the cruel illusion of romantic love

The idea of romantic love as the basis for marriage, and the basis for personal happiness, is so deeply entrenched that it is easy to imagine that it is both universal and eternal. It is neither. It’s a purely western idea and it didn’t get off the ground until around about the twelfth century. That was when the European upper classes discovered courtly love.

Courtly love seems to have been to a considerable extent a literary invention (this proving once again that writers are in general a foolish and empty-headed lot) although the increasing feminisation of the Church and the rise and rise of the cult of Mary may have played a part. In any case courtly love spread like wildfire through the upper classes. Or to be more precise, it spread like wildfire among the women of the upper classes.

At the time it was perhaps not entirely a bad idea, or it didn’t seem like such a terrible idea. Life was still somewhat brutal and the upper classes were still to a large degree a warrior aristocracy and they were a little unpolished (although it needs to be emphasised that the Middle Ages were never as barbarous or uncivilised as hostile propaganda has led us to believe). Still, life wasn’t as much fun for the ladies as they would have liked. Courtly love sounded wonderfully exciting to them.

Marriage at the time was basically an economic contract. Your parents selected a prospective spouse for you (and this applied to young men as much as to young women) on the basis of the degree of advantage it would bring to the family. As long as you didn’t find the person repulsive the marriage would go ahead (actual forced marriages were always forbidden by the Church). It was a sensible system that worked but it was also a system that put the interests of family and society ahead of the interests of the individual. Marriage was about responsibility and duty. That’s not to say that marriages were loveless. If both parties accepted the situation and made the most of it strong bonds of affection could and did develop. And if those bonds of affection failed to develop and either party decided to seek emotional or sexual solace outside the marriage it was not considered to be the end of the world as long as it was done discreetly.

The new concept of love changed all this. Now the idea was that you would fall in love with someone before you married them. There was also a very strong emphasis on sex, and especially on women’s sexual pleasure. There was a simple way to know if you had found True Love or not. If your emotions were not coupled with sexual lust it wan’t True Love.

The writers of romances who promoted courtly love, writers like Chretien de Troyes, were not unaware of the dangers and Chretien certainly seems to have nourished the fond hope that couples would satisfy their emotional and sexual appetites within the safety and sanctity of the marriage bed. Of course in the real world that was never going to happen, and it didn’t always happen in the romances either (adultery makes for more exciting literature than faithful marriage).

For a long time the old and the new concepts of marriage co-existed and balanced each other out. The quest for True Love was important but responsibility and duty still mattered. You could choose your spouse, but you were expected to choose sensibly and to consider family and economic interests.

It all started to go wrong after the First World War. Responsibility and duty were now very old-fashioned notions. They were positively Victorian. And in the 1920s everything Victorian was of course assumed to be hopelessly bad, stupid, oppressive and worst of all old-fashioned.

And at around this time Hollywood came along. Romantic love was made to order for Hollywood. It provided exciting plots that women loved and it proved to be an ideal weapon with which to undermine marriage (Hollywood was fanatically devoted to sabotaging our civilisation right from the start). Romantic love was soon to reign supreme.

There are several major problems with the romantic love ideal. The biggest problem is that it implies that marriage is only really valid as long as True Love still flourishes. If True Love starts to fade, or if the sexual passion that is the unfailing indicator of True Love starts to falter, then marriage becomes oppressive. And surely it’s wicked to expect people to stay married if there’s no True Love any more? Romantic love therefore, in practice, implies that marriage is temporary and that it should be approached from a purely selfish perspective. It’s all about feelings. It’s all about me!

Romantic love is also quite useful from the point of view of social control. Our lives might be empty and meaningless and we might be just nameless faceless consumers but that’s OK because one day True Love will come along and then everything will be hunky dory. We won’t even notice the atomisation and alienation of modern society, or the crassness of our culture, or the way we’re lied to and manipulated. Because Love Conquers All.

