Dating is Zero-Sum

Many people don’t realize that “dating” is a recent invention; something we came up with in the death throes of post-modern decadence and is one of the—if not the—principle factor contributing to our current cultural malaise.

As adult supervision waned and the zeitgeist of our current decadence increasingly demanded that fewer and fewer boundaries be placed on the decisions made by young people in regards their choice in partner, premarital sex became commonplace. Once that happened, it wasn’t long at all before it became a necessary but insufficient term of pre-engagement engagement—one that principally benefited young men who were then free to dump any current “girlfriend” for a new and improved “girlfriend”, and thus a new and improved sexual encounter. If men were to do this en masse, it stands to reason that that new “girlfriend” would have been dumped herself by and old “boyfriend”, thus perpetuating the cycle.

But women are opportunists, too. They can—and do—manipulate the dating market to attain better purchase on locking down the long term commitment of a desirable man. As is often the case, a young woman finds herself “dating” a young man for whom she has no real emotional connection. Instead, she sticks around because he satisfies her primal need for someone to buy her shit and be a shoulder to cry on. When (if ever) that more idealized version of a “boyfriend” comes along, she’ll drop the first like a bad habit to make a go at the new guy.

In either case, you’re either the player, or you’re getting played. It cannot be both.

Before modern dating, (i.e. the hundred or so thousand years of human existence prior to the mid twentieth century) there was courtship, which was a brief period of benign inter-sexual interaction heavily moderated by skin-in-the-game family members, townspeople, and all-around wise elders with the strict aim of creating a legal union suitable for the rearing of well-adjusted, world-inheriting children.

These elders, whom we should listen to, were charged with the burdensome responsibility of introducing young people who were believed would make suitable parents if legally bound to one another. Through careful, sober analysis, they weighed various factors that would impact the success of their potential union with the sagacity characteristic of people who have been around the romantic block. They knew all too well the judgment-impairing intoxication of young love and how easily it can have the Youth chasing down dead ends. Bottom line: kids make terrible romantic decisions.

The principle distinction between courtship and dating is that there was no sex during courtship. This cannot be emphasized enough. If sex is readily available, any young man is liable to conjure up reasons not to devote himself to any one woman. This is why chastity is the most valuable thing a young woman possesses. During a courtship, the most intimacy a young person could expect was innocent hand-holding and maybe a stolen kiss at the door.

What this ‘no premarital sex’ distinction means in reality is that courtship, unlike dating, is a cost-free affair. One can engage in multiple courtships throughout their late teens and early twenties and not feel as if they’re using themselves up or sacrifice their dignity. One doesn’t feel as if they give a piece of themselves away with every new partner. One doesn’t become jaded. Modern dating, on the other hand is a maleficent zero-sum exercise in futility precisely because sex is on the menu. We must eradicate the plague that is modern dating.

“But wait, P.K.,” you protest. “Courtship would remove some of the personal freedoms of the individual!”

A, no shit. Humans are flawed creatures who if not for external guidance (legislative or spiritual) would revert promptly back to the savagery of the Jungel which cares not a wit for the future of your nation, let alone its spelling rules. And B, I don’t care. With marriage and fertility rates as low as they are, and divorce rates and benzodiazepine dependency as high as they are, a break-the-glass emergency is upon us and sacrifices will have to be made if we are to survive. In the indelible words of some dude on the internet, “The wants of the individual are superseded by the needs of the many.” The ‘many’ in this case are our posterity.

Purpose vs. Meaning

I have some terrible news. There is, in fact, no meaning to life. This is not something to be alarmed by, though it may well alarm you. That’s only because you’ve lived your entire life petty and small-minded. That’s okay, because today you change.

For all of the new-agey ‘being present’ discussion that goes on today, one would think we live among a multitude of philosophers. But we don’t, as anyone with a questioning mind who has ever bothered to go down that rabbit hole knows it to be an exercise in mental masturbation. I have considered at length the possible metrics for measuring life on a meta-scale and at the time of this writing can divine only two: purpose and meaning.

Purpose is the easy one. Our purpose in being on this giant ball of rock and dirt is, quite simply, to make more of ourselves. That’s it. Our purpose is to stay alive long enough to reproduce, and ideally long enough to raise our progeny to self-sufficiency. In truth, this latter part is just icing on the cake. So the next time you hear someone talk about their job, or their career, or their hobby in terms of what they were “put on Earth to do”, you tell them: this guy on the internet said you’re wrong, and then smugly educate them on the simplicity of life’s purpose.

But what if, for whatever reason, you don’t reproduce? Well then, your purpose, as it were, is to provide for and protect those within your tribe who have reproduced. Simple. And this is where meaning comes in. The ol’ “what’s the meaning of life” question is more complex, but still stupidly simple. Again, there is no inherent meaning to life. If there’s to be any meaning for one’s life, one must make it themselves. It is possible that your purpose is your meaning. See those who live for their chillens—a noble pursuit if ever there was one. But typically meaning comes from somewhere else, but at any rate, those who seek meaning will never find it. Because it’s not a fucking Pokémon. Meaning isn’t something you find, it’s something you make.

