I thought I saw it twitch

The officers were told they were to play the Red (U.S.) force in war games, a task they performed thoroughly and exceedingly well. This Red team of Japanese intelligence experts demonstrated in the game that Japan’s only hope was to achieve its conquests and consolidate them as early as possible, because the greater resources of the United States, once converted to full warmaking capacity, would surely deprive Japan of its war potential and force her surrender.
– Peter Perla, The Art of Wargaming, p. 48

Game in the 19th century

Men who seek to better understand the challenge posed by the dichotomy of female attraction could do far worse than to read the works of W. Somerset Maugham. Being of a certain orientation as well as an unusually ruthless observer of human behavior, he had the emotional distance necessary to note some of the unusual and contradictory aspects of female behavior that have confounded so many men over the centuries. His first novel, Liza of Lambeth, is little more than a straightforward portrayal of the instinctive feminine preference for the Alpha; the most desirable young woman on the street, the protagonist Liza, rejects her solid and eminently suitable young suitor, Tom, in favor of a secretive affair with brutish, bearded married man whose children are as old as she is. Tom’s proper and hesitant advances don’t arouse Liza half as much as Jim’s rough, unsolicited kisses; Jim provokes the consumation of their adultery with a punch in the stomach. Needless to say, it doesn’t end well for Liza, as she is physically beaten by Jim’s wife, gets pregnant, and dies of a miscarriage.

A similar, but more sophisticated theme is at work throughout Of Human Bondage, which is an excellent novel worth reading in any event. The unsavory object of Philip Carey’s unstinting devotion, the anemic waitress Mildred, throws him over in favor of a married German man before running off with his impoverished best friend at Carey’s expense. Whereas Tom is a beta by virtue of his youth, Carey is a downright gamma courtesy of his club foot and sensitive intelligence. Carey is a white knight who will not ‘take advantage’ of Mildred even after repeatedly rescuing her from starvation, ill health, and prostitution; she is openly contemptuous of him throughout their entire relationship before finally leaving him in a violent and destructive rage when, in his noble refusal to abuse his position as her rescuer, he resolutely refuses to take her to his bed. The story finally ends well for Carey, but only thanks to his class superiority providing him with sufficient perceived status to attract a handsome, loving, young quasi-peasant girl. And even with her, he comes very close to ruining his happy ending by his persistent gammaesque noblesse. To marry the girl in order to rescue her from social opprobation is a responsibility he willingly accepts, but he finds it very hard to accept the idea of marrying her simply because he wants to do so.

But Maugham’s prescient explication of Game is most explicit in The Magician, in which the beautiful fiance of a young and brilliant physician is seduced away from him by the grotesque figure of the Aleister Crowley character, Oliver Haddo.

Her contempt for him, her utter loathing, were alloyed with a feeling that aroused in her horror and dismay. She could not get the man out of her thoughts. All that he had said, all that she had seen, seemed, as though it possessed a power of material growth, unaccountably to absorb her. It was as if a rank weed were planted in her heart and slid long poisonous tentacles down every artery, so that each part of her body was enmeshed. Work could not distract her, conversation, exercise, art, left her listless; and between her and all the actions of life stood the flamboyant, bulky form of Oliver Haddo. She was terrified of him now as never before, but curiously had no longer the physical repulsion which hitherto had mastered all other feelings. Although she repeated to herself that she wanted never to see him again, Margaret could scarcely resist an overwhelming desire to go to him. Her will had been taken from her, and she was an automaton. She struggled, like a bird in the fowler’s net with useless beating of the wings; but at the bottom of her heart she was dimly conscious that she did not want to resist. If he had given her that address, it was because he knew she would use it. She did not know why she wanted to go to him; she had nothing to say to him; she knew only that it was necessary to go….

It seemed to her that a comparison was drawn for her attention between the narrow round which awaited her as Arthur’s wife and this fair, full existence. She shuddered to think of the dull house in Harley Street and the insignificance of its humdrum duties. But it was possible for her also to enjoy the wonder of the world. Her soul yearned for a beauty that the commonalty of men did not know. And what devil suggested, a warp as it were in the woof of Oliver’s speech, that her exquisite loveliness gave her the right to devote herself to the great art of living? She felt a sudden desire for perilous adventures. As though fire passed through her, she sprang to her feet and stood with panting bosom, her flashing eyes bright with the multi-coloured pictures that his magic presented. Oliver Haddo stood too, and they faced one another. Then, on a sudden, she knew what the passion was that consumed her. With a quick movement, his eyes more than ever strangely staring, he took her in his arms, and he kissed her lips. She surrendered herself to him voluptuously. Her whole body burned with the ecstasy of his embrace.

