Lifestyles

Uber Tales: The Downtown Alpha Male (Douchebag)

This is a totally true, cautionary tale for you ladies that frequent the downtown nightlife.

So I’ve been meaning to write on the different levels in which the vast majority of stupid, misogenistically-programmed men ruin it it for the rest of the halfway decent heterosexual males out there and I had a few ideas, but around a week ago I was given a prime example that not only prompted a bit of introspection, but left me with a few questions.

Around midnight or so I received an Uber request at a nightclub in Orlando called “Gilt”.  This particular club was formerly known as “Roxy” and is one of the few major nightclubs that is not located in or around the downtown area of Orlando.  (At least the only one that’s not an actual strip club.)  It turns out I was passing nearby after another drop-off so I literally pull in to the parking lot within a minute of the ride request and pull to the side to await my riders.  The club was not closed yet, so I expected it would be easy to spot the people waiting for their ride.  I observe the valet and security staff talking to a couple of guys in the parking lot in front of me when one of the security guys points at me, prompting the two guys to turn around and head for my car – easy enough.  The men – let’s call them Bob and Steve – confirm I’m their driver, exchange some pleasantries, and Bob gets in the front while Steve gets in the back.  They ask me to head downtown towards Wall street.  I know it well and we’re on our way.

Close Enough.

Close Enough.

Bob and Steve are well dressed, well groomed, relatively attractive men in their late twenties to early thirties.  Bob is especially muscular and probably spends an above-average time in the gym, whereas Steve is not as obviously “swole” but still defined and in shape.  It becomes obvious very quickly that Bob is an alpha – type A, outgoing, attention seeking and a strong personality while Steve is a / his follower (though not necessarily “weak” but less controlling in the dynamic of their friendship.)  Steve is very likely also a strong personality among other groups that he runs with, but Bob is clearly running the show this night.

There’s a lot of typical talk about the club we came from and it quickly becomes apparent that these two are the all too common (read: shitty) men who by their discussion see women as objects meant solely for their pleasure.  Apparently the crowd at Gilt that night had not impressed them and they were ready to use the remaining ninety minutes downtown to salvage the night.  The highlight of this enlightened exchange is when the two start to go back and fourth regarding STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases.)  Up until this point I had mostly tuned them out, but this particular section of their discussion was especially disturbing:

Bob: “The only STD I’m really concerned about getting is HIV you know?  Obviously that’s the one nobody wants to get..”

Me: “I don’t know man… I mean that’s the worst, but any of them would suck and once you get Herpes there’s no cure for that either…”

Steve: “Yeah I was going to say you don’t want to end up with Herpes man… and a lot of people have that!  You know, that’s just people who get cold sores and shit.”

Bob: “Oh I’m not worried about herpes, who cares about that?  I’ve probably already got it anyway.”

Steve: “Dude you would know if you had it.”

Bob: “I know that, I figure if I’ve had open sores for a few days that probably means I have it.”

Me: ……….

Bob: “That’s just what happens when you fuck these bitches downtown without a condom… that shit just happens man.  But as long as it’s not HIV you’re not going to die or anything, so fuck it.”

Steve: “Yeah man, you should try to use a condom downtown.”

For the love of god downtown folk... please?

For the love of god downtown folk… please?

**Note: If I need to elaborate on the many, many things wrong with this dialog, it’s probably too late for you.  What kills me though, is that this is not atypical for the kind of guys that frequent clubs downtown (I also realize there’s SOME good ones)… and it works… you ladies actually go for these guys or whatever persona they show you… mind blowing… regardless let me continue. 

What followed was more or less them continuing to talk about the “action” downtown.  Bob asked me how it looked down there that night and I responded that it was busy, but only average for the night, not overly packed.  Then came the more interesting part:

Bob: I bet you see all kinds of action in here man!  How often do you get blowjobs from the bitches you pick up?

Me: Actually I’ve heard those stories and I’ve seen some things, but never anything like that. Drivers try to avoid touching their riders in general… you know, liability and such.  Besides, even if I had a rider that wanted to do something like that, think about the liability involved there.  What if later on they decide they were drunk, regret it and decide to tell Uber they were harassed?  Then, at the very least, this is no longer an option for making money.

Bob: Oh yeah man, you can’t trust drunk bitches… but what if they want you to come party?

Me: I’ve been invited along a few times, but honestly by that point, they’re pretty much done for the night anyway and I still need to work, so I haven’t taken anyone up on that yet.  If I wanted to do something like that, I’d pretty much have to be done for the night so nothing that happened would have anything to do with Uber.

Bob: Tell you what, why don’t you park the car downtown and come out with us.

Me: I can’t man, I have to work.  (And.. you’re essentially the LAST guy I would care to hang out with..)

Bob: How much you think you’ll make tonight?

Me: Probably around $200?

Bob: I got two bills right here for you.  Come out, relax, I’ll buy drinks, then we’ll find some bitches at the club, go back to my place in 55 West and at the very least you’ll get your dick sucked.

