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The Ponderous Weight of the Dark Knight

Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mr. Freeze in the Fourth Age of the last Batman cycle

2,792 words

Reviewers of the new Batman movie on various alt-Right sites have been reasonably led to ask why comic books — excuse me, “graphic novels” — have come to dominate Hollywood. Since both industries were founded by and are dominated by You Know Who, the answer seems easy — ethnic networking — why pay royalties to the goyim?

There is, as usual, a deeper reason, and, as usual, you’re gonna get it here!

By deeper I mean this: the ethnic networking is obvious (at least, to those of us who can See); we need to know why it works, why it succeeds, and why so well, and why just now.

Clearly the real problem is not Them but rather the state of the world — the cosmic cycle — that makes Them able to function with extreme prejudice.

In some worlds, the cream rises to the top. In other worlds, what rises is the scum. In a material world, the most materialistic prosper. And who is more materialistic, less intellectual or spiritual, than . . . Them?

Looking for something else, this rather un-typical passage caught my eye in René Guénon’s The Crisis of the Modern World:

In such a world there is no longer any room for intellectuality or for what is of a purely inward nature, for those are things which can neither be seen nor touched, weighed nor counted; there is only room for outward action in all its forms, including those most completely devoid of meaning. Furthermore it is not surprising that the Anglo-Saxon passion for “sport” gains more and more ground every day; the ideal of the modern world is the “human animal” who has developed his muscular strength to the utmost; its heroes are the athletes, should they even be brutes; it is they who awaken the popular enthusiasm and it is their exploits that command the passionate interest of the crowd; a world in which such things are possible has indeed sunk low and would seem to be nearing its end. (“A Material Civilization” available here)

What does this have to do with the Rise of the Dark Comic?

We need a still finer grained analysis. The rising tide of scum has not lifted all comics. Superman, above all, is still treated as an impossible figure of fake “nobility” and “goodness,” a sort of lumbering Golem, an embarrassing leftover of the Cold War. We still mock George Reeves’ pot-bellied, baggy suited TV image, and if not for his tragic accident, Christopher Reeve would no doubt have long since entered an Adam West or William Shatner stage of profitable self-mockery, especially after the last, disastrous, self-directed series entry.[1]

The popular figures, Iron Man, Spider Man, and of course, Batman, are usually distinguished from Superman as being “flawed” or “troubled” — supposedly another sign of Their “psychologizing” influence — but I’d rather focus on the more basic fact: whatever their “problems,” they are, unlike the “invulnerable” Superman, just like you and me — only slightly better.

On this front, I think it would be useful to compare the two leading movie “franchises”: Batman, and James Bond (also subject to a recent reboot, complete with an ethnic-OK actor).

During the initial James Bond phenom, Kingsley Amis wrote an excellent study, The James Bond Dossier, a splendid example of the kind of valuable results one can get from paying serious attention to “mere’ pop culture, blurring the line between “fan boy” and “literary critic.”[2]

Amis makes the valuable point that Bond, like all successful fantasy figures, is never too far from what we can comfortably imagine ourselves to be, especially if we “could only get the right break.”

Bond, obviously has no “super powers,” other than a certain amount of intelligence, physique, and good, albeit “cruel” good looks. What he accomplishes is due to extensive training, the latest equipment, and a good tailor. All of which is lovingly described as part of Fleming’s characteristic label fetishism, allowing us to imagine our closets and resumes loaded with just the right gear.

Amis calls attention to a very sly and subtle line in which Bond is described as being, of course, “the best shot in the service” . . . other than his instructor.

And we could be too, with just a bit of imagination, and a cracking good instructor, and a snooty British armorer to steer us away from buying “a woman’s gun.”

Before taking on Hugo Drax at cards, Bond bones up on cheating methods — books on card sharping seem to make up the bulk of his small home library[3] — and as for his legendary drinking and smoking, when you add it all up — and Amis, bless him, does just that — it’s not really more than we could do with a little effort, thus earning the comfortable feeling of being a bit of a rogue but without headaches, pink elephants, and emphysema.

