Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The Gamma protagonist, part I

As some of you will recall, I have applied my theory of socio-sexuality to literature on occasion, and in doing so, discovered that it actually serves as an effective predictive model for how a novel will unfold on the basis of the socio-sexual rank of the male writer.

Delta Man has taken that concept and applied it to science fiction, and made a few observations about novels that feature Gamma protagonists:

The Gamma Protagonist in Science Fiction and Fantasy:
  1. High IQ. The GP possesses what the author imagines a +2 or +3 standard deviation to be like. Even if it is never mentioned by number, the protagonist’s cognitive ability will always approximately coincide with this level of ability. Key word: "imagines". Most Gamma writers are not as intelligent as their GPs.
  2. Average height and build, often "could stand to lose a few pounds", and is not athletically gifted unless the character is specifically written as being athletic, in which case the GP is better than everyone at everything.
  3. The dialogue is full of snarky comments by the protagonist which are used to put everyone in his place, no matter who they are. Women who are not villains will always find the snarky comments to be inordinately funny and attractive.
  4. Both the demonstration of the Gamma Protagonist's intelligence and his bonding with other characters is demonstrated through the GP's frequent resort to pop cultural quotes. The GP always recognizes a quote and will always respond to it with an appropriate quote.
  5. The GP is agnostic or atheist without any meaningful reason to be so, and can shut down the greatest theologians in the world with a witty retort.
  6. Will be especially technically competent at engineering or high technology, depending upon the genre.
  7. Will have a love interest who throws herself at him. Always sexually passive and is far more prone to pine away after a woman than pursue her.
  8. He will either save the love interest from some peril and become a white knight in the process, or she will be “strong and independent” and find his recognition of this to be incredibly attractive.
In other words, the Gamma Protagonist is a Gary Stu, a figure of Gamma wish-fulfillment that is the male equivalent of the female Mary Sue protagonist who almost invariably enjoys the devoted attentions of two Alpha males competing for her affections.

The most interesting aspect of the GP is how he reveals the psychology of the author who writes him, specifically, how he exposes the author's wishes that are fulfilled by the GP.

57 comments:

Dexter said...

I don't bother to read the drivel that passes for SF these days, so no examples of GPs are coming to mind.

Happy Housewife said...

"High IQ. The GP possesses what the author imagines a +2 or +3 standard deviation to be like. Even if it is never mentioned by number, the protagonist’s cognitive ability will always approximately coincide with this level of ability. Key word: "imagines". Most Gamma writers are not as intelligent as their GPs."

I notice this often coincides with the GP making connections or mental leaps in the story that come out of nowhere and makes no sense; it's very confusing to the reader.

Gammas saving the day, while completely implausible, is also very boring. There is zero tension because you know they're going to overcome the meathead villains; for some reason, the antagonists are usually described as handsome and athletic, sometimes in great detail (interesting). Asking the reader to believe that an average looking doughboy can not only beat the better looking, better equipped bad guy, but also gets the girl for no discernable reason, is pure fantasy itself.

Student in Blue said...

Related to 4,7 and 8: Gammas believe virtue-signaling to be sexually attractive to women, so their protagonist does the same. If a woman does not find virtue-signaling to be attractive, it is because she is being deceived by some other man who must be "defeated" or she's a villain who often gets redeemed and falls for the GP.

Krul said...

Looking forward to Alpha. My personal favorite is Nicholas van Rijn. He'll give you tons of material to work with.

By the way, just to be clear, when you say "Gamma Protagonist", do you mean that character is Gamma, or that the author and/or intended audience is Gamma and the GP is what the Gamma imagines success to be like?

Student in Blue said...

Forgot to mention this in the earlier post, but:
In other words, the Gamma Protagonist is a Gary Stu, a figure of Gamma wish-fulfillment that is the male equivalent of the female Mary Sue protagonist who almost invariably enjoys the devoted attentions of two Alpha males competing for her affections.

Even if the Gamma author doesn't intend to write a Gary Stu, it will still come out with many of these characteristics because of their very stilted, immature concept of what the world is and how men and women relate to each other.

