About this title An essential defense of the people the world loves to revile--the loners--yet without whom it would be lost The Buddha. Rene Descartes. Emily Dickinson. Greta Garbo. Bobby Fischer. Loners keep to themselves, and like it that way.
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May 05, Forrest rated it liked it Most people who meet me in person have a hard time believing that I self-identify as a loner. They see me as pretty gregarious and comfortable in most social situations, even among total strangers.
And those times come often. Being around people takes energy away from me. I have to give the energy. As a child, books were among my best friends. And I loved nothing more than to get on my bike, alone, and go exploring. That was the height of pleasure for me as a young one. And as a teenager living in England, I loved taking the train and bus down to London to go explore, again, alone.
Of course, I did these things with other friends, as well, but I was often more than comfortable being my own best friend. And I still am. Note carefully where the apostrophe falls in the title.
Loners want to know about other loners. You be the judge. Rufus covers a broad range of topics. One that struck me was the culture or anti-culture of being alone. I had not thought about how my life as a loner is facilitated by the idea of American individualism.
I was raised in the military, having lived in Germany, the Philippines, Italy, and England, as well as in the south, midwest, east, and west before I had turned And I mean lived in, not just visited.
Every few years Dad would get orders and we would move. It was just life. Underlying all of this movement, though, was the idea, entrenched in my head, that I was American - my father was a member of the US military, and I was raised with this from day one, how could I not identify with the stars and stripes when it was all that I had known? These first sections of the book were different than I expected, mostly in a good way. I had not made the connection that most pop culture worships the loner because pop culture is created by loners, for the most part , while at the same time being marketed to the non-loner crowd.
I had to think about that for a while. But how else do you account for the burgeoning of "geek culture"? Not that all geeks are loners far from it , but there is, I suspect, a much higher proportion of people who identify as "geeks" who are loners. On the subject of friends, Rufus points out that, yes, loners have friends, some very good friends.
But they tend to choose depth over breadth, and their friends need to understand when the loner needs to be alone. My experience, exactly. I never quite understood those who held what I thought were multiple shallow friendships. I always looked for something deeper with the few friends that I had, sometimes at the cost of great heartbreak. While Rufus did strike some familiar chords in me, the book, by and large, missed the mark.
I have to register strong disagreement with p. Here, the author speaks of internet usage which she calls "an absolute and total miracle" for loners. In examining the thoughts of those who criticize the use of the Internet because it keeps children from enjoying the outdoors, Rufus states: they claim [the Internet] keeps kids from playing healthy games outdoors.
They say it is a procurer for perverts, a weapon in hate crimes. Underlying all this, of course, is the real reason for their dismay: The Internet legitimizes solitude.
The book is passionate, but heavily flawed. And the reason for the flaws is that it is over-passionate. In later chapters, Rufus points out that many criminals, particularly violent criminals, are automatically labeled "loner" when, in fact, their need for social attention drives them to their acts.
It is terribly ironic that many who kill do so because they lack meaningful relationships with others. Still, the militant stance against media and police who make the false assumption that every serial killer is a loner is a bit off-putting.
The writing here, at times, reminds me of why I hate The Catcher in the Rye so bloody much. The chapter on artists is fantastic. There is an eloquent series of anecdotes about how artists tend to be loners though not always.
And this, on artists, is compelling: Artists hear what no one else hears. They see what no one else sees. They say what no one else says. They must. And to do this, they traffic in the slippery yield of their own souls.
They bring to earth the wrack and lode of depths that only they can reach and still come back alive. This is the kind of passion I can get behind! Unfortunately, Rufus falls, yet again, into the trap of making assumptions about how masses of other people feel.
The chapter on religion is a train-wreck, full of a whole litany of falsehoods and bad assumptions about loners and religion.
In her defense, Rufus does hit on some emotionally tough subjects that hit close to the heart. The whole idea of loners being viewed as crazy is an uncomfortable one to face, especially when one prides himself on being a loner and maybe a touch different, though not altogether insane.
This is a deep emotional kernel of self-identity that I had to view through the microscope and am still thinking about, especially with the recent death of my parents, one of whom, my Mother , was clinically depressed and had borderline personality disorder her whole life. In fact, I wear that badge proudly! But being viewed as outright nuts because I prefer to spend time with myself and lock myself away for hours on end particularly when engaged in creative endeavors , that has the potential to hurt.
Sane or not, is book worth your reading time? For those who self-identify as loners, take this with a big grain of salt. What is true is that all of us are complex, subtly-shaded individuals, some of whom would rather be in a dark corner for awhile, alone, re-energizing. Ugly caterpillars become beautiful butterflies when they come out of the cocoon. But they have to undergo their marvelous transformation all alone.
LONERS MANIFESTO PDF
Volar But the listings of loner tech geniuses, movie characters, novelists, etc. Make ourselves either unintentionally scary or invisible. But uncannily, this axiom seems to have been time lkners, tested an asserted by a horde of artistes, philosophers, painters and other noticeables all catalogued with great trivial pursuit soundbites. It was a perfect day. Nibbling the waffles, I took out a book and began reading.
ISBN 13: 9781569245132
Party of One: The Loners' Manifesto