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Monday, February 26, 2018

It's more fun to be black

Black people have a much more appealing, enjoyable way of being.

When blacks laugh, their entire bodies will often convulse, and sometimes they'll even jump up and down to express amusement. The few occasions when I've actually laughed so hard that tears came to my eyes, and the one or two occasions where I literally fell on the floor because I was laughing so hard, were definitely high points in my life.

On a few occasions, I have gleefully and unabashedly and celebrated some personal triumph, not entirely unlike a running back doing a victory dance in the end zone. Others may have resented my display, and I may have later wished I'd been a little more circumspect, or displayed some false modesty. But when I was in the moment, I was unquestionably having a good time.

Being in that moment is harder than it sounds, especially for someone like me, who tends to spend a lot of time thinking about the past or future. But I'd like to be more like Lamar Odom.

I've said it before, but it bears repeating: when blacks are being friendly, I've always sensed more genuine goodwill than when whites are, since blacks tend to be more uninhibited about saying what they think, whereas with whites almost always feel obliged to put on some sort of (more or less false) socially acceptable face. On those occasions when I've actually felt warmly towards those I'm with, as opposed to having to feign friendliness, I've enjoyed myself far more.

Inhibitions may be good for keeping people on the straight and narrow path, and for getting them to fulfill their social responsibilities. But they don't make for a good time.

Think of it this way: white people drink in order to become more like black people. They may not think of it in those terms, and they likely don't want to actually be black; but they want to be more like them, i.e., uninhibited.

It has often been noted that when there's a large group of blacks, the noise level tends to be louder. You may have noticed the same of white cocktail parties: the volume gets turned up.

If you could have the relaxed feeling of having had a couple drinks, without the physical side effects, would you not opt for that condition?

How many of your most fun times seem to have come when you've had a couple beverages? Would it not be preferable to just be high on life?

24 comments:

Jokah Macpherson said...

Interesting you bring up alcohol. My personal experience has always been that black people seem indifferent to it compared to all other people; like, yeah, they'll drink enthusiastically if it's a social situation that calls for it but it's not something that's that important to them.

I poked around in the General Social Survey to see if my hunch was right, and I think I have been validated. The most telling variable is DRINKYR - How regularly did the respondent drink over the last 12 months (only asked in 2004). Almost 40% of black respondents had not had any alcohol while under 20% of white respondents had not had any. Weighted N for blacks was only 28.6, though, so too small to draw a strong conclusion.

However, DRINK, which is a binary do you drink or not question, was asked regularly 1977 to 1994 and has a huge N and offers similar results: 27% of whites and 41% of blacks did not drink. All this in spite of blacks not having any widespread predilection to alcoholism like certain populations such as American Indians do (which leads some of them to avoid it entirely).

I mean it certainly makes sense. If you are naturally pretty relaxed and social and free from worry about what others think, what's the point of drinking? It doesn't change anything!

I have to also give a brief mention to Steve Sailer's wild theory back in the day that Germans developed their beer culture as an adaptation to allow them to evolve biologically towards being atypically serious. You can concentrate on work and studies and following rules and showing up for things on time all day and then have a big stein at the Biergarten that evening and artificially revert to being a normal person.

John Craig said...

Jokah --
Thank you for that validation (for both of us), and it does make sense. I hadn't been aware of those statistics, and you're right, there IS no point to drinking if you're already naturally relaxed. Why have all those nasty side effects if you don't need to?

The mental image of a black person reaching for a drink to get some Dutch courage just doesn't come to mind. I've met whites, and Asians, who are painfully shy, but I've never known a black who was that way. And I've met whites whose personalities seem to change with alcohol, but never a black. Though, now that I think about it, I've never really drunk with blacks that I can recall. (And I have hung out with them.)

Interesting theory by Sailer, I read him on a regular basis but don't remember that. But that does sort of fit with the Germans, or at least people of German descent, whom I've known. They tend to be serous, and hard-working, and they do like to drink. Ditto for the Dutch, who are ethnically quite close.

Jokah Macpherson said...

I'm German on my dad's side so I indulge in a little self-loathing over a lot of the characteristics I describe, especially the punctuality. Unfortunately, alcohol doesn't really do the trick for me. I find that the penalty in suppressing the fun, idiosyncratic, witty side of my personality is much larger than the small bonus in being more at ease. I actually can't even relate to the term "liquid courage" because I'm more likely to become the life of the party sober than I am buzzed.

I do associate blacks with being really into cannabis compared to other races but I can't use the GSS to research that because I couldn't find any questions that break cannabis out from general drug use.

There was a painfully shy black girl in my high school class. I mean really painfully shy. She was robot-like in her devotion to her studies and as far as any of us could tell she didn't socialize at all. Last I heard she was getting her PhD in Psychology.

John Craig said...

Jokah --
Self-loathing seems to be another German trait, at least these days, in Germany....How else to explain Merkel and her supporters?

