On July 20, an intern from ABC emailed me and asked to speak with me on the phone about the “manosphere.” I agreed, and a couple of days later, the two of us had a nice talk about my work, MRAs, PUAs and the state of the “manosphere,” such as it is. (I told her that no one in the manosphere really even likes that name, because it sounds kinda like some kind of gay Thunderdome.)
On October 16, ABC finally came around and dipped its toe back in the manosphere with a ridiculous blog post about how feminist activists “battle anti-woman hate online.”
Their big opener exposed the shocking truth that poor Anita Sarkeesian, who raised over $158,000 with a Kickstarter project to launch career as a professional feminist, was being “attacked” by “hateful” manosphere groups…because she received some mean comments on the Internet. Seems legit. As far as I know, the 20/20 piece hasn’t aired yet, but predictably, the commercial for it features controlled opposition feminist Paul Elam as the voice of The Manosphere.
I offered to appear on-camera for this during my phone call with ABC’s summer intern. She was actually rather sweet, and naively said to me, “my producer wanted me to find a bunch of angry guys who would say crazy things, but so far you all seem very calm and your views are much more well thought-out than I expected.” This reaffirms everything we already know about how the media really works, so I hope that nice girl finds another line of work, before the business turns her into a sociopathic whore who will do or say anything for a trashy story.
ABC never got back to me about an on-camera interview.
The Daily Caller
Speaking of trashy stories, some SPLC shill at The Daily Caller mentioned me in a bitchy little post about the NPI Conference I spoke at this weekend. He referenced the 20/20 piece above.
Another interesting inclusion is Jack Donovan, straight out of the “manosphere,” a network of self-described anti-feminist bloggers and internet lurkers who seem to think there’s something courageous about misogyny. Donovan, for his part, is so manly he had to buy a dress shirt just for the conference.
It might seem that this is just a particularly nasty internet subculture, and it is, but their numbers are growing and they can be quite abusive, as a recent 20/20 report found.
The comment about dress shirt came from a joke I made on this blog. We all had a good laugh about it onstage at the conference, where I assured the audience I normally only wear “the hides of my enemies. ”
The whole SPLC thing was funny, because in days before the conference, even as the Washington DC Anti-Racist Action was making posters denouncing me as a racist, sexist and white supremacist, Pastor Tom Robb of the Knights Party of the KKK was denouncing me as a sodomite on Facebook and harassing my WN associates for associating with me. He and some Jerry Springer white nationalists posted some very explicit fantasies about my sex life.
So I…uh…guess I’ve been taking it from all sides lately…
The NPI conference itself was excellent, and proved, as one attendee said, that all of the interesting thinking and true intellectual rebellion right now is happening on the right. I’m sure videos and more commentary from the Alternative Right and the media will follow.
During the open bar, a reporter from the online women’s magazine Salon asked to speak with me. She asked me whether or not I thought more women should be involved with “the movement.” Since you never know how they are going to use your words, I figured I’d jot down my recollection of what I said to her, for the record.
I said I thought it was perfectly natural for men to be at the forefront of a political movement, and mentioned that Steven Pinker’s book The Blank Slate had referenced a list of human universals. Basically, the anthropological data from all known human societies shows that men are universally the primary political movers.
Then I said that some guys in “the movement” do say that there should be more women involved. It’s like the rape of the Sabine women. You see men in a group start to worry that they won’t have a future without children, and you need women around for that. And white men are obviously having a population decline, so that’s a major concern. So some of the guys try to figure out how to get more women involved.
I told her that my response to that is always “If you build it, they will come.” Women want security and status, and right now any man who associates himself with White Nationalists is taking a big risk, socially. There is a big social cost because these guys are looked down on by mainstream society. It’s taboo. They are outcasts. So a lot of women aren’t going to want to associate with men involved in a movement like this, because they’re seen as losers and low status and women want winners.
Then I immediately realized how she might spin that comment, so I added, “To clarify, I’m not saying these guys are losers.”
(Afterthought: Actually, I met several guys who were there who read as fairly “alpha” in the manosphere sense. Later that night, I even got to laugh along as one of guys cold approached some girls at a bar for fun. Some of the guys and I also discussed the idea that some women love “bad boys” and that there are plenty of girls out there who think the idea of dating a fascist is kind of hot. This is absolutely true, but that won’t put them in the conference room, and there’s no reason why they need to be there. One of the guys joked, “we don’t really need more women involved, we just need more groupies.” I’m sure the Christian traditionalist faction of the group would object to that statement, but we all had a good laugh at the time. White Nationalists aren’t known for having a sense of humor, but they’re actually pretty zany guys.)
