Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Blue Pill advice and why we receive it

The subtitle of this blog alludes to my curiosity. It is no exaggeration. I am a very curious person. Apparently it shows on my face.
During one of those leadership/management courses one gets dragged to even though they are totally irrelevant to one's job, a fellow course-goer was asked to describe me. He said this:
"She always looks like she is about to ask a question!"
To be fair to him, I did have a question in mind... "what am I doing on this course?"


My quizzical nature dictates that I get on perfectly well with two types of people in real life:
The patient types who will tolerate my constant search for answers, so basically, really old people...
And those who have already lost their sanity and therefore have a huge tolerance for humouring two-year olds going 'why' all day long...

As they say, curiosity killed the cat.
As I am thankfully non-feline with respect to my phenotype, and I am not yet dead, my curiosity persists.

My favourite question is indeed 'why'.

Whenever I receive advice, especially unsolicited advice, I like to analyse why I was given that advice.

This comment by The Navy Corpsman made me smile, because it describes my attitude to advice to  a tee:
"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to run screaming from people who give free advice."

Like many people today, I grew up with 'Blue Pill' advice.
Nowadays though, Blue Pill advice makes me see red.

In general, I have found only three reasons why people dish out Blue Pill advice:

1. Ignorance
2. Sabotage
3. Misguided good faith

The specific reason in any given case depends very much on who is giving the advice, of course.

Below is some typical Blue Pill advice and my feelings towards them.

For women
1. "Don't even think about settling down until you are out of your twenties."

This is an extremely common one. Actually, I have mixed feelings about this one. On the one hand, it sems totally illogical. Because there is such a thing as a biological clock for women.
On the other hand, many women will admit that they are just not ready for the huge responsibility marriage is, in their twenties.
I personally was a late developer. Which is a euphemism for 'slow'. Not an insult directed at self. Just an observation.
I have a lot of sympathy for both arguments. But on principle, I think it is wrong advice. Hence its appearance under 'Blue Pill advice'.

2. "You can have it all".

This one I have zero sympathy for. I think this one is the single most anger-provoking advice for young women today. Because it is patently false. And it is the reason feminism is dying a slow painful death, finally.
Because savvy young women are turning their backs on this particular lie. It was the last straw that broke the proverbial camel's back.

For men
1. "Be nice/be yourself".

Now, as the recipient of this advice myself, which I find appropriate for women, I honestly did not know that this was also advice being dished out to men.

But I was seeing the results of this advice. I just did not know what the problem was until I happened upon the Manosphere and discovered exactly why this was bad advice for men.

I have great sympahy for the male recipients of this advice. Partly because of who is most likely to give it. For many men, it is Mother, or an equivalent well-meaning female relative.

 As women, we have come to expect sound advice from a trusted mother figure, especially the kind of woman I would call a 'Titus 2' woman. (An experienced, godly, wife and mother).
And, we expect equally sound advice from a father figure too, because a man knows other men best.

But somehow, it just does not seem to work out well when a mother tries to guide her son in the SMP. I really don't know why. Somehow, I have learned that a man can only really get good advice about the dating game from another man.
 I find it hard to believe that a father would tell his son the above advice. But I am sure there are always exceptions to the rule. Surely this has to be a rare exception though!

Another reason this bit of advice is problematic is that, it is just incomplete.
Taken at face value, it is excellent advice. Because women actually do want 'nice'. But only in men they already find attractive, aka, 'alpha', whatever 'alpha' may mean to her.

In the interests of brevity, I shall stop here.

I am sure there is plenty more Blue Pill advice for both men and women I have left out...
 Let me know if I have left out your favourite one, and please tell me the reason behind people dishing it out.




12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Note to self: Stop giving advice, free or otherwise, and definitely stop revising conventional wisdom.

The Navy Corpsman

spacetraveller said...

@ Navy Corpsman,

:-)

There are certain people whose advice is invaluable. The thing is, to recognise these people...
You are one of them.

Because after analysing the 'why' it becomes clear what kind of advice it is, good or bad, worthy or worthless.

Anonymous said...

Have you ever wondered about a time when humanity did not have cliches, proverbs or catchphrases? It must have been wondrous, perhaps before language became necessary to communicate more than simple ideas and concepts.

