Thursday, February 24, 2011

NBA Groupies and the Death of the Possible Dream

GQ has a fascinating article on NBA groupies. Fascinating on several levels, not the least of which is the rather shocking point that the women interviewed are all lower middle class/blue collar Black women with "respectable" jobs and their preference is not so much for NBA players but Rap hanger-on thugs. But far more shocking is the matching death of a "possible dream" of slightly better upward mobility. The women profiled, don't even have any vague plans to better themselves or their children even slightly.

A few things are predictable.

There are the fights at the front desk—"no, we ain't payin' no $400 a night; no, that ain't what you said on the telephone!"—between large pissed-off women and the cowering staff bearing nametags, chocolate-chip cookies, and a list of special additions to the in-room dining menu (buffalo wings and jalapeƱo poppers). On All-Star weekend, guests of the Doubletree are asked to sign a "no-party policy" form ("If we learn that a party is in progress…we will reserve the right…to IMMEDIATELY evict the occupants"). At the lobby bar, an enormous sign has been erected: welcome nba all-star fans. A few feet beside it, a plaque: firearms are prohibited on these premises.

The women are Black blue-collar/lower middle class:

Renee, the bubbly, vivacious one, used to patrol housing projects in Queens but just got promoted. Now she works with kids as a youth officer. She's also the single mother of a 9-year-old girl. Danielle—the "proud to be extra-large" girl whose penchant for talking has earned her the nickname Diesel ("for the diesel heavy gas," says Renee, "because when she starts running she never stops")—is a New York City subway conductor. Vellesha, another extra-large woman, drives a bus. And has the don't-fuck-with-me-or-I'll-smack-your-white-ass attitude we've come to appreciate in New York City bus drivers. They call her Snacks, for obvious reasons. Then there's Chermaine, the baby of the litter at 23, pretty, slender, and terribly shy (until she puts on a bustier). She works as a 911 operator.

They have their rules:

If one of them should deign to bring a man ("or a nice thug," says Renee) back to the room, the others cool their heels in the hotel-lobby bar until she's finished. And if it takes all night? "It never takes all night," says Danielle. "We're from New York City. We're not here to cuddle."

And if they go to his hotel room? "Doesn't happen," says Vellesha. "Unless we see his driver's license first and get his license-plate number. We ain't stupid."

Renee, the cop, imposed the license-plate rule. No one goes off with just any old dude unless the other three have seen his credentials.

There are rules as well for being on the road and interacting with NBA people:

1. Pony up. "You gotta pay to play," says one Fly Girl I meet over drinks at Dave & Buster's in Houston who does not wish to be identified. Paying to play means spending a small fortune on the appropriate accoutrements: designer clothes, shoes, bags, and hair extensions from the right salon. You want a look that says, "I'm available, but I ain't cheap." Even if you are.

2. Be good-looking (but not too skinny). "You can't cross over to Fly Girl unless you got it goin' on," says Brenda. "But a lot of black men like them fat. I can't tell you how many times I've heard guys say, 'I don't want to be hittin' no bone.'"

3. Travel in pairs. "One girl is not a big deal now," Brenda says. "But two women working them over?" Much preferred.

4. Reserve a table at the Four Seasons, unofficial crib of the NBA. "Dear God," one high-level Four Seasons employee told me, "you can't imagine what it's like when the lobby is filled with these…hooker-looking women." But to really have a chance at an encounter there, you can't arrive en masse. "Spring for dinner in the main dining room," Brenda says. "Be there waiting with a girlfriend who is equally fine, for when the players walk in." (Memo to wannabe Groupies: It's always the visiting team that's looking to get laid. The home team often has wives or children lurking around, cramping their style. Also: Players rarely use the front entrance of the hotel; to make contact, wait by the side door.)

Curiously, the women profiled are not there primarily for the NBA players, but the hangers on and the Rap stars and would-be stars. The preference for thugs is very, very strong:

In fact, they're not even here for the players!