Their product also invariably turns out to be far more black-and-white than anything they decry, due to said incomplete, immature concept of the world.

Student in Blue said...

@Krul
By the way, just to be clear, when you say "Gamma Protagonist", do you mean that character is Gamma, or that the author and/or intended audience is Gamma and the GP is what the Gamma imagines success to be like?

Yes, yes, no, yes. Remember the Gamma is the Secret King, and so to have a real hero in the author-who-is-Gamma's eyes, the protagonist also has to be Gamma. The intended audience is for everyone because, gosh golly everyone needs to see how right and virtuous they are! They're just deluded or not quite smart enough if they don't see how brilliant the Gamma Protagonist (and by extension, the author) is.

Cataline Sergius said...

A Gary Stu can work but a lot of that depends on the author.

Prime example; James Bond.

Or to be accurate James Bond as written by Ian Fleming.

James Bond as written by Anthony Horowitz is a tragic henpecked broken shell of a man whose wife has him completely under her thumb. He is probably allowed to have sex twice a month.

VD said...

The character is Gamma. This reliably, though not always, means the male author is Gamma. The intended audience is everyone. The GP is what the Gamma imagines success to be like, which in most cases is a woman who is out of his league inexplicably seducing him without warning.

paworldandtimes said...

Thinking of Gamma characters, if not protagonists, in the classic literary canon. Maybe some of Shakespeare's lesser villains.

It's been a while since reading it, but Hamlet himself?

PA

VD said...

A Gary Stu can work but a lot of that depends on the author.

Exactly. Owen from Monster Hunter International is a total Gary Stu. But, as I have told Larry Correia, that works remarkably well when the author happens to be an oversized gun nut.

Krul said...

"It's been a while since reading it, but Hamlet himself?"

I'd put Hamlet at Sigma. What with seducing Ophelia, manipulating everyone with "crazy act" mind games, willingness to fight Laertes one-on-one, and the whole revenge quest thing. He's also moody and artistic, so yeah. Sigma or Lesser Alpha.

Cataline Sergius said...

@VD

Perfect example.

Larry does great action stuff. Very much a page turner. Very hard to put down. And yes his protagonists are total Gary Stus no matter what he says.

The only place he collapses completely is the love interest side. Which is invariably, gorgeous girl falls hard for the big galoot due to the intrinsic nobility of his character.

Rek. said...

I've always had a strong liking for sigma characters. Lone wolf badass in a burn it to the ground revenge plot who goes back to his life without looking for any recognition. I don't really read SF so I couldn't even come up with a title (if someone has any books for me to read please do share). Movies: The Crow, John Wick, The Equalizer, Law abiding citizen, the three next days or straw dogs. Or maybe that's just a different form of gamma entertainement.

I love their fearlessness, their discipline, the control the have over their lives, the fact that they are outcasts who can stand up for themselves and others. Maybe straw dogs is your typical gamma movie though, but the way the central protagonist (who in my opinion is more of a delta, low beta to start with) finally decides to face reality for what it is, stop living in fear is a rare transformation. In this case, it is all a shift in mindset. "L'homme est libre au moment qu'il veut l'être." Voltaire, which is always a central element in these movies. One decision.

Hammerli280 said...

Vox, I thought Owen from MHI started out as a Gary Stu...but about halfway through the book, Correia realized that he had an idea with real potential and his writing skills kicked in. Which required steering the character away from the Gary Stu model.

Having said that, I looked over this list. My thoughts are:
1. High IQ is likely for an SF hero. I don't care who he is.
2. Height, build, and other characteristics can be used to set the character up with interesting flaws and quirks...but need to be credible.
3. No argument. And heroes are heroic, not snarky.
4. Stay away from pop culture references. They date a book too easily. And they make the character look like he HAS no character, just a list of quotes he copied from someone else.
5. No argument with this one.
6. SF heroes are very likely to be engineers, scientists, etc. It's the nature of the genre.
7. No argument with this one. Most unlikely...though you could have a lot of fun with a character who is so manly that women DO throw themselves at him. Naturally, such a character should be watchful for knives in the back...or be married and faithful to his wife.
8. No argument.

