus, when his publishers asked for a Hobbit sequel, he had to start from scratch, basically--he had the backstory but not what happened next.
So, the Fellowship of the Ring begins where the Hobbit left off, and remains a continuation of Hobbitesque thinking through the Old Forest and Bombadil sequence up to Bree (if I recall correctly.) At that point, Tolkien dropped the manuscript for an extended period of time (and I can't remember why now...argg...I should remember this!)
When he picked up the novel again, after the hiatus, he had a clearer idea (plot structure, etc.) of where it was going to end up, and so the tone of the story changes. In effect, the first part of the LoTR was, in fact, merely a sequel to the Hobbit, with a similar tone, and a lot of that still peeks through the edited and re-written text today.
And that brings us to the problematic Bombadil: he's a product of the Hobbit world (whimsy and mystery), rather than the Lord of the Rings world (Epic Fantasy and Legendary History.) This is why Bombadil just doesn't really "fit" in the later narrative. (We must also note Tolkien's poems about Tom Bombadil, from the early 30s, when the Hobbit was being written, which place Bombadil in Tolkien's world prior to the LoTR.)
Sorry for the brief thread hijack, but I too was puzzled by Bombadil's presence in the story. I always had a soft spot for that part of the LoTR, since it is the most mystical, transcendental part of the narrative (to wit, the storytelling sequence in which Tom basically recites the history of the world backwards from the present to the early past).

So, dragging back on main topic here:
As a young boy reading the LoTR, I realized that Samwise Gamgee is the true hero. Without him, the quest would have failed, many times over, and there was nothing special about him other than his dogged determination to see the job through, and get back home.
In the world of Harry Potter, I much prefer Neville Longbottom and Luna Lovegood as heroes (with the Weasley twins as close runners-up). Harry never really is an "actor," but is a constant "reactor," who has no actual claim to fame other than the fact that he was The Boy Who Lived! The Potter books suffer from a major change shift in tone over the series, as Rowling's checks rolled in, she started to take herself and her works seriously, and nobody could tell her to EDIT!! EDIT!!! EDIT!!.

Anonymous Eric Ashley March 05, 2015 5:51 PM  

Harry vs two faced V. Is a good evidence for Gamma.

Anonymous Stickwick March 05, 2015 6:08 PM  

Steve: Frodo's rasta cousin, Jar-Jar Baggins, grew the good shit.

And that answers the question, "What would Satan do if he owned the rights to Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings?"

On a side note, I very much enjoyed Sean Astin's portrayal of Sam in the films. Po-tay-toes!

You do realize you're provoking Nate by saying stuff like that...

Blogger Desiderius March 05, 2015 6:09 PM  

pseudotsuga,

"Samwise Gamgee is the true hero"

Agreed.

The sun never set on the Empire that enjoyed the services of deltas like Sam, understood their importance, and honored their contributions. That was the world that gave birth to Tolkien, and whose wisdom is preserved in his writing.

Blogger luagha March 05, 2015 6:09 PM  

"Frodo was a bit dull, wasn't he?"

Go back and read some of Frodo's conversations with people of power and authority - Boromir, Galadriel, Faramir, and more.

Over and over, he demonstrates that he's very good at getting them to stumble over their own contradictions and reveal themselves to him and to themselves. When you look at it right, it's wonderful to see.

My personal favorite is when he's talking to Faramir, whose special forces team has captured them on suspicion of them being the strangest little spies he's ever seen. And he gets Faramir to say, "Pah! Magic rings and foolishness led my brother to his death for nothing but a trinket. Why, if I saw that magic ring lying in a gutter at my feet I wouldn't spend the energy to bend down and pick it up!"

And Frodo says, "Funny you should mention...."

Blogger Kirk Parker March 05, 2015 6:29 PM  


"Eowyn"

Damn good thing she was just a fictional character.



"That is one thing I can't stand about the average fantasy book--the uber specialness of whomever the main character is."

Indeed. This is why I love, Love, LOVE That Hideous Strength. Plenty of special powers roaming around, but Mark Studdock is Just A Guy.

And JaimeInTexas, that's interesting. Part of my high opinion of THS comes from the fact that it does a good job of dealing with our human weaknesses and situations just as we really are. Lewis gets highest marks for, e.g. recognizing the sheer weirdness of evil in the "brainwashing" scene, and fabulous red-pill props regarding the ending with the mating antics of the bear and the (unstated) meeting between Mark and his wife.

Blogger dw March 05, 2015 7:02 PM  

"I think Harry Potter is part of the Alpha, and not wholly bad. One of the more noble qualities of these sorts is their generosity to lessers, which Potter demonstrated in many little ways."

