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Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Mailvox: the king of all secret kings

BB believes he has discovered the King of all Secret Kings of fiction:
I believe I've found the most Gamma book in existence. It's called Ready Player One. It's about a guy who has to play retro games and recite lines of dialogue from movies to win a fortune. In one scene it describes him perfectly reciting every line from Monty Python's The Holy Grail, and how the people listening to him were cracking up and bursting into uncontrollable laughter as he did so.

The conversations between the protagonist and their friends are some of the worst examples of gamma behaviour I've ever seen unwittingly put on paper. Every scene displays the worst aspects of a Gamma.
I find it very hard to believe this character could top Kvoth from The Name of the Wind, but he definitely sounds like a serious candidate. And note that both of these books were successful and very warmly received by the tattered remnants of SF fandom.

Of course, the characters tell us so much more about the authors than we ever wanted to know....

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100 Comments:

Blogger MichaelJMaier March 31, 2020 11:03 AM  

The film was awful in parts, but less awful overall then I had expected. I do not understand "fan service". Make a damned good story. All the "winks" are gay.

Blogger Baseball Savant March 31, 2020 11:08 AM  

Nothing tops Kvoth. N.O.T.H.I.N.G!!! That book was painful.

Blogger Lazarus March 31, 2020 11:11 AM  

it became a film directed by Steven Spielberg. Novelist Ernest Cline

I can't seem to get the pic address. If you search Cline in images you will see the Emperor of the Secret Kings

Blogger Grooveware March 31, 2020 11:13 AM  

Mass book burnings...hope to see that day

Blogger Zaklog the Great March 31, 2020 11:14 AM  

My wife liked that book. On her recommendation, I started reading it (audiobook). I stopped maybe an hour in when he had what must have been a couple of pages sermon of secular humanism about how religion is stupid. I don't really want to spend much time listening to people who openly despise me.

Blogger Stilicho March 31, 2020 11:21 AM  

Monty Python lines/jokes are often appropriate when talking with friends. They just describe so many ridiculous situations we actually encounter in real life. None of us are as funny as the Pythons though.

They are never appropriate when talking to women.

Blogger TheMaleRei March 31, 2020 11:22 AM  

Heard about the movie, learned it was based on a book. One quick look at it and I knew it was going to be crap.
The only reason it did so well in theatres was the massive CGI battles with so many properties which have never been on screen together in a crossover the likes of which had never been seen before.

Commercially as opposed to fan creations of course.

Saw reviews and knew it was going to be crap.

Blogger brbrophy March 31, 2020 11:25 AM  

Never saw the movie, but enjoyed the book. Definitely a Gamma story, but the allegory of the virtual vs. real world is very much a Gamma becoming a Delta. Throughout the story the protagonist starts working out and becoming more masculine in the real world. In the end he wins by accepting the virtual world as a delusion and beating the antagonist in the real world, while the antagonist is still focused on the delusion.

Blogger Brett baker March 31, 2020 11:38 AM  

Now that I think about it, the book was pretty gamma. But, the girl had a birth mark on her. Pure gamma would have her better looking.

Blogger Doug Cranmer March 31, 2020 11:39 AM  

"... it describes him perfectly reciting every line from Monty Python's The Holy Grail, and how the people listening to him were cracking up and bursting into uncontrollable laughter as he did so."

I knew a guy in university who was exactly like that, except for everyone cracking up and laughing part. We all just made a point of ignoring him.

Blogger Nathan March 31, 2020 11:45 AM  

My gf likes me to read books to her. She was recommended Ready Player One, and we are about 60% through it.

The main character is pure cringe, particularly with the love interest. He has lurked on her blog for years, finally impresses her with his autistic talent for elaborate puzzles and knowledge of garbage 80s pop culture, then woos her clumsily and sexlessly until a sudden declaration of undying love scares her off. His next move? Bombarding her with messages and trying to make big showy displays of devotion.

The gf had her face buried in her hands for most of it moaning "Nooooo! Whhhyyyy????" 200 proof gamma.

Blogger lowercaseb March 31, 2020 11:49 AM  

@1 That's because the film had to be cleaned up to make it palatable to modern audiences, which is something to give us hope back then. Even at the most pozzed of 2018 the mass market was starting to get sick of all the "'member this" porn.

Nowadays, most folks are getting sick of all the adult babies.