Basically, when guys say they want women involved, I just think they mean they want girlfriends who are white nationalists.
Then she asked me if I considered myself a white nationalist. I told her, “no,” but added that I support white nationalists because I’m a tribalist. I think all people should be more tribal, and whites should be able to have a tribe if some of them want to. I told her I would speak at a Native American conference if they asked me to.
She seemed disappointed with that answer, and thanked me for answering her questions.
Hunter from Strength Beyond Strength recently posted a review of The Way of Men.
With that said, I have tried multiple times to read books by Tony Robbins and other popular self-help gurus. I could never get halfway through the demagoguery. They’re just too gooey and preachy. I always felt like they were talking down to me. If you feel the same way about the self-help world, then The Way of Men is a must read for you.
Read Hunter’s review here. I don’t consider The Way of Men a self-help book — but many men do find it helpful, so all the better.
Hunter is the owner and head trainer of a unique dinosaur gym in a barn in San Benito County, California. He’s started blogging about training, and I look to forward to reading more of his posts. I liked his suggestion of trying 10 sets of 3 for a combination of strength and hypertrophy, so I incorporated it into my own lifting routine.
More news and reviews…
Roosh V- “10 Books Every Man Should Read”
Hold on tight during the second half of the book where the author clearly lays out how masculinity is being attacked and marginalized, increasingly seen as something that needs to be treated instead of exalted.
J.J. McCullough, who occasionally writes for The Huffington Post wrote an in-depth review of The Way of Men at his blog Filibuster Cartoons.
Jack’s critique of gender modernity unapologetically combines the darkest tropes of both right and left alike. Conservatives will doubtlessly enjoy his blistering critique of the politically correct establishment that has worked so tireless to purge every last lingering trace of “boys-will-be-boys” apologism from our schools, workplaces, and families, while lefties will savour his equally savage takedown of late-stage capitalism, a predatory economic system peddling the idea that men should be little more than “sociopathic metrosexual super-consumers.”
“…Ragnar Redbeard redrafting Desmond Morris…”
Tony Sylvester, the new frontman for the Norwegian deathpunk band Turbonegro, reviewed The Way of Men for some UK print issue of vice, but neither he nor I have been able to figure out which issue and where to find it, so here are two snips of the review he sent me via Facebook:
The Way Of Men is partly a defensive rationale for man’s place in the pecking order and part polemic to ‘restart the world’, as he puts it: a call to arms where Men become the Wolverines in Millius’s Red Dawn against the invading forces of feminism.
It’s chilling in its directness and cold logic, in a similar way as its distant relative, Jim Goad’s The Redneck Manifesto, just without the laughs. Whilst it makes me glad that my life contains a certain degree of comfort and cissiness, you can bet your arse I’m gonna want a man like Jack Donovan on my team when the shit hits the fan.
Tony and his tailor are also doing interesting things with custom tailoring…
As always, Amazon…
I’ve received a lot of reviews from readers on Amazon over the past month or so. Thanks, guys. I do read every single one.
I can’t tell you how important Amazon reviews are for a writer. So, please, toss in you two cents, even if others have said similar things. More is always better — reviews from actual readers help drown out the bitchy reviews from people who obviously didn’t even read the book.
August 2013 was actually the book’s biggest month ever, and it’s almost a year and a half old. It’s a sleeper that is gaining steam, which means more men are reading it and getting the word out to their pals, brothers, co-workers, fathers and sons. That’s fucking awesome.
Once, men took oaths seriously…
Signing your name — or making your mark — meant something. Your word meant something. Your name meant something. Your oath, your name, your signature — these were your guarantees. Without such guarantees — at least a few of them — you’d really have to know a man well to be able to trust him once your back was turned. A signature was a promise, and that was a big deal.
How many times have you signed your name today, this week, this year?
How many oaths have you taken? How many guarantees have you made? How many promises?
Each one of them is an invisible string that runs back to you, and you never know when someone will tug you in to scold you and blame you like a naughty little Pinocchio.
That’s what most of these signatures and oaths are: ways to evade and place blame. You accept responsibility for something based on what you think you know, or what someone thinks you are supposed to know, at the time. When they ask you to sign, they want you to take the blame if something goes wrong.
