Video: Revenge of the Nerds?

posted at 2:41 pm on May 14, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Have we become a beta-male culture, as Bill Whittle argues in his latest Firewall video?  Are we just a little too in touch with our feelings to take the necessary risks to expand our horizons, grow our economy, and defend our nation?

As usual with Bill’s videos, there is a lot to unpack in them.  First, I’d recommend that people watch High Noon if they have never done so, or hadn’t done so in a long time — because the theme is precisely about what Bill argues here.  He’s right that Gary Cooper ended up taking on the bad guys, but the entire town was filled with “beta males” who wanted to hide from them, or actively appease them.  They betrayed their commitment to their sheriff, who ended up saving the day, despite his disgust with the town.  After that, watch another classic Western, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, an even more cynical look at heroism and beta-maleness.  Jimmy Stewart ends up with a brilliant political career after supposedly overcoming his pacifism and shooting the town psycho (a great performance by Lee Marvin), but the truth is that it took John Wayne to take out Liberty Valance, not the pacifist.

In other words, we’ve had this problem for a long time; it’s not just recent.  Most of the kinds of movies Bill references have similar themes — the one man willing to stand against evil when all others quail at the thought.  That’s because it reflects life as it is, perhaps especially so since industrialization and urbanization reduced the need for virtues of independence and self-sufficiency.  The difference is that we have spent the last few decades celebrating the beta-male impulse rather than those virtues in our popular culture.

However, that’s not to say that the effort succeeds.  As Bill points out, it usually backfires, because people respect those values despite decades of neglect or even attack by the entertainment industry.  The catalyst to this video, the suggestion that we need Alan Alda types (as a pop-culture archetype, not Alda himself) rather than “right stuff” astronauts for deep-space exploration, is ridiculous on its face.  Armstrong and Aldrin dealt effectively with crises because they didn’t waste time sharing their inner child when those crises occurred.  That’s even more true of the Apollo 13 crew, who had every reason and plenty of time to “freak out” but maintained their discipline and survived an in-flight disaster that probably should have killed them.  The submariner corps looks for calm, collected types, not hotdogs but also not people inclined to fret over tough conditions.

Those are the people who will advance American ingenuity, economics, and exploration … as they always have.


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No mention of AP in this post? I’m disappointed.

steebo77 on May 14, 2012 at 2:45 PM

The catalyst to this video, the suggestion that we need Alan Alda Allahpundt types rather than “right stuff” astronauts for deep-space exploration, is ridiculous on its face.

FIFY

Norwegian on May 14, 2012 at 2:45 PM

beta-male=wimp?

faraway on May 14, 2012 at 2:46 PM

Any mention of cat-loving males?

search4truth on May 14, 2012 at 2:48 PM

bomb the hell out of everything to achieve the status of alpha male

ant on May 14, 2012 at 2:48 PM

Let’s all take a deep, cleansing breath and have a GROUP HUG!

GarandFan on May 14, 2012 at 2:49 PM

AllahP — hardest hit.

FlatFoot on May 14, 2012 at 2:51 PM

Is Ed giving Allahpundit a subtle hint, to stop crying over North Carolina?

Rebar on May 14, 2012 at 2:54 PM

When HotAir first started, I had no idea that the ‘beta’ tag on the logo didn’t mean beta testing.

/ I keed

faraway on May 14, 2012 at 2:55 PM

May I just note that at 52 years old, I can do 150 pushups in two minutes? I bet you it would take at least four of the guys working for Media Matters to match that. And they’re mostly young enough to be my sons.

radjah shelduck on May 14, 2012 at 2:56 PM

bomb the hell out of everything to achieve the status of alpha male

ant on May 14, 2012 at 2:48 PM

Obama personally killed OBL, you know.

Gladtobehere on May 14, 2012 at 2:56 PM

Bill Whittle is great, but I have to take exception. The womanizing Hawkey Pierce is not a beta male, just the guy who played him on TV. And so is the guy who played him in the movies, for that matter.

Chickyraptor on May 14, 2012 at 2:57 PM

Bill Whittle kind of has the scary Alaskan vampire eyes thing going on. Must be a Romney supporter.