Blogger Bobiojimbo March 31, 2020 11:53 AM  

I.. I enjoyed Ready Player One. I understand what that says about me. Characters aside, I liked the plot, and I liked the Oasis. It's nothing too original, but I had fun reading it.

@1 The whole book is fan-service. That was the point - of world of constant nostalgia.

I think Soda Pop Soldier is better, however.

Blogger Capital6 March 31, 2020 11:54 AM  

Rothfuss' second book is worse than the first.

A huge plot moment - one in which you are supposed to feel sympathy for Kvothe - could have all been avoided if Kvothe had been honest about his gypsy lineage at the outset. The character lost all respectability at that moment.

At least Ready Player One can be read as 80s nostalgia.

Blogger Rek. March 31, 2020 11:58 AM  

Why did you have to watch the movie? With what BB just wrote I want to watch it myself though.

Blogger Trid March 31, 2020 12:05 PM  

Read it as part of a book club. It's as dreadful as described. If I didn't know it was written earnestly I would have told you it was masterfully lampooning emotionally stunted diversity obsessed manchildren

I paid peanuts for my copy years ago and still regret my purchase.

Blogger Chris Ritchie March 31, 2020 12:05 PM  

From his Amazon description of apparently a poetry book: "Familiar and resonant, Cline's collection takes readers into a private landscape of science fiction, pop culture, and pornography. Ernest Cline is a geek, novelist, poet, and screenwriter based in Austin, Texas. In addition to winning poetry slams, Cline is known for screenwriting "Fanboys," released in 2009. He also recently sold the film rights to his latest book, "Armada."

Pornography. Video Games. Poetry.

The latest comment from Amazon was telling:

After reading Ready Player One and Armada, and wondering why I subjected myself to Cline in the first place, in my weakened state I purchased this set of poems. If you needed that final nail for your Clinean coffin, this should do the trick.

He is, I venture to say, an intelligent (?) human who likely was subjected to the taunts of his peers growing up. Most people learn from these experiences that acting this way is wrong and we learn not to judge others, but not Cline. He acts just as mean and judgmental as the bullies. But he is quick to say that he knows acting this way is wrong, but he’s going to do it anyway. Is there another definition besides self-destructive?

Blogger Bogey March 31, 2020 12:06 PM  

Mike Nelson did a whole series on that awful book called "372 Pages We'll Never Get Back." I actually owned Ready Player One, but never read it (I wish I could say the same for Red Shirts by John Scalzi), and sold it during the movie release on Ebay. The 1st printing fetched a decent price.

The most memorable scene they uncovered on the podcast was the protagonist had all of his hair removed....all of it. In my mind he resembled more manatee than human.

Blogger buzzardist March 31, 2020 12:11 PM  

I've only ever known that extreme level of geekiness in omegas. In quoting movie dialogues and memorizing games, gammas are only ever the lite version. But the idea that they could somehow win money, fame, and status by reciting movie lines and playing games? Total gamma. An omega already knows that he isn't going to win.

Blogger Happy Housewife March 31, 2020 12:15 PM  

Ready Player One was painful to read. When it comes to nostalgia and throwbacks, Nick Cole can't be beat.

But nothing tops Kvothe. I finally gave up when he apparently, as a total virgin no less, impressed and survived a sex goddess known for killing men with too much sex.

Please.

Blogger Leatherwing March 31, 2020 12:20 PM  

The fact that the book idolizes Wil Wheaton and John Scalzi should tell you all you need to know.

Blogger lckychrmsrr March 31, 2020 12:24 PM  

Baseball Savant wrote:Nothing tops Kvoth. N.O.T.H.I.N.G!!! That book was painful.

Not even Rand al'Thor? I was at least able to finish The Name of the Wind.

Blogger Sean March 31, 2020 12:25 PM  

Maybe the worst book I've ever read.

Blogger S. Thermite March 31, 2020 12:29 PM  

I listened to Ready Player One on audiobook after my librarian sister recommended it to me. Read by none other Wil Wheaton...I’d bash him but he didn’t do a bad job. I enjoyed it, and don’t recall any pornography or huge gamma cringe. Then again, it was about an isolated teenager, not a full grown man. I’ve also listened to and very much enjoyed Nick Cole’s “Ctrl Alt Revolt” and “Soda Pop Soldier”, which suspect may have been influenced by Ready Player One and also featured pop culture nostalgia.