Someone else articulates an idea, a book is written, a movie is filmed. We listen, read, watch and ideas are passed along, somehow touching what we feel inside ourselves. We take this idea and apply it to something we see in our own lives, sometimes expanding it far beyond that original concept first spoken.

Red pills and blue, illusion and reality. Every new generation of humans seems to convince itself of a new and unique outlook on life, love and that which comes about from living and loving. A new wisdom, born of new thoughts or special knowledge, which will Solve Problems. Yet only with time, does each newly old generation realize that we merely rehash old thoughts and unnecessarily complicate both life and love.

Don't get me wrong... idealism has its' place and a fresh look at old problems has solved ancient issues with steady reliability. Look at medicine, curing leprosy and tuberculosis... yet new problems have arisen, the blame of which is worthless in its' fervor. But, reducing wisdom to a few pithy words plays hell with human understanding of how the wisdom comes to be. Most people instinctively know that knowledge is not Power, as the saying goes, but wisdom somewhat follows power in a reasonable correlation. Or perhaps, the reverse is true; that wisdom is recognized within others, thus conferring Power by majority acclimation. We end up forced to examine and discard with alarming alacrity, theories and hypotheses which are advanced by those we deem wise, revising our estimate of wisdom to greater or lesser degrees, based on what sticks to the mind of the majority.

So we choose Senators, Presidents and Members of Parliment and Prime Ministers. So we choose ideas and proverbs, knowledge and wisdom. And in the end, all such pretensions fall away, and we remain, naked apes with a biological imperative to reproduce. Life and love, or if you prefer, life and sex.

You mentioned three reasons why people give advice; note I do not qualify that as Blue Pill advice. The third is by far the most common reason, a misguided belief somehow that the advice is correct. Remove the Blue Pill, and make it only advice and you will see this truth. We pass along that which we believe, rarely what we KNOW. Pass along, and pass alone, unless by some chance Frank Sinatra was right, and Strangers In The Night has some semblance of reality.

Many many people will give you the Blue Pill, and say that this is a Good Thing (with no apologies to Martha Stewart). Others will give you the Red Pill, cautioning that such as we are rare to the point of extinction, or simply not worth the effort.

Both are right, and both are wrong.


One of my most favorite quotes of all time was "Question Authority". At first, I thought it was from Timothy Leary, probably uttered in some hallucinogenic haze, but then I found that he was merely quoting Benjamin Franklin, one of the first Americans:

"It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority."

Then the internet came around, and I found that Mr Franklin probably borrowed his phrase from Socrates. How apropos. Patriarchy still abounds.

As for your call for Blue Pill advice, spend five minutes in any bar with at least 25 other humans of mixed gender. Spend five seconds in a retirement community supper. Or ask your parents. Then go find out for yourself.

Anonymous said...

Oops.

Ran out of room, always a bad sign.

Only you can make the decision for yourself, and all the advice in the world is just so much hot air. Including mine. There is truth, and then there is Truth. Part of the trouble with idealism is that mistaken and misguided belief that somehow, someway, they have Solved the Problem. It may be true, and True, but almost always only true for them, personally.

The choice to take a Red Pill is individual, and the choice to Blue Pill is remain part of the herd. Both are still right, and still wrong. My words or anyone's should always be taken with a tablespoon of salt, simply because I am not you. You may admire the little wisdoms I have accumulated and deem worthy to pass along, but in Truth, it really only works for me. There is nothing wrong with listening to it, but I remind you, be ready to run screaming at the slightest hint of Belief in Truth. At that intimation, I become not wise, but merely another Dear Abby, anathema to both true and True.

The Navy Corpsman

spacetraveller said...

@ Anonymous @ 7:00PM,

Interesting comment. I have a little trouble understanding it in its entirety. I shall have to chew on it for a few days :-)

But one thing is ckear enough to me: there is no such thing as 'new data'. We do indeed merely rehash old data, albeit in new and interesting ways.

'Question authority.'
'A fresh look at old problems'.

Of the two, I find that the 'red pill' way is the way to go. Because it is the 'new' way which enables you to see why the 'old' way was inefficient.
And paradoxically, the 'new' way helps you to refine the 'old' way such that the 'old' way actually becomes efficient.
The Blue Pill way is to continue to be flabbergasted that the old way is not working and being stuck in the same old place.
In other words, one big waste of time.

