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Saturday, December 10, 2016

Manly grace

An AOL article a couple of days ago referenced this video of Arnold Schwarzenegger being hit by a raw egg during his initial campaign for Governor in 2003.

Schwarzenegger's response when asked about it a few minutes later was perfect: "Well this guy owes me bacon now. There's no two ways about it, because you can't just have eggs without bacon." He segued from there into a paean to free speech, and why he loves America so much.

Schwarzenegger seemed completely unaffected by the attack, and grinned as he joked about it later.

The whole incident made him seem incredibly, ineffably, manly. And likable, to the point where it made me wonder if the entire incident hadn't been staged, as a set up for that perfect response.

It reminded me of what happened a couple weeks ago when Vice President-elect Mike Pence attended Hamilton on Broadway. He was booed when he walked in with his family, and then, at the end of the show, was lectured from the stage about how people were concerned that his administration might not be as protective of them as it should be.

When asked about the show later on, Pence shrugged, "I wasn't offended by what was said."

He added, "My daughter and I and her cousins really enjoyed the show. 'Hamilton' is just an incredible production, incredibly talented people. It was a real joy to be there."

"When we arrived we heard a few boos, and we heard some cheers," he said, "I nudged my kids and reminded them that is what freedom sounds like."

Pence's response also made him come across extremely manly. And likable -- in stark contrast to all those snarky New Yorkers who booed him.

And in Pence's case, there was zero chance that the Hamilton cast was colluding with him.

One wonders how someone on the Left would have responded to an equivalent situation. Given how hard liberals try to point out how offended they are all the time, it's hard to imagine one ever pointing out that he wasn't offended by a statement from the opposition, and acting so utterly unperturbed.

Acting unperturbed, by the way, is probably the best way to "win" an argument. If you let someone goad you into a fury, you've lost the argument at the emotional level. And that's the more important level, since most people make decisions with their emotions (go with their "gut"), and only use their intellect to rationalize afterward.

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

When Pence experienced the booing and then the lecture from the cast, I felt badly for him. People can be such asses. He handled it well, taking the high road. I'm sure many in the left fail to see how they come across to the rest of society, ridiculous, condescending, and hateful.

-birdie

John Craig said...

Birdie --
I"m sure you're right. They're too full of self-righteous fervor to have any self-awareness. Think of all the protesters who disrupt others' lives.

Pavonine99 said...

Then again, the president elect responded to the incident by tweeting like a petulant 15-year-old...
I think the veneer of civility has been scraped off of the Left and Right for some time now.

I think Trump's candidacy, election, and what it means for the future of our country should be of far more concern for both parties than whomever's been rude to whom. That someone so blantly unfit for the position will be taking office (I know you've said Trump isn't sociopathic, but I believe he is, moreso even than Hillary, and that's leaving aside his lack of experience or a real platform), the possible tampering with the results by the Russians, the fact that either the system is so broken that it can no longer produce viable candidates or that we're dealing with a massive shift in our collective culture that has rendered that system defunct... I see few people left or right of center giving as much time to these as they do to the "Entertainment Tonight" side of things, and while that's to be expected, it's still demoralizing.

John Craig said...

Pavonine --
It's true; Trump DID respond to that Hamilton incident petulantly. (I thought about mentioning that in the post, but decided against it.) Anyway, the point of the post was that you'll occasionally see that sort of (Schwarzenegger-Pence) behavior on the right, but almost never on the left. And, while I've said I don't think Trump is a sociopath, there's no question he's a very narcissistic personality.

I don't think anyone has said that the Russians tampered with the results in any way other than to hack private emails and give them to Wikileaks, which then released them. And none of those revelations were even much of a surprise: Hillary's corrupt? Pedestal is Machiavellian? Who would have guessed? I think there was far more actual election fraud -- meaning, illegal votes -- on the Left.

You're also right that much more attention was paid to superficialities than is desirable in a Presidential election. But who is responsible for that? Again, I'd say the Left. Hillary's entire campaign was based around carping about Trump's uncouth, vulgar personality, and trying to make those sound evil. Trump at least concentrated on the issues: immigration, the economy, destroying ISIS, and having better relations with Russia, whether or not you agree with him on those things. Remember "The children are listening?" The Clinton campaign spent a lot of money on that. That said, there's no question Trump is vulgar and often rude and has none of the grace described in this post. (I wish he did.) But it was the media, in their efforts to derail Trump, and the Clinton campaign, with their negative advertising, which put the focus where they did. Trump, vulgarity and all, mostly tried to keep it on the issues, although he did veer from that every time he got a personal insult from someone else.