Blogger Daniel March 31, 2020 12:36 PM  

I read the first kvoth book and thought it was basically Harry Potter/Eragon but even wordier. It wasn't until I tried the 2nd book that was merely a giant gamma screed that it was impossible to ignore.

In retrospect, the 1st book is gamma trash, but the 2nd is a horror show of secret kings. Did that beard weirdo feminist gasbag he ever try to finish the trilogy?

Blogger TheMaleRei March 31, 2020 12:37 PM  

Leatherwing wrote:The fact that the book idolizes Wil Wheaton and John Scalzi should tell you all you need to know.

Gross.

Blogger Daniel March 31, 2020 12:40 PM  

No, the birthmark is gamma-virtue signalling: see, she doesn't realize that the secret king's queen is the most beautiful princess on the pedestal. That's what makes her so special...and the gamma so insightful and wise: he sees her true self, even though her birthmark makes her as horribly scarred as Marilyn Monroe.

Blogger Daniel March 31, 2020 12:41 PM  

Try the 2nd book,Lckychrmsrr.

Blogger Desdichado March 31, 2020 12:43 PM  

It's also interesting that the movie adaptation was directed by Stephen Spielberg, and stars... a young Jewish kid who looks surprisingly like a slightly idealized version of a young Stephen Spielberg, including identical glasses.

Blogger Silly but True March 31, 2020 12:46 PM  

In terms of the teen nerd literature canon, the movie was entertaining enough. I was always on the fence about the book, but ultimately its encyclopedic-like name-checking exposition dump just a stupid premise.

Although its lack any shower battle scene, an obligatory canonical element of the genre predating even Ender, was absolutely surprising given Spielberg was the director; although since I never read the book I can’t say whether it it existed in source prose but just discarded for the movie.

Also, the bukkake of 80s icons in the finale has its good and bad. I get that it was a cool thing to put all these beloved properties together. However, it did rape my twenties Iron Giant nostalgia. It raped it to death.

Blogger Xellos March 31, 2020 12:47 PM  

Happy Housewife wrote:But nothing tops Kvothe. I finally gave up when he apparently, as a total virgin no less, impressed and survived a sex goddess known for killing men with too much sex.

Please.


I'd believe that if it was just "survived".

Blogger Caesar Rodney March 31, 2020 1:00 PM  

And I thought the film was the most blue pilled Gamma vicariography ever made. But of course, it's based on a book.

The film was directed by Steven Spielberg? Wow.

Blogger MichaelJMaier March 31, 2020 1:03 PM  

I didn't "have to", my brother is (was?) a movie theater manager so I nearly never pay to watch movies. He and a friend recommended it. I'd never heard of the book beforehand.

Blogger Silly but True March 31, 2020 1:03 PM  

I actually had my Wheel of Time moment, thankfully, about a quarter of the way through Book 3 that I had gotten as collection for Christmas a couple years after it had become the bog thing in fantasy and I literally sat there reading a passage, but it registered in my mind “wtf are you wasting your time on here,” closed it up and never gave it another glance.

Blogger Damelon Brinn March 31, 2020 1:04 PM  

Oh yes. I'll second the recommendation of Mike Nelson's 372 Pages podcast on it; much more enjoyable than reading it. It even has things like an atheist screed plugged in for no reason. The love interest is "all curves" with a birthmark to give her an imperfection he can look past, and he makes a big deal about how real men don't want the perfect Barbie doll type. It's pure 17-year-old know-it-all Secret King, coming from a man in his 40s.

Cline has also done spoken word poetry that's even worse.

Blogger Balkan Yankee March 31, 2020 1:05 PM  

@3: The Emperor of Secret Kings is emotionally disturbed. One can see the whites of his eyes around his pupils in multiple photos, which presents as a weird, electrified look.

Blogger First time listener, long time caller March 31, 2020 1:05 PM  

Watch the documentary Atari: Game Over, about the unearthing of the buried Atari 2600 ET cartridges, to witness the completely unnecessary injection of Ernest Cline, who, in some kind of Voltron-like combination of gamma and nostalgia, meets George RR Martin and is given a DeLorean to drive to the dig site.

Blogger VD March 31, 2020 1:12 PM  

I literally sat there reading a passage, but it registered in my mind “wtf are you wasting your time on here,” closed it up and never gave it another glance.

Wise, you are. It took me until Book Six to realize that the whole series was irredeemable. And I HATED Rand al'Thor from the start. Part of why I kept reading was in the hopes that his lesbian warrior women would murder him.