A comparison to the great SF heroes may be in order.

Cataline Sergius said...

On to the Gamma Protagonist.

Our first contestant is John Perry the seventy-five year protagonist of John Scalzi's Old Man's War.

A decent enough soft-reboot of Forever War resprayed to look like a Heinlein book. Decently written, plot is well structured.

But John Perry is clearly a Gary Stu. He starts out with his life sucking ass because his wife is dead and he's old physically inferm from age.

It's been years since I read the book but I seem to recall "Perry" tested
well. Perry gets a superman's body and his old broken, substandard one is destroyed in the process.

The new body is a total sex machine. Perry gets invited to spontaneous orgies now.

Snarky dialog? Check! It's a Scalzi novel.

Perry wins a battle by "inventing a tactic" (*Cataline rolls his eyes until only the whites are showing*).

He gets the shit beaten out of him by his wife's new body, "Sagan". Who falls in love with him after beating him up. It is always clear that Perry is no match physically for his wife. I don't remember the religious aspects but I'm sure there weren't any. The guy didn't think twice about greasing out his old body. It was more or less suggested that the soul didn't come along for the ride because it didn't exist.

The big thing about Old Man's War is that the military in Scalzi's world never and I do mean never felt like the military that I know.

Not like Starship Troopers did or even for that matter Forever War.




Student in Blue said...

@Hammerli280
1. High IQ is likely for an SF hero. I don't care who he is.

While likely, it is not required by any means. For the "softer" SF, was Luke Skywalker a mental genius? By no means.

Even in hard SF, the protagonist doesn't need to be high IQ to be compelling or even explore the world that is, or for events to unfold that detail the consequences of whatever technological advance is being considered.

So, always having a high IQ protagonist is... lazy on the writer's part, and making a big deal about how smart the character is happens to be a large sign of a Gamma Protagonis.

Cataline Sergius said...

Here's a variant on the Gamma Protagonist.

The Gamma Male who clearly fantasizes about himself as a woman.

S.M. Stirling's early stuff was really bad about that. The protagonists of his early stuff were almost invariably kick ass women who found other women sexually attractive.

Better known example: Pretty much every fucking thing by Joss Whedon. From Buffy the Vampire Slayer, to Alien 4 to Firefly to Dollhouse. Everyone of his female protagonists can kick the shit out of any MAN who crosses their path. The more sexist the man the better.

Avengers must have been hell for him. Black Widow was it and she hardly got to beat up anyone.

Student in Blue said...

The Gamma Male who clearly fantasizes about himself as a woman.

In my experience, those people tend to be only lower Gamma, bordering on Omega.

I don't know if Joss Whedon is an example of that however, because every Gamma pays homage to the 'amazing, fairer, better sex'. Hell, a lot of lower Deltas do that too.

It's really feminist dogma that facilitates the amazon woman crushing the patriarchy themes, and a whole swathe across the sociosexual spectrum are host to that. Gammas and those around their target area are just far more accepting of it because they already feel deep down they're worthless.

Jack Amok said...

...a woman who is out of his league inexplicably seducing him without warning.

Perhaps the strongest Gamma tell of all? Gammas are more uncomfortable than other men in making the approach, so the ultimate fantasy for them is a sexually aggressive woman picking them for a boi toi.

It makes me thing of old hardboiled detective stories. What were the authors there - Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler? In those stories, dames often threw themselves at the protagonist, but usually with an ulterior motive, trying to play the guy. The staple was that an aggressive woman was intriguing, but very dangerous. Only the most confident and composed men could play with them without getting badly hurt.

VD said...

The only place he collapses completely is the love interest side. Which is invariably, gorgeous girl falls hard for the big galoot due to the intrinsic nobility of his character.

Not quite the only place. Owen's jealousy of the younger Alpha, who is of course revealed to have feet of clay and lose the girl to Owen, is also indicative.

Not a critique, merely an observation.

Cataline Sergius said...

...a woman who is out of his league inexplicably seducing him without warning.