WeekendAtBernankes on May 14, 2012 at 2:58 PM

OT sorta: Ron Paul is out

faraway on May 14, 2012 at 3:00 PM

It will be fun to watch the first gay preezy in mommy jeans being promoted as an alpha male,
or even as a male….by his kneepads media :P

burrata on May 14, 2012 at 3:03 PM

OT sorta: Ron Paul is out

faraway on May 14, 2012 at 3:00 PM

Was he in?
:)

Electrongod on May 14, 2012 at 3:03 PM

The only thing separating a beta male from an alpha is the willingness to take action when the time comes.

MadisonConservative on May 14, 2012 at 3:08 PM

“I won’t be wronged. I won’t be insulted. I won’t be laid a-hand on. I don’t do these things to other people, and I require the same from them.”
-John Wayne

Extrafishy on May 14, 2012 at 3:08 PM

O/T=breaking, Is paul out? Bet if he is, he won’t support Mitt?

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/may/14/ron-paul-ends-his-hunt-votes/
L

letget on May 14, 2012 at 3:14 PM

O/T=breaking, Is paul out? Bet if he is, he won’t support Mitt?

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/may/14/ron-paul-ends-his-hunt-votes/
L

letget on May 14, 2012 at 3:14 PM

Looks that way. And he still has a lot of time until Tampa to decide if he will support Romney.

I do rather wish he had waited until after the CA primary.

JohnGalt23 on May 14, 2012 at 3:18 PM

Real men don’t eat quiche

Dannyp8262 on May 14, 2012 at 3:22 PM

“High Plains Drifter”

Hucklebuck on May 14, 2012 at 3:24 PM

…looks like we are going to need a “be nice to AP day” here or something!…beeee nice!

KOOLAID2 on May 14, 2012 at 3:25 PM

Explains everything about Bambi, doesn’t it?

MikeinPRCA on May 14, 2012 at 3:25 PM

Personally, while I adore alpha style heroes, from a literary standpoint I prefer the reluctant hero, which I suppose is a type of beta. You know, the weak individual that none the less tries to stand up to evil because he knows its the right thing to do? I suppose that’s because I’m a bit of a nerd, overcoming weakness seems to be a popular theme among a lot of nerds.

I will agree however that the beta characters that try to be above good or evil, or who try to reason with villains, are not in the least bit compelling.

I see enough of that sort of cowardly sliminess in real life, without seeing it on the movie-screen.

WolvenOne on May 14, 2012 at 3:26 PM

I’m not sure how I feel about this issue, what do you guys think?

Mord on May 14, 2012 at 3:30 PM

I think one of the most fascinating examples of alpha-vs-beta analysis is shown in Straw Dogs(the original, not the pathetic remake that made me puke up my gall bladder). It’s the ultimate tale of a beta male being forced to become an alpha when other alphas invade his life and attempt to take away from him what he has accomplished. What’s interesting is that the movie has been analyzed to death over the years, but there is a significant amount of the fan base that actually believes that Dustin Hoffman’s character was, in truth, the villain of the story. They believe that his transformation at the end shows him as the real menace, or that he even passive-aggressively “manipulated” the locals into the ultimate showdown. Yeah…the villain was the quiet guy with glasses in his own home, not the bunch of slimeballs that raped his wife and were invading his home while armed. Unbelievable.

MadisonConservative on May 14, 2012 at 3:34 PM

What hucklebuck said. “High Plains Drifter”

The best part is the Beta Males really, really got what was coming to them, several times over. It was no coincidence Clint Eastwood renamed the town “Hell”

That’s the movie to reference.

moc23 on May 14, 2012 at 3:38 PM

Perfect! Now I have to get back to busting wood for next years fires. Saw needed sharpening. Say any of you betas worth a crap at sharpening saws. I could use the help. Oh never mind……..

Bmore on May 14, 2012 at 3:44 PM

In other words, we’ve had this problem for a long time; it’s not just recent. Most of the kinds of movies Bill references have similar themes — the one man willing to stand against evil when all others quail at the thought.

This story line goes back before Gary Cooper and Jimmy Stewart. David vs. Goliath, also comes to mind (the actual story, not just the cliché). The Hebrew army was intimidated by Goliath, (rightly so–he was huge), and of course Goliath did all he could to taunt and mock David. David with his courage and faith in God was victorious.

