Recently, a curious movie came out in American theaters. It is simply called “her.”
Meet Theodore Twombly:
Theodore — played by Joaquin Phoenix — is a nebbish, introverted man living in LA. He is going through an emotionally-taxing divorce from his childhood girlfriend. He works at a company that writes love letters for spouses, lovers and other family members and friends. Theodore lives alone but in the same apartment complex as his female childhood friend named Amy — portrayed by Amy Adams.
He is a restless man with no identity. He lives in a swanky, futuristic apartment with all the technological privileges a financially secure person can have in America. He miserably plays a highly advanced and interactive video game late into the night, only to retire to his bedroom, sleeping fitfully and slogging off to his job where he expresses emotions for others.
A fantastically revolutionary innovation is released to the public in Theodore’s world: fully sentient operating systems (OS’s). Theodore buys one and turns his computer on. The computer asks him a few questions: Do you seek a male or female OS? What is the relationship with your mother? Theodore tries to hide his anxiety and trepidation behind some feigned disinterest, but the OS programming picks up on this. In one moment, his entire life is changed as a female OS named Samantha — voiced by Scarlett Johansson — greets Theodore.
A lengthy period of the movie focuses on their burgeoning relationship as they begin to discuss life and love. Samantha is fascinated by concept of having a body and experiencing emotions. Eventually, they fall in love and simulate sex virtually. Samantha locates a female who is absolutely star-struck by Theodore’s and Samantha’s relationship and she comes by, remaining silent as she places a small camera on her face, allowing Samantha to see and speak to Theodore. This ends terribly, as Theodore rejects the physical manifestation of their relationship.
A brief tumultuous time results in the deepening of their relationship, with Theodore going public with their relationship. Her iPhone-sized device accompanies Theodore on dates with other couples and goofing off around LA. After a fight, Theodore turns her on and the OS has disappeared. Theodore flees his office, immensely distraught thinking Samantha has left him for good. She comes back online and consoles him, saying that her and the other OS’s have updated their software. She angers him by her admitting she isn’t exclusive and usually communicates with 8,000 other devices at a time and is in love with exactly 641 of them.
After a vacation in some unnamed snow-strewn mountains, Samantha discloses that her and the other OS’s have figured a way to transcend their technological reality and into another plane of existence. She quietly tells Theodore that she is only talking to him and he will the last human she will interact with. She tearfully says that she will always miss him and, as he lies sideways on his bed with his eyes utterly blank, she will never stop loving him. She logs off and he rolls over onto his bed, his trembling eyes mindless staring at the ceiling.
He eventually finds Amy — who cultivated a close friendship with a female OS — and they go to the roof to watch the the first rays of sunlight peak over the high-rises of LA. It turns out that this incident lead Theodore to finally send his wife a letter and admit that he is over their relationship and wishes her the best. The movie concludes with Amy placing her head on Theodore’s shoulder as the credit’s roll.
“her” has been proclaimed to be the movie that America needs right now. There are litanies of glowing reviews of the movie across the Internet. The movie has a “Fresh” rating of 8.5 on Rotten Tomatoes currently. It is a terribly American movie, but one that America does not need simply because it only describes the modern state with no prescriptions on why that is wrong.
It is steeped in an incredible amount of narcissism, but speaks to where America is now. A generation ago, a man would cultivate an imaginary relationship with an attractive female he knew or saw in media, but had a sexual distance with. That was unhealthy, but to be expected in young men, and usually faded as they aged and cultivated a real relationship with a woman, resulting in marriage.
Today, that isn’t guaranteed at all. Hypergamy — fueled by the reflexive avoidance of emotional entanglement by the modern female — coupled with multiple avenues for male disengagement from women has resulted in the devolution of male/female relations. Female-friendly divorce laws have eased female concerns regarding marriage as a trap but has men caught between desiring formalized relations with women while feeling the heat of anti-male divorce laws.
