A place for a

15.03.2015

The pain of status and rivalry

I am observing a man and two women at the restaurant. My chest is compressed by an invisible pressure strong enough to make it difficult to breathe. What is this? Why should it be so painful to simply look at people?

My gaze is reciprocated a few times, but never held for an extended period of time. My chest loosens up and I calmly continue my observation: A rather uptight, very properly and boringly clothed man is accompanied by two women; despite his glaring uneasiness, they exaggeratedly laugh at things he says, sometimes conjuring a smug smile on his face. Neither he nor they seem to be honestly enjoying themselves.

Power

By having looked away and avoided my stare multiple times, the man and the women likewise have signaled my body that I am in a superior position. Thus they have resigned to the challenge I had proposed and given my body the freedom to relax and enjoy my win. For now.

I don’t feel arrogant, as I use to. Arrogance is an excessive display of pride, stemming from insecurity; it has it’s merits and flaws, but it’s not what I feel now.

I feel calm. Relaxed. I observe them with the attention and love with which I would observe my own children, pets or possessions. Am I objectifying them? Well, define objectification. They are my possessions in my current frame. Does one treat ones possessions bad? No. One loves ones possessions and is curious about them.

With ease of mind, I contemplate having the women’s throats cut. Not to make them feel pain, no, as a pragmatic consideration. There is no hate and no anger involved. I merely sympathize with the man, who seems like a wuss enough to be lured into a marriage with the somewhat attractive post-wall blonde. Justice. The idea fades away as quickly as it came.

Investigating emotions

This isn’t the first staring I do today. I have sat down in front of a lewd blonde on the train today and stripped her with my eyes without saying a word. Creepy? Definitely. But so hot.

Girls have a big persona and confidence, but it depends entirely on you to allow it. Shamelessly accept all your emotions and she is powerless. Your fear of rejection means nothing if she cannot get you to act on it.

So game and girls are one aspect of life that we often dare not explore for we fear the feelings we may confront. Out of guilt also.

But is that all? Think. Why don’t you dare to stare at people in a restaurant? Is it not weird? No, not weird to stare at them. Weird to not be able to do it. Is it impolite? But what does impolite mean?

We live under the illusion of free choice. We don’t look a stranger in the eye and find instead something interesting in the house front to be curious about. Did we avoid his stare out of fear? No, we were honestly curious about the house. Rationalization.

What basis does politeness have in human nature? Why do I feel a crushing pressure on my chest and mor in my gut when I actually dare to look at people?

It’s a challenge.

No, not because I choose it to be. I am only curious, without bad intention. But my body has it’s own hard-wired interpretation and prepares for fight or flight. Because a challenge can only be honest if one is prepared to fight.

This is precisely why it is wrong to ever criticize emotions. Emotions are hard-wired. Some desires are hard-wired.

We are brought up to feel guilty for the wish to fuck every last little pencil-legged cutie. But guess what. It’s not our choice. Once you start observing your emotions, you will notice that you don’t simply choose how you feel. You merely choose if you accept or suppress an emotion.

So what wish is driving me as I am looking at them? Curiosity, yes. But there is something deeper that I don’t even dare to acknowledge. Something that was crushing my chest.

The wish for a fight. The wish to dominate.

Status

And I don’t mean the wish to be seen as a dominating person or as a tough guy. I mean the wish to actually dominate.

I dare to look at them now, they have not accepted my challange. I am above them, thus I have the right. They don’t have the right to look at me unless they are ready to challenge me.

Politeness is the status quo of a status-less society. Democracy gives equal rights to everybody. Egalitarianism, we are all equal. Yet our biology craves to discriminate and relate to others in a hierarchy. Politeness is the compromise not to negotiate status, not to challenge. Politeness is when everybody lowers their head at the same time. Politeness is when everybody is a slave to everybody.

Do you really think that we can live in an equal world? So much speaks against it. Consider the animal kingdom. Female apes give themselves to the strongest apes to earn their sympathy; even with all variety taken into account, there needs to be some leader. How do you solve conflicts of interest among equals?

But, more interestingly, consider the discrepancy between the real world and Hollywood. While we live under the guise of equality in the real world, Hollywood productions do always speak to our need for conflict. Ever watched Game of Thrones? Sons of Anarchy? What is the recurring theme? Fights, masculinity, rivalry, blood, pain.

We are drawn to these movies. Why? Entertainment? What does that mean? Why don’t we watch equal discussions in our parliament instead?

We refuse to acknowledge that entertainment has any connection to reality. We are too blind to see that these movies speak to something in us that goes unsatisfied day after day.

If this wasn’t our nature, why would we be drawn to it? We look at Vin Diesel dominating everybody around him. It makes us feel strong and when we leave the movie, we walk with a borrowed confidence. We see self-sufficient heroes, yet in our normal lives we buckle down before every comrade we meet on the streets. Why? Does it have no reason? If it has no reason, why do we do it? Is it really a free choice?

Status markers

Entertainment solves our bodies innate need for discriminating status. Since we can impossibly know how we relate to everybody we meet in a hierarchy, we get help from archetypes.

Culture portrays archetypes like the soldier, the wise man, the wise old woman. Some may be realistic, some may not. But think. If you never saw a movie and meet Vin Diesel, what will you think? You will see a man just like yourself. He will have some tattoos whose meaning you do not know. You will compare yourself to him: Is he stronger than me? You will not assume status and therefore will need some kind of confrontation to solve the problem.