We love to root for the underdog. But when we’re the underdog, we got find to find something greater than ourselves to give us the courage to take a stand.

Pazman on May 14, 2012 at 3:46 PM

Act Of Valor, critics rated it 25% and Audience 79%. Rotten Tomatoes. It’s pretty obvious that the people who pay to watch movies aren’t interested in what beta male critics, and their girlfriends are interested in watching.

Box Office:$69.8M

On DVD: Jun 5, 2012

It’s the same phenom with The Expendables.

Box Office:$103.0M

Which means movie goers would rather watch Senior Alpha Men in a movie than their beta male counter part sharing their feelings with us.

Tom Hanks

Larry Crowne (2011)

Box Office:$35.6M

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (2012)

Box Office:$31.8M

Compare that to Saving Private Ryan (1998)

Dr Evil on May 14, 2012 at 3:48 PM

…said Douglas Vakoch, a clinical psychologist at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, CA…

Three things:
The guy is a clinical psychologist
He works at the SETI Institute (let that sink in…where they search for little green men)
Mountain View, CA…that’s NorCal to those of you in Rio Lindo…not far from Pelosiville

OccamsRazor on May 14, 2012 at 3:52 PM

OT sorta: Ron Paul is out

faraway on May 14, 2012 at 3:00 PM

Who?

Solaratov on May 14, 2012 at 3:53 PM

Personally, while I adore alpha style heroes, from a literary standpoint I prefer the reluctant hero, which I suppose is a type of beta. You know, the weak individual that none the less tries to stand up to evil because he knows its the right thing to do? I suppose that’s because I’m a bit of a nerd, overcoming weakness seems to be a popular theme among a lot of nerds.

WolvenOne on May 14, 2012 at 3:26 PM

The reluctant hero is even better than the alpha type character. Americans LOVE a comeback story where someone who’s been pushed down gets backs up at great personal cost. It’s one of those scenarios that appeals across the board and is definitely not a type of beta. You might call it latent alpha. But beta remains beta.

MrX on May 14, 2012 at 3:55 PM

Real men don’t eat quiche

Dannyp8262 on May 14, 2012 at 3:22 PM

Real men eat any damn thing they want to.

Solaratov on May 14, 2012 at 3:55 PM

Clint Eastwood’s last hit was in 2008. Scroll down and see if you can tell why.

Gran Torino (2008)
Critics 80% Audience 90%

Box Office:$148.1M

I did like Leonardo DiCaprio, in Shutter Island. I am pretty sure that’s the last movie I watched he was in. I am not a Titanic fan. After the nasty commentary by his Inception co-stars, I had no interest in watching that movie.

Dr Evil on May 14, 2012 at 3:57 PM

Real men eat any damn thing they want to.

Solaratov on May 14, 2012 at 3:55 PM

I second that. HeIIfire, men were built to do whatever men like to do. Its why we have bridges and skyscrapers amongst other great achievements. You have to feed men to do any of these big things. Thanks to farmers. Yeah, not to many beta farmers, at least not that I have ever met. ; )

Bmore on May 14, 2012 at 3:59 PM

I did like Leonardo DiCaprio, in Shutter Island. I am pretty sure that’s the last movie I watched he was in. I am not a Titanic fan. After the nasty commentary by his Inception co-stars, I had no interest in watching that movie.

Dr Evil on May 14, 2012 at 3:57 PM

Goddammit. I had dibs on Ellen Page.

MadisonConservative on May 14, 2012 at 4:01 PM

He forgot the best one of all — Miles Quaritch in Avatar.

The only admirable character in the whole film — even when he was made to chew the scenery.

Prufrock on May 14, 2012 at 4:09 PM

Goddammit. I had dibs on Ellen Page.

MadisonConservative on May 14, 2012 at 4:01 PM

It can still work, imagine she’s been mysteriosly struck MUTE. That’s going to be her Oscar winning performance – LOL!

Her only prop

Dr Evil on May 14, 2012 at 4:09 PM

I hate it when I’m more of an alpha male than the man who is interested in me. That’s why I had to marry a gun-loving, unapologetic, patriotic war veteran and former Marine.

Sekhmet on May 14, 2012 at 4:20 PM

Kent Dorfman could have been an Alpha Male- if not for those towel snapping, insensitive, bully white bow tie jerks.

