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Party of One: The Loner's Manifesto (2003)

av Anneli Rufus

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
9141517,791 (3.68)44
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. J. D. Salinger: Loners, all--along with as many as 25 percent of the world's population. Loners keep to themselves, and like it that way. Yet in the press, in films, in folklore, and nearly everywhere one looks, loners are tagged as losers and psychopaths, perverts and pity cases, ogres and mad bombers, elitists and wicked witches. Too often, loners buy into those messages and strive to change, making themselves miserable in the process by hiding their true nature--and hiding from it. Loners as a group deserve to be reassessed--to claim their rightful place, rather than be perceived as damaged goods that need to be "fixed." In Party of One Anneli Rufus--a prize-winning, critically acclaimed writer with talent to burn--has crafted a morally urgent, historically compelling tour de force--a long-overdue argument in defense of the loner, then and now. Marshalling a polymath's easy erudition to make her case, assembling evidence from every conceivable arena of culture as well as interviews with experts and loners worldwide and her own acutely calibrated analysis, Rufus rebuts the prevailing notion that aloneness is indistinguishable from loneliness, the fallacy that all of those who are alone don't want to be, and wouldn't be, if only they knew how.… (mer)
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Visa 1-5 av 15 (nästa | visa alla)
YES. Rufus hits the nail on the head about being a loner: we don’t hate people – we just want to be alone. We have friends. We are not “hiding” in our homes. We are not stuck up, we are not perverts, we are not socially inept. A point she brilliantly hammered home was the the headline “loners” who kill are never loners in the real sense – they are alone, not loners. They don’t want to be alone, but rather have alienated anyone who might have wanted to be around them. ( )
  sterlingfink | Sep 5, 2019 |
Honestly, I was expecting a rational exploration of introversion, but got what felt like a brochure of Anneli Rufus' musings on what makes extreme loners better than non-loners. Not a terrible read, but not exactly what I was looking for ( )
  CKHarrigan | Jun 5, 2014 |
The Free Dictionary defines "manifesto" as "A public declaration of principles, policies, or intentions...." As a loner and a lover of solitude, I was excited to read this book because I was looking for just that to validate and enhance my lifestyle. I looked for the manifesto, but I didn't find it.

What I read were angry recollections by the author and about others and shrill fist-shaking at the "mob" who enjoy being together in groups of 2+. The book's definition of "loner" fits me, and I have known this for most of my life. I choose when to be with people, and it is a special event because usually, I choose to be alone. I work with the public, and so get plenty of face-to-face human interaction, overly so most days when I am relieved to get onto my own patch of desert and loving animal friends and lock the gate against the world.

However, I believe in live and let live, which this book appears to not do; there is much condescension against those who want to be en masse. Loners are not superior to those who seek out company. I believe that loners benefit from the community while enjoying the luxury of being alone - particularly in modern times - because the community provides much of the services that loners use (utilities, transportation and roads, food and food services, physical protection of life and property, medical care, etc). I appreciate the community from afar, and value my solitary life made possible by many I'll never (thankfully) meet. This book is not this loner's "manifesto." ( )
2 rösta brickhorse | Apr 27, 2014 |
This book is an absolute godsend for anyone introverted, lonerish, or individualistic who after being constantly subjected to the "Extrovert Ideal" (as Susan Cain calls it) finally - even if only slightly - caves into the notion that there is something wrong with them. Let's face it, after being told "don't be shy", "you're so quiet", "why don't you talk to anyone", "I am worried about you", etc. an uncountable number of times, you begin to question your own sanity a little bit. This kind of badgering is the pressure of the extrovert ideal, which pushes the notion that being social equates to correct behavior, that things are only fun in the presence of others, that being alone and/or turning down invitations to gatherings means you are missing out on something. While these assertions may be true for nonloners and extroverts, they are false for loners and introverts. Admittedly, Susan Cain's Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking is a more diplomatic treatment of this topic, and I would definitely recommend it over "Party of One" to any extroverts/nonloners who are interested in the subject matter. On the other hand, I would recommend both books to introverts/loners, as Party of One will help you to shrug off the constant barrage of anti-loner sentiment (as well as affirm the fact that you are not crazy if you are having doubts), while Quiet will give you a well-researched overview of both of these seemingly diametric personality types. ( )
3 rösta cliffhays | Dec 30, 2013 |
Interesting premise, but ultimately annoying. Could have been an in-depth analysis of the solitary sort of person, but instead it's a bunch of laundry lists of loners in various jobs, loners who are unfairly maligned, loners who ought to be recognized and honored for their specialness, rather than excoriated by the great touchy-feely mob. This book made me weary and irritable, and want to be alone forever. ( )
2 rösta satyridae | Apr 5, 2013 |
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To Fuzzy, for being,
To Matthew, for believing,
To DM, a friend from 1965 and beyond
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To EK, a friend from 1982 and beyond
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I went to Fisherman's Wharf to watch daredevil navy pilots do stunts over San Francisco Bay.
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We tend to react to these things we love in our own ways, which tend to have more to do with feeling and imagining than with buying. This harks back to the way I felt at Disneyland: that it was not simply a pleasure dome, but an implicit challenge. Not an end in itself, but an inspiration. Now that you have learned about imagination, go and use your own. Do not waste your time in the gift shop loading up on souvenirs. They will not bring you what you need. Nonloners take being entertained for granted. For the mob, entertainment is a finished product, not a starting point.
IN ITS PREMIER issue, the alternative-lifestyle journal To-Do List introduced a whole new typology, and a tongue-twisting brand name for it: the quirkyalone.