I had a philosophy professor recall an interaction in which he was loathe to hear one of his acquaintances distill down the lot of western philosophy to so much navel gazing. At the time, my tender impressionability had me in the court of my professor who demanded his acquaintance (and by extension, us students) “show philosophy some respect.” Well, obviously I’m not that into it anymore. The truth was in the middle.

Now I don’t advocate a wholesale condemnation of the entirety of western philosophy to the effete wastelands, but I will advocate the taking of most of philosophy with a discerning grain of salt, as there are very strict limits to the utility and personal-growth value of anything theoretical especially when juxtaposed (rightfully) against its corresponding applied study. We’re just not far enough removed from the Jungel for the theoretical to matter that much. Again, that’s not to write off the theoretical—it got us to the moon, gave us modern medicine, and immanentized representative democracy (for all its flaws)—but where the rubber meets the road, only the applied matters. This is truly where we ought to focus our energies.

But I digress. TLDR: Purpose: reproduce; Meaning: None, unless you make it.

Editor’s note: That this diatribe (not unlike many others found here and in my head) is, in its very nature, theoretical, is an irony not lost on me. This is where I go to spin my wheels. Thanks for stopping by.

The Naiveté of Universal Suffrage

Candidates running on openly socialist platforms are actually getting votes these days. It seems communism has again reared its ugly head. I’m beginning to think it’s one of those things that crops up semi-centurially. We’ve all been warned that those who forget history are doomed to repeat it, and yet we can’t help ourselves. It’s a big in the human code. For those of us who can recall (or read) history, we understand the implications of such ideas. Fortunately, ‘red fever’ isn’t much more than a perennial nuisance and merely needs extirpated as a matter of course.

That being said, I often get to thinking about the pitfalls of (near) universal suffrage. This consummately Democratic principle is a beautiful thought, but like socialism, is not sustainable in practice. Every civilization in recorded human history that has utilized an electorate has discriminated in one manner or another between those who should be allowed to vote and those who should not. Not even in ancient Greece, the nation upon which our very Democracy is founded, did not have universal suffrage. We are no different. For instance, we discriminate based on age. Those under the age of eighteen may not vote. It’s in the constitution. We also don’t allow prisoners to vote, and most people don’t argue the efficacy of such criminality-based discrimination. Thus, the debate is not over whether discrimination is acceptable (clearly it is), the debate is over what kind of discrimination is acceptable.

It’s  certainly a tough question, and for the longest time I’ve struggled to isolate what would be the most efficient way to separate those with an eye for the future and those who see only two feet in front of their noses. There needs to be some determinant of responsible voting.

What is responsible voting? It’s the opposite of self-interested voting. It’s all too easy to vote for the candidate who vows to give you whatever it is you want whenever it is you want it. Unfortunately, what is immediately beneficial to you is almost never what is beneficial to the nation (and thus, to you) in the long term. If you’re in prison serving a life sentence, and one candidate is tough on crime (which is undeniably good for the nation in the long term), and the other candidate says “I’ll let ya out!”, why would you vote for anyone else?

I watched a video recently from what appeared to be the late 70s or early 80s. A reporter was asking young Americans (high school age, early college?) what they thought about the politics of the time, and I couldn’t help but feel a sense of maturity in their demeanor. Their responses may not have been the most profound, but the questions were at least taken seriously, and the young students actually put in some thought to their responses. They even managed to string together a number of sentences without the ‘like’s and ‘um’s characteristic of a newer generation. And they certainly weren’t distracted by their dadgum phone. These young adults seemed responsible.

A suffrage exam ought to be implemented to separate those who are capable and willing to vote responsibly from those who cannot or will not. This should include history questions about socialist nations and their unsavory ends. If a prospective voter cannot say, for example, what was the result of the Soviet Union in terms of human capital, then perhaps they should not have the right to vote. The suffrage exam should also evaluate candidates voter fitness based on ethics and instincts, not unlike the way most law enforcement cadets are evaluated.

There may have been a time in the past where an eighteen year old could reasonably be expected to possess the maturity necessary to help steer the ship of government away from the craggy shoals of communism and deficit spending, but it doesn’t seem that way today. In any case, it won’t matter because one inherent advantage to the suffrage test is that it does not discriminate based on age. In fact, it doesn’t discriminate on any basis save for the individual voter’s concern for the long-term health of their nation.

And there really is no excuse not to be a responsible voter; never before has access to education been so universal. Free online college courses, Ubiquitous Wi-Fi, “smart” phones in every pocket (notice those sassy quotes). All it really takes is either the God-given instinct for sussing out bullshit, or the self-made determination to separate the pearls of wisdom from the dross. So ask yourself, if a person has neither of these qualities, should they have the responsibility of voting? It’s a perfect system; a naturally filtering mechanism.