FlaMurph on May 14, 2012 at 4:24 PM

The only thing separating a beta male from an alpha is the willingness to take action when the time comes.
MadisonConservative on May 14, 2012 at 3:08 PM

Wrongo, MadCon. The betas create a world where it is unnecessary for the “time” to ever “come”. Or if it does, the deny that it has.

For example, Nidal Hassan is not an Islamic terrorist. He’s just a guy that got over-stressed at work and committed “workplace violence”. And the answer becomes to make the workplace even safer and calmer – even more beta – by saying that we can prevent the next Ft. Hood by being less “Islamophobic.” Remember, the war on terror is over because they say it is.

The betas create an ideal world where alpha behaviors aren’t even necessary, and if they are expressed, it’s just the alpha’s insecurity and brutishness.

If you are a PJTV.com subscriber, check out Bill’s video Best. Sentence. Ever! for a good exposition of this (“The love of theory is the root of all evil”). I can’t seem to create a direct link.

eeyore on May 14, 2012 at 4:36 PM

Might as well say it before any Ronbots invade the OT portion of the thread.

Apparently, there’s a fine line of distinction whereby Ron is simply not going to spend money in the remaining states, but still take his hudredish delegates to the convention and do… whatever nebulous thing he intends to do with fewer delegates than two guys who dropped out weeks before.

Only mention it because any mention of this article seems immediately to incite a hundred replies from Paul supporters saying he’s not out and the media is lying because they’re controlled by the establishment elites, or something. I would spare you that spam response.

The Schaef on May 14, 2012 at 4:46 PM

beta-male=wimp?

faraway on May 14, 2012 at 2:46 PM

You’re being nice. The word I use starts with a P.

jeffn21 on May 14, 2012 at 4:47 PM

As long as Chuck Norris is alive, everyone else is a beta male….

jeffn21 on May 14, 2012 at 4:47 PM

Personally, while I adore alpha style heroes, from a literary standpoint I prefer the reluctant hero, which I suppose is a type of beta. You know, the weak individual that none the less tries to stand up to evil because he knows its the right thing to do? I suppose that’s because I’m a bit of a nerd, overcoming weakness seems to be a popular theme among a lot of nerds.

These guys are not beta – they are very alpha. The measure of a man is not what he does when things are easy. It’s what he does when things are hard. For some men, being the strong protector is easy…. Know what I mean? I love both types. :) And so does my 15yo daughter. I did at least one thing right. ;)

shibumiglass on May 14, 2012 at 4:52 PM

As long as Chuck Norris is alive, everyone else is a beta male….

jeffn21 on May 14, 2012 at 4:47 PM

And Sylvester Stallone.
(swoon)

shibumiglass on May 14, 2012 at 4:53 PM

No mention of AP in this post? I’m disappointed.
steebo77 on May 14, 2012 at 2:45 PM

AllahP — hardest hit.
FlatFoot on May 14, 2012 at 2:51 PM

Dude, I’m scared.
/ap

Marcola on May 14, 2012 at 4:53 PM

Any mention of cat-loving males?

search4truth on May 14, 2012 at 2:48 PM

I’m an Alfa Male and I love cats,

as long as they are slow smoked and covered with Sweat Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce.

Wallythedog on May 14, 2012 at 4:57 PM

I don’t know about all this; doesn’t feel accurate. With all respect, is Mr. Whittle supposed to be an alpha male? Is Glenn Beck (despite his emotionality and being in touch with feelings)? Is Bill Maher (despite holding the views of Mike Stivic)? Was Hawkeye not completely competent while dealing with years of year? Who was the real alpha male(s) in Mash? Klinger? He dealt with adversity pretty well. I’d never call Radar an alpha male. I’d normally consider Hawkeye an alpha male – the leader, good under pressure generally, though certainly he’s not John Wayne.

I didn’t read the Forbes article and so I’m not sure what point is being made about the need for more sensitive people for long duration trips, the psychology behind it, etc. Unless the author typified himself as a beta male, it’s rude for Whittle to dismiss him as such – unless of course, that’s just what alphas do, or Mr. Whittle knows the man personally.

Certainly we need tough-minded people for a long space voyage. I doubt the psychologist was suggesting otherwise. I think Mr. Whittle is simplifying and confusing issues.

