Archive for ‘sex’

March 10, 2009

Gays. And marriage. And rights.

As an indirect result of my influence — I’m not “influential” in the Ross Douthat sense, but it’s not Easter yet, so I’ll drop it — Donald Douglas gets into a discussion of gay rights and political correctness with Little Mister Loser:

James Webb, of Brainrage, has asked of me repeatedly: “I’m just curious as to your views on gay marriage if one of your own boys wanted the same rights that many gays are now denied by yourself and others of your ilk.”

Now, you can go read the whole thing to get Dr. Douglas’s take on the subject. He should be thankful he’s got tenure, or he’d be fired for dissenting from PC orthodoxy and out here shaking the tip jar with the rest of us blogwhores.

While I claim to speak for no “ilk,” personally, I’m sick and damned tired of the transparent nonsense being peddled as “rights.” Judge Roy Moore got it right: An enormous and venerable corpus of Anglo-American jurisprudence classified homosexual activity as “a crime against nature,” having no legal sanction and certainly not constituting a “right.”

Yet scarcely five years after Lawrence v. Texas overturned Bowers v. Hardwick (a Supreme Court precedent that dated to only 1986) anyone who dares to question the existence of such a “right” is subject to vehement denunciation as a hateful troglodyte. We even have earnest young intellectuals telling us that gay marriage is “conservative,” despite any inkling of such an idea in the writings of Burke, Weaver, Kirk, et al.

A scam is being perpetrated, because too many so-called “conservatives” lack the necessary organs — two eyes, a brain, a spine, and a functioning pair of testicles — to tell the truth, no matter how unpopular the truth may be, or what the consequences of speaking unpopular truth.

Men and women are different. They were created different, designed with a natural complementarity, to fulfill specific life functions. There is a natural order to human life, and marriage between man and woman is part of that order. The legal status of marriage did not create marriage, but is rather a recognition of a pre-existing natural order — an order that was not created by human agency, but by the Creator.

The gay-rights movement would like you to believe that sexual behavior can be divided into two categories: Gay and straight. But according to the Creator, this is a false distinction. God divides sexual behavior into two categories: Righteousness and sin.

Righteous sex is the love between man and wife that creates human life, and which through that God-ordained intimacy knits together the couple in a permanent and exclusive union: “One flesh.”

Everything else — everything else — is sin. And this was once recognized by Anglo-American jurisprudence, which in one way or another imposed sanctions against every type of sexual behavior except between man and wife. But in the decades after World War II, in the name of “modernizing” the legal code, these sanctions were gradually repealed. “Sexual liberation” was the name of the game, divorce skyrocketed and the lawyers cheerfully liberated wives from husbands, liberated husbands from wives, and liberated fees from clients.

If “anything goes” was the prevailing legal spirit of the new order, so that people could hook up, shack up, break up and move on at random — well, in what sense was love between man and wife deserving of any special legal status?

American society stepped off the Solid Rock and onto the shifting sand, and it seems that no one — especially not young punks like our Brainrage blogger — even realizes that the old order ever existed, or what its fundamental principles were. “Conservatives” attempting to defend marriage tend toward citing sociological statistics, as if fundamental principles were a matter of charts and graphs.

To cite the most authoritative source — the Word of God — is to be accused of superstition, or of seeking to “impose your values” on others. But my values (or Dr. Douglas’s values, or anyone else’s values) are irrelevant. What counts is God’s values, and these are not subject to amendment or public opinion polls.

No one today has the courage to stand firmly on biblical truth, without the aid of any other authority or reference. Yet the disorderly debate over gay “rights” we see today is, in its own way, clear proof of the Bible’s authority:

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears.
I Timothy 4:3 (KJV)

The prophetic nature of the Bible is evidence of its authority, and if anyone wants to tell me that the successive disasters that have fallen on our nation in recent years aren’t just a wee bit apocalyptic in appearance, the Bible can answer that, too: Let him that has eyes, see.

“Straight” people don’t have any special dispensation to screw around willy-nilly and then point the finger of condemnation at gay people. You go into any church on Sunday morning and you know what you will see? Sinners. All of them, sinners. (“For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God,” Romans 3:23) The preacher in the pulpit, the soloist in the choir, the blue-haired old lady playing the piano — sinner, sinner, sinner.

There is nothing more ludicrous than a professed Christian pretending to be anything but a wretched sinner, whose only hope of salvation is the unmerited grace of God.

Well, now, you can laugh or you can cry about this. I prefer to laugh, and so I joke around a lot. But sin is a very serious matter, and the worse thing you can do about sin is to pretend that it’s not really sin. Call sin by its right name.