Even so, by Thunderball Bond is so worn out that the service sends him to a health spa! Hard work, but great benefits — a dream job indeed! And of course, while there he engages in what publishers would call “a deadly game of cat and mouse” with an Italian count, and uncovers an anti-NATO plot — just like we would!

I’m reminded of a more recent phenom, when Madonna was still put forward as some kind of icon of muscular femininity — hard to recall, now that she seems more like your drunk aunt dancing with her dress over her head at the wedding — and defensive women would retort, sure, I could look like that if I had no job, a private, state of the art gym and a staff of personal trainers

It’s all a question of degree, of course — Peter Parker’s radioactive spider bite is only a little less implausible than Kryptonian birth, while Tony Stark’s Iron Man is Bond finally deciding he’s not going to return the equipment “from the field” and will just keep it, thank you very much, Q.

But of them all, it’s Bruce Wayne who has it in spades. If we inherited a gazillion dollars, a vast mansion, an industrial concern that manufactures advanced weaponry and armor; oh, and a faithful retainer that just happens to be ex-SAS — essentially, the Old Bond played by David Niven in the first, comedic Casino Royale — then we too could be the Dark Knight.

As Jack Nicholson’s Joker says, “Where does he get all those wonderful toys!”

Similarly, the late Paul Fussell points out in his invaluable study Class: A Guide Through the American Status System (New York: Touchstone, 1992) that the popularity of The Official Preppy Handbook (despite the title, another product of Them) was a result of insinuating that a certain level of class, the upper-middle or lower-upper, could be had, or at least simulated, which to the American is just as good, by simply buying the right items, and if the houses and cars were out of reach, you could always buy the shirts and shoes, with the stores and labels conveniently listed, Fleming fashion.

And thus Ralph Lipshitz of the Bronx was reborn as Ralph Lauren of Southampton.

No surprise when the recent, failed, attempt at a reboot, True Prep: It’s a Whole New Old World (Knopf, 2010), proclaimed the King and Queen of Prep to be . . . Barrack and Michelle Obama. Of course! Fantasy fulfilled! Now Michelle can feel proud to be an American.[4]

As figures of average man fantasy, it’s no surprise that both Bond and Bats put their lives and even sanity (Bond, for example, becomes obsessed with Blofeld both as a world-conspirator and the killer of Bond’s wife, and eventually winds up with amnesia in a Japanese fishing village, then brainwashed by SMERSH and sent to kill M) in the defense of modern capitalism and democracy, even while openly disdained for their efforts.

Bond’s Britain, as Amis documents, is the pre-War world of Raffles and Sapper, already disappearing when Fleming was writing, while modern film Bond confronts a female M that regards him as a perhaps useful but still dangerous anachronism.

Batman opposes the “weaponized Traditionalism” of the League of Shadows, and does so in the name of the most characteristic feature of the Reign of Quantity: democracy, “ a few good people,” and other notions with nothing to recommend them other than the “common sense” idea that more people weigh more, and therefore count for more. I mean, what else could determine policy, or truth? And yet, he is a hunted vigilante, living in exile, the scapegoat of all of Gotham’s problems.

But these are just the slight inconsistencies of heroic fantasies designed for the unheroic masses of an anti-heroic world.

But where do Guénon’s remarks about “sport” and “the human animal” come in? I think the popularity of Batman, and what makes him a more modern, popular and relevant figure than even Bond — despite Daniel Craig’s heroic attempts at rebooting the Bond franchise — comes from a related development: the Schwarzenegger factor.

Alan Helms in Young Man from the Provinces, his account of his career as “the most celebrated young man in all of gay New York” in the 1950s, discusses his aversion for exercise and the gym, and notes that in some 3000 years of painting and sculpture of the Ideal Male Form, not once did anyone come up with something looking like Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Until, as Guénon might have added, now.

We’ve mentioned the laughable figure of Superman, poor George Reeves who had to take his brown costume (picks up better in black and white) home each day to wash and iron, slowly shrinking over the course of filming the series until the sleeves came up to his mid-forearm. “Family Guy” mocks Robert Mitchum as an “out-of-shape in-shape ’50s guy” (easy to do if you’re a cartoon, buddy). Mystery Science Theater chuckles at actors who “look like a 19th century ‘strong man’.”