On the ride back to the hotel, I ask them if they're interested in the game this weekend. The game? They don't go to the games. Their favorite team? Who cares! It's not like they'd throw Allen Iverson out of the rack, but they're really here for the rappers. Or the rappers' assistants. Or the rappers' bodyguards. Or the rappers' bodyguards' assistants. Real thugs. Good thugs.

This is the deep, dark secret of the NBA. The first sport to embrace hip-hop has essentially been hijacked by hip-hop. What keeps the girls coming back is not the sport, for Lord's sake. It's the proximity to their guys, their peeps. NBA All-Star weekend is like the Hip-Hop Summit, with a lot more cocktails.

The players the women love the most are the thugs. The ones who have a thuggish attitude, and penchant for out-of-control behavior. Interestingly, the women assert that NBA players (nearly all Black) are now less likely to marry White women, due to social pressure from their mothers/family back home. Though they acknowledge that the players generally prefer the "superbabe" types such as Eva Longoria.

But what is interesting is how tough and brutal the women's lives are, and yet they express a continued preference for thugs and dangerous bad boys. The cop has to deal with depressing crime among children when she returns, the 911 Operator a man who murdered his own infant, the subway driver with suicides. One would expect a preference for "softer" more supportive men, and one who could contribute their own income to family formation.

Yet, the woman show a great deal of pride on being independent, on paying their own way, and pursuing the sexy, "thug" bad boy. Who they find exciting and compelling. Sex is very public, with not much privacy or discretion. For some of the women, in their thirties, the spending on sex-related items (clothes, expensive trips, expensive lodging and meals and club attendance, with valet parking alone running often to over $200) seems almost designed to prevent accumulation of capital and moving up to a higher social status/earnings rung. Money is not invested in children, or property, or anything else that might generate wealth or power or status. It is spent in a hook-up environment that seems to last well into the thirties.

And mind you, these are all respectable women with blue collar to lower middle class jobs. Police officers earn respectable amounts of money in New York City. So too do bus drivers, subway operators, and the like. Yet culturally, the women remain mired in a ghetto mindset. Low future time orientation, little effort to save money, little time spent on moving upwards. The daydreams that do exist about moving upwards all center around a baby by an NBA player and child support. Something the women themselves acknowledge is unlikely in the extreme.

What is depressing about this profile, which is fairly interesting reading, is the death of the possible. It is certainly possible for a police officer to move upwards. So too, a NYC subway operator. There is no studying for exams, no desire to march upwards in civil service, or side operations like buying distressed property, that might be fixed up and provide an income. It seems an arrival in the blue collar lower middle class is an effort that proved exhausting, and no further attempt to move upward is made.

Hypergamy, unrestrained tends to stratify upward mobility. By killing the "possible dream" in favor of sex as long as possible with thug bad boys. As exciting and dangerous as it might be for the women, they would be better off by investing time and money for advancement, given that they have a short shelf life of attractiveness.

This article is of interest, not the least of which is the reality that White British Chavs have followed the same cultural path, and that White middle class women are (more slowly) on the same path. Currently, the upper middle class and middle class puts more emphasis on credentialism and education, than the Blue Collar Black (and White and Hispanic) sections of America. But the same thing, an unlimited expression of hypergamy and desire for fairly brutal dominance, has its own cultural way among White and Hispanic girls. Every bit of Gossip Girl, or Twilight, or other such desire for dominance and hierarchy leads inevitably towards a preference for thuggery. Simply because thuggery is the only way most men can compete. Only a few men can be ungodly good looking, famous, and powerful, but any man can pack a Glock in a night club and threaten to start shooting. This is generally why most societies that are successful limit the expression of hypergamy and push women into "respectable" choices of men who are not bad boy thugs, no matter how exciting the latter may be.

It certainly will take a good deal longer for the White population to arrive to where the Black Blue Collar population has arrived (arguably the Hispanic population by measure of illegitimacy and crime rates has already arrived, at least in part), but Whites will get there eventually. The payoff in mating success by men to appeal to women's hypergamy pretty much guarantees it in the end.