It recurred to memory a couple of hours ago, as I was writing an e-mail to friends, how this whole thing began with me trying to set up Clever S. Logan with Big Sexy. Think about it: There is no law that would forbid them from marrying tomorrow. Indeed, they could have been married many months ago. They have that right. So why aren’t they married?

Beats me. Maybe it has something to do with . . . sin?

It’s late. I’m tired. My beautiful wife is in bed, and I should turn off the computer and join her. I have that right. Too many people with itching ears have heaped to themselves teachers who tell them about their “rights.” They will not endure the sound doctrine that tells them about their sins.

And me? I’m just another sinner, too. Maybe not as bad as I once was, but still bad enough to deserve nothing but destruction. (“Sinners in the hands of an angry God” and all that.)

Still, even when I was hopelessly lost, there’s one thing I know: If I promised a girl I’d get her a box of chocolates, she’d doggone sure get that box of chocolates. What kind of miserable faggot would break a promise like that?

UPDATE: Welcome Cynthia Yockey readers. You might enjoy this response to Miss Yockey. It’s irresistible, isn’t it?

March 5, 2009

Too hot for the White House?

My latest Taki’s Magazine column:

Some just-published research suggests that the incontestable hotness of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin hurts her chances of becoming president, which is a sore disappointment to her admirers at Conservatives4Palin, and also to me. Never mind any discussion of Palin’s political leanings or qualifications. It just seems to me that if America is going to elect a woman president, she might as well be a hottie.

Please read the whole thing. Remember, I’m the guy who got a quarter-million hits in September on the strength of “Sarah Palin bikini pics.” Rule 5 has been very, very good to me.

ET SEQUELAE: The Hottie Who Would Be Gonzo tells her tale.

ET SEQUELAE II: Now Richard’s begging for a second chance. This could become interesting.

February 20, 2009

Dishonor and shamelessness

“This is what happens when there is no honor and there is no shame and there are no rules for engagement.”

February 19, 2009

Buy Panasonic!

Via TigerHawk, who has apparently figured out Rule 5, and thus earns today’s FMJRA Award (Rule 2).

February 18, 2009

Marriage at 10? All-righty then!

Pundette confesses herself “speechless” over some news we missed over Valentine’s Day weekend:

Saudi Arabia’s most senior cleric was quoted Wednesday as saying it is permissible for 10-year-old girls to marry and those who think they’re too young are doing the girls an injustice.
The mufti’s comments showed the conservative clergy’s opposition to a drive by Saudi rights groups, including government ones, to define the age of marriage and put an end to the phenomenon of child marriages.
“It is wrong to say it’s not permitted to marry off girls who are 15 and younger,” Sheik Abdul-Aziz Al Sheikh, the country’s grand mufti, was quoted as saying.
“A female who is 10 or 12 is marriageable and those who think she’s too young are wrong and are being unfair to her,” he said during a Monday lecture, according to the pan-Arab Al-Hayat newspaper.

Right. You’re being “unfair to her.” And that doesn’t even begin to address the injustice to the elderly sheik, whom these so-called “rights groups” want to deprive of his 10-year-old fourth wife.

After all, who are we to judge? Let’s see what the progressive feminist womyn have to say about this:

(Crickets chirping.)

Thank you, progressive feminist womyn!
February 18, 2009

No ceasefire in the War of the Sexes

(BUMPED; UPDATES BELOW.) Truce negotations have once again broken down despite my Valentine’s Day peace initiative, and today we have a barrage from Dr. Melissa Clouthier:

Robert’s article coincides with a dear friend’s search for a good man. I recounted how, at the end of her date on Friday, the guy leaned in to give her a good-night face lick. I am not kidding. And as if that insult wasn’t enough, the man requested that she bite his neck and scratch his back. He was divorced (huh, I wonder why), professional and good looking. What in the hell?
Perhaps with the advent of technology or the decline in formal social protocols or the increase and ubiquity of porn or the elevation of the pop culture, people have just lost the ability to know what to do on a date.
Note to men: face licking is a no-no. In fact, I feel safe in saying that if you take face licking out of your whole wooing repetoire, no one is going to complain.

OK, so if the face is off-limit for licking, then . . . oh, never mind the cheap humor. This is serious, people. Omens of an impending sexual Armageddon are all around us, from the Octo-Mom to the 16-year-old sex-change to the 10-year-old divorcee, and the fundamental causes of the hostilities are being ignored and distorted by the MSM. In the simplest terms, the ascendance of the modern and artificial has made it increasingly difficult for people to achieve the traditional and natural.

You and me, baby,
Ain’t nothing but mammals.
So let’s do it like they do
On the Discovery Channel.