Me:  You’re serious? ( I should’ve given a higher number…)

Bob:  Yeah man I got you, let’s have some fun.

What's the worst that could happen...?

What’s the worst that could happen…?

From that point on I more or less avoided the question, and Steve regurgitated some of what Bob had said.  When we finally reached the downtown area I pulled up to the corner of Orange Ave where they close it off to traffic.  As I ended the fare, Bob was disappointed that I wasn’t going to go with them and the condescension was pretty obvious.

But as I drove off to gather my next fare I wondered if I had made a bad decision.  Obviously, I had no intention of making decisions as bad as Bob and Steve undoubtably did, but at the same time I had passed up a story… and adventure… and honestly more money than I would make that night.  Had I kept things on my terms and gone along with them, it might’ve been fun and maybe I would’ve met somebody worthwhile downtown.  If things had gone south, it would’ve been a simple matter to break off and head home (possibly even via Uber had I been too drunk to drive myself.)  Part of me wondered at what point did I lose my sense of adventure, of new things and new experiences?

I resolved that I didn’t know those men beyond that things they said that were nearly the opposite of how I view things.  To be associated with them, and somewhat inebriated at the mercy of them downtown and especially at his place did not seem like a great idea.  There was more potential for discomfort and possible disaster than there was anything promising and deep down I knew that.

Admittedly, it’s possible over the last year or so I’ve become a bit more introverted.  We all grow and change and though I did have a great time at an EDM club in Seattle earlier this year, for the most part my days of weekly clubbing are long past me.  It’s on my mind though… the fear of leading a boring life and not being open to new experiences.  Frankly, at this point I don’t have the resources for such things anyway, but when I do, I’ll have to pay a bit more attention to finding my groove again… without any assistance from the Alpha Douchebag.

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Generations

A young man I know recently posted this quote I’ve seen a few times:

“I am a millennial. Generation Y; born between the birth of AIDS and 9/11, give or take. They call us the global generation. We are known for our entitlement and narcissism. Some say it’s because we’re the first generation where every kid gets a trophy just for showing up. Others think it’s because social media allows us to post when we fart or have a sandwich for all the world to see. But it seems our one defining trait is a numbness to the world. An indifference to suffering.”

While this is technically untrue (Gen Y is defined as being born in the early 80s and the virus that causes AIDS in 1983), the fact that he would feel the need to post this in reference to he and his era made me think a little.

Being born in 1979, I’m technically a member of Generation X but I fall into the grey area on that is the area between the end of Gen X and the beginning of Gen Y (one ends and the other begins in the early 80s.)  According to the internet (the authority on all things true…) Generation X is described as:

“People born between 1961 and 1981, are highly educated, active, balanced, happy and family oriented. The study dispels the materialistic, slacker, disenfranchised stereotype associated with youth in the 1970 and 80s. Unlike their parents who challenged leaders with an intent to replace them, Gen Xers are less likely to idolize leaders and are more inclined to work toward long-term institutional and systematic change through economic, media and consumer actions. Compared with previous generations, Generation X represents a more apparently heterogeneous generation, openly acknowledging and embracing social diversity in terms of such characteristics as race, class, religion, ethnicity, culture, language, gender identity, and sexual orientation.”

Oh John, you romantic slacker you...

Oh John, you romantic slacker you…

Pretty good right?  Well it would be, if it were entirely true.  Let’s look at some of the pop culture that reflects that generation (X): Movies like The Breakfast Club, Say Anything, Empire Records and even Kevin Smith’s Clerks defined Gen X young adults growing up over two decades.  What did they really say about us?  All were essentially young adult characters who were more interested in philosophizing and falling in love than actually settling with a long-term career and family.  Sure it’s fiction, but that still sounds a little more accurate when I recall my high school environment and the years after.  It’s a generalization of course, and the majority of us have turned into functional, comfortable members of society on some level.  But generally speaking generation X was whimsical growing up, and eventually they got really good at it.  So good, in fact, that they brought the rebel, non-suit, out-of-box mentality to corporate America (and the White House…) and created some of the more innovative and successful companies ever, many of which specialized in consumer technology and quite literally paved the way for the very traits that defined the following generation.

But what’s important to remember here is that generation X had a pretty slow start.  They started in the shadow of the post WWII baby boomers in an era where space travel was a magical, advanced reality from a distance, but beyond that their worlds were very small.  They lived in communities and had long-developed routines from the generations that came before them.  They rebelled against this by really not doing anything for a long time.  They slacked off, and they dreamed of doing something different, and easier than what was always done. Only years later as they came into their prime and felt the desire to leave their mark on the world, did they focus their mental abilities on developing better ways to productively do less. That’s right kids, modern technology was developed and advanced by Generation X to make it easier to get by while being lazier.  At work, at home, for entertainment, the Gen X folks created more ways to get things done without really doing anything.  Naturally, the whole world adopted these revolutionary ideas, and the world that once was vast and localized became much, much smaller and connected.  So the stage was set, for Generation Y.

They call us the global generation.” 

Well... it's gotten a lot smaller...