After all, what is holding back White women from embracing thugs? The fear of looking bad, mostly, among their peer group. Not much else. That's a thin reed to base civilization on, since it depends on an utter ruthlessness and power among White female peer groups to exclude and punish women who prefer thugs. Particularly since thuggery is a way for Joe Average to finally, become attractive to Jane Average, and compete with Alpha males. This sort of mating pattern had become habitual in the British borders, and much of Northern (and even Southern) Ireland. Violence and chaos tends to produce very, very short-term mating habits, based on sexual attraction and nothing else, with little long term investment.

A shift in the ability of White female peer groups to enforce anti-thug views can easily lead to rapid (and catastrophic) social declines for Whites to the level of the Blue Collar Black community. The Death of the Possible Dream may come soon enough to the White population, with catastrophic results.


Simon Grey said...

Well, let's get the preliminaries out of the way: "not all women are like that," "most women are not like that," the evidence is anecdotal," "sample size is too small," and "this one girl I know doesn't seem to be like that, ergo you're wrong."

You know, it's really funny how hip-hop thugs co-opted NBA groupies. I would have figured being a millionaire athletic star would be the alpha trump card of all alpha trump cards. I guess being a worthless lowlife is more impressive.

More importantly, here's more proof that chicks dig jerks.

Foxfier said...

After all, what is holding back White women from embracing thugs? The fear of looking bad, mostly, among their peer group.

Less public support for doing it, as well-- a white girl that's the "other woman" in that situation is hated; someone who vaguely matches the race of the cheater gets much more sympathy.

There definitely are white thugs, but they tend to be viewed as lower class or poor; the rap guys have money (or are associated with it) and thuggery.

Given the low cost of this kind of behavior, and how much "bad girls" fascinate the public, of course it's big news.

Country Lawyer said...

Reminds me of the "Hookers" that would follow an army around making money off the men.

Except these women have elected to hook for free.

In fact they're paying for the priviledge.

Rock Granite said...

More importantly, here's more proof that chicks dig jerks.

Not really. There are plenty of "jerks" out there who are nothing more than White internet losers.

Women aren't digging those guys.

If SOME women dig jerks it's the dominant, successful jerks not the bitter type-out-complaints-on-the-internet jerks that they prefer.

Not all jerks are created equal.

DR said...

I don't think the equilibrium is as unstable as you make it out to be, Whiskey.

History again and again has proven that the existence of a strong state with a monopoly on violence rapidly reduces the level of criminality, short-term mating and present time orientation. This has occurred dozens of times throughout independently and reliably.

A strong central state that kills or at least prevents violent thugs from mating acts like a nuclear control rod in the gene pool, keeping the situation from going critical. Every thug and low-life prevented from reproducing adds the double whammy of removing the genes that lead to that behavior as well as the genes for females to be attracted to that behavior (after all the thug's mother slept with papa thug).

The reason that the Black and British lower classes behave this way is because in the West, especially in lower-class areas, the state's monopoly on violence has broken down. How would Augustus Caesar deal with the Crips or MS-13 or the hooligans in Britain? My guess is that within 6 weeks there would be a lot fewer gang tags and a lot of dead young thugs. Even if Obama or Gordon Brown had the will for this they're institutionally incapable of it.

OhioStater said...

I'd be pissed if I were a million a year athlete, thinking that made me king top dog alpha, and I had to take seconds from the hanger-on of a hanger-on.

Then again a good number of NBA rich guys are like Al Horford and Ray Allen, rich and kinda nerdy. Either they grew up in a stable middle class black home, or some coach told them whites would like them more if they became clean-cut Bill Cosby blacks.

I once heard a black girl say her favorite player was Allen Iverson, really rich and 100% a thug. It all comes full circle.

Whiskey said...

Very good point DR. I just don't see a strong state anytime soon, more like Anarcho-Tyranny, i.e. anarchy for favored thug groups, tyranny for ordinary middle class (mostly but not exclusively White) folks. Puritan-Progressives among New England's cultural descendants are quite prone to anarcho-tyranny.

Ohio Stater, in the article the women all declare "hard" players who give off thug vibes particularly Iverson are their favorites and dislike Christian Dwayne Wade.

c-bama said...

what's the point of calling the article "nba groupies" when these swolled up wenches chasing soulja boy. And this article is almost 5 years old lol

OhioStater said...