Ah, poetry — the universal language of love! These hiphoppers and neo-Darwininian sociobiology types are saying nothing that a Bible-thumping Calvinist couldn’t tell you: Men and women belong together in pair-bonds, forming kinship units that harmonize sexual complementarity in socially beneficial ways. Adam and Eve, Cupid and Psyche, Romeo and Juliet, Tarzan and Jane, Rhett and Scarlett, Ron and Nancy — it is a very simple formula, really. Why, then, do so many Americans today find it impossible to make the equation add up?

But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
Mark 10:6-9

Obviously, “the hardness of your heart” (Mark 10:5) has been causing trouble for humanity since time immemorial, but at least the categories of male and female and the desireability of marriage were once fairly clear, even to those hard-hearted Pharisees whom Jesus rebuked. Our latter-day Pharisees would crucify Jesus as an intolerant patriarchal homophobe for daring to suggest that (a) there is a God, and (b) He created men and women to function as integral and complementary parts of a “one flesh” unit.

Now we see Dr. Clouthier observing that “people have just lost the ability to know what to do on a date,” and lamenting men’s cluelessness about the “whole wooing repertoire.” But a woman is wooed to be won. That is to say, the object of the pursuit is the conquest, and here is where modern artificiality intrudes. In recent decades, the concept of dating as courtship — that is to say, a man seeking a wife — has faded to near invisibility. Instead, the romantic scene has begun to resemble a game of musical chairs in which the music never stops, the perpetual pursuit having become the whole point of the ritual.

Women blame men. Men blame women. But amid all the finger-pointing, the music keeps playing and the failure to form stable pair-bonds becomes pandemic. Traditionalists who look at big-picture “cultural trends” are overlooking the role of individual initiative. You can write all the op-eds you want decrying the trend, but trends are nothing more than a cumulative measurement of individual actions.

My novelist friend Tito Perdue (whose The Sweet-Scented Manuscript is a roman a clef of his own scandalously romantic youth) once said something very profound to me. “Think of all this,” Tito said, indicating that he meant the entirety of our contemporary cultural-political superstructure. “Now ask yourself, ‘How many Spartans would it take to destroy it all?’ Ten thousand? One thousand? One?”

Exactly so. Modernity is a flimsy house of cards, and one courageous man, resolved to action, can change the world. A quite similar point was also famously posed as a question: “Who is John Galt?”

Having married and fathered six children, I would be considered by some as having done enough for “traditional family values,” if I never did anything else. Yet I continue to play the shadchen, to encourage my young friends to marry, since each marriage is a victory against modernity.

Well, some will ask, what is marriage without romance? To which I answer, what is romance without marriage? Think about any romantic movie. Think about the scene in An Officer and a Gentleman, where Richard Gere in his dress whites comes into the factory, grabs Debra Winger and carries her away. We know how this story ends — they marry, and live happily ever after — without ever being explicitly told. This is the righteous end of any love story.

When I chided my young friend Richard, making him an example of the deficiency of romantic ardor among the men of his generation, what I had in mind was a certain cautious, calculating approach to romance. People talk of “fear of commitment,” when what they really mean is fear of rejection. Men are afraid to commit, because commitment entails the possibility of loss, and these clever young fellows are always second-guessing themselves: “What if . . .?”

What they lack is the impetuous recklessness of the chivalrous lover, who espies beauty with the eye of that famous lad of Verona:

What lady is that which doth snatch the hand of yonder knight? . . . Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight! For I ne’er saw true beauty till this night.

Ladies, let me ask you a question: Suppose that you were single and attended a party one Thursday evening. Suppose that at this party, you met a man whom you found attractive, with whom you had in common whatever you deem necessary to have in common, and that this man seemed similarly attracted to you. Knowing ladies as I do, I imagine your heart quickens at the very thought of such a meeting, and that you feel a certain warm glow at this “meet cute” moment that is the third scene of every romantic comedy.

So, there you are — single lady, single man, reasonably well-matched and mutually attracted — chatting at this party, and the man says to you, “Listen, I really like you. I’m going to go mingle and talk to some friends, and I know you want to do the same, but do me a favor and don’t leave until you talk to me again.” Agreed, correct?

All right, so the party is winding down, and you go to find this fellow as he asked. He says to you, “Listen, why don’t we go get a cup of coffee down at the diner on the corner? My treat.” Agreed, correct?

You stroll to the diner, talking of everything — your parents, your brothers and sisters, your college, your job, your hopes and dreams and plans — and it’s all clicking perfectly. You get to the diner, and he not only buys you coffee, but suggests you have a slice of cheesecake, too. (How did he know you love cheesecake?)

