The Alpha Game

The sociosexuality of Die Hard: a very scientific analysis

‘Tis the season when all good men watch Die Hard.

After It’s a Wonderful Life with the family, of course.

Watching John McClane again this year with the sociosexual hierarchy in mind, it’s pretty obvious why this guy appeals to us. He loves his family, he’s imperfect, he stands up to the bad guys and gets things done when they need doing. He’s an everyman kind of a character, with a little extra wisecracking to make him likeable.

You might think “this guy has to be an Alpha – look at how he manages to face everyone down and conquer!”

But you’d be wrong.

Holly’s boss Joseph Takagi is an Alpha:

Hans Gruber is an Alpha:

But John McClane?


He’s a normal guy. He’s tough, but he’s loyal. He’s a hero when he has to be.

Yet his interactions with his career-chasing wife are cringeworthy. He’s given her lots of leeway and she’s left him, even going back to her maiden name – and he comes in to town for Christmas to see his kids, even berating himself for arguing with her after she’s changed her name and acted like a bitch.

He’s a good guy, though. A decent, normal guy. And when things get serious, he steps into the breach and risks his life for his wife and a group of strangers.

Deltas build civilizations and keep them together. If John McClane had been an Alpha there would be no Die Hard. Instead, he would have stayed in New York and kept a few female gymnasts on speed dial while working his way to the top of his department. Frumpy old Holly wouldn’t even be in the picture.

And then who would’ve been there to say all those corporate stooges and drop Alan Rickman off a tower?

This guy?


Finally, this guy is definitely a gamma:

Alpha posturing without the Alpha goods.

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