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Glenn writes,

I’ve got a very specific AMOG problem. I wear my hair slicked back (think Don Draper). When I go to parties, sometimes guys try and ruffle my hair as a power play. I act unfazed by it (stoic personality), but my hair gets fucked up. I need some kind of AMOG way to handle it, but in a somewhat pro-social manner. Since I’m stoic, the goofy/silly Mystery-style stuff isn’t my cup of tea.

For those of you who don’t know, AMOG means “alpha male other guy” or “alpha male of the group”. In its usual context, it’s a long-winded way of saying “asshole”.

The hair ruffle thing isn’t all that common in this cocooning age, but I have seen it happen, especially to guys who like to wear “high hair”, or have ostentatiously stylish haircuts that aggravate the mediocre masses charged with upholding the conformist norms. It happens quite a bit more to bald guys, though in that case it’s more precisely a head rub than a hair ruffle. The principle, and motivating impulse, are the same: To josh around like a fun-loving frat boy and in the process earn a few social status points. (Of course that status climbing, fitness enhancing impulse happens mostly at the subconscious level, where helical gears frantically clank in hopes of attaining for their flesh vessel some quality grade puss-ay.)

Joshing around is what chill, non-spergy dudes do. It’s not a big deal if you’re the victim of it once in a blue moon; just shrug it off and accuse your buddy of being jealous of your glorious coif. If the guy ruffling your hair is a stranger and his intent strikes you as perceptibly malicious, tell him “Whoa, dude, not cool”, or “Hey man, you have a weird fetish for men’s hair?”, or simply “Seriously gay, bro.” If he’s halfway socialized, he’ll get the point and back off. If he doesn’t… well, prepare to escalate.

If you have that annoying buddy making a dominance play who ruffles your hair all the time because he knows it gets under your skin, the next time he goes for it, grab his arm mid-lunge and say “I think that’s enough of that.” Cool, calm, and very effective. If he acts unduly pissed, he was never really your buddy. Initiate weapons class anti-AMOG protocol.

Naturally, most of those above responses to the AMOG require a minimum of testicular fortitude to pull off. That minimum may seem a ridiculously low testosterone bar to hurdle, and in the abstract it is, but you’d be surprised (or maybe not — I no longer am) how many modern American “men” are skirt-tugging manlets incapable of even the slightest exertion toward confrontation. A good thing for the master seducer, a bad thing for civilization.

PS Don’t lean on stoicism as an excuse for inaction or weakness. Stoicism is what a lot of wilting flowers like to call their trembling retreat. It’s a reframe in service to a losing cause.


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