Putting it all together, you've observed white girls don't necessarily like black guys but instead prefer white guys that act like black guys. You can already see white girls act like these black girls in the presence of lacrosse players.

Anonymous said...

Yea, weird that this is barely about NBA groupies!
I was a personal shopper for the NBA for a few years.
Helping their wives and families and girlfriends pick out jerseys to bring back to their friends. Writing it up on their account and making sure that you knew which player had a wife and a girlfriend so you could use the right name. Fun job, pretty easy. But it definitely gave me a perspective on how far women are willing to go for the 'alpha-male-sports-star' type.

Zeta said...

"After all, what is holding back White women from embracing thugs? The fear of looking bad, mostly, among their peer group. Not much else. That's a thin reed to base civilization on, since it depends on an utter ruthlessness and power among White female peer groups to exclude and punish women who prefer thugs. Particularly since thuggery is a way for Joe Average to finally, become attractive to Jane Average, and compete with Alpha males."

I think this is the key. It all comes down to that one thing: incentives. As you say, Whiskey, there is very little preventing white women from embracing thugs (lower-class white women already lean this way, of course). Certainly the legal system, payouts for bastards, and the celebration of single motherhood (by pop culture and academic victim-politics-mongerers) are not going to act as disincentives. Similarly, as you say, men are catching on that game and thuggery are more and more mandatory and not optional if they want any kind of sexual access.

It's only a matter of time, unless trends are somehow reversed. Just as blacks are the, um, avant-garde when it comes to other social dysfunctions like illegitimacy, with whites lagging but very much following, so it will go with white females -of every class- more and more preferring thugs.

INdecentMan said...

Can this behavior truly be called hypergamy? Knowingly going after the hangers-on of hangers-on? To answer my own question I would say I guess so because a brief romp with these miscreants are the best the women written about can hope for. But still, it just seems to be the behavior of rutting animals.

OhioStater said...

There's some socio-biological mechanism that gives men "just below" the top more effective power than the men at the top.

Read any history book: the king, emperor, or prince goes clinically insane because he's constantly fighting-off challengers to his throne.

Or, the top guy is held to the highest moral standard, and the greatest risk of negative publicity, effectively putting a check on his behavior.

The NBA all-star can have any woman he wants, but it will end up on TMZ or Deadspin, with cell phone pictures of his bedroom, letting the world know he has cute stuffed teddy bear against the wall. See Mark Sanchez.

The hanger-on can do what he wants, including rape probably, and noone will know, no pictures will hit the web, unless maybe a dead body shows up, and then, I'm sure, a "friend" steps in and cleans that up.

These women confuse license for power. It's precise hypergamy, and it's inaccurate hypergamy.

YR said...

"Money is not invested in children, or property, or anything else that might generate wealth or power or status. It is spent in a hook-up environment that seems to last well into the thirties."

This applies to men, too. Men of my cohort spend out the eyes to afford an apartment, nights at the bars, clothes, booze, et cetera, all for the purpose of hooking up.

Obsidian said...

Hey Whiskey, everyone,
Just wanted to drop you a line to let you know that I thought you did some excellent work here, and inspired me to do a piece of my own on it; you can check it out here:

Discourses Upon The Game, Vol. 2: Why Sistas Gotsta Have "That Thuggin' Love"

Looking forward to you and your readers' comments!


Black_Rose said...

"The death of the possible dream" -good, apt title -- maybe a little too apt. For example, it is certainly "possible" to win the lottery, but a quantitatively literate person who appreciates the odds would not count on it.

What is more important to you (or society): the mere perception among black women that upward mobility is possible (or better yet probable) or the reality that it is realistically possible (arbitrary defined as around > 40% chance for upward mobility)? If they believe it is possible, then they might exhibit desirable middle-class bourgeois traits such as personal responsibility and thrift -- behavior that is not antithetical to the order and stability of society. A meritocratic society certainly offers opportunity, but does not guarantee a good, materially secure, even for people who are hard working, but do not possess the requisite desirable intellectual capacity.