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the Hollywood sex scandals

I’ve avoided the subject of the recent sex scandals in Hollywood involving Harvey Weinstein and others but since I have a particular interest in the nexus between popular culture and politics I probably do need to address this issue. It’s actually a rather complicated issue which sheds some fascinating light on the sorry state of our culture in general.

The first point to be made is that it’s absurd for anyone to pretend to be surprised by any of this. This is how Hollywood has always worked. If you want a part in a movie you have to be nice to powerful people like producers and everyone in Hollywood has always known exactly what that means. Any aspiring actress (or actor) who arrives in Tinsel Town hoping to be a star knows what he or she will have to do to achieve that aim. If the price is unacceptable then the smart move is to forget being a star and keep away from Hollywood. In the unlikely event that you are really are naïve enough to be unaware of this reality then within about ten minutes of getting off the bus you’re going to figure it out. If you don’t like the idea, get back on that bus.

As 1940s Hollywood star Hedy Lamarr put it, “The ladder of success in Hollywood is usually a press agent, actor, director, producer, leading man; and you are a star if you sleep with each of them in that order. Crude, but true.”

Obviously it’s a different situation with child actors, and one of the reasons the allegations of homosexual predation in Hollywood are more disturbing is that they do involve children. In these cases it’s a matter of parental responsibility. If you want your kid to be a star then unless you’re prepared to watch him like a hawk it’s almost certain he’ll attract the attention of these predators. Of course these days parental responsibility is pretty much an unknown concept.

I’m certainly not trying to get sleazy Hollywood producers off the hook. There’s no doubt that Hollywood is, and always has been, full of sleazebags who use their power to have sex with pretty starlets. It’s totally reprehensible and obviously morally wrong. It is however worth bearing in mind that where such incidents involve actresses who are legally adults then there is highly likely to be fault on both sides. Hollywood attracts sleazy men but it also attracts women who are willing, sometimes even eager, to trade their sexual favours for career advancement. We need to be wary of falling for the feminist line that women have no agency. If an actress is of legal age and she’s willing to have sex with a producer to get a film role then she must accept her fair share of the responsibility. The trouble with Hollywood is that it’s corrupt all the way through and it corrupts everybody, literally everybody, that it touches.

It’s noticeable that actresses who make accusations of sexual harassment usually seem to do so only years later when it’s becoming obvious that their careers are fading. As long as they think there’s still a chance to hang on to their dreams of stardom they tend to keep their mouths shut. One can’t help suspecting that at the time of the alleged events they were in fact perfectly willing to trade sex for stardom. We need to keep in mind that in spite of the lies of feminists it is extremely common for women to sleep their way to the top (and not just in Hollywood).

The other important point to remember is that at this stage what we have are a great many allegations of the he said/she said variety. Such allegations are by their very nature unprovable. Unfortunately in most cases in which allegations are made against public figures they are of this type. Even more unfortunately it is by no means unknown for people to be convicted of an offence even when it is a matter of one person’s word against another’s. There have been cases in which convictions have been obtained on the basis of very questionable evidence.

It is particularly dangerous to accept accusations in situations where no charges have even been laid. It’s sad that many on the Right have been so excited by the prospect of watching the suffering of Hollywood liberals that they have lost sight of the importance of the presumption of innocence. Even Hollywood scum are entitled to the presumption of innocence.  It’s quite possible that most of the accusations are actually true, but it’s equally possible that many are quite untrue. We live in a society that offers generous rewards to anyone making accusations of sexual misconduct against public figures. It is all part of the corruption of our society.

Obviously anything that makes Hollywood look bad is to be welcomed but we must be aware that this situation is going to be spun in a way that supports the narrative. In this case it’s going to be spun to support a particularly vicious part of the feminist narrative, that women need never take responsibility and that everything is always the fault of those evil patriarchal white heterosexual males.

why our women have gone feral, part 2

As I hinted in my previous post on this topic western women have gone feral because they refuse to accept reality. They not only refuse to accept reality, they get angry when they encounter it. In that post I concentrated on the reasons young women turn feral. This time I’m looking at a couple of the reasons thirty-something and forty-something women go feral.

