Upcoming Speaking Engagement: The 21 Convention in Orlando

I’m pleased to announce that this fall I’ve agreed to speak at the 21 Convention in Orlando, Florida. The conference...

STW 22 – The Identitarians - Vienna Calling

Jack Donovan interviews Martin Lichtmesz and Martin Sellner, Identitarian activists based in Vienna. Topics include the Yukio Mishma, the...

STW 21 - Jim Goad on The New Church Ladies

STW Episode 21 features JIM GOAD, author of The Redneck Manifesto. As a writer, Goad has been rustling jimmies since the...

We Are Not Brothers

I am not your brother. I am not your “bro,” your “brah,” your “brohem,” your “brotha” or your “brother...

All Training is Sacrifice - STW Episode #18

Don’t kill your ego. Sacrifice Yourself To Yourself. Bruce Lee wrote that: “Punches and kicks are tools to kill...
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Upcoming Speaking Engagement: The 21 Convention in Orlando
Blog, STW Podcasts
STW 22 – The Identitarians - Vienna Calling
STW Podcasts
STW 21 - Jim Goad on The New Church Ladies
Blog, Essays, Feature
We Are Not Brothers
Blog, Feature, STW Podcasts
All Training is Sacrifice - STW Episode #18
White Trash
Blog

Why I Am Not A White Nationalist

I am not a White Nationalist.

I’m just not a spineless cuck who pisses his pants every time someone calls him a racist on Facebook. And I don’t let people who I have no respect for tell me who I’m allowed to support or call a friend. 

Six years ago, before I ever spoke at an “Alt-Right” event or submitted an article to Alternative Right or Radix or Counter Currents, I wrote an essay titled, “Mighty White.” I stand by it to this day, and my views have changed very little over the years.

In fact, there’s very little new to say, except that, if anything, I’ve learned to hate white people and White Nationalists more than any of their opponents. Not because they are evil monsters, but because they generally suck. I hate white people and White Nationalists because they are weak, broken, phenomenally autistic, or all three. I am now, more than ever, clearly still not a White Supremacist.

(Actually, almost no one is. “White Supremacist” is a political slur. Ironically, only inbred rednecks identify as “White Supremacists” and the KKK hasn’t been a politically powerful organization, even among avowed racists, for decades. Anyone who talks about “white supremacists” is either clueless or a liar. Or the media. So, a clueless liar.)

As anyone familiar with my work knows, I support tribalism always and everywhere. As the 1970’s motto goes, I believe that “small is beautiful” when it comes to human communities. However, a tribal community has to have a lot more going for it than race. And this is where the idea of White Nationalism falls apart for me. Race alone isn’t enough to unite a people.

I flew to Germany to speak to German Identitarians recently, and I totally support their efforts to preserve their culture, because they have a culture — the culture of the majority of my own ancestors. The Germans aren’t just “white.” They’re German. They have a distinct language and a history as a people.  

Most Americans are pan-European mutts. America, by omission if not by design, has no people. It has no religion, and its only culture has been a culture of inclusion and expansion. Adventurous settlers paved the way for generations of enterprising businessmen — not unlike Donald Trump. They have been its conquerors and kings and popes — and the culture they’ve produced has been entirely market-driven.

White Nationalists in America see the legacy of their ancestors — white European settlers — being destroyed, and because they are too realistic at this point to imagine the expulsion of non-whites (as progressive heroes like Lincoln did), they want a homeland for whites somewhere in America like the Jews have in Israel. It’s not a terrible idea, and no more unfair than creating a state for any other ethnic group.

But within the group of White Nationalists, you have pagans and atheists and Orthodox Christians and Catholics and Nietzscheans and Evangelicals and Baptists and a whole mess of other sub-groups who have nothing in common but a shared white European heritage and who in fact have a long history of fighting with each other. If a whites-only ethnostate materialized tomorrow, the sub-groups would start genociding each other almost immediately, because although they may be able to come to an agreement on some basic HOA rules about lawn care, their philosophical worldviews are mutually exclusive and ultimately incompatible.

America is pluralistic by design not because the Founding Fathers wanted to protect the rights of women or racial or sexual minorities — but because white European Christian men have spent centuries murdering and imprisoning each other over religious differences. I see no reason why this phenomenon would not immediately become a problem within a “diverse” population of whites. In fact, if you want to get rid of all of the White Nationalists in America, my advice is to give them exactly what they want. As soon as you give them their own land and eliminate all of their common enemies, the sky will turn black as they scramble to give each other “free helicopter rides.”

