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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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magnesium
magnesium
3 years ago

“the girl’s fearlessness stems mainly from stupidity, since not even a grown man would stand a chance against a rampaging bull,”

Hey, he’s Dwight Shrute.

Bina
3 years ago

“Oikophobia”? Who wants to bet that Shirtless Fiddler Dude would never have thought to use that word if it hadn’t been for Oikos yogurt ads on TV? (He looks like one of those guys who rant about “authentic” Greek yogurt…)

And yeah, guy, it’s the hot chicks who don’t want to bother with you that are all shallow and worthless. Keep telling yourself that, and your words…

the prejudice that, no matter what, one should never change for others and that one is fine just the way one is

…will prove a self-fulfilling prophecy.

IgnoreSandra
IgnoreSandra
3 years ago

“Oikophobia”

Sometimes hatred of home is justified. Such as, for example, if your home is full of abusive assholes. Or constantly elects people trying to legislate you out of existence.

I deserved better than to read his shit, so I didn’t.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
3 years ago

“Oikophobia,” in case you’re wondering, means hatred of home;

Is that because homophobia was already taken?

Slutty Miss Havisham Penguin
Slutty Miss Havisham Penguin
3 years ago

Yes because zero hour contracts, debts from college and rents that take away the majority of your income, are so the privileges of millennials! I mean I could totally afford a house if A- I have a partner B- If I could save enough from the high rents to have a deposit. C- If I’m guaranteed full time work for the next 15 years. We are so so privileged! (Though I have been recently sponsored for a management course through work and took it. Not bad for a feeemale! And a dyspraxic one at that!) 😀

Cohen the Librarian
Cohen the Librarian
3 years ago

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.

Oh, the irony, for the point of reactionary politics in defense of “ruling power” and privilege is the prejudice that “no matter what”, those in power and those in privilege are just fine as they are, and so are the structures of power and privilege that operate to their advantage. Nothing about those need change at all, apart from reversing changes that have been forced upon them by progressive types who dared challenge their power and privilege in the first place.

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
3 years ago

“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.”

So, in other words, it’s just a fart-sniffingly pseudointellectual way of saying “WHITE GENOCIDE DO REAL!!!”

Ooglyboggles
Ooglyboggles
3 years ago

@SMHP
Yeah we’re so grateful for being dunked on with debt and having to climb over each other for measly grant and scholarship money. Not like the richest country can afford to help us, that money is needed to keep murdering people for profit and for Trump’s weekly gold trips /s

EDIT:
Congrats on the sponsorship!

Hambeast (fan of diversity)
Hambeast (fan of diversity)
3 years ago

I took Philosophy once. Worst semester of my life; I was mad that Descartes made it through all those wars intact.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
3 years ago

@ hambeast

There’s the old joke that maths is the second cheapest field of study because you just need a notepad and a waste paper bin but philosophy is the cheapest because you don’t need the bin.

(Full disclosure: I quite like philosophy.)

Slutty Miss Havisham Penguin
Slutty Miss Havisham Penguin
3 years ago

Thanks Ooglyboggles! A colleague of mine tried to tear me down but I was assertive with her. (Its hard when you get tongue tied easily.) The little things give you so much confidence though! HR seems to be the area which will help me most with social skills. 😀

PeeVee the (Noice) Sarcastic
PeeVee the (Noice) Sarcastic
3 years ago

What a pretentious git.

LindsayIrene
3 years ago

He thinks that pop culture is more youth-oriented that previously? Does he not know about the baby-boomer “youthquake”?

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

This guy is like the philosophy version of that guy in your MFA parody twitter account.

The whole essay screams of projection as he sounds just like a 19 year old who is first discovering academics and thinks he’s the smartest person in the whole entire world. He’s that guy who thinks his thoughts are the most unique and special ever when really they’re 101 level college freshman shit. Someone in their thirties really shouldn’t still sound like that.

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Lea
Lea
3 years ago

LindsayIrene,
Oh, when his generation was the focus of pop culture it was different. They deserve to be center of everything, all the time, forever.

I’m sure he’s written about it in excruciating detail on his blog.

Kivutar
Kivutar
3 years ago

“Not even a grown man would stand a chance against a rampaging bull”?

He does realize that both statues are symbolic, right? Especially since he invents some nonsense about how her being a little girl symbolizes immaturity?

How the heck does someone swing so suddenly from thick-skulled literal-mindedness to reading subtle meanings into the statue that aren’t even the artist’s stated intent so fast?

LindsayIrene
3 years ago

@ Kivutar

I wonder what he thinks the bull statue represents. Maybe he thinks there are actual bulls on Wall Street?

Alex
Alex
3 years ago

“the dislike of one’s own civilization and a disregard of the traditions that shaped it.”