This also applies, bizarrely, to biological reality. The one great biological fact about women that cannot be evaded is the biological clock. Women have a very limited timeframe in which to have children. After 30 their chances of conceiving and carrying a child to term start to decline. After 35 those chances drop at a terrifying rate. By 40 the odds are not very favourable at all. Women do manage to have children in their mid-40s, and feminists and the media always like to point to such cases, but what they overlook is that those women were lucky. And they probably could afford some very expensive medical intervention as well. The brutal fact remains that after 40 the odds are stacked against the women wanting children.

Of course women have always accepted this biological fact. If they wanted to have children they understood that it was a very wise idea to aim to have the first child by the age of maybe 27 or 28, at the latest. Which meant that they needed to find a husband by around the age of 25 or so. Women have always accepted this biological fact, until feminism came along and assured them that they didn’t need to worry about facts any more. Facts were unfair and misogynistic. If reality was unpleasant then feminism would change reality!

As a result we now have large numbers of women who believe they can devote themselves to careers and sex until they’re 35 or so and then they can still have kids.

There’s another uncomfortable biological fact that women used to accept, even if they didn’t like it. Women reach their peak of attractiveness in their late teens and early 20s. After 30 their beauty starts to fade. A woman of 35 may still be beautiful, but she won’t be as beautiful as she was at 25. And a woman of 45 might still be quite attractive but she isn’t going to be anywhere near as pretty as she was at 25. Logically if a woman wants to maximise her chances of finding a good husband she should be on the lookout for one in her early 20s and should be aiming to have landed one by her mid-20s. Beauty isn’t everything and you don’t have to look like a supermodel to get a good husband but the reality is that if you’re a woman then beauty is a factor in attracting a mate and it’s sensible to use that asset while it’s still there.

This is another facet of reality that women don’t want to accept any more. They want to believe they can wait until they’re in their mid-30s (or even older) and for some reason they will have terrific high-status men queueing up to marry them.

This is the Sex and the City syndrome. Women think they can devote all their energies to a career, shopping and promiscuous sex and then in their late 30s a wonderful rich good-looking man will come along and beg them to marry him. It happened for Carrie Bradshaw so it can happen for any woman! The only trouble is, Sex and the City was pure fantasy. In reality why on earth would a  rich attractive man like Mr Big want to marry Carrie Bradshaw? He’s not exactly the sort of guy who’d be likely to be in the market for a used car but if he was he’d be looking for a late model low-mileage car with one careful previous owner. He wouldn’t be looking for a broken-down and rather battered-looking old clunker liker Carrie that had been driven by half the men in Manhattan. He would also not be interested in a woman who was clearly at an age when the chances of having even one child would be very slim. As for sex, Carrie will open her legs for him any time he asks anyway so why marry her in order to get access to something she’s giving away for free? In the real world Carrie would be resigning herself to an empty lonely purposeless life and would be thinking about buying a cat.

It’s probably no coincidence that Sex and the City was a fantasy foisted on women by homosexual men. The extent to which the modern worship of the homosexual male lifestyle has been indirectly responsible for making women crazy has never been properly explored. It’s a destructive lifestyle for men. For women it’s completely disastrous.

censorship, popular culture and pornography

In the past fifty years we have been the victims of many ill-advised social experiments. One such experiment was the relaxation of censorship.

It began in a major way in the early 60s and at first it didn’t seem like it was going to be a major problem. But of course it didn’t stop with just a relaxation of censorship. The relaxation continued until it reached the point where censorship became almost non-existent. There are many on the right who consider this experiment have been a disastrous failure. On the whole I agree with them although my views on the subject are a bit more complicated and I have no doubt that many in the social conservative and traditionalist camps are not going to approve of some of those views.

I should probably make the point here that I’m speaking of censorship in a broad sense. In the days of the Production Code Hollywood movies weren’t subject to government censorship. The censorship was done by the industry itself. The end result is however the same. It is important to emphasise that whether censorship is imposed by government or by corporations it is still censorship.