Standards, in short, for actors have tightened up, if you will, and imagination — and suspension of disbelief — are apparently too “purely inward,” as Guénon would say, to be operative. Ignoring the lessons of Henry James, we childishly demand “the real thing.”

Of course, no actor can be “perfect” and, along with the parallel demand for “state of the art” special effects — another rich source of mockery on MST3K — we see the reason for what will be, ultimately, the complete replacement of actors and sets by CGI imagery. And, like Madonna, no one except an unemployed maniac is going to hit the gym to grunt their way to perfect Arnoldhood. (Hmm, actually quite a few around these days . . .)

What to do in the meantime? Where is the plausible fantasy of the Average Man who worships over-developed brutes but is too lazy to pump iron? Enter the Batman. Or rather, the Bat Suit.

As the protagonist in Money, a mid-’80s novel by Amis’ son Martin, wearily admits, “I need a full-body cap.”

The post-graphic novel Batman has been played with more or less controversy by a series of rather unprepossessing actors, typical of “modern men” such as Michael Keaton — fresh from success as “Mr. Mom” — or the decidedly wispy, rather metrosexual Val Kilmer and Christian Bale. It’s as if behind the mask of the Dark Knight was — Alan Alda.

Bale’s first costume did not test well with audiences

Correspondingly, the costume has changed from Adam West’s drab TV-wrestler’s garb to ever more state of the art armor and fake musculature — rather like the mighty American football players with their space-age padding, versus supposedly “girly” soccer players who make do with T-shirts and shorts.

The more “everyman” inside the suit, the more “superman” the suit itself.

The exception of course was the Schumacher-directed George Clooney films. Although not spectacularly muscular, Clooney was far too much of an alpha male to “fuel the fantasy,” and while the new bat-and-robin suits were mocked as “homoerotic” the real problem was not that as such, but rather the related notion of calling attention to the body as such, with the suits’ thrusting codpieces, lovingly delineated buttocks, and even sculpted nipples.

Again, the more powerful the man inside, the less the suit needs to compensate. And that, in case you ever wondered, was why Batgirl’s suit was sans nipple. As Jodie Foster says on the commentary track to Silence of the Lambs, Agent Starling doesn’t need a “woman suit” like Buffalo Bill to be powerful, since she is already a real woman.

The crowd wants seedy, alcoholic Tony Stark, played by seedy, drug-and-alcohol ravaged Robert Downey, in the Iron Man suit, not lithe, handsome and well-endowed David Bowie in his Goblin King leotard.

Perhaps to compensate, look, it’s Schwarzenegger as Mr. Freeze, and get a load of that suit!

And speaking of Arnold‘s suits: the “business suit” was designed with the same purpose: weedy London business men, deprived of the invigorating benefits of outdoor labor, could still project a masculine silhouette. Contra snippy critics of the 80s, the padded, “power suit” was invented in the 1800s, and for men, not women.

Thus, as Fussell points out, Schwarzenegger looks even more ridiculous in a suit, no matter how “well-tailored.” Even Fussell couldn’t imagine Arnold becoming a governor.[5]

Conversely, we see, contemporaneous with new Batman films, the suit employed as a weapon in Mad Men. To drive the point home, in an early episode, we see Don Draper serenely glide out of the pot-smoke filled apartment of last night’s bimbo, beatniks and cops grabbing some tenement wall to make way for the Man in the Suit.

How appropriate then that the League of Shadows should announce itself by attacking a sporting event, and be able to take out Gotham’s “top” officials by blasting them out of their skybox.[6]

And was there any doubt that the pumped-up, bare-chested Bane would, in the end, be defeated by the Man in the Bat Suit and his wonderful toys.

Notes

1. Actually, George Reeves’ decline into drink, drugs, gigolo-ism and a still unexplained death, would seem even more tragic than Reeves, but only interests TV conspiracy cultists. “His life was filled with hard-drinking men, manipulative women, mafiosos and a career that plummeted like a comet.” See Sam Kashner’s Hollywood Kryptonite: The Bulldog, the Lady, and the Death of Superman.

