Thursday, May 9, 2013

Roosh Writes Fiction

For a guy with utter contempt for females, Roosh spends a lot of time fantasizing what it is like to be a girl.  This week on his blog he offers up a short story called "Patricia and Her Smartphone."   Except it's not so short, after all; it is 3500 words long, as he lays out in thudding detail how a young woman's day revolves around the demands of social media.  It is meant, I expect, to be a stinging indictment of how consumerism has destroyed the capacity of women to form relationships with others. 

Roosh often blames feminism for all the ills that plague male/female relationships today, but he seems to conflate feminism with consumerism.  This lack of understanding of what these terms actually mean confounds and annoys me more than just about anything else Roosh does.   

Roosh's literary effort seems to be derived from Bret Easton Ellis yuppie satire, American Psycho.  I heartily disliked both the book and subsequent movie. but in their day they got favorable reviews.  Of course, there are no smartphones in American Psycho, which was published in 1991, but otherwise it's much of a muchness, as my mother used to say..

As someone who spends several hours a day trying to capture the fleeting attention of  "emerging adults," I am all too familiar with how the new technology hinders face-to-face communication and shortens attention spans.  I don't find the addiction to texting and twittering a particularly gendered behavior, however: my male students are equally in thrall to their devices. It also strikes me as a bit hypocritical that Roosh takes young ladies to task for living online, when he and his followers are doing much the same.  Meh, this is hardly breaking news, and many artists and writers have been addressing it.

I did smile at the passage in which Patricia and her friend Madison photograph their lunches before consuming them:  "The food arrived, presented beautifully on large plates with squigglies of unknown sauce going outward like heat rays a child would leave on a drawing of the sun. Both phones were out now, taking pictures from different angles...  From the beginning of their lunch date until the end, a total of 52 photos were taken. Sixteen of those photos would be uploaded to various sites to garner a total of 48 likes, comments, and retweets, including a comment from the restaurant, apologizing for the menu typo."   I (once) shared a meal in Las Vegas with a colleague who actually did this: by the time she was ready to take an actual bite, I was ready for the dessert menu.

Patricia, as Roosh's fictional feminized self, is a very, very Mean Girl who dismisses the men who approach her throughout the day because they aren't handsome or hip enough to meet her standards.   She later meets a fellow for drinks who tries to impress her by "talking about his recent experience in the Peruvian mountains where he took ayahuasca and achieved spiritual enlightenment [and] accumulated a vocabulary of 1,000 words in Quechua to learn important Andean wisdom from wise elders... Now, if that bit of esoterica wouldn't impress a girl, what would?  (Me? I'd be thinking, What a pretentious twit!)

Patricia won't have anything to do with poor Cody, either, because he doesn't believe that access to birth control is a woman's right.  (And rightly so; that attitude should be a complete deal breaker in any woman's playbook.)

The story goes on and on and on.  Roosh took the next day off from blogging, citing exhaustion, and no wonderIf it was as exhausting to write as it is to read, he must be knackered.

Roosh writes competently; I'd be thrilled if my students could string that many grammatical sentences together.  Functional literacy does not, alas, good writing make.  Unfortunately, like pretty much everyone in the manosphere, he is incapable of nuance, subtlety or levity.  Despite his efforts to be witty and satirical, the resulting prose is heavy, turgid and excruciating, and about as much fun as watching someone stack bricks. 
I don't think this is the sort of thing his fan base wants to read, either.

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