You talk and talk for another hour, and you excuse yourself to go to the ladies’ room. When you come back, he’s absorbed in checking his Blackberry. “Just a minute,” he says. The waitress brings the check for $7.50 and, glancing up from his Blackberry, he hands her a $10 bill and says, “Keep the change.” (Oooooh.)

So after another minute or two, he puts away the Blackberry and says, “Hey, listen, I know this is going to sound crazy, but I was just checking the schedules online. Tomorrow’s Friday. There’s a flight leaving the airport for Vegas at 7 o’clock in the morning and” — he checks his watch, which you notice is a nice watch –“it’s 11:30 now. That gives us about four or five hours to pack and get ready. I can call in sick at the office, and you can, too. If you want to meet me at the airport at 5, I can order the tickets now. We’ll fly to Vegas, get married in the Elvis chapel, book a hotel room, have our honeymoon this weekend and be back at work on Monday. I love you. Please say yes.”

Well, knowing ladies like I do, you’d probably find an excuse to say no. But the sheer romantic craziness of such a proposal would make a lasting impression, wouldn’t it? And if you resisted the temptation to fly off to Vegas that weekend, you’d certainly want to hear more from a guy who was so crazy in love with you that he would propose marriage within a few hours of meeting you.

What makes that kind of man romantic is his courage. He knows the odds are that you’ll say no, but he has the courage to overcome his fear of rejection. Consider that dangerous cad Rhett Butler in the famous library scene from Gone With The Wind:

Rhett does not hesitate to declare his interest from the outset, and is bluntly honest about his intentions, even though he knows that Scarlett is under “the spell of the elegant Mr. Wilkes.” His confidence, his boldness, his sarcastic indifference to the dangers of love — this courage is what makes Rhett such a classic symbol of romantic manhood. Guys: Be like Rhett. And if that challenge seems a bit daunting, how about another classic role model?

Pepe Le Peu. Ah, the charmingly roguish French skunk, who refuses to take no for an answer. The wonderful thing about Pepe is that he cannot conceive that anyone would not love him. His perception of himself as irresistible means that, when the unfortunate female feline who has accidentally acquired a white stripe comes into view, he automatically misinterprets her resistance. She is too shy, too girlishly embarrassed by her passionate feelings for him, he tells himself, and so Pepe continues to pursue.

In 21st-century America, Pepe would be served with a restraining order, of course, and booked for stalking and harassment if he didn’t knock it off. But the spirit of Pepe — the romantic perserverance in search of love despite repeated rejections — is what must be recovered if we are to avoid the continued slump toward loveless decadence that now threatens to envelop our culture.

Young people suffer today, as much as anything, from a failure of the romantic imagination. If each young man would resolve to be a Rhett Butler or a Pepe Le Peu, to take it upon himself as a personal responsiblity to woo, win and wed that white-striped cat — to be a John Galt of love — we could turn this thing around yet. It may seem like a crazy idea. But romantic ideas always seem crazy.

UPDATE: Linked at Five Feet of Fury. Linked at Dustbury.

UPDATE II: Quote of the Day! (Higgins, have you met Mrs. McCain?) BTW, I’ve just received an e-mail from Tito Perdue and am awaiting permission to quote it.

UPDATE III: OK, permission granted. Via e-mail, Tito Perdue brags on wooing his bride of many years:

You and I may be the last Americans who know what love and dash and maximum romance can be. I found my woman within 48 hours of leaving home and won her against the most rigorous competition imaginable. The college had 500 male students, and 300 of them were after my Judy. She was wooed by seniors and New Yorkers and all sorts of sophisticated types, but it was that little country boy from Alabama who took her to bed.

A story in its own right, but this is a family blog, so you should just buy Tito’s book.

February 18, 2009

‘I think it’s perfectly possible to become the sort of man who can have female friends . . .’

“. . . I just don’t think it’s desirable,” says my friend Helen Rittelmeyer, with implications I am not going to think about right now. She’s making the case against coed dorms, which her alma mater Yale may soon adopt.

Yale only went coed about 40 years ago, and I think it was a bad decision. In fact, I am prepared to make the case against coeducation at any level, on the premise that boys and girls are different and that it is an absurdity to pretend otherwise.

As for the case against coed dorms: What sort of sadistic spoilsport would deprive a young man of the after-visiting-hours frisson of sneaking into a girl’s dorm, or sneaking a girl into his dorm? Part of the fun of being a bad boy is the feeling that you’re getting away with something.

This coed dorm stuff is closely related to another baleful trend of our era, the destigmatization of fornication. If you’re going to sin, do you really want to forfeit the hot, steamy thrill of knowing it’s a sin? Millions of American youth are fornicating their way to hell without any of the old-fashioned sense of wicked depravity that’s really the only fun in the matter.

