Comments: Barack Obama, Trapped in a Hell of His Own Creation

He substituted this by having sex with lots and lots of Republicans.

Posted by Paul Avery at December 14, 2010 06:28 AM

They may have got the love, but that isn't who got fucked.

Posted by N E at December 14, 2010 07:16 AM

N E great line

Republicans claim he suffers from "Premature Capitulation". They never get to savor the "thrill of the chase".

He'll make up for this dry spell when he fronts a "Humanitarian" Investment Bank linked with Goldman Sachs. Then he'll be a jet flyin', limo ridin', girl stealin, wheelin and dealin SON OF A GUN! WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

POTUS Interruptus has its term.

Posted by Alcibiades Slim at December 14, 2010 08:48 AM

Great blog, but this is not one of the better posts.

Posted by B R at December 14, 2010 09:37 AM

Great blog, but this is not one of the better posts.

What's wrong with it? Not being tetchy, seriously asking. I actually like it more than many of the things I've written here, because it's about an important aspect of politics that generally goes unaddressed.

Posted by Jonathan Schwarz at December 14, 2010 09:39 AM

EUNUCH for POTUS.

Posted by abb1 at December 14, 2010 09:43 AM

What's wrong with it? It's both fact-free and obnoxiously sexist. Seriously? All men only try to achieve wealth and power to sleep with loads of women? You'd rather be waterboarded than refuse sex? Next you'll be saying that wimmenz are evul golddiggers because of EVOLUTION NO SERIOUSLY GUYZ.

Posted by R at December 14, 2010 10:14 AM

"What's wrong with it? Not being tetchy, seriously asking. I actually like it more than many of the things I've written here, because it's about an important aspect of politics that generally goes unaddressed."

Well, for one thing, it's clear that you accept a tenet of pop Evolutionary Psychology: that Men Want to Fuck Anything That Moves, and that this is obviously because their DNA "wants" to spread. This is usually correlated with some beliefs about how men and women all behave or want to behave, because Evolution Makes Them So. These beliefs are regarded by some people as bullshit anti-feminist arguments.

Personally, I agree that these EP "explanations" are bullshit, but at the same time, I think MWtFATM is not far from the truth, even if the origins of that state are some unknown mixture of cultural and biological. I also don't think men like that are necessarily bad people. But whatever.

Posted by Kiwanda at December 14, 2010 10:14 AM

"Men Want to Fuck Anything That Moves"

The only more perfect thing you could do would be to follow up this post with one whining about how women don't comment on here, and then chide them for not caring enough about politics.

Posted by R at December 14, 2010 10:16 AM

Levity sometimes serves to deflate the pretensions of the Bon Ton more than serious carping. God forbid someone mention the POTUS has a "partie honteuse".

Posted by Alcibiades Slim at December 14, 2010 10:16 AM

And I bet that Hillary only took that Sec of State position because she can afford SO MANY SHOES now.

Give me a break.

Posted by R at December 14, 2010 10:19 AM

@ R

Why are you so troubled by reality? I want to fuck every attractive woman I see yet I don't make the move. I strongly suspect that, among hetero men, that I'm in no way unique. Are you seriously suggesting that the behavior of men over the eons of our existence has no biological basis as is clearly the case with mammals of other species? How do you come by your conclusions given the fact our behaviour? Yes, many of us are socialized against such destructive activity yet the desire remains.

Men don't seek wealth and power for the women this attracts? Seriously?

Posted by Coldtype at December 14, 2010 10:40 AM

Jonathan's post could have been a lot more nuanced, but some of the reactions it provoked aren't any better.

It would be nice to be able to discuss evolution, sexuality, the differences between men and women, and how that affects politics in an intelligent way without worrying about the kneejerk pc police(hate to use a term favored by reactionaries, but it's often true whenever sexuality is discussed)

Posted by dillon at December 14, 2010 10:56 AM

Unlike Hillary, Michelle Obama doesn't look like a woman that would take that bullshit lying down. I'm SURE that's all that's stopping that game. She'd take the kids with her, too.

Posted by Mike Meyer at December 14, 2010 12:00 PM

Been following your blog for a while, and this is one of the posts that made me go: wha? Barack Obama is in it for the pussy: you don't say? He can destroy the planet hundred times over, he can fuck all of us with his policies, he can earn billion trillion dollars for himself, he will be remembered for the eternity no mater how badly he screws his presidency, but what he really is after is some vajayjay?! Jonathan, thank you for opening my eyes!
P.S. And good for you for going with the 'black men are after white womenfolk' angle, that has never been done before.

Posted by Vesna at December 14, 2010 12:05 PM

P.S. And good for you for going with the 'black men are after white womenfolk' angle, that has never been done before.

This is what i thought when I read this...I assume you weren't aware that this post can be seen this way Jonathan, but it is there none the less....Worst blog post I think I have ever read on this site.-Tony

Posted by tony at December 14, 2010 12:16 PM

Some people just cannot stop letting Obama off the hook, it's in their DNA!

Posted by Rob Payne at December 14, 2010 12:21 PM

"P.S. And good for you for going with the 'black men are after white womenfolk' angle, that has never been done before."

Criticize the logic of his post all you want, but that is an absurd reading of his post.

Posted by dillon at December 14, 2010 12:29 PM

If I were to pursue power, that would be the reason, and that reason may well be the primaeval motivation for the pursuit of power.

However, Power (in the capitalized J.R.R. Tolkien sense) is eventually desired for its own sake, I have no doubt.

Posted by Cloud at December 14, 2010 12:33 PM

Thinking about this an Bush just gives me the heebie-jeebies.

Posted by darrelplant at December 14, 2010 12:39 PM

"P.S. And good for you for going with the 'black men are after white womenfolk' angle, that has never been done before."

I hadn't realized Kissinger's line about strength and sex was "power is the ultimate AFRO-disiac."