In my view there are two separate issues at stake when it comes to sexual material and censorship. There is sexual material that is imbedded in popular culture (and these days it is very deeply and thoroughly embedded) and then there is actual pornography. To my way of thinking it’s the sexual material that so thoroughly permeates our popular culture that is the biggest problem.

The reason I see this as the main problem is that sexual material in popular culture is inescapable, it is all-pervasive, it often takes the form of outright propaganda and it is extremely difficult to protect children from it.

It’s worth mentioning as an aside here that the Hollywood Production Code was introduced as the result of pressure by groups like the Legion of Decency and their main concern was not so much the explicit content (which was pretty tame even in the pre-code era) as the attitudes towards sex that were being encouraged. There was some nudity in pre-code Hollywood movies (such as the notorious scene of Jane skinny-dipping in Tarzan and His Mate) but the bigger concern was the number of movies that not only dealt with subjects like adultery sympathetically, they glamourised and celebrated that kind of immorality. Such attitudes were seen, quite correctly, as being extremely dangerous. Even more dangerous in that the immorality was sometimes presented in a less obvious way. Hollywood was always good at propaganda and while the propaganda was sometimes blatant it was often done in a more subtle and more pernicious way. The Production Code laid down very strict guidelines governing not just overt sexual content but also the messages that films were delivering.

And that’s the problem today with popular culture. It’s not just that there’s a good deal of inappropriate overt content. There’s also a relentless message encouraging and celebrating sexual depravity. The overt content is often graphic enough to be a huge problem in itself but the insidious messages are worse. A pop song glorifying anal sex probably does more harm than a fairly graphic sex scene in a movie. No matter how hard you try it’s just about impossible not to encounter such material and there really is no way you’re going to prevent children from being exposed to it.

Pornography is a different matter. My views on this subject might not be popular but to me it’s a matter of context. If you’re watching music videos or you’re watching a TV drama series or a thriller and suddenly you’re presented with graphic sexual content or messages then to me that’s a case a wildly inappropriate context for such material. You’re not prepared for it and you’re being exposed to it even if you don’t wish to be. And your kids are being exposed to it.

On the other hand if you buy a girlie magazine or visit a website that specialises in pictures of nude women then you’re expecting pictures of nude women. If you watch a porn movie you’re expecting to see people having sex and it’s hardly going to come as a shock. It’s an appropriate context. If you don’t wish to see pictures of naked women then you don’t have to visit that website or buy that magazine. If you don’t wish to see people having sex don’t watch a porn movie. It’s avoidable. It’s compartmentalised. You have to seek it out and it’s your choice. It’s not suddenly thrown at you when actually you’re expecting to see a straightforward thriller.

As long as you have to make a conscious decision to view the material it doesn’t worry me all that much. Of course there should be limits and restrictions and depending on the graphicness of the material there should be some hoops to jump through before you can access it, in order to make sure that people don’t stumble upon it by accident and to ensure that minors can’t access it. I do realise that these restrictions don’t work as well as they should in the internet age but to me that’s a technical problem rather than a moral problem.

My attitude towards this subject also varies depending on the exact nature of the material. There’s an extremely wide range of pornography, but broadly speaking to my mind you’re dealing with three categories. There’s softcore, which is basically naked women and simulated sex scenes. There’s hardcore, basically explicit images of real sex. And there’s the extreme end which covers some very disturbing and frankly disgusting stuff. The extreme stuff worries me and I’d be happier if people didn’t want such material and it is possible to make a fairly sound argument for banning a good deal of it outright.

Hardcore material worries me a good deal less as long as it is confined to the depiction of normal heterosexual activities (and perhaps I should mention in passing that I most certainly do not consider sodomy to be a normal heterosexual sexual act). If it stays within such limits I don’t think it’s a huge problem although of course it should be made impossible (or as near to impossible as can be managed) for minors to access it.