The vogue of adult nonjudgmentalism has deprived young people of the sense of evil joy that once accompanied carnal corruption. So instead they become mass murderers . . .

February 17, 2009

And then her mom cut off her allowance . . .

(BUMPED; UPDATED) Bristol Palin:

“I think abstinence is, like — like, the — I don’t know how to put it — like, the main — everyone should be abstinent or whatever, but it’s not realistic at all.”

Like, totally duh. Couldn’t keep her britches on, and any expectation that she would keep her britches on was “not realistic.” Any expectation that we won’t eventually see tabloid photos of Levi Johnston slamming jello shots with strippers in an Anchorage bar — also “not realistic at all.”

UPDATE: Some of the commenters are scolding me for being . . . too judgmental. Look, I have three teenagers myself, a 19-year-old daughter and twin 16-year-old sons. Being judgmental is a full-time occupation, OK? I just put one of my 16-year-old boys onto a plane to visit relatives in Ohio, where he’s also got a blonde girlfriend. When I called his cell phone before he boarded the plane, what was the last thing I told him? “Keep it in your britches, son.”

Understand that sexy is a hereditary condition, so it’s not like the boy won’t encounter temptation. But something else is hereditary, too: Extreme fecundity.

My wife is one of seven children in her family, and we’ve got six kids, so there’s really no such thing as “safe sex” with this crew. I’ve had to have this little talk with my daughter and her boyfriend, much to their embarrassment. It’s about 100% certain they’re not having sex, because if they were, there’s a 99% chance I’d be a grandpa by now.

As to the efficacy of “abstinence education” as practiced in public schools, I am not in a position to judge. But how hard is it to tell a teenager, “Keep your britches on“? And how hard is that to do? It’s an instruction so simple that even a teenager can remember.

So excuse my judgmentalism if I think that maybe at some point Bristol and Levi should have noticed they weren’t wearing any pants, and that they should have recognized this as a signal their gametes might soon combine to form a zygote. There’s 6 billion people on this planet, which suggests the efficiency with which gametes combine when two young lovers forget to keep their britches on.

BRISTOL: “Levi., you’re not wearing pants.”
LEVI: “You noticed, huh?”
BRISTOL: “Well, yeah. I did. Like, totally.”
LEVI: “Yeah. And guess what?”
BRISTOL: “What?”
LEVI: “You’re not wearing pants, either!”
BRISTOL: “Oh. My. God.”
LEVI: “Heh. Heh. Heh.”
BRISTOL: “I can’t believe I’m not wearing pants!”
LEVI: “Incredible.”
BRISTOL: “I’m not wearing pants. You’re not wearing pants. How did this happen?”
LEVI: “Uh . . . stuff happens.”
BRISTOL: “Yeah, I guess so. What do we do now?”
LEVI: “Hmmmm. I’ve got an idea . . .”

And so it goes. Two teenagers, mysteriously pantsless, and then — suddenly — pregnant. A sequence of events so baffling, so bizarre that it could only happen in . . . THE TWILIGHT ZONE!

UPDATE II: Gabriel Malor at AOSHQ salutes Bristol as “one brave woman,” and is echoed by Ed Morrissey hailing her “courage.” Yes, the admirable courage of misplacing your pants and then going on national TV to tell the world that it’s “more accepted” to misplace your pants and “not realistic” to keep your pants on. Also, Ed has video of Bristol talking tabloids:

Having taken plenty of abuse for being ardently pro-Palin, no amount of politics can compel me to call a spade an “entrenching implement.” And as someone who has complained loudly and often about double standards in the media, I refuse to suspend my judgmentalism because this particular unwed mother is named “Bristol Palin” and not “LaShonda Watts” or “Maria Gonzales.”

UPDATE III: Now frequent commenter Thirteen28 brings up the common problem with teenage boys: Testosterone-induced dementia, also known as Constant Tumescence Syndrome (CTS). Having suffered a severe case of this dread disorder — the condition persisted well into my 20s, a rare phenomenon chronicled as a case study in various medical journals — I am sympathetic.

However, as a father, sympathy must be put aside so that CTS does not lead to two related adolescent maladies, Hymen Disappearance Disorder and the pandemic knockedupicus virus.

As a conservative, I believe that human beings (a species that includes even that beastly subspecies, homo pimplicus adolesens) respond to incentives. Therefore the teenage Lothario, when calculating the cost-benefit analysis of nailing my daughter, must consider the negative incentive of being perforated by 12-gauge double-aught buckshot. (Five in the magazine, one in the chamber.)

