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Overheard in LA

Table full of high-maintenance West Side bitches at La Salsa. You know the type; immaculately done up, thin, heavily made up, beautiful, carefully done hair, perpetually sour expression on their joyless faces due to spending all their time at the gym or shopping, rather than enjoying any of life's non-materialistic pleasures. One says to the other; "Dating sucks. The other night I went on a date, and the guy I'm out with asks me "What do you think of exisistentialism?" What a loser. Like I've cared about that since freshmen philosophy. Hello?"

She was right about one thing - dating her would suck.


Aug. 30th, 2007 12:41 am (UTC)
My impression, given the bit that I overheard, was that it wasn't just random, out of the blue- but rather part of a discussion about ethics or something.

The interesting thing is that, of the reactions to this post who were "the guy was a pretentious prick" - ALL of them were from women.
Aug. 30th, 2007 02:25 am (UTC)
Don't get me wrong- I'm not saying the woman was any kind of gem, either. Although I do take exception to the people who assume that she was stupid. There are a lot of intelligent, driven women who also happen to be shallow and self-centered.

My point was that the women you described overhearing seem fairly straightforward about who they are and what they are all about. If the guy was actually looking for philosophical depth, then he was clearly in the wrong place. But I really suspect that the poor guy was just letting his insecurities show by trotting out his intellect. That's not necessarily pretentiousness- but it can come off that way.
Aug. 30th, 2007 02:44 am (UTC)
My point all along has been that intellect is seen as a deficit. If you actually have it, and try and use it, you're a "loser" as per this woman's impression. If you don't actually have it, but try and SEEM like you do - as so many of you have said, he must be a pretentious dick.

You've bought into it. Any guy that is, or tries to seem - intellectual, is a loser. That doesn't mean the girl is stupid, but it does mean she doesn't like people that are smart, or try and act that way. And neither, apparently, do an awful lot of you.

Very disappointing!
Aug. 30th, 2007 03:11 am (UTC)
SO not true!

Take you, for example: Your own intellect is obvious. You don't have to prove a thing or try to be anything that you are not. While I wouldn't be at all suprised to find myself discussing philosophy with you (and you strike me as more of a John Locke type than an existentialist anyway) I would be quite surprised were you to bring it up just to impress or intimidate a date or anyone else for that matter.

As a woman, I am equally unimpressed with a man who feels like he has to impress by his car/designer watch/ Black Mastercard. Does that mean I don't like rich men? Please.
Aug. 30th, 2007 06:49 pm (UTC)
Ain't it the truth. On all counts. -Katt
Aug. 30th, 2007 08:40 pm (UTC)
'Tis not the truth. Because I *might*, in the course of normal conversation, ask someone what they think about existentialism. In fact, prior to this whole fracas, I've even given it some thought. So yeah,that could come up on a date.

And if it did, per this woman's prescription - it makes me a loser. And per your analysis, it makes me necessarily, absolutely, a pretentious dick. No ifs ands or buts about it - I MUST be trying to show off, there's no WAY I could just be making conversation.

Which, by the way, is utter bullocks.
Aug. 30th, 2007 05:48 am (UTC)
I don't think anyone is saying intellectuals are losers. The point is that coming from out of the blue, the question doesn't seem genuine. It seems to be directed at intimidating the date or merely for show. If it came up naturally in conversation, that's a different story.

I don't really enjoy the company of men who like to flash around their intellect. Like the post below me, I find that as disgusting as men who like to show off their expensive sports cars.

Also, and unrelated, it's entirely possible this woman was brilliant and absolutely disinterested in philosophy period.
Aug. 30th, 2007 03:43 pm (UTC)
I never said the woman was stupid. Nor did I say (or imply) that the man's comment was out of the blue.