Perhaps the strongest Gamma tell of all? Gammas are more uncomfortable than other men in making the approach, so the ultimate fantasy for them is a sexually aggressive woman picking them for a boi toi.


Certainly the pinnacle of Game unawareness. They live in a world where the PUA is some sort of arcane sorcerer who knows magic words that make women like them.

They have no experience at all with the thrill of making an approach. Maybe you'll get shot down. Maybe you'll get delaying tactics. Maybe you'll get a phone number (I realize,I'm dating myself badly). Maybe you will rapidly escalate to the Close all in one night.

None of those things is real to the Gamma except getting shot down. Their mindset simply doesn't allow for any other possibility. The pickup isn't real to them.

Cataline Sergius said...

@VD

I quite agree.

The unworthy Alpha had to be shown to the reader to be unworthy of the girl. I'm afraid Larry also committed the worst of kind of Anti-Game there is in that book.

Winning over the girl by a confession of your True Love.

In the real world that is an extinction level event.

Student in Blue said...

@Jack Amok
Perhaps the strongest Gamma tell of all?

You're right on the money with that being their ultimate fantasy. Whether or not it's a Gamma tell I'm hesitant on, because sexually-aggressive women are fantasies of weak males, not necessarily Gamma. The key component of Gamma is reality rejection, after all.

My current theory is that it's a strong indicator of low sociosexual rank, but that could include mid-to-low Delta and below.

Only the most confident and composed men could play with them without getting badly hurt.

There's a lot of similarities, because Gammas think themselves as Secret Kings. One of the glaring differences is that in the Gamma world, women are pure angelic beings. If she's coming on to the Gamma, it's either because she saw his awesome virtue or that wacky mysterious force of "love" compelled her to do it.

Then again, I think an overdependence on mysterious-force-"love" is more of a delta tangent.

VD said...

"I'm so lucky to have her!" = Delta

"I'm so scared of her!" = Gamma

"She's damned lucky to have me." = Alpha

"I wonder what she would look like if she was Japanese?" = Sigma

VD said...

Actually, Gamma is more: "My wife is so scary, you do NOT want to mess with her!"

Student in Blue said...

Actually, Gamma is more: "My wife is so scary, you do NOT want to mess with her!"

Ugh. I see that garbage all the time in amateur fiction.

Granted, there's a comedic time where "ha ha, the wife sure got mad and in a twist the husband had to beg for forgiveness" and it's a slight chuckle. Gammas do that all the time in their writing and that trope is now practically canon. The husband becomes a sad sack that can't do anything and boy you better not cross the Missus!

It's revolting to see what used to be comedy played straight.

Student in Blue said...

For clarity, "Gammas do that all the time in their writing"

should be replaced with: "Where it becomes tedious, unamusing and offensive is when it's done all the time by Gammas in their writing"

Cataline Sergius said...

Actually, Gamma is more: "My wife is so scary, you do NOT want to mess with her!"

For some guys it's an issue.

VD said...

Please. She's only half-troll. That's not scary... unless you're a halfling, I suppose.

S1AL said...

VD - Out of curiosity, what's the Beta response?

And to be fair to Larry, when the book isn't written from Owen's perspective, the character comes across as much more of an annoying prick. And Grant becomes a non-caricature in Nemesis.

Cataline Sergius said...

She's only half-troll. That's not scary... unless you're a halfling, I suppose.

Some guys have worse problems than that.

sigsawyer said...

Villains written by Gammas are always pompous, overblown, and talk too much. Originally, the cartoon villain making a big speech was to help explain the plot to kids, but it fits so well with the Gamma's ideas about what alphas are actually like.

If the gamma was the big mean alpha, he would spend time mocking his lessers and explaining his too-complicated-for-you plans. When it comes to conflict, real alphas and sigmas say very little. In fact, they're short of words in general.