Harry is more of a beta than an outright alpha. He has alpha level fame, wealth, and power, but delta level confidence and looks. He's not ambitious, but he got into the wizard sport on his own talent, he taught himself how to fight so he became the best duelist in the school, he learned and successfully performed an extremely complicated spell that most adults in the world couldn't do, killed a Basilisk, and other things that required lots of work on his part and a good deal of luck. He's not special in this regard.

Did he have help? Yeah, but he's a teenager, it'd be Mary Sue-ish if he did it all on his own merits because he's so special. Harry is liked by Millennials because he and most of the characters are very likable, the universe they live in is fun, and because it'd be really cool to discover you could do magic.

Blogger SarahsDaughter March 05, 2015 7:45 PM  

@Eric Ashley,
Al Gore is precisely the gamma who should never be in power. Even when he was handsome he was creepy - ick, yuck. - women don't have that kind of reaction to Alphas.
Bill Clinton - yep, Alpha. As is W.

Anonymous Koanic March 05, 2015 8:25 PM  

All hail Yahweh, Lord of Night, God of Monsters. Break the unbent knee.

Some readable sci fi:

The Chronicles of Old Guy (Volume 1) (An Old Guy/Cybertank Adventure)
Timothy J Gawne
2/5 quality, 1/5 blue pill. Fun trash.

The Martian: A Novel
Andy Weir
3/5 quality, 2/5 blue

Teleporter (a Hyllis family story #2)
Laurence Dahners
2/5 q, 2/5 blue

Hard Luck Hank series
Steven Campbell
4/5q, 1/5b

Telekinetic and Vaz
Laurence Dahners
3/5q, 1/5b (Neanderthal lit)

Somewhat fantasy:
Contractor
Andrew Ball
3/5q, 2/5b (memory fuzzy)

Anonymous Koanic March 05, 2015 10:07 PM  

Dude Tom Bombadil is an integral part of Tolkein's world. Literally. He's Aule.

Anonymous Koanic March 05, 2015 10:17 PM  

All hail Yahweh, Lord of Night, God of Monsters. Break the unbent knee.

Some readable sci fi:

The Chronicles of Old Guy (Volume 1) (An Old Guy/Cybertank Adventure)
Timothy J Gawne
2/5 quality, 1/5 blue pill. Fun trash.

The Martian: A Novel
Andy Weir
3/5 quality, 2/5 blue

Teleporter (a Hyllis family story #2)
Laurence Dahners
2/5 q, 2/5 blue

Hard Luck Hank series
Steven Campbell
4/5q, 1/5b

Telekinetic and Vaz
Laurence Dahners
3/5q, 1/5b (Neanderthal lit)

Somewhat fantasy:
Contractor
Andrew Ball
3/5q, 2/5b (memory fuzzy)

The difference between harry potter and harry dresden is that firearms complete break the potter universe and central plot device, whereas dresden gets taken out by a single sniper bullet - as is right and proper.

I'm not sure why this comment didn't post last time, but in case it was blasphemy police, Yahweh was God before light, and men are monsters.

Anonymous Koanic March 05, 2015 10:26 PM  

Lastly, I'm gonna go with Tom Bombadil as my favorite, because the lessons he teaches are so dense, and because he's the ultimate Tolkeinology shibboleth. Really, I'm in love with the truth-infused worldbuilding rather than a specific character, and Tom probably best embodies that. He humbles the era by placing it in context. And that's what Christians have forgotten how to do - becoming instead orcs discussing the finer points of cannibalism, in the modern era of Sauron's reign.

Anonymous Koanic March 05, 2015 10:34 PM  

"and Jack London on him than permit him to indulge himself "

Suggested essay topic: The kindness of the man in the red sweater.

Also, Psykosonik is now available on Pandora. Add it to your shuffle.

Anonymous Daniel March 05, 2015 10:50 PM  

So why was "Frodo Lives" a meme, and not "Sam Lives"?

Because, Frodo, not Sam, "dies" at the end of the book. Sam lives happily ever after. Sam living is obvious, Frodo living is a deep and surprising story.

Blogger dw March 05, 2015 11:09 PM  

"Dude Tom Bombadil is an integral part of Tolkein's world. Literally. He's Aule."

Dude we're not meant to know who Bombadil is. Tolkien himself said not everything should be explained in a story, that some things should remain mysteries. Bombadil is one of those things.

Anonymous Jack Amok March 05, 2015 11:26 PM  

" They influence, cajole, nag, but in general distrust their own ability to actaully do the thing.

Now, in women, or at least in feminine women, it's not such a bad thing..."

Bullshit. It's always a bad thing to cajole others into doing what you should be doing.


If I replace "cajole" with "offer sex in exchange for" will it make it more clear?

1 – 200 of 216 Newer› Newest»

Post a Comment

Rules of the blog
Please do not comment as "Anonymous". Comments by "Anonymous" will be spammed.

<< Home

Newer Posts Older Posts