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"Science"
Getting Buff for the Apocalypse

Young men are spending more time in the gym—and gloomy social scientist says that’s bad:

A new study out of the University of East Anglia in England has found a surprising connection between the social media activities of gym “bros” and economic health. The research suggests that since 2008, there has been “an empirically observable rise in young men sharing images of their worked-out bodies on social media platforms.”

The reason, according to study author and University of East Anglia lecturer Jamie Hakim, is an erosion of “traditional routes to success and power” typically supplied through rewarding employment.

“Austerity has eroded young men’s traditional means of value creation, so they have become increasingly reliant on their bodies as a means of feeling valuable to society,” Hakim said in a statement accompanying his report. “The projection of what constitutes a ‘good life’ has become so spectacular even while the means of achieving home ownership, a prestigious career and a high income are radically diminishing.”

Our guess: if this trend stops and young men start skipping their workouts to play video games, some gloomy gus social scientist will publish a paper calling this new trend a sign of impending social doom. And some journalist somewhere will be gullible enough to use it as “evidence” for the collapse of capitalism.

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  • QET

    I don’t see this as being as silly as TAI seems to. It is a plain fact that, whether or not capitalism is collapsing, fewer and fewer people, in the West anyway, are active participants in it (and most especially young men). Nearly everyone’s material needs in the West are taken care of, and so what you have are growing numbers of young men who are bored. Boredom is a far greater threat to social peace than people seem to appreciate. So you have growing numbers of young, bored men, who are spending their time making themselves physically strong. At some point some of these men are going to want to put that strength to some sort of “use” before they get old and tired and flabby. Maybe the phenomenon will not evolve beyond bar fights and football hooliganism. Or maybe it will (Nika riots, anyone?).

    • Krangus McBasketball

      A Clockwork Orange comes to mind

      • QET

        Indeed. A bit of the old ultra-violence.

    • LarryD

      Be glad they’re not converting to Islam. Be very very glad.

      The Progressives ought to recognize the potential for revolution growing here. A guiding rationale, a charismatic leader. Soros has been investing a lot in BLM, apparently trying to start a race war. That’s what he could get, but I don’t think anyone will be able to control such a thing. A tiger that cannot be ridden.

    • seattleoutcast

      Maybe they’re all in Fight Club, but not talking about it….

      If this is true, then it is the failure of our culture to promote a humble society dedicated to the betterment of life in America. Have these people spent an hour or two a week doing their civic duty (voting, learning the voting issues, studying history.) When narcissism takes over, it’s a sign that there is a disproportionate bias towards self-interest.

    • CaliforniaStark

      At some point some of these men are going to want to put that strength to some sort of “use” before they get old and tired and flabby”

      Yes. and that “use” is called sex.

  • Andrew Allison

    Ah yes, the Univesity of East Anglia, home of climategate. Why would anybody take it seriously.

    • CaliforniaStark

      “since 2008, there has been “an empirically observable rise in young men sharing images of their worked-out bodies on social media platforms.” Hasn’t there been a major increase in the use of social media platforms in general since 2008? Would’t that naturally result in more more sharing of images? What exactly is the difference between “empirically observable” and non-empirical observable?

      In recent history, I would rate the 1990s as a time when males were heavily into fitness; gyms were packed and seeing buffed males was common. The 1990s are commonly viewed as economically prosperous; being fit was viewed as a part of being successful.

      Academic research at the University of East Anglia appears to involve thinking up a pet theory; then making up facts to support it.

    • Jim__L

      Of course the question on every forward-thinking, equal-rights-oriented mind is, are there any similar studies about female selfies?

      One wonders how East Anglians get funding for this sort of research. Or maybe one doesn’t.

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