As for softcore porn, I have to be honest and say I don’t really have any problems with it at all. I can’t really imagine anyone being psychologically scarred by seeing pictures of naked women.

My principal concern is that pornography should be kept separate from mainstream popular culture, and that pornographic material should not be permitted to be infiltrated into mainstream popular culture. In my view this is where the real harm has been done. Sex is part of life but when popular culture becomes pornographic it encourages the idea that sex is all that matters in life.

should men go their own way?

I haven’t really talked much about the so-called manosphere or about one of its more interesting manifestations, Men Going Their Own Way (MGTOW). I have some sympathy for this movement although I certainly don’t consider myself to be a part of it. Of course that might be because I’m just not that much of a joiner.

The most potent argument against MGTOW is that it’s a kind of surrender and that surrender is what got us into this mess in the first place. There’s the argument that the one positive step that anyone who dislikes the current state of society can take is to marry and have lots of kids. These children will be shock troops, or at least loyal foot soldiers, in both the Culture War and the Demographic War. The further argument is that since liberals have few children we can easily win  The War of the Cradle. These are arguments that I myself was making just a year ago.

The trouble is that these arguments rest on two assumptions that are looking increasingly dubious. The first is that the Culture War and the Demographic War are winnable. The Culture War is clearly already lost. The Demographic War is looking very grim indeed. If these wars are unwinnable then that changes everything.

Of course there’s always the possibility that eventually our society will implode and then perhaps we can reconstruct a sane society from the ashes. It has to be said that an actual collapse seems (to me at least) rather unlikely in either the short or medium term. It’s more likely that present trends will continue and life will become more and more unpleasant but that the elites will maintain their control.

The second dubious assumption is that governments in the West are going to let us raise our children the way we think they should be raised. It’s blindingly obvious that our governments intend to put more and more pressure on us to raise our children the way they think children should be raised – as alienated but compliant economic units totally committed to the state religions of globalism and social justice. It’s also blindingly obvious that our governments will have absolutely no hesitation taking children away from patents who refuse to conform.

And liberals don’t need to breed. They don’t need their own children because they know they’re getting to get possession of the hearts and minds of our kids once those kids are exposed to the indoctrination program which is what our education system now is.

Marriage is clearly a very bad option for men for a host of reasons. If having children is now likely to be mostly futile then really it’s difficult to see any arguments at all for marriage from a male point of view.

We may be headed, rather rapidly, for a situation in which Men Going Their Own Way is not just an option, but the only viable option.

I think it’s all very tragic. Before feminism raised its ugly head men and women got along remarkably well. Then feminism taught women not only to hate men but to hate themselves for being women. Now an increasing number of men are so angry at women that they want nothing to do with them. The trouble is that living without the opposite sex is a hard road to choose.

The latest post at The Knight and Drummer addresses this issue and the closely related issue of withdrawing from society altogether. Maybe living a neolithic lifestyle in a hut in the wilderness appeals to some people but it’s not my idea of fun. I don’t like nature. I never have done. In my experience nature is damp, cold, smelly, uncomfortable and downright dangerous. Wildernesses might be nice to look at on TV (although even on TV they seem pretty boring to me) but the idea of living in an actual wilderness horrifies me. I’m not sure I’m keen on such absolute levels of solitude either.

I’m also not terribly attracted to the monkish thing. It’s a bit too much of a rejection of the sensual world. I’m not sure I can bring myself to regard the pleasures of the flesh as evil.

But then I seem to be a person entirely lacking in the taste for spiritual introspection so I’m not cut out for monkdom anyway.