I'd say Hamlet is actually gamma rather than sigma. He is overly intospective and continually rationalizes his failure to avenge his father. Alpha Hamlet kills Claudius in a duel within the hour. Sigma Hamlet either ignores his father's ghost, or Claudius dies mysteriously several weeks later. Beta Hamlet defects to another country and tries to convince them to invade and overthrow Claudius. Delta Hamlet follows Claudius but nurses regrets and bitter doubts over whether the ghost's words were true. Gamma Hamlet broods and mopes and grumbles knowing that revenge is the manly, alpha thing to do but rationalizes his inaction. Stages an elaborate public ploy to shame Claudius that turns out to do nothing. Fucks up and gets everybody killed.

Peter Pan said...

For those of you write fiction, SFF or not, you can easily look back at your protagonists and analyze them. I'm not certain that the protagonists socio-sexual rank is as indicative for other ranks as it is for the GP, but it could be of interest to you to do so.

But, as I have told Larry Correia, that works remarkably well when the author happens to be an oversized gun nut.

I laughed. Not many people who write Mary Sues are actually interesting in any way, so most Mary Sues are also uninteresting. I suppose Larry Correia is one of the exceptions that prove the rule.

@sigsawyer
I'm not sure I agree with your analysis, since you've left out most of the sexual part of the socio-sexual hierarchy. Hamlet totally messes with Ophelia's mind without particularly caring one way or another, and Ophelia falling in love with him without too much provocation is reasonable if he's an Alpha/Sigma. Hamlet clearly has some success with "the fair Ophelia," an apparently good-looking girl. A Gamma wouldn't. Remember, Gamma's are sexual rejects rather than social rejects.

I should also mention that it was not Hamlet's but Claudius' and Laertes' plan that gets fucked up in the end resulting in everybody's death. He also kills Polonius because he thinks it's Claudius, and refrains from killing Claudius while the man is praying because he believes that would send Claudius to heaven rather than hell, which would be the ultimate revenge.

Student in Blue said...

@Peter Pan
I'm not sure I agree with your analysis, since you've left out most of the sexual part of the socio-sexual hierarchy.

Never, ever, try to identify a fictional character's ranking by who the author pairs them up with. It's fiction, not reality, and very often characters will be paired up "just so" for plot reasons, not because said male character was actually suave.

Austin Ballast said...

The really early Bond villans are gamma villans?

Student in Blue said...

The really early Bond villans are gamma villans?

Except Gamma Villains take what's normally understood as camp and plot exposition... and play it straight.

Gammas have a horrible sense of morality for the most part. Their protagonists wind up being more ghastly than their intended villains, and the Gamma authors don't even notice it.

paworldandtimes said...

[Hamlet] refrains from killing Claudius while the man is praying because he believes that would send Claudius to heaven rather than hell, which would be the ultimate revenge.

A popular counter-interpretation for that scene is Hamlet just rationalizing his continued failure to act.

PA

Peter Pan said...

@Student in Blue
Never, ever, try to identify a fictional character's ranking by who the author pairs them up with. It's fiction, not reality, and very often characters will be paired up "just so" for plot reasons, not because said male character was actually suave.

I know why you're saying this, and I agree for the most part. However, it is a mistake to ignore entire pieces of the definition of a sociosexual hierarchy. It has to be taken as a whole, or it is only a social hierarchy or sexual hierarchy. Plot device or not, how women interact with a male protagonist will help identify the character's ranking--even Vox's own metric uses that interaction as a way to help identify a GP. (See rule #3,#7 and to some extent even #8) The difference is that the interaction may not reflect reality (women do not throw themselves at Gammas IRL) but that does not mean we can't use it as a tell to help identify a character's ranking (women do throw themselves at Gammas in fiction). But if the fiction does a good job of reflecting reality, then it is fair to say that we can more reliably take such interaction at face-value.

@paworldandtimes
A popular counter-interpretation for that scene is Hamlet just rationalizing his continued failure to act.

Yes. @sigsawyer already mentioned it in his original analysis. I was offering the other as an additional interpretation counter to his.

Ron said...

@VD


"I'm so lucky to have her!" = Delta

"I'm so scared of her!" = Gamma

"She's damned lucky to have me." = Alpha

"I wonder what she would look like if she was Japanese?" = Sigma



You forgot Omega

"REVENGE" = Omega

Dexter said...