The various factions of White Nationalists already spend more time gossiping about each other (usually anonymously), stabbing each other in the back and jockeying for power and influence than any group I have ever seen — except maybe Social Justice Warriors, who are also predominantly white. I’m not sure which group is the Jungian shadow of the other, but the majority of people in both groups are some of the most broken, shittiest white people on the planet.

The New Church LadiesSocial Justice Warriors think they are better than everyone because they apologize theatrically for being white and spend their time trying to destroy the lives of other white people. They are intellectual cowards who forgive every black athlete or rapper who shoots someone or beats his wife and they would never question a Muslim’s Allah-given right to throw a homosexual off a building or stone a woman to death. They only care about racism, homophobia or misogyny if white men are the offenders.

White Nationalists theatrically claim to be proud of being white because it is usually the only thing they have going for them, and then they spend countless hours obsessing over who is to blame (aside from their white parents) for the fact that they have nothing else going for them. If you’re an elite athlete or a brilliant inventor, you don’t need to get “white pride” tattooed on your chest.

And yes, “brown pride” is equally lame.

I recognize the argument that “pride” is a corrective to “anti” messaging, but if there’s anything truly and cussedly American in my nature, it’s that I am instinctively meritocratic. (That, and I’d like the government to stay off my goddamned lawn and out of my fucking business.) I wrote Androphilia in 2007 because I’ve never believed that homosexuality was something to be proud of, and that men should be characterized by, “what they do, not who they screw.” Paper-thin identities that require snowflake affirmation parades have been triggering me for a long time. Instead of being proud of something relatively superficial, you could always, you know, do something interesting with your life and give yourself something worthwhile to be proud of.

The “white pride” crowd is generally desperate and sad. Some of them are so stupid and conspiracy-oriented that they have convinced themselves I served in the Israeli military and/or am working as a planted agent provocateur for the CIA (seriously, that’s a thing). But there are exceptions. As far as White Nationalists go, I’ve met some guys I really respect. 

It’s cool, almost hipsterish, to hate Richard Spencer these days — even in WN circles. But I like Richard. He’s witty and stylish and above all committed to a cause that — even if I don’t exactly agree with it — is not only socially but physically dangerous to support.

A man of Spencer’s provenance could be spending his days making personal calls from his office at some high-status, low responsibility job, and his evenings doing coke in the bathroom as he parties with models at museum fundraisers. He doesn’t have to do anything. He’s basically Bruce Wayne.

Instead, he has a vision and stands up for it in public. It makes him no money and lowers his social status. He gets run out of gym after gym by notoriety-seeking professional virtue signalers. He’s been publicly denounced by almost everyone who ever supported him outside of his community of Alt-Right intellectuals. He is routinely attacked in public, and major celebrities and newspapers have hypocritically agreed that while violence is theoretically always wrong, it is totally OK to punch Dick Spencer. Meanwhile, Spencer has never attacked anyone or committed a “hate crime” and having met him on several occasions I am certain that he thinks “hate crimes” are the pointless, counterproductive and insufferably plebeian efforts of infantile crackpots. (On this, we absolutely agree.)

Whether you want what Spencer wants for the West or not, you have to agree that what he is doing takes balls.

The same could be said of a variety of other right-wing intellectuals who fearlessly speak out under their own names — instead of hiding behind anonymous handles as the majority of them do. The extremely decent and reasonable Jared Taylor comes to mind. He invited me to speak at one of his American Renaissance conferences years ago even though I am sure he was harassed incessantly for scheduling a “known degenerate” to speak at a conference held deep in Tennessee. Taylor has also been physically attacked for speaking in public about ideas with words.

I’ve also written for Counter-Currents and spoken at a few private Counter-Currents gatherings. Greg Johnson is less of a public figure, but he produces a lot of top-tier intellectual material on philosophy. He’s never been able to bring me the whole way ‘round on White Nationalism, but I’m happy to talk about ideas over dinner with him — you know, like “free thinkers” did before they lived in constant and paralyzing fear of the game of “Alinsky Ad Libs” now casually referred to as “journalism.”

I’ve met a fair number of White Nationalists at conferences and events over the years. Many of the attendees are exactly what you’d expect them to be — pasty losers and basement nerds obsessed with blacks and Jews, who fetishize whiteness because they want to feel better than someone else. Their culture is a culture of jealousy and ressentiment and entitlement.

But I have also met hundreds of bright, courageous young men who have legitimate concerns about their own futures and the futures of the children they hope to have. Most of them are attending or fresh out of college, and they’ve gone through decades of anti-white “diversity” programming and listened to lie after lie taught as fact. I have a friend who is going to Portland State University right now, and he sends me photos and screenshots of teachers presenting anti-white, feminist and “gender-fluid” material in science classes. He’s not a White Nationalist, but he would certainly agree with many of their criticisms of American society, and so do I. We’re just not race fetishists, and we just don’t agree that White Nationalism is a viable solution to those problems.