I'm surprised that the alcohol represses your fun, witty side -- or am I reading that wrong? With most people, it has the opposite effect. (BTW, I do appreciate your punctuality in responding to this post, and to my above reply to your comment, even if you despise yourself for it.)

Agree about blacks and marijuana. I can't recall ever having drunk with blacks but I have smoked marijuana with several, back in high school. They do seem to be into it. I only did it for that stupidest of all reasons, because at 15 I thought it made me cool. I didn't actually enjoy its effects.

Anonymous said...

One exception does come to mind: Obama's father. He was nicknamed double-double because of the way he liked his whiskey. He caused four accidents while driving under the influence. He died in the last accident at the age of 48.

John Craig said...

Anon --
I wasn't suggesting all blacks are teetotalers; they're vulnerable to alcoholism too. In fact, coincidentally, I just saw a headline yesterday about Dennis Rodman's alcoholism. I was just saying that by nature they are less inhibited and so as a rule don't *need* alcohol for social lubrication the same way whites do.

The Ambivalent Misanthrope said...

Hmmm ... Where do Eastern Europeans fit into that, I wonder? They destroy their livers as a hobby, but as an ethnic rule, they are not particularly punctual or work-centric. A party back in the Eat Bloc days was not fully underway until someone started singing or falling under the table (ful disclosure: I am Eastern European on my father's side. And my mother's.)

Blacks are indeed way more fun and spontaneous naturally. They also seem to need their ganja the way the Soviet drill sergeant needed his vodka. The way I've heard more than one black describe the effect was that it 'evens' the mood out, -- takes the edge off the usual existential aggravations -- which is interesting in that whenever I tried it, it did anything BUT do that for me. The Soviet drill sargreant would no doubt say that about his vodka. So there must be some ethnic/genetic basis for the prevalence of some substance of choice in softening life's rough edges.

John Craig said...

Ambivalent --
(I feel, after all this time, that we're on a first name basis.)

Yes, those Slavs do love their vodka, no question. I always thought that that fun-loving drunkard Boris Yeltsin -- who gave the country's industrial infrastructure away to a handful of oligarchs -- was more representative of his country than the cool, calm, cerebral Mikhail Gorbachev. Yeltsin should never have been in the position he was in, but he was a more typical Russian.

And yes, marijuana does seem to have a mellowing effect on a lot of blacks. All it ever did to me was make me paranoid, but it seems to have the opposite effect on them.

Susan D. said...

It should always be fun to just be ourselves, but sadly that's not always the case (because we're human).

- birdie

John Craig said...

Birdie --
Ha, I find being myself can be a big drag at times.

LBD said...

I can’t think of a worse nightmare than being in any way like a black person. To me, it doesn’t look like “fun” to be stupid, impulsive and violent with a completely exaggerated sense of self esteem.

John Craig said...

LBD --
The IQ gap of 15 points is certainly real; that's actually another way in which whites who've had a couple drinks are more like blacks, I've always said that each drink you have (temporarily) lowers your IQ by roughly 7 points. (I originally made this point in the post, but then took it out, since it sort of distracted from the main point of the post.

BTW, on that score, I have a philosophical question for you: even though someone like you would never, ever want to trade away any of her IQ points, can you honestly say they've made you happier over your lifetime? (I'm not so sure that I wouldn't have been just as happy, maybe even happier, going through life with a score of, say, 90. I wouldn't have known what I was missing, and things wouldn't have bothered me as much.)

Impulsive actually can be fun, if there are no bad consequences (a big "if," I realize). And only a small percent of them are violent, though it's certainly a larger percent than for whites.

Exaggerated self esteem is one of those things where it's actually sort of nice to have it, just not so pleasant for the people around you.

LBD said...

Having less intelligence certainly would not have made me happier. You conjure an alternative reality in which a person with below average IQ ”doesn’t know what he is missing” rather than a person tormented with frustration because he doesn’t know how to deal with the demands of a very complicated world and is taken advantage of or shunted aside by those who are more able.

Contemporary black culture supports and rewards violence, braggadocio, and anti-social impulsiveness. To the degree that black culture has become fashionable and has taken over the general popular culture we have become much the worse for it. Just contrast the lyrics of the Beach Boys’ “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” of a few decades ago with the aggressive, misogynistic lyrics of any rap “song” in the completely opposite visions of male-female relationships.

Popular culture is the water we swim in, and the temperature of that water affects us. I well remember the way the world was in the 1950’s. It was much easier then to lead a relatively simple life because the popular culture was not at war with the average guy.

John Craig said...

LBD --
I agree with you completely about the coarsening of the culture (and I also happen to be a huge Brian Wilson fan who doesn't consider rap to be music). And, to the extent that antisocial values are promoted, the overall effect on society of the rap mentality has been bad. No argument there.

