Well, I’ve been shirking long enough and it’s time to write. I suppose the many, many MRA-penned death threats I’ve been getting this week have had something to do with my reluctance to get back on the old bloggeroony, but fuck those assholes.
For some reason, I have as one o’ my Facebook bros a dude I tertiarily knew when I was 20, and this particular dude has been a source of laughter for me on many occasions. He’s about 40 years old, has been a rave DJ for the last 16 years, and, like rave DJs the world over, has a hankering for women half his age because they’re too young to realize how fucking ridiculous it is for a 40-year-old man to be hanging around in dodgy industrial lofts playing tired, rehashed 1999 house music for teenagers on ketamine by night while spending his days writing and re-writing online bios about what a serious musical artist he is. I know I’m supposed to disassociate myself from all sexists, misogynists, users of women, and general dickfers, but I just can’t seem to do so sometimes. As revolting as these types can be, they’re also good for a laugh. I mean really, what in the world is funnier than a person who has striven for so long to avoid analyzing himself or the world around him that he has successfully convinced himself that playing records in public matters and that the absurd thoughts that MDMA causes in the minds of people who dress like kindergarteners gone wild might have the potential to radically improve human society? I can’t give up a source of entertainment that rich just because the guy happens to objectify women. Call me a sell-out if you must; I still don’t listen to Ludacris or go see Seth Rogen movies.
Anyway, this particular individual has recently been having problems with his girlfriend, aged 22. I know this because he stopped posting her borderline pornographic head shots with captions like “My little super model” and began writing cryptic updates about the value of honesty and how wack it is when “people” attempt to deceive others. It was REAL subtle, I assure you. I admit it, I snickered at this fellow’s misfortune, but only because I think it’s very funny when adults air their relationship difficulties in a public forum. I especially like it when they include song lyrics they think are pertinent to the situation. Well, this dude dealt very poorly with having been cheated on and dumped and, in between posting updates such as, “I don’t have to put up with this shit. I’m ____ _______!”, got a little introspective and started checking out quotes from European philosophers on the internet, the choicest of which he elected to share with his many Facebook pals. Most of them were the kind of silly, obvious, sophomoric nonsense that seems to appeal so much to Fight Club fans (sorry, Geoff) and MMA enthusiasts, but one of them really got me to snickering. The other night, this sage posted a quote from our boy Friedrich Nietzsche that nearly made me drop my taco:
“The true man wants two things: danger and play. For that reason he wants woman, as the most dangerous plaything.”
I started sputtering and cussing in a manner reminiscent of Dennis Leary discussing Steven Seagal’s ponytail as I recounted the quote and its context to Davetavius. In between giggles and exclamations of surprise at just how ridiculous people are capable of being, we came to a very important conclusion: it’s probably best to avoid anyone who likes to talk about Nietzsche.
Think about the famous people who claim him as an influence. Marilyn Manson? Jim Morrison? (Scott Stapp claims to be the inheritor of Jim Morrison’s legacy, so we can indirectly blame Nietzsche for the existence of Creed. OK, maybe that’s a slight stretch, but whatever.) Yes, I’m aware that Nietzsche did present some interesting ideas about the possibilities of intellectual inquiry, and that all those French dudes I’m forced to read every semester would have been nowhere without the foundation Nietzsche laid (I’ll give him credit for some of that, but he also gets credit for helping some of those French dudes drop us into the toilet of relativism we now swim in), but very few people know anything about that. Most people who go around quoting Nietzsche do so because they heard he questioned the basis of morality, and that kind of shit really appeals to people who are looking to intellectualize their juvenile, narcissistic interest in smoking pot and participating in faux-Wiccan orgies or whatever.
But as hilarious as Jim Morrison was (The Doors is the greatest comedy ever made) and as embarrassing as Marilyn Manson is, they still at least deserve credit for attempting to understand something Nietzsche wrote beyond whatever one-liners one can find on a website of quotations that also includes “I’m the type of nigga that’s built to last. If you fuck with me, I’ll put my foot in ya ass” (NWA, “Gangsta Gangsta”). Jim Morrison was most definitely a self-absorbed asshole whose “art” amounted to getting ripped, fucking whoever was around, abusing his girlfriend, and overusing the word “death,” but at least he was smart enough to justify his behavior in terms that were not quite yet trite in the 1960s (now, on the other hand…). And though I cannot help but snort, snicker, and pretend to fall over with mirth when someone tries to tell me what a genius Marilyn Manson is, I suppose I can admit that he seems reasonably intelligent and that he possesses the mental faculties required to manipulate quasi-rebellious adolescents en masse. But this DJ dude, and the vast majority of dudes I come across who love to repeat banal quotes from philosophers in some impuissant attempt at projecting sophistication, cannot boast of such, and hence deserve even more derision than Morrison and Manson (fuck, what a rad super group that would have been).
And it’s the selection of quotes like the one above that tip you off to who these guys are. Let’s think about that quote for a minute. Real men want danger and play, and hence they’re into women because women are “the most dangerous plaything”? SNORT.
Now, I know better than to spend any time stomping around in a rage over the misogyny present in nearly every philosophical text from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries (whoops, I mean ever). I do, after all, have to sift through them once in awhile to get at ideas that I need to write or think about. But it’s 2010. Even DJs should know that the ideas these guys held about women and gender roles are fucking silly. Nearly every one of these continental thinkers seemed not to realize the contradiction between making the assertion that women are mentally inferior children who need male guidance even if “guidance” requires physical violence, and then claiming that women are evil geniuses who will make use of their wily-ass feminine wiles to dupe even the most astute among men of letters into doing their bidding, bidding that almost always results in the destruction of the man of letters in question. It’s fairly obvious that these guys had some serious problems relating to women (maybe because they were continental intellectuals, the totality of which group has never produced one dude any woman should have deigned to have sex with), and that their ideas about what it means to be a man resemble most closely the masculine ideal of The Lord of the Rings or some other such regressive dorkery, so why the admiration?
Oh, right, because quotes like that from figures one has heard mentioned by people who wear glasses do a sahweet job of grounding one’s own stupid worldview and behavioral tendencies in pseudo-intellectual authoritativeness. After all, in this day and age the kind of dude who, at 40, dates someone who was born when he reached the age of majority needs to stand on the shoulders of giants if he’s to reconcile his penchant for preying on younger women who have yet to develop the maturity and self-confidence to recognize what a creepy DaHarb he is with his insistence on crediting them with the kind of depraved brilliance that would allow them to victimize him. I mean, really, how else are we to interpret the “dangerous plaything” concept?