OK, I’ll admit it, I’ve been a KISS fan since I was 8 years old. There, I said it. KISS actually changed my life –if it hadn’t been for KISS I never would’ve picked up a guitar and enjoyed the semi-pro rock star days of my late 80′s early 90′s youth. And by all accounts, if not for KISS, you probably wouldn’t be reading the Rational Male since a lot of what my earliest proto-Game experience came from was my youthful indulgences on stage, in the clubs and the social proof that came along with that.
Gene Simmons was never really my favorite of the band (I was much more into Ace), so I didn’t develop an appreciation for his apex Alphaness until KISS had become a music business, show and merchandising juggernaut. In the same vein as the Alpha Buddah, Corey Worthington, Gene is the walking embodiment of the zen-like Alpha essence. Unlike Corey however, Gene possess not only an awareness of his Alpha state, but also a self-affirmed confidence, control and focus in directing that Alpha essence.
So it was an interesting match up when I first listened to this interview of him by Terry Gross of NPR for her show Fresh Air. I’ll let the interview tell the story, but if you are at all familiar with Terry Gross you know she’s a practiced interviewer, a staunch feminist, but not a lesbian (don’t let the look fool you).
A lot of people may think Gene is full of shit. I know he may be just selling stuff, but the way he handles Gross makes for some very entertaining manosphere reading (the audio is available on YouTube if you prefer), and makes me think he’s cooler than I had thought before. It’s a long interview. She calls him “obnoxious” a couple of times, and I’ve never heard her use that word on her show EVER. I think he did get to her, and she just couldn’t deal.
Both Gene and Terry are communicating in their native gender languages, Gene’s being OVERT and Terry’s being COVERT. She starts the interview with a subtle jab at Gene wearing makeup and it being a way of hiding himself. She knows damn well from a previous interview that Gene is a Man who’s well aware of his own value, so she starts with the standard feminized assumption that his bravado is a mask too. Gene’s smart enough to read this and calls her on her shit test. He could’ve pulled some over the top gansta bullshit in offense, but that would only verify Terry’s covert shot at him.
However, rather than let her get to him he counters her and fluidly neg hits her. Gene knows damn well he’d never bang a woman like Terry, yet this is is default response. Notice his comments about her tend to be backhanded compliments. They’re both playing poker; she bluffs, Gene sees her and raises, etc.
Properly conditioned chumps will assume Gene’s an ass hole because he overtly gets the better of her. Our default is always to side with the female, she’s always the victim, but look a little deeper and you’ll see how she deftly shit tests him. Her questions seem innoccuous enough, but remember the context of this interview – each of them knows how the other plays.
I think too many men in this era mistake masculine confidence for arrogance, because they fear that displaying it will risk them being rejected by a woman. They’ve been conditioned to make this association.
No School Like the Old School
This interview is fantastic because it’s a clash between how masculinity was (Gene) and how the feminine imperative expects masculinity to be now (Terry). Just for the record, this is actually the 2nd time Terry has interviewed Gene. I’ll try to find the 1st interview, because it’s equally entertaining. Gene comes off as arrogant, but this is really the result of Terry expecting an aging rock star to have matured somewhat. The problem is Gene was mature long before his time and has been a successful entrepreneur and a positively masculine male for ages. It’s Terry’s masculine expectations and constant exposure to the “new”, declawed, less threatening, masculinity over the past 30 years.
Gene sounds boastful or even rude, but bear in mind, he’s not trying to get a rise from Terry, that’s just how he is. He’s the last of a dying breed – a Man who’s unashamed, and comfortable being a Man. Banging 4,600 women might seem like he should enter some hall of fame, but even if it’s half this number, he’s undoubtedly lived life on his own terms. Terry on the other hand cannot let her hair down (literally) and clings to the New Woman model, expecting Gene to somehow break character and fall in line for her. She’s dissapointed he wont, but the fact is he is for real. So it becomes this clash of old school masculinity vs. new woman expectations of what’s been defined for Terry as what should be masculinity. And after all this, remember, she sought Gene out for this second interview years after the first. If she’d been genuinely offended by Gene’s demeanor I doubt she’d have gone back for seconds. My bet is she’ll be back for 3rds.