It’s pretty inevitable that after you read the volumes of opinions, insights and interpretations of Alpha which are prevalent throughout the blogosphere I inhabit, especially amidst the PUA and HBD legions, that you begin to question your own position within the blurry Alpha continuum. For it is a continuum. “Alpha” as an evolutionary term is tossed about so often and so cheaply that it has become a tired and confused concept of self-serving essence. Alpha is inevitably served up as an immutable prehistoric characteristic which we can revert to in order to justify specific arguments, opinions, etc. I believe such and such, and [insert Alpha correlation], so therefore it is true!
Alpha is everywhere man, and you can be rest assured that no two people will share identical definitions. The term is used to prop up every argument imaginable. Ultimately, however, we are led down one path: Alpha is good. Alpha is what we want to be, what we should be as men. That is, if we want women and success in this life. Alpha is man glamor. Alpha gives men the chance to drop their guard and squeal (internally and quietly, of course) like teenage girls welcoming Justin Bieber into their room. In light of such blatant romanticization, it’s inevitable that we, as men, look inward, when the doors are closed and the lights out, and try to ascertain our mediocre role in the spectrum of Alphaness. Just how Alpha are we? Or Beta? Or Omega??? OMG! We try desperately to get a better sense of our evolutionary role but it’s difficult since Alpha definitions are so dreadfully ubiquitous. You too can be Alpha!
The Alpha jury is out on myself.
Let me tell you a story from my very distant past. Yes, another.
This would have happened in the 2nd or 3rd grade. I was an unruly and hotheaded little boy. I was aggressive and competitive. We used to play kickball during our recess periods. I loved playing kickball and apparently I enjoyed the lackadaisical childhood competition a little too much. One particular afternoon my team must have lost a game and after the game, as we lined up prior to heading back to class, I stood in front of (or behind? Who the hell remembers) a boy named Craig. He was on the other team and he was gloating loudly about his win, and apparently his verbal barrage became too much for my little ill-tempered ass because I simply made a fist and punched him in the mouth with all the force my 8-year-old guns could muster. This age group was young enough that such acting out wasn’t common yet and Craig was shocked. It took a few moments before his eyes watered over and he began crying. Luckily no one saw this and a small blob of blood settled on his lip. I don’t believe he ever told anyone because I never faced any punishment. That’s all I remember of this little episode.
As part of my retrospective Alpha/Beta self-examination, I found a couple of childhood photos which demonstrated an engaging and spacial rambunctiousness on my part as well. Feet well apart, eating space in a most self-involved and reckless manner. In comparison to other boys. Yeah, it’s the same BS everyone parrots about how to be “Alpha.” Yes, you hear me. Hear what I’m saying? I was an Alpha boy according to popular “wisdom.” An Alpha tyke.
I still consider myself relatively Alpha in a very inwardly focused and introspective manner. But not Alpha at all in the sense that popular perception dictates that Alpha men must be wildly extroverted.
My own subjective definition of Alpha is simply a man’s ability and willingness to disregard other’s in the quest to fulfill his own desires. I think Alpha is a rather crude, unattractive and rudimentary trait, actually. Alpha is not all that it’s prettied up to be by the young wannabe cads populating the PUA community. Alpha is not well-coiffed hair and it’s not about wearing a corporate monkey suit. When I think of primal Alphaness, I’m reminded of the the way a lot of cinematic and television period pieces portray Medieval women by casting some current sexy drug-addled actress when in reality, most Medieval women were hardly striking by today’s strung out standards. In the same way, Alpha, portrayed today as something desirable and romantic and attractive, is really just an ugly ensemble of reprehensible primitive and base traits which modern man has usurped for his own present compulsions. “Alpha” has been contorted in our minds and modernized within the glittery context of the modern male’s ambitions and lifestyle fixations, and resembles nothing that is prehistorically Alpha. The definition of Alpha by today’s neo-cads is just a tidied up post-modern image of some vague conception of Wild Man.
And as such, Alpha has lost its caveman luster because it is now shaped and molded by the definition of man’s modern materialistic incarnation. I realize not everyone shares this Alpha perspective, but to listen to the current definition, he must be ambitious, materialistic, and competitive. In other words, the raw qualities of Alpha are polluted with the crass egotism of the modern man by those who attempt to map its existence. Guys are prone to see a fictional television image and they fall head over heels in love with the Image like little girls. They quickly elevate his persona to “Alpha.” In other words, guys define Alpha by what they personally aspire to, not by what they objectively understand Alpha is. Certainly, by the current cultural definitions of Alpha, I’m no damned Alpha. I’m not competitive in the typically male spheres of battle…the boardroom, the sports bar, the freeway. I’m not materialistic and the absence of any urge to accumulate items and compete with other materialistic Alphas knocks me down a few notches in this race. I’m assuredly not ambitious, not in the typical Western sense that involves tethering myself to a house, stable job, and car that can seat 6 comfortably.
Did you notice my list is composed of putatively superficial masculine behaviors which denote nothing of masculinity other that its trite post-modern vanity? I don’t like to think Alpha is shaped by peer pressure but the way many people spin it, Alpha insinuates a lifestyle choice. Sorry, but some weak Beta guy who suddenly decides he will assume role of King of the Jungle canot suddenly wear that mask by mimicking the mannerisms and habits and affectations of a corporate CEO.
Affectations, that’s what it’s all about, this stupid Alpha thing. Act a certain way, dress a certain way, live a certain way, and you too shall be alpha.
Genuine Alpha flies low, beneath the petty consumptions of modern man and it is timeless. Alpha is not attractive, it is not hot, and it doesn’t draw box office receipts.
The modern labels we attach to nature add and subtract value.
Perhaps I’ll end with a question. One of those “if a tree falls in the forest…” kind of scenarios.
If a man is Alpha but does not express it in a way that society recognize, does that make him not Alpha?