2. Amis, Kingsley The James Bond Dossier Jonathan Cape, 1965. See the equally loving Wikipedia entry here. ” In one hundred and sixty pages, The James Bond Dossier methodically catalogues and analyses the activities and minutiae of secret agent 007: the number of men he kills, the women he loves, the villains he thwarts, and the essential background of Ian Fleming’s Cold War world of the 1950s. . . . Although written in Amis’s usual, accessible, light-hearted style, The James Bond Dossier is neither patronizing nor ironic — it is a detailed literary criticism of the Ian Fleming canon. In the main, he admires Fleming’s achievement, yet does not withhold criticism where the material proves unsatisfactory or inconsistent. . . . Amis reserves his most serious criticism for what he considered to be academically pretentious rejections of the Bond books, a theme implicitly informing much of the Dossier.”

3. Like his lumpen-audience, Bond doesn’t fancy books. His fans get the hint: Jack Kennedy established his George W. faux-regular guy cred by letting on that he enjoyed Fleming, and thus brought the Bond boom to the States. Kennedy was the prototype of the type analyzed here: a physical wreck kept together with drugs and braces who promoted an image of “youth” and “vigor” while pursuing disastrous 007-style ventures in Cuba and Vietnam. Don Draper shows his disdain for his snooty French father-in-law by displaying a Bond book on his bedside table, just like Jack showed those Frogs how to do things in Indochina. The season ends with Draper, deserter and fake, having a drink while the jukebox plays “You Only Live Twice.”

4. Similarly, the Hannibal Lechter saga, post the middle-brow reboot The Silence of the Lambs, postulates a criminal super-genius who dotes on Florence, everyone’s favorite tourist stop, and eventually escapes to become . . . a minor Florentine museum official. Oh, but the shopping! Like any American middle-brow, he seems to spend his time drinking espresso in quaint cafes and communicates with Agent Starling via fancy perfumes from chic boutiques. In the happy ending of TDKR, Bruce Wayne fulfills Lechter’s ultimate fantasy: brunch in Florence with Agent Starling.

5. Nor his own son, Samuel, becoming a bodybuilder: S. W. Fussell, Muscle: Confessions of an unlikely bodybuilder (New York: Poseidon Press, 1991).

6. Paul Kersey, who has tirelessly documented the role of pro and college sports in creating an alternate reality of PC-approved “human animals,” observes “There’s a reason Bane started his “revolution” in the movie The Dark Knight Rises at a football game.” Opiate of America — Penn State Edition

Source: http://jamesjomeara.blogspot.com/

 

 

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20 Comments

  1. guiscard
    Posted July 28, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    Amis makes the valuable point that Bond, like all successful fantasy figures, is never too far from what we can comfortably imagine ourselves to be, especially if we “could only get the right break.”
    That is one of the reasons I found it painful to read comic books (and my own narcissism I suppose). Being certain that no ‘radio-active spiders’ , billionaire parents, special powers from the sun, mutations etc would bless me; it became depressing to ‘measure up’. At least the Greek superheroes were equally tragic to match their gifts.
    And now, having become aware of the ‘tribe’ influence, it makes perfect sense why these new heroes were an entirely separate breed that one was unable to aspire too.
    PS. I’d suggest that the early Captain James T. Kirk was an excellent ‘fictional’ ideal for a white kid.

    • Posted July 28, 2012 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

      Interesting observations!

      De Benoist says in Being a Pagan something like Jehovah, being essentially singular, is wholly unlike us, who are essentially involved with families. So much for the much vaunted “Judeo-Christian family values.”

      A mortal could become a god, or at least a demi-god, through accomplishing great tasks, like Herc, or perhaps just be changed into a star or a bird after a tryst with Zeus.

      The classic ‘superhero’ however is in some sense “chosen,” a freak and outsider, like his Hebraic creator. Both form an ‘alien elite’ to which we goyim need not apply.

      Bats is a bit different, but perhaps his obsession with ‘revenge’ and ‘justice’ is a bit, as Mel Brooks would say, “too Jewish.” Against the League of Shadows he affirms “Tikkun olam!”