‘I think I love you,’ she said, hoarsely.

She looked at him. She did not feel ashamed.

Now, there are certainly women who master this primal urge for excitement, mystery and perception of male power, who exert their rational faculties and succeed in choosing their lovers utilizing at least some degree of reason rather than simply trusting to the vagaries of instinct. But that does not mean that the primal urge does not exist in them, or that it is not there to be appealed to by men who recognize it and knowingly manipulate it or by men whose natural behavior tends to stimulate it. Awareness of this dichotomy of female attraction is useful knowledge for men and women alike, since the woman who is aware of it is less likely to find herself being swept away unconsciously by it, and the man who is aware of it can either use it to avoid behaving in a manner that provokes instinctive disgust in women or to behave in a manner that permits manipulation of those instincts.

One thing I’m curious to know is how many women are fully cognizant of this call of the wild while simultaneously rejecting it. Do those who reject it tend to knowingly do so or is it more of an unconscious rejection that is the result of positive social conditioning? I’m really not interested in hearing what women who completely deny it exists and profess an instinctive preference for white knights and gammas have to say, since there isn’t much to be learned from the opinions of the self-deceptive.

How it looks from the other side

Chad the Elder has an interesting link to a WSJ article at the Fraters Libertas. He also notes that Obamacare has probably destroyed Mitt Romney’s chances at the 2012 nomination, the hapless denials of Captain Underoos notwithstanding. However, I found this comment following the article to be both illuminating and astounding in terms of how the lunatics on the Left regard the political fallout from the health care bill:

To all my Republican friends. They have met their Waterloo. The bill that was passed by the House on Sunday is not socialized medicine. It is so far from that agenda that the GOP overstated the case. To the public they were the party of NO.They will not repeal it and in November they will be slaughtered. Pelosi gave a young President a spine that he lacked. She encouraged him to invest all of his political capital to promote this bill. People all over the world were tuned in to the pre vote and vote on Sunday. Their impression was that the Tea Party people were a bunch of racist crazies. The whites in this country must accept the fact that in 10 years we will become a minority. President Obama was empowered by the stand he took. He reached out his hand to a reluctant GOP and they slapped him down in a racist and demeaning way. This vote in the House was more significiant than the vote in November 2008. This President is now empowered to be another FDR.

You see, there are many Americans who eagerly anticipate living in a Third World hellhole with a corrupt nomenklatura. They don’t want anything to do with liberty or the cultural traditions of the West. And those conservatives who are so foolish as to support immigration have been actively doing their work for them for the last 24 years. As for the political analysis, the only correct point is that Obama has been empowered by acting decisively. To gain popularity in the polls, you have to lead them, not follow them. While the Congressional Democrats will get destroyed in November, Obama may well come out of this very well. If the bill is perceived to have ruined the health care system, it’s Pelosi’s bill. If it is perceived to have been a success, he’ll take the credit.

And, if he has to work with a Republican House and Senate, he’ll work towards a magnificent bipartisan immigration reform, importing tens of millions of third-worlders. Remember, the economy is already toast, and he still has an out by sacrificing the bankers.

Debt has a body count

The truly shocking news here is that a bank actually dared to foreclose on a property. These days, they usually prefer to pretend that the loan is still performing.

The foreclosure crisis in Philadelphia is now becoming a matter of life and death. Eyewitness News has learned that in the past month, two homeowners took their own lives before sheriff’s deputies arrived to tell them that they were being evicted. On March 5, deputies arriving to post an eviction notice on Lynda Clark’s South Philadelphia home found she had hanged herself…. Less than three weeks later, owner Gregory Bellows shot and killed himself shortly before deputies arrived to evict him from his Roxborough home.

It seems unlikely that this violent despair is going to remain self-directed for long. A lot of people still believe the news; I have people tell me every day that they see this sign or that sign that the economy is recovering. The economists, meanwhile, cite the GDP and unemployment numbers. But the statistical mirage is entirely transparent to those who understand how the statistics are constructed and how they have been manipulated by the $2 trillion increase in debt-funded government spending over the last 18 months. Extend-and-pretend was a gambit, an entirely rational gamble for those who subscribe to Neo-Keynesian economic theory and thought that recovery was predicated on resparking the all-important animal spirits. Unfortunately, because it was based on a false premise, it failed.

I was interviewed on a radio station last night and the hosts seemed a little surprised when I told them in no uncertain terms that there is nothing to be done. But it’s not that hard to understand; what would you tell someone who makes $15k a year, spends $25k per year, and is $75k in debt? That’s only part of the problem, as you also have to keep in mind that 42% of reported bank assets are literally worthless.