I have spoken at AmRen and NPI because my criticisms of American society and the direction of Western culture generally have overlapped, and continue to overlap, with criticisms made by writers in the Alternative Right and White Nationalist communities (to the extent that such communities even exist in any monolithic way). My criticisms of modernity also overlap with similar criticisms made by various men’s advocates, anti-feminists, Radical Traditionalists, anarchists, students of the occult, Orthodox Christians, pagans, folkish heathens, gun advocates, self-defense advocates, martial arts instructors, and physical fitness experts. I don’t agree with everything that any of them say, but I refuse to live in fear of associating with whomever people who follow the ladies gossip magazines have decided “the bad people” are this month.

That brings me to my disappointment with white men, generally.

The majority of the best American white men are complete cowards.

They’re not afraid of a fight necessarily — they don’t lack physical courage — but they are terrified of any social ridicule that could result in a loss of money or status.

I’ve seen the strongest men I know, some of the strongest men in the world, reduced to cowering, pleading, desperate babies because someone — anyone, no matter how credible — threatens to expose them as a “racist” or “sexist” or some kind of “phobe.”

They’ll do anything and debase themselves in any conceivable way to make the accusations go away. Whiny apologies, carefully crafted public statements condemning whatever they think people want them to condemn, awkwardly staged photos with token friends and business associates and employees. They’ll tell sloppy lies and throw close friends under the bus to try to save themselves and their “personal mission,” which is always some fluffed-up, messianic, Stephen Covey version of Peter Gabriel’s “Big Time.”

Most of these men aren’t White Nationalists or White Supremacists. They’re far too self-centered to support any cause that doesn’t offer a tax-write off and immediate public relations benefit. They’re too ambitious to support anything that might limit their market or reach or cause them to lose Instagram followers. America’s market-driven culture has transformed Western individualism into pure narcissistic nihilism. The white men who are actually successful in America are more like Patrick Bateman than Tyler Durden. They’ll pretend to care about whatever they are supposed to care about and say all the right words — but it’s all bullshit.

I’m writing this on Memorial Day, and most of these guys are probably holding Memorial Day sales and posting about how much they appreciate those who served, even though — with the exception of those who have actually served — they really give zero fucks about Memorial Day. It’s just a “marketing opportunity,” like every other holiday, season and major public tragedy. They don’t care about the charities they give money to or the people they say they are trying to help, or whoever they say they want to “feel included.” They care about getting their dicks sucked, literally and metaphorically.

Most of these strong, successful white men would probably agree with White Nationalists on a variety of issues, as they’ve had to sit through the same feminist/diversity indoctrination sessions as everyone else. They’re smart enough to know that they are being lied to by people with an agenda. And they love themselves, so they certainly don’t hate being white.

But ultimately, they worship success, not race or culture or even manliness. They don’t care about honor or integrity. They’ll say and do and even convince themselves that they believe anything that will make them more successful. Success is not a terrible god, as gods go. Winners care about winning, right?

Because I pride myself on being one of the most honest and self-aware thinkers I know, I’ll make an introspective aside here. We become angry and disappointed with people largely because they fail to live up to some ideal that we’ve constructed for them. This is my problem with people who pretentiously refer to themselves as “misanthropes” and profess a hatred for all humanity. They hate people for not being who they want them to be, for not conforming to some idiosyncratic personal fantasy about how people should behave. Wiser men observe how people actually behave, recognize who people actually are, and adjust their expectations accordingly. Better to be realistic and find yourself pleasantly surprised than to be eternally sullen and disappointed.

Maybe I want the best white men to be better than they are or have ever been.

I wish they conducted themselves with more integrity, but maybe they never did.

Maybe no one ever did.

Maybe I’m the sucker here.

That might be true to some extent.

But the fact remains that the best white men, the most successful white men, are actually quite fragile and easy to manipulate and pressure. They’re weak because they exist in constant fear of being exposed as racists and sexists — even if they aren’t any more racist or sexist than anyone else. Even if they really have little or nothing to hide.

The best and most successful white men are weak because they let the most pathetic white people imaginable run them, blackmail them and extort them. They cave over and over and they never speak their mind because they live in constant fear of backlash from people who they have — and should have — nothing but contempt and disgust for. I’m not talking about other races or people of other religions or women, generally speaking. I’m talking about virtue-signalling people — mostly other white people — who threaten charges of racism and sexism for their own personal gain.

