Someone For Everyone
I love the image above. It’s a display of an archaic form of societal ritual present in wolves. In it, you see the seeds of civilization and even a primitive form of grace.
The two wolves just had a dominance dispute. It’s easy to see that the wolf on the left won and the wolf on the right lost. Teeth bared, the Alpha wolf is putting the Beta wolf into it’s place. The Beta is licking the Alpha’s snout. It’s a display of submission and a negotiation. That negotiation is going something like this:
Beta Wolf- "I'm sorry about that. I suck. Here, here's my throat. Go ahead and tear it out."
Alpha Wolf- "Yeah, true. You DO suck and I COULD kill you, but you might come in handy if we need to take down an elk. So I'm going to let you live, just stop being such a shitweasel."
Beta Wolf- "Okay, thanks bro!"
Here we see that dominance hierarchies aren’t run solely by tyranny and destruction. A tyrannical wolf who killed every contender to the crown would be taken out quickly by three wolves who are half as strong. This wolf pack exists in it’s functional form because the Alpha is powerful and able to maintain order in showing mercy. The Beta has his place. The pack can survive.
So “Dominance Hierarchy” isn’t a great definition. It’s something more like “Competence Hierarchy”.
The Beta males in society have their place as well. They serve a purpose and can be useful. They can grow, evolve and find a place. Develop their skill sets and eventually move from a low rung in society to a higher one. The miracle of English common law is that EVERYONE is of value and has a spark of the divine. In the West we have social mobility. You can be born poor and grow rich. You can have a terrible upbringing and grow into the most psychologically robust individual in your peer group.
Can someone who stays in their low rung in society ever have a partner? They certainly can.
Certain individuals might actual prefer submissive, weak men to partner with. This works for LGBTQ couples and any combination you can think of, but let’s use a cisgendered relationship for example.
Take an adult male who’s been lorded over by a tyrannical mother, who herself never let her son grow into manhood for fear she might lose control over him. He will seek out a replacement for his mother as soon as he can wiggle out from under her thumb.
Take an adult woman who’s greatest fear is abandonment. She may find that the weak, submissive man is just what she’s looking for. She takes the place of his mother, knowing he will never leave or hold her accountable. They are fulfilling each other’s needs in a splendid display of a Freudian cliche.
Peter Pan never grows up and Wendy never gets a capable man. It’s pure Ozzie and Harriet.
No One For A Generation
We live in strange times
I am a generation or two removed from the internet culture which spawned the term “Incel” (I.E. involuntary celibate) and it’s a deep hole that I don’t suggest you go down unless you have to.
Reddit, 4chan and other sites have communities of young men who identify as “forever alone”. They have collectively embraced their hopelessness and many of them have given up the idea that they will ever find a partner.
It gets worse. MGTOW stands for “Men Going Their Own Way” which is a benign statement on it’s face, but under the surface it’s straight up misogyny. I recently sat through a video of a young man rambling on about what MGTOW is. It wasn’t pleasant. Here’s the gist, “Women suck, we don’t need them.”
I don’t see it getting any better. These guys are bitter, resentful and they vote. I work with students and I see some of them are either involved or adjacent to online content such as Incel’s and MGTOW. I don’t know how they’re going to go. I try to enrich people lives through music but like anything music requires discipline and effort to do well. I see some of these students just unwilling to try. Stuck in a hole of self-deprivation and online gaming.
I can’t help but sympathize. Yes, life is an endless cesspool of suffering and tragedy. When I was 19, me and every one of my friends were Incels. Then we decided to find something meaningful to do. We joined bands, got jobs, did church retreats. We met girls, we learned to socialize. We went on dates, held ourselves accountable for our behavior. Got girlfriends, some got married, others stayed single. We learned to become adults. It was hard, life was still a cesspool of suffering and tragedy but we found some meaning.
People without meaning are dangerous. Useless, incapable adults will find some other means to make their presence known in the world. It can lead to incomprehensible mayhem and destruction.
This is where the road to nihilism leads. This is the last stop for the embittered and lost.
There’s a new breed of killer out in society. They’re no the traditional serial killers, for they don’t plan on escaping the one event at which they unleash hell. The school shooters and mass shooters are out to prove that they are more than nothing. They have invented their own hierarchy removed from the traditional ones nature imposed. None of them would be there without a sufficient meaning and a purpose in life.
I would read Eric Harris’ journal. It’s not fun. It’s relatable, which is the worst part of it.
I feel very deeply that the most banal reaction to school shootings is “I just don’t get it. They must have gone crazy.”
If you don’t get it by now then you’re not paying attention
Most people are just numb to it all. It’s also a terrible response but it’s where we’re at. The problem is BIG and we are not entirely sure about what to do about it.
The Parenting Factor
Parenting is a crucial factor in the development of healthy, competent and happy young men. When you raise children there are things everyone agrees you should do. Love them, feed them, nurture their emotions and be a loving support in their times of trouble.
Here’s something specific that I learned. Your primary job as a parent is to make your child socially desirable by the age of four. This is your number one responsibility as a parent. It can’t be later, because by four years the social wiring is already set. Evidence shows that children that have not been properly socialized by four years of age have a high likelihood of anxiety, depression and criminal deviance. If your child cannot make friends, share, be asked to play games with others, their fate is set. They can’t make friends and adults look at them with either contempt or false smiles, which children see right through. Their self-worth plummets, they feel isolated, alone. They know that no one likes them and they feel like they have no value. Then they drift, they drift into communities of people just as lost as they are. They start believing that they are victims of society and that the victimhood they suffered warrants an extraction. The bitterness and resentment seeps in and they end up doing something awful to the society that so wronged them.
I’m a father. I am terrified every day for my boys. I use my opportunity as a father to shape, chisel and mold my boys into individuals that stand a chance in the world. I teach them to be kind, to share, to adopt responsibility and to eventually be strong enough to stand up on their own in the world.
On Valentines Day
I said this was a love story, but not the one Hollywood is selling.
Whether or not you have someone to love, learn to love yourself. Read, write, exercise, do that thing you’ve been avoiding. You can take accountability for yourself and your own existence in this sprawling, complex and chaotic world.
When you accept your lot in life, you accept the burden of your own existence. Then, maybe you learn a little self-respect. Then you respect others who are trying to shoulder their own burdens. Then maybe, just maybe you can contribute and alleviate some unnecessary suffering in the world. Everywhere you go, at any event in life, you can make things worse. Conversely, everywhere you go you can do something to make things better.
Then perhaps you can transcend your placement in your hierarchy. Build a new, better one. Be placed in many hierarchies and be successful in many of them. For the winner in life isn’t the winner of one game, but it’s the one who is asked to participate in many games. Play well, for everything is on the line.
Go Find Your Why
Pursue It With Every Fiber Of Your Being
Then, See What Happens
What else do you have to do for the rest of your life?
I sincerely hope you all find a little joy in your life today. Thank you so much for reading.