Had I been married to the governor of Alaska . . . Wait. Let’s pause to contemplate that hypothetical. . . . As I was saying, had I been married to the governor of Alaska, the “scandal” would have played out in headlines like this:

TEENAGE HOCKEY STAR SLAIN

. . . and this:

‘FIRST DUDE’ SUSPECTED
IN MUTILATION MURDER
OF TEEN HOCKEY STAR

. . . and, perhaps, ending with this:

GOVERNOR’S HUSBAND ACQUITTED
Prosecutors Denounce ‘Jury Nullification’;
Defendant: ‘That Hoodlum Needed Killing’

Forget about “abstinence education.” If you want to reduce teen pregnancy, you’ll get more results from marksmanship training for fathers.

UPDATE IV: Donald Douglas approves of the extreme judgmentalism.

PREVIOUSLY:

February 15, 2009

How to Get a Million Hits on Your Blog in Less Than a Year

Having promised an appropriate celebration of passing the 1-million-visitors Site Meter threshold Friday, I will do so by sharing the secret of my success. It’s the Underpants Gnome Theory of Blogging:

  • Phase 1: Get a Blogspot account.
  • Phase 2: ?
  • Phase 3: One million visitors!

Obviously, the key here is Phase 2, which has been exceptionally disorganized. Some guys work smart. Some guys work hard. Some guys are just incredibly lucky.

The perceptive blog consumer will notice that posts here don’t have all those little thingies (Digg, etc.) the way some other blogs do. This is not because I disdain such methods of traffic enhancement, but because I’m such a primitive Unfrozen Caveman Blogger I can’t figure that stuff out. It’s the same reason I’m still on a Blogspot platform, rather than switching to a custom-designed WordPress format. Blogspot is so simple that even I can figure it out, and if they’d just offer a few more templates — hey, guys, how about a template with variable-width sidebars on both sides? — I might be able to fake that custom-designed elegance, too. I understand basic HTML, but Javascript no can do, and I’m too cheap to shell out the bucks for geek services.

Lacking advanced, sophisticated technological gee-whizzery, I have been forced to employ astonishingly crude Web 0.1 methods of traffic-enhancement, namely:

  • Write stuff people might want to read; and
  • Compulsively e-mail my posts to bloggers who might possibly consider linking me.

Astonishingly crude, but also surprisingly effective. And so we come to Rule 1, the Prime Directive so to speak:

  • 1. Shameless Blogwhoring.

I’m amazed that Instapundit, Michelle Malkin, Ace of Spades and the Hot Air crew haven’t declared a fatwa against me for the way I relentlessly fill their inboxes with blogwhoring e-mails like Arnold Horshack trying to get Mr. Kotter’s attention: “Ooh! Ooh! Ooh!”

However, the smart newcomer to the ‘sphere doesn’t just suck up to big-traffic bloggers who can throw him major traffic (although he does that with a single-minded fanaticism), he also sucks up sideways and downward, to bloggers who might not be able to throw 10,000 hits a day, but who are nonetheless valued contributors to the blogging community.

Little Miss Attila is my favorite example of the “valued contributors” category. Her best recent month was 24K visits in October, but she’s been around the ‘sphere a long time, is much beloved, and it is bad kharma not to link her. Every so often, while on the hunt for good stuff to blog about, I’ll go over to LMA, find something good she’s blogging about and link it. Why? Because, among various non-kharmic reasons, she has done the same for me, which brings me to Rule 2:

  • 2. The Full Metal Jacket Reach-Around

Maybe you’re not a fan of Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket, and I’m not saying you should be. But the psychotic drill sergeant gives a notorious rant in which he colorfully expresses an important life principle: When someone does you a favor, find an opportunity to return the kindness.

Reciprocal linkage is the essential lubricant that makes the blogosphere purr with contentment. If somebody’s throwing you traffic, you should either (a) give them a link-back update, or at a minimum (b) keep them in mind for future linkage. Because you don’t want to end up on the wrong end of a kharmic unbalance in the ‘sphere, where you’re always taking and never giving.

Every beginning blogger confronts the Zero Hour. You’ve been blogging steadily for a week or two, sending around e-mails, trackbacking where you can, trying to develop some kind of regular traffic. And then, late one night, you think you might have finally composed your first Instalanche-worthy post and you e-mail it to Glenn Reynolds. You go to bed like a 7-year-old kid on Christmas Eve, then wake up at 4 a.m. and check your Site Meter to discover that your latest hourly traffic is . . . ZERO.

At which point, you want to swallow a handful of sedatives, wash it down with a quart of bleach, slit your wrists and stick your head in the oven. You are a complete and utter failure.