We live in an age where the strongest white men in the world allow themselves to be pushed around by gossipy bloggers, church ladies, sleazy reporters, rent-seeking academic activists, little fat screaming lesbians and weak autistic hipsters.

The best and most successful white men in the world are infected with parasites and if they refuse to stand up and tell these garbage people to fuck off, they deserve to fail. They deserve to be enslaved by their lessers. Their race deserves to perish.

I’m not a White Nationalist because I don’t think people are worth saving just because they’re white.

Okay, you’re white. Great. Most white people suck. What else have you got?

I share a genetic and cultural heritage with white people. Race is more than “skin color.” But all white people are not my people. I don’t particularly care about the fate of any racial group. What happens to “white people” is not my problem or my responsibility. I want to be surrounded with people who share not only my vague common ancestry, but my values and beliefs. Anyone who read Becoming a Barbarian knows I don’t care about “the politics of the Empire.” I want to leave it all behind. I just want to hang out in the woods with my friends and build something beautiful — I want to build a new culture. I want to invest in the people I know personally and my family and the people I am oathed to — my tribe, The Wolves of Vinland.

I’m not a White Nationalist, I’m a Wolves Nationalist.

My aim as a writer isn’t to get you to support some major political movement or to join mine.

It’s to inspire you to find a group of people you’d be willing to say the same thing about.

 

Related Essays:

“Mighty White”http://www.jack-donovan.com/axis/2011/12/mighty-white/

“All They Have is Fear”http://www.jack-donovan.com/axis/2015/11/all-they-have-is-fear/

“I’m Sorry, I Just Don’t Keep Up With The Ladies’ Gossip Magazines.” https://www.counter-currents.com/2012/11/im-sorry-i-just-dont-keep-up-with-the-ladies-gossip-magazines/

Cohesive Societies Check State Power:

On Francis Fukuyama’s The Origins of Political Order

https://www.counter-currents.com/2014/11/the-origins-of-political-order/

 

 

 

 

 

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Blog, News

Upcoming Speaking Engagement: The 21 Convention in Orlando

I’m pleased to announce that this fall I’ve agreed to speak at the 21 Convention in Orlando, Florida.

The conference seems to be very professionally organized, featuring 24 speakers giving 26 “red-pilled” presentations on becoming the ideal man in this less than ideal world. It’s the perfect venue for me to introduce some of the ideas that are important to me these days. In addition to covering some of the basic ideas from The Way of Men and Becoming a Barbarian, I’ll be using the Nietzschean concept of nobility to talk about moving away from a reactive, critical culture of frustration and ressentiment, and toward a personal culture of creation and “starting your own world.”

It should be a really interesting and eventful weekend, featuring major “manosphere” author Rollo Tomasi, style guru Tanner Guzi, and several successful entrepreneurs, lifestyle coaches, pickup artists and relationship advisors. Speakers and attendees will all be focused on networking with other men who want to be successful and become the best versions of themselves. I’m sure there will also be a good bit of mischief. I mean, it’s Florida, what could possibly go wrong?

This will be the first time I’ve been to that corner of the country since I went to Walt Disney World when I was 11, so if you want to come see me roll out the ideas I’m kicking around for my next book and get some serious strategies for succeeding without being a total cuck, book your seat at the conference and be sure to introduce yourself.

Prices start at $999 for the whole weekend, and will rise as the event approaches — so don’t delay — and be sure to use this link to book your spot, so they know I sent you.

2017-21c

WaldgangCROP
Blog

Waldgang

ForestPassage-198x300This afternoon, I completed the purchase of several acres of land. The land will be known as Waldgang, after Ernst Jünger’s book Der Waldgang, which has been translated as “The Forest Passage.” This land will serve as the spiritual and cultural home in the Cascadia bioregion for the tribe I belong to, the Wolves of Vinland.

I’m feeling lucky and thankful to everyone who has supported my work. I was able to pay with this land with proceeds from my writing and my “self-sponsoring” apparel business, Brutal Company. I’ve been more successful than I ever expected to be over the past couple of years, and I could have put the money down on a respectable house for myself or some kind of flashy ride, but that’s not what I care about most. I’m alive in the world and I want to live and take and consume like every other living thing — without apology — but more than that, I want to create something “real” worth remembering.

When I was young and in art school, I was inspired by Matthew Barney’s Cremaster Cycle. (see trailer hereBarney somehow talked his sponsors into bankrolling a series of feature-length films, without plots or narrative (or even dialog, for the most part). Each film was a series of quasi-mythic vignettes, featuring elaborately thought out, designed and constructed props, sets and special effects. I attended art museum screenings of several of the films — I remember sitting in special bleachers designed by Barney for one of them. The Cremaster project was mind-bogglingly complex, esoteric and undeniably brilliant, but in the end it was merely an objet d’art. Its disjointed myths and elaborately orchestrated experiences weren’t central to anyone’s lives or identities, except maybe the artist. They were spectacles presented in the visual language of myth to a profane and detached audience. They were beautiful and impressive, but ultimately insincere.

