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The shirtless violin dude from the “I won’t date hot women” piece has a blog! And it sucks

Benedict Beckeld would apparently prefer to date himself

If you read that “Why I won’t date hot women anymore” article from the New York Post that I gently parodied in my post yesterday, you no doubt remember Benedict Beckeld.

Sure, the name itself might not immediately ring a bell, but you will almost certainly remember his picture: He’s the muscular fellow who posed, sans shirt, while playing or pretending to play a violin.

Beckeld is also the guy who complained to the author of the article that “people who are better looking are less likely to pursue advanced degrees, or play an instrument or learn other languages.” Beckeld, who clearly sees himself as really, really, ridiculously good looking, went on to point out that he in fact has an advanced degree, can play the violin, and can speak seven languages. (Allegedly.)

Well, it turns out he has opinions about things other than hot people and their alleged unwillingness to learn stuff. Indeed, the late-thirties Brooklyn “writer” and self-publisher has a “philosophical blog” through which he attempts to force these ideas upon what one imagines, for him, has been a very unwelcoming world.

He’s a thoroughgoing reactionary clearly convinced that his ideas are far more original and interesting than they really are, and most of his essays are pretty much unreadable philosophical dreck. (Trust me, I tried to read a bunch of them.)

The only one I managed to make it all the way through was his latest one, a rambling post on the now-famous “Fearless Girl” statue that now stands athwart the famous Wall Street bull statue in Manhattan’s Financial District. Needless to say, he’s not a fan of Fearless.

After declaring in an aside that “the girl’s fearlessness stems mainly from stupidity, since not even a grown man would stand a chance against a rampaging bull,” Beckeld goes on to set forth his main thesis: that Fearless represents the ungrateful and “oikophobic” ideology of modern feminism.

“Oikophobia,” in case you’re wondering, means hatred of home; Becheld is using it to mean “the dislike of one’s own civilization and a disregard of the traditions that shaped it.” Beckeld is completely obsessed with this idea and is apparently writing a book on the subject, because why not?

Anyhoo, here’s what he’s got to say about little Fearless.

Fearless Girl is a stab not only at testosterone-laden executive boardrooms (though Fearless Girl is as much a corporate stunt as anything, whereas Charging Bull was the work of an independent artist), but also an oikophobic attack at the United States.

Oikophobic!

Wall Street no doubt has its excesses, but it also contributes enormously to its city’s and country’s financial success, and thereby to so much of the wealth that we all take for granted here, and which we criticize and consider insignificant precisely because we have come to take it for granted.

Later on in the essay, he accuses feminist types of being, basically, overgrown children. But of course he doesn’t put it quite so succinctly. Wall of text, incoming!

A part of attacking the ruling power is now the prejudice that, no matter what, one should never change for others and that one is fine just the way one is. This is why it is also significant that the statue does not simply portray a female, but specifically a young girl rather than a woman. For the dissemination of the aforementioned anti-patriarchal prejudice is a reflection not only of people having become more narcissistic, but also of the increased purchasing power of young people. This prejudice – that no matter what one does or how one behaves, one should stay the way one is – happens to be expressive of a particularly youthful and infantile attitude, and since young people have more money than they used to, or at least a greater access to their parents’ money than they used to, the popular culture is going to change in order to cater to their emotional needs, and so more films will be made, more songs produced, where this prejudice is expressed. Many of these young people will learn over time that it is in fact healthy to change in some respects every now and then, and that some bases of power – such as American power – are better left untouched, although there is, of course, a feedback loop in which the increased stress on this prejudice in popular culture will also, regrettably, come to influence those who might otherwise not have been victims of it. The girl of the statue has the knowledge and understanding of a child, but the conviction of a prophet, and therefore taps perfectly into the self-righteousness of the millennial generation (who feel intellectually flattered and therefore love the statue).

But of course he blames the millennials!

The statue – and the politicians who support its presence – thus, opportunistically, dips into that faux-feminism of the young and the angry, who know what they hate but not what they love, and who in any case refuse to understand what they owe to the object of their wrath.

You ungrateful kids! GET OFF OF MY LAWN!

Beckeld has many similarly not-very-mindblowing thoughts on subjects ranging from the election, America’s alleged decadence, and the problems he’s got with contemporary feminism. I would pull out some amusing quotes, but, well, his blog posts are far more tedious than amusing. So instead I’ll go take a nap.

If unlike me you love every second you spend readng Beckeld’s blog posts you can sample more of his writing in his two English-language books. One, called Art & Aesthetics, is apparently about, well, art and aesthetics. The other, a self-published volume with the somewhat prosaic title Statements, offers, according to the author,

two parts I wrote when I was 17 and 19 years old, respectively. It deals mainly with issues of ethics, aesthetics, and the philosophy of history. It also contains my first critique of academia.

