FeminismMental HealthSkepticism

The Not So Beautiful Game: In Which Our Intrepid Narrator Validates his Ideological Convictions via Reality Television, Name Drops, and then Blames the Internet for Mental and Societal Ills

Content warning: Besides the usual misogyny, we have suicidal ideation.

Terminology warning:  I am so over the term pick up.  For one thing, I’m never entirely certain whether it should be one word or two, and if the latter, is it hyphenated?  Also, we already have the perfectly delightful word libertine to describe these people.  So I think I’m going to use that instead from here on.

Step 5: Isolate the target.  We have: anecdotes of Style seducing women!  These are of varying believability and creepiness.  At first, he relates how he can impress other libertines (women are so unimportant even seduction isn’t about women, it’s about impressing other men.  So he goes on about how two attractive women who are used to eating men alive and crushing them with attractiveness (has he forgotten women are helpless prey?) are manipulable by his amazing seductive prowess.  He successfully competes with celebrities that I’ve never heard of (granted, I am largely ignorant of contemporary American celebrities) for the attention of women in night clubs.  Where success is defined as a woman one has never met before acting interested.  He abandons the women of night clubs for a while in favor of a dalliance with a 19-year-old girl.  Since I think Style is somewhere around 30, the situation, while not illegal, has some serious ethical questions going for it.  Particularly since Style is willing to blame a 19 year old for not being constantly interesting to a 30-something man.  The whole thing is creepy.  Also, not the usual style of offensive since this young woman has a child, which Style suddenly announces is the highest possible calling a human can have.  Where the sudden baby-having worship came from, I do not know.  Whatever, we have heapings of scorn on women that can be seduced for being seduceable.  Style compares his libertine success with that of a stand-up comedian who despises an audience for being manipulated into laughing.  Does that really happen?

I will now talk about myself.  I’m a performer.  There are things I do because audiences tend to respond well.  Isn’t that a good thing?  I know that in the Indian dance form kuchipudi, the dancer begins by, among other things saluting the distinguished audience, because without the audience, there can be no performance.   So our narrator’s opinion that successful performers grow to despise their audience for being easily manipulated makes me sad.  A performer, comedian or otherwise, who cannot love an audience should maybe look into another line of work.

On a related note, I believe it was the ever snarky Mark Twain who said that he would never be a part of a club that might accept him as a member.  This may also be an applicable comment on Style’s increasing scorn for women.  Or it could be just that he’s learned that women aren’t remote goddesses but because he still thinks they should be, he despises them for being well, people.  Assuming he thinks of them as people, which I doubt.  More like goddesses who have failed at being goddesses and are therefore worthless.  So he talks about the community of libertines instead, despite having spent the previous section complaining about their level of education compared to his.   Apparently, however, we are done with such complaints, because we now have anecdotes of libertines appearing on reality tv!  Apparently someone from their online forums showed up on some reality dating show and was the winner.  This is a total validation of the libertine lifestyle.  That a reality show can validate an ideology or a lifestyle is something I am trying really really hard not to say something inappropriately judgy about.  Moving on, something is rotten in the state of Denmark!  People are neglecting important parts of their lives, e.g. attending classes or their jobs, in order to spend time on the online libertine forums.  There is a real point to be made here about social conditions away from keyboard that drive people to the communities found online to an extant that may be self-destructive, but Style would prefer to just blame the internet forums.   Most of the rottenness in Denmark seems to be centered on the increasing problems of Style’s guru Mystery, who is getting really suicidal, talking constantly about giving things away, and sometimes attacking his family and smashing up his apartment.   Style almost has empathy and helpfulness, or at least he works to limit Mystery’s access to sleeping pills, but he doesn’t blink an eye when Mystery “has” to smash up things and people (well, his mother and sister, who I guess don’t count, since women) and just takes Mystery to a strip club for distraction.  As a side note, Style gets mad at his teenage fling for not knowing what to do when confronted with Mystery’s increasingly violent and/or suicidal outbursts.

The section ends with Mystery being taken to a hospital for whatever is going on with him.  Not the same place that was discussed in the very first section.

I’m about halfway through this thing, and I’m not even that offended anymore, I’m so bored.  Onward, I guess. At a lazy meander though; this thing isn’t worth charging at.

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Elizabeth is a professional belly dancer, a flaky computer scientist, and a returned Peace Corps volunteer. She lives in Georgia (the state of the U.S., not the country) but is nonetheless somehow not a combination of stereotypes from Gone with the Wind and Deliverance. Her personal blog is Coffeefied. Operafied. Fluffified. Beglittered.


  1. September 29, 2014 at 5:58 am —

    Really odd formatting on this blogpost… more linespacing and better paragraphs would help the readability a lot =).

  2. October 5, 2014 at 1:02 pm —

    Sorry about that, I was in a big hurry that day, thanks!

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