When I first visited the Wolves at their — now, our — Virginia land, named Ulfheim, like many others I was amazed that a place like that exists in the world. A place where pagan rituals of blood and ash really take place without irony, a place where men fight and drink and play music, in an environment that seems completely out of time — somehow “eternal.” A place where myth was alive. When I went there I wanted to be part of it, and through a progression of events that feels more like destiny than “life-planning,” I found myself in a position where I have the opportunity to build a connected space according to my own vision, with the help of a group of men who have become my closest and most trusted friends. A place for our “we,” our “us,” our “people,” our “tribe,” our Männerbund.

I don’t write as much as I used to, and I stopped commenting regularly on “the news.” A man I used to know often said that “politics is social gossip.” He said that if you couldn’t, using all of your personal power, get the President or whomever to change the color of his tie, your opinion didn’t much matter to him. I didn’t believe it then, but I do now. Most of the world is beyond our control. But even right now, with the world as it is, we have the power to create and inhabit to some extent a social world that we actually want to live in. We still live in times of relative prosperity, and we can either spend that wealth on bullshit to make ourselves feel better about how shitty we think everything is, to make ourselves feel special, or use our time and toil and profit to create something that actually is special. Maybe it only lasts for a moment or a few hours or a few years, but make it something worth remembering, worth talking about more than that politician who doesn’t care enough about your opinion to change his tie.

So, know that when you support my work or buy things from my company, you are contributing to the creation of something different, something special, a place out of time. And I hope that my words and my example inspire you to create that for yourself and your own tribe in some way.

brutal-web-ad-01

Recently, I was talking with John Mosby from Mountain Guerrilla, and he casually mentioned that the collapse of empire is always a time for ethnogenesis. A few years ago, people were saying that we’ve reached “The End of History” but I believe that we’ve reached the beginning of a thousand new histories — and it is truly an exciting time to be alive.

Waldgang has plenty of trees, but that’s not why I’m calling it the “forest passage.” In old Iceland, Jünger wrote, “A forest passage followed a banishment; through this action a man declared his will to self-affirmation from his own resources.” The forest passage represents a different state of mind, a spiritual revolt, a primal kernel of freedom and creative life energy, a transcendent oasis in the monocultural, mechanized desert of modernity — of the Empire of Nothing. The forest passage is an idea, a sacred mental space where men transform their souls and reaffirm their identities — a mythic axis around which the truth of their entire world spins.  My aim is for Waldgang to become the physical manifestation of that sacred internal space. My brothers and I will be building structures and spaces and religious objects — not for gallery patrons, but for us, with total sincerity, shared with the outside world to inspire others and spread the dream of a different way to live. My hope is that one day, not too long from now, someone will set foot on the land and say to himself , as I once did, “I can’t believe this place exists.”

WaldgangCROP2

STW 22 The Identitarians
Blog, STW Podcasts

STW 22 – The Identitarians – Vienna Calling

Jack Donovan interviews Martin Lichtmesz and Martin Sellner, Identitarian activists based in Vienna. Topics include the Yukio Mishma, the power of the image, New Right vs. Old Right, and the differences between American and European nationalist and identity movements. In my opinion, this is one of the best Start The World podcast episodes to-date.

In February 2017, I spoke in Schnellroda, Germany at the Institut fur Staatspolitik‘s Winterakademie. You can watch my speech, titled “Violence: Beyond Good and Evil,” on YouTube, here. I met both Martins there, and after I returned home I invited them to come on Start the World.

Guests:

Martin Martin SellnerSellner

Martin Sellner is a well-known Identitarian activist in Vienna and across Europe. He has a degree in philosophy, so he sells t-shirts at phalanx-europa.com. You can follow him on Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and though his web site at martin-sellner.atWenn Sie Deutchs verstehen, hat Martin auch einen podcast.

Martin LichtmeszMartin Lichtmesz

Martin Lichtmesz is a writer, translator and activist in Vienna, Austria. He translated the German edition of The Way of MenDer Weg der Manner, and has also translated Camp of Saints. You can follow him on Twitter.

Listen on YouTube:

Download Podcast or Listen Live:

 

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STW 21 – Jim Goad on The New Church Ladies

STW Episode 21 features JIM GOAD, author of The Redneck Manifesto.