But what I'm talking about is individuals. Are individuals actually happier by virtue of having higher IQ's? Think of the people you know who are at, say, 100, and compare them to the people you know who are closer to 140. Is the emotional equilibrium point for those at 140 higher than those at 100? When I think of the happiest people I've known, the kind of people who always seem to be in a good mood, who have trite little cliches to justify their happiness, the kind of people who frame their happiness as a conscious choice, as if they had any control over the amount of serotonin etc. in their brains, I can assure you, absolutely none of them were brain trusters.

Also, I should be clearer about what I meant when I said that if I'd gone through life at 90 I wouldn't know what I was missing. I didn't mean that in the sense of not understanding higher culture or anything like that; I just meant, if I was in a different social situation, or didn't have some of the things I have now, it wouldn't bother me because I wouldn't have expected them, and they wouldn't have been expected of me. Here's a parallel: a lot of people who went to Harvard feel like failures now because when you go there you're sort of half-expected to out and conquer the world, and if you fall short, well, you've failed. (I'm one of those failures.) So that's another level at which being smarter doesn't necessarily lead to happiness.

But all of this is getting a little away from the point of the post, which was inhibitions and happiness, as opposed to intelligence and happiness. I can honestly tell you that I'd have probably been happier with fewer inhibitions as well. I undoubtedly would have been more obnoxious to those around me, but I would have enjoyed myself more.

LBD said...

Americans in general have close to zero inhibitions compared to fifty years ago and we are manifestly less happy as individuals and as a society. Part of the problem is that since the 1960’s we have been told that the worst thing in the world is to repress yourself, that people should express themselves. The result is a kind of emotional diarrhea that has the opposite effect, it cuts down on our ability to function socially in neutral civic space.

Spontaneous and expressive = no demonstrable civilization, but those tribal Africans sure can dance!
Contained and focused = a functioning civilization with flush toilets and air travel.

I have a strong preference for the latter.

The smaller pleasures of peace, cleanliness and working nuclear families are denigrated by the yahoos around us.

John Craig said...

LBD --
Again, no argument at the societal level. But we're talking about slightly different things.

As I said in the post, "Inhibitions may be good for keeping people on the straight and narrow path, and for getting them to fulfill their social responsibilities. But they don't make for a good time."

LBD said...

Since my idea of a good time is attending a Shakespeare festival, you’ve got me there. Wild and crazy I do not get. 🤓

John Craig said...

LBD --
You're more sophisticated than me. Then again, actually leaving your house to go to a cultural event is probably wilder and crazier than what I consider a good time, which is doing a crossword puzzle. Or maybe watching a movie on Netflix.

Anonymous said...

I have worked with intellectually challenged people. Trust me, it's better to go through life with a higher IQ. With a higher IQ, you can accomplish more in life. We all have our struggles. Regarding happiness, life has it's ups and downs, I would rather be content at my age, having a peaceful lifestyle. No craziness allowed in my sphere of existence (this is my preference).

- birdie

John Craig said...

Birdie --
Better, yes, but does it lead to more happiness? I'm not convinced.

Anonymous said...

One's IQ doesn't guarantee happiness for anyone. When you're around warm, loving people, it helps you to feel better, improves your mindset. There are health issues that can affect your happiness level (e.g., anxiety, depression, etc). Personally, I haven't known a lot of truly happy people. The ones that I have known have had good, solid minds. They grew up with happy, wise parents.

- birdie


Anonymous said...

Alcohol is that kind of thing that a little has the opposite effects as a lot (there is a scientific reason but I'll skip that and use personal experience).

A single beer with a valium, I walk faster, feel at ease, speak better, more patient, and have almost no clumsiness.

Too much and the same thing happens like with everyone else.

It's not only black people, there are some people who are always expressive, socially intelligent, they aren't bothered by stuff easily, good willpower, bubbly.

-Ga

Roger Thomas said...

Excellent post John. However I must disagree with you on “And only a small percent of them are violent, though it's certainly a larger percent than for whites.“ The number is much higher. Every crime statistic and ounce of personal experience says so. If looking at it from an evolutionary perspective they lack the intellect to succeed in nature using constructive creativity (building complex systems) so they are more aggressive to compensate and this leads to higher levels of violence. Their higher levels of inhibition prevents them from grasping the consequences of their actions and their risk vs reward meter is off. This is why they are much more likely to rob for a 30 dollar watch than rob a bank and why they are more quick to resort to violence despite a good likelihood of getting captured.

In theory It would be easier to be happy with a lower IQ because pleasure is immediate, expectations are low and there are no societal goals just individual imperatives. However this fosters an environment that is harmful as a whole to this group because everyone chases simple and selfish aims (bling, high from drugs, temporary relationships with no thought of the future). Higher IQ folks chase money and are selfish but they do so to further complex long term objectives like creating a good home environment for a family.

Roger Thomas said...

*Being more uninhibited