I get quickly tired of the I’m-an-alpha-male schtick…. As for, I guess, the larger point about society as a whole desiring beta males…hahaha. Mr. Whittle need not worry. Contrary to his assertions, beta males have not been telling us that “running into burning buildings” and “fighting off Indians” is “not real strength.” There will always be alphas, betas, etc. It’s nothing to do about the push for psychiatry and inner child, as Whittle offers.

Superficially I agree with the overarching point about valuing strength, individualism, and action. But those qualities will continued to be valued despite what anyone says or does. Alphas will naturally rise above. Does Mr. Whittle fear that the Mike Stivics of the nation will be recruited from their couches to fly to Mars? That prospect should thrill Mr. Whittle!

If Mr. Whittle reads here, he may dismiss the above as “beta male says what?” ;)

Crispian on May 14, 2012 at 4:57 PM

eeyore on May 14, 2012 at 4:36 PM

It’s the whole point of Julia, and the Nanny state a “tame” population of vegetarians are much easier to control than their red meat eating counter parts. Remember when Julia retires she get’s to work in a community garden.

In a beta male utopia “virility” and it’s signature traits “hairy muscular chest” for instance are bred out of the society.

But these archetypes are hardwired into our psyches and they are much older than the advent of matinee idols. To Jung, the archetypal hero represents the psyche’s quest for individuation, the process that makes each person unique.
But the current collectivist in power don’t want anyone to think they are unique, everyone is being programmed with shared sacrifice, wealth redistribution, fairness. How is it fair to take from a producer and give to a taker? That’s what makes Barack Obama a Beta Male Hero.

Which brings me to the question why is Hollywood churning out a lot of mediocre crap that bombs at the box office? Movie makers know what works on audiences. Why aren’t they producing what sells in America?

Dr Evil on May 14, 2012 at 5:10 PM

Crispian on May 14, 2012 at 4:57 PM
Superficially I agree with the overarching point about valuing strength, individualism, and action. But those qualities will continued to be valued despite what anyone says or does. Alphas will naturally rise above.

Actually, not necessarily so. Many want to see the very nature of risk which is core to the alpha elininated: see Precautionary principle.

Does Mr. Whittle fear that the Mike Stivics of the nation will be recruited from their couches to fly to Mars? That prospect should thrill Mr. Whittle!

No, he’s conerned that the Mike Stivics of the nation will get up from their couches, join any of the myriad Alphabet Regulatory Agencies of the Federal Government and try to ban the Burt Rutans of the world from attempting to fly to Mars or do anything else so stupidly alpha.

eeyore on May 14, 2012 at 5:31 PM

I get what he’s trying to say, and I agree with the sentiment, but I think the Alpha/Beta thing is really misunderstood or misused, not just by Bill but in general. Though I’m sure the Astronauts landed more than their share of hot babes I don’t think that’s what made them good pilots or American Heroes.

Browncoatone on May 14, 2012 at 5:47 PM

As long as Chuck Norris is alive, everyone else is a beta male….

jeffn21 on May 14, 2012 at 4:47 PM

Even after he’s been dead for 12 months. No organism would dare want to decompose his body out of mortal fear. :-P

On another note, I wonder what Al Gore and his inner feminine side have to say about Whittle’s presentation? We can also ask John Edwards…once we can pull him away from the mirror.

Kingfisher on May 14, 2012 at 5:52 PM

Though I’m sure the Astronauts landed more than their share of hot babes I don’t think that’s what made them good pilots or American Heroes.

Browncoatone on May 14, 2012 at 5:47 PM

While being an alpha male does not directly make you a better pilot, I don’t think anybody could be good at anything that involves risk of life without being an alpha male.

Kingfisher on May 14, 2012 at 5:59 PM

No, he’s conerned that the Mike Stivics of the nation will get up from their couches, join any of the myriad Alphabet Regulatory Agencies of the Federal Government and try to ban the Burt Rutans of the world from attempting to fly to Mars or do anything else so stupidly alpha.

eeyore on May 14, 2012 at 5:31 PM

You have to admit that sending an entire crew of Mike Stivics on a one-way trip to Mars is enticing.