Posted by darrelplant at December 14, 2010 12:45 PM

to say a man runs for president "for one reason only" really weakens your argument -which is pretty speculative to begin with. Have you just been reading Dawkins? Even Freud said life was not just about sexual desires. Why did Hillary run; why will Palin run?

to explain all presidential aspirations as a quest for sex with lots of women is curious. How many presidents have actually followed this path? Johnson and Kennedy for sure, but if it's all about sex they could have done as well foregoing the presidency, which restricts sexual opportunities, and had a ball remaining senators.

Why don't you think about this post and either retract it or be more subtle and thorough. You might attract more girls that way!

Posted by dan at December 14, 2010 01:58 PM

Jonathan, I've been reading the comments on your posts for several years now and I have to say that quite a few of the ones on this post are extremely disappointing. I'm very concerned.

Posted by Greg at December 14, 2010 02:37 PM

dan: Well, he SURE didn't run to save Social Security, get a Public Option or CLOSE GITMO.

Posted by Mike Meyer at December 14, 2010 03:08 PM

Leave Iraq, get OSAMA BIN LADEN, leave Afghanistan, or engage in transparency.

Posted by Mike Meyer at December 14, 2010 03:17 PM

I wouldn't care if he got a white woman (I'm trying to grow ) but I'm DAMN SURE Michelle would.

Posted by Mike Meyer at December 14, 2010 03:21 PM

i like this post for implying that to the spouses of presidents, it's all about the power.

Posted by hapa at December 14, 2010 03:38 PM
Posted by: R at December 14, 2010 10:14 AM What's wrong with it? It's both fact-free and obnoxiously sexist. Seriously? All men only try to achieve wealth and power to sleep with loads of women?

Women grab power for sex as well. Almost all humans do. We often don't even know we're doing it when we make the attempt. Assuming that libido doesn't enter into a power grab is as stupid as assuming freedom from proportionate responsibility or respect and deference don't figure into a power grab.

I seriously have no idea where this is fucking coming from. Men and women both yearn for status and power for very base reasons, even if the power cannot be used for such reasons. The urge is not rational. Even if you don't actually want to have sex with people who desire you for your newfound power, it's important to be desired.

Posted by No One of Consequence at December 14, 2010 03:43 PM

R:

Seriously? All men only try to achieve wealth and power to sleep with loads of women?

I wouldn't express it like that, because it's not the part of their being that we just generally think of as "them," nor it is something they're especially conscious of. And there are many kinds of wealth and power in many different kinds of societies.

But yes, seriously. Do you have a better explanation for the recurrent tendencies toward crazy behavior, especially crazy empire building, by men in human history? Do you think it's just a coincidence that (straight) men with (all the different kinds of) wealth and power do in fact generally sleep with lots of women? Do you think that doesn't play a significant role in why powerful men resist attempts to change the structure of society?

You'd rather be waterboarded than refuse sex?

What I said is that I'd rather be waterboarded than live for four years in a situation where your genes are screaming at you every second to take advantage of the position you're in, while your intellect screams at you every second that you absolutely must not do that. Obviously I was being somewhat facetious, given I've never lived either experience. But I think anyone who possesses a Y chromosome will, if they're being honest, acknowledge that there's something to that.

Next you'll be saying that wimmenz are evul

No, I won't, anymore than I'll be saying that men are evil.

Vesna:

He can destroy the planet hundred times over, he can fuck all of us with his policies, he can earn billion trillion dollars for himself, he will be remembered for the eternity no mater how badly he screws his presidency, but what he really is after is some vajayjay?!

Not "him," his DNA. In any case, I would say that it's not only true that that's what his DNA is up to, it's unquestionably so, and it's a weird denial of observed historical and lived reality to say that's not a very big component of what makes human societies tick. It's like saying the organization of human societies has nothing to do with the need for humans to eat every day. Moreover, I would say that if we're serious about preventing politicians from destroying the world or ruining us with their policies, we'd better take what I'm talking about into account.

P.S. And good for you for going with the 'black men are after white womenfolk' angle, that has never been done before.

OF COURSE black men are after the white womenfolk, given that all colors of men are after all colors of the womenfolk. But beyond that, you and tony are perceiving something that doesn't exist in what I wrote.

Kiwanda:

Personally, I agree that these EP "explanations" are bullshit, but at the same time, I think MWtFATM is not far from the truth, even if the origins of that state are some unknown mixture of cultural and biological.

That's how I see it too. I don't know much at all about EP and what I've seen strikes me as bullshit just-do stories. But my experience of life in this branch of existence is that what I'm talking about does play a large role in human affairs.

dan:

either retract it or be more subtle and thorough.

I think if I have to retract posts that aren't subtle and thorough I'm going to have to retract this whole site.

Greg:

Jonathan, I've been reading the comments on your posts for several years now and I have to say that quite a few of the ones on this post are extremely disappointing. I'm very concerned.

Please explain. Not complaining, just not sure what you mean.

Posted by Jonathan Schwarz at December 14, 2010 03:49 PM

Turning our attention to another part of the Circle of Life:

As friends and colleagues from four decades of diplomatic life reflected on the intensity of Richard C. Holbrooke's dedication, many were not surprised to learn that concerns about the Afghanistan war were apparently among his final thoughts.

Following Holbrooke's death, The Washington Post, citing his family members, reported that the veteran diplomat had told his physician just before surgery on Friday to "stop this war."

But on Tuesday a fuller account of the tone and contents of his remarks emerged.

As Dr. Jehan El-Bayoumi was attending to Holbrooke in the emergency room at George Washington University Hospital, she told him to relax and asked what she could do to comfort him, according to an aide who was present. Holbrooke, who was in severe pain, said jokingly that it was hard to relax because he had to worry about the difficult situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

El-Bayoumi, an Egyptian-American internist who is Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's physician, replied that she would worry for him. Holbrooke responded by telling her to end the war, the aide said.

