Date 4: Conservative Warrior Princess

Date 4 took me back out into the spectator sport of stunt dating.

Now, since I started this blog, I've really plumbed the depths of the strangest niche dating sites that exist, the sort of things that would make your hair turn white. There's Positivesingles.com, which is "the world's largest dating site for people with HIV, Herpes and more!" & Diapermates.com, the "internet's largest free personals community for Adult Babies and Diaper lovers". Not to say there aren't lovely ladies who enjoy wearing nappies or suffer from herpes (or both), of course. 

As anyone (especially a man) who has tried online dating will tell you, having a profile on a website rarely guarantees you a date. You really have to push for one, and often, when you tell people you're a journalist with a dating blog, they aren't that willing to go on a date with you. Especially if what they are into is, to coin a phrase, super-weird. 

Thus, I was pretty impressed that within half an hour of creating a profile on the AtlasSphere.com, a "place where admirers of Ayn Rand's novels can meet, 365 days a year, to network, find shared interests and perhaps, through our online dating service, even fall in Love", I was being approached and offered a date.

Now, you may not be familiar with the work of Ayn Rand, but it's a little, umm... extreme. Her most famous book is called Atlas Shrugged. Alan Greenspan said of it “It taught me that capitalism is not only practical and efficient but also moral." But really, don’t bother reading it.

It’s dark. Crazy dark. Crazy enough to include quotes like “Altruism is the only real evil. The man who speaks to you of making a sacrifice is speaking of slaves and masters, and he intends to be the master.” It is the exposition of Rand’s theory of life; the theory of Objectivism, a theory which says that “people of the mind” – writers, artists, entrepreneurs & inventors should cut themselves loose of a society which expects them to contribute to the rest if it; to hand money to “moochers and parasites” as Rand would have it.

As well as a philosophical thought experiment, it’s also a turgidly written, 1000 page, rubbish science fiction novel. It is frankly, in need of a ruthless edit. Apparently, Rand’s publisher suggested this, to which she curtly responded, “Would you cut the bible?”.

Well, aside from the obvious answer, “Yeah, totally, especially all the contradictory and/or mad bits”, it is clear Rand wouldn’t get into her own elitist city on the strength of the novel’s plot or writing. At its heart it’s a mystery; it’s about a railroad executive and a steel magnate who realise society is crumbling around them, because all of the best minds in the world have hidden away in a paradise city hidden under a holographic shield in Colorado. They have lots of badly written sex on the way, in between the 60 page monologues about how great selfishness is.

It's very popular among a certain type of person in American - you often see bumper stickers saying "Who is John Galt?" (the central question of the novel) alongside ones supporting the National Rifle association or with catchy slogans like "Welcome to the people's republic of Obamastan". The person who had messaged me described herself as a "Conservative Warrior Princess", so it seemed pretty clear she fell broadly into this category.

I was a *bit* surprised to get a message so quickly, especially as I had written an alarmingly honest profile: "Socially liberal Tory journo looking for fun dates with amusing Libertarian folk. No moochers, splicers or people with swarms of bees living in their arms. Would you kindly go on a date with me". All of this seems a bit obscure, but largely references a Rand inspired computer game from a few years back. Trust me, if you like that game, it's hilarious.

So, anyway, back to Conservative Warrior Princess. She was a producer for an arm Fox news, from Texas, and had just moved to London. She wanted to go on a date that was something "very London, but not on the basic tourist trail". I offered her high tea at Kensington Palace Orangery, or coffee in the Brixton market. She opted for Brixton. So, anyway, we meet up on a chilly Sunday at Brixton tube, and sauntered down Electric Avenue (yes, the one from the song). It's fair to say it's a pretty multi-cultural district, and I think the first alarm bells started to ring when she said "Holy shit, is this the Ghetto?".

You can see a video of it here:




My gut feeling is, you can't get a good quality mocha in "the ghetto", but, hey, what do I know? 

We sat down for coffee at a nice eclectic bohemian little coffee place that does lovely hot chocolate. We started to chat. I must confess, I was interested to meet someone from inside Fox News - I have quite a few friends who work for places like the Daily Mail, who overwhelmingly don't support the paper's editorial line, and outside of work, are quite happy to criticise it. Oh, but not this girl. 

