Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Gaudier the Hood, the Cheaper the Patter

“Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.” - attributed to the Buddha.

My experience, and the experience of the world, has been that bullies are cowards. Those who are blowhards on top are wimps underneath. The gaudier the hood the cheaper the patter.

That last description was directed by Bogart's Philip Marlowe character to Wilmer the gunsel in The Maltese Falcon.

Wilmer was a tiny man who compensated for it by carrying two huge semiautomatic .45s. Marlowe stripped Wilmer of his .45s at one time. Wilmer was humiliated, and significantly, being a coward, wouldn't attack Marlowe face-to-face, but kicked him in the head when he was unconscious. (By the way, a "gunsel" originally meant the passive partner in a homosexual encounter, i.e., the one fucked in the butt.)

Later, when humiliated even further, Wilmer began to cry.

I have several other stories. When I was in the eighth grade I was in the boy's room when half-a-dozen boys entered. One had a big cocky grin on his face. He started fighting with a boy named Greg.

Greg was a genetic catastrophe. He walked hunched over and with his mouth open, his skin was grey, his hair a mousy brown, and he wore these bizarre glasses that magnified his eyes and made them fuzzy-looking. He was scrawny. He looked weak. He wasn't.

Apparently the cocky kid had been picking on Greg and thought he could easily beat him up. That's not what happened.

The fight lasted about ten seconds. Greg really tried to hurt this kid. I saw something I had never even imaged - Greg tried to rip the kid's face off. I was impressed by that.

The cocky kid immediately collapsed and started begging to left alone.

Cocky blowhard on top, coward underneath.

I saw the same dynamic later when I was still in the eighth grade. A bully by the name of Don decided to mouth off to a tiny little wrestler named Phil. Phil was about 5'4", but he beat Don so badly that within several seconds Don was begging to be left alone. He was a coward.

I could go on but I won't. All I'll say is that every time I've seen a big mouth blowhard, in every case the possessor was a wimp underneath. It's been noticed a lot in fiction, such as Mr. Bumble the beadle in Oliver Twist. Dickens out-and-out said he was a bully and a coward, one who was beaten up by his wife.

Or try Scut Farkus and his little toady Grover Dill in A Christmas Story. Farkus,a bully, ends up beaten and crying by Ralphie. Dill, himself a coward, runs off and makes no attempt to defend Farkus.

The problem with this blowhard/wimp dynamic is that a lot of these blowhards are good at running their mouths. They can come across as confident and charming. People who are lost and insecure fall for them, which is why there exists the ancient observation of sheeple being led to slaughter by the wolves (and in Pareto's view, the clever foxes).

Think of how the words "charm" and "spell" mean "the use of words." As Rudyard Kipling wrote, "Words, of course, are the most powerful drug ever invented."

Millions of people fell for the charming, confident Hitler. At the end this coward killed himself. People wonder how Bush and Obama ever got into office. They came across as confident, charming men who acted as if they knew all the answers.

People seek meaning, importance and community. They want security. And the mass of people will always fall for the confident, charming people who act as if they know all the answers. Even if they don't.

One of the easiest way to recognize followers is that they memorize everything the leaders says, as if it's the Gospel truth. Both the leaders and followers become outraged if criticized. They become irrational and hysterical and froth at the mouth. They can't bear the slightest criticism because they are convinced they know the Truth.

They're blowhards on top, wimps underneath. They're can't even stand on their own two feet.

From every cult that existed in the past, to modern ones (Scientology, Objectivism, feminism, the Manosphere), those who act confidently, who have charm, who act as if they have all the answers, will always have sheeple who not only follow them - they will rabidly defend them.

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