Blogger Doktor Jeep March 31, 2020 1:14 PM  

So what's the best fictional of an alpha protagonist?

Blogger Out of Nod March 31, 2020 1:17 PM  

Read "Ready Player One" back in 2013 at the recommendation of my roommates. Back then I thought it was alright but as I delved more into blogs such as this, I've come to see it as nerd porn at best and subversive at worst. Never saw the movie.

Blogger Skyler the Weird March 31, 2020 1:17 PM  

I thought the book was an ok homage to 1980s nerdiness with the D&D and Joust puzzles. The true cringe worthy book is Armada his second book that combines Enders Game and the Last Starfighter.

Blogger swiftfoxmark2 March 31, 2020 1:18 PM  

Daniel wrote:I read the first kvoth book and thought it was basically Harry Potter/Eragon but even wordier. It wasn't until I tried the 2nd book that was merely a giant gamma screed that it was impossible to ignore.

In retrospect, the 1st book is gamma trash, but the 2nd is a horror show of secret kings. Did that beard weirdo feminist gasbag he ever try to finish the trilogy?


He's working on it.

Remember, it took him nine years to get a college degree, so it'll probably be the end of this decade before he finishes it.

Blogger Skyler the Weird March 31, 2020 1:19 PM  

I had borrowed the wheel of time from a neighbor and it took me three years to finish. Had no desire to read the second one. I found even Eragon to be more engrossing.

Blogger Martin Marprelate March 31, 2020 1:30 PM  

I got the audiobook and I refunded it after 3 chapters. I tried hard to like it because my friends recommended it but, man....

Blogger Rek. March 31, 2020 1:30 PM  

Considering what BB wrote do you think the movie is a good enough gamma case study?

Blogger Yossarian March 31, 2020 1:34 PM  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ccw4OepTDUY
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0459124/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

Quick synopsis: Police try to apprehend an unknown fugitive. The hunt gets more and more absurd culminating to fighter jets chasing the fugitive down a tunnel. The police manage to block his exit and stall his car. On inspection the car was completely empty save for some dog tags on the driver's seat which said "PLAYER ONE".

It's a very memorable short. Pretty sure Ernest saw it too and tried his darndest to dumbify it as best as he could.

Blogger Unknown March 31, 2020 1:41 PM  

The book SUCKS and it's 100 pages too long. Far too much exposition and unnatural dialogue. The 80s references were interesting at first but got boring very quickly.

The protagonist is completely annoying and there are sufficient hints in the protagonist's background for one to deduce that xe is a stand-in for Cline.

I haven't read "Armada" but it's clearly a ripoff of the "Last Starfighter" from the 80s.

Cline is trying his best to ruin the 1980s. He's become a self-professed "expert" on old ATARI games and he's ruining them faster than one of Nolan Bushnell's corporate stooges.

#37 - I haven't seen that but the DeLorean is probably Cline's actual car. He bought one and tricked it out to look like Doc Brown's vehicle.

Blogger IAMSpartacus0000 March 31, 2020 1:41 PM  

Soda Pop Soldier was much better.
Ready Player One, was fun for what it was. But sounds like it didnt match the book as well.

Would love to see CTRL ALT Revolt as a Movie.

Blogger Happy Housewife March 31, 2020 1:42 PM  

Oh, he completely and totally satisfied her like no one ever had before! But, he leaves her. Because of the girl he loves. The one who strings him along, is totally in love with him, but ends up shacking up with rich, handsome men. But, yeah, she *really* loves him. It's a grand love story. Or something

Blogger Seeingsights March 31, 2020 1:43 PM  

I haven't read Ready Player One but saw the movie.

I interpreted the movie as an anti-Boomer allegory.

In 2045, people seek regular escape from life through the virtual reality entertainment universe called OASIS.

One of the founders of OASIS, James Halliday, died and in a pre-recored message announced a game in which the winner gets ownership of OASIS. This contest involves 1980s pop culture.

It is clear that OASIS founder James Halliday is a Generation Xer.

Young people play OASIS to escape their crummy reality.

The allegory: Young's people crummy reality was created by the Boomers. Generation Xers are trying to improve things as best they can.


Blogger Randomatos March 31, 2020 2:13 PM  

The Rifftrax for the movie are a good way to take it down a peg or three.