  2. Kullervo
    Posted July 28, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    I too had suggested that the modern cinematic obsession with comic book heroes was Jews hitting the ball back and forth amongst themselves, but on second thought, that may not have been entirely fair. Non Jewish creations such as Watchman and Hellboy and 300(originally a “graphic novel”) have also been lovingly cinematized. Perhaps the real underlying reason is that the current cadre of directors were brought up in a milieu where the comic books were an important dimension of the artisticly conscious urban youth. These were urban myths that could be touchstones for geeky youths suffering anomie in suburbia. I still think self worship plays a role, though.
    Btw, even though Jews supposedly created the first comic book, the medium of the comic strip was created by nonJews, with such mythopoeic heroes as Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers.

    • UFASP
      Posted August 1, 2012 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

      I believe Frank Miller, the guy who wrote 300, is Jewish. That being said, I highly recommend it, anyways.

      • Greg Johnson
        Posted August 1, 2012 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

        Why not look it up online, starting with Wikipedia, rather than just speculate?

  3. Posted July 28, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    While Jewish involvement is obvious and uncontested, superheroes (and super villains) have across the board mass market appeal because they are mythical heroic figures in an age where God is dead. It’s the human mind rebooting myth, because life is so damn colorless and boring without it.

  4. denikin
    Posted July 28, 2012 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    I diasgree with that quote from Guenon. Physicality was always an integral part of European culture; we invented the Olympics for god’s sake. Europeans have always praised athleticism, because there’s a beauty to athleticism. It’s obvious though that today’s sports are opiates for White Americans. I don’t consider football players, basketball players, and baseball players athletes, and I don’t consider those activities to be sports. They’re games. That’s why no one takes them seriously at the olympics; we prefer to watch the swimmers and runners.

    As for comic books and superheroes, I never had an interest in them. Burton’s and Nolan’s Batman films are entertaining though. I do like James Bond as well, which leads me to ask, has CC ever done a write-up of the last Bond film, Quantum of Solace? Considering that the film is about Bond bringing down a mysterious internationalist group that has infiltrated the governments of the west and is using them to further its own ends, I think it would resonate with a lot of readers here.

    • Posted July 28, 2012 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

      Denikin,

      I think you’ve answered your question — the Classical ideal was Mens sana in corpore sano, not mindless brutes.

      As for the Olympics, who’s this “we” you speak of? Many on “the Right” are uneasy about the Olympics, especially the Winter Olympics. You’d think they’d be celebrating out Nordic heritage, wouldn’t you? Yet people like Steve Sailer write whole essays about how runners, swimmers and skiers etc. are just a buncha fags in spandex, symptomatic our our ‘feminized’ liberal culture, etc. This “fear of spandex” is what I was alluding to, the preference for brutes in mechanized suits, here and an essay in my soon to be forthcoming book from Counter Currents.

      • denikin
        Posted July 29, 2012 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

        I get you, but you can’t expect athletes to have matching intellects. It wasn’t that way in Ancient Greece and it’s not that way today. I do however think that athletes can inspire more intellectually-oriented people to at least engage in minimal exercise and keep their bodies in shape. Similarly an intellectual can inspire athletes to take a greater interest in intellectual matters. However, there will never be a perfect balance. Athletes must devote most of their energy to developing their bodies and intellectuals must devote most of their energy to developing their minds. There are exceptions though, like Japanese writer and nationalist Yukio Mishima, who began his career as a 5’1″ novelist and ended it as a hardcore body-builder and soldier.

      • White Republican
        Posted July 31, 2012 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

        According to Diogenes Laertius, the Greek philosopher Plato wrestled at the prestigious Isthmian Games and was given his name by his wrestling coach, Ariston of Argos, on account of his broad appearance.

  5. Proofreader
    Posted July 28, 2012 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

    The popular figures, Iron Man, Spider Man, and of course, Batman, are usually distinguished from Superman as being “flawed” or “troubled” — supposedly another sign of Their “psycholgizing [= psychologizing]” influence

    During the initial James Bond phenom, Kingsley Amis wrote an excellent study, The James Bond Dossier, a splendid example of the kind of valuable results one can get from paying serious attention to “mere’ [use double closing quotation mark] pop culture, blurring the line between “fan boy” and “literary critic.”