I'd bet dollars to donuts that if I had written about a man complaining about a woman who asked him about philosophy, all the people here supporting their sister-in-anti-intellectuallism would be decrying this callow brute and his disdain for smart chicks.
Aug. 30th, 2007 04:42 pm (UTC)
Well that's different.
Aug. 30th, 2007 04:46 pm (UTC)
Interesting that all you (women) assumed that, though, isn't it?
Aug. 30th, 2007 05:10 pm (UTC)
Not that I'm trying to get you to break your New Years Resolution or anything... But:

The story that you told above is a terrible example of a guy getting shot down for being smart. And you do the women on your flist a disservice by thinking that we don't like smart men. Quite the opposite. I doubt that any of the women you know have time in their day for stupid men who *can't* discuss things like politics, art or philosophy. But there is a difference between being smart and being an insecure poser.
(no subject) - aghrivaine - Aug. 30th, 2007 05:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - blanchemains - Aug. 30th, 2007 05:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Aug. 31st, 2007 01:18 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - aghrivaine - Sep. 1st, 2007 08:29 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - maeris - Aug. 30th, 2007 08:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - aghrivaine - Aug. 30th, 2007 08:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - maeris - Aug. 30th, 2007 09:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - aghrivaine - Aug. 30th, 2007 09:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
Aug. 30th, 2007 05:24 pm (UTC)
Massive MASSIVE difference between being an intellectual and trying to seem an intellectual. Try to use it? Give me a break - that IS a loser move. That's no different than a rich guy pulling out his black card to show it to a woman as opposed to simply using in when something is needed to be paid for. Granted, we only have your snapshot, but sounds like the guy awkwardly tried to showoff his faux-intellectualism by inserting this clumsy question into conversation. That's supposed to impress? What happens if his plan goes awry and she DOES have thoughts on the matter? I bet dollars to donuts he was planning to paraphrase what he learned in "Freshman Philosophy" to impress. Really, its a weak strategy (if one even accepts the premise strategy is called for at all).

If you're smart, it simply becomes apparent in your conversation - and conversation is far from the hardest ship to steer. If that girl is smart, she isn't going to be impressed by someone who tries to "act smart". She's going to be impressed by someone who makes intelligent statements and asks intelligent questions germane to what's being discussed. I know your point here is to bemoan the relative difficulty of impressing a woman with one's intelligence and knowledge as opposed to the relative ease of showing how rich, good-looking or well-dressed one is. Still, you're a smart guy- try using a few other tools of intelligent people, namely wit, subtlety and listening ability. You'll find it far more effective than that guy did waving his intellectual "dick" around so everyone could see how big it is.

::gets off soapbox::

Oh, and did the girl you overheard actually add an extra syllable to existentialism? Cause that's pretty HAWT.
Aug. 30th, 2007 05:31 pm (UTC)
Again, I point to the fact that the woman drew no objection to the man being a poser, or pretentious: but specifically that she just didn't care about philosophy. Since we're all drawing conclusions from a sub-text which isn't in, or implied by, the bit that I overheard - I'll take a turn. They were discussing film, specifically art cinema (this is LA, after all) and the works of Lars Von Triers came up. He asks, tangentially, but related - "What do you think of existentialism?" as an opener to how that bleak world view has impacted film.

She, however, is a shallow plastic-person, and loathes anything which is not materialistic. He is a loser because he has an intellectual life. Had he whipped out his black card, or rattled on about his Benz, I daresay she would have been glowing about what a great guy she met.
Aug. 31st, 2007 01:30 am (UTC)
You are postulating this Lars VT bit to add a hypothetical angle that supports your theses? Or you left out that key piece of info out in your original post?

Regardless, my point: women respond favorably to confidence, wit, competence and yes, physical attractiveness and success (both of which can be variously defined). They don't respond well to lines, games, charades concocted to impress them, apparent lack of self-confidence and yes, to ugly men or ones who don't display the self satisfaction, confidence that comes with being successful on one's terms, or outward common trappings of success. Honestly, it's quite the same for men - or did you find yourself attracted to this woman you observed despite her venal, shallow nature?

Fake doesn't work well for anyone.
Aug. 31st, 2007 04:14 pm (UTC)
I'm speculating just like everyone else is speculating - if y'all can just make stuff up not supported by the text, I can too!


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