The aide said he could not be sure of Holbrooke's exact words. He emphasized Tuesday that the comment was made in painful banter, rather than as a serious exhortation about policy. Holbrooke also spoke extensively about his family and friends as he awaited surgery by Farzad Najam, a thoracic surgeon of Pakistani descent.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/checkpoint-washington/2010/12/holbrookes_final_words_on_the.html

Posted by mistah charley, ph.d. at December 14, 2010 04:06 PM

Barack Obama is in it for the pussy: you don't say?

No, that doesn't exist in what Jon wrote. He wrote that Obama's DNA is in it for the pussy, or the DNA pussy, or whatever.

Oh, wait, I see that Jon just tried that one himself, and added:

In any case, I would say that it's not only true that that's what his DNA is up to, it's unquestionably so, and it's a weird denial of observed historical and lived reality to say that's not a very big component of what makes human societies tick.

"unquestionably so"? Not hardly, Jon. It has been questioned, it continues to be questioned. This isn't the first time you've trotted out this kind of worthless biological determinism, though I couldn't be sure from your tone this time whether you were serious. Thanks for clarifying.

DNA doesn't make us do anything, genes don't scream. Once again it's interesting to see how much old-fashioned sexism is retained by liberal men.

Posted by Duncan at December 14, 2010 04:11 PM

"Some people just cannot stop letting Obama off the hook, it's in their DNA!"
"good liberals" can also nicely sub for "people" here .
badri

Posted by badri at December 14, 2010 05:09 PM

It sounds way too simplistic to talk about "genes screaming to have sex." Sure, you can probably relate pretty much anything back to reproduction, but at some point I think the connection becomes too tenuous or subtle to have a lot of meaning.

By which I mean, I don't think you can really be sure that Obama is suffering much because he "can't" have sex with lots of women. My guess is that waterboarding is still the less preferred alternative there.

Posted by Joseph at December 14, 2010 05:17 PM

Great Blog. Great Post. Horrible font. Some of the worst I've seen on the Internet. Then again, this is my first time seeing the Internet.

Also, I didn't notice any mention of me. Maybe I should go back and reread this but I'm pretty sure I wasn't mentioned. Do yourself (and the Internet) a favor and mention me all the time. Our very survival is at stake.

i'm handsome.

- Ripuntantsolisky Harbintruchertonsterbinty

Posted by RH at December 14, 2010 05:47 PM

OK, this is getting silly. Time for me to add my own silly 2c.

Clearly Jon was exaggerating for comic effect. This type of communication must be decoded. Jon is only partially responsible for this process; if you're not willing to do your part, this blog will simply put a lot of bees in your head. Why bother?

Posted by Mike of Angle at December 14, 2010 05:47 PM

Duncan:

This isn't the first time you've trotted out this kind of worthless biological determinism...DNA doesn't make us do anything, genes don't scream.

I really don't get this. People eat millions of different foods and produce it in all kinds of ways, which are largely societally-determined. But that doesn't change the reality that people can't survive by eating rocks. That's determined by our DNA. That doesn't mean we must all eat horseradish three times a day—ALTHOUGH ALL GOOD PEOPLE DO—but it does lead to recurring, discernible patterns in the kinds of things human beings eat. And if you don't procure nutrients that your genetic code requires, it will scream at you.

Once again it's interesting to see how much old-fashioned sexism is retained by liberal men.

At least I'm not JUST racist ;)

Posted by Jonathan Schwarz at December 14, 2010 05:57 PM

Obama may or may not seek power to get women, but other than in "pop culture" - which in this society is male created - it is not at all accepted that men are somehow driven by their DNA to seek sex with as many partners as possible. In fact, there's evolutionary arguments that males do better - from a pure desire to ensure the continuance of their DNA - by being monogamous and it's females do better by being wanton (see, e.g., this excerpt from a a book on evolutionary biology written in accessible form : http://www.drtatiana.com/sample_pg6.shtml). My favorite part is that a lot of the "scientific" evidence about women being naturally faithful and men naturally wanton is based not only on a fruit fly study, but a bad fruit fly study. You have to love that.

Which is not to say that men or women never do things to get laid. We do them all the time. Only to point out the underlying point that men are cads because they have to be - their DNA demands it - is basically bullshit (bullshit that's been used mostly to increase the power of men, btw).

And, yes, this is one of the dumber posts here. Not because it gets evolution wrong, but because - at it's core - it's a very old joke. Jokes about Presidents being able to "get some" or "not get some" go back decades (in addition to Clinton - and their were similar jokes about him having to behave himself pre-Monica - I can also remember ones about Reagan, Carter and JFK). It's the equivalent of "take my wife...please".

Posted by bdblue at December 14, 2010 06:14 PM

Ack! It's there not their. I hate it when my fingers get ahead of my brain.

Posted by bdblue at December 14, 2010 06:15 PM

I am an avid reader of this blog, but the personification of DNA in this post is extremely, surprisingly dumb, a resort to all the usual sociobiological and evolutionary psychological cliches, without much humor value or insight.

Jonathan's personification imagines that DNA continually impresses its "desires" on the mind and implies the only desire DNA implants is the drive to reproduce, nothing else. DNA apparently doesn't impact the intellect or reasoning faculty, which somehow floats free of biological imperatives. Mind and DNA live in different universes of desire.

If you imagine DNA has multiple effects on the mind -- affecting both the libido and intellect -- then it drops out of this metaphor as a causal factor. DNA ends up "wanting" multiple things; one might as well say "Obama wants X" rather than "DNA wants X."

Jonathan ends up really saying something like: Obama would like to screw lots of women, but Obama can't screw lots of women because doing so would be politically damaging. Maybe so, but some men like to screw more than others; some men control their sexual desires better than others; not all politicians have the same sexual cognitive profiles. Not every nationally successful politician is Bill Clinton or John Edwards.