    All of which is lovingly described as part of Fleming’s characteristic label fetishism, allowing us to imagine our closets and resumes [= résumés] loaded with just the right gear.

    No surprise when the recent, failed, attempt at a reboot, True Prep: It’s a Whole New Old World (Knopf, 2010), proclaimed the King and Queen of Prep to be . . . Barrack [= Barack] and Michelle Obama.

    Conversely, we see, contemporaneous with new Batman films, the suit employed as a weapon in Man Men [= Mad Men].

    2. Amis, Kingsley [= Kinsley Amis,] The James Bond Dossier Jonathan Cape, 1965. [= (London: Jonathan Cape, 1965).]

    S. W. Fussell, Muscle: Confessions of an unlikely bodybuilder [= Unlikely Bodybuilder; use title case] (New York: Poseidon Press, 1991).

  6. Posted July 28, 2012 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

    A ringing defense of Arnold! One cannot deny his accomplishments. Perhaps in the Kali Yuga he is the best we can hope for.

  7. Basileus
    Posted July 29, 2012 at 3:37 am | Permalink

    Super-Hero comics are jewish poison to children/teens, Captain America was created by two Jews in the 1940s to start a anti-German hysteria in America.

  8. Jaego Scorzne
    Posted July 29, 2012 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    I always enjoyed James Bond despite the superficiality. Most White athletes, even if graceful and strong – don’t project or even enjoy their grace in daily life. In contrast, the various Bonds do – with Sean Connery as the ultimate in animal grace and enjoyment of himself which projects to others. All of this without Negroid ostentation or exessive self consciouness – an ideal even if not a high one. But one badly needed by White American Men – especially ones of Northern European descent. Arnold has alot of grace too – in a more primitive or Conan type mode.

    • Posted July 29, 2012 at 11:29 am | Permalink

      Interestingly, Amis finds Connery wrong for the part, lacking the admittedly thin veneer of upper-crustiness Bond has. For example, a Scottish prep school — flashy enough, but not as snooty as one of the Eton types. Hence, Bond is able to blend into Drax’s club or Goldfinger’s golf club. Fleming supposedly had David Niven in mind when writing, but he was too old for the films.

      Connery, Amis thinks, could play a Scottish businessman, but never a baronet. He does, however, seem to project a comfortableness in his own skin, and hence an ability to fit in, or at least make everyone accept his presence. That may be all one needs.

  9. Sandy
    Posted July 29, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    After that review I feel inspired to go watch the movies!

  10. denikin
    Posted July 30, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    I think comic books and superheroes specifically rose from the jews because

    1. They’ve never been good at actual literature. Most Jewish authors are incapable of writing about anything else other than jewishness, “what it means to be jewish,” the jewish “experience,” etc. They’re no more insightful than black authors. Roth is the worst of them.
    2. They needed a way to appeal to the surrounding White populace of America. What better way than to produced cheap, low-grade “books” for the masses that are full of colorful pictures, people who can fly, and shallow, hebraic “good vs. evil” morality?

    Basically all of the superheroes, in spite of their Anglo names, are actually meant to be jews. By giving jewish characters Anglo names they’re implying that to be an American (Anglo) hero, is to be jewish and to support the jewish worldview. Hence Captain America fighting big bad Hitler.

    This is fully in keeping with the jewish view that only jews are good, only jews are righteous, only jews are innocent, and only jews are intelligent and moral. A goy is only intelligent and moral and righteous when he is benefitting jews. To go against the jews is the biggest evil possible.

    Comic books and superheroes appeal to the dumb White masses the same way Christianity did in Rome: it simplified the world and brought its followers into a world of magic where anything is possible, anyone can be heroic and save the world. That awful democratic, egalitarian lie.

    But even the democratic superhero idea is a lie that the comic book creators themselves only half-believed in. Like the original article said, you too can be just like Bruce Wayne…as long as you’re born into a billionaire family and have an entire military R&D section at your disposal. You too can be like Peter Parker as long as a radioactive spider bites you. As usual, the jews aren’t even honest with themselves.