"It places the lotion in the basket!" = Omega

Neanderserk said...

Will spend lots of time lugubriously and loathsomely explaining away any advantages in ability or outcome he may possess or acquire, eliciting universal reassurance and affirmation from those around him. Will regularly abase himself to his inferiors as a means of achieving deep connection, thus establishing his goodness. In sum, prestige rather than hierarchical competition.

Will consistently liberate those locked in oppressive hierarchical relationships, allowing them to flower into full actualization beneath his beneficent prestige leadership with nary a hitch.

Fucks from the bottom (even when he's on top).

Whereas an ALPHA fucks from the top, even when he's relaxing beneath and letting the lady do the work.

Neanderserk said...

I almost forgot!

Will spend pages on impractical moralizing introspection.
As a result of said moralizing, will make many stupid decisions, but not pay for them.
Will explain his deepest innermost motivations and personality to any non-hierarchical character.

Neanderserk said...

Never dumps a girl. But frequently unsuitable girlfriends die.
Often declines sex, leading to strong platonic relationship unless villainess.
Is not permitted by plot to exhibit authoritarian, competent, undramatic, successful control over significant situations. Exercises of authority must be excused by dramatic inner journeys, heartfelt self-revelatory speeches and stupidity-derived narrow scrapes with disaster.

Neanderserk said...

Inevitably shows up all those engaged in hierarchical dominance behavior as deeply insecure frauds and/or heartless villains.
Unless it's a woman doing it, in which case she retains a degree of sympathy and/or sexual attraction to the protagonist.

sigsawyer said...

@PeterPan:
Shakespeare was sociosexually aware, even game-aware, and I have to interpret Ophelia's desire for him as a result of his mindgames and indifferent attitude towards her. He could only be aloof because he wasn't interested. If Hamlet had affection for her and tried to pursue her I suspect he wouldn't have been nearly so successful. Brooding artists can be any sociosexuality, from the gamma Faulkner to the alpha Hemingway.

"Remember, Gamma's are sexual rejects rather than social rejects."
Not necessarily true, at least not when you take society at large instead of social circle by social circle. There are no gammas on my rugby team. There are a couple alphas, a large number of betas, a few deltas, and one or two sigmas. Gammas are at least 30% of the men in the sci-fi club I sometimes show up to, which has a single "low" sigma, one man who is socially alpha in the circumstances but is better described as a sexual beta, and several deltas and gammas. Even in that group the gammas are merely tolerated; most people pretend that their attention-seeking behavior doesn't exist and only interact with them when they're being somewhat normal.

Gammas make up the low-end of low-end social groups. They don't exist in high-end social groups except for the "greater gamma", who has a single exceptional talent which makes him highly arrogant while the rest of his socio-sexual skills are low. Gammas cannot tolerate alphas, and vice versa. Alphas recognize the gamma's attempts to inflate his own status and slap them down, often humiliatingly. The gamma either leaves for pastures without 'bullies and douches' in his words, or is broken, humbled, and becomes a delta.

I remember when I first started playing rugby, the team captain, an alpha, tried to hit me with one of those little status jabs that alphas use to test for compliance. It's like shit tests from guys. I brushed it off, and I could see him tense up, thinking I was another alpha, but I denied him the fight, parrying his shit tests without amplifying or throwing any back. I could also tell when he realized that I wasn't challenging his status; his body language subtly relaxed. The next day he started acting really friendly with me and we're good buddies now, which is why I contest Vox's claim that sigmas don't get along with alphas. If you get it across that you're not after their status they'll be happy to have a friend who they respect as a sociosexual equal.
(I'll break down the whole exchange if Vox or any commenters want it, it's really illustrative of sociosexuality in general and was the thing that convinced me of the model's truth.)

My point is that gammas have a glass jaw and too many insecurities to spar with an alpha: getting shit tested by them causes the gamma psychic pain, so they run from any social circles that contain alphas free to compete with them, making them both sexual and social rejects.