If you admit to the possibility of variability among politicians, and you eliminate the stupid references to DNA, this post amounts to a claim that Jonathan has the capacity to read Obama's mind and discern the intensity with which he wants to screw women. Jonathan also claims to know that Obama *isn't* screwing around.

All of which seems extremely silly to me.

Posted by Lee at December 14, 2010 06:18 PM

But beyond that, you and tony are perceiving something that doesn't exist in what I wrote.

Ok maybe so, but the post is still just awful...it doesn't even work as satire if that is what you were going for and the reductionist argument at it core is just absurd.-Tony

Posted by tony at December 14, 2010 06:48 PM

Lee:

Not every nationally successful politician is Bill Clinton or John Edwards.

If you spend much time around the political world, you will find out that a very, very high proportion of them are. Whether that kind of person goes into politics, or operating at a high level brings that out in you, or a combination, is another question. But it should definitely be your default assumption when it comes to male politicians at a high level.

Jonathan also claims to know that Obama *isn't* screwing around.

True, I'm making that assumption. I think for a Democratic president in 2010 it would be almost impossible to get away with. If I'm wrong and we find out about it later, I'll definitely be impressed with his sangfroid.

Posted by Jonathan Schwarz at December 14, 2010 07:03 PM

During his campaign, JFK famously lost his voice and so started writing out his remarks to aides on the backs of envelopes, one of whom kept them for posterity's sake. Which is how we know the great man was on one accasion given to lament: "I suppose when I'm president I'll have to give up all this poon."

Posted by weaver at December 14, 2010 08:35 PM

Just for the record: evolutionary psychology is gibberish. On the other hand, I know a joke when I read one.

Posted by weaver at December 14, 2010 08:38 PM

When I was young and penniless -- and often jobless -- and living downtown, I had all the sex I could handle. Long summer nights with nothing to do but pick up some new item and go at it.

When I grew up and had a top job in my field with hundreds of people working under me, I had no sex at all. I was overworked, overstressed, and had to watch every move I made lest someone throw a sexual harrassment suit at me for the money.

But I'm not a biologist or a political analyst, so perhaps I've got this all wrong. And I no longer fit into my old genes (the ones with the rips in the DNA fabric)!

Posted by Backwards at December 14, 2010 09:16 PM

The reason politicians tend to like to screw a lot of women is that most are incredible narcissists. Isn't thinking you should be the person who has the power to kill people on the other side of the planet in the middle of dinner with killer robots kind of an indication of a serious psychological disorder in the first place?

But then maybe that is how Obama deals with his narcissistic desire for unlimited sex - he sublimates it by killing lots of brown people. A pretty common "coping" mechanism among our elite, it seems.

Posted by bdblue at December 14, 2010 10:12 PM

(I was trying to be a funny concern troll above. I clearly failed. I'll get my coat.)

But before I do, I'll pretend that my attempt at humor never happened and say this: I enjoyed the post and found it funny, but I'm not sure I agree with it. It seems to me that people sublimate (I believe that is the correct word) desires fairly often and seemingly easily. I accept (without having given it deep thought) the selfish gene idea in principle, but it stops explaining things for me at a certain point. I mean, I've never heard of any society of any size that focusses entirely on fucking and eating. Surely if our genes screamed there would have been such a society. It appears that 15,000 years ago or so our ancestors adjusted their priorities in such a way that, while still allowing for sufficient fucking and eating, opened them up to all sorts of things that only indirectly contribute. This adjustment seems to be the rule, rather than the exception, so it can't be all that hard. That's what she said?

Posted by Greg at December 15, 2010 12:02 AM
Men don't seek wealth and power for the women this attracts? Seriously?

As a man, I'd like to assert that I have other motives for doing things other than getting some tail.

As an evolutionary biologist, I'd like to assert that this post is full of shit. I'm first of all strongly skeptical of the claim that wealthy and powerful men sleep with more women - I imagine that once you get past a certain level of wealth, the correlation breaks down rapidly.

I'm second of all appalled that this kind of ev psych crap is turning up on my favorite blog. Human behavior is not dictated by simple evolutionary imperatives. Men are not broadcast spawners; humans have elaborate social and existential personalities which far transcend the extremely basic "fuck as many things as you can" strategy for successful propagation; it is the worst kind of pseudo-scientific reasoning to extrapolate from a questionable but pleasing supposition ("It's my nature to be a horny lothario") to an evolutionary justification completely lacking any evidentiary basis.

Yes. Men like attractive women. Sometimes they try to have sex with them. Sometimes they also do other things, like write this. To suggest that men's motivations are drawn from such a meager cup is really to shit on the memory of all the wonderful things that men have done in the past, and on the hope of great things they might do in the future.

It also denies the possibility of relationships between men and women being based primarily on anything other than sexuality, which is probably the most cynical, hopeless sentiment that has been framed on this blog.

In reality, people seek power for plenty of other reasons. Like, in this case, because they are disgusting megalomaniacs who are eager to stroke their hubris. That's the real measure of Obama: the arrogant know-it-all, better than everyone and eager to prove it, and now bitter because we refuse to recognize his wisdom in this crucial moment. That's a much more apt motive than some kind of weird primal lust fantasy.

Posted by saurabh at December 15, 2010 12:53 AM

Its ALL about the power. Once YOU'VE got the POWER, everything else rolls YOUR way. (armies/money/sex/whatever)

Posted by Mike Meyer at December 15, 2010 01:13 AM

That's the problem with lefties.. they want the world to be better than it really is so much so that they are willing to distort common sense and reality to pretend the world is something it isn't.

Well nature and biology and evolution ain't fair, and it ain't egalitarian. Men and women are different and when it comes to sex, for the most part, they have different drives and motivations.

So, hell yes for the most part, men want to have sex with a variety of attractive female partners. It doesn't mean men can't control those biological urges or that sex is the only thing they want from all women. But it does mean that men have a much harder time being faithful than women, and their biological imperitive for variety is far stronger, and that needs to be understood by women.