As a writer, Goad has been rustling jimmies since the early 1990s, when he started publishing his legendary cult zine called ANSWER ME! He’s been physically attacked and dragged through the sleazy American legal system for his writing. Nazis and Antifa both hate him. He wrote a comic called Trucker Fags in Denial and then recorded an album of trucker music and toured with Hank 3.

The New Church LadiesGoad has a talent for pointing out the hypocrisy of political correctness. Some might even call it an affliction — and he’d probably agree with them. In recent years he’s written some razor sharp cultural commentary for Takimag, and he also writes for Thought Catalog. Goad is a top-tier stylist, and I’m sure that reading his work has taught me to be a better, and funnier, writer.  His latest book is titled The New Church Ladies a collection of essays that eviscerate the “extremely uptight world of social justice.” I thought I got the idea for calling SJWs “Church Ladies” from Goad, but he researched it and says I actually came up with it first. His take on it in the title essay is excellent, and you should read it. I’ll link to one of the old SNL Church Lady skits for anyone too young to get the reference.

Goad has lived one hell of a life so far, so I let this podcast run a little longer than usual. My voice sounds a little weird, because I’m switching my podcasting operation from PC to Mac and I ended up with an annoying hum that I had to filter out in post-production.

For more on Jim Goad, look him up on Twitter or check out his web site at jimgoad.net.

You can buy his new book, The New Church Ladies on Amazon.

I was going to post a link to the SNL Church Lady skits, but after searching YouTube I discovered that apparently Dana Carvey has been doing Church Lady again on SNL recently. The new segments are still kinda funny because Carvey is a pro, but they do have a touch of that smug New York liberal in-group humor that has made SNL increasingly unfunny and irrelevant for decades. I encourage readers/listeners to seek out the older segments.

KD Mathews
Blog, STW Podcasts

The Way of Dogs – STW Episode 20

K.D. Mathews (http://kdmathews.com) talks with Jack Donovan about giving your dog a sense of purpose, basic dog training concepts, realistic expectations about using dogs for personal/home security, building a relationship with your dog, human/dog evolution and more. I uploaded this podcast to YouTube, and I plan to do that with all future podcasts. Check out my slick new intro video to go with the original theme music from David Lee Archer. Podcast Link at the bottom of this post.

TOPICS:

  • Using a dog as a “layer” of security and maintaining realistic expectations about your dog’s potential
  • Common dog training errors
  • Pit bulls
  • Rebooting your relationship with your dog
  • “Nothing in life is free”
  • Clicker training
  • “Be fair to the dog”

LINKS:

KD Mathews

http://kdmathews.com

Why Train? – Looking Far Beyond The Superficial Obviousness To Daily Training With Your Dog

http://kdmathews.com/why-train-looking-far-beyond-the-superficial-obviousness-to-daily-training-with-your-dog/

Theme Music by David Lee Archer

Find releases from David Lee Archer and the Luckless Bastards here:

https://www.reverbnation.com/davidleearcherlucklessbastards

statler and waldorf
Blog

Chuckling from the Balcony

Hitler with Sad EyesOver ten years ago, I had a small business doing velvet paintings of Nazis and serial killers. It was all very crass. I painted some “sad eyes” Hitlers, in the style of Margaret Keane. I have to admit, I still think that’s kinda funny.

Using velvet painting as a medium was itself an ironic choice. Velvet paintings are generally considered “low class,” “white trash,” “kitsch” art, as in their heydey they were predominantly found in flea markets and swap meets and trailer parks. They glorified pop singers like Elvis, movie stars like John Wayne, and exotic booby ladies. Using velvet to glorify reviled characters like Nazis and serial killers poked fun at modern taboos.

Some of my paintings were showcased by the now defunct “UnPop” art movement’s web site, founded in 2004 by Partridge Family Temple leader Shaun Partridge, Brian M. Clark, and musical provocateur Boyd Rice. Unpop artists used accessible — one could even say “charming” — pop art forms to “trigger” social justice warriors, back before people said “trigger” or “social justice warrior.” As I was explaining my paintings and the Unpop movement to a brother who was eight years old during my “velvet period,” I realized that the people involved were basically making proto-memes. Little chuckle-worthy middle fingers at political correctness. Pop culture turned against popular politics.

Yes, I’m being a hipster right now. I was memelording before memes were cool.

Over the years, I’ve been tempted to break out the oil paints again. I could sell the shit out of velvet Putins and Trumps and Keks. I could demand five times whatever I charged back in the day. I could probably even go full Warhol and pay someone else to paint them for me.

I’ve been tempted, but it always feels like it would be an empty enterprise.

When I die, I don’t want to be known as “that guy who was really crass.”