  11. Mark
    Posted July 31, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    There are a few points that I could go over

    1) Guenon has his view of the muscular male in relation to the spiritual, but so does Mishima. Sun and Steel has some excellent sections on how the muscular body attunes you to these “higher realities”. I believe there is a passage where he experiences death as an enemy that he confronts with his sword, and behind that is the absolute. This experience is tied into his muscular physique. It could all boil down to your personal equation, in this sense the over-intellectual and skinny Guenon, versus the muscular and intellectual Mishima.

    2) Also, the Grecian ideal is a rather muscular person
    http://www.fitness.com/tools/greek_proportions/
    This could be just a matter of aesthetics, but I do like the 70’s bodybuilder look that you see in people like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Frank Zane. This could be just my subjective ideal, but if we are looking for some kind of objective criteria like physical dominance or formidability, then the bodybuilder is a much better representation than David Bowie.

    3)”And speaking of Arnold‘s suits: the “business suit” was designed with the same purpose: weedy London business men, deprived of the invigorating benefits of outdoor labor, could still project a masculine silhouette. Contra snippy critics of the 80s, the padded, “power suit” was invented in the 1800s, and for men, not women”
    This information is both very useful and interesting, do you know of a good source of information that backs this up. I would really appreciate it.

    4) If your criticism is against the “mindless brute”, then I would agree that this is not a good ideal. That is why I included the name of Yukio Mishima.

    • Posted July 31, 2012 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

      Mark,

      Interesting comments. On suits, see Fussell’s Class, but also, a later book devoted to the whole subject, Uniforms, which alas I haven’t read.

      Interesting you should reference Guenon’s “personal equation” since the language suggests Evola, who uses the expression several times in his autobio, especially to distinguish himself from Guenon. During the UR days, Evola wrote an essay, under a pseudonym, reprinted in the volume Magic, devoted to the “Serpentine Wisdom” of Lao Tzu. In which, he mocks those who idolize “muscle-bound” masculinity, and suggests “learning the ways of the feminine.” This connects with his discussion of “philosophical incest” in his book on the Hermetic Tradition, where he promotes the notion of becoming and dominating the female.

      Leaving aside jokes about the Italian military, Evola is the only Traditionalist to see military service [in his autobio, he notes that he saw no action 'through no fault of' his own -- ie, the Italians collapsed before anyone needed to attack his mountain placement]. As a physical type, he seems to resemble another aristocratic warrior, Ernst Junger. Both seem closer to Bowie than to Schwartzenegger.

      On androgynous warriors, see my blog post on “Bunny” Roger, British hero of WWII, who could beat his entire company running up a hill, from the summit of which he would wait, powdering his nose from a compact carried in his sporran. [That's the purse that accompanies the kilt]. “Now I’ve shot so many Nazis, Daddy will have to buy me a sable coat.” In his memoirs Redeeming Features, Nicky Haslam describes how his school friends would “gasp at his square-shouldered suits, the corsetlike waistcoats over exaggeratedly skirted jackets and narrowest drainpipe trousers, cut to accentuate his twenty-six-inch waist.”

      • Mark
        Posted August 2, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

        This is where I have to admire the physical ideal of Mishima more than Evola. This could just be a matter of subjective aesthetics, but that does not sit well with me. If I want to apply some form of objective criteria, I could look to nature, and the process of sexual selection. Males have a much higher level of muscle mass than females, and there is also a greater variation within males, which indicates that it was selected for in human males. Could there have be a skinny guy that kicked ass? Yes, but what I am searching for is an ideal. The muscular male does symbolize certain ideals, formidability being one of them.

        http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0032751

        http://www.springerlink.com/content/630l608701w42835/

        http://dieoff.com/_Biology/BeautyAndTheBeast.pdf

        I could keep going, but the point is the relation between nature and the spiritual. Rather than seeing them as opposed, like in Christianity. Nature should be seen as a reflection of the spiritual, so that the muscular male is seen as a symbol of strength, formidability, and hierarchy.

        As for the hierarchy
        http://people.brunel.ac.uk/~hsstmep/Price_et_al_2011_PAID.pdf

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