Not sure if this sums it up well, but...for now it will have to do :-)

dannyfrom504 said...

another Corpseman is here. interesting. are you still on active duty.

HM1(SW) Dannyfom504.

Anonymous said...

Dannyfrom504:

Nope, I separated from the Navy in 1984, medical discharge. I self-identify merely as a method of address, it's better than "Anonymous".

And, with all due respect, please do not refer to me or any other corpsmen as 'Corpseman". I realize it has a political connotation, but most every corpsman I have ever met or known personally, take great exception to this pronunciation, both mistaken and deliberate. Our duty was to prevent corpses.

The Navy Corpsman

Anonymous said...

spacetraveller:

"The Blue Pill way is to continue to be flabbergasted that the old way is not working and being stuck in the same old place.
In other words, one big waste of time."

Well, perhaps yes. Certainly, there are great pressures to change society into something quite different than 'traditional' marriage and gender relations. I submit, however, that there is misinformation being delivered on both traditional and progressive sides of the coin.

People have a right to change their minds, and to pursue the 're-education' of society at large, in an attempt to somehow improve it. But, at the same time, I'm often flabbergasted at the hatred the progressives show for the traditional society that has done so much, by concentrating solely on 'patriarchy and privilege'. There is no doubt that mistakes were made, in the past, regarding the rights of females, blacks and other minorities.

Perhaps the biggest condemnation of Blue Pill advocacy would be the refusal to see societal change as something normal and possibly for the good of all of society. At the same time, Red Pill (both male and female) advocates need to understand that an entire generation has grown to adulthood being taught to reject traditional gender roles and understandings. Not all of the generation accepts it, but little argument would exist against the numbers being a large majority. I misdoubt quite seriously that society will ever return completely to those traditions, although I have seen evidence that there are many members of 'Generation X' who are leaning back to those ideas.

But, when one defines any who oppose the assertions of feminism as misogynists, how can there ever be a reasonable rational dialog? The cry of racism over the past 50 years has effectively silenced any dialog on race relations, and feminism has learned that lesson well.

Taking the Red Pill is often described as an immature 'boy-man' reaction to a simple refusal to play the game. The funniest part about such a description is that many Red Pill men don't even care how they're being described. It's irrelevant to going your own way. I have great respect for those males who have decided that the courts and the law are stacked against them, and have decided not to forfeit, not to cheat, but simply to walk off the field. They have decided that their individual rights trump societal pressures to conform to a certain gender role, and this decision is not all that different than women deciding in the 1960s to challenge THEIR role as women.

If one is going to allow women to define themselves, then why cannot the same be allowed for men? Why do these things always turn adversarial, using shame to push individual rights to self-determination into the shadows?

The Navy Corpsman

Anonymous said...

P.S. Dannyfrom504:

I was just an 8404, secondary quad-zero from '81 to '84, including a year in Beirut with 1/8 Marines. Before the bombing, I was aiming at Recon, hoping for recommendation to FMF, but things didn't work out.

Hope you understand the aversion to corpses.

The Navy Corpsman

spacetraveller said...

@ The Navy Corpsman,

"People have a right to change their minds, and to pursue the 're-education' of society at large, in an attempt to somehow improve it. But, at the same time, I'm often flabbergasted at the hatred the progressives show for the traditional society that has done so much, by concentrating solely on 'patriarchy and privilege'. There is no doubt that mistakes were made, in the past, regarding the rights of females, blacks and other minorities."

If I am reading you correctly, your flabbergast-ness (er, is there a noun to this verb??) is directed at the feminists.

"At the same time, Red Pill (both male and female) advocates need to understand that an entire generation has grown to adulthood being taught to reject traditional gender roles and understandings. Not all of the generation accepts it, but little argument would exist against the numbers being a large majority. I misdoubt quite seriously that society will ever return completely to those traditions, although I have seen evidence that there are many members of 'Generation X' who are leaning back to those ideas."

