[An intermission from the interminable election season]
I was running some errands yesterday afternoon, driving around with the windows all the way down in 30-something degree weather, blasting a Matthew Sweet greatest hits CD (especially "I've Been Waiting" and "Sick of Myself").
Nothing more invigorating than 25-mph winds whipping around you, carrying the jangly power-pop tunes for miles in all directions.
Pedestrians are always pleasantly surprised since they expect everyone's windows to be hermetically sealed in cold weather, and here some crazy bastard is cruising around like it's summertime. (I'm covered in wool, so the chill never feels biting.)
Who is going to resonate with Matthew Sweet, though? Not exactly adrenaline-pumping dude rock, nor is it booty-bumping music for party people looking for an early start to a night of dancing. I'm not always in a power-pop mood, but I just go with the flow and observe who resonates with each different style of music.
For power-pop it was the feminine, maternal, shy, pining, nervous-fingertips-emoji girls. Not the Type A career women out parading their status-dogs. Not the high-T bruh-girls either. They were all teenagers, although I'm sure there are some older counterparts who would've resonated as well, they were just indoors doing domestic wifey activities instead. The young ones are more restless and yearning, so they're more out and about, looking out for signs of something happening, hoping to be invited or otherwise drawn into the fun.
One was stopped at a light on her bike, something I'm noticing a lot each time I conduct these natural experiments. Girls on bikes -- for leisure, not because no one in their circle has a car -- always get a kick out of good music streaming out of car windows. But this one was fixated, like it wasn't just any old enjoyable-enough song. Cute bike-riding girls are the audience for Beatlemania and Cheap Trick.
Another was a babysitter playfully wrangling her two little charges, and when I turned the corner toward her, she got swept up in the moment, tilting her head back, eyes wide opened to the side, mouth gaping open in a laugh, just like a model for an album cover by the Cars. If her maternal instinct is strong enough to want to indulge it before she can even get married, and she's playful enough to act as a jungle gym for rascally children, she's definitely a power-pop girl. So wholesome and fun-loving.
It lasted even after I was no longer driving or playing the music, but taking a stroll around the park, still possessed by the power-pop energy, which I was apparently still radiating. A high school girls' soccer team was practicing on the field next to the walkway, and as I approached, one of them softly kicked the ball in my direction, and the two or three other girls in its path who could've intercepted it before it went out of bounds, just stood back and let it roll along the grass toward random hot power-pop vibe guy.
They didn't just strut right over, start making eyes and dropping innuendo, etc. Not the typical Type A female athlete behavior. It was one of those plausibly deniable oopsies that, tee-hee, happened to make me connect with them. Being in a pack helped them take risks they would never take alone, when sole responsibility would lie with the individual. Shy yet impulsive, nervous yet hormonal, letting their emotions out when they've melted into a crowd -- Beatlemaniacs in a nutshell.
By the way, when the ball actually reached me, their fellow high school guy assistant had sprinted nervously over, so that I ended up kicking it back over to him rather than them. It was so funny how protective and jealous he got, like a eunuch guarding a harem. Like, dude, I'm not going to steal away every babe from your school. Guys, too, at that age can't hide their hormones, although I'm sure the girls took his white-knighting in good humor since he was already their friend.
Reflecting on it all during the end of my stroll, I was struck by how you never see this kind of girl online. I'm sure they have social media accounts that they use to communicate with their friends, or to fave viral content, like the social "networks" of the MySpace and early Facebook era. But they'll never get hundreds, let alone thousands or tens of thousands, of followers by being a social "media" persona.
It's the shyness, mainly, but also the wholesomeness and fun-loving spirit. The media -- no matter what platform -- attracts and promotes girls who are depressed, anhedonic, either sky-high body count or reclusive virgins, and who need their fantasy lover to give them a bloody lip before they can get turned on. It could not be a more unrepresentative and unnatural slice of the female sex.
Everyone rightly worries about the effects on guys from there being so many porno women on the internet -- how it will warp their expectations of what sex and relationships in general are like. But that's nothing compared to the warping effects of their exposure to Reddit girls, Twitter girls, Tumblr girls, and YouTuber girls, which makes up a far greater share of their time and emotional / parasocial investment online.
Guys are going to start thinking that the average girl is an urbanite degenerate who's already taken dozens of dicks during her 20s, and whose ideal date is listening to rap or metal while getting ritualistically beaten up to re-enact her early abuse (beyond the normal pattern of male dominance and female submission). Or who swings toward the other extreme of a ball-busting killjoy man-hater.
Not that such girls are only a tiny minority -- they're definitely out there, but if young generations spend so much time online, they're going to think it's the vast majority. Unless they get out there IRL, the guys would have no idea there are tons of normal, wholesome, fun-loving girls who are shy-yet-impulsive, yearning for the guy to make a move (without giving them a black eye). I just ran into a bunch of them IRL without even trying, and they not only didn't get turned off by earnest infatuation / courtship anthems, they got weak in the knees for it!
Something to keep in mind at the big-picture level, as the restless warm-up phase of the 15-year excitement cycle sees guys and girls coming out of their refractory-state cocoons of the vulnerable phase that ended in 2019. PUA discussion and practice is about to enjoy a renewal. Just remember that there are more girls out there than depressive sluts -- but the fun, wholesome ones have an invisible presence online. Certainly for social media platforms, but I assume for dating and hook-up apps as well (I don't use them).
Getting out there IRL also removes the guy's burden of constructing and maintaining his own social media persona, if the interactions were taking place online. People are much more chill and accepting of who you naturally are IRL, but are more irritable and fault-finding online, where they expect you to act out a persona's role -- to provide them with fan-service as they consume their parasocial online media content.
This is most true for the proverbial "nice guy" -- meaning, the sensitive type, not the bitter loser afflicted by a false sense of entitlement to endless hot snatch. There couldn't be a worse place for him than online, where the most visible and audible girls have achieved their status in virtue of being adversarial and confrontational, not to mention thick-skinned enough to deal with trolls, bullies, and so on. He won't find the nervous-fingertips-emoji girl whose dream date soundtrack is power-pop -- no way she could handle the pressure of being an internet-person.
Guys don't have any excuse for not logging off of social media, if they want to un-warp their perception of the opposite sex. Instead of, or in addition to, No Nut November, they need No Scroll September, No Feed February, etc., to regain their perspective and humanity.
November 18, 2020
Sweet girls are not online, but they are getting more flirty in public IRL (to power-pop music)
[An intermission from the interminable election season]