Anonymous said...

Great Ahnold quote.

Now, this is manly:

https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/w/winstonchu100445.html

I bet it's true, too, although I have no intentions of finding out.

Puzzled

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure what you mean by this being a 'manly' reaction when I've heard (of) many women reacting to insults in a similar way. This short video of Margaret Thatcher, for example: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=augWtC1i8yo

Regarding acting unperturbed: it's what the Buddhists as well as many Ancient Greek & Roman philosophers recommend. They say that if you can't *be* unperturbed then you should at least act like you are. If you don't appear to restrain your hard feelings then you'll, in turn, become angrier on the inside - which hurts you, not the person you're angry at. Besides, by reacting badly you're giving them what they want: confirmation that they got to you. A tip from Marcus Aurelius is to quietly examine the character of the person making the insult. You'll usually conclude that the insulter is not someone worth listening to. Another tip (I think from Epictetus?) is to examine the insult for grains of truth and use them for self-improvement. If you don't find any then it simply confirms what an ugly soul the insulter has.

These philosophers also had some helpful ideas on how to respond externally: the ideal way was to try to make the insult into a joke, preferably turned on oneself so as to humiliate the insulter by doing a better job than him (Epictetus used this method whenever people picked on him for his physical disability). If you're not particularly funny, you can try the more boring "why did you say that to me; are you in a bad mood today?", which the insulter will almost definitely hate because the insult was supposed to be about you, not him.

- Gethin

Pavonine99 said...

Again, I think it goes deeper than just Trump's vulgarity. If that were only the worst thing about him ...

The Right is just as trivial when it suits their purposes, though. By overreacting to the toxic culture of political correctness, they've created a toxic culture of their own, and Trump is the end result of that -- he's a reactionary choice, not a considered one. I'm not so much worried about Trump himself, but what comes after, now that the bar's been lowered this far.



John Craig said...

Puzzled --
That is a great quote by Churchill. I've heard he was probably a sociopath; he was certainly a great wit. I went to the Churchill Museum in London in '04, it's festooned with his quotes, most of which are great.

I, too, am happy to take his word for it.

Anonymous said...

Was Churchill a sociopath? To me, the word can't fit both Churchill and Ted Bundy, although I realize that one could argue the point. Churchill truly was one of those people who truly was "larger than life". Conventional categories don't suit him. But I have read historians who say he was nuts, and that England needed his particular brand of insanity during the emergency of WWII. Whatever.

The actual quote I was looking for was something I couldn't find. I had heard (read?) that during a visit to, I think Greece, he was shot at. He moved aside and said, "what cheek." I couldn't find confirmation of that on the net but I found the other quote.

I also read that Roosevelt was shot at once, and showed great sangfroid, but didn't utter a witticism. Someone else got shot. A mayor I think. Still, many grace under pressure.

Puzzled

John Craig said...

Gethin --
Honestly, I've heard of fewer women reacting that way. But that was a great line by Thatcher.

Yes, your second paragraph is what I was trying to get at with my last paragraph, but you said it much better.

And yes, your third paragraph is what the people who are into "Game" these days call "agree and amplify." It shows you're totally unaffected by the insult, and is actually a pretty effective way of flirting as well.

John Craig said...

Pavonine --
We're going to have to agree to disagree here: I don't think the Right has overreacted to political correctness, which still holds sway in large swaths of this country, especially in the universities.

John Craig said...

Puzzled --
I know, it seems sacrilegious to mention Churchill and Bundy in the same breath, but sociopathy is not a function of resume, or even of what larger good you might have accomplished, but rather character: how do you treat the people closest to you, how impulsive are you, do you have any inhibitions, how willing to take personal risk are you, and so on.

Mark Caplan said...

Ronald Reagan's famous line to Nancy after his being shot was, "Honey, I forgot to duck."

A disgruntled Italian immigrant did shoot at either president-elect Franklin or the man he was standing beside, the mayor of Chicago, and killed the mayor. But Theodore Roosevelt was actually shot in the chest. What happened next set a standard for manliness that some of us hypermasculine readers of "Just Not Said" might have a hard time equally.

As an aside, a book about Theodore Roosevelt's exploratory trip down a tributary of the Amazon, RIVER OF DOUBT, would make a great Christmas gift.

"Teddy Roosevelt shot in chest, still gave stump speech"
http://www.history.com/news/shot-in-the-chest-100-years-ago-teddy-roosevelt-kept-on-talking

John Craig said...