Perhaps the black women themselves realize that they lack g and that advancement in society is g loaded. This seems to be a realistic point-of-view. In other words, their assessment of their prospects of upward mobility through embracing middle-class bourgeois values is rather grim, and trying to seduce an NBA "thug" has a higher (perceived) expected value.

Athlone McGinnis said...

I swear, Black America must own one of the mot dysfunctional cultures in the western world(certainly in the US). I'd read and seen enough already to come to that conclusion, but articles like this just drive the point further home than I even thought it could go. Fantastic analysis, btw, nothing to add.

I will say this regarding the shortsightedness of these women.

They think that if they do manage to snag one of these men, they'll be set for life. In the article, one Houston girl said "Because let's face it, if you get pregnant, your life is made."

The sheer ignorance is staggering. Here's just one example:

60% of NBA players go bankrupt after retirement. The number for the NFL is even higher(close to 80%).

The majority of these men simply aren't going to have any money at all. Many of those who are left will not be entirely broke, but aside from a very small elite few with constant streams of sponsorships and big color commentary job offers on major networks, they aren't going to be able to support the type of lifestyle these women demand PLUS a child(she probably won't even be the only "baby mama").

Its an amazing state of affairs, really. These women went out of their way to earn higher salaries and the right to reach higher professional satus. What do so many of these newly "empowered, strong black women" do with this? They take the extra money they earn(which could be invested in kids or land) and spend it chasing "high status" men who will never invest in or support them properly. They don't use the new opportunities they have to move up in civil service, again taking that extra effort and money and putting it into status-chasing.

Forgive me for being pessimistic about the general future of black America. This mentality(among other similary destructive phenomena) is far too common for there to be any significant progress. Even Obama cannot save this culture.

Anonymous said...

"Augustus Caesar deal with the Crips or MS-13 or the hooligans in Britain?"

In Rome Caesar dealt with them by supplying them bread (welfare) and circuses (the NBA). Worked well enough.

Obsidian said...

Hi Whiskey, everyone,
Just wanted to thank you again for turning us all on to a very interesting and important topic, for a whole host of reasons.

As a follow-up to my post yesterday which was inspired by your article here, I've just finished a post where I breakdown what occurred at the NBA All Star weekend you alluded to, the GQ article. I invite everyone here to check it out:

An NBA All-Star Weekend Field Report

Comment and reply, holla.


josh said...

What about biology? Black women are independent and tough not becuase othey live in da ghetto--theyre that way biologically. Thats how they evolved. African trad society is set up with the women doing the work and the men being worthless layabouts whose dancing & fighting skeeyulls attract the gals. Does debauched whiye woman= black woman? When a black woman "frows down wit da white girl" you gonna see who black!!

josh said...

For what its worh let me add: Does anyone follow The Bachelor,the lame and grotesque ABC series about the guy picking a love-of-his-life from among 25 single women? Chosen by TV execs? It seesm one of the finalists in the current series had,uhm,"dated" Carlos Boozer,the injury prone giant NBA star,currently of the Bulls.She said she now regrets the "dating",as Carlos was married--at the time.Weird. I think I'd scratch her off my list if i was him--tears notwithstanding,nome sayne???


NOTHING is stopping white women from getting with thugss. I see it all the time - but again, amongst those of lower SES, just like these black women. Yeah, they have "respectable" blue collar jobs, but like you said, they DON'T have a respectable mindset. They are mired in the ghetto mentality, otherwise known as the "slave mentality".

ANOTHER POINT - these women aren't setting their sites on the NBA atheletes because they know they can't get them. From the descriptions these women are obese and cheap looking. NBA atheletes got their pride. They ain't gonna hook up with no chickenhead.

Sure, they like 'em thick and curvy - like Kim Kardashian, not "curvy" like Precious.

So, these sista gyals know what's up: they ain't got what it takes to get with a "baller" - so they goin' for the next best thing.

Anonymous said...

Worth mentioning that all of the women identified in the article are 'civil servants' who work for the government? Although from their own descriptions of their jobs, the serving piece is pretty absent.

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