Book Review- “I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell” by Tucker Max

May 31, 2010

This isn’t really a game book, or a how to pick up girls book, or anything of the sort. Although I think I heard of it in this context. It’s just a collection of stories about how he goes out, gets appallingly drunk, behaves very, very badly (as he admits repeatedly) and has sex with a variety of women.

There is apparently some debate about the veracity of these stories- I saw a YouTube thing where he appeared on the Opie & Anthony show and they or one of their sidekicks called him on the anal sex/puking story- and while it’s possible there is a little embellishment I’m inclined to take it at face value. I have known guys like this, and yes they do these things and yes women do seem to just throw themselves at them.

The book is very funny, and it’s certainly worth reading for its entertainment value. It got me thinking, though. Usually thinking for me is a waste of time but I think I’m on to something here.

If there is one constant to Tucker Max’s behavior, it is that he just does not care. He never cares what anyone thinks of him, or how they are reacting to him, or how his behavior is affecting them (he does notice, he’s not clueless), or what the social consequences of his actions might be. He just goes out and interacts with people, in search of amusement and stimulation.

What is Tucker Max? An alpha? A natural? I find him a little hard to classify, although he displays a lot of these characteristics. He is not extremely good-looking, as far as I can tell, but he seems to be tall and athletic. He seems to come from a rich family and grew up in rather upper-class Southern party atmosphere. This reminds me of something- I have read that being described as “nice” is a dis amongst higher class Southerners. Taking pains to avoid offense is indeed lower status behavior, and in a more hierarchical society like the South is kind of pointless as it won’t make you any friends. Society in the Northeast is quite hierarchical but there is a Victorian restraint on people; the Midwest is more egalitarian.

I’ll contrast this with my own behavior. The key aspect of growing up in a dysfunctional family is that you must put a great deal of effort into avoiding upsetting your parents. I guess in a more normal family the kids aren’t supposed to break the furniture or shit on the carpet but the parents aren’t easily upset or disappointed, whereas in the dysfunctional family the parents are anxious and fearful all the time and almost anything can upset them. And the disapproval is expressed in very subtle ways, in subtle looks of hurt or disappointment. Thus constantly monitoring your behavior so you never get any negative reaction from anyone becomes the normal behavior.

This is accomplished by maintaining very restrained body language and generally avoiding contact with people- avoiding eye contact, and not talking unless necessary and then keeping the conversation as formal and as focused on the business at hand as possible. Some submissive smiling and body posturing may be included.

Now I can see how normal people will react to this. “What the hell is the matter with this person? Why are they so stiff? Why don’t they want to talk? Are they weird? Are they a snob, do they think they’re better than me?” Initial conversations will be very boring for a normal person. The long feeling out process that the adult child or codependent or whatever you want to call him is tedious and pointless to a normal person. They quickly lose interest and move on.

The adult child then concludes that he did or said something offensive, and tries to be more restrained next time if that’s even possible. People tend to dismiss him quickly so he concludes there is something wrong with him and withdraws more.

I have a book called “The Complete ACOA Sourcebook- Adult Children Of Alcoholics at Home, at Work and in Love” by Janet Geringer Woititz, Ed.D. (in case you want to look it up.) This was published before as separate books, covering much the same subject matter so it’s repetitive and stresses the same things over and over. I exhibit most of the characteristics she talks about but I have little idea how to stop doing these things. Without running down the whole list they involve never upsetting anyone and always making sure you do everything right and don’t make mistakes.

This is very stressful and the strain sometimes makes you lose it and blow up at people, which ruins everything. Normal people are not fazed by most friction that adult children studiously avoid but uncontrolled anger is a major taboo in our society.

Seeing Tucker Max’s behavior from his standpoint gives me a different perspective though. I can’t say his behavior doesn’t have negative consequences but they are far outweighed by the positives. People generally respond well to his relaxed, I don’t give a shit, I’m just here to have a good time attitude. Focusing on getting a certain reaction from people or having them like you is going to make you uptight, and uptight is never good.

Neil Strauss recommends focussing on helping other people feel good about themselves. I think this is good, but if you’re not doing well with people the first thing I think is to relax and not worry about it.


Anxiety And Me

May 21, 2010

I have been wanting to work on the game exercises but they mostly involve talking to people, which I really don’t like.