I try to compromise as best as I can. I might live in society but I don’t feel part of it. Not any more. But I do rather like things like indoor plumbing and electricity, and at least some limited human contact. I shun all contact with contemporary popular culture, I avoid any unnecessary interactions with the state and I limit my human contacts fairly severely. Compromising is difficult but it seems to me to be unavoidable. I suppose that in practice I have to some extent been a man going his own way for quite some time now but I’m still sceptical about embracing it as an ideology. The idea does however become more attractive with each passing day.

censorship and the sexualisation of pop culture

The process of dismantling censorship began during the late 1950s. It gathered stream during the 1960s and by the beginning of the 70s it seemed like most of the barriers had come down. There was resistance but at the time it didn’t seem likely to be all that disastrous. It was a classic example of the workings of the slippery slope.
In 1967, President Johnson established the National Commission on Obscenity and Pornography. The commission came to the conclusion that pornography was pretty much harmless. Given the amount of pornography around at the time, and the type, this conclusion might well have been quite reasonable. I’m inclined to think that girlie magazines and similar material really were pretty harmless. The trouble is that old slippery slope. The commission could not have predicted the explosion of hardcore porn in the US from the early 70s onwards, the rise of home video at the end of the 70s and the later advent of the internet, all of which changed not only the type of pornography that was around but much more crucially led to dramatic increases in both the quantity and the ease of access.
While I admit that pornography today is a problem I’m actually much more concerned by the ways in which porn has seeped into the mainstream popular culture. The relaxation of censorship allowed pop culture to become incredibly sexualised. While you still have to make a conscious effort to seek out pornography pop culture is inescapable. This has consequences when it comes to children. The average 13-year-old girl is very very unlikely to go looking for internet porn but she is going to be exposed to pop music, to popular movies, to TV, to the social media culture. All of which are awash with sexuality, mostly of a fairly unhealthy variety. Take your daughter to a Disney movie and she’ll be exposed to homosexual imagery, and this in a movie clearly aimed at children.
It’s not so much the explicit content that is the problem, it’s the attitudes. Young women are being encouraged not just to behave sexually like men, to behave sexually like homosexual men. As explained in a recent horrifying post at The Knight and Drummer Teen Vogue is encouraging your teenage daughter to explore the wonderful world of anal sex. Sexual perversion is being normalised and while porn has played a part in this it’s the mainstream pop culture that is doing the greatest harm.
I do have some sympathy with the idea that maybe censorship should not have been relaxed anywhere near as much as it was but any attempt to reintroduce meaningful censorship will be futile unless it targets that mainstream popular culture. 

to control society first control the culture

A commenter at Oz Conservative recently stated, “Liberals can only mount their progressive tyranny on non-liberals through the power of the state.” I’m not sure I agree with this, not completely anyway.
The current dominant ideology, a combination of globalism and liberalism, has gained its ascendancy mostly through gaining control of the culture. This process began early in the 20th century. By the 1960s liberal leftists were firmly in control of the worlds of art and literature. They controlled Hollywood, and most of the world of entertainment. They controlled most of the news media. They controlled the universities. They had thoroughly infiltrated most of the churches. They were well on the way to controlling the culture. Their cultural control is now total.
In most cases they did not advance their agenda through direct political means. They did not control the power of the state. They have certainly been able to force the state to enforce their agenda but this has been a fairly recent thing. In every case the coercive power of the state has only been used to compel obedience to cultural changes that have already taken place.
Homosexuality had already been culturally normalised before legislation was passed to make homosexual acts legal. Marriage had already been undermined before divorce laws were relaxed to the point of making marriage nothing more than a temporary sexual arrangement. Feminists had already gained acceptance of most of their program before feminism started to be legally enforced by the state.
The use of the judiciary to accelerate the rate of social change is a recent phenomenon and it has only been made possible by liberal domination of the culture (both high culture and popular culture). 
Liberals haven’t actually needed the power of the state to push their agenda. Nor have they needed to win election victories. As long as their control of the culture remains total they can rest assured that the power of the state can and will be used to reinforce their victories. Those victories are however always won by cultural battles, not political battles. Politics is downstream of culture.
It logically follows that liberalism cannot be defeated by conventional political means. Liberalism can only be defeated by wresting control of the culture away from them. That can only be achieved by a more powerful, more attractive, more dynamic, cultural force. At this point in time such a cultural force does not exist. Until it does liberalism will remain in the driver’s seat.