Thursday, December 20, 2012

Why Do Nice Girls Like Bad Boys?

If you watch Judge Judy like I do, religiously (which is not to say for religious reasons, but with a kind of devotion), you will notice what I often have noticed in life.

To the left, in the role of the plaintiff, stands a beautiful and intelligent young woman aged 18-22.

To the right, being sued, stands her guy, a hulking, despondent, sloppy, unemployed jerk.

"I gave him $5,000, Judge Judy, while we were dating, and he promised to pay me back," says the young lady.

"She didn't borrow me no money," replies the brute, "She give it to me.  She give it to me because she liked me.  But I should have went out with somebody else."

He is an idiot, a barbarian, a piece of slime.  She is young and sweet and bright-eyed.  He can not count to ten.  She could have any man she wanted.

But he's a bad boy.  He's dangerous.  He's risky. 

He's not clean like the wimp down the street who holds down a job and has a future and is nice to people.  Chivalry and courtesy are not the issue here.  And even sexual prowess is not the issue here, for there's no way a guy as self-centered as the defendant cares if his woman is happy in bed.  Especially when he's drunk or high, which is most of the time.

So why are good girls turned on by bad boys?

Well, it's the same reason the wimp down the street is a secret admirer of Nietzsche.  It's the same reason Charles Manson is someone disaffected teens look up to.  It's the same reason the Phoenicians sacrificed children to Moloch.

That last is from Chesterton, who writes ...
 
Why do men entertain this queer idea that what is sordid must always overthrow what is magnanimous; that there is some dim connection between brains and brutality, or that it does not matter if a man is dull so long as he is also mean? Why do they vaguely think of all chivalry as  sentiment and all sentiment as weakness?
 
In other words, why do good girls go for bad boys?

Chesterton's answer is shocking ...

 They do it because they are, like all men, primarily inspired by religion.  
 
What???  This is a religious sentiment?  Chesterton elaborates ...

For them, as for all men, the first fact is their notion of the nature of things; their idea about what world they are living in. And it is their faith that the only ultimate thing is fear and therefore that the very heart of the world is evil.

This is why Chesterton (earlier in The Everlasting Man) says that pagans will play around with their panoply of goof-ball multiple gods, who are chasing each other around the groves, doing silly and obnoxious things, but when pagan men want to get something serious done, they usually turn to the darker forces, because "the devil keeps his appointments". 

***



Chesterton, as usual, is deeply right in a stunning way. 

Look around you.

The pagans of our day believe that Fear is the ultimate thing and therefore the "very heart of the world is evil", which means that our lives, if successful, must be about power and domination over others. 

This is true in spades for our rebellious and pierced teens, who think they are turning against Mom and Dad by living with Mom and Dad in the basement, not getting a job, and complaining on the internet that God is dead and we need to live as selfishly as we can, that to live any other way is foolish (as they borrow money from their girlfriends, who are heartbroken when they don't pay it back and sue them on Judge Judy). 

Ironically, this is no rebellion at all, but only an affirmation of all that Mommy and Daddy have secretly stood for in their plush suburban houses all along.

They believe that death is stronger than life, and therefore dead things must be stronger than living things
 
 notes Chesterton; or, as in Ferris Bueller's Day Off, there are fathers who love their cars more than their sons.

Our religion of the day is one that worships power and sensory indulgence; for the Ultimate Thing is not a God of Love, but a dark force that scares us and that we can emulate only by harming others.

The Carthaginians fed their children to Moloch, burning them alive.  We feed ours to Planned Parenthood, aborting them alive. 

Either way, in the New Paganism, as in the old, dead things trump living things; fear is more real than love or honor; and, as with Carthage, we slowly become what we worship. 

We slowly start eating our own, as our Dark Lord slowly and patiently eats us.

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