Let the Cogitation of John Porter Begin — SPOILERS

WARNING: Spoilers in this post especially including the video!

I would have said thoughts, but I have to use words like cogitation occasionally. Then I don’t feel guilty about how I’m using that expensive education my parents paid for (oops, another sentence ending in a preposition; good thing this blog’s anonymous).

So I’m watching Strike Back, and it gets to this scene (SPOILERS AHEAD!):

and I remember what I like about most action flicks. They have Alpha males! Oh, I know what you’re thinking. Alpha is the guy who smashes beer cans on his head and has little or no respect for women. No, no. You’re wrong. Alpha is not just the guy who needs a shag and likes to handle guns and is good at handling guns, and wants to do damage to someone with the guns. He’s also the guy who kicks the door in and saves the damsel, and the damsel loves him for it and thinks about following him to the ends of the earth. When John Porter says trust me, I do.

I’m so glad RA is getting to play an Alpha again. My first introduction to him was as an Alpha male — John Thornton. The character I’m most fond of is an Alpha male — Guy of Gisborne (when he’s not kissing the Sheriff’s ass). But Alpha isn’t enough, and those characters are not successful just being Alphas. What women want and most men have not figured out is that we want Beta too. John Thornton and Guy proved they had some Beta, and it only made them more attractive. Conversely, of RA’s characters who are primarily Betas, they are even more attractive when Alpha emerges: Harry Kennedy when he wants Geraldine to pay up on her “debt,” John Standring when he runs off Andrew, Paul Andrews when he’s manifesting Alpha in the most elemental way, Lucas North when he’s taking the rich guy down in the pool. Imagine how dull these Betas would be without Alpha.

I’m not so sure we’ve really seen John Porter’s Beta. Maybe just a little peek in the beginning when he’s interacting with his 10 year old daughter, and of course when he spares the Iraqi boy. But that’s not enough for an RA character. RA likes to balance these enough to make things really interesting. We don’t have enough of Porter’s Beta yet. We need a little more, but oh, don’t slack on the Alpha while you’re at it.

I stumbled on a blog that gets the importance of the Alpha/Beta mix. The blogger gets it so well that I had a fleeting thought it’s really a woman writing the blog. His name even sounds like a woman’s when you say it really fast (ducking in case he reads any of the links to his blog). He is so dead on that it’s scary. Oh, I don’t think he’s dead on about everything, but he’s got women figured out fairly well — at least what turns most of them on. Yes, it’s just my opinion. Feel free to disagree, and I know some women do. LOL!

Here’s what he says about Alpha/Beta mix:

I generally disagree with the entire Alpha = good, Beta = bad mindset. You really need to have both Alpha Traits and Beta Traits in a marriage to really hit the sweet spot of happiness and sex. The blog is still new, but believe me I’m going to sound like a broken record on this point as the years play out.

If you’re a decent Beta, the solution is to add Alpha traits, not reduce Beta Traits and add Alpha. It’s not a zero-sum game where you can be either Alpha or Beta, but not both. You can and must be both. You still hold a job down, play with the kids, listen to how your wife spent her day, do housework etc. That’s all vital comfort building goodness. She likes and needs that to feel comfortable, like you’re invested in the relationship and family. These things are not “turn ons”, but lacking them makes them “turn offs”.

Read the rest here.

(emphasis mine)

Preach it, Athol!

I sometimes hear that Alpha females do not want Alpha males:

The alpha girl doesn’t need Mr Alpha to sweep her off her feet and buy her a condo in town; she has enough money to do that herself. She is successful, confident and she wants a caring man who can pick up some of the domestic slack.

Read the rest here.

Oh, a caring Beta is great, and I may not need an Alpha to sweep me off my feet, but I WANT ONE! and SO delivers. He flexes his Alpha enough that I know it’s not eclipsed by his wonderful Beta. I have several little SOs running around to prove that.

Speaking of SO, I think he’s going to love this show. Especially if it doesn’t make Alphas look like morons. Actually, to SO there is no such thing as Alpha/Beta. He thinks all of that is crap. To him it just means being a man who has the usual wants and needs of a man and of course the usual responsibilities. Okay, maybe there is no Alpha, but it’s fun to think about it, and certainly fun to watch it!

P.S. If Porter and Layla are not going to have some Alpha fun at some point, then I wasn’t watching the right show. Can’t wait to see how that plays out.

7 Comments

  1. Oh my goodness, that clip made my desire to see Strike Back about 100 times worse than it already is! *bangs keyboard* Hopefully BBC-A will make the decision to air the show soon…

  2. […] do some work before tomorrow morning, but I want to write down at least one thing here for tonight. RAFrenzy also appears to have been moved by one of the scenes that have glued me to the screen this …, and I think her remarks are essential for any successful interpretation of this script, so make […]

  3. yes! you said it! it’s all about the alpha-beta mix. And like you RAFrenzy, I really do hope we get some JP and Layla action :)

    @Ruth, I’m an american and am watching SB via stagevu.com Maybe that will work for you if you don’t want to wait for the DVD?

  4. @Twinkling Moon,

    They are so setting us up for something between those two, but I’m afraid it might be for the rest of the series and not for this pilot. This is a pilot isn’t it? Or is that just my take on it?

  5. @RA Frenzy, I so hope they are setting us up for JP and Layla, but I haven’t seen a fan base for them anywhere. Everywhere that I ‘ve seen people are anti-Layla, which makes no sense to me.

    as for it being a pilot, well, as an american I don’t really understand UK shows. Where in the US we often tend to air shows as we tape them so writers can adjust scripts based on audience response, I think in the UK they tape all the shows and then air them, so if the ratings stink they can’t revisit the script. So i’m not sure where they will go from here. I think the intent is to get the show picked up to be a regular tv series like Mi-5/spooks.

    Kepping my fingers crossed!

  6. […] and Spooks 9 about Richard Armitage as alpha or beta male in various roles he played (particularly here and here). I’m not so much disagreeing with her as taking a different, more contextual, […]

  7. […] of these is boring (I think but I’m not sure that I’ve said this before. Wait. Yeah, here a long time ago. Like three years ago. Sheesh.) SO, my dad, SO’s dad and many other men I […]


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