Which is basically every fascist and men’s rights idiot ever

Hippodameia
Hippodameia
3 years ago

I thought that photo was supposed to be a joke, like Chris Hemsworth’s Ghostbusters characters listening to the saxophone with his shirt off.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

Violin douche is about my age. There were certainly plenty of things marketed to us growing up. New Kids on the Block, Kriss Kross, Milli Vanilli, Spice Girls. Countless cartoons that were created to market toys. ABC’s TGIF shows. Nintendo. Saved by the Bell. The Disney channel and Nickelodeon took off during our childhood. MTV started a bit before our time but was still very influential. The Home Alone movies were huge hits with our age group. As was Clueless a few years later. I could go on and on. It’s hilarious that he thinks it’s some sort of new thing to have big corporations make shit tons of money from youth culture. This kind of thing has been happening since the post WWII economic boom.

Dalillama: Irate Social Engineer

“Not even a grown man would stand a chance against a rampaging bull”?

Really? Has anyone told these guys ?
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Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
3 years ago

@ dalillama

Hmm, it’s easy to stand up against a bull if that bull has first been stabbed in a major muscle group (and already bleeding to death), forced to attack a horse until it is exhausted and then repeatedly cut and speared before some git in fancy dress gets to take a sword to it.

PeeVee the (Noice) Sarcastic
PeeVee the (Noice) Sarcastic
3 years ago

Daniel García Navarrete and Antonio Romero survived. Maybe they should stop poking bulls with pointy things.

Regigiygas
Regigiygas
3 years ago

I bet he’s fun at parties.

(Self-satisified dilettantes like this gentleman deserve cliches.)

JS
JS
3 years ago

But the bull might gore you, so it’s a sport, damn it! Just forget all the things done to the bull beforehand to make it less likely! It’s machismo, see?

Hesster
Hesster
3 years ago

Good grief, did this guy take writing lessons from Heartiste?

Fabe
Fabe
3 years ago

how about bull riding? that’s a bit more fair if not a bit more balanced in the bulls favor.

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PeeVee the (Noice) Sarcastic
PeeVee the (Noice) Sarcastic
3 years ago

Hesster,

Good grief, did this guy take writing lessons from Heartiste?

Overblown purple prose that is actually void of substance? Yep.

PeeVee the (Noice) Sarcastic
PeeVee the (Noice) Sarcastic
3 years ago

JS:

But the bull might gore you, so it’s a sport, damn it! Just forget all the things done to the bull beforehand to make it less likely! It’s machismo, see?

I’ve never understood a “sport” where the “opponent” is an unknowing/unwilling participant. It just skeeves me out.

Dalillama: Irate Social Engineer

@Alan
Yeah, I debated posting the second picture for that reason. The bulldogger’s another matter, though.

PeeVee the (Noice) Sarcastic
PeeVee the (Noice) Sarcastic
3 years ago

I wonder if the danger levels are different for bullfighting vs bulldogging, in terms of aggression, because the bulls aren’t castrated and the steer are? (Apart from the sheer size, and the cowboy jumps from a horse, of course.)

Calling “not it!” in any case. 😆

Dalillama: Irate Social Engineer

The difference in aggression has more to do with the lack of spears, I think, though being castrated helps. Bullriding is done with uncut bulls, though, and there’s not really a difference in average size, AFAIK. That said, the steers/bulls will usually try to kill you regardless.

JS
JS
3 years ago

Steers used in bulldogging (aka steer wrestling) don’t usually care enough about the whole process to bother attacking. They’re more interested in figuring out how to get away from this crazy thing that jumped on them.

So, in some ways, they’re more rational than some of the MRA’s profiled here.

PeeVee the (Noice) Sarcastic
PeeVee the (Noice) Sarcastic
3 years ago

Well, I’m still going to steer clear.

…I’m so sorry. I’ll show myself out.

PeeVee the (Noice) Sarcastic
PeeVee the (Noice) Sarcastic
3 years ago
Ooglyboggles
Ooglyboggles
3 years ago

@PeeVee the (Noice) Sarcastic
The biggest cosmic joke is that reality seems to have a penchant for trying to outdo the Onion. You know things are bad when a joke newsrag can’t make it sound more ridiculous.
http://www.theonion.com/graphic/trump-spends-10-minutes-mistakenly-addressing-stev-55773
http://images2.onionstatic.com/onion/5684/8/original/800.jpg

Lunetta
Lunetta
3 years ago

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?

Overly intellectual phrasing to mean he’s essentially “defending white patriarchal civilisation”. So, another nazi

Guest
Guest
3 years ago

I guess this guy has never heard of Beatlemania.

I admit that though I’m pleased the girl statue has been so inspiring to a lot of people I’m not that keen on it myself, as I think it reinforces a pattern I’ve been seeing a lot lately of supporting girls while ignoring women. I read somewhere that people are more comfortable engaging with the potential of girls than the reality of women. I recently went to our company’s first regional gender equality group meeting, and the topic that garnered the vast majority of the time and interest was internships/work experience placements (for both genders). It was pretty stereotypical for the women in the room to direct their focus and energy toward helping others rather than addressing our own issues.