@Austin Ballast: It's possible that Fleming wrote low sociosexual villains to make Bond look better. The assassins who come after Bond don't pontificate, they're Bond's equals. I've only seen the early movies, so I'd bet that for expediency the screenwriter crams extra exposition into the villain's dialogue that was presented in another form in the novels. And I'm afraid that yeah, gammas take that lazy writing seriously because it appeals to their need to spew verbal diarrhea.

Derrick Bonsell said...

If protagonists written by Gammas are Garry Stu's, this would imply that the character has no personality flaws, at least none the author considers flaws?

sigsawyer said...

@Derrick Bonsell

If the protagonist has any "flaws" that the author acknowledges, it's something along the lines of being hated by his hierarchical superiors for being better than them, or being so exceptional that he alienates people around him.

Alternatively, the gamma protag's flaw is being "too good a person", and as a result he's constantly screwed over because of his moral superiority.

Classic projection, as the gamma envies and hates his betters. Naturally, the gamma is in reality the one alienated from the group but he rationalizes it to himself with "if it weren't for those douchebags and assholes keeping me down", or "I'm uncool because I won't sink to the level of those douchebags, sigh, I'll have to shoulder my cruel fate of being a nice guy"

sigsawyer said...

The protagonist being "chosen by destiny" is borderline gamma. Some of those protagonists have to live up to that choice by showing great personal strength and courage, or by improving themselves to become worthy, but characters who were born Special for an Important Destiny are gamma. Don't mistake it for the "ordinary man who accidentally gets caught up in important events and muddles through them", that's delta.


Protagonists who get their lives fixed by a magical Special woman who has all the agency in the relationship are gamma

Peter Pan said...

@sigsawyer
I don't debate the glass-jaw traits of the Gamma. Merely the classification of Hamlet as a GP. Furthermore, I would even agree that the sexual rejection that Gammas experience is often partially, even wholly, due to their social ineptitude. But Hamlet doesn't fall into this category in my opinion. He smoothly games Ophelia (read his lines to Ophelia during the "Mousetrap" play), does not run away from Laertes' challenge to duel, and essentially dominates most social circumstances he is put in up until the end when everyone is poisoned. It sounds like a GP, but it's not. GPs don't die, and if they do, it's probably a "noble" death. GP's also always get the girl, but in this case Ophelia also dies.

And, perhaps most telling of all, Hamlet never gets to be King.

sigsawyer said...

@Peter Pan
You might be right, I haven't read Hamlet in a long time. My only argument is that Shakespeare wrote a character of a lower sociosexual rank intentionally and wasn't totally accurate. Difference between a protagonist who's gamma, in a tragedy, and dies for his flaws, and the protagonist of a gamma author, who mirrors his creator's insecurities and self-delusion and is rewarded for it.


steve said...

@sigsawyer

Convo plz

VFM #0202 said...

Re inability to model u+k sd cognition. I've met some me+(>2). I have *no* idea how their minds work. That's pretty much the point.

Sadly enough one of them was a Caltech EE, who decided to go become a lawyer (instant acceptance at Boalt) because "If you saw a village being ravaged by Huns would you rather be a Hun or a villager?".

sigsawyer said...

@steve

It feels kinda autistic now that I start breaking it down, but whatever

Started off when me, him, and a couple others were sharing a hotel room on the road for playoffs (ended up getting stomped by Duke but who doesn't)

I was swiping Tinder waiting for the shower and ended up getting matched with a ratchet looking 19-year old who had two kids already.

"Hey guys, I just matched with a 19-year old single mom. Two kids. This is a classy town, huh?"

(In hindsight, I think the captain took it as alpha-signalling, bragging about my sex life. I wanted to test my teammates for signs of shitlordery)

He replies with:
"That's what you're into, huh? Am I gonna get the bed to myself tonight?"

(At this point the beta/delta response is something like 'nah man, I didn't see her kids, I just swipe right on anything that looks halfway decent.' You're starting rapport by bending to his frame and creating the opportunity to have a chat. An even lower-status response would be to balk at his suggestion of fucking her that night.)