A couple years ago I was in a new age bookstore looking for something on transcendental meditation when I ran across a book titled “Healing Trauma” by Peter A. Levine. The thesis is trauma locks up feelings in the body that must be released. I did some of the exercises but it didn’t seem useful so I set it aside.

I was getting a course of Rolfing- on the theory it might help unlock mental anguish locked in muscle tension- and the Rolfer brought up this book, or this author, not by name but it was him she was talking about. As an aside there was a man named Wilhelm Reich who had a theory about “body armor”- that is how this came up with the Rolfer. He believed that people locked up tension in their bodies, and then when they got involved in a romantic relationship after a few weeks it starts to release. This causes discomfort and a vague feeling something is wrong, which is attributed to the new romantic partner, leading to problems or the end of the relationship. Reich had some other theories that are regarded as pretty crackpot but I think he was on to something here.

I was in a used bookstore the other day and saw another book by Levine, so I bought it. I went further into the exercises where it gets more into body feelings. I realized how much anxiety I have, all the time. A great deal of my time and energy goes to managing the anxiety. All the activities I enjoy are things that produce strong body sensations, which provide a relief from anxiety.

The way I deal with anxiety in social interactions is to try to script them closely in advance. This obviously presents problems for meeting new people so I’m going to work on the anxiety a bit more.

(Note- “anxiety” may be taken as a psychiatric or psychological diagnosis, but I use it here in the more casual sense, of “shyness”, “unhappiness” or “discomfort.” Nothing wrong with this guy!)

A Foray Into Pop Culture

May 11, 2010

Talking about the culture is usually a waste of time but I would like to comment on something that is directly relevant to omegas.

I saw “Iron Man 2” over the weekend. The first was great, this one just OK. There is a blogger who goes by Whiskey (now added to the blogroll) who comments on movies a lot(although he posts infrequently) and the way they portray men. Tony Stark is obviously a fantasy character, and that’s cool. Col. Rhodes is not a well-developed character; they don’t tell you much about him or why he and Stark are friends.

The meaningful characters are Tony Stark, Pepper Potts and Natalie Rushman; or, alpha male and his subordinate women. The others are all men, and all portrayed pretty negatively. The driver, Harry Hogan, is a buffoon who gets beat up by a skinny girl. Justin Hammer is an annoying nerd who wishes he was Tony Stark. Anton Vanko is as smart as Tony Stark and much tougher but his legitimate beef with Stark is brushed off; he is supposed to accept his loser status and Howard Stark’s injustice to his father without question.

I was flying on American this week and they were showing a movie that turns out to be called “When In Rome”- I wasn’t paying that much attention. The clear message, even glancing up occasionally without sound, was that the female protagonist is surrounded by one hot guy and a crew of weird nerds. They were also showing “30 Rock”, a show I have only seen occasional bits of on TV. The concept of “30 Rock” is basically that Liz Lemon is surrounded by crazy people; it’s either borrowed from Bob Newhart or an older comic concept, I’m not sure which. The crazies include a woman and a couple alpha males, but the geek-nerd writer guys seem to get the harshest portrayal.

What I see here is a world pretty sharply divided between a few men who are attractive and worthy and many who are goofy and ridiculous, non-threatening and maybe entertaining if they know their place, repellent if they don’t. If you have low status it is very easy to get pegged into the second group.

This is where you have to cultivate the image of “independent lone wolf” rather than “goofy subordinate.” Calm, dignified behavior, conservative dress, and physical fitness are all parts of this.

Update To “Why Did I Get Married?”

May 11, 2010

A site which addresses my exact questions is “Married Man Sex Life” which I have added to the blogroll.

The widely held concept of “never get married” is the easy and obvious answer to this problem but I don’t think it is workable for most guys. Most want to enjoy the benefits of family life, but while avoiding the traps. Game is definitely necessary in relationships; and in marriage most of all, as bailing out is very expensive, difficult and traumatic.

I picked up the current copy of “Esquire”- no I’m not a fag, it has Christine Hendricks on the cover, but regrettably only one picture inside. In the interview she talks about what you need to do to get laid when married, which she assures us breezily is the same as getting laid when single. The whole point of getting married is to get laid easier, in return for sacrificing freedom and acquiring large and open-ended obligations. So if it’s not any easier, why get married? It’s pretty creepy if you ask me.