Kingfisher on May 14, 2012 at 6:02 PM

Most of the young men that I have met in rock climbing would be considered beta males. However, I have noticed a love of the concept of the ninja, and think they would take sneaky action. I’m sure they would try to avoid a direct fight, but I wouldn’t turn my back on them during a heated confrontation. Perhaps, they are actually alphas with a brain.

thuja on May 14, 2012 at 6:31 PM

Real men eat any damn thing they want to.

Solaratov on May 14, 2012 at 3:55 PM

Real men don’t eat puppies, unlike Obama.

Gladtobehere on May 14, 2012 at 6:57 PM

It occurred to me that Whittle’s argument in this video is the Readers Digest version of Nietzsche’s Genealogy of Morals. Nietzsche liked his blond alphas.

thuja on May 14, 2012 at 7:14 PM

Obama = Beta Boy

Palin = Alpha Girl

KirknBurker on May 14, 2012 at 7:31 PM

thuja on May 14, 2012 at 6:31 PM

Most of the men I met Rock Climbing were Alphas. The types that say,

I don’t do that! That’s dangerous!

Are the Betas.

Personally, I don’t condemn betas as we Alphas need them for comparison purposes.

Seriously, some of the most Alpha men I’ve known were soft spoken types that don’t parade it front of others. They feel no need to prove themselves. They just do what needs to be done, when it needs to be done.

More importantly, they prepare themselves to be able to do just that. It took John Wayne’s character to shoot Valence because Stewart’s character wasn’t prepared to do what needed to be done. As it has been pointed out many times, you don’t rise to the occasion, you fall to your floor. Your training is the floor. You either have it, or you don’t.

Quartermaster on May 14, 2012 at 7:32 PM

As the alphas go, the empire goes.

Alpha men are what make any great country successful and ….

happy.

Compare alphas and betas. Who is happier? The alphas.

Betas typically have more ……issues.

One of the most manly things I ever saw on TV was when Archie Bunker brought his grandchild to his church unbeknownst to his secular daughter and son-in-law and baptized the child (because the beta minister wouldn’t baptize the child without the parents’ permission).

“Dear God, I hope this baptism takes…..because when I get home they are gonna kill me.” or something along those lines.

REAL MEN understand and know when how to transition gradually from this world to the next life like a great baseball batter shifting his weight during his swing.

KirknBurker on May 14, 2012 at 7:41 PM

One of the most manly things I ever saw on TV was when Archie Bunker brought his grandchild to his church unbeknownst to his secular daughter and son-in-law and baptized the child (because the beta minister wouldn’t baptize the child without the parents’ permission).

“Dear God, I hope this baptism takes…..because when I get home they are gonna kill me.” or something along those lines.

REAL MEN understand and know when how to transition gradually from this world to the next life like a great baseball batter shifting his weight during his swing.

KirknBurker on May 14, 2012 at 7:41 PM

You and I definitely have a different standard for “manliness”. Which religious cult are you a member of?

Baptizing your grandkid without the kid’s parents’ permission is something a beta would do, not an alpha – it’s very cowardly to go behind others’ backs when they thwart you in disgreement over an issue which isn’t your business in the first place).

Also, the minister who said “no” was more alpha than the socially retarded, wimpy one who said “yes”.

Bizarro No. 1 on May 14, 2012 at 8:33 PM

“And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.” (-Declaration of Independence)

Not the words of beta males.

butterflies and puppies on May 14, 2012 at 9:00 PM

So….obumbles is what?

Zeta male?

Tim_CA on May 14, 2012 at 9:01 PM

Anyone else notice the recent slew of alpha-female characters they keep trying to foist on us?

Or am I just paranoid?

Cleombrotus on May 14, 2012 at 9:05 PM

I got a better Whittle video that is just up AP’s alley. CLUTTER

Random Numbers (Brian Epps) on May 14, 2012 at 10:16 PM

One thing that has always annoyed me is how HA likes to throw these alpha-beta male terms around. These terms don’t really mean what you guys think it means. By definition there can only be ONE alpha male in a group or “herd”, all the other males are beta by default, but that doesn’t imply they are all “wimps”.

tkyang99 on May 15, 2012 at 12:18 AM

One thing that has always annoyed me is how HA likes to throw these alpha-beta male terms around. These terms don’t really mean what you guys think it means. By definition there can only be ONE alpha male in a group or “herd”, all the other males are beta by default, but that doesn’t imply they are all “wimps”.

tkyang99 on May 15, 2012 at 12:18 AM

You are being technical regarding a colloquial usage of the terms – for starters, applying “alpha” and “beta” to the human species in the manner you’re attempting doesn’t work very well considering that human are non-pack animals, does it?

