Friday Night Fragments #37

I came, I saw, Iran.

Or something like that.

On one hand, it’s hard not to feel that we got played as a consequence of having no vision and no idea of what we actually wanted to do. On the other, it does make me wonder whether the intent (“intent” being perhaps not the right word here) was to move things toward an ostensible “detente” by which an American Embassy could be re-opened and NGOs and other “well-meaning” international organizations could gain a foothold.

We all know what happens when the Embassy and the NGOs come to your country, don’t we?

I wonder how long it will be until it is decided that Iran needs feminism and gay rights.

Two pieces this week that are absolutely required reading thing week: NIO’s Public Choice and Nick B. Steves’s The Occult Effects of Democracy. Nothing more need be said. Go read them.

Not really relevant to anything but also relevant:

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One of the most common psychological defense mechanisms I’ve encountered is that of “offloading psychic discomfort”. In order to avoid the psychic cost of certain behaviors, a person will offer up an external entity (either person or object) to serve as a “scapegoat” of sorts that can absorb the discomfort in place of the individual.

(Side note: I feel as if this is something that ought to have been discussed before, but none of the numerous types of defense mechanisms listed on wikipedia quite seem to hit on what I am trying to elucidate, though splitting and projection seem to be getting at certain principles at work here).

This seems to be one of the dynamics at work in the strange relationship feminism has with alcohol. Many young feminists seem to feel entitled to alcohol and to casual sex, and yet few things cause them so much uproar as the act of having sex while drunk. There’s a lot going on here (not least of which is a massive amount of social conditioning), but I’ll try to unpack it and show how this dynamic I’ve described is a part of things (though likely not the whole picture).

The act of casual sex causes certain level psychological discomfort (ranging from “none at all” to “irreversibly damaged”, depending on one’s psychological make-up). This occurs even if it is not perceived. This can be due to fear of vulnerability, insufficient override of the disgust reaction, quirks of cognitive dimorphism between the sexes, or any number of other reasons.

I personally suspect that many feminists who trumpet hooking-up and who actually engage in that kind of behavior (as opposed to those who say they support it but who refrain from such indulgence) are not pursuing casual sex for the sake of casual sex, but for the sake of validation, “empowerment” , social conditioning, or as an escape from fears of commitment or any of a whole host of other psychological contusions.

Given the level of psychic discomfort entangled with the act of casual sex, it is necessary to ease the pain by relying on alcohol as a ritual agent to assuage the mind and make it feel that such behavior is appropriate. In a sense, alcohol becomes a vessel by which psychic discomfort can be isolated and kept away from doing harm to the ego. This does not erase the pain, however, and this is where things get interesting.

Since they are engaging in behaviors that they think they enjoy and that they think are good for them, they cannot explain their subconscious anguish, even though they are not wholly unaware of it beneath the surface. What they know is that they are not as happy and content as they were led to believe that they would be. They clearly understand that somewhere in this process there is something causing regret and unpleasantness, but as they think they are entitled to nothing but absolute pleasure and ecstasy from their experience, they wonder what could possibly be ruining their fun.

Since it cannot be alcohol, which is the ritual agent that makes everything okay, it must therefore be men. Creepy men who ply women with alcohol in order to rape them. Those men are the cause of whatever anguish you may feel. They deserve all manner of unpleasantness for violating the happiness to which you are entitled!

Interesting implication of this theory: casual sex can lead to feminism.

Show me your signaling and I will show you who your master is. What’s that? You don’t think you have a master? Ridiculous. Only a man without desire, without belief, without emotion, without instinct, without impulse, and without thought cannot be slave to something.

That batman t-shirt you wear? I see you are slave to entertainment and cookie-cutter forms of identity and association given to you by those who earn your slavery with their illusions.

Ah. You have the rainbow flag outside your house. How touching. I see you are slave to a belief in the latest mind virus devised by your overlords to ensure your submission.

I see you, slave to money. I see you, slave to power. I see you too, slave to God.

And there you stand, you proud fool, scrambling to erect a battlement to save a mirage of something you to which you might once have been enslaved.

Yes, you all think yourself better than the others.

Are you? That is not my place to decide. It might not even be my place to know.

Am I to be slave to such restraints?

What is reaction if not submission?

And yet what would mankind be if we never sought to push the limits?

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9 thoughts on “Friday Night Fragments #37

  1. Aeoli Pera 07/20/2015 / 10:47 PM

    “One of the most common psychological defense mechanisms I’ve encountered is that of “offloading psychic discomfort”. In order to avoid the psychic cost of certain behaviors, a person will offer up an external entity (either person or object) to serve as a “scapegoat” of sorts that can absorb the discomfort in place of the individual.”

    Wow, this is an extraordinary point! At first I was thinking this was just regular blame games. But after reading your example, I realized that what you’re describing is a situation where a girl is psychologically inclined to offset blame from herself to something (the alcohol) but she is ideologically incapable of doing so because her ideology says nothing “bad” happened. And yet, the feeling of guilt must be assuaged- through blaming! Hence the strange contortions as the pressure breaks through the weakest point.

    What a strange world.

    • Donovan Greene 07/20/2015 / 11:54 PM

      One of my tasks for this week is to uncover more examples where this dynamic (A wants to blame X but can’t so blames Y instead) comes into play.

      • evolutiontheorist 07/21/2015 / 4:17 AM

        IMO, guilt (and related emotions) are inherently NOT logical reactions to events that one can work through in a step by step fashion (unless, I suppose, one has some truly exceptionally good logic,) but an irrational sub-routine that responds to certain dangers to try to force the individual to do whatever it takes to fix things.

        Since I don’t think that makes any sense, let me explain. If I am having a conversation with someone I like, and they suddenly become angry or sad, I feel bad about it, even if I had nothing to do with it. If someone I care about is in the wrong on a particular issue, and I have to do/say something about it, I will generally feel like absolute shit as a result, even though I know, intellectually, that I did not do something wrong. This is because guilt does not care about who technically did what to whom first or who technically has the best statistics on their side; guilt just cares about whether or not I am existing in good social harmony with other people. And so guilt pushes me, very hard, to do whatever it takes to exist in good social harmony with others, no matter what is logically going on.

        IMO, men just do not experience this kind of emotion the way women do, because women’s evolutionary success has historically depended more on being embeded in a strong social network, whereas mens’ success has depended more on being at the top of the social hierarchy.

        Logically, women think they ought to be able to have fun, have sex, do whatever they want so long as they aren’t hurting others. Emotionally, however, casual sex is atrocious: we are not wired to handle it.

  2. Aeoli Pera 07/20/2015 / 10:50 PM

    >And yet, the feeling of guilt must be assuaged- through blaming!

    I say this because the concept of absolution is missing from the reigning modern orthodoxy of post-Christian paganism.

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