“Every upper class girl LARPs as Princess Mononoke”, TMNT meme as stand-alone complex, and related essays

Slight dox at the beginning, but it leads into a very interesting conversation without good transition points so it’s worth it.

Hang on, I have to go BUY AND SELL DRUGS for a second.

Ah, duty calls

All right, done with that.
He was just picking up some camera stuff but the man can talk.

Ah, that type

Every social interaction is an opportunity to iterate the business manifesto.

Good people, one the whole

Yeah, this guy is good people.

Troo american status confirmed

Well, he’s upper middle class.
So it’s more about changing the world of elite hockey through technological innovation.
And make money doing it.
And, to be fair, elite hockey is wide open for this kind of thing.
Bunch of former warrior types whose lives were organized for them by trainers, coaches, nutritionists, etc.
The transition from playing NHL to civvie life is brutal. Probably worse than Marines coming home from Iraq.
And if you want to stay in the game, you can’t just go join a mercenary group. You have to set up your own little hockey lemonade stand.

This is fascinating to me. I’d never considered it before

The thing working in their favor is it’s a big club, and they’re in it.
All the elite people know all the other elite people.
It’s been educational, to say the least.

Is it this way across all proefssional sports or is there somehting about hockey in particualr?

I don’t know how it is in the other sports, but my guess is it’s similar.

This all sounds very believable to me

I wonder if the class difference matters.
In hockey, there are no rags to riches stories these days like in the 70s.
In football, you’d still find some guys from the ghetto.

So you either go completely in the opposite direction and become an organic farmer, or you find a way to stay in the club

Or in the case of one of the guys we tried working with, you become a regional manager for pinball machine sales.
He wanted back in badly but he had no work ethic or initiative and didn’t take direction either.
Anyway, elite youth hockey costs 15k/year just to be on the team, so that’s not counting equipment, hotels, trainers…
So you don’t find any parents with 5-figure salaries.
And you can’t be elite from genetics or playing on the playground, like in basketball.

Even if they score the D1 scholarship, it doesn’t really recoup cost unless it’s an ivy.
But this is the thing: competition is so fierce these days for Gen Z and Alpha to stay in the upper middle class that you have to lose money for the opportunity.
And people do it. They’ll spend 200k to give their kids a shot to run in place without making ground.
Because if you fall off that treadmill, it’s a meatgrinder out here for the rest of us.
And the meatgrinder is getting bigger while the treadmill is shrinking.
AKA K-selection.

You could imagine Hunger Games where they kick you out of the Capital City if you don’t make rent and rent is going up exponentially.
Meanwhile, the outside is made of Covid zombie cannibals and you can’t get back in the city if you’re infected.
I’m becoming very impressed with the world-building of Hunger Games lately.

It was oddly prescient, in the way that young adult fiction can get all the details wrong but cn still paint something true on a symbolic level

If you ignore the plot and characters it’s a great book.
Same with Harry Potter as an expression of the actual day-to-day life of the upper middle class. It’s unparalleled.
I’m sure you read the spotted toad article years ago on the subject.
The good old days of the internet.
Oh, that makes me think of an excellent topic.
Which young adult fiction connects at the mythical level with the experience of which demographics?

Oooo…that’s a good one

What’s your time limit?

Plans changed
No time limit now

Plans should never change by definition, it’s unprincipled.


I thought we established we’re both triplebacks now.

I love redefining everything to make myself sound even better
This is true principle

All right, I’d say the Hunger Games speaks primarily to the white working class, below middle class, on account of the heavy media censorship, pseudo-extermination efforts, hunting to supplement food, and sense of tribalism.
I meant to say “below lower-middle class”.
The lower middle class is more libertarian and optimistic these days because they have very high incomes.
The problem is their spending habits. But they have the sense they could escape poverty and probably will escape (they rarely do).

Self-negating prophecy

So the actual tradespeople and what remains of the industrial working class don’t have the tribal solidarity against an implacable oppressor you see in the Hunger Games, even if they have tribalist loyalties.
Because they want to keep the option open to go to the Capital and do a 20k toilet installation job.
It’ll probably be easier to start from fiction and go to reality (but isn’t it always).
Catcher in the Rye is interesting because Bill Gates loves it above all other books.
I think it’s because it really catches the pseudo-anarchic spirit of puberty in the upper class proper.

