Beating Off To Bond..

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I’m bringing up this topic today because I’ve been thinking about it for a while now. Any time someone brings up James Bond, I start thinking, “Here we go again, we’re beating off to Bond.”

That’s because inevitably the discussion goes somewhere along the lines of his “masculinity” or his way with the ladies, or his ability as a killer or some-such. The truth is, James Bond is a fiction.

I’m sure you are all well aware of that…. But are you?

James Bond is not only an archetype, but he’s also a caricature. Think about it. He’s smooth and debonair with the ladies. He always knows what to say and when to say it. He never misses a beat and always has the right lines. He’s calm, cool, and collected. And that is before we get to the fact that he’s an international spy and killer.

He’s many men rolled into one. The perfect, masculine, always says the right thing, always get the girl, and always gets the bad guy, guy. The same could be said of John McClaine.

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The problem is, I think many guys while consciously nodding their heads and agreeing that James Bond or John McClaine are in fact, a work of fiction, they secretly wish that they were a reality. And they wish that they were him.

The real reality is that many guys freeze up when an attractive woman looks at them. They forget what they wanted to say. They stutter and stammer. Sometimes they just stand there like a deer caught in the headlights of a moving car. Ask me how I know.

I’ve talked to some guys recently and we were having a discussion about films made in the 40’s and 50’s. Talks about how men were men and women were women were abound. The problem is, these movies, even back then were works of fiction. They don’t call it the silver screen for nothing. Going back to the days of silent movies and Charlie Chaplin, while Charlie may have done many if not most of his own stunts, it was still a work of fiction. A caricature. Charlie even embodied that. Movies of the 40’s and 50’s had a narrative just like films of modern times. The only difference that I can tell is that the women looked better as well as the men. Otherwise the story was scripted and was a work of fiction. Just like today.

All movies, even “documentaries” are works of fiction in one form or another. Directors take their slant or spin on the topic and either preach how great someone is or was, or they shit on them. Even the people who authorize and star in their own biographies put a spin on what they have said and done. It’s human nature.

I think a lot of guys watch films, looking for role models, and the problem is that they confuse the character with the actor. Good acting will do that. You get so engrossed in the character development and the plot, you get so caught up in the story that you forget that it is all fiction. That’s what a good movie will do for you. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that. I love it when a film can capture my attention and I can suspend my disbelief for the duration of the film and truly enjoy it.

The problem is when the film ends and it’s time to come back to reality.

A good actor or actress will make you believe that their character is real. That’s what being a good actor is all about. That’s what a good story is all about. The problem is many people assume that the actor is actually the character (see the actor who played Geoffrey in Game of Thrones and how fans hated the actor because of how well he did with the character.)

Guys talk about women from “back in the day.” Ah, those were women. Those were the days and those were the dames. I think they may be confusing fiction with reality. Those “dames” were actresses playing a role. They were reading lines from a script. Just like today. The only difference is the narrative from then and now. The only real difference is that women were thinner then than they are now. The character may have been a real dish or a catch on screen, but the actress herself? Think about it. Who was that actual woman? Would you have found the actual woman attractive if you had gotten to know her?

My first real heartthrob was Alyssa Milano.

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Back in the late 80’s and throughout the 90’s she was the bomb for me. All of the characters that she played. She was HOT. Fast forward to today and it’s a different story. Not just because she has gotten older, but because of what she says. The character and the actual person collide. On screen she is one thing, the living breathing person appears to be something else entirely.

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Brad Pitt. Now there’s a masculine man if there ever was one! You’ve seen Fight Club and Troy right? Except those were characters. Have you seen Brad Pitt in real life? Have you seen the relationship and the drama with Angelina Jolie? There’s your “real man” for you.

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Marilyn Monroe. Quite the bombshell for her time. And yet she had failed relationship after failed relationship and she struggled with addiction, depression, and anxiety resulting ultimately in her death. Not nearly so glamorous. In many cases, she sounds a lot like modern day women.

The point I’m getting at is that Hollywood has always been a fiction. Always has been and always will be. Using fictional characters as a point of reference for acting in certain ways may not be a totally bad idea, but keep your head in reality and realize that those fictional characters are in fact, fiction.

This is why I don’t like beating off to Bond. He’s a fictional character based off of a multitude of men, or the traits of multiple men. Striving to “be like Bond” is going to get you nowhere ultimately. Same could be said of any character whether hero or villain. All of them are a work of fiction and discussing the merits or the flaws of them, while entertaining, are ultimately exercises in masturbation. Human nature is what it is and it honestly hasn’t changed all that much in the last 70 years. People were cheating, drinking, drugging, and fucking back then just like they are today. Life was messy then as it is now. The more things change the more they stay the same. Don’t confuse the character with the actor. Don’t confuse the story with reality.