Blogger VD March 31, 2020 2:13 PM  

Considering what BB wrote do you think the movie is a good enough gamma case study?

How would I know? I've never read the book nor seen the movie.

Blogger justaguy March 31, 2020 2:23 PM  

Saw the movie-- it was very bad. Stupid plot-- too contrived, no chemistry, and didn't care about mc.... Will be easy for AltH to be better. Too bad the new rules will make everyone wear masks the whole time, even in fiolming!

Blogger Cinco March 31, 2020 2:29 PM  

I personally thought the nostalgia of Ready Player One was done in such a near perfect manner that it made up for the gamma-ness of it. The movie was an utter embarrassment, don’t watch it. Nerds have a hopelessly tough time writing alpha protagonists, for obvious reasons.

As for the best fictional protagonist... Great question, I’ll go with go with: Han Solo. If we are talking only written works of fiction: I’ll go with Edmond Dantes.

Blogger Chris Lopes March 31, 2020 2:30 PM  

Soda Pop Soldier is MUCH better.

Blogger Zaklog the Great March 31, 2020 2:36 PM  

@39 So what's the best fictional of an alpha protagonist?

I'm not Vox, so I don't know what my opinion is worth. I'm also a self-classified low delta. I don't tend to harbor revenge fantasies when wronged is the main reason I'm pretty sure I'm not gamma.

Anyway, literary example of an alpha? I just got done reading a collection of Conan the Barbarian stories. I think he qualifies pretty well. Honestly, a lot of pulp heroes from the early 20th century probably fills the bill.

The Pool of the Black One showcases the traits pretty well.

Blogger Newscaper312 March 31, 2020 2:50 PM  

Brbrophy and seeing sights are both correct about the book. Of course it's equal parts wish fulfillment and geek nostalgia. But the guy does actually transform into more of a man w a real world mission and risks his actual life. The book does have some depth Spielverg through away, hell a couple of the player friends are murdered, not just the aunt.
The movie gives actual eye candy of course, swapping more shallower, current pop culture references for accessibility and makes it more kid friendly.
Worst crime of the movie vs book is that to crank up the girl power they steal main guys actually dangerous infiltration of the bad guys and give it to *her* to do.

Blogger Joseph March 31, 2020 2:52 PM  

Anything by Larry Correia

Blogger Dan in Georgia March 31, 2020 2:57 PM  

Seeingsights wrote:I haven't read Ready Player One but saw the movie.

I interpreted the movie as an anti-Boomer allegory.

In 2045, people seek regular escape from life through the virtual reality entertainment universe called OASIS.

One of the founders of OASIS, James Halliday, died and in a pre-recored message announced a game in which the winner gets ownership of OASIS. This contest involves 1980s pop culture.

It is clear that OASIS founder James Halliday is a Generation Xer.

Young people play OASIS to escape their crummy reality.

The allegory: Young's people crummy reality was created by the Boomers. Generation Xers are trying to improve things as best they can.



Heh. It's a ripoff of "Willy Wonka"

Blogger Newscaper312 March 31, 2020 3:01 PM  

I got some fun out of RPO, with limited expectations going in. Did not read it when first came out. I tried Armada and it was lame.
Coles Soda Pop Soldier was quite fun, but the whiplash "Life on Mars" stwist at the end of its sequel Pop Kult Warlord makes me wonder if he knows wheres hes going w next one. Hope's it's not like so many TV series that have a killer hook, but no idea what to do with it.. Lost, BSG etc

Blogger Azimus March 31, 2020 3:22 PM  

So it makes sense that movies would be about gammas, gammas watch movies and buy merchandise.

The question is, do alphas watch movies, and which movies were made for them? I don't mean "Wolf of Wallstreet" bullcrap, thats just a keyhole movie made for the gamma. I thought of Glengarry Glen Ross? Possibly Patton? Others? I don't think there are many.

Is it possible to make a movie for a Sigma? Castaway? Beautiful Mind?

Blogger Dont Worry About Me March 31, 2020 3:25 PM  

Gamma male makes for good comedic relief and villains. They dont fit as anything else lol

Blogger Silly but True March 31, 2020 3:28 PM  

@Doktor:

The first and still the best: Aragorn, son of Arathorn.

Blogger awildgoose March 31, 2020 3:51 PM  

Silly but True wrote:I actually had my Wheel of Time moment, thankfully, about a quarter of the way through Book 3 that I had gotten as collection for Christmas a couple years after it had become the bog thing in fantasy and I literally sat there reading a passage, but it registered in my mind “wtf are you wasting your time on here,” closed it up and never gave it another glance.