I always viewed it through a social status lens and figured you had to be an utcast to resonate
But it’s the sort of mopey self-indulgence you wouldn’t expect to see in the lower/working class
So the higher ends seems to fit

Have we talked about how all upper class girls think they’re Princess Mononoke, the wolf girl?
This is related, and it’s an important insight.

We have not and you just made me laugh
So we must go deeper
^laughing because this is obviously true, just to clarify

All upper class kids have a deep insecurity about their generational wealth. On the one hand, they they want to prove they could have made it either way. On the other hand, they want to prove they deserve to be the heir to the family business or whatever.
The former is more R and the latter is more k, but they work together to produce the desire to retvrn to monke.
The instinct being, presumably, that by going out into the jungle they’ll have to face the same barbaric conditions as anyone else, which gives them a common touch and teaches them about struggle and survival.
Then, if they make it, they’ll realize they were so good all along that it doesn’t matter if they inherited wealth. So since they don’t need it, they deserve it.

This is why romanticizing whatever the modern variant of noble savages is at the time, and admiring the “ethos” of those people, is an upper class signifier.
E.g. Gangster rap.
Upper class kids see the virtue in gangsters because they’re very primitive forms of virtue: the will to survive, will to thrive, and will to power.

Funny how current discourse on privilege and unearned advantages is leading more and more people to adopt this attitude

So if someone is LARPing as a commoner and have a great education that they hold in contempt, that’s one of the best ways to tell they came from money.

This matches my experience

This is also a form of virtue signaling, because if you and your friends can recite the entirety of Shakespeare then you can get it wrong as an ironic joke, which shows that you’re too cool to care about your massive brain (but also show off that you have it).
Gentrification is just the weaponization of this class tendency.
Imagine a thousand Holden Caulfield’s stomping on the face of the “Rent is too damn high” guy, forever.

Sorry buddy, you have to go, we’re the real poors now

Right. Funnily enough, it’s colonialization.
Except instead of mercantilism, you spread globohomo by establishing yourself as the HR department of the suburbs surrounding each major city.

Aside from the insecurity, part of the anarchism you see in upper class kids comes from the de facto nihilism.
I’m not clear on whether they’re cultural Christians in the sense of actually attending church (I suspect that varies by region), but it’s very easy for them to become agnostics and atheists because everyone around them is.

Very true

To the extent I think it’s not even edgy anymore, although that would be as recent as 2012ish.
I mean not considered edgy.
It was actually not edgy anymore in the 90s.

But they still think it is

I think that’s changed.

Because what else have they got? What else could give them meaning?

But I think being edgy is no longer considered a virtue among Gen Z.
Or at least not as much.

Which is the real cultural development

I mean, everyone has to go through puberty for the first time.
And edginess is part of that.

And for all the bullcrap about “based z”, there is something to that shift

But the culture now explicitly praises ideological conformity.

Trying to remember where i read it, but i read that boomers competed by accumulating material comforts, x competed through artistic taste, and millenials competed through ideological purity
So how do zoomers compete?
irony? dissociation?

I think dissociation is close, but it’s the symptom of the thing they actually compete on.
It may actually be signaling their capacity for straight-up hypocrisy.
This being absolutely necessary in their world.
Ah, so it’s capacity for cognitive dissonance.
That’s the root.

interesting. but believable

Their form of toughness is the ability to experience hypernormalization and take it in stride.
Definition from the wiki: “He says that everyone in the Soviet Union knew the system was failing, but no one could imagine an alternative to the status quo, and politicians and citizens alike were resigned to maintaining the pretense of a functioning society. Over time, this delusion became a self-fulfilling prophecy and the fakeness was accepted by everyone as real, an effect that Yurchak termed hypernormalisation.” (H/T Borzoi)
It signals the ability to thrive and attain high status and material prosperity in a world of morally insane adults.
And since going innawoods isn’t even a little bit viable (Millennials by contrast still have a sense that there’s an underpopulated “frontier” somewhere), competing to earn college scholarships from morally insane adults is the only way to stay out of the meatgrinder.

Returning to the young adult fiction thing for a moment, I’d submit Princess Mononoke as an upper class counterpoint to Catcher in the Rye.
Let me try to come up with a list of YA series I know relatively well…
Hardy Boys
The Golden Compass strikes me as spiritually more of a low-class occult book than an atheist book, but I don’t remember it super well. Similar to the Celestine Prophecy that way.
I remember my review of The Celestine Prophecy was “this would have been written better as a one-page flowchart”.