So that sounds like an absolute delight, huh?

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Moggie
Moggie
3 years ago

Paradoxy:

@Alan: I think it’s another deal where men can’t have anything representing them unless it’s quote-unquote badass. Even when it’s being “cautious” or “timid”, which are icky feeeemale emotions.

Pretty much. But I think it’s time for a change. I propose to replace “bull” and “bear” with “shark” and “honey badger”.

Moggie
Moggie
3 years ago

Alan:

It’s funny that fearless girl is quite literally corporate virtue signalling (in the marketing sense). Does that undermine the message though? Of course here the message is very much in the eye of the beholder. The literal message, as shown by the caption, appears to be ‘buy shares in our company’.

Patronage of the arts by the rich isn’t exactly new, though. Fearless Girl might be a particularly unsubtle example, but someone from Renaissance Florence would recognise what State Street Global are doing here.

Rhuu
Rhuu
3 years ago

@Alan: Canada. I wish I couldn’t be made to sign them away! But then I have no idea how anyone works in a collaborative studio and gets things done, without being able to revise someone else’s work.

Let me tell you about revisions. “This will be easy! I’ve already finished my part.”

“How many times did you have to draw that???? I need to do it like two hundred times.” ~me this morning ;___;

Redsilkphoenix: Jetpack Vixen, Agent of the FemiNest Collective; Keeper of a Hell Toupee, and all-around Intergalactic Meanie
Redsilkphoenix: Jetpack Vixen, Agent of the FemiNest Collective; Keeper of a Hell Toupee, and all-around Intergalactic Meanie
3 years ago

@Rhuu, Ooglyboggles,

You’re right that they should’ve talked to me about the mortgage before dumping it on me, but they didn’t. For reasons they (apparently) thought were self-evident to anyone with eyes to see.

That many of their assumptions were ASSumtions went unexamined. Such as (amongst many other things) that whatever things a minimum wage job could pay for back in the 1960’s could pay for the same in the 1990’s. For some odd reason it never occurred to them to check that out, even though they’ve haven’t had to deal with mortages (amongst other things) for almost thirty years at that point. Or they knew things had changed, but somehow didn’t think I’d be negatively affected by those changes? *shrug* Hard telling at this point.

I just have to pick up the pieces still lying about that I haven’t dealt with as of yet. I mean, I’ve picked up some things, but there’s still a good bit to go. I’ll get there, eventually. Just gonna take me awhile to do it. IF Life would stop dropping unpleasant surprises on me for a few months. >:|

Rhuu
Rhuu
3 years ago
Mitch
Mitch
3 years ago

I’m of the opinion that Fearless Girl does nothing to Charging Bull that can be reasonably called modification of the work itself.

Also, as a philosophy nerd I have to say shirtless violin bro stuff was boring when the reactionary continentals came out with it in the 50’s. I know the fedora was a dead give away but Proust is up there as well.

Redsilkphoenix: Jetpack Vixen, Agent of the FemiNest Collective; Keeper of a Hell Toupee, and all-around Intergalactic Meanie
Redsilkphoenix: Jetpack Vixen, Agent of the FemiNest Collective; Keeper of a Hell Toupee, and all-around Intergalactic Meanie
3 years ago

@Rhuu,

Thanks. Will definitely be ganking those for my own uses. Purty gifs are purty. 🙂

Alternative way to look at why a bear represents a down market: how many animals can reasonably face down a rampaging bull and have good odds of surviving? Those two animals are, in theory, evenly matched, and thus would make decent avatars of their respective market forces.

Or I could be miles off on that idea. You decide. 🙂

Dalillama: Irate Social Engineer

Those two animals are, in theory, evenly matched, and thus would make decent avatars of their respective market forces.

That is more or less the reason for the bull being opposite the bear, although they’re actually not terribly evenly matched; the bear tends to win a lot. (Granted, this depends on what kind of bear you’re talking about; black bears are smaller than your average bull, and might well be in some difficulty.) Apparently the bear comes from an old saying to the effect that one shouldn’t sell the bearskin before having actually killed a bear. A ‘bearskin jobber’ thus became a term for a swindler or stock speculator, one who sold stock they didn’t own yet in the expectation that they’d be able to buy it at a lower price later and pocket the difference. Since this meant planning for stock prices to go down, a situation where a lot of stock prices go down became a ‘bear market’, and a while later ‘bull’ turns up as the opposite type of investor (one who buys now in the expectation of selling for more later), and a market that favours them is thus a bull market.