Well… it’s gotten a lot smaller…

 Yes indeed, that’s more accurate than it’s ever been.  With the world (excluding those at least directly walled off) now connected, any person, anywhere is literally a few button pushes away.  With that comes information some people never ever dreamed existed as well as realities about the planet and the people that inhabit it that many could not imagine and would rather have not known.  The world is small now and it’s innocence is lost.  For anyone that is connected, the bliss of ignorance is essentially destroyed.

“We are known for our entitlement and narcissism.”

What they should really be known for, is being born to a world that nobody else ever has been.  Do you think people were never entitled before you?  Far more so.  And narcissism has also existed since people discovered their reflection.  For somebody to suggest that generation Y is any worse is just silly.  One look at the class-based societal structure that dominated much of the world throughout the history of civilization will show you a great deal of very obvious entitlement and narcissism.  The only difference Generation Y has shown, is that they accept it as a flaw, and don’t care to hide it. They are the first generation born with the ability to broadcast everything they are to the world, their perfections and flaws and celebrate it.  In short, they give zero fucks about the labels anyone places on their humanity.  Gen Xers started it by rebelling against what was always traditionally “proper” on a massive scale, and generation Y is simply taking it another step further.  Humanity is, and always has been flawed.  Generation Y is just not buying in to pretending it’s not.  They are the most real generation we’ve yet encountered.

“Some say it’s because we’re the first generation where every kid gets a trophy just for showing up. Others think it’s because social media allows us to post when we fart or have a sandwich for all the world to see.”

Don't worry humanity, a little visine should clear that right up!

Don’t worry humanity, a little visine should clear that right up!

Unfortunately, being real is not all fun and games.  While Generation Y has produced some of the most brilliant and revolutionary minds possibly ever, the flip side is that they are rapidly dismantling the curtain that so much of humanity had pulled over themselves in the previous generations.  When that curtain is pulled back and that light is cast, the reality of humanity, possibly even the majority of it, is ugly.  With the world connected, there is nowhere to hide, so the ignorance, lies, brutality and utterly pointless evil of humanity is exposed over and over again, every day.  Many ignore it by focusing on that “fart” or “sandwich” that was posted instead.  Some recognize and passionately speak out against it.  Some actually do something.  But the reality that Generation Y has to face more than any generation before it is the constant reminder that humans generally suck, and there’s no simple way to fix it. No longer is it the good guys vs the bad guys like the Allies and Axis.  Now it’s “our ideas vs your ideas, and we’re both wrong, but let’s see who is less wrong.”  It’s no different than it ever was throughout history, but now it is seen and cannot be unseen.  Now it stares Generation Y in the face.  

“But it seems our one defining trait is a numbness to the world. An indifference to suffering.”

This is also nothing new.  Before perhaps, a great deal of blissful ignorance took the place of numbness or indifference.  But what really happened is that Generation X created the tools to remove the pretty wrapping, and Generation Y cut it away.  What faces them was an ugly, festering wound that had always been there and they realized they (like all the generations before them) were causing it.  It isn’t numbness or indifference to the suffering, it’s more like hopelessness.  It’s more like “Oh jesus christ.. it’s everywhere.. it’s the whole world.. it’s ME.. how the hell can I possibly fix THIS!?” This realization is quite literally paralyzing.  It forces people to just keep doing what they were doing, or following who they were following, because if they don’t find something to do in order to distract themselves or feel like they are helping, they risk falling into fear, despair and depression.  It’s not the first time people have discovered humanity’s penchant for terrible things, but it’s the first time it’s been a forced global awareness.  That, is what Generation Y has to face.

Like THAT guy.  He knows what he's doing.

Like THAT guy. He knows what he’s doing.

So, how do we fix it?  God? Though many still attend and have their faith, religion is no longer the blind fix-all it oncechampioned itself as, and the more progressive religions admit that outright.  Our “leaders”?  Well American politics is questionable at it’s absolute best because even a good person at the top has to listen to what represents “the majority”.  We have to face that said majority is more often than not controlled by a majority of people that are part of the problem.  At the same time though, we’re well past the point of no return in terms of society.  Without outside intervention (ie: catastrophe or act of god) there is no way to “reset” the rules of the game.  No, there is no clear way to fix it.  Thankfully though, more and more people from Generation X and Generation Y (and even those before them) are trying.  I think the best way any individual can do anything at this point is find the people who have learned the rules of the game, are doing what they believe are the right things the right way, and then follow them.  

But first things first.  The feelings that spawn the quote from the beginning of this article are the challenge that Generation Y must overcome.  What the quote said is not the problem, where it came from is.  What I mean is that nothing rings more true for Generation Y, the aware generation, than the need to face themselves.  Before you can be a part of any solution, you have to be certain you’re not a part of the problem.  It may sound cliche’ and zen-like, but when a huge amount of individuals learn to be all the things so much of humanity has not traditionally been: straightforward, peaceful and especially honest.. then the world will notice and just maybe the world will change.  Maybe it is a little narcissistic, but you have to fix you first, end of story.  Perhaps that will be the legacy passed on to the next generation.