Spot The Alpha

It’s not often we get a photo with two super alphas — representing different male factions — squaring off in friendly admiration rather than combative distrust. But here we have it with Putin and the leader of a Russian motorcycle gang whose name is too long for me to bother spelling out, swapping war stories.

“Comrade leader, I incapacitated five Chechyans last week utilizing nothing but a half-full bottle of wuuudka and a babushka’s hairpin. You would have loved to been there.”

“Alexander, my old friend, we have shared many a ride across the Siberian tundra, have we not? Then you know there is no need for me to tell you that the great shame is the wuuudka you spilled on behalf of the Motherland. Could you not have done the same with some of that Polska shit?”

“Haha, da da, good point, my dear friend!”

“Maybe next time I show you what makes great bear of Russian brother — a polonium tipped umbrella and a 20 year old gymnast!”

Strictly speaking, and in broad terms, Putin is undoubtedly the bigger alpha here. Putin ostensibly runs a country; Alexander the Biker runs a bike gang.

But alpha is often context dependent. Should he so choose, Putin has the fame and power and mystique to clean up with the ladies pretty much wherever he goes, but there are probably some biker bars where Alex is king of the hill and the girls will encircle him as aggressively or moreso than they will Putin. In the cramped quarters of a bar or street gathering, away from the media and cameras, these two men will be judged on more immediate male attractiveness criteria than their ability to pull off power moves in the Politburo.

With that in mind, this moment in time caught in a photo offers a rare glimpse of two fairly equal alphas in a pose-off. Putin, the shorter one, has a clear physical disadvantage in size that deflates some of his alpha allure. But Putin’s solid alpha body language — his ramrod posture, devious grin and straightforward gaze that avoids a betafying crane of the neck upward at the taller Alex — neutralizes his lesser stature.

Meanwhile, Alex’s posture and BL are just as alpha, and his face, too, is etched with a self-satisfied smirk. Interestingly, if you look closely at his eyes, it seems as if Alex is attempting a higher status coup over Putin — or is he offering a small gesture of respect to him? — by refraining from bending his head downward to look at Putin. Only his eyes travel downward to the direction of Putin’s eyes. The impression Alex gives is one of haughtiness.

The other bikers are focused on their leader, although that could just be because he is the one talking at the moment the picture was snapped. It could also be that these men, having been through more crazy shit with Alex, know the depth of his alphaness. Putin’s alphaness they know only from digesting media reports, and from his automatic status as a world leader.

It is that intimacy with Alex’s character that earns their deeper loyalty and admiration. There’s a lesson there.

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