In many cases you have to sign to move forward, whether you really know what you are signing or not. How much fine print have you read? You’ve signed for things, little things and big things, saying that you read the terms, and knowing that you didn’t. How could you? Who has that kind of time? Every time you sign without reading or understanding, every time you sign saying that you did something that you didn’t do — just to move forward — you tell a little lie. Every time you sign or promise or guarantee, knowing you didn’t, don’t or won’t do something or know something, you cheapen your oath a little.
They don’t really want you to read the terms of the thing, of course. Or they don’t really care. They just want you to accept the blame in case something goes wrong.
When something goes wrong, they can say,
“That was YOUR responsibility. YOU signed for it. What do you mean YOU didn’t do it? Or know it? Or read it? Are you saying that you LIED?”
Well, yes, you did. And they’ve done it a million times, too. They know it and you know it, but this is about YOU, because someone must be BLAMED.
This morning, my supervisor announced that, going forward, we would all have to sign that we’d received, reviewed, picked and packed the items on a particular list before going out on our delivery routes.
It wasn’t an unreasonable request. I already sign or initial five or ten invoices or checklists every day. One more is no big deal .
But I was well rested and fully caffeinated, so when I heard this, I picked up the list and wrote:
“On the honor of my ancestors, I do solemnly swear that I have picked this frozen fruit puree and these frozen mushrooms. - Jack Donovan”
I’m going to start doing that all the time.
Who are we, and who will we become as America declines? How will we define ourselves? How will we survive — not just physically, but what will we carry with us, culturally?
No matter which “we” we’re talking about — things are changing dramatically. The Zompocalypse might happen overnight, but America’s animated corpse may well lumber into the future, slowly starving and losing pieces of itself along the way.
I’ll be presenting some of my own ideas about tribalism and the future of identity at an upcoming conference in Washington DC, scheduled for October 26, 2013.
If you can make it, I have no doubt that it will be a fascinating day full of new ideas presented by daring, innovative, un-PC thinkers.
It will also easily be my most formal speaking gig — I even bought a dress shirt.
Triple J is an ABC radio station down under. “Sunday Night Safran” is a radio talk show hosted by journalist John Safran and Father Bob Maguire. Last week, they had me on to talk about The Way of Men. I had a good time and I think it went very well.
Download the podcast here: http://www.abc.net.au/triplej/safran/podcast/
This week: Director of the cult TV series The Thick Of It Armando Iannucci, Author of The Way of Men Jack Donovan, Author of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil John Berendt.
+ download mp3 (30.0)
I’m on around 31:40.
Lately, I’ve been reminded of how powerful — how right — a group of men singing in unison can be.
My co-conspirator Mark Dyal* was surprised that I’d never read Steven Pressfield’s Gates of Fire. I started listening to Derek Jacobi’s performance of it in the work truck, and after replaying this passage about 20 times…
“Now from the Lakedaemonian ranks rose the paean, the hymn to Castor ascending from four thousand throats. On the climactic beat of the second stanza,
the spears of he first three ranks snapped from the vertical into the attack.”
… I had to agree with him that it wasn’t so much fiction, but as another friend said, more of a “religious experience.”
Earlier in book, singing was discussed in the context of martial valor and phobologia** — the Spartan discipline of studying and fighting fear.
“Skill in singing is Sparta counted second only to martial valor and in fact is closely related, through the heart and lungs, within the discipline of phobologia. This is why Lakedaemonians sing as they advance into battle. They are schooled to open the throat and gulp the air, work the lungs till the accumulators relent and break the constriction of fear.”
Men, singing…clearing their hearts of fear. Or singing together about a great battle or a good story. I want to hear more of that. I want to hear less of some guy singing about himself, or his problems, or his feelings about a girl. Men did a lot more singing together — singing together with proud, strong voices — before the modern age.
A few months ago, a reader in Finland sent me a copy of The Day of The Antler‘s A Call to Greatness. The album is metal classics like Manowar’s “Hail and Kill,” performed as if sung by a group of Vikings in some ancient mead hall. I really enjoyed it. My favorite track is “Black Wind, Fire and Steel.” I’ve played it many times in the work truck, rolling around downtown Portlandia, smiling at the lyric “The spikes upon my chariot will grind them when they’re near.”
I’d love to hear more new music along these lines. Choruses of men singing with simple background music, about strength and courage and honor. If you know of some recordings I should listen to, shoot me a message with recommendations.
