pee-yew, eh?

So I recently read this article called The New Dating Game (caution: it's LONG), which was, in part, about the PUA (pick-up artist) culture, and I'd read the PUA bible (or one of 'em, anyway) a couple years ago. (The Game, by Neil Strauss. It's actually a damn good book.) So, reading the above article kinda got me to go poking around online a little to look at the PUA pages and read some message boards - real people typing real thoughts, not some gifted writer packaging the whole thing in a salable narrative.

I'm going to lay aside the fact that reading the unvarnished thoughts of self-styled unabashed assholes and their loyal acolytes is not the most pleasant thing in the world; it's not, but I've always found reality and truth to generally be a desirable thing. So I chose not to take offense to any of the very offensive things posted - but I definitely came away from the reading feeling just a little more worried about the state of the world.

Whether I read the accounts of men or women (yes, there is also a small community of aspiring female pick-up artists, "alpha females," etc.) it really seemed like the biggest factor in whether you were going to get together with someone was what other people would think. That and the whole "vanquishing" factor. The "power" complex that was behind all those ridiculous games played with phone calls and texts and whatever.

If only men stopped hating and fearing female power. If only women stopped resenting male power. How much happier we all would be if people could fuck without calculating the impact it has on our actual or perceived "social value." If we didn't feel we had to fuck on or above our "level"; if there WERE no levels. How much happier and less brain-fucked we'd be if every romantic/sexual interaction wasn't also a transaction.

I am not discounting the intrinsic, primal allure of an objectively beautiful man or women in his or her physical prime. But, from what I've read (and seen in life), a surprisingly large number of people aren't actually seeking to find a sexually satisfying experience with a person they are deeply attracted to. It's way more left-brained than that.

Guys want to fuck lots of "hot chicks." Girls want to feel they are chosen by guys who can fuck lots of "hot chicks." Guys seem to be driven by a wish to impress other guys; girls want to impress other girls. How utterly pointless. How . . . well, how gay. (Not that there's anything wrong with that . . . unless you purport to be straight.)

It's true what Leonard Cohen sang - "the naked man and woman are just a shining artifact of the past." How lovely it would be if we could attain some sort of nirvana, where we just follow the irrational tingle without thinking of what our friends will think of our chosen partner. If there wasn't so much "sport-fucking" and more pure, naked communion, based in the clean joy of unconnotated flesh-pleasures. Without thinking about who paid for the drinks or how tall he is or how many other guys are looking down her cleavage.

Perhaps a drop of LSD in the water supply really wouldn't go amiss, eh?

Or maybe I'm just a hopeless romantic.



Been fiddling around with a new design for my photo site, currently hosted here. The new one would look like this. Still dithering over how much sparkly faux-Flash animation stuff I should use, and wondering what psychological insights can be gleaned from the fact that I can never pick just ONE photo for the splash page . . . or, for that matter, two. Or three. Or eight.

Been sorta delving into the graphic side of my brain - retouching some of the recent shots I've taken and meant to retouch; revisiting the old photos too, and trying to figure out how I can make them better. Or, if not better, how I can bring them closer to my artistic vision. Which is a tough question to answer when a) one's vision shifts periodically and b) when the very notion of ascribing an "artistic vision" to oneself makes one's inner cynical asshole bust a gut.

Over and over, I come back to the look of "magical realism." Years ago, when I first discovered photography - and Photoshop - I'd kind of abused that concept, drenching every shot in copious amounts of soft-focus blur and hyper-saturation. Finally, an older photographer not-very-gently informed me it made my work look amateurish. I eased up on the blur, but I still do love vivid colors and have never been beholden to the idea of making my digital images look as close to film as possible. To me, the camera and the software are just tools - same as paints and brushes. If I SEE a red sky, if I want a red sky in my image, why not put one there?

But I do wonder sometimes, if I am going too far. If my work does look amateurish. Then again, the inside of my mind probably does too.


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