Heh, I slogged all the way to Book 7 of the Wheel of Time before I realized, "life's too short!"

Blogger Dire Badger March 31, 2020 4:30 PM  

The movie was a shallow, nearly plotless dive into beautiful, CG-rendered nostalgia. Much like Avatar or x-men. Worth watching for art value alone. Don't try to take away anything more than you would an hour and a half spent listening to pop music with winamp visuals.

The book was complete crap and actively harmful to the reader.

Blogger Emmanuel March 31, 2020 4:54 PM  

Wasn't Harry Potter the mainstream indepassable horizon ?

Blogger Nate73 March 31, 2020 5:17 PM  

Why would reciting dialogue from old movies flawlessly be something gammas would do?

Blogger Azure Amaranthine March 31, 2020 5:25 PM  

At some point I realized that a lot of male fantasy main characters don't have any character to speak of. I also realized I was reading them more for the escapist settings than the intentionally blank characters. That was two signals to stop reading.

It's popular with the geek crowd specifically because the main character is a vague blob of nothing and they can project themselves into it effortlessly. The dudes that would be revolted by the simpering typically don't bother to read fantasy in the first place once they're older than maybe fourteen.

Blogger Ransom Smith March 31, 2020 5:50 PM  

The Virgin Ready Player One.
The Chad Enders Game.

Blogger Newscaper312 March 31, 2020 5:55 PM  

Maximus
My favorite men being men movies is Master and Commander. Unabashedly masculine: patriotic, reverent, marital heroics, teamwork, leadership and different examples of strong male friendship. In hindsight most of the SSH is on display.

Blogger rikjames.313 March 31, 2020 6:03 PM  

They named a bar after this book in the somewhat safe area of Detroit (it is near the Greektown area where the more well off city residents like to pay $400 for a bottle and shoot each other at 2 am, but fairly safe in the early evening).

It is full of late 80s early 90s video games, decently priced craft beer, and pretty good pizza. I liked it but didn't super love it. I ended up reading few chapters of the book of the bar. It wasn't as bad as the tor minority sci fi books I have tried to read, but it wasn't good or worth reading

Blogger Newscaper312 March 31, 2020 6:09 PM  

Re Master and Commander
Captain = Alpha
Doctor = Beta with a streak of Sigma? "Fighting Naturalist"
Sr Lieutenant who takes the prize home = Alpha in training?
Sailing Master, Midshipman First Mate etc = Betas
Plenty of rock solid Deltas
Weak Sr Middie who ends killing himself as a Jonah = not exactly sure Omega/Gamma? Or maybe could a been a Delta but in over his head.
Youngest Midshipman, a child Lord, who loses his arm = future Alpha or maybe Sigma

Blogger MichaelJMaier March 31, 2020 6:20 PM  

Azimus wrote:So it makes sense that movies would be about gammas, gammas watch movies and buy merchandise.

The question is, do alphas watch movies, and which movies were made for them? I don't mean "Wolf of Wallstreet" bullcrap, thats just a keyhole movie made for the gamma. I thought of Glengarry Glen Ross? Possibly Patton? Others? I don't think there are many.

Is it possible to make a movie for a Sigma? Castaway? Beautiful Mind?


FORD VS FERRARI is one of the most unapologetically masculine films I've ever seen.

I marveled that it got made and played out on screen so well. Epic film.

I would put WORLD'S FASTEST INDIAN up there too. Anthony Hopkins isn't really "alpha" but 1: he's a Kiwi and 2: it's still a masculine pursuit, chased in a madcap manner that's a true joy to behold.

Blogger Newscaper312 March 31, 2020 6:22 PM  

@awildgoose
Robert Jordan was the paleo-GRRM.
GRRM with even more Grrl Power transposed against endless, pointless female bickering.
Hell maybe that was axreasonable description of women in power... but toxic to reading enjoyment for any normal m.j ale.

Blogger Sterling Pilgrim March 31, 2020 6:25 PM  

I’ll see BB’s RPO and raise him a Pixels... it’s a whole squad of Gamma kings

Blogger God Emperor Memes March 31, 2020 6:28 PM  

John Clark/Kelly

Blogger Damelon Brinn March 31, 2020 6:40 PM  

Cline is trying his best to ruin the 1980s.