* For more on Sparta, the body, and Fascism, read Dyal’s excellent and inspiring series of essays on Counter-Currents.
**(I wasn’t able to quickly verify whether or not that is something Pressfield made up or something verifiably historical- email me if you have a source.)
Brett McKay from The Art of Manliness has done more serious, thoughtful and honest thinking about masculinity than most of the “officially recognized” experts out there, so it was a pleasure to be interviewed by him for his Art of Manliness podcast.
Listen to it here:
Read McKay’s excellent series of articles on Honor.
Wanting to be good at being a man means wanting to be a lion, and despising in yourself and other men the nature of the lamb.
Is this truly hatred — to despise the lamb in yourself and in the men of your tribe?
Placing the virtues of the lion above the sentimentality and vulnerability of the lamb is called hatred today.
When applied to women, it is called misogyny.
And yet, men who want to be lions always love and make themselves protectors of the lambs close to them. The hero sacrifices himself for the vulnerable loved one, the one who is not as strong. This is often his weakness, his undoing. He loves the lamb, and would die for the lamb, but doesn’t want to BE the lamb, and could think of no greater dishonor than to be seen as a lamb.
Is that hatred of the lamb?
Men are frustrated with could-be lions who would rather be lambs — because it is easier to be a lamb. They are frustrated with “flamboyantly effeminate” men who reject, despise, and denigrate the virtues of the lion.
But men love those who are in their protection, so long as they show some appreciation, so long as they don’t denigrate the role of the lion, so long as they recognize that they are lambs and not lions.
This idea that what you love is often the opposite of what you want to be is a central paradox of masculinity.
Your personal shortcomings and natural talents are not moral triumphs.
When I read about someone preaching sexual abstinence, I want to see what that person looks like. I don’t want to be lectured about the virtues of chastity by someone who would obviously have trouble getting laid. I’m not impressed with the self-discipline or moral fortitude of an obese neckbeard or pimply teenager, and it’s hard to admire the fidelity of some awkward beta who clearly married the first mediocre woman who would sleep with him for fear that he’d never find another.
Yeah, sure, buddy, it’s all about your commitment to God, or to your spiritual refinement, or whatever.
You can rail all you want about the vulgar undulations of the debauched modern masses, and I’d probably agree with you, but it’s a little too convenient that you, with your relatively limited options, have become a beacon of moral superiority.
If Tim Tebow is actually still a virgin, now that would be something.
This applies to many things.
I’m not impressed when ectomorphs criticize fat people for eating too much.
You can eat whatever you want and never get fat. You aren’t thin because you’re more disciplined — you’re thin because you’re lucky.
I’m not impressed when people brag about the achievements of their ancestors.
Great story. What have YOU done to be worthy of that heritage?
I’m impressed by the overcoming, by will, of adversity — not the easy righteousness of those who took the path of least resistance.
That reeks of ressentiment, of trying to remake the world in your own flawed image, rather than trying to remake yourself in the image of virtue.
Overcoming is not necessary — one can simply live well according to one’s nature. But when you start accusing others of moral failures and transgressions, and hold yourself up as an exemplar, your opinion carries a lot more weight in my book if you’ve overcome the temptations you’ve warned against. If not — if you’re just doing what you wanted to do anyway, or doing what came easiest to you — you’re just bragging. Bragging is the habit of unproven men, of men who are just trying to convince you they belong one step up from the bottom of the totem pole.
Meaningful achievements are the little bullet points in life that save you from having to brag about your natural advantages, or try to trick people into believing that you are better than they are for having achieved nothing — or for having more disadvantages.
It is overcoming your natural disadvantages, or working hard to develop your natural advantages, that is noteworthy and inspiring.
In every self-righteous rant, I look for the man who has overcome nothing, trying to remake the world in his own image, to save him from the trouble of remaking himself.
There are choices I have made in my life that were based on principle, and they were anything but convenient. Doing what you think is right is only worthy of admiration when the right choice isn’t the easy choice. It’s easy to go with the flow and adapt your moral code to whatever feels good at the time. That’s the bourgeois way, the way of the merchant who becomes whoever his customers want him to be. It’s the modern way, the way of lonely people with few meaningful connections, floating through this global economy, seeking temporary pleasure and instant affirmation.
I don’t have much respect for principles of convenience. If you commit yourself to a way of life, if you say you stand up for a set of principles, that doesn’t mean anything unless you’re willing to stand up for them whether they are convenient or not.
Meaningful principles are rarely convenient in the long run.
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