There is actually a good book on the subject of ‘frozen identities’:
http://books.wwnorton.com/books/The-Uses-of-Disorder/

History Nerd
History Nerd
3 years ago

I’ve noticed that, despite the whole notion of an “elite liberal media,” there’s a definite reactionary tilt (or at least tolerance for giving hateful far-right views a platform) if you look at traditional print media and magazines. Especially the Post (and other tabloids), Reader’s Digest, Psychology Today (which published scientific racism and loads of questionable material on “treating” domestic abusers), and pretty much anything related to self-help.

This guy is closer to the media norm than he probably thinks.

Wombatnotkayak
Wombatnotkayak
3 years ago

Frankly I’d like people to stop talking about millenials at this point. Functionally it seems to just mean “those damn kids,” but while the youngest millenials are 20ish, the oldest are pushing 40. Rigidly defining generations is always an oversimplification, but since “millenial” has mostly come to mean “teenagers and college students I don’t like” when a lot of those people aren’t even technically millenials, I motion we kill the term.

Wombatnotkayak
Wombatnotkayak
3 years ago

Also I just realized that since Beckeld is 37, that makes him a millenial by most definitions, which makes his targeting of millenials even dumber.

Moggie
Moggie
3 years ago

He has an Instagram page, which features an unhealthy amount of shirtlessness. But this is the highlight:

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Note the fedora, because of course there’s a fedora.

Last night, I spent quite a while reading the comments on that Jezebel article. The commentariat there has a lot to say about shirtless violin dude. There is primo snarkage.

Betrayer
Betrayer
3 years ago

The Onion has a lot of great stuff

“Maybe we can commission a third statue of someone reassuring ‘Charging Bull’ that he’s still really great?”

Guest
Guest
3 years ago

@Moggie OK that is probably the most pretentious thing I’ve ever seen.

Guest
Guest
3 years ago

Via the Jezebel comments–he’s written his own Wikipedia page, as well as one for one of his three books:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Art_%26_Aesthetics

Would love to have had him in one of my architecture classes.

Moggie
Moggie
3 years ago

Is it confirmed that he wrote those wikipedia pages himself? The wikipedia user responsible is “Natacha Berling”, whose only contribs have been about this douche. So that has a sock smell to it, but not definite.

Lone Galtian Bootstrapper
Lone Galtian Bootstrapper
3 years ago

Ooooh, This is droolworthily awful:

My main hobby is also one of the great loves of my life: the violin, which I play every day. I call my instrument Erato, after the Greek muse of love poetry.

Yummy Yummy Awfulness

*of to get MOAR*

Moggie
Moggie
3 years ago

He has an interview here. The main paragraph is worth quoting:

The term “white privilege” is a perfect example of the oikophobia and tribal fragmentation I just mentioned. It goes without saying, of course, that there are situations where it will be advantageous to be white, just as there are situations, even if fewer in number, where it is advantageous to be black. But this is not the point. The fact that people complain about “white privilege” is actually a result of the fact that black Americans are far freer now than they were, say, a hundred years ago. The more successful a particular marginalized group becomes, the more, ironically, it will complain about being treated unfairly. This is always true, both in contemporary societies and in those of the past. The emphasis on “white privilege” is a consequence of the tribal fragmentation of American society. Such a fragmentation occurs when a society’s outward threats have been largely eliminated, and people turn their natural cruelty and avarice toward neighboring groups at home, and this has nothing to do specifically with black, white, or any other people, but is true of human beings in general. There was a time when black civil rights leaders like Frederick Douglass insisted that black Americans should simply be treated like everyone else, without either discrimination or special favors, but those days are long gone. Now the order of the day is to demand special favors and to denigrate those who think differently. Someone like Douglass saw in America the beautiful potential of an as yet unfulfilled promise, whereas civil rights leaders today tend to view America as a brutal oppressor, even though a black American of Douglass’ day would have had a lot more justified complaints than one today. It’s similar to how whereas first-wave feminism simply demanded equality by advocating for women, second-wave feminism started to denigrate men. So tribalism is alive and well, and we think of each other as “African Americans”, “Asian Americans”, “liberals”, “conservatives”, and so on, rather than simply viewing each other as fellow Americans and fellow human beings, which is what we really should do.

Frederick Douglass is getting recognised more and more, I notice, but I suspect he wouldn’t be happy with philosophobro here holding him up as an ideal of non-uppity blackness.

So, it sounds like his oikophobia book will essentially be about putting a veneer of sophomore intellectualism on white supremacism.

Incidentally, how many PhDs do you know who insist on being called “Dr.”?

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
3 years ago

Incidentally, how many PhDs do you know who insist on being called “Dr.”?

One, and he’s an amazing asshole who sexually harasses his students and takes classes on zoo trips to poor parts of the city.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
3 years ago

@ moggie

Incidentally, how many PhDs do you know who insist on being called “Dr.”?

Only the ones who didn’t blow up Gallifrey.

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