But by accepting the status of our movie heroes and movie wusses, our problems are resolved. We look for similarities with these archetypes within people. We see a politician and put him high above us. He may be a total idiot in real life, a dumb ass. But we give him a higher status. I started wearing aggressive clothes and people go out of my way. What are aggressive clothes?

Isn’t the most ironic fact that we fear each other? I have a tattoo, you have an angry hair cut. I know that I’m fake and you know you’re fake. We both fear each other and never see each other for what we really are. We never fight, because we think that everybody but us is a hero – for they look the same. We never consider that heroes can lose. We never see just another human being whom we challenge, innocently wondering whether we can win, no, we give up before even contemplating.

A nice watch, a big car, a tattoo, big muscles, girls. Grey hair, a wise smile, an exalted and untouchable woman. Think. Where have you seen this?

Intellectuals use fancy words. Why? Because their idols did and their idols are portrayed as smart. They’ve seen their idols win debates.

Why do we need this? Why do we rely on appearance? Because we never allow ourselves to really fight anymore. We hate confrontation, we hate being judged. We hate engaging in a debate with substance.

I allow you to imagine your strength if you allow me to imagine mine. So we’re both invincible and already beaten at the same time.

We hate our aggression.

Confrontation

I’m not assigning fault to society. Society is fucked up, yes, but it will not fix itself if I am angry at it.

Anyway, back to the situation.

So I am staring at the group. The guy is slightly drunk by now and starts to open up. He now reciprocates my stare for a while. Oh, oh.

He stands up, walks over and takes a seat vis-à-vis. Hello, Mr. White Knight.

The man who grew some balls is suddenly here. I’m scared and excited. Social stigma burns in my head. You are the bad one here.

The man who grew some balls tells me I have been staring at them the whole evening. He says it’s impolite and uncomfortable. He asks if I understand that. Curiously, as if it was the most obvious thing in the world and unnecessary to mention, I say I do. Ooh, now I’ve thrown wood into his fire.

Ever noticed that approach anxiety vanishes once you approach? It’s like that now. All you’ve been experiencing before was the uncertainty: fight or flight. Fighting is exciting.

He holds eye contact and asks why I did it. I say I like to observe people. He says once more that it’s impolite and uncomfortable. I once more acknowledge his sentiment – and I really feel with him, it’s not that I am ignorant of the way it makes him feel. I am merely in a state of mind where I can accept both conflicting emotions: my desire to not acknowledge fault and absolute empathy for his discomfort.

He says I could watch others. I say they are the most interesting. Without flinching. I start to smirk and observe his eyes and face, look for traces of tension, aggression, weakness. It’s not an act, I’m simply going with my gut.

He says again that it’s impolite, that one doesn’t do this and that he asks me to not do it anymore. A pause ensues. I keep curiously studying his face and wait.

After some time, he asks whether I have something to say. I am amused for he didn’t ask a question – see, manipulation works by making you feel guilt. Guilt is debt. Making you feel indebted to do something. To say I’m sorry? Because that’s what would happen in the movie script he is following in his mind? Me breaking down in shame because I am the villain? No, he didn’t ask me a question and I am not answering. I say no, I don’t have anything to say.

He says that’s a pity, stands up and leaves. The pressure on my chest is back, stronger than before. Adding to that, there is an almost unendurable tension in my cheeks, forcing me to smile. I can barely suppress it. Did I mention that a smile is a sign of submission? I have lost.

My body had craved a fight, yet I had denied it’s wish. Obviously, I don’t want to become a criminal rowdy. On the other hand, isn’t that just another bullshit standard I am trying to conform to? But I don’t want to go to prison, that’s for sure.

Leaving

As I leave, one of the women asks me to stop. I do. What’s up? She asks whether I have filmed them. I ask why I should. She says that I was holding my smartphone in a weird way while staring at them – fair enough, I have, to listen to music. I say that it rather seems like she has been staring at me if she noticed how I was holding my phone; I can’t subdue a bratty smirk. She says it’s illegal. I ask: To stare at people? She says no, to film people. I say that I don’t know why that is relevant. She is dumbfounded. I add: Because I haven’t been filming you. Immensely annoyed, she commands me to go home and stare at some other people. I keep standing there and grinning for a few seconds, then leave.

Would she have been attractive, I might have asked her if she wants to join me on my way home.

As I walk home, I feel diminished.

I realize the whole false concept about low self-esteem. Yeah, you can build up self-esteem through hard work. Guess why. Because it’s the socially accepted way to gain status markers and respect. Self-respect, also, fair enough.

Low self-esteem is your conviction of your own low status, even more your conviction that you will never be able to overcome it. It’s obvious now. My mother always told me the world is dangerous. Smothered me. Yeah, I never dared to engage people, to follow my aggression. I suppressed it and ate until I weighed 260 pounds to subdue it.

But now, as my limbs shake and I listen to my body, I know: Next time, I will understand the dangerous note in another man’s eye. I will understand his sentiment, see and love him for all he is. Love him for his completeness and his oneness with himself. Love him for the thing that we both know about, but most people don’t: That we are still in the jungle.

Love him for the challenge.

I have felt like shit all my life because I have never done what I was made for: Fight.

And I see where the inner emptiness came from: Not from losing; that pain goes by. But from the failure to acknowledge my desire to fight. Yes, fight, inflict pain on another as it was inflicted on me. See who lasts longer. I was a fighter before I was bornIf I don’t acknowledge the desire to fight, what is my purpose on earthTo surviveToo bad, I guess that won’t work out.

The pressure of defeat on my breast is slowly transforming into the wish to win.

Here’s a question for those who know shit: Was I really just curious? Or would I be more honest accepting that I was out for a challenge?

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