Chuckling from your own balcony is fun. Most people are creatures of hypocrisy. Most interesting people are made of humorous contradictions, waiting to be framed in a joke and laughed at.

I like jokes. Tell me one in person. I’ll laugh with you. I’ll laugh at someone with you. I’ll even laugh at myself. I know myself. I can be described in ridiculous sentences. I get all the jokes.

Throwing rotten tomatoes is fun. It’s cathartic.

Making a good joke about someone else or about a cultural phenomenon requires creativity, but it’s not creative. It’s not a creative act, at least by itself. A joke is a critique, and it can only contribute to a “culture of critique.” It is negative culture, not positive culture.

We live in an exhausted age of irony and cowardice. Of remakes and sequels. Of retro music and meta-humor.

If all the world is a stage, I want to be the guy who gives the heartfelt monologue, not the snarky aside.

Chuckling from the balcony is safe. Criticism is safe. Irony is safe.

I want to go out on a limb and stand for something. I want to spend my life making something beautiful that I really believe in. I want to inspire people — not just make them giggle. I want to challenge them to become superior versions of themselves — instead of just feeling superior. It’s important to recognize what is wrong with the world around you, but until you transcend that dissatisfaction and begin working to create something that you think is right, you are merely a spectator, not a creator.

Jack Donovan with Velvet MishimaI only kept one velvet portrait. It’s a painting of Yukio Mishima. I don’t keep it because it is cute or ironic. I keep it because I actually admire Mishima. He was a creator who brought his body into consonance with his mind. He literally gave his life for his art, for what he sincerely believed in, and he gave his life in the way that satisfied his ultimate ideal of beauty and spiritual courage. He went all the way. I love people who go all the way, wherever that way takes them

Mishima committed hara-kiri in 1970, four years before I was born. He still inspires people today. He inspires me.

 

A lot of people made fun of Mishima while he was alive. No one remembers them.

 

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Photo by Peter Beste. 2016.
Blog, Essays, Feature

We Are Not Brothers

I am not your brother.

I am not your “bro,” your “brah,” your “brohem,” your “brotha” or your “brother kinsman.”

Yes, that’s a thing.

I am also not your “bud,” or your “buddy.” Unless we’re actually buddies. Then that’s fine, though I can’t think of any of my buddies who I actually address as “bud” or “buddy.”  

To my ear, “buddy” always sounds a little forced and manipulative, like something some socially awkward, okely-dokely supervisor would call you right before he gave you a menial task.

If you’re actually my buddy, I’ll probably call you something stupid or some insulting nickname that we’ll both think is funny.

Or at least I’ll think it’s funny.

I do call my dog “buddy,” but I also named him Bruder, and since I feel guilty if I leave him alone at the house for more than 5 hours, he probably means a lot more to me than most of the men who call me “brother.”

If you’re a man, I’ll probably call you “man” as a gesture of respect — indicating that I recognize you as a man, and not a boy or woman or one of those damned urban elves.

If you’re a man, then you’re a man, and I’m a man, but being men doesn’t make us brothers any more than it makes us cousins.

If you call me “cuz,” then we will never become buddies, friends, allies or friendly associates.

If you’ve called me brother in the past, I was not “offended.”

Please do not apologize.

I know you meant it in a friendly way. It’s OK. We’re cool. We’re just not brothers.

Unless we are. And if we are, we both know it.

It’s not that I think men who aren’t brothers by blood can’t become brothers, spiritually. I co-authored a book on blood-brotherhood. From the Azande tribesmen of Central Africa to the early American boys characterized in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, men throughout history and on every habitable continent have developed formal or informal rites to make their friends into family. Sworn brotherhoods have always been taken seriously, and in many if not most cases, they were believed to supercede all other human bonds in importance.

So it’s not that I believe friends and allies can’t become brothers. I just don’t take the word “brother” lightly. And if you believe that the word “brother” actually means something — if you believe that brotherhood is important — neither should you.

One feature common to sworn brotherhoods throughout history is that they formalize an understanding of mutual obligation. Blood-brotherhood rites often include the promise of a curse on the brother who betrays his oath or turns his back on his blood-brother. Like brothers by birth, blood-brothers are expected to stand by each other and help each other out.

Even when they don’t want to. Even when they think their brother did something stupid. Even if it’s going to hurt.

Family implies responsibility and interdependence far beyond mere friendship or mutual admiration. It follows that created families should carry a comparable weight and burden of mutual obligation.

When men refer to each other as “brother” casually, they are imposing a fictive kinship to create a sense of unity between relative strangers.

Christians and Muslims alike have long been known to call strangers “brother” when they share the same religion.