I say:
"Says here that she and her kids are a package deal... Think I'll return to sender. Unless you want her? I want the bed to myself too"

(Not directly addressing his response creates a new frame, but I didn't directly challenge him either. Offering her to him is a slight jab but also a recognition of status. It's not a 'you never get laid so I'll be magnanimous' tone, it's one guy offering up the last slice of pepperoni cause he's full. I wanted to say something along the lines of 'the kids are cute though, haven't you ever been called Daddy? Maybe its time for you to settle down and be a father'. That's as direct an attack on his manhood as alpha-shit tests go, and I didn't want a fight. To the uninitiated it just looks like friendly banter, but so does Game)

I look him in the eye and I can see him tense for a fight, it's the same look as any semi-serious sparring session or match. It's half a look of surprise, like "shit this guy is the real deal", but that could be my ego talking. He knew what he was doing and knew that I just parried it.

"I'll pass. It's too bad for you, I hope you like to cuddle"

(Playing "gay chicken", where you sarcastically come on to another guy to gross him out and make him uncomfortable is being used as an alpha status game nowadays, at least in liberal U's. Not a good sign for society, but neither is casual sex. It's actually kind of pyrrhic, since you have to agree and amplify to 'win', so both come out looking gay. Unconcernedly calling him a fag in a flat voice isn't a bad option if you're in shitlord company)

"I sleep naked. Hope that's cool"

Too big for one comment, I'll break it up

sigsawyer said...

He clicked his tongue at me and laughed, so did the other guy in the room. After a couple seconds he says something like:

"Oh man Tinder... those were the glory days"

(It's bait. He's trying to suss out how much I actually get laid by implying that he does. If I agree to enthusiastically it sounds like posing, if I ask him for tips on using it I've beta'd myself. It's a good chance to show him I'm not trying to fight with some rapport though)

"Yeah. It was more fun when it was new and sleazy. Nowadays it feels like any dating site"

"Sounds like you have some experience with dating sites"

(Which are low-status for a young guy to use.)

"My dad used 'em after my parents got divorced. I watched him. Sometimes I'd sneak on and send fake messages to the girls"

(Too fast an answer to be a lie, and since it's actually true, it rings of truth)

"Anyway, I have a girlfriend now."

"Oh yeah? I know her?"

"Remember Veronica from the Halloween party?"

"The blonde with the huge tits? Last thing I remember was singing that song"

"No, not her, she was the redhead. Dude, you straight up told the blonde she 'had nice cleavage'."

"HA! I don't even remember that. I stick by my words then"

"Sam, you ended up takin her home, didn't ya?"

Sam chimes in from the other end of the room:
"Yeah man that girl was fuckin' nuts. Not seein her again"

That's the gist of it. Later on he tried to hit me with another one, but that was the last. We were about to go out drinking:

"Don't drink too much tonight man I don't want you to wet the bed with me in it"

(Too silly a shit test for any serious response, which would legitimize the notion that I piss myself. It's time to crank it up to 11)

"Don't worry, I usually dangle my massive cock over the side, so no danger."

(ridiculously overexaggerated alphaness is a bit gamma, but throwing it out with some irony and the right unhesitating confidence is powerful if you have the right personality. I got the same eyes-widened laughter that you get when you say something outrageous to a chick)

Elsayed Mohamed said...

شركة شام لخدمات التنظيف
شركة تنظيف وعزل خزانات بالطائف
شركة تنظيف بالرياض
شركة تسليك مجارى بالرياض
شركة نقل اثاث بالرياض
شركة تنظيف مسابح بالرياض
شركة مكافحة حشرات بالمدينة المنورة
شركة كشف تسربات بالرياض

Elsayed Mohamed said...

شركة تنظيف بمكة
شركة تنظيف بالدمام
شركة عزل خزانات بالدمام
شركة عزل بالدمام
شركة تنظيف مسابح بالرياض
شركة تنظيف سجاد و موكيت بالرياض
شركة نقل اثاث بالرياض
شركة مكافحة حشرات بالرياض
شركة تسليك مجارى بالرياض

paulmurray said...

This description rather fits Sherlock Holmes.

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