Yes. It's the dumbest, shallowest possible form of nostalgia, just "Remember this? And this? And this?" That's what started the push-back against it after it sold a zillion copies. Someone tweeted out a screenshot from the book that was just a list of shit he likes, and it went viral for how awful it was.

That's the other thing: it's not really 80s stuff, it's just pop culture stuff Ernest Cline likes. For instance, he's huge on Monty Python's Holy Grail, made in the 70s, calling it the ultimate geek movie. He pulls in references from all through his lifetime, regardless of the supposed 80s fixation of the guy in the story.

Here's a sample of the writing, for anyone who's curious: "Halliday is at a high school dance being held at a large gymnasium. He is surrounded by teenagers whose clothing, hairstyles, and dance moves all indicate that this time period is the late 80s." Really paints a picture, doesn't he?

Blogger Silent Draco March 31, 2020 7:04 PM  

Newscaper312,

Doctor is a classical Sigma.
Midshipman "Jonah" definitely a Gamma
Lt. Pullings (Cdr. Pullings in the book) is a quieter Alpha, subordinated himself to Jack for seagoing command opportunities like that.

Movie is good, but the books are better. I re-read the series after learning the SSH. Archetypes flew off the pages. With time on my hands, they'd be good for some evening comfort reading. The audiobooks are also very good.

Blogger Newscaper312 March 31, 2020 7:13 PM  

@MichaelJMaier
Re Ford vs Ferrari
Agree, amazingly well done, w astonishingly zero retconned PC BS.
Aside from the great characterization, the ending much more complex than just "We won!" Was nexpected and surprisingly moving.
Also, it serves as a reminder that even in the mid-60s, America was still itself in most places and ways. The Boomers try to steal the whole decade of "the 60s" to make it all about themselves w The Beatles and psychedelia, dirty hippies and Woodstock. Here in the Deep South as an older Gen X kid, the early 70s still had some of that feel, far from SF and NYC.


My nominee above was Master and Commander.
I may have to buy Ford vs Ferrari to keep for the long haul beside it.

Blogger Kraemer March 31, 2020 8:18 PM  

They think it gets their secret king status recognized. Like they're trying to impress with their ability to recite, whereas higher status people would use a quote to make a point.

Blogger Newscaper312 March 31, 2020 9:38 PM  

@Silent Draco
I think I read the first book, Far Side of the World? Some time after the movie came out. I ate up all the Hornblower books in HS in the early 80s and loved the A&E mini before they turned to shit. Shame more were never done. I'll revisit the Aubrey books. Forrester's was a bit more accessible, not quite so into the old RN jargon.
Wasn't quite sure about the Jonah, as he had the conflict avoidance and crippling insecurity, but saw none of the Secret King resentment.
Question: Did the Aubrey & Maturin series have any climax as a whole, or finale?
Or just a final book Late in their career?

Blogger James Fox Higgins March 31, 2020 9:46 PM  

Can confirm. Gamma-est book I can imagine. Terrible writing, but total 80s pop culture sperg porn, and the film by Spielberg reflected this perfectly.

Blogger James Fox Higgins March 31, 2020 9:46 PM  

They even hired Wil Wheaton to read the audio book, and in the Ready Player One universe, Wil Wheaton is referred to as one of the future leaders of the "Oasis" virtual universe. So there's that.

Blogger John Rockwell March 31, 2020 10:40 PM  

Apparently because God is Alpha many Gammas hate him:
https://www.bitchute.com/video/K6WAQNPcaJ5P/

That's why so many Gammas are atheist.

Blogger John Rockwell March 31, 2020 10:52 PM  

^@Zaklog the Great

Blogger VFM #7634 March 31, 2020 11:17 PM  

@Doktor Jeep

John Carter of Mars books are pretty good

Blogger Guy Incognito March 31, 2020 11:32 PM  

Side note, but 20 years ago I worked at a computer store and hired a bright kid who presented and interviewed well.

Within DAYS everybody hated him. Literally everybody in the store. I fucking hated him.
He also quoted Holy Grail lines constantly.

He was just oblivious to what needed to be done. Before long everybody was openly mocking him. Even the short, fat kid we had who wore too much axe body spray to mask his BO mocked him.

Eventually I just sat him down and told him it wasn't working out.

He cried.

Everybody celebrated when he left.


