Reading the Alpha Tea Leaves

Obsidian presented choices of various male celebrities to his female readers yesterday. Just about every man listed is more alpha than 95% of the male population, so it largely comes down to personal preferences. It’s like the equivalent of asking a straight man: “Megan Fox or Scarlett Johannson?”  The answer isn’t clearly objective and you’ll get different answers from different guys. With the exception of Bruce Lee vs. Steven Segal, all the match-ups were a black man and a white man. I’d like to go over the match-ups one by one:

Denzel Washington, or Tom Hanks?

Tom Hanks is basically the Jimmy Stewart of his generation, a Mr. Nice Guy who could be considered the Hollywood version of a beta provider. By absolute standards, both Hanks and Stewart in their primes would be considered alphas because of their status, but next to a peer like Cary Grant or George Clooney, might be seen by the audience as somewhat beta. Denzel has always had a stronger sexual charisma but ironically hasn’t been cast in romantic roles as often as Hanks has. (Race probably had something to do with this. As an example, the interracial relationship in The Pelican Brief removed when the novel was adapted for the screen) Advantage: Denzel

Clive Owen, or Will Smith?

This is an interesting match-up. Owen would probably be seen as “harder” than Smith despite Smith having grown up in West Philly. Smith was able to appeal to white audiences by being “black but not too black.” His rap songs were pretty lighthearted and stuff like “Parents Just Don’t Understand” is something that white teenagers can identify with. “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” was critical to integrating him even further to the white mainstream. This probably goes down to personal preference. If you like slightly foreign bad boys, you’ll go with Owen. If you like funny, more laid back guys, you’ll go with Smith. No clear advantage.

Seth Rogen, or Anthony Anderson?

Battle of the pudgy comedians. I don’t think this is really a fair fight. Rogan had the leading role in the major-hit “Knocked Up” and his status is much higher than Anderson. (He’s also a good deal slimmer) Many of the women commenting didn’t even know who Anderson is. Many of his roles have been bafoonish and he’s still in a “that guy” stage in his career. Strong advantage Rogan.

Michael Vick, or Ben Rothlisberger?

Both are scumbags and not terribly bright off the field but still alpha because of their status. Being a pretty big NFL fan, I haven’t noticed either having the sort of charm that would make them even more alpha. (Someone show me evidence if I’m wrong). Roethlisberger’s relative status is higher at moment because he will likely still be the Steelers’ starter after his suspension while Vick will be riding the bench with the Eagles (unless Kolb sucks). Vick also had a huge amount of his potential earnings by going to prison and having been let go by the Falcons. Say what you want about taking a 20-year old to a bar bathroom, it’s not beta. Slight advantage Roethlisberger.

Bill Clinton, or Barack Obama?

Clinton has had several health scares and is looking increasingly frail and very much red in the face. At his peak, Clinton was the most charismatic politician of his generation, but he’s 63 while Obama is a healthy 49. Obama is slightly nerdier than Clinton, but he’s obviously very much charismatic in his own right. Additionally, Obama is currently President and Clinton isn’t. “Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac” as Henry Kissinger said (whose dating record shows that he was very alpha). Clear advantage Obama.

Daniel Craig, or Idris Elba?

Coin flip, both are hard alphas. Comes down to personal preference as to whether you like British guys or black guys.

Dirk Nowinski, or LeBron James?

I’d imagine the German accent would be non-starter for most American women. LeBron is funny, charismatic and the best player in the NBA. He’s an alpha’s alpha.

Jamie Foxx, or Matt Damon?

Damon would have the edge among white women, Foxx with black women. Damon’s status is slightly higher and Foxx has yet to be a People’s Sexiest Man Alive. Damon doing “I’m Fucking Matt Damon” video with Sarah Silverman while married to a beautiful Argentinian is a pretty fucking alpha move.

Eminem, or Black Thought?

Eminem’s status is higher and he’s an asshole. He’d clean up with white proles and even a large amount of black women. Black Thought would do better among hipster, intellectual types. In terms of raw numbers, Em would be more alpha.

Lenny Kravitz, or John Mayer?

I’d put both in the super-alpha category. A lot of women would consider Mayer a jerk, but would still sleep with him if given the chance. Mayer would win the under-35s and Kravitz would win the over-35s. Since under-35s are generally more desirable, I’ve give a slight edge to Mayer.

Bruce Lee, or Steven Seagal?

Come on, Seagal’s a fucking joke and Bruce Lee was a legend. This isn’t worth writing further about.

Jason Statham, or Wesley Snipes?

Another British guy vs. Black guy match-up. Snipes is 47 and his status is waning. I feel like Statham would have more sway among under-35s.

Take a moment to think of your idea of the hottest NFL stars past and present. Let’s say you could come up with a list of your Top Ten. Question-do either Mannings (Peyton and Eli) appear on it? Please give say, three names from your list.

A list of the 10 hottest NFL stars is different than the question of whether the Mannings are alpha or not. Anyone playing in the NFL is more alpha than 95% of the male population by nature of his status. Tom Brady being a super-alpha doesn’t make Peyton Manning a beta.

Now, real quick, do the following names appear on your list of Alpha Males:

Steve Jobs

Warren Buffett

Bill Gates?

Would this name be on this list:

Sean Connery?

I would consider Jobs to be a fairly alpha figure. He’s seen as unorthodox, ahead-of-the-curve business leader and women love Apple’s products. He’s a businessman, but he’s a creative businessman, which makes him more appealing. He’s had health issues, but he seems to have bounced back and is only 55. Buffet is a classic beta provider and Gates is a straight-up beta. Connery is one of the top ten alphas of the 20th Century, but he’s almost 80 now.

Thoughts?

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