Oh, how could I forget Star Wars and Star Trek.
Dan Brown could be considered YA for pagans and other types of people interested in healing crystals and open relationships.
Well, the masculine variant thereof. I suspect the feminine variant goes straight to 50 Shades.

With Twilight as the gateway drug

Trying to think of a “beating around the bush” joke here.

it’s beating around the bush for people who like a bit of beating with their bush
Or something in that vein

Speaking of, I’d be shocked if Animorphs wasn’t formative for furries.

I can see where you’re going with this

I’m looking through Amazon suggestions to see what’s suggested if a person likes Goosebumps and Hardy Boys Casefiles, but I’m afraid to do it with Animorphs.
Box Car Children is one I didn’t really get into, but I know the setup.
I’d call that comfortably 90s middle class.

Probably true
Nancy Drew is Hardy Boys for girls
So same dynamic


I’ve read so much I can’t even remember series…they all blend together

Encyclopedia Brown was great.

That rings a bell…I remember those
Wizard of Earthsea was before my time and I never read them until adulthood
Alex Rider never made it to this side of the atlantic, as far as I know
Redwall series was great
Eragon might have some fun dynamics, but I fear it’s just Harry Potter reskinned in terms of insights

I always liked reading Redwall books, but one day I realized that, with the exception of Redwall itself, I couldn’t remember anything I’d read.
I was more interested in compiling a giant body of knowledge at that point.
So I stopped reading them after that.
So it seemed like a waste to read 10,000 pages and remember nothing.
These days I’m more about absorbing the ethos of the junk fiction I read by osmosis.
Might be interesting to retvrn to Redwall on that count.

Common trend with many series…the first captures a magic that none of the others can replicate
But 10/10 would give them to children to read
There’s proabbly an edenist reading of redwall that, even if inaccurate, would be amusing

Ah yes, Ninja Turtles.
The veritable peak performance of YA.

Man, if we expand this to cartoons we could go some weird places
Pokemon, Yugioh, The Last airbender…etc

Ninja Turtles started off as a bad joke and has never had a single good thing made from it (except one SNES game) and somehow is still a massive cultural touchstone.
It’s truly incredible that way. Jung, eat your heart out.

There’s a certain level of weirdness, not too hot, not too cold, where some memes become immortal

I suspect the appeal of Ninja Turtles comes from the desire to be in a team of happy warriors.


There’s also the king, warrior, magician, lover angle, but I didn’t even notice that as a kid.
I liked them before I learned they had individual personalities.
The important things were:
-They were goofy and liked pizza
-They did kung fu against bad guys
-One of them was blue and had swords
Shredder is also a pretty badass arch-villain.
And living in a sewer with your lads and training with Master Splinter had some appeal too.
I think that was literally all I understood of it at the time.

Well you don’t need more than that to be entertaining

It still amazes me that there was no “magic of the original”
It’s a stand-alone complex!
There was no instance of great magic spawning imitators, yet the meme is strong!

It’s really hard to imitate something like that without plagiarizing without losing the magic
Power Rangers is probably the closest thing to TMNT that worked, because anything closer just looks like a weak knock-off

Yeah, but with Power Rangers you can point to Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers and say “that’s the one that started everything”.
That’s the weird thing about Ninja Turtles I’m trying to get at. None of them are good. None of them are trying to imitate any of the others, because they’re all garbage.
It’s like Hunger Games, except moreso. You have to ignore the details entirely to see the good in it.

I guess what I’m getting at is, despite my antipathy for Plato and people who go on about forms, they may have a point.
Maybe my antipathy is just the recognition that I can’t live together in society with the sort of people who are into that, like homosexuals, but I can appreciate Foucault’s insights.
The Awakening of the Troothal Conservative.

This is tolerance

I tolerate Foucault provided he stays in France.
Where homos belong.
I tolerate Plato provided he stays in Greece, where grifters belong.
[Postscript: Italians idealize the Greek way, but are themselves too autistic to begum grifter.]

About Aeoli Pera

Maybe do this later?
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2 Responses to “Every upper class girl LARPs as Princess Mononoke”, TMNT meme as stand-alone complex, and related essays

  1. LOADED says:

    aeoli would you red the ghetto bible or the ghetto quarn asking for a friend

  2. Pingback: Collected notes on cannibalism as worship | Aeoli Pera

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