We got through "But what do we really know about Barack Obama?", "Climate change is a hoax by liberals" and a quite long chat about her favourite rifle (a .270 calibre Winchester, in case you're interested) before I was 100% sure she was a true believer. It wasn't all bad - we had very similar tastes in online gaming, so were able to bond over that. 

We had a good chat about American politics, as I was out in the states during the elections. She told me she was an avid scuba diver, and looked forward to diving in the north sea - an experience I suggested could be replicated by wearing her wetsuit in a bath half-full of ice with the lights off. So, hey, that's *almost* Diapermates.com. 

Sadly, things then went a bit sour as we actually had a mild row when she asked me how I felt about how my country had been "colonised by the muslims". It simmered down quickly as we agreed to disagree, but I was by that point already thinking that this was probably a good blog entry, but not a good date. 

It's the classic confusion of the word conservative - in the US, it means flag loving, god-fearing guns and apple pie folk, whereas, in the UK, it can mean gay marriage liking, multi-culturalist, "i'd just like to pay a little less tax", liberal Cameroons like me.

We eventually parted company amicably, having split the bill, with me paying the tip - I offered to pay, and we got into this bizarre Objectivist-inspired confusion where me paying was accusing her of being a "moocher", but her traditionalism preventing her splitting the bill, and me feeling a little guilty at letting her get the tab, which was a conversation I'd never had before - or probably will ever have again. Until I move to Rapture, anyway.

The fact that she added me on Linkedin after the date I think says a reasonable amount about whether we'll see each other again romantically. Still, I'd gone on a date off the full-on bizarre list, and come out unbitten, so I think I'm getting better at this online dating malarkey...

8 comments:

  1. There is an Ayn rand dating website *picks mouth up from floor*

  2. Anonymous said...

    There truly is something for everyone on that there interweb. Extraordinary.

  3. CEH said...

    She is going to have a hilarious time in London. Please encourage her to write a blog?

  4. Don't you think you are being a little hard on he? And ridiculing Ayn Rand is not clever. I detect a strong whiff of misogyny there and it rather suggests you have either not read the book in question or only skimmed it.

    The custom when you offer to pay a bill and the girl offers to split it, is to insist at least a little bit "Really, its no problem, I like paying". She was probably just nervous. And lots of people are interested in diving. Maybe not me either, but ridiculing it strikes me as odd. Confirmed bachelor set in his ways odd.

    I'm picking up a very limited awareness of American culture too.

  5. I'm sure that you love our culture Mr. Palfreman but it does seem with that comment about "colonising" that she seems to have a very limited awareness of British culture and why Mr. Mosley wasn't a gent.
    I don't think he was ridiculing diving, I believe he was describing the north sea as it is, cold and dark. Diving in the med or out in australia sound far more appealing.

    Ridiculing Rand isn't clever I agree, it's like beating a dog who doesn't know better for crapping on the floor.

  6. Nice assumption wielding, Declan. Our culture? Colonising? Mosley, for heaven's sake?

    Of course it is perfectly acceptable to ridicule Ayn Rand in an intelligent perceptive and amusing way, as in the play "Mozart was a red". But dog shit references? You are being a moron.

    For your information, lots of people swim in the North Sea. I have done so on many occasions. Lots of people dive in it too. It isn't that cold and you do wear a wetsuit. It is what they are for.

    You might find it profitable to look up Moseley on Wikipedia, where you you will see which party exactly he was a member of as MP and government minister. Something the Labour party doesn't much like to talk about.

  7. Bea said...

    I love this blog. I did something sort of similar a while back. Went on 52 language exchanges and met some people who I thought were weirdos, until I read your blog. The address is www.52exchanges.com if you're interested. Good luck with your quest!

  8. I'm not sure what you're refuting at all William. All you are doing is stating facts that have no bearing on what I said and acting as if they prove something when they have no bearing on what I said. I may be a moron but you're just talking at me and assuming that makes you right.

    Talking down to me about British history and what looks like a dig at the Labour party doesn't make your case. You accuse the author of misogyny because he rubbishes a book that decries empathy and altruism as evils and yet I am making assumptions.

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