Men are bigger and stronger than women for the most part. Women aren't the equals to men in everything and it's stupidity and political correctness to the extreme to suggest women should bear equal burdens when it comes to things like war and soldiering, or that men should bear the same burder when it comes to raising children. There is a big difference between the nurturing a mother can provide versus the kind of relationship a father has with a child. Again, it's just stupidity and ideology that insists men and women are equal and same and have equal strengths.

It's men who have fought and died for the most part in war, and who continue to do so. It's men who do the dirty, industrial, manual work .. the ones inhaling the nasty chemicals, the ones dying in mines, and so on. It's their muscle and sweat and brawn that created this technological, industrialized society.. and it will be their muscle, sweat and brawn that will have to rebuild it all over again after what is certain to be a collapse of global civilization and another long Dark ages.

Posted by .. at December 15, 2010 01:49 AM

Thanks for your uninformed bullshit, .. You'll be startled to know that women do the vast majority of the physical labor done in the world, including making half the world's food. Yes, men in the first world have arrogated the lucrative union jobs to themselves. That doesn't prove your sexist worldview has some kind of biological legitimacy; it does not. A hundred years ago "realists" like you - and I mean exactly like you - were arguing for the physical and mental inferiority of the black race. It's pathetic that the same kind of degraded thinking still exists with regards to women. Why don't you stop insisting that the world IS one way, and work on re-imagining what it could be? You'll find that humanity is capable of stretching to fit a much grander vision than your present myopic one.

Posted by saurabh at December 15, 2010 02:05 AM

Cripes, all I'm coming up with is an old no-wave band, an Al Pacino quote, and a James Brown song. My mind is a cesspool of pop culture references.

Anyway, I think Jon should be banned from comments for writing this.

Posted by godoggo at December 15, 2010 02:16 AM

Can someone shoehorn Kanye West's latest album length psychodrama into this? "Power", "Devil in a New Dress", "Monster", "Dark Fantasy", "Runaway", "Blame Game", "Hell of a Life"....? Has Jonathan been bumpin' the latest Kanye in his ride? J-Schwar-Z ridin' dirty...And the rabble are "So Appalled".

It's funny to see commenters here approach the political class with less humor and honesty than a Medieval Villein. Are political figures a new priestly caste? Is it poor form to mention it? Ah!these Political Aesthetes......desiring clean and safe political discourse. Politics is sexuality sans the jouissance--all money shot. The fucking is all done with purchased consent. DNA comes into it when a certain elite class wishes to ally itself genetically with another. Marital alliances of banker/financiers with high ranking government offspring...Chelsea marrying a hedge fund man..


Levity folks. Has President Obama stopped smoking?
"He needs to cling to something...."
And we need to stop acting like J-Schwar-Z is "an Obamination in Obama's nation." That's no way to start a conversation.(laughter)

Posted by Alcibiades Slim at December 15, 2010 02:27 AM

Saurabh wrote:
"To suggest that men's motivations are drawn from such a meager cup is really to shit on the memory of all the wonderful things that men have done in the past, and on the hope of great things they might do in the future."

YMMV, but I think this devalues sex which, to me, is one of the most profound and meaningful and yes, enjoyable, things human beings do. When I look at a painting by Picasso, I don't think, "I hope he wasn't doing this just to get laid. Because if he did, this painting would be cheap and tawdry."

This comment thread troubles me much, much more than Jon's original post because--to me--it demonstrates a deep uneasiness with human sexuality, a desire to segregate it from political analysis, and a weird blind spot in some of the readers which I never would've guessed at.

All this stuff is very personal and I have no desire to suggest that my own attitudes and motivations are the correct ones. But I personally have never considered creating something in order to be perceived as more attractive as "a meager cup." In fact, creation-to-get-laid has felt utterly respectful and appropriate--two parts of the same process.

I have no problem with Obama wanting to become President to get laid; nor do I have any great interest in his sexual behavior. I guess that's why I read Jon's post without much heat. I personally think it's creepy to be more attracted to a guy who causes people to be killed, but there are surely ladies out there who dig it. Cher didn't date Kissinger for his looks. To exclude sex from one's analysis of politicians and their motivations seems to me to be naive. Sex is a profound motivator; that it's privacy and personal nature make it difficult to quantify doesn't remove it from the equation.

Posted by Mike of Angle at December 15, 2010 02:45 AM

And as more evidence to my earlier point: my only response is, "Cher? Really?"

Posted by godoggo at December 15, 2010 03:00 AM

I have no problem with people getting laid, nor with sexuality. I do have a problem with people suggesting that sex and therefore procreation is an overriding biological imperative that drives all or even most of human behavior. Sure, sex is important, wonderful, and necessary for human happiness. That does NOT mean that it is the sole reason we exist or act, and it's not discomfort with sexuality that drives me to say that.

Also, if your creativity is driven primarily by a motivation to get laid, Mike, I'd like to suggest you're probably not directing it in the optimal path. I'm sure you could do things in a much more directed way that would get you laid a lot more. Somehow, you've chosen not to, suggesting there's something else going on in your head. I'd suggest, having read how much thoughtful stuff you have to say that doesn't have much at all to do with sex or getting you laid, that there's a lot of other things going on.

What I object to is Jon's implication that political will among men is driven by a single narrow individual goal. Actually, it's just kind of dumb. Obama is obviously a guy who is fully capable of getting laid whenever he wants, and clearly doesn't need to become President of the United States in order to fulfill that goal. If that IS a motivating factor, it's somewhere way, way down the list, or else he'd be spending all of his time actively trying to get laid instead of wrestling out policy with lawmakers and turning his hair gray and his arteries constricted.

Would you apply the same analysis to Hillary Clinton? That she sought to be President so she could get laid more? No? So something else is motivating her? But her lust for power obviously flows from some completely different, yonic tendency. Her power-lust can't have any relation to Obama's phallocentric desires. That would be ridiculous.