American blacks referred to each other as “brothers” and “sisters” for decades. This reached its height in the heydey of the black power movement, as an attempt to create a sense of community and shared fate among American blacks. Blacks were even referred to collectively by other groups as “brothers,” though this is now considered politically incorrect for some fickle reason. Tarantino and others revived the funky blaxploitation vibe of the black power moment in pop culture, and references to “brothas” and “sistahs” continue to be used ironically and unironically on all channels of the mainstream media. The black power movement also inspired a variety of artists during that time who made undeniably good pop and soul music that still influences artists today who want to “‘rage against the machine” or “rise up” against the man.

The black power movement influenced the white power movement, and I’m pretty sure I’ve had guys call me brother because I’m white, or because I’m a heathen.

Richard Holt, writing for the Guardian, made an interesting point about the word “bro,” when it was revealed that Barack Obama occasionally called David Cameron his “bro.” Holt argued that by honoring someone with a name like “chief” or “boss” or even “bro,” a man is essentially saying that he feels comfortable and perceives no threat from the man so-honored. One could hardly imagine Obama referring to Putin as his “bro.”

Broadly speaking, there’s also a kind of feel-good, hippie angle to calling someone “brother” that comes across like one of those guys who ends every message with “PEACE.” You know, the guy who probably smoked a lot of ganja when he was going through his extended Bob Marley or Jamiroquai period. In his terminal chillness, he’s imposing the biggest kinship of all — the brotherhood of all humanity.

Like, one people, one world…brother.

Being one people on one planet hasn’t really ever meant enough to stop people from murdering each other or fucking each other over, so to my ear it comes across either spacey and naive or sleazy and saccharine.

A man who calls every man a brother is a brother to no man.

Like I said, if you’ve called me brother, I was not offended.

But as time goes on, I’ve realized that the majority of my career as a writer has been about zooming in on words and getting men to think about the way we use words as symbols for concepts that shape our personal worlds, identities and communities.

What is “masculinity”…what does it mean to be a “man”…what is “courage”…what is “honor”…what is a “tribe”…who is “we”…who is a “brother?”

All of these questions, all of these “words” matter.

If you say that brotherhood matters to you, why is your brotherhood so cheap? Why is it given so freely? Do you ask nothing in return for your brotherhood? What does your brotherhood offer?

These big-tent, open-flap brotherhoods that seek to unite large groups of people are all political manipulations. The big brotherhood projects the personal obligations of familial relationships impersonally, onto collections of strangers identified by a given trait that supposedly makes them “one.” Black. White. Male. Christian. Muslim. Human. By invoking the familiarity of brotherhood, people can be “guilted” into making personal sacrifices for strangers or people who they barely know — for the common cause. I’m not going to evaluate and dismiss every potential common cause between strangers here. Depending on the times and circumstances, I may be moved to find some more valid than others. I do think it’s important to be aware of the intent of the rhetoric.

I’m not personally comfortable extending my brotherhood to strangers. It’s too much to be on the hook for. There are too many unknown variables. I expect to have to earn the brotherhood of another man and likewise, he will have to earn mine. My brotherhood comes at a cost. I expect loyalty and reciprocity.

The only man who I call brother who I am not formally oathed to has been my friend for about ten years, and I know that he would do anything to help me if I needed it. I would do anything to help him, too. I trust him with my life. However, because I respect the gravity of that commitment, being a good brother also means carrying my own weight and taking enough responsibility for my own actions that I don’t need to call for that lifeline very often. When I call him for help, it’s either because I think he’ll enjoy doing what I need a hand with, or because I really need help.

That’s what brotherhood means to me. My brotherhood comes with strings attached. Actually, they’re more like chains. My brotherhood means that we’re in this together all the way to the end of our lives or our friendship. We only get out dead or dead to each other.

Is that what you meant when you called me “brother?”

I don’t think so.

 

 


Photo by Peter Beste. 

 

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Becoming a Barbarian Audiobook
Becoming a Barbarian

Becoming a Barbarian Audiobook Finally Available

Becoming a Barbarian AudiobookMy latest book, Becoming a Barbarian, is now finally available in audiobook form through Audible, Amazon and iTunes. (iTunes is lagging, but should follow within the next few days.)

I put many hours into this project and invested in some new recording equipment, so I think you will find that the levels of both quality and the performance have improved since the audiobook edition of The Way of Men was released in 2015. I have also always felt that this book will be more enjoyable in audiobook form, due to both the content and style of writing.

So plan a road trip, and “press play” to become a barbarian.

A sample chapter was released in November, and is available via YouTube and as a Start the World podcast.

I will probably make a second preview chapter available soon.

 

 

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