I've seldom had somebody irk me that much, but this guy did. My first experience with the gamma.

Blogger map April 01, 2020 12:04 AM  

I had seen Ready Player One a few months ago. Because of all the Q memes, I cannot separate Spielberg's movies from the...rumors.

The whole movie comes off to me like a pedophile designing a child's bedroom.

I still remember the brief background conversation in the Oasis bar where a bunch of teenage female avatars were talking about penis sizes and its enjoyment. Completely inappropriate but within earshot of the background character and the audience.

Spielberg is disgusting.

Blogger Student in Blue April 01, 2020 12:20 AM  

@39. Doktor Jeep
So what's the best fictional of an alpha protagonist?

My father's recommended anything by Louis L'Amour as what he considers to be the epitome of manly, but I haven't read a Louis L'Amour book in ages and don't have a particular interest in doing so.

Can anyone else second that recommendation or is Louis L'Amour more of a delta fantasy?

Blogger Silent Draco April 01, 2020 2:45 AM  

@Newscaper312, the Aubrey/ Maturin series reaches its climax in book 20, Blue at the Mizzen. Each book is fairly stand-alone. Forrester's wrote as a screenwriter, with historical props. O'Brian used RN despatched and logbooks, transposing his characters into historical actions and voyages.

Anonymous Anonymous April 01, 2020 3:36 AM  

A lot of modern science fiction is a specific wish fulfilment fantasy of disproving religion, especially Christianity.

The emotional payoff of having my retarded opinions confirmed is far more pertinent than plot and character development.

You see this in a lot of books and films. The “logic” is that obviously when people are living on distant planets a thousand years in the future, interacting with alien races that evolved in different environments, then Christianity specifically cannot be true.

This is the basic premise of Star Trek and in spite of the lack of any plot and the horrifically cheesy acting, is the major reason for its enduring popularity among the nerd gamma crowd.

See also Big Bang Theory where the snarky atheist dork gets the hot babe. Pure wish fulfilment fantasy.

Blogger Akulkis April 01, 2020 6:52 AM  

"Is it possible to make a movie for a Sigma?"

Most every Clint Eastwood movie that is generally remembered.

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly;
the Dirty Harry movies; and the Every Which Way But Loose series (Philo Bedoe vs. the bikers).

Eastwood is a solid Silent
The early Dirty Harry movies were anti-Boomer.
Magnum Force (the vigilante cop squad) was a message to GenX to not take Dirty Harry as a literal role model.

Blogger OvergrownHobbit April 01, 2020 12:07 PM  

Good, exciting takes for the enjoyment of an alpha male:

Two Years Before the Mast
The Leather-stocking Tales (If Mark Twain didn't ruin them for you
Anything by Jack London
And by Bernard Cornwall: Sharpe's Rifles

https://www.goodreads.com/series/40550-the-sharpe-series

Also, if you're a dog person, Gary Paulson's My Life In Dog Years.


Blogger GK Chesterton April 01, 2020 1:20 PM  

Two notes, Larry's characters aren't very alpha (at least in MHI). They are mostly goofy strong-nerds in the delta category.

Second, I'm a completest so I read both "Name of the Wind" books in the hope things got better. Boy was I wrong.

Blogger Canada78Bear April 01, 2020 5:03 PM  

Must be the Mandela effect. Never heard of this book, movie or even recognize any of they actors in the movie trailer when I looked it up.

Blogger Akulkis April 01, 2020 8:19 PM  

The movie was only 3 ~ 4 years ago.

Blogger Jack of Shadows April 01, 2020 8:22 PM  

True but remember the main character is young - he is a fat, geeky, kid in high school. So from that perspective, of course he is a gamma. What else would he be?

Blogger Angela April 02, 2020 12:48 PM  

Kvoth reminds me of the kind of woman who would rather wait for someone else to come and save her. He reminds me of the type of chick that storms off in hopes that a man will chase her. The insane giely who opens a car door in an argument while the car is still rolling. I think Rothfuss writes beautiful sentences but his character was just gross.

Blogger brbrophy April 02, 2020 3:21 PM  

Pendragon by DJ McHale is still by far the best young adult sci-fi/fantasy series. If you don't like Ready Player One you might like Pendragon, especially if you find a story in which the protagonist is battling convergence

Blogger James Jameson April 09, 2020 1:11 AM  

Here's an excerpt:
https://i.4cdn.org/lit/1586266205169.jpg

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