I am getting the idea that these red pill women are finding new ways to return to the previous traditional way, yes.
But what they are doing is precisely that - finding a NEW way. Feeling their way around in the dark because the situation is unprecedented because their mothers and grandmothers never had to go through their unique situation. So they really are not best placed to teach them, except for basic principles which could help, but by no means guarantee anything in the present clime.

Let me clarify this point further.
If by Generation X woman, you mean a woman born roughly between 1965 and 1980ish, then chances are, she was born after feminism had taken hold.
So, she was automatically born into an environment which was different from that into which her parents and any further ancestors were born.
Like it or not, she is hampered by something out of her control. Whether she is contributing personally to the problem or not is kind of moot because she already lost the game at her birth.

If she is single, when she takes the red pill, she is effectively following her 'brothers' (wrong choice of word! but you get the picture) out of the village into the wilderness knowing that some would never return whatever she does, and banking on the few that would.

Unlike her blue pill sisters who are still standing around in the village square asking each other where all the men have gone, but making no effort to find them.

Because she is still a woman like her mother and grandmother.
She still wants the security of a LTR/marriage with a man. She ain't tempted by lesbianism as someone on a previous post came up with as a possible solution to 'good for nuthin men'.

So Miss Red Pill adapts to the new rules of the game.

So had Mr. Red Pill well before her.

dannyfrom504 said...

Navy Corpsman-

i've been doing this for 18 years. the first 5 were all trauma management. i have PTSD from all the human dismemberment i've dealt with. the nightmares finally ended 6-7 years ago. all of my friends (8404's) say corpsman as a joke. it has ZERO political connotations.

i'm completely numb to human bloodshed and death. seriously. thank you taking care of our brothers. stay up.

Anonymous said...

spacetraveller said...

"If I am reading you correctly, your flabbergast-ness (er, is there a noun to this verb??) is directed at the feminists."

More or less anyone who wants to reject ALL traditional gender roles. It bothers me a great deal, to see women downgraded as merely 'housewives'. Where I come from, it was a noble calling.

"Like it or not, she is hampered by something out of her control. Whether she is contributing personally to the problem or not is kind of moot because she already lost the game at her birth."

Exactly. How the hell can one play the game when the rules keep changing?

"So Miss Red Pill adapts to the new rules of the game."

Indeed so. Why play, when the stakes are so high, and when losing means real problems for yourself and any children you have, whether you are male or female Red Pill consumers?

"Because she is still a woman like her mother and grandmother.
She still wants the security of a LTR/marriage with a man."

Well, and that's the conundrum. Many, if not most, Red Pillers both male and female, wanted that at some point. They were avid Blue Pills who just wanted some love and companionship, but the fervent dislike of men by many, if not most, feminists made the entire rules change untenable. Those feminists made women of this X generation (yeah 1964 to whenever) slightly insane. How can you be independent of men, when you want to be with a man? For that matter, same for men... hence the Red Pill analogy. (Thanks Morpheus!) As a coping mechanism, Red Pills are top of the line, but as a symptom of society, it's like a malarial fever. It's just the only thing that WORKS for those who just cannot take the crap anymore.


dannyfrom504 said...

"i've been doing this for 18 years. the first 5 were all trauma management."

Well, you're close to my age, then, and a little insane for staying with it so long, but I love you for it. I confess that I've been out for so long that I was unaware that the pronunciation had become a joke, although I am not entirely surprised by it, dark humor is always a part of that NEC.

"i'm completely numb to human bloodshed and death."

Danny... this statement makes me very sad. I still have nightmares, combat just does that to a guy. Hang on to your humanity, my brother... hang on with both hands.

I read some of your blog, laughed my ass off at your handling of the O-4. Do be careful, after they make Commander, they really get a belief in their own infallibility, and tend to keep grudges. Working with Marines almost exclusively, I usually made sure the top kick was around when I had to deal with the battalion CO.

"thank you taking care of our brothers."

And thank you. You've done what I had a mind to do, but by mutual agreement, I went off to college. Looking back, I'm pretty sure it was the right choice, but a medical is a medical, especially after it was realized that I had been at the embassy in Beirut also. Still not allowed to have MRIs, because of all the iron enrichment. My grandkids think it's cool that grandpa can use a magnet to make his skin stretch! My wife calls it "magnetic personality".

The Navy Corpsman