Mark --
Yes, great line by Reagan. I thought his line to the doctors as he was wheeled into the hospital was even better: "I hope you're all Republicans." (The chief surgeon's response: 'Mr. President, today we're all Republicans.")

Amazing story about Roosevelt; I'm surprised I'd never heard it before. "It takes more than that to kill a Bull Moose." And then he gave his speech. Wow.

By the way, you've just put your finger on what I like best about the readership of this blog: the men are all hypermasculine and the women all hyperfeminine.

Mark Caplan said...

I might add that real men don't write a second comment to correct the typos in their first comment, so I won't.

As we men's men trade stories of courage and derring-do and "cannon to left of them" and "You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din," I can't help recalling that for thousands of years members of the weaker sex bore children without painkillers, and a few still do even today. I need a shot a morphine just thinking about it.

Justin said...

John, I'd be curious to hear your thoughts about #Pizzagate.

John Craig said...

Mark --
Hmm; I always feel obliged to correct my typos, which evidently doesn't speak well of my masculinity.

I've actually managed to piss off a couple of women by saying, "Bah, I don't think giving birth is that painful." (The two who didn't realize I was kidding. Boy did I get an earful from them.)

John Craig said...

Justin --
I honestly don't know what to think. When I first read about it, I thought, wow, this can't all possibly be coincidence, and wow, these people sure seem to be well connected, and wow, there sure are some powerful people involved. But then my MSM-instilled "better judgment" kicked in and I thought, this is too farfetched, this can't possibly be. And I stopped reading about it. But....other people whose judgment I trust have read about it and had the same reaction: this can't possibly all be coincidence.

Anyway, thanks for asking, but I don't know anything more than anyone else does, nor do I have any special insights. But my gut instinct was....there's something going on here.

One of the problems with a possible scandal like this is that any evidence of it would be scant, and easy to get rid of. Nobody who is an actual child molester is stupid enough to pay for the providing of victims with anything other than cash, which leaves no trail. And cell phone cameras would almost surely have been confiscated from anyone in a position to record the goings on. And since the brouhaha started, there has undoubtedly been a major effort made to scrub away any DNA evidence. So, if something was going on -- and I'm not saying there was -- we'll probably never know for sure about it.

Justin said...

Regarding your last paragraph, the only thing I'd add is that anyone doing this has a Cluster B personality disorder, so is likely to "get off" on being exhibitionistic in their crimes. For Christ's sake, Alefantis was plastering this stuff all over his Instagram, unmarried Tony Podesta with stuffed animals next to his bed in a magazine spread, etc.

John Craig said...

Justin --
Yes, that is true. And one more big piece of circumstantial evidence. But, while common sense makes one think something was going on, in a case like this, something more than circumstantial is needed. I hope they come up with some hard evidence. And that everyone who might have been involved is exposed.

Justin said...

Well photos like that could get CPS called on you, at the very least.

I think the FBI knows and is waiting to hand Jeff Sessions their materials.

John Craig said...

Justin --
Again, I hope you're right. And yeah, good point, the current administration would just bury it; too many Democrats involved.

Blue said...

@Pavonine99 I still believe that the reason he made those tweets during the Hamilton fiasco was just to distract the media from covering the Trump University settlement. I remember during that time period the media seemed to spend 10x more time covering and publishing article's about Trump's tweets than the $25 million dollar Trump university settlement. It's like Trump successfully manipulated the media to make Trump U just a little side story.

Steven said...

Schwarzenegger came across really well on his reddit AMA. He seemed cool. You've got to respect somebody who was a big success in three separate fields. And this will sound incredibly gay but if you look at his bodybuilding pics, the thing that set him apart from guys just as big or bigger than him is he managed to make it beautiful.

What you're talking about is pretty much a game principle, isn't it? Sort of how you're supposed to respond to shit tests, unfazed and with humour. They are acting alpha in the parlance. I'm sure you know what I'm getting at.

John Craig said...

Steven --
C'mon, this blog is where heterosexual guys can say what they want and not worry about sounding gay.

Yes, it is definitely game. I mentioned this in my 7:36PM response to Gethin yesterday, as you can see.

Steven said...

Jeremy Clarkson getting hit in the face with a pie.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=apneqbz_DqE


And when the deputy prime minister at the time John Prescott got an egg thrown at him from close range. I think his reaction rose his stock a bit.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5XTiI1e-wVc

John Craig said...

Steven --
Clarkson was certainly sporting about it. And "Too much sugar" was a good reaction.

And good for Prescott, punching back.