The Danger Of Popular Culture

GX1080, over at the Spearhead, talks about the unrealistic male and female behavior portrayed in Japanese manga comics and cartoons, and speculates on their effect of the behavior of Japanese men and boys-

The truth is popular culture in general is not intended to give you a realistic guide to dealing with life as it is. Whether the high culture of the distant past was intended to do this I don’t know; the scene where Odysseus kills the suitors is incredibly stirring, but then he has to get his ass saved by Athena, which just now strikes me as a pretty lame tacked on ending. But, make no mistake, “Die Hard” is not something you want to try in real life.

I only mention “Die Hard” because it comes to mind, but all action movies and other male oriented entertainment has the same elements- a lone tough guy, with a smart mouth, takes on well-organized groups of bad guys, defies and insults his superiors, miraculously defeats them all and is hailed as a hero.

Now, I really don’t need to tell you this is not the formula for career success in the real world, do I? We’re all, or mostly I hope, big boys here. Still elements of this are tempting when considered separately the temptation to argue, the temptation to be defiant, the temptation to go against the group. All these are suicidal, and all must be resisted.

In real life, the tough guy with the smart mouth gets quickly killed by the team of bad guys. If he’s lucky, his superiors decide to use him as a martyr or a dead hero to rally people. More likely he gets castigated as an idiot who went against policy, defied orders and deserved to die for being a moron.

But don’t alpha males dominate people? They do, but they also don’t pick fights they can’t win. I read on one of these mens’ rights sites recently “Men win the argument to win the group- women win the group to win the argument.” Bullshit. Men win the group too, that is just the way it works.

The omega has to function as a lone wolf, but must be aware of social dynamics. Get the feel for who is in charge. Be friendly to everyone, in a slightly distant way,  but don’t be servile. Studiously avoid making enemies but if you do, keep them close, per Michael Corleone.

Neurolinguistic programming- credited, accurately or not, as a source by some promoters of game- has a concept called “modeling”, which is simply copying the actions of someone who is competent and successful. Some people claim absurd results for modeling- like you can be a surgeon just by watching one for a few hours.

Observing and copying what works is harder than that, but at least it is a good start. Your life is not a drama, and it’s definitely not a bad movie. It’s reality in all its grimness and glory, and referring to reality is always the first step. If you can at least take a step back and look dispassionately at it, you will be well ahead of the average fool.


One Response to The Danger Of Popular Culture

  1. […] Man – “The Danger of Popular Culture“, “Fat Women and the […]

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