Category

Blog

2017-02-18 11.50.35-2
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 Podcasts

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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Blog, Commentary

This is for Me, Too

I don’t just write the words you need to hear. I write what I need to hear, too.

I’ve been doing a lot of MMA training lately — clocked in 7 hours last week. I’ve been training for a couple of years now, but mostly boxing, and mostly with pads. I’d had maybe ten serious sparring sessions total, including two or three matches with other members of the Wolves.

At this point, sparring is what I need. I need to shorten my reaction time and learn how to apply all of the theory I’ve been practicing. I need to learn to keep attacking instead of resetting by default the way you do when you are repeating pad drill with a partner. I need to figure out what really works, what needs more work, and what is probably not going to work for me most of the time because of my size, fighting style, build and age.

I don’t have much to put out there confidently in terms of wrestling or kickboxing yet, so full MMA sparring rounds are still somewhat stressful and confusing. I’m not a tail-wagging 22 year old who feels invincible. I’ll be 42 in a couple of weeks. I’m a fast, strong, healthy and I’d like to think kinda imposing 42 when I’m not smiling or laughing, which I usually am — but I’m still 42. Because I’m one of the bigger guys, the other big guys and the guys who are actually good are always going to want to work with me.

The other day this guy joined our class. He was maybe 5’9” and 185. Cauliflower ear, obviously broken nose. Built like a fighter. I knew I was going to have to end up sparring with him that day, because I was an obvious match. When he walked across the room and picked me for the second round of sparring, In my head, I kicked rocks and got all Eeyore for a second. “Well…this is going to suck for me.”

Then I remembered that I’m the guy who writes things like, “Life is Conflict, Peace is Death.”

Oh. Yeah. I’m supposed to be that guy.

Alright. Stop it, Jack.

Life is conflict. Peace is death.

It was a long three minutes, but I did OK, all things considered. Took a Superman punch to the face, a bunch of kicks, some brief grounding and pounding, a few punches that could have been knockout punches — but I have a pretty good chin. And no, he wasn’t being a dick or showboating. I don’t think he ever went past his 70% range. I also threw out a few solid punches that connected, and I kept him moving.  

It was just a round, but I drove home on a Fight Club high. I was glad that I’d worked with him, and that I’d survived. Nothing really even hurt. No fucked up face.

The next morning I texted Paul Waggener, asking if he ever finds himself repeating his own mantras.

He said that he does it all the time, and that he writes mostly for his “future self” at this point.

He’d been sick that day and had wanted to lay around, but remembered that there are some guys out there who think he is some kind of machine. And machines don’t lay around being sick. So he hit some weights and went to BJJ class that night.

“What good are these mantras if we don’t use them as what they are for ourselves?”

I’ve had a reader tell me that when he read The Way of Men for the first time, he thought, “Man, this guy has got to be some kind of operator.” The reader actually had been an operator. Somehow, I’d managed through pure thought experiments to pull this truth out of the ether that he recognized.

I’ve never been an operator. I went to art school. I didn’t bar fight my way through my twenties. I started thinking and writing about masculinity seriously in my mid-thirties. I didn’t actually learn how to throw a punch or deadlift over 400 pounds until I was 38.

The other day, I was being photographed by a guy I used to deliver produce with for a book project he is working on. He has had a rough time over the past few years, and he asked me what my biggest “struggle” had been.

I haven’t had a very hard life, by any meaningful standard.

My biggest struggle has been trying to live up to my own words and beliefs. I can’t just write this stuff and not do it. I can’t be that kind of hypocrite. I can’t tell people to go out and push themselves if I’m not willing to do it myself.

When my work makes men angry, it’s usually because they imagine that I’m some kind of puffed up jerk who is calling them pussies and telling them to be more like me. I trigger a lot of guys with “daddy issues.” Or they think I’m some phony pretending to be something he’s not.

The truth is, I’m just a guy.

I’m just a guy trying to live up to his own ideals. I’m writing the words I need to hear myself. These mantras and symbols are for me, too.

Like Paul, I’m writing for a future self.

We are creating ourselves, always in the process of transforming and becoming. These words and symbols are magic. No lightning flies out of my fingers, and I haven’t tried to summon a storm, but these words and symbols are what I need to invoke my better, higher, future self.

I’m at a point in my life right now where I feel more “self-realized” than I ever have before. I’m closer to who I have always wanted to be than I ever have been before.

Maybe these words and symbols and ideas will work for you, too.

I almost didn’t want to share this. Sometimes it’s better to allow people to believe whatever they want to believe about you.

And, tactically speaking, when we meet and you shake my hand, you’ll know that I have no grappling game and my kicks suck.

But…by then…I’ll be better.