Enjoy films by all means, I do. Enjoy the cinematography, the mood, the lighting, the story, all of it. But always keep in mind that it is a work of fiction. All of your heros and villains are archetypes at best and caricatures at worst.

Trying to embody your hero or that character that you idolize is going to turn you into a caricature. A LARP. Do you really want to be seen as that? There are guys right now, in real time that are doing that very thing. I just can’t take them seriously. What about you?

A final thought:

I don’t mind talking about movies from any era or epoch, it’s great fun and a great way to get to know someone else. I don’t like dissecting movies because it takes away the magic of it. Also, I would rather get to know a person and deal with reality than sit around talking about fantasies. I’ve spent plenty of years living in my head in a fantasy world and now I’ve found that reality is far more entertaining and fulfilling.

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The Ultimate Goal

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“Is the ultimate goal of an older man to get so set in his life that there’s nothing consequential a woman can add to his lifestyle except herself?” – Dr. Lucas Bly

YES.

I saw a tweet the other day and it got me to thinking. When I was younger, back in my 20’s and even through my 30’s and into my very early 40’s, I always thought that I needed or even wanted a woman to be able to somehow “contribute” to my lifestyle. I wanted her to be able to “bring something to the relationship,” something that I either needed or wanted. Something that I was lacking.

Let me tell you right now, that way leads to disappointment and potentially to misery. Women are a compliment to your life, as Rollo is fond of saying, and I agree. You need to “have a life” though and your life itself can’t be about her.

I don’t mean that you can’t have women in your life and that if you do, the only thing that they will be able to offer is sex. You can and you will, if you put yourself out there, find women who have more to offer than just sex. But you need to “have a life” first. A life that regardless if she is in it or not, you are good. You are good with your life and where and how it is going. She has nothing to do with that.

Sometimes the most consequential thing a woman can bring to a man’s life is nothing more than herself. This isn’t pedestalization, this is simply man and woman dynamics at play. It doesn’t make her a princess or a special snowflake, but when she is in your life, for however long she is in your life, she adds to it. There is more being brought in than if she wasn’t there. But at the same time, you are good without her being there.

Part of my lifestyle is that I have my finances in order. That doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m completely debt free, because I’m not, but it does mean that whether there is  a woman, or more than one woman in my life, my finances will not suffer. I do not rely on her to pay any of my bills. I do not need her as a roommate to contribute to my mortgage. If I’m involved with women, my debts aren’t hers and vice versa. She gets to figure out how she is going to get herself out of the hole she has dug for herself. Her debts are not my problem.

My life is in order so whether women show up, leave, stick around, flake, ghost, or do anything else, I’m good. They can be in my company and we’ll have a great time for as long as that lasts, or she can go and do something else with somebody else. Either way I’m good.

Getting “set in life” doesn’t mean that you have become crystallized and are an immovable block of granite with no room to grow and to change or to enjoy things with a woman, or to enjoy her herself. It doesn’t mean that you don’t feel anything either. It just means that you have most if not all of your affairs in order and that no matter what happens, no matter who comes into your life, and no matter who leaves your life, you will ultimately be okay.

Living this way is not only reassuring to me, which is the most important reason for doing it, but it takes pressure off of her as well. You don’t need her for anything, so you don’t have an air of desperation about you. There are no covert contracts going on. In many ways, you can “just be yourself.”

I’ve played house twice in my life so far. The first time was my marriage, which lasted for a total of seven years, and the second time was a long term, live-in girlfriend which lasted for about four years. Both times I had the basic finances covered. The house and the mortgage are both in my name and my name alone. I make enough money to pay that and all of my utilities plus a few luxury expenditures as well as leaving enough behind to save up for a rainy day. Anything monetarily that I woman brings to me as far as our relationship goes, is gravy. I’m willing to let her spend money on me, but I don’t need her to and I’ve never become dependent on a woman for that.

I figured that one out for myself back in my mid-thirties, so it’s been over a decade that I’ve been living with that “blueprint.” It has not steered me wrong. I’ve had a bunch of casual and short term relationships as well as the two longest relationships of my life under the same roof, and when all of those relationships ended for one reason or another, I’ve come out fine in the end.

When I love women, I love them hard. I go all in. I don’t hold anything back. I guess that is the romantic in me, or the somewhat artistic side of me coming out. That doesn’t mean that I lose my mind and start doing stupid shit, but that also doesn’t mean that I need them or that I’m going to do something as foolish as take on their debt or sign up for more debt with them. Loving them hard and my fiscal decisions about my own life have nothing to do with each other. They are two completely seperate categories and as far as I’m concerned, they are mutually exclusive. I can love deeply, feel things profoundly, and I can also say that my life is in order enough and intact enough that if and/or when she leaves, I’ll be just fine.