As Spiritual Morality Wanes, the Police State Waxes

For many thousands of years, the actions of man have been shepherded by the twin scales of both formal law and spiritual morality… and for good reason: in a society where morality recedes, law (i.e. the State) must make up the difference. In ye olde times, there were two great circles of acceptable behavior—two code books—and together they covered a lot of ground as regards right and wrong.

Over the past fifty years especially, religious conviction and thus spiritual morality has all but disappeared. Followed to its logical conclusion, what we end up with is a “society” of total law and complete absence of morality. For instance, about two years ago I read the story of a Canadian man that married his horse. Naturally, the townsfolk were bemused by such behavior, but because there was no formal law against it, the state could do nothing to stop him.

Being that this occurred in Canada and not the US, I don’t really have a horse in the race. But why was there no formal law forbidding bestiality? Because when spiritual morality exists, people don’t needlessly spill ink forbidding something that everyone already know is wrong. I never followed up on the horse-fucker story, but I imagine there is now a push toward making connubial bliss betwixt a man and his farm animals formally illegal. The fact, however, that this case was heard in a courtroom built with taxpayer money, proceeded over by judge who’s salaried with taxpayer money, and the ruling ultimately published on taxpayer-funded paper and/or servers, is a sad state of affairs. One assumes the legal fees for the depraved pervert were ponied up by the taxpayer as well.

Without the code of spiritual morality, there is left a massive gap in our behavioral boundaries. A healthy, functioning society requires trust. Without the voice in the back of our minds encouraging proper behavior, we revert back to our primitive selves and erode what little societal trust we ever managed to attain. What we end up with is a highly opportunistic population that is only concerned about whether they can get away with bad behavior legally.

Sure, they may get away with it legally, but will they get away with it spiritually? Me must encourage a sense of divine guidance. We need to once again develop a code book that goes wherever the body goes—including all these places the State cannot (for now) go. Do this, and we will be rewarded with a much more stable place to call home.

I’ve heard erroneous arguments that organized religion is the cause of all war, all strife, indeed the very impetus of the police state. This couldn’t be further from the truth. One organized religion per nation state in conjunction with a moderate formal code of laws is ideal for the long-term health of the nation and avoiding the Orwellian Nightmare. In the absence one established religion, a sense of higher purpose and meaning (i.e. spirituality) can serve just fine.

And just in case you were thinking to yourself, “what’s wrong with having judges decide the legality of our every decision?” Well when I told you earlier that I didn’t follow up on the horse-fucker story, I lied to you. When deciding whether it was legal for a man to fuck his horse, the judge said yea (although one hopes at least the horse said nay). As you read this, the horse-fucker is now happily horse-fucking fully within the confines of matrimonial sanctity.

Point being, even if the State were even capable of ruling on—and enforcing—all things, you could never put your faith in the courts to make decisions in the best interest of the nation.

No Exceptions: We Get What We Deserve

At 50, everyone has the face he deserves.

—Orwell

What is all this nonsense about deserving? I hear people say it all the time. I read it in the news. X person deserves this. X group deserves that. Bullshit. Nobody deserves anything more than they get. Which is to say, exactly what they already have.

We like to forget that the barrier that separates our cushy civilization from the dog-eat-dog savagery of the Jungel (the Jungel doesn’t care about your spelling rules) is preciously thin and eminently permeable. You should count your blessings that you’re not remorselessly ripped limb from limb by the first person that you offend who happens to be stronger than you. After all, this is how the Jungel would have grievances settled. And if you think the Jungel would ever think twice about what was deserved, then you’re hopelessly naïve. The Jungel knows no such concept.

Tell me about the promotion you didn’t get, and I’ll tell you you’re not good enough at playing the political game. Tell me about the lover that betrayed you, and I’ll tell you that you obviously didn’t make much of an impression on them. Tell me about the hell in which you live and I’ll tell you that you’re not the only one suffering.

But, but, but, my kid has cancer, do they deserve that? Yes, your kid deserves cancer, because they possess a genetic predisposition to getting cancer. And from whom did your kid get those shit genetics? It is only because of technological advancements and the medical breakthroughs of the last four hundred years that allowed you (or your terminal kid) to exist in the first place. The Jungel would have killed you in your crib. Be thankful for every breath, you weakling.

It’s a very uncomfortable truth that we get in life precisely what we deserve. If you think you deserve more, then you have to bring more to the table. If you have not gotten what you want out of life, then you haven’t worked hard enough. Stop blaming everything else and look in the fucking mirror. Have you done everything in your power to change your station in life? No. No, you have not. Stop bitching, start working, get “deserve” out of your goddamn vocabulary. In fact, stop speaking altogether and start acting. All you deserve is the world before you, be that everything imaginable or nothing at all.