“We are the puzzle pieces who seldom fit with other puzzle pieces,” wrote the magazine’s editor, Sasha Cagen, in the issue’s lead article. “We inhabit singledom as our natural resting state. . . . Secretly, we are romantics, romantics of the highest order. We want a miracle. Out of millions we have to find the one who will understand.

“For the quirkyalone, there is no patience for dating just for the sake of not being alone. On a fine but by no means transcendent date we dream of going home to watch television. We would prefer to be alone with our own thoughts than with a less than perfect fit. We are almost constitutionally incapable of casual relationships.” As for whether “being a quirkyalone is a life sentence, I say yes, at the core, one is always quirkyalone. But when the quirkyalone collides with another, ooh la Ia. The earth quakes.” After the article was reprinted in The Utne Reader, Cagen became a sought-after media pundit, interviewed widely on the subject of “deeply single” singles—seekers of love who aren’t desperate to date merely for the sake of dating.

The speed with which her concept was understood and absorbed dispels once again the stereotype of unsexy loners. Dispels it, at least, for alternative-lifestyle types. The masses whose flesh crawls at the word alternative are still happy with their conviction that anything done alone is at best not worth doing, at worst a sin. The Church reveals its antiloner bias by reviling masturbation. An old boyfriend of a friend of mine used to call her—they lived hundreds of miles apart—to confess, crying, that he had jerked off. I did it again, he moaned. She would yawn. It was three in the morning, her time. So?

So tell me it was wrong, he wept.

No, my friend said. Hang up and do it again.

He would get furious. He wanted her to help him correct what he could see only as a flaw in himself, wash the sin from himself. She would not help. He broke up with her and started sleeping with other girls. A sin, too, but one he could brag about. A sin that drew him out of solitude, which was a greater sin, and brought his penis out into the world, where it could proudly join the crowd.
What are loners to make of the presumption—the message in all that fretting—that a less sociable world is automatically a worse one? That free time spent socializing with others is automatically superior to time spent in other ways? When headlines say Internet Users Spend More Time Alone it is not just a comment but a wail, a banshee heralding a death. What if a certain girl spends her time on-line studying the life cycle of luna moths while the girl next door spends her social time sharing a crack pipe with the boarder? Or even, say, sitting on the porch with Kate and Morgan talking about nothing for hours? Is socializing all that great? Riots are socializing. Arguably, more damage is done and time wasted in company with others than alone.
IN THE SUMMER of 2002, a California man was charged with attempted murder after spraying Raid on his ex-girlfriends lipstick and allergy medication believing it would poison her. Years before, this man had warned this woman that if she ever left him for another, he would kill her. When she finally broke up with him, he put his plan into action. His intended victim discovered the insecticide on her belongings before any harm was done, and the man was promptly arrested. The couple’s neighbor told the San Francisco Chronicle that the allegations surprised her because the accused man was “outgoing and friendly.”

“I didn’t believe it,” she told the reporter. “You’d see him more than you’d see her, and he’d wave. I thought he was a great guy. My son and his friends used to ride their bikes and stop and shake his hand and talk to him.”

This would-be killer seemed unkillerlike because he shook hands. The premise is absurd, and all the more compelling for its absurdity. Does it take a genius to see that it takes a social man to become so possessive, so enmeshed with others, that his rage and jealousy over a breakup make him want to kill? These are the motives that ignite most violence. Anger. Envy. Desire. Betrayal. Resentment. Rejection. Love. Hate. These are social motives, the concerns of those wrapped up in the thoughts and actions of others. These are the motives of those who cannot stand being left out, who do not heal quickly from ridicule, who seethe over dents in their reputations. These are the motives of those who need others. They need others for their very sense of self, they live for the responses they elicit from others. When the response is wrong, or never comes, the result is often bloody indeed. Revenge, retaliation, retribution.

These are not the motives that move loners. We do not want those things from others—acceptance and admiration and control and power—that make social people kill. We neither hang nor thrive on what others think, say or do. The fact that we mind our own business saves us from the types of torment that typically lead to violence. We want nothing from others but to be left alone.

We lack the motive. Tell that to the newspapers.
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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. J. D. Salinger: Loners, all--along with as many as 25 percent of the world's population. Loners keep to themselves, and like it that way. Yet in the press, in films, in folklore, and nearly everywhere one looks, loners are tagged as losers and psychopaths, perverts and pity cases, ogres and mad bombers, elitists and wicked witches. Too often, loners buy into those messages and strive to change, making themselves miserable in the process by hiding their true nature--and hiding from it. Loners as a group deserve to be reassessed--to claim their rightful place, rather than be perceived as damaged goods that need to be "fixed." In Party of One Anneli Rufus--a prize-winning, critically acclaimed writer with talent to burn--has crafted a morally urgent, historically compelling tour de force--a long-overdue argument in defense of the loner, then and now. Marshalling a polymath's easy erudition to make her case, assembling evidence from every conceivable arena of culture as well as interviews with experts and loners worldwide and her own acutely calibrated analysis, Rufus rebuts the prevailing notion that aloneness is indistinguishable from loneliness, the fallacy that all of those who are alone don't want to be, and wouldn't be, if only they knew how.

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