So to answer that question that was asked, “Is the ultimate goal of an older man to get so set in his life that there’s nothing consequential a woman can add to his lifestyle except herself?

The answer is yes.

There is ideally nothing consequential that a woman can bring to my lifestyle except herself, and honestly, that’s enough for me. That’s why I happen to like women and I keep going after them.

It’s more than enough.

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What You Need More Of Is…

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All Those Books, None Of Them Read.

One of the things that I’ve noticed lately, yet again, is guys wanting to do more reading. There’s nothing wrong with reading, you get knowledge, entertainment, comprehension, and in some cases, an escape from the doldrums of life.

I totally get it. I love to read. There’s so many books to read and not enough time to do it. If I had to count all of the books that I have, both physical and digital, and then spend the requisite time to read them, I would be reading for ten hours a day, every day, for the rest of my life.

And I probably wouldn’t get through all of them.

I’ve seen guys lately asking about “what to read next.” Honestly, the next book on stoicism isn’t what you need. The next book on how to “get the gurlz” isn’t what you need.

What you need is to get off your ass and go do something.

Stoicism isn’t going to save you from a boring life. Neither is a book on pick up. You would probably get more from stoicism if you actually went out and lived it instead of reading about it. Definitely the same for pick up. You will learn more about seducing women and women’s nature by actually going out and interacting with them instead of reading a book about them.

You’ll learn more about handling, maintaining, and shooting a firearm by actually going out and doing all of those things instead of reading Guns & Ammo.

You’ll learn more about Karate or boxing if you go out and learn those systems of fighting instead of reading about them.

The same can be said for just about any other topic under the sun. Going out and doing it, whether you succeed or fail, will give you more experience with that subject, than reading a book about that subject.

Marcus Aurelius didn’t become a Stoic by sitting on his ass thinking about Stoicism. He actually lived his life and then wrote about it after the fact. I consider his material to be more of a memoir than either a “how to” manual, or a 12 Rules For Life. He was able to put so many thoughts down because he actually went out and experienced the joys and hardships of life.

It’s kind of hard to be a Stoic if all you do is sit on your ass and avoid life.

Are you reading because you want to learn a new skill? Are you reading for entertainment? Are you reading because you are exhausted from fully living your life? Great! By all means, read!

Or are you reading as an excuse to not go out and do shit? “My life is shit. I know what I need to do! I need to read yet another book on how to unfuck my life!” No man, you don’t need to read yet another book. You probably need to clean up your diet and get some exercise. Get out of the house.

“I’ve been learning about how to get the girls! Once I’m finished with this last book, I’ll be ready to go out and slay some pussy!” Said the guy who has read every book that has ever been written about pick up. No man, you need to go out and talk to some women and see what happens.

“My life is chaotic and unraveling around me! Stoicism is the answer!” No man, reading Aurelius or Peterson isn’t going to change your life. You have to do that yourself. That requires you getting off your ass and doing something, not another book written by another dead philosopher.

Some of the most fucked up individuals that I have met have read the 12 Rules For Life. And that’s all they have done. They haven’t implemented anything and they definitely haven’t taken any action or done anything other than reading the book, quoting Peterson, and being insufferable. Do more than that.

I love reading and I love books. I’ve spent at least half of my life with my nose stuck in a book. There’s more to life than just reading yet another book. There’s life itself, and it will pass you by in the blink of an eye if you aren’t careful.

I can remember vividly what my Mexican girl’s skin tastes like. I swear it tastes like chocolate with a hint of mint. She claims that she hasn’t put lotion or perfume on. I have no idea why she tastes like she does, maybe it’s just a chemical reaction from her skin to my taste buds or vice versa. I remember that well. I remember that even though it’s been a minute since I’ve tasted her skin. It’s been more than a minute actually, it’s been several weeks.

But I couldn’t tell you what I read two days ago, other than it was a work of fiction. It was good, I remember that. But it wasn’t chocolate with a hint of mint good.

I vaguely remember reading some bits and pieces of Aurelius, but it all goes out the window when I sit on my motorcycle and I fire it up and go. You want to get your head straight and turn the volume down on all of those critical voices that are yammering at you 24/7? Learn to ride a motorcycle. They don’t call it “Wind Therapy” for nothing. That’s a skill that you won’t get from a book.

Maybe another book isn’t what you need. Maybe you just need to go outside and sit in the sun for half an hour.

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