Bizarro No. 1 on May 15, 2012 at 1:19 AM

One thing that has always annoyed me is how HA likes to throw these alpha-beta male terms around. These terms don’t really mean what you guys think it means. By definition there can only be ONE alpha male in a group or “herd”, all the other males are beta by default, but that doesn’t imply they are all “wimps”.

tkyang99 on May 15, 2012 at 12:18 AM

In a group of men there can be only one leader.

In a family there can be only one leader and it better be the man or both husband and wife are going to be miserable.

Feminism is causing young men to walk away from civilization and it is destroying our society. If you take away a man’s ability to guide his family he will see no purpose in being a part of a family. Why get married to a woman who might, at any time, chose to make the government the care taker of her children?

Bill C on May 15, 2012 at 1:20 AM

The counterweight to the quiet, calm, competent leader is not the ‘beta’ male, but the prankster, the jester, the clown. You’ll find them in the mythology of every culture, and of course in the movies: “Say, was you ever bit by a dead bee?”

For long journeys in deep space, the writer Eric Frank Russell had the solution: a ‘psychological officer’, who played the role of jester; cf. “A Little Oil,” http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/title.cgi?56278

MrLynn on May 15, 2012 at 8:21 AM

Though I’m sure the Astronauts landed more than their share of hot babes I don’t think that’s what made them good pilots or American Heroes.

Browncoatone on May 14, 2012 at 5:47 PM

While being an alpha male does not directly make you a better pilot, I don’t think anybody could be good at anything that involves risk of life without being an alpha male.

Kingfisher on May 14, 2012 at 5:59 PM

Judging a man based on the number of women he’s “had” is no better than judging a woman by the number of children she’s had. I’ve met some guys that have laid more pipe than the town plumber but to the man they would be the last guy I’d be taking orders from in an emergency.

Browncoatone on May 15, 2012 at 9:26 AM

High Noon is a great movie, but there’s a better for this analogy, also starring Cooper. Twelve O’Clock High. That movie is a virtual training seminar on leadership and taking action.

I like Bill’s closing point comparing Alinsky with Ronaldus Magnus, and the tag line. Why not become one today?

Freelancer on May 15, 2012 at 11:05 AM

In other words, we’ve had this problem for a long time; it’s not just recent. Most of the kinds of movies Bill references have similar themes — the one man willing to stand against evil when all others quail at the thought. That’s because it reflects life as it is, perhaps especially so since industrialization and urbanization reduced the need for virtues of independence and self-sufficiency. The difference is that we have spent the last few decades celebrating the beta-male impulse rather than those virtues in our popular culture.

There’s a parallel in here concerning conservative voters: Instead of one man doing right, getting conservatives and/or constitutionalists to vote their prinicples, rather than the “electable”. If it’s true that about 35 – 40% of Americans have common ground with the Tea Party and/or the conservative platform, there’s no reason why as a 3rd party, they could win over both the donks and GOP. But it is fear that compells them to vote for the lesser evil, rather than the greater good.

AH_C on May 15, 2012 at 12:46 PM

Personally, while I adore alpha style heroes, from a literary standpoint I prefer the reluctant hero, which I suppose is a type of beta. You know, the weak individual that none the less tries to stand up to evil because he knows its the right thing to do?
WolvenOne on May 14, 2012 at 3:26 PM

They’re not betas, they’re just patient alphas that pity the fools. Proverbs/14-29 “He who is slow to anger has great understanding, But he who is quick-tempered exalts folly.” So maybe, rather than alpha or beta, they are zeta (also the 7th letter in the Greek alphabet) ;) Or even omega, as in having the last word in a dispute.

AH_C on May 15, 2012 at 1:11 PM

Too many people here assume that “Alpha” is good and “Beta” is bad. “Alpha” does not mean “Hero”. “Beta” does not mean “Loser”. The world we have today wasn’t built by womanizing assholes.

Browncoatone on May 15, 2012 at 6:54 PM