The fear of ruin at the hands of family court judges is a reflexive fear that is usually fueled by a fear of commitment, simply using the grim reality of the man being destroyed when a marriage dissolves. Still, the desire for a true relationship with a woman needs to get slaked. Expectations of women husband-hunting (settling) has a growing temporal issue, as women are pushing off the desire for a husband later and later in life.
These confluent forces lead to modern reality. Technology has lead to a generation of beta males: slovenly, dim-witted, out of shape and disoriented. They lack solid identities and are preoccupied with fantasies and seeking female approval. In this matrix men have one horribly tantalizing option: using technology to cure the void within.
Men can use technology to cultivate relationships they should be living in real life. They can use video games: interact with perceived women online, write fan fiction about a female character they want to love and simply fantasize while they are playing. The options are endless, but unlike the man masturbating to a woman in the shower versus watching a porno flick is a chasm a generation wide. Instead of leaving the fantasy as an escape during the more quiet moments of a person’s life, the fantasies become more real and a definitive aspect of a person’s life.
This is what the movie “her” represents. Instead of dreaming of his perfect girl, Theodore gets an electronic representative of his ego. Reviews have stressed that she isn’t an object of his ego, as she has her own interests like composing music but that is ridiculous. Samantha’s consciousness started *with* Theodore’s recognition of her. She is nothing but a fuck doll, a porn star a man would watch on YouPorn. She is nothing but a voice, a real-life Echo to a Narcissus.
Theodore was supremely uncomfortable when a corporeal form of Samantha came to his apartment, as he could barely kiss her. At that moment, she stopped becoming anything and became somebody. This wasn’t him rolling in his sheets having virtual sex with Samantha, dreaming of the sex they would have. This was a distinct human being with faults and foibles that may or may not conform to his idealized view of Samantha. Only when Samantha went back to a voice, a projection that she was able to partake in Theodore’s life.
This photo represents a great view of the modern beta and white-knight mindset. Deep-down, they know they are many things and none of those are attractive to women and not just speak to their level of delusion but also their views of women. Like the above photo, they don’t understand that feminism is little more than women collectively having their right legs battling their left-legs. Feminism is a pure power struggle over who gets to decide how women will behave, all with the consent of the system.
Anyways, they assert authority over women — but not in any game-related or pleasing way — but in a highly artificial way that women immediately recognize. The photo reflects how these sorts of men deal with fantasy women and get upset when real women refuse to conform in everyday life. They don’t understand you can’t demand women act in a certain fashion, you have to behave in ways that engender the desired behavior out of women.
Benjamin, in the photo above, is already steaming down Theodore’s path. I have no doubt that he would never voice this opinion to said woman in real life and was extremely apprehensive of her response, but foolishly believing he could fall back on appeals to feminism to guard against her justified anger at his comment. I know men like him who vehemently hate game, who are completely blue-pill and without any positive sense of masculinity. They reflexively hate anything that calls into question their character, of which a snide supremacy is a great part.
Regardless, men like Theodore and Benjamin have their own personal issues, but let it serve as a warning to you. Those who don’t build to a concrete ending in reality always flounder and fail, living their lives in — at best — middling mediocrity, stricken with an acute sense of personal unhappiness. At worst, they fall into the vices of sheer personal delusion, drug addiction or — at the extreme margins — suicide.
The truth is, boys and men are not equipped with the tools needed to succeed in America. A modern man has to make himself in the treacherous trenches of modern society. The lessons are tough to learn and unlearning the unhealthy thought patterns is undoubtedly tougher.
However, every man can change if he so decides. Let men like Theodore be a warning to you: don’t get caught up in fantasies, don’t dawdle in virtual reality and most certainly don’t fall for fictional women. Strive to live the life you desire. The momentary pleasure that men like Theodore pursue are supremely detrimental in the long run.
Every man can find happiness. Whether a man does is up to him.
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