I’ve never forgotten the Zero Hour, and if I’ve become slightly less conscientious about reciprocal linkage since then, God forgive me, but I do try. In the midst of a traffic upswing, not all linkage is noticeable on Site Meter, so I check Technorati, which shows linkage regardless of traffic level. And thank you Dad29, thank you Joe Kristan, thank you, Andrea Shea King, thank you Jimmie Bise, thank you William Teach. Damn my lazy thoughtlessness, but please don’t doubt my gratitude.

Now that we’ve scratched the surface of technique, let’s address the tricky little subject of content with Rule 3:

  • 3. Memeorandum

Did somebody say “lazy thoughtlessness”? The easiest place to find blog fodder is Memeorandum, which has an algorithmic formula that automatically updates to tell you what the hot topics are in the ‘sphere.

I especially like their “Featured Posts,” sort of a random grab-bag of stuff that will occasionally feature some lefty shooting off his mouth in pure idiotic moonbat mode. Grab that sucker by the neck and give him the Mother Of All Fiskings, with enough vitriolic ad hominem to make sure he never forgets it. Because buddy, the lefties will turn right around and do it to you if you ever rate “Featured Post” status, and there’s nothing like a vicious flame war to earn your spurs in the ‘sphere. Which brings me to Rule 4:

  • 4. Make Some Enemies

We’ll have none of your “bipartian civility” around here, you sissy weaklings. This here is the Intertoobs, and we’re As Nasty As We Wanna Be. The fact that The Moderate Voice has turned into a reliable vessel for DNC talking points should tell you all you need to know about the fate of bipartisanship in the blogosphere.

At the same time, however, don’t confuse cyber-venom with real-world hate. Maybe Ace of Spades really would like to go upside Andrew Sullivan’s head with a baseball bat, I don’t know. But at some point you understand it’s just blogging about politics, and you start wondering if maybe it shares a certain spectator-friendly quality with pro wrestling. For all we know, Ace is spending weekends at Sully’s beach shack in Provincetown. (Next on Blogging Heads TV: Can “Bears” and Ewoks Be “Just Friends”?)

Some readers might remember when I first kicked Conor Friedersdorf in the knee for “insufficient cynicism.” Conor is, in real life, a nice guy. But he’s also (a) young, and (b) as earnest as John Boy Walton. So I got into a habit, when he was at Culture11, of kicking him in the knee with some regularity. It’s the Fraternity Initiation Principle: Pledges must be abused by their elders, and learn to be properly respectful, or else one day the ambitious little monsters will strangle us in our sleep. (Cf., my suggestion that George Freaking Will should be air-dropped on Jalalabad from a C-130.)

A couple days ago, hunting around for a reason to link my friend Russ Smith’s SpliceToday, I happened upon a column by Russ’s young minion, Andrew Sargus Klein, offering a particularly insipid argument for federal arts funding. Now, having been born and raised a Democrat, and arguably having never outgrown my obnoxious youthful arrogance, I can actually relate to Klein’s insipid argument. Stupid is as stupid does, and when I was 25, I might well have written something equally stupid. But the boy will never outgrow his stupidity unless he gets whomped on the head some.

Easy as it would have been to ignore Klein, I hit upon the delightfully fun idea of laying into him in Arkansas knife-fight mode: If you’re going to cut a man, eviscerate him. So I quickly composed a hyperbolic ad hominem rant, with the thoughtfully civil title, “Andrew Sargus Klein is an arrogant elitist douchebag.” I forward-dated the post for Friday morning, and sent Russ an e-mail to the effect of, “Hey, hope you don’t mind me abusing your office help a little bit. Nothing like a flame-war to build traffic. Don’t let on to Klein that I’m just funnin’ around with him.”

I’d hoped to bait Klein himself into a response. However, before that could happen — as if intent on illustrating how to make a fool out of yourself by taking this stuff too seriously — one of Klein’s friends offered up a comment:

Andrew Klein may be arrogant and elitist but he could craft logical arguments around your bumbling hypocrisy all day and night.

Of course I never bother “craft[ing] logical arguments,” sweetheart. It’s a freaking blog. If you want logic, subscribe to a magazine or buy a book. Pardon my double-entendre, Lola Wakefield, but people come here for the cheesecake. Logical arguments are a dime a dozen on the Internet, but sexy hotness . . . well, that reminds me of Rule 5:

  • 5. Christina Hendricks

Or Anne Hathaway or Natalie Portman or Sarah Palin bikini pics. Rule 5 actually combines four separate principles of blogospheric success:

  • A. Everybody loves a pretty girl — It’s not just guys who enjoy staring at pictures of hotties. If you’ve ever picked up Cosmo or Glamour, you realize that chicks enjoy looking at pretty girls, too. (NTTAWWT.) Maybe it’s the vicious catty she-thinks-she’s-all-that factor, or the schadenfreude of watching a human trainwreck like Britney Spears, but no one can argue that celebrity babes generate traffic. Over at Conservative Grapevine, the most popular links are always the bikini pictures. And try as I might to make “logical arguments” for tax cuts, wouldn’t you rather watch Michelle Lee Muccio make those arguments?
  • B. Mind the MEGO factor — All politics all the time gets boring after a while. Observant readers will notice that the headlines at Hot Air often feature silly celebrity tabloid stuff and News Of The Weird. Even a stone political junkie cannot subsist on a 24/7 diet of politics. The occasional joke, the occasional hot babe, the occasional joke about a hot babe — it’s a safety valve to make sure we don’t become humorless right-wing clones of those Democratic Underground moonbats.
  • C. Sex sells — Back when I was blogging to promote Donkey Cons (BUY TWO!), I accidentally discovered something via SiteMeter: Because the subtitle of the book is “Sex, Crime, and Corruption in the Democratic Party,” we were getting traffic from people Googling “donkey+sex.” You’d be surprised at the keyword combinations that bring traffic to a political blogger who understands this. Human nature being what it is, the lowest common denominator is always there, even if it’s sublimated or reverse-projected as puritanical indignation, which brings us to . . .
  • D. Feminism sucks — You can never go wrong in the blogosphere by having a laugh at the expense of feminists. All sane people hate feminism, and no one hates feminism more than smart, successful, independent women who’ve made it on their own without all that idiotic “Sisterhood Is Powerful” groupthink crap. And if you are one of those fanatical weirdos who takes that Women’s Studies stuff so seriously that you’re offended by Stephen Green’s sexist objectification of Christina Hendricks and her mighty bosom — well, sweetheart, to paraphrase Rhett Butler: “You should be offended, and often, and by someone who knows how.”

So, there you have it: Five Rules For Getting a Million Hits On Your Blog. There are probably another two dozen rules, but I’m too lazy to think of what they are right now. And to be honest, if it weren’t for that old picture of me in a Speedo, I’d probably still be 20,000 hits shy of the million mark. Some of us are just . . . blessed with exceptional modesty. And some guys get the steak knives.

UPDATE: Probably special mention should be made of Kathy “Five Feet of Fury” Shaidle, who never heard of a fair fight. She’s one of those people you don’t want angry at you. A ninja blackbelt in Rule 4, when she goes at an antagonist, it’s a knee in your groin and an elbow in your eye. However, she also keeps the customers satisfied with some naughty pinup hotness. (Rule 5!) That rare creature: A Canadian we like.

UPDATE II: Linked at Conservative Grapevine.

February 14, 2009

Valentine’s Day: Coffee for Cupid

My latest column at Taki’s Magazine:

As Valentine’s Day 2009 arrives, the desperate real-estate salesmen of Glengarry Glen Ross are an apt metaphor for the romantic plight of our age. Plenty of prospects out there — there are some 24 million women ages 18-29 in the United States — but guys can’t seem to close the deal: 65 percent of those women have never married. The median age at first marriage for women, which was 20 in 1960, is now at an all-time high of 25.3, and spinsterhood is an increasingly common fate. Thirteen percent of women 40-44 have never married, reflecting about a one-third rise since 1980 in the likelihood of being an old maid, a percentage that can be expected to increase given the current low marriage rates for young women. . . .

Please read the whole thing!

UPDATE: Via electronic communication, G2 provides this intelligence from the front lines of the War of the Sexes, as a lovelorn young hottie confides:

The concept of “wooing” a girl is, if not entirely unheard of, at least unpracticed among practically every man I know. Still, I think it’s largely the woman’s fault. I was having this conversation with a girlfriend yesterday, and I realized that the once-masculine role of putting a woman on a pedestal, sweeping her off her feet, etc. has been assumed by females. Nearly every girl I know in a relationship or pseudo-relationship has been the one doing the wooing. She usually idolizes the man – and worse than that, lets him know it.

Things are getting desperate out there, you see.

UPDATE II: Another young lady writes:

Here’s the real problem: men. Good luck to all the 18-to-29-year-old women out there trying to find a man who a) is not on drugs, b) is not in jail, c) is consistently employed and d) actually wants to get married and settle down someday. Apparently in this generation there are enough loose women that the men have realized they can get all the benefits of marriage without making the commitment. As the old adage goes, why work and buy the cow when you can get the milk for free? With that kind of a market, the cows who won’t give away milk for free tend to have a tougher time.

Yes, there does seem to be too much surplus milk on the market nowadays.