Posted by saurabh at December 15, 2010 03:12 AM

One final note to bury the argument: obviously "men's DNA" does not have such a total control over men's behavior that it could drive them to assume the Presidency, or else men would not enthusiastically embrace the use of contraception, and use it in the vast majority of heterosexual sexual encounters. Men would never get a vasectomy, so they could continue having sex without pregnancy. We are not mindless slaves to some brute evolutionary impulses.

Jon's reasoning implies that "men's DNA" is capable of motivating some incredibly long and difficult chain of tasks in order to achieve a cherished goal (that is, the impulse is capable of employing delayed gratification and following a multi-step strategy), but somehow fails to perceive the obvious breakdown in this strategy. This makes no sense. A much better explanation is, Obama's motives for becoming President have very little to do with getting laid.

Posted by saurabh at December 15, 2010 03:26 AM

He strikes me as cruel and phony. Maybe he gets off on ordering airstrikes against helpless Afghans to salve his frustrations.

Posted by Jonathan Versen at December 15, 2010 05:00 AM

Reich contra Freud interpolated into a humorous post about POTUS Interruptus with a vigilant Republican House(remember Clinton).....Here we see a comical, yet with historical precedent, tableau. Therein lies the joke. POTUS referred to himself as a hostage to the Republicans. His Stockholm Syndrome Policy regarding the Republicans may, hilariously, extend to his libido. Again, did he become Prez for poon?--eh, it's not as simple as that. Humor often overemphasizes the dirtiest corners of our mind for effect. You are free to take offense. Moral indignation towards vice is so cheap a virtue it's vicious.

Posted by Alcibiades Slim at December 15, 2010 05:06 AM

58--I love it; sex sure get's everyone's attention.

Jon, next month do a post about Obama's penile implant.

Posted by N E at December 15, 2010 06:19 AM

Q. What do politicians and sodomites have in common?

A. They're both fucking assholes.

Posted by LT at December 15, 2010 10:53 AM

I've read and enjoyed a different book by this author, and have ordered this one (from the author's website, not from Amazon.)

EROS ASCENDING: The Life-Transforming Power of Sacred Sexuality

The quest for lasting love is one of life’s essential pursuits, in some ways the most essential. But it’s also a quest that’s impossible to separate from spiritual and sexual needs. In Eros Ascending, author John Maxwell Taylor offers a wide-ranging study of sexual dysfunction in society and explains how healthy sexuality can be an entryway to universal love and higher consciousness.

Based on Taylor’s twenty-three-year experience with Taoist practices, the book presents an engaging analysis of love, relationships, and sexuality from spiritual, romantic, and sexual perspectives. Taylor melds essential ideas by Jung, Gurdjieff, and Taoist Master Mantak Chia with science, biology, spiritual tradition, and current popular culture to shed new light on this eternal yet misunderstood subject.

Not just for couples, the book is equally useful for single people who want to understand the methods for “learning to love yourself ” in preparation for a fulfilling, long-term relationship. Taylor draws on his eclectic background as a successful playwright, composer, actor, and musician in this persuasive plan for converting ordinary sexual energy into food for the soul.

* Pub. Date: January 2009
* Publisher: North Atlantic Books
* Format: Paperback , 420pp
* ISBN-13: 9781583942604
* ISBN: 1583942602

I always smile when I see this book publisher's name, because they are located in Berkeley, CA. The name fit a bit better when they started in Vermont (although the Green Mountain State does not border on the Atlantic Ocean, either).

Posted by mistah charley, ph.d. at December 15, 2010 10:53 AM

Wait. Cher/Kissinger?!?

Posted by john at December 15, 2010 12:09 PM


john sez Wait. Cher/Kissinger?!?

Probably not. Cher is mentioned in a satirical song about Kissinger written by Eric Idle, but not as a date. Nor was K the model for Dr. Strangelove. He did have a string of celebrity girlfriends in his younger days, according to this report:


http://www.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/69948#more-69948

3. He was Quite the Ladies’ Man

Even in his youth Kissinger didn’t quite fit the bill of a matinee idol, but he’s always been a hit with the ladies. A 1972 poll of Playboy bunnies selected Kissinger as the man with whom Hef’s ladies would most like to go out on a date. He also had a string of celebrity girlfriends in his younger days, including Diane Sawyer, Candice Bergen, Jill St. John, Shirley Maclaine, and Liv Ullman, who called Kissinger, “the most interesting man I have ever met.”

Kissinger’s swinging bachelor days are long gone, though. In 1974 he married philanthropist Nancy Maginnes, a union that seemed at one point seemed so improbable that just a year earlier Nancy had called speculation that she and Kissinger would marry “outrageous.”

Posted by mistah 'MICFiC' charley, ph.d. at December 15, 2010 01:09 PM

Sociological and evolutionary disagreements aside, I think it's plain that Kissinger's only shot at steady, top-shelf pussy was latching onto imperial power.

Posted by Dennis Perrin at December 15, 2010 01:37 PM

Saurabh wrote:
"I'd suggest, having read how much thoughtful stuff you have to say that doesn't have much at all to do with sex or getting you laid, that there's a lot of other things going on."

Saura, you're assuming that "being thoughtful" isn't a strategy for getting laid. I'd say it definitely is. Also, if "getting laid" is what you're bumping on (as they say in the writer's room) substitute "having people like me, and find me attractive." A lot of times its not the physical sex we seek, but the feeling of being desired.

Internet comments are a weird place to judge motivations/character, because they are usually expressions of raw narcissism. What do I care what some person I've never met, and will never meet, thinks about Jon's post? I don't even REALLY care about it myself! Why do I feel I have to attack, or defend, any position? It's absurd, and I'm embarrassed whenever I give in to the urge to comment. Far from being a desire to win affection or esteem, which strikes me as a pretty positive mechanism, a desire to comment is usually one of anger, control, negation and destruction. That's BETTER than doing it to get laid?

This thread is a perfect example: Jon's post, whatever its flaws, was offered wryly, in a spirit of generosity. "Here's this funny thought I had, o people who willingly come to this free site to read my funny thoughts." It was received, by some, as an opportunity to make HUGE assumptions about Jon, and really negative ones, with utter conviction. Why? Only they know. Maybe for the same reason Obama sends drones after innocents--a desire to judge? Control? Punish? Negate? I dunno, but since I can't see into the heart of another person, I'd rather assume that they were motivated by a desire to get laid, which keeps them human to me, than some other motivation which turns them into a monster. Because if I feel they are like me in some way, I do not fear and want to kill them.

Now--really--I'm done. Nobody cares what I think, and I can tell because I have never, in eight years, once been propositioned by a fellow ATR commenter. So I'm taking my ball(s) and going home. :-)

Posted by Mike of Angle at December 15, 2010 02:50 PM

I agree with saurabh. I really don't like "evo psych on the internet" as it always devalues women into objects. I also think that while reading this as racist is unfair, it is also understandable given historical tropes about black men's sex drives. (I don't think Jonathan did that on purpose but I also think he needs to look at the critique.) I really didn't like this post, it just made me feel "ick." Normally I love Jonathan's humor.

Also, I agree with those who said, so what does this say about women who run for office?

Posted by Anna in PDX at December 15, 2010 03:28 PM

Eh, my motives are certainly not (exclusively) to cajole Jon, and I don't think the purpose of a comment thread is necessarily to laud or flay the author. Nor do I think it's necessary for me to care deeply about what you think to find it valuable to participate in a discussion with you. I'm not that invested in what you end up believing, but the process of argumentation, of testing ideas against other people's, of exchange of viewpoints, is fucking great. Personally, I find I do my best thinking in conversation, and having to make my arguments accountable to the response of others is almost always welcome.

As to "getting laid" - if what you're describing is a very general desire to be appreciated, that is far removed from the acute desire to spray your jizz somewhere. I don't think that all of my desires for friendship and accolades would, if refined down to their fundamental nature, end up being rooted in my sexuality. I actually think those kind of desires are a product of a much deeper existential void. As socially contingent creatures whose very existence depends on our interactions with others - materially, emotionally, etc. - of course we seek to reassure ourselves of our validity by gaining the approval of others. Sex is part of that; not the other way around.

Posted by saurabh at December 15, 2010 03:45 PM

saurabh: As socially contingent creatures whose very existence depends on our interactions with others - materially, emotionally, etc. - of course we seek to reassure ourselves of our validity by gaining the approval of others.

This is why the solitary confinement in a military prison of reputed WikiLeaker Brad Manning [see Glenn Greenwald on this] is torture and a part of a plan to drive him insane.

Posted by Freddy el Desfibradddor at December 15, 2010 04:59 PM

Mike, I care what you think. In fact, I love you. Come east!

Posted by N E at December 15, 2010 06:29 PM

Finally! A proposition!

When I do come East, NE, you and Jon and I should go up to Woodstock and ask Ed Sanders what he thinks about RFK.

Now, back to "39 Years of Short-Term Memory Loss," Tom Davis' autobiography.

Posted by Mike of Angle at December 15, 2010 06:48 PM

Anna in PDX:

I really don't like "evo psych on the internet" as it always devalues women into objects.

I know what you mean, but I like to think what I wrote devalued men at least as much.

I also think that while reading this as racist is unfair, it is also understandable given historical tropes about black men's sex drives. (I don't think Jonathan did that on purpose but I also think he needs to look at the critique.)

Believe it or not, I actually thought that through before posting this, and said what I did exactly on purpose.

The structure of all bigotry/xenophobia/whatever is "What you have to understand about [out group] is that they all [uniquely possess a supposedly negative trait actually possessed by all humans]." See here.

There's therefore a tendency among liberals/progressives/misc. to deal with this by being uncomfortable with any suggestion that members of the out group actually do possess whatever the trait in question is. I understand the impulse, but don't think we should give into it. Instead, we should all acknowledge that this purportedly negative trait is in fact possessed by everyone.

In this case, there's a long history in America of black men being portrayed as having out-of-control sex drives. (Also the case with black women, as I'm sure you know.) So far, so good: that's exactly what has happened to all groups with less power in the history of the world. They're all sexual freaks.

But should nice liberal white people deny that black men (and women) possess sex drives that can get out of control and cause them to screw things up for themselves and those around them? Or should we acknowledge that, yes, they do, but it's not because they're black but because they're people? And this is something that actually can cause problems for people in real life, but it's not the end of the world?

Here's a concrete example: I read a memoir of a black women who'd been in the civil rights movement in the south in the early sixties. At one point she speaks about how black men in the civil rights movement would sometimes say or imply that if the black women they were involved with didn't give them what they wanted, they could easily walk out the door and snag one of the white college women coming down from the north.

Here are three possible responses to that from outsiders:

1. (racist) "You see?!? The Negro man has a monstrous sexual appetite for the WHITE WOMEN!!!"

2. (white NPR fund drive donor) [decorous silence]

3. (me, in my long-running imaginary one-man show called Sex vs. Guns) "Wow, that's exactly what I would have done if I were them. I guess all men ARE brothers!"

I think #3 is the way to go, especially because I believe The Man doesn't just project exaggerations of human behavior on out-groups, but uses that to control everyone by making them ashamed of having normal human characteristics. (I made a similar joke here for the same reasons.)

Posted by Jonathan Schwarz at December 15, 2010 10:20 PM

Great blog, great post, and if you ever get your imaginary one-man show filmed I will put the DVD in my netflix queue.

Posted by thundermonkey at December 15, 2010 10:58 PM

I'm awaiting the latest joint from J-Schwar-Z,
the J-Schweezy gonna drop a daisy cutter on suckahs!

Keepin' it real, Slim.

Posted by Alcibiades Slim at December 16, 2010 03:18 AM


What is wrong with this drivel can be exemplified using one line:

"I might rather be waterboarded."

This is of one vile piece with the pervasive taser jokes from Hollywood onwards, and fits right into the Torture R' US national "discourse" normalizing waterboarding. I, of course, am aware that you have been waterboarded and might have hence chosen your funny line in full awareness of the experience. If not, then, in keeping with the 3rd grade biologism, I will generously assume your dick is bigger than your brain, without committing to assessing the size of either.

As somebody else said, not a great post. If you are unhappy with the response, well, the occasion does not warrant better - or, if you have to ask, more subtle.

Not that this is the *only* aspect of this little attempt at college humor that went awry. Glossing over the other comments - especially the pile-on variety - as an example of Foot-In-Mouth Disease, this has all the hallmarks of a classic.


Posted by b. at December 16, 2010 12:01 PM

Literary Criticism CAN be brutal.

Posted by Mike Meyer at December 16, 2010 12:05 PM

Well, it's settled, Jon. You are one evil motherf*****.

I wasn't crazy about the post either, but people seem to have totally flipped out, so I won't type out my analysis of what I didn't like about it, because it just gives it much more importance than it deserves. Everyone is entitled to one bad joke now and then which they think is funny but others don't. In my case I hope I'm entitled to a whole long series of them, because I'm way ahead of you in this department.

Posted by Donald Johnson at December 16, 2010 05:24 PM

i always thought the thing about having power was that ANY suitable partner remotely in your sphere and unafraid to get dirty was probably a spy.

Posted by hapa at December 16, 2010 07:44 PM

Mike

Ed Sanders looks interesting to me, so count me in on the trip if I am not busy waging my war against control fraud by health insurers when you get here. Sanders and I would probably agree about RFK--we certainly seem to have read the same things. And I like Sanders' lyricism; it soothes my rampaging soul, which I need now that I have donned my war paint again. So thanks for the intro to Sanders, who was unknown to me.

Peace, amigo.

Posted by N E at December 16, 2010 08:08 PM

It's a good thing human beings aren't focused on and motivated by sex, or else this post might have six times as many comments as the previous post about the Federal Reserve!

Posted by Jonathan Schwarz at December 16, 2010 08:12 PM

Fun post. Yes, the evo biology/psychology perspective is easy to lampoon.

By the way, I wouldn't regard being surrounded by young lovely staffers as torture; it would be a fantasizer's delight. (and don't knock that world of fantasy; it's the only dating life that destitute bachelors/erotica writers can afford).

I thought Sorkin's West Wing franchise was over the top, but the thing he got exactly right was the sexy self-righteous charisma which oozed down the corridors.

Also, here's a relevant passage from an essay I wrote about sexual sublimation. (it's a slightly NSFW essay):

"When people are young, you talk about sexual sublimation. Sexual desire is assumed to motivate everything. If you write a paper about Egyptian pharaohs for class, you are channeling sexual energy into a socially acceptable outlet because you know that the benefits of getting better grades and a deeper understanding of Egyptian culture will improve your social standing … and ultimately bring more pussy.

"Later, you learn about the complexity of human motivations. Social justice, self-discipline, physical feats, spiritual peace, good works, inspiring people, business plans, painting, gardening, charity. After a while, it becomes silly to maintain the pretense that sexual desire lies at the heart of these activities, even indirectly. As you become older, you realize that there is no shame in admitting that sex doesn't motivate you anymore. You can be totally asexual and still become the world's greatest gardener.

Posted by Hapax Legomenon at December 16, 2010 10:28 PM

Hapax Legomenon

I resent your implication that assumptions drawn from my zuchini may be improper.

Posted by N E at December 17, 2010 07:37 AM

"It's a good thing human beings aren't focused on and motivated by sex, or else this post might have six times as many comments as the previous post about the Federal Reserve!"

or at least puritan-americans.

Posted by hapa at December 17, 2010 01:09 PM

Count me as one who generally likes the blog, but disagrees with the post.

However it was all worth it for Dennis Perrin's comment, which elicited a hearty guffaw from me.

But! Did Kissinger do it for the pussy? On did he do it for the killing, w/ the pussy being merely a side benefit?

Posted by Rojo at December 18, 2010 02:43 AM

in a way literally no one else on earth but HE can truly understand. It's HE.

ps: I love you

Posted by Maezeppa at December 18, 2010 10:08 AM

I'm SURE a Judge and Jury could answer the Kissinger question.

Posted by Mike Meyer at December 18, 2010 01:36 PM

Has this post (or this blerg) gotten JS laid? Only question a man needs answered.

Posted by SH at December 19, 2010 12:19 PM
Posted by: .. at December 15, 2010 01:49 AM It's men who have fought and died for the most part in war, and who continue to do so. It's men who do the dirty, industrial, manual work .. the ones inhaling the nasty chemicals, the ones dying in mines, and so on. It's their muscle and sweat and brawn that created this technological, industrialized society.. and it will be their muscle, sweat and brawn that will have to rebuild it all over again after what is certain to be a collapse of global civilization and another long Dark ages.

Bullshit. I know someone already called this out, but bullshit. Women and children take the brunt of war because they're easier to kill than enemy soldiers. Warriors, by and large, thrive on underhanded and brutal tactics, and the civilian population is the target of choice in almost every war -- and definately in every war fought in the last 100 years. Women have it FAR harder since they are less likely to be armed and even to be treated as expendible by concieted wastes of flesh like the quoted poster during combat.

Posted by No One of Consequence at December 20, 2010 05:25 PM

Its like Thomas Paine said about one half of mankind has ALWAYS oppressed the other half, namely MEN OPPRESSING WOMEN. I've been married to two female soldiers and BOTH